Then one day in the heart of the Depression he learned that the Japanese were producing beautiful cultured pearls. Here was quality, and it could be sold at a fraction of the cost of natural pearls!
Joe “saw” a great opportunity. In spite of the fact that it was a Depression year, he and his wife, Esther, converted all their tangible assets into cash and set out for Tokyo. They landed in Japan with less that $1000—but they had their plan and lots of PMA.
They obtained an interview with Mr. K. Kitamura, head of the Japanese Pearl Dealers Association. Joe was aiming high. He told Mr. Kitamura of his plan for merchandising Japanese cultured pearls in the United States, and asked Mr. Kitamura for an initial credit of $100,000 in pearls. This was a fantastic sum, especially in a period of depression. After several days, however, Mr. Kitamura agreed.
The pearls sold well. The Goldstones were well on their way to becoming wealthy. A few year later, they decided they wanted to establish their own pearl farm, which they did with the help of Mr. Kitamura. Once again they “saw” opportunity where others had seen nothing. Experience proved that the mortality rate of oysters into which a foreign object had been artificially inserted was over 50 per cent.
“How can we eliminate this great loss?” They asked themselves.
After much study, the Goldstones began to use on the oysters the methods employed in hospital rooms. The outside shells were scraped and scrubbed to reduce the danger of infection to the oyster. The “surgeon” used a liquid anesthetic that relaxed the oyster. Then he slipped a tiny clam pellet into each oyster as a nucleus for the pearl that was to be formed. The incision was made with a sterilized scalpel. Then the oyster was put into a cage, and the cage was dropped back into the water. Every four months cages were raised and the oysters were given a physical checkup. Through these techniques, 90 per cent of the oysters lived and developed pearls, and the Goldstones went on to acquire a fabulous fortune.
Source: Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1960. Pgs. 89-90.