Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lessons from my Garden

For those of you who know me well you are very well aware I have a reputation of absolutely hating yardwork.  Don't get me wrong, I love to be outside...golfing, kayaking, sitting at the beach, hiking, reading a book, heck even working on my blog at the patio table.  Rakes, hoes, hoses, and hedges...well all not my thing.

I have shared that I am now the sole owner of the house where my children previously nested.  A house that needs a lot of TLC and in some spots a whole lot of work.  When purchased this home had an abundance of landscaping, almost too much, and over the years it has become quite overgrown..think Adams Family.  I planned to attack it slowly over the course of this spring and summer.  Much going on elsewhere so the goal was to just start to get it under control.

But recently, my special person has really inspired me to clean up the joint rather quickly.  Not only is his own garden kind of spotless but he has dedicated his own time to cleaning up mine.  Mother's Day morning he surprised me when I heard the buzz of a weed whacker in my front yard.  He had come to take on my yard with power, grit, and marching orders ready keeping my girls, his friend, and the two of us busy for four hours.  Through the sweat (and teenage protests) an amazing amount of progress was made.  His effort was as appreciated as it was inspiring - it really got me moving, now almost every single day, to do something out in there in the garden.  Shocking, I know.

Being that today is Saturday I set a goal of dedicating three hours to the backyard with my girls.  I learned that when gardening there are moments of peace and those can lead to ah-ha moments of life.  I had a few I thought I would share.

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Look, I have a mess on my hands.  There are dead bushes to be removed, weeds waist high, and a fence that is falling down in places.  My deck needs to be power washed and stained and there are lots of thorny prickly things. This is not a weekend warrior project, this is a slow steady climb and may never be completed.  But I give an hour several times a week when I can and then a few hours every weekend.  I don't really have more time to give and I would get really cranky if I was out there any longer.   Small baby steps and bites and you can really make a dent (in your head when a tree branch hits you - watch out for those).

Pay attention to low lying fruit.  In the garden low hanging stuff stuff needs to be trimmed as it overgrows onto the deck and can hit you in the face as you walk around the backyard (we trimmed trees today - y'ouch).  I've read about the metaphor as it applies to business and really thought about it out there today.   So many people have asked me when the bigger speeches will come or the fortune 500 company will call me for a consult.  Ya know what?  I have an amazing base of customers who are right in my target market.  When I opened my business my goal was to help small business owners and that is exactly what I am doing.  Working with these clients, some who join my service, and others bring me in for private consults I am able to live out the dream of starting this business.  How many times do we forget that it is that core base, those who just walk in and ask for your help, that really meet you at your purpose (and really pay your bills).  Pay attention to the low lying fruit, that which is easy to bring in or else someone else will come in and grab them as you chase grandeur that may not be fulfilling.

Let the tools do the work.  I am sort of tiny and do not have a ton of power behind me.  Gardening, with the hauling and chopping just always seemed exhausting to me.  Turns out there are a ton of tools to get you through.  Weed whackers, chain saws, hedge trimmers and blowers (teenage daughters to haul stuff) all put a lot of power behind this little person.  In life, especially in business there are plenty of tools that can help us out on a daily basis.  Online resources, a cleaning person, a virtual assistant like my good friend Denise Whiteley, all tools to use when you need more power.  If your business is struggling then automate and/or delegate what you can.  Harness the power you need in some sort of tool to get you moving in the right direction. Whatever chain saw applies let it work the magic.

Sometimes you need to just let people do their thing.  This is a big house and a whole lot for a single mom to take on by herself.  Lucky for me I have three teenage daughters ready, completely unwilling, but very able to help.  They each like and do not like certain things.  While doing yardwork is required it isn't really that hard for me to find things they actually like to do.  For instance, I needed to cut back a bush and  Vicki, my 14 year old was game as long as she could cut it into a V.  The youngest, my little pint of verbal power is a force to be reckoned with when she has a hedge trimmer in her hands.  They were not complaining and stuff was getting done - fantastic.

I have friends, really good friends who feel close to the universal power when they have their hands in the dirt and are planting and pruning.  I get it, communing with nature, really feeling it, can be important.  For me it is certainly important to take care of my property, and, like I said, the place is starting to look amazing.  And if ya think about it, today I took care of my space, thought about my business and life, and then had the honor of sharing it with you.  Win-win-win all around.

1 comment:

  1. kids were young when I left my ex. I got a place that had a small yard and lawn service. You're lucky you've got help. It feels good to get out and be at one with nature. Very liberating.