The King of the Ice Business

Imagine it’s the year 1803 and you are living in New Orleans.

Middle of summer. Boy it’s hot out.

You are sweating and you would love nothing more than to grab a cold tea. But oh wait, you can’t.

There were no ice makers, refrigerators, or air conditioners.

Kind of hard to picture a land before cold.

The time we live in is incredible.

As many problems that there are in the world today, you have to admit we have it pretty good.

We are living in a time where we can build movements, online from the comfort of our home.

All while sipping on coffee shipped in from halfway around the world.

You have it made.

A few weeks ago on a Netflix binge, I stumbled across a documentary explaining the story of how refrigeration started.

(if you want to watch it — How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson: “Cold”)

Believe it or not, shipping ice without it melting was one of this world’s most revolutionary ideas.

For years he failed. The ice would melt before the final destination.

After tons of trial and error, Frederic Tudor figured out it was as simple as packing the ice in sawdust to keep it frozen during transport.

This breakthrough sparked a distribution of ice cut from the frozen waters of New England to the southern states and resulted in the first refrigeration in the U.S.

And allowed people in the South to drink their cold tea!

Fresh food could now be consumed that wasn’t local.

The “ice business” led to the growth of food distribution, massive population growth, and Tudors’ business growing to over 90,000 employees.

As simple as shipping ice sounds to us now, that was an incredible advancement in the human race.

How many inventions do you think have resulted from Tudors pursuits.

At that time, ice was a crazy idea. People had no idea what to do with it.

But, he believed in it and took a stand.

One of the quotes from that show really landed with me.

Johnson says, “Our best ideas start as something else. A vague sense of possibility or hint of something bigger.”

Think about this in your life.

All the interactions you have on a daily basis.

Something as little as giving a homeless man your change.

Your actions can make an impact beyond what is even measurable. Like the ripple effect of a stone hitting the water.

All from you showing up and going all in on your life. All when you take a stand for what you believe.

When you commit to yourself and your vision, you not only can help people, but you can spawn a movement.

You may have no plan on how to get there.

Your goals can be so audacious that you have no idea on where to start. No idea on how things will work out. No idea how you will make money from your project.

But, when you lead with passion and surrender to the fact that you don’t need to have it all figured out, things will start manifesting that you have never thought possible.

By lifting yourself up, you lift up the others around you.

You might just be standing at the tip of the iceberg to spawn a whole new movement. People are waiting for you to shine.

For your leadership.

Many times we want to put the cart before the horse. We try and push through a project we hate so that we can be free to focus on the things we love.

What if we rethink that?

Maybe it takes you stepping into something you love to start thinking clearer about your project at hand.

Benjamin Franklin says it best, “Do well by doing good.”

Trust that your pursuits of doing good on this earth will reward you handsomely.

Money isn’t everything. You can’t take it to the grave.

But, you will find that the more you focus on impact, the more fulfilled you will be in your life (and bank account).

Stay uncomfortable.

One man/woman can change the world.