This week I want to speak more metaphorically than plain marketing process.
So with any entrepreneur or business owner at times you come to a cross-road between what is achievable in your frame of mind and what is acceptable for your specific situation. In business it never happens fast enough, not enough business contacts, not enough leads, not enough customers to feel like you are gaining some substantial growth progress.
Oddly enough I was spending my Sunday evening, just a beautiful last couple of hours out in the yard on my 2.5 acres caring for some trees we had planted almost 10 years ago. I have never been real good at tending to the trees even though I have a father-in-law that that religiously tells me to trim the trees in march before the season’s growth spurt so all the nutrients flow to the good branches and trunk you want to feed. Sound advice for someone that has almost 25 fully matured oak trees on his property that all started as saplings. As I am going from tree to tree trimming most of the smaller limbs that hang down, my un-trademarked saying is “if they are pointing low, they got to go” only keeping the lowest level that are pointing in the upward direction. In doing so I have seen some amazing growth over the last 2 years more so than I have in the previous 5 or so years.
As I am trimming and trimming I was waiting for my wife to walk out and tell me that she hates it when I trim the trees because and they are not as full as they usually are in the spring. Although I did not hear these words from her this evening the thought keep coming to me tree after tree. So as I moved to each one rationalizing the process. Sure the trees for a while will lack the fullness we would like to see but in the long run you achieve an oak that could stand 30-40 ft high with more limbs and more shade that we could ever imagine. Why does that matter coming from me and speaking to you as another business owner. Because as business owners we inherently have to sacrifice fullness to achieve our full potential. Our customer base is not full and our pocket books are not full but we do it to get to a place that few can, a place of hopefully both personal and financial freedom. How long you are able to endure that is a challenge every business owner must face on his or her own. It is different for everyone. As business owners we have to sacrifice some level of comfort (or fullness) to achieve the success we are looking for and most of time it doesn’t come easy. It can be brutal on you, your family and others you love and that depend on you in some way. The cost is great and many fail.
Those that fail or never try I imagine it to be just like my neighbor lady, sweet as can be, retired from the phone company after almost 30 years. She lives a normal life. She retired and shortly after got a part time job to supplement what she wasn’t getting from retirement and social security. When I think of someone that chooses fullness over potential it is much like the tree in her front yard. A beautiful oak tree spanning almost 30 feet across but the main trunk could not be more than 3 feet in height. In essence she choose not to trim the tree so she had adequate fullness but the tree was stunted and was not able to reach it’s full potential. All of the nutrients and growth potential remained at all of the lower branches. So low that you can not even walk under it to shade yourself without getting on your knees. Pretty clear picture I feel for what it is like working for a boss for 20-30 years to only receive a small portion of what it takes to provide (or shade yourself) to live out your golden years.
The burden of ownership is great and I encourage you if you feel like you are at that place where fullness is more attractive that full potential, success may be just around the corner. If you can take one more leap of faith, one more chance, do something different in your business and maybe you will see a clearer path to business growth. Take care, God bless and good luck my business friends!