We interrupt this regularly scheduled kitty photo friday for a lesson from my garden.
I was out watering it, in a totally peaced out, meditative mood, and got to thinking about how taking care of this garden, nurturing these flowers, it's really a lot like growing a business.
Unlikely inspiration for a business related post, but often that's where the best inspiration comes from, right? Where you least expect it.
Remember, individual plants have individual needs
So you know the basic formula for keeping a plant alive- soil + water + sunshine = growth.
If you use that same general formula for all the plants in your garden, some will grow great, some will die, some will get taken down by aphids, but for the most part, you could keep the garden alive.
But it's when you start to really get personal and figure out the individual needs of each plant- which ones like more shade, need less water, prefer more acidic soil... When you start to really tweak that formula to each plant's unique desires, making them feel catered to and cared for, that's when they'll not only grow, but thrive, and your entire garden will flourish!
So in business, the basic formula is website + somethin' good to sell + marketing = growth. You can use that formula to do okay, sell some stuff, get a few clients- you'll be able to keep your business "alive."
But it's when you start to really focus on who you're talking to, who your ideal customer is- when you start to cater to their needs & desires and make them feel cared for, individualized- that's when your business will not just stay alive, but begin to flourish!
You gotta prune
My flowers go crazy with new growth after I prune off the old dead buds, the brown leaves, the half slug-eaten bits. It's almost like I can see them grow overnight after a good pruning.
Cutting off the dead, old, rotten parts allows them to send all their energy into the green, budding, thriving parts. Pruning is essential to growth.
The same goes for your business- you gotta prune!
You gotta cut out what's not working to make room for what is.
You gotta trim off the self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of trying in order to grow your self assurance.
You have to quit doing the stuff you hate or resent, to clear room for the stuff that engages you and fires you up.
You gotta prune the hard to please customers, too demanding constraints and people who suck your energy so that you can re-claim it for yourself.
Prune regularly to get down to your greenest, thriving center of what matters most to you, and your energy, passion and business will grow together.
Patience, my friend
Growing a flower garden is a waiting game. From seed to sprout to plant to blooming time takes months and months.
And when that plant first starts to grow, it feels so exciting and big! And the good news is, with lots of care and attention, some fertilizer every now and then, it'll come back next year bigger and stronger. And the next year, it will have grown even more.
There will be bugs and heat and rain and dogs trampling across them over time, but you'll figure out how to deal with those things as they come. And the more care and love you give that plant, the more you work to understand its needs, the deeper and stronger its roots will become and you'll find it becomes easier and easier to care for as time goes on.
And at some point, you won't even remember the little seed it started out as, or how many years it took to grow this large. By then, all that will matter is that the seed was planted at all. And how well you've taken care of it. And you'll be amazed at how it's grown into something bigger than you ever thought possible!
We don't expect a flower to grow any faster then it grows, really. We can speed it along with some guano loaded compost, and talk real sweet to it, but we still understand that it's going to take as long as it takes to grow, and that's ok.
Yet in our businesses, so often we feel rushed to get to the finish line. We want our business to be all grown-up already, yesterday. And we can start to feel inadequate, or like giving up, because it just seems to be taking so damn long to get there!
But if you want your biz to start with a strong base and grow organically, time is an essential element- it's part of the magic formula for success.
The less you worry about growing as fast as possible or about how big it's gonna get, and the more you focus on just taking care of your business day by day, the more you'll enjoy, and be able to recognize, the slow growth along the way.
It's really not about where you're going to get to in your business in the long run, it's about what you can do to care for your business today.
Focus on strengthening and nurturing the roots, and the growth part will take care of itself- it's nature's way.
And just like gardening, the best way to learn in business is to put a seed in the soil and see what happens. Experience is the best teacher, so get out there and get some dirt under your fingernails!
<3 Miss Modish
Which of these lessons from the garden can you apply to your business right now? Do you need to get more personal? Prune more? Have more patience? I'd love for you to share in the comments below!