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We Sell Fruit Trees

Last week, I wrote about how valuable your name is.

I spoke of how tempting it can be to take short cuts and participate in corrupt dealings in order to get a quick buck, but I encouraged you that in the long run, it pays off to have a respectable name. I promised you this week to share an actual story to make this lesson practical.

My husband runs his own company. He is, in my opinion, the best Professional Project Manager in the world! He is just so organised, brilliant, knows how to communicate well to motivate people to get the job done and navigate conflict when it inevitably arises within the projects. However, he misses out on big jobs frequently because when a project is on the table, the client is asking for a bribe of some sort OR the company that does get awarded the jobs we find out has worked out a backend deal to ensure they get the job.

It can be very frustrating at times because it feels like corruption pays off. I wanted to share an encouraging story that happened to me last week where I felt like years of operating with integrity “paid off”. It is a small story that didn’t bear much money, but the lesson really encouraged me, and I hope it will encourage you. Don’t compromise. YOUR NAME IS VALUABLE! It is worth it to be someone who can be TRUSTED.

We import high quality grafted fruit trees to our farm in Mmamashia (outside of Phakalane). We ask our clients to pay us before the trees even come to our farm so that on the day the trees arrive, customers are simply coming and collecting the trees. We have hundreds of clients and import thousands of trees. We try our level best to make sure that every single one of our clients gets the exact trees they have prepaid for.

However, in the last order of around 6,500 trees with over 350 clients, I ended up in the hospital with my son with the seizure I told you about a few weeks ago so I wasn’t on site on delivery day. I accidentally overlooked two clients. One actually sent me a message to say that she had been quarantined and couldn’t come. Since I was at the hospital, I forgot to pass that message on to the people who were actually at the farm to set her trees aside. The other somehow didn’t get to my Whatsapp distribution list where I update clients on delivery details so she only found out the trees had even arrived when others started to talk about their trees.

I felt awful when I found out that two people who had trusted me with their money didn’t get what they paid for! Sadly, by the time I realised, the trees were gone. I personally called them and apologised profusely and assured

them that in our next order, I would make sure to bring their trees.

This, of course, is an inconvenience for people who had already paid for their trees now having to wait an unplanned additional two months.

A couple of weeks ago, I announced to my clients that our next order will come on November 27 and orders started flying in. To my surprise, one of these two ladies paid for MORE trees! I called her to ask her what was going on. Let me be honest. If that had happened to me – where I paid someone money and they did NOT bring my trees, I would feel cheated! I certainly would NOT trust them to order more! These were her words (more or less), “I have been watching you through social media, reading your articles in the paper, and watching your tv show. I am confident you never meant to cheat me. I trust you completely to bring my trees in the next order.”

It is a small order, so it wasn’t the money. It was the reminder that people are WATCHING US. I have NEVER met this lady! To think that people are watching us and developing an opinion is a powerful thought which should prompt us to be mindful of our actions. There will come a day, when your integrity will pay off – or your lack of integrity might even cause you to lose everything you have built up.

When people are watching you what do they see? Are you someone they would confidently say, “I am confident you would never cheat me?” or “I know you always speak the truth.” This week, I would like to challenge you to be mindful of your actions and aware that people are watching you and forming opinions. Our continent would be a better place if less people operated with a corrupt mentality and more people operated with integrity. Please consider letting that change start with you. One day, it will pay off to help you. If enough of us change, it will pay off to change our entire country!

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favour is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:1-2

*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, team building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas

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