I’ve been single for a some time now and I’ve worked tirelessly on reinventing myself as well as my consulting business. Part of my recent adventure in this journey was to buy my own little home. I wanted a quiet creative space to create great content, a peaceful place to rest after a long week on the road, and a fun, sweet space to develop awesome memories with family and friends.
My new house has lovely landscaping, lush gardens and a bubbling fountain fish pond… which is why I woke up this morning in a panic.
What was I thinking making a decision like this? I can barely keep a silk plant alive!
The yard was a huge selling point of the house, but after living a month in my new home I’m realizing I had no idea what I was thinking taking on something of this magnitude at this point in my life.
But after I spent some time tending to my backyard this morning, I realized gardening is a lot like business. Let me tell you why.
- Gardening requires patience: One must be careful not to pull things out too soon. Some things may look like they’re dead and gone, ready to be yanked and replaced, yet under the surface they may be merely sleeping and preparing to bloom. Today I snipped a rose bush only to find there was a tiny little sprig of green under the dead foliage. It prompted me to think how many times have I given up on a relationship or an account too soon, when perhaps it was just getting ready to ripen or mature.
- Weeding each day keeps a tidy yard: When I first moved in, the yard needed attention. I felt overwhelmed and I kept saying to myself, “I need to weed.” But I avoided it. Then one morning I walked out in my PJs and slippers and tackled a small corner. I felt accomplished and refreshed. The next morning I did the same. (Obviously, I have a private backyard.) Over the next week, I began seeing great results and I created a morning routine of quiet time when I would work at this necessary task. How often do we avoid simple tasks and then over time we end up with an overwhelming project looming overhead? Weed now, even in your PJs.
- Quiet time each morning in your garden is a great way to start the day: My phone never stops, my brain never stops. This new routine has allowed me time each day for reflection and meditation. This time is so sacred and special; I look forward to it so much now that I literally hop out of bed, and for those who know me, this is a HUGE deal!I am NOT a morning person! WAIT, I am NOW! Dedicate this time each morning to collect your thoughts and do whatever you need to do before you interact with others to create the right mindset for an awesome day. Your mindset will set your tone for everything else you do all day!How can you make CONNECTIONS with others if you have not made a connection with yourself first?
- Fish are resilient: I am friends with the woman who sold me this house. She loves her fish. I have had anxiety since the day I moved in that I would murder the fish. What if I don’t feed them the right food, what if they die on my watch? Can I live with that kind of responsibility? I went to the “fish guy” and bought all the special food and pond stuff. I go out every day and make sure they are still alive. I even bought them a special type of plant to protect them from the predators. Well, here is the “net out” on inheriting someone else’s fish: Let it go. Just as with sales and relationships, once you’ve identified the situation and solution, told the truth, done your best, shared your heart, and asked for the business, the rest is out of your hands. No sense in stressing about it. You can only control what you can control. Focus on being your best you. The rest is none of your business; it’s just wasted energy. Life happens, fish die. (BTW: mine are still alive!)
- Water and sunshine go a long way: The simple things matter. Trying to overcomplicate a natural process can often make things worse. In business, being genuine and real is the best way to create healthy long- term relationships. Like saying “please” and “thank you” and meaning it and truly loving your product and wanting to “serve and solve” your customers’ needs. These things feel awesome, and they cannot be faked, just like sunshine (or a raindrop) on your face.
Little did I know my little home would be teaching me more than how to prune a rose bush and to care for two little fish. It’s reinforcing powerful business lessons and encouraging me to stay the garden path.