The Hidden Message Behind Low Hanging Fruit

When late spring comes along, I would take my family to do some fruit picking. Every time we get to the orchard, just like most visitors do, we would go for the low hanging fruits first. But what usually happened is that all the fruit trees near the entrance are free of the low hanging fruits due to over-picking.

So we have two strategies: either find a ladder and climb up the tree to pick the “cream of the crop”, or walk further down the orchard and hopefully we will run into a fruit tree those lowest hanging fruits haven’t been exploited yet.

Sounds like a very natural thing to follow, but the message behind these two strategies can be very inspiring in regard to how we identify profitable opportunities in life.

First, let’s look at why the low hanging fruits are gone. By nature most of the people simply go for the easy route, whether it’s choosing a major in college, finding a job that pays the highest salary, or looking for a parking spot outside of this very orchard we are in.

But due to the natural supply and demand market dynamic, those low hanging fruits usually got picked up fast in a marketplace that has a relatively high degree of transparency, that is, people have equal access to market information to make informed decision. So, what’s being left is the fruits on the top of the tree, which is hard to pick.

Say if we want to stay where we are (near the entrance without walking too much) and still would like to pick some fruits, we will need to find the right tools (in our case, the ladder), and pay our dues (effort to climb up the ladder). Same thing applies to our career. If we want to stay in a highly competitive market and still be able to make a living, we gotta go the extra mile, invest in ourselves to gain the unfair advantage (the ladder), and do the work (climbing the tree) to get paid.

The other strategy as previously pointed out, is to walk further down the orchard and explore the unfamiliar territory. There are risks involved, but the reward can also be big.

As we move further down the orchard, we may gradually see clusters of fruit trees that are not being totally exploited. We can start picking the fruits at that point, continue to venture into the uncharted and keep picking the low hanging fruits along the path.

Both strategies mentioned above would work. However, to be widely successful in finding amazing opportunities in life, we gotta do both. That is, being able to carry the ladder around and climb for the cream of the crop, and willing to take the calculated risk to explore the unknown area of the orchard.


Because if we found a cluster of fruit trees that produce juicy and sweet fruits, we don’t want to just settle for the low hanging fruits, but to fully harvest our findings, take the seed and plant our own orchard!

By applying the two strategies here, we can fully leverage our resources for maximum throughput. Non-linear thinking like this is the key to becoming wealthy. Keep on digging for more thoughts around this topic.


You may also be interested in the following:

  1. The Tale of a Young Salesman
  2. From Survival to Prosperity