As I was working in my back yard last weekend, clearing out the remnants of the winter weather and preparing to make it look good again, I was thinking about how growing a great garden correlates a lot to growing a great business.
There are many factors you have to consider, actions you need to take, resources you need to get, and often help you need to ask for, when growing both. Will you come along on this metaphor with me today and have some fun growing your business?
Here are the elements I thought about that you can take from the garden to the office:
1. Take time to plan your garden
Don't just try planting things wherever, whenever. You have to have a PLAN first! Timing needs to be considered (the best time to plant what kinds of seeds/plants), what you want to grow (what products, services, outcomes you want for your business/clients), short-term, quick-grow crops vs. long-term, slow-grow (things that can yield immediate yet smaller amounts of money and things that will take longer to yield income but at higher gains). Decide whether you are going to start with seeds, seedlings, or mature plants (create things from scratch/your own ideas, get templates from someone else, use ready-made/done-for you resources or business models/products)…you get the point. PLAN FIRST, then start doing.
2. Clear the land and get it ready for planting
Set yourself up with the resources and systems you are going to need to be successful. Start with the foundation–fertile soil (Do people want your "crop?" Are they willing to pay for it? Do you have the right environment to grow it in?) Identify and clear the "weeds" (what obstacles might get in the way or keep things from growing successfully?) How do you need to arrange your life, change what you're currently doing, set up a business schedule–hours for working with people, hours for marketing, where is your office space going to be and how are you going to set it up, etc.?
3. Identify and eliminate (or make friends with) the "predators"–Who is your "competition"? How can you differentiate yourself from them so your ideal market will choose you? Or how can you make them your allies (partnerships)? What things might "harm" or stifle your business? How can you minimize their impact?
4. Get the best seeds possible. You've got to make sure you've got a really good product or service, and that you are continually cultivating it to become better. Otherwise your crop won't survive the challenges to taking root, growing, surviving & thriving.
5. Learn "best practices" of gardening–learn from master "gardeners" or those who have built a garden (business) you admire who are willing to teach you. Apply what's important but make it your own crop–don't be a copy cat or there's no variety in the market and you don't stand out.
6. Tend to your garden daily–spend a certain amount of time on it. You've got to continually plant, nurture, weed, assess, modify, correct what's not growing properly. Some plants are annuals (you have to keep replanting from scratch) and some are perrenials (automation–do once then let it perpetuate and continue to yield mostly on its own).
7. Make sure to weed regularly--especially your mind. Those nasty weeds of fear, self-doubt, and old beliefs will pop up from time to time–sometimes "overnight." Contiual monitoring for internal weeds and knowing how to "kill" or pull them out quickly is vital.
8. Know when to sow (marketing) and when to harvest (ask for the sale). Both are important and both have their proper timing.
9. Rotate your crops. Don't plant the same thing year after year–variety is important; try new crops from time to time to see what people like/want NOW. Also plant in different places (test different marketing tactics, locations, resources) or your field is likely to dry up.
10. Enjoy your harvest and take time to rest between harvests. Gardening can be hard work. Rest occasionally. And when you have a great harvest, let yourself really stand back and appreciate it. Congratulate yourself for the fruits of your efforts. That will re-energize you to get out and keep doing it, especially when the inevitable cycle of hard times come. New growth always requires new effort. But when you see and appreciate your beautiful garden, you'll know it's worth it.
So, how does YOUR (business) garden grow?
Do you need help with any of these phases of gardening for your business success? Let a "master gardener" assist you–Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify what tactics you are missing in the three keys of creating a successful business–Marketing, Mindset and Manifesting–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach