With summer upon us here in Upstate, New York, it brings about many images of overflowing gardens and the abundance of flowering trees. As I was looking at my garden, correlations between gardening and growing a new business started coming to mind.
Let’s look at how you can grow your business and what it takes to reap the “fruits of your labor.”
Any good gardener knows that taking time and care when designing a new garden is crucial. There is a lot of work, hours of preparation and toil, and expense that goes into establishing a “new site.” Similarly, a new business owner has to create a home on the web and put the same effort into developing its new site to launch from.
Once the site is set up, the building foundation comes next. For the gardener, deciding what type of garden you want is an important factor. After researching the pros and cons, I chose the raised bed garden system for mine. I loved the fact that each little micro-system was protected in its framework, the ease of weeding, and its ability to retain moisture.
In business, you want a solid, quality foundation.
You want one made with sustainable materials, with healthy boundaries, passion to fuel its longevity, and of course, free of toxic elements (including that of a mental attitude).
It was then time to“fill up the box.” For my raised beds, the next step was choosing the soil mix. Any experienced grower knows the importance of soil quality. It is an imperative ingredient for the success of the harvest. If you go cheap here and try to rush through it, it will only result in future headaches and weak output.
Unless your content is prime and full of value and goodness that enriches your client, the results will be pale and short-lived.
It always brings me great joy to support our local seed farmer. I plant a nice variety of their organic, non-GMO, Northeast specific seeds. The mere act of separating each tiny seed and gently placing them in the ground took compassion and dedication.
I correlate the “planting of seeds” with marketing — a lofty necessity.
Participating in social media, posting videos, commenting on correlating blogs, networking, speaking engagements, etc., are all examples of “planting seeds.” It’s necessary to forecast your message and demonstrate your worth to the community. Without the “seeds” there is no chance at growth. It has to spring forth from this initial effort.
While the seeds are taking root and getting established in their environment, they need nurturing (from the sun, air, water, weeding, and organic fertilizer). These are components that will encourage their health and vitality. Our customers are the very same; they require care.
Staying with your new client through the onboarding process is key.
Nurturing them with worthwhile content, attending to their questions and comments, and just being present goes a long way.
These are “biggies!” I see a lot of people get tripped up at this stage [insert foot-tapping and eye-rolling here]. So many new entrepreneurs feel that if they have completed the above steps, then the clients should be banging down their door super anxious to work with them and/or purchase their amazing product. After all, look at all it took to develop…all the care to even get this far! Right?!?
Time and patience are almost the most important qualities to embrace before experiencing the rewards.
Take a deep breath here — what you put in will return to you.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu
Enjoy the fruits of your labor. There is nothing more exciting than picking the first ripe tomato of the season or digging up a giant potato that has been buried underground for weeks. It is so much fun, and the satisfaction is truly palatable! The same goes for business. I feel that the rewards go far beyond just financial compensation.
The sense of being a part of true development, beauty, and the process itself is a huge part of “the reward.”
So you’ve reaped your harvest, and you’re physically full and mentally satisfied, but it’s not over. It’s always a good idea to take a review of what worked and what could be improved. Remember to note the things that soared and succeeded so that you can repeat those processes. Also, don’t be afraid to edit or retire, what didn’t germinate or perform well. And finally, we move to the aftercare. In gardening, there are steps to cleaning up and closing up at the end of the growing season. In business, there’s a follow-up post-sale.
Ensuring things aren’t “just left” is just as important as planting the seeds in the first place.
Therefore, the above life-cycle continues. With each new year, there are new discoveries and learning lessons to behold. It is truly a labor of love for both the gardener and solopreneur. With both, it is not something we’ve GOT to do; it is something we GET to do.
To the ever-evolving fruition of your life and business!
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