I LOVE growing my own food. My hubby and I have been gradually expanding our vegetable patch over the years from a few old tyres filled with soil to now an abundant and productive area that incorporates fruit trees, annual and perennial vegetables.
Apart from eating the bounty we grow and the satisfaction of knowing it is chemical free and actually TASTES like real food, I am so grateful for the lessons that vegetable gardening has given me for my business and I would LOVE to share them with you!
1. Delayed Gratification
If you are anything like me, then you are a VERY impatient person! I want everything yesterday and I want it now, please, with sugar on top. The reality of life, business and vegetable gardening is that patience is a virtue! But I would emphasize here a distinction between being patient and waiting…
You see, the only way you get to harvest your own food is if you plant it…seed or seedling, it doesn’t matter; but if you don’t plant it, it won’t grow and you will be hungry.
I know that seems obvious. But it is the same in business. You WILL NOT harvest a yield unless you do the work – but sometimes you have to be patient and allow the seed to do its thing…
If you plant seeds, you can’t expect them to bear fruit within a day or two, it takes time. But when the seed is nurtured and watered and loved – and it bears fruit in abundance, you will be gratified in many, many more ways than you imagined.
Same goes in business.
The CHALLENGE is…not going hungry in the meantime, which takes thought, planning and my next point…
Our veggie patch didn’t just pop up over night, my husband and I between us have put in thousands of hours, back breaking, sweating, hard working hours, to get it to where it is now. It has taken DECISIONS and DISCIPLINE to do it.
We know that we need to plant potatoes in April and September, so, despite how busy we are or how much else we have on, we prepare beds and plant spuds in these months (I was up at 6am on Sunday digging the spud garden in).
We must water, mulch, feed and tend the vegetable patch every single week. Week in, week out. Do we always love it? NOPE. Sometimes I look out the window and feel weighed down by the responsibility of it. Other days I can’t wait to get out there and get my hands muddy and my back into it.
Business is the same. Some days you will want to, some days you won’t.
If you want the reward – you need to have the discipline to do the work.
I love the quote that says “Will you do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t?” – because so many people look at my husband and I and our bounty and they are ENVIOUS. And that is fine. But we will keep doing what needs to be done in our garden (and in our businesses) so that we can enjoy the bounty of our labor.
3. Harness your strenghts and outsource your weaknesses
Okay, this is fess up time…I am NOT good at detail…loathe it, detest it and run from it. I KNOW this about myself, very well. So, what my husband and I have done, probably more by default than by good planning, is divvy up the jobs in the veggie patch – according to our individual personal strengths.
I am a big picture visionary. My job is to imagine the possibilities – convince him they are a worthy idea (or be convinced otherwise) and then hand the details to him.
I LOVE garden preparation and nurturing the soil; turning it over and mulching it so it looks amazing and is ready for food.
I am an excellent garden bed planner and am really good at creating companion planting, crop rotation and designs that are functional, pretty and mutually beneficial.
I am NOT good at remembering to water. I am also not good at weeding (hubby things I am too rough) and an definitely NOT good at watering systems or making things. Those are things my husband excels at!
You need to do this in the business.
Define the things you love to do and start outsourcing the things you don’t.
I don’t do my BAS or my BOOKS. I pay accountants and people who love numbers and details to do that.
If you work alone and you are struggling to maintain your passion in your business; its most likely that you are doing way too much of what you don’t like and not enough of what you do…
4. Clarity in purpose
It is sometimes hard to maintain the passion and enthusiasm for what you do – whether it is veggie gardening or your business; particularly if you have taken some knocks. * I remember one year our crops were being decimated by slugs and we felt like giving up…
We could have given up – and just bought our food from the supermarket like other people, but instead, we reminded ourselves why we were doing it.
You see, we are VERY clear in our purpose in the garden. It is to provide a place from which we feed; not only our bodies but our minds, our spirit and our relationship. It is so important to us and we are so clear that it is integral to our daily being; that a few (thosuand) slugs were never going to beat us!
You need that same sense of cellular clarity in your business.
Let me give you another example of clarity. We don’t grow carrots. Not because we don’t like them, or because home grown carrots aren’t excellent, but because they require a particular kind of soil, that then means we have to grow them in the same place year after year; which flies in the face of our crop rotation and companion planting permaculture philosophy.
We LOVE eating carrots, but for the sake of our PURPOSE…it just isn’t worth it.
Get very CLEAR on what your purpose/reason for business is – AND what your rules are. Without that kind of clarity, decision making becomes cloudy and you can easily lose focus – or worse, give up completely.
5. Body V Brain
We often live far too much in our heads and in the world of social media and our business and I have found that it is so important to get out of your mind and into your body.
This is a RESILIENCE factor.
My vegetable garden and the process of nurturing and growing it has taught me that re-connection with the REALITY of life – the seasons, the elements, the cycle of life and death, is IMPERATIVE for success.
I sleep better after I have been in the garden. I feel satisfied with a days work and feel like I have earned my shower, my rest at the end of the day and my sense of satisfaction.
We are physical beings. Our ancestors walked, hunted, gathered and socialised. We are moving further and further from this every day.
It is only in the moments when I HAVEN’T been in the garden for a few days or weeks that I realise that is what is missing for me. An earthly connection to my heritage and an innate instinct to be in nature and in control of my body and surrounds.
Veggie gardening might not be for you – but I encourage you; for the sake of your business success; to find something that gives you the same sense of re-connection; body space and satisfaction beyond your business.
This morning I picked asparagus spears for my lunch and walked through my gardening admiring my handiwork from the day before. It was blissful and helped me with an abundance mentality.
How did you start your day?
I would LOVE to make some time to chat with you about YOUR business if you would like – click here to let me know!