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Common ground: Six mutual traits of growing a business and growing a flower garden

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May 04, 2017 • Eric Morgenstern • Blog

Thought Leadership



There’s a lot of common ground between growing a business and growing flowers. I have a passion for both.

For more than 35 years, my professional focus has always been to help leaders clarify their story, connect with the people who matter most, and change attitudes and behaviors – all dedicated to helping them grow.

Also, during the last 10 years, I’ve become an avid flower gardener.

I get great professional satisfaction knowing that our work leads directly to helping our clients and their leaders grow. I also get great personal satisfaction when I see the tower of blooming Clematis I planted several years ago.

To succeed in a growth-focused environment:

  1. Start with a solid foundation. Have a strategic plan that clearly shows how to grow a profitable business. Be sure you have the resources (human, financial, experience, etc.) in place before moving into action. This is just like preparing a planting bed. Be sure the proper ratio of nutrients and great dirt are in place before planting your flowers.
  2. Do it now. Nike got it right. Just do it. Now is always the right time to work in your garden; now is always the right time to cultivate your business. You can always weed, feed, cultivate, plant, prepare the beds, etc. The old phrase, “you reap what you sow,” still rings true today.
  3. Provide nourishment to encourage faster growth. All living things need to be nurtured. Provide regular intervals of water and food and you’ll have more and bigger flowers. Hire only excellent people and feed them through effective training, mentoring and professional development and you’ll have a stronger, more engaged team.
  4. Cull the field. Not all business is good business; not all things growing in your garden are really flowers. Sometimes you need to help an employee find a better place for his or her skills. It’s all part of the cycle of life. Accept it, and dedicate time to replace what’s not working so you make more room for what is.
  5. Share success. Many perennials do better when you thin them and share the shoots with others. Success begets success, so pass it on. Give cut flowers away. Encourage your employees to help the community. Invest in your environment and let others enjoy as well.
  6. Find the proper balance. Plant too many flowers, and none truly thrive. Too few, and the garden looks sparse. Grow your business too fast, and the quality of life for your existing customers and employees may suffer. No growth, though, means no new opportunities. There’s a season for all things: focus and work hard, then relax, reflect and recharge. Work the soil, then sit back and enjoy. Take time, literally, to smell the roses. Enjoy and appreciate what you’ve built, then get right back to work to help it grow even more.

So, the next time you see a thriving business or a beautiful garden, remember these six steps. You too can get immense satisfaction from watching your business and garden grow.

Onward and upward.