Note from Sarah: This article was originally sent via my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers receive essay style pieces like this before anyone else. Click here to subscribe!
People who know me, know that there are two things that I won’t stop talking about: my dogs and my garden. I garden almost year round, and this passed weekend sowed my seeds for purple sprouting broccoli (gardeners refer to it as “PSB,” like PBR but not really at all).
The thing about PSB is that 1) it takes forever to grow, think SEVEN MONTHS from when you plant the seeds, 2) it needs a good cold snap to flower and get those delicious purple heads and 3) it needs some serious TLC around here in the Pacific Northwest, where aphids go a little bananas for it in the late fall.
As I was planting my broccoli, I was thinking about how I’ll be nurturing these plants for the better part of a year, to get a really special payoff in the dregs of winter in February/March, when the dramatic and sweet purple heads will be ready to pick.
And that’s not all that different from running a business, right?
You’ve got to plant the seeds of your ideas, nurture them, fight off pests, and then you get a payoff after all those months of work. Kath, Josh and I have been seriously retooling some of our offerings and marketing strategies to better align with the type of growth we want and the clients we want to work with. And sometimes it feels like it’s just taking so long—and I’m not the world’s most patient person. So, thanks, purple sprouting broccoli, for the reminder that good stuff is worth the wait. (And shout-out to radishes for giving me a quick fix all season long.)
Okay, I’ll stop with the gardening metaphors. (But seriously, ask me about my garden or my dogs ANYTIME!).
Newsletter reader Erin provided an interesting extension of the seed planting metaphor. Shared with permission below:
Great newsletter today Sarah! I thought about it more as I was trimming vines from my strawberry plants and how that applies to business. Sometimes we have to cut off things are perfectly fine but removing them will make the fruits bigger and juicer.
What are you doing that’s actually holding back your most promising fruit? I think we can all name a few things at least.
(A good read on this concept is The Pumpkin Plan, which tackles the idea of pruning on a macro/systems level.)
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