As the novice, albeit reluctant gardener, I often find myself comparing what is happening in my garden with running a business.
Take my lavender. Last year we planted some lavender and I loved it – it grew well, its beautiful aroma filled the summer nights and it had that wild, country look that fitted a farm garden. This year, it is dead, gone, not even one branch has come through. Yet my mint, no matter what I do, is tenacious – it survives, grows, and spreads itself throughout the garden.
In business, you can have a hot item that every one wants but come the end of the season – it’s no longer up there. It’s had its moment in the sun – so to speak – and it is time to give it a rest and find something else or repackage it.
Hopefully every business has its base product or service that continues to bring in the money on a regular basis – a bit like the mint. Although unlike the mint, you do want to control it or it could end up controlling you. But there is this maverick quality to mint in that it spreads and lands where you least expect it. A bit like promoting your business on the Internet, with its global audience, you never know where your “mint” could land and it could end up bringing you in business from far afield.
Talking of the unexpected, there’s also the beautiful flower that survives and blossoms in a bed of weeds, catching you by surprise. All of which goes to say that like the gardener, you have to stay flexible. You never know what will be the “flower” of the year, but you want to be ready so you can take home the prize, and cut your losses when the petals drop and the interest wanes.