Roasted coffee bean, vectorFresh carrot on white background


Yes, I’ll admit it.

I’m a Dr. Laura listener on Sirius Xm Radio.

Please don’t hold it against me.

What I admire about her style of problem solving is she asks the best questions to get to the root of the problem. She cuts through the emotions and surface to get to the core.

Recently on her website (yes, I read that from time to time too)… she had this story posted and I thought about you – a sales leader with pressures, deadlines, responsibilities and expectations – and hope it gives you a moment to reflect and stay strong.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” her daughter replied.

She brought her daughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. The girl noted they were soft and mushy. She then asked her daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, her daughter observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked the girl to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma. She then asked, “What’s the point, Mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, wilts and loses strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but after a hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Or are you like the coffee bean that when faced with adversity, actually changes the hot water into something quite wonderful?

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

(Somehow, wake up and smell the coffee takes on a whole new meaning)

-Author Unknown

Which are you?  

Hint… which ever you are you are there because of your experiences and reactions.  

If you want to be something different, it’s okay and easy enough to begin to change.


Alice Kemper mobilizes sales teams to crush their numbers monthly – often in less than 8 weeks.  By the way, if you’d like your sales reps to crush their numbers monthly check this out.