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Trans4mind - Inspired by an Apple Tree

Apple Tree
By Wallace Huey - Director of Training

In recent weeks I have been looking for a source of inspiration that would guide our thinking on how to grow Trans4mind into the future. Until recently I have always looked towards the great modern companies like Apple, Tesla and WeightWatchers as sources of inspiration and such companies have been helpful for us, especially in the areas of design.

However as Trans4mind moves through the eye of the needle experience of bringing our product to market, I felt another different source of inspiration was needed. As Trans4mind is a very different kind of company, with a mission to be a catalyst for The Only Revolution, the inside-out revolution of the human heart made visible, I felt drawn toward nature and the spiritual lessons it offers.

Consequently this week, while lying in bed late one night, it came to me. Why not use an apple tree as our source of inspiration, rather than a man-made construct like another company, however eminent it might be?

Immediately after this thought I received an image of an apple tree and felt strongly that this could be our source of revelation. So even though it was late at night, I rose from bed, went downstairs and powered up my computer. I was due to give a presentation to our team in a few days time so I began to build into my keynote presentation, the idea of discovering from an apple tree, how best to grow our company.

I worked late into the night, putting down the thoughts I was receiving, until I had clarity, then went to bed. In the morning these ideas I had received still made sense so I began to structure our company's 5 Year Plan around them.

So what was it about the growth of an apple tree that had me so enchanted? The previous night I had received and recorded some insights after looking up images of apple trees online. Here are some of these insights...

That an apple tree:

  • Grows at its own pace
  • Grows from within itself
  • Needs a small amount of investment when it is young
  • Is perfectly adapted to its environment
  • Takes time to bear fruit
  • Grows more strongly when it is pruned back
  • Eventually grows to fill the entire opportunity space
  • Is left by the plantsman for posterity.

So I took these insights and all the next day I worked to make them the foundation for my presentation and for our 5 year business plan. Doing so was a revelation.

  • Grows at its own pace
    Instead of thinking what big goal we could all strive for, I found myself being sensitive to the unforced and natural unfolding, over a 5 year period, of what we had just launched.
  • Grows from within itself
    Instead of looking for resources from far and wide, I designed the cash flow forecasts to put emphasis on the company reinvesting a percentage of company income in development while having the remainder build up in our company bank account to be there for the payouts when the "pruning" took place.
  • Needs a small amount of investment when it is young
    Instead of trying to figure out how I could get investors from outside the company contribute funding, I focused on how members of our team, within the company, could contribute time in exchange for an equity share.
  • Is perfectly adapted to its environment
    Instead of trying to come up with a marketing plan, I found myself taking action to research and connect with our customers, so that I could understand them more fully and speak their language.
  • Takes time to bear fruit
    Instead of trying to get the company to perform better and quicker post launch, I made sure the company could run on overheads only, for the first year. This took all the pressure off and allowed us a generous runway to get the company into the marketplace, without the need for stress inducing KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) and other similar devices.
  • Grows more strongly when it is pruned back
    Instead of worrying about paying out as the company grew, I built such payouts into our cash flow forecasts, only to discover that as I did so the company grew all the more strongly.
  • Eventually grows to fill the entire opportunity space
    Instead of trying to figure out how to make it a billion dollar business I found myself unfolding a plan that provided the perfect foundation for Trans4mind to grow into a company of this scale completely naturally and in a secure and unforced manner.
  • Is left by the plantsman for posterity
    Instead of coming up with fancy schemes to motivate and unite the team, I found myself creating a company legacy plan to secure the future of each member of the team and for offering the fruits of our labour for posterity.

In fulfilling its vision - "To make the human heart visible in community worldwide by harnessing the full potential of the Internet" - Trans4mind needs to be a very different kind of company. In virtually every respect Trans4mind is about reversing common conceptions on how businesses are structured, where our priorities as business people should lie, how companies are led, what profits are used for and how great businesses can be built and run.

By taking the humble apple tree as its guiding light, Trans4mind is choosing to align itself with the laws of growth and abundance found in nature. These laws are, in essence, spiritual and timeless, but have been all but forgotten in the mad rush for profit at any price.

For Trans4mind, the end does not justify the means. By aligning ourselves with the growth of the apple tree, we are also aligning ourselves with the laws of nature. And by proceeding with good means, in accordance with natural laws, we are guaranteed a great outcome.

In the next 5 years, as we base the development of our company on such laws, Trans4mind will grow into a magnificent apple tree that shares its fruit with all who come to shelter in the shade beneath its canopy of branches.

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