I have often used the analogy a business is like a tree, if it doesn’t grow it dies. Working with business owners for over 25 years, I discovered that the most successful entrepreneurs are those who treat their businesses as living entities.
Let’s look at the life of a tree. As a sapling it has to be handled with care. A location is selected that provides good soil and then a hole is dug deep enough to provide support for the sapling. Next, the right kind of fertilizer is added to provide a solid foundation for future growth and then ample water is applied to complete the needs of this young sapling. The last stage is to finish filling the hole with the dirt taken out, but first all the rocks are removed; finally, a well is created around the base of the sapling to hold the necessary water for growth.
All that work gave us a sapling that may not look much like a tree, but there is still a lot of nurturing that is needed before the tree is big enough to yield fruit. At this young age it has to be protected from frost, perhaps, a cover can be used. Fertilizer, the right kind, has to be added twice a year for proper feeding . Water is also an ever needed supplement and has to be administered on a regular basis. So much care….
The sapling is now growing and is starting to look more like a tree. The amount of fertilizer and water has to be increased to satisfy its every growing need. The well is also enlarged so it can hold more water.
Occasional trimming is now needed as the tree grows taller. Now the very first blossoms appear; protection may be needed in case of a late frost and fertilizer and water is an ongoing necessity.
The first results of all this care are starting to appear. Not many, but several blossoms have set and are turning into fruit; perhaps, now, a taste of what is to come has come to fruition. The first fruits are finally ready for picking; how awesome and how delicious.
The routine for caring for this tree is now in place, the water, the fertilizer and gathering of the fruit. Almost everything is done but occasional woodpeckers try to damage the tree trunk and diseases unique to this type of tree are attacking the leaves. More care is needed. As the tree enjoys the care it has been given it rewards its owner with more and more fruit.
I use this story and challenge you as I do my clients, to substitute their business for the tree and then change the rest of the story to what is needed to grow a successful business. A great exercise!©
Get your fields ready and plant your crops before starting a home. Proverbs 24:27
Nick J. Petra CFP Helping nurture a business is our expertise© www.strategicduck.com
Make 2013 your best year ever!