I never ceased to be amazed when I learn new things from being in my garden.
Although I don’t get as much time there as I would like, there is something about it that speaks to my soul. It could be it started as far back as I can remember. When my Grandmother was still alive – she lived in the house behind us – cooked, baked, cleaned, made our clothes, gardened and smoked like a chimney! I can remember sitting on the ground with her in the rose garden, barefoot, no gloves and weeding all the while she is smoking and cussing like a sailor about snails and weeds in her garden. But oh, you should have seen the roses she could grow! Puts my garden to shame.
She taught me the difference between a weed and a new sprout. She taught me how to plant seeds or a new plant. She taught me how to prune the roses in the winter, how to feed them and what to do when the little pesty bugs started to migrate to them for dinner. She made sure I learned which flowers go in the sun and which ones need shade. And when a flower was done blooming, she said, always make sure to deadhead your plants. This way the energy can go to the new growth for a healthier, happier and bigger bloom. To this day I can’t walk by a flower without “deadheading it”. Even when I go the nursery and it’s not my plant! You see, this was and is ingrained in me…it’s in my soul.
I know, You are asking ‘And HOW does this relate to being an Entrepreneur?”
Well, this morning as I was cutting these roses to bring in my office to enjoy. I began to think about how beautiful they are and how amazing they smell. Then I thought about the NOT SO NICE side of the blooms. The thorns – ugly and dangerous. The part that no one really wants to deal with. In winter when all the beauty and blooms are spent and gone, there remains the barren ugly bush. It’s brown and ugly. Some have remaining leaves that are yellow with spots, and well, it’s just no longer appealing to the eye or nose. It’s barren for the winter and by all appearances, it has shut down.
Then it’s time to prune and it hurts. No, not so much the plant, but for me. I always end up saying I lost the battle. When I come in and my arms are scratched up, I get thorns in my fingers and I am super tired, my back hurts, my feet hurt…Wah Wah Wah.
Then WOW! It hit me. Isn’t this so much like how life is as well as our business and being an entrepreneur? We go through seasons, and sometimes the season yields beauty, growth, prosperity and amazing results. Other seasons are hard, ugly, painful and downright NOT FUN. We may feel as though we lost the battle!
But…not all parts are ugly!
Owning my business has been a journey in which I have learned much about life, people and ME. There are parts that outwardly are so beautiful – kind of like a no-brainer. They are appealing to the eye, smell good, great to have around sitting on my desk, happy and constantly growing new blooms all season. It’s one of my ‘happy’ places in my business. Ya know, clients are happy, my product/service is selling faster than I can keep up at times. I am finding great team members. The money is flowing in. I’m all smiles and bounce out of bed in the morning. Ok, I lied, I fall out of bed and shuffle to the coffee pot, but you get what I mean.
I LOVE my work, I LOVE my clients, I LOVE my team, I LOVE that I own my business.
I get to meet new people almost every day. Encourage them and give them hope that help is on the way. Read more about that help here. I meet new friends and colleagues, I can even take a day to spend with my friend at her beach house AND it’s only in the middle of the week. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be in business for themselves and live the dream?
And then comes winter!
The blooms are gone, the leaves have fallen, the stems are barren. It almost looks as though the plant is dead. IT’S UGLY! Nothing seems to be going right. I wake up and before I can even get coffee #1 down, the emails have me overwhelmed. The problems are flooding in as fast as they can, the phone is ringing with other issues, and technology takes a dump on me, I have 3 people on chat and then a team member is sick and can’t work.
OMG REALLY? I want to crawl back in my bed, close the windows, pull the shades. Bury me under the covers and not come out until it has gone away. Just let me just hibernate through this season and not come back until Spring…until it’s all pretty and fun again!
Can you relate?
Do you ever have days or seasons like this?
Are you wondering “why did I even decide to go into business in the first place”?
You ask yourself ‘how am I to do this all on my own’?
Well if you said yes to any of the above questions, you are NOT ALONE! This IS business. The ups and the downs. The Spring and the winter. The good and the bad. The beauty and the ugly! BUT, we can get through it and move on, keep building and WIN THE BATTLE! We need to take care of ourselves, to have a tribe around us, to have help and support and to remember on the ‘not fun’ days…this too will pass.’
So what do you do when winter comes your way?
Here are 3 Tips to Get through the Winter and What is takes to Bloom!
- Nurturing is Imperative
Know that “winter’ will come – but it will go just as well. Here’s what I mean. The rough and ugly times will come. It’s not a matter of IF but WHEN. So be ready. Whenever winter comes in the garden, it’s time to clean up, prune, make changes, plant new seeds, feed, and water. In other words, it’s time to NURTURE.
If this is not done, the plant “may” survive and be around in Spring, but chances are it will not be very healthy, happy and produce lots of big bright blooms. We must nurture our self and our business on a regular basis to be ready for the next big bloom.
- Be Dormant
Ok, I hear you saying “WHAT”??? Sometimes we need to be still, quiet and allow the process to do what it must. In the garden, bulbs – i.e. tulips, daffodils, lilies, etc – go through the winter in a dormant stage. While it may look to us as NOTHING IS HAPPEN, oh on the contrary, under the ground, there is much happening in order for it to be ready in the Spring to bloom.
You see, after the bloom, a good gardener knows to leave the green foliage on the plants until it dies completely. Why? Well, it is going through a process of recharging energy into the bulb underground for the next blooming season. So it looks like everything has died and there is no activity, However, the circle of life is in full force preparing for the big bang next season. We too should be “storing” energy, rejuvenate and recharge for the next round.
- Don’t Forget to Deadhead
When it’s Spring and the plants are in bloom, it’s still important to continue to maintain, feed, water, and deadhead for continued blooming for a long and happy season. In the garden, sweet peas (one of my all time favorites) take a lot of work – planting the seeds in the winter, providing water often to establish them, setting up a trellis or something they can climb on, more watering and they must be in the sun. Then you wait. It takes up to 4 months to see the fruits of your labor with them. But they are soooooooooooooo worth it. Once they start to bloom, however, you must cut them – yes the fresh blooms – in order for them to keep blooming all season. If not, they will bloom once then go to seed and the plant dies all in about 2 weeks time!
So the bonus is you have a constant vase in your home or office of these amazing blooms that smell heavenly and they bloom from Spring through Summer. Other plants, like pansies – you know the little ones with the happy faces – also need constant deadheading so they will continue to bloom for a long time. We must remember – even during the blooming season it is critical to continue to maintain ourselves and our business to get the best quality possible.
We were not designed to do it all on our own. We need help. We need to surround ourselves with people and the support that will help us help our business grow – and do it without sacrificing ourselves in the process! To talk with me about how we can help, click here to schedule a free consultation.
Happy Gardening Folks!