Attending the annual Canada Blooms Show in Toronto has become one of my highlights every March. Winter may still be with us at that time but regardless, once I step into the huge show space at Exhibition Place, it’s spring! While the beautiful flowers and gardens fed my eyes and soul again this year, the vendors’ displays and offers of soil, seeds, and plants made me muse about how gardening has similarities with starting and running a business. This is my cheerful analogy on why you need to nurture your business.
- In the beginning, you – as a gardener or an up and coming entrepreneur – decide on what you want to ‘grow’ and then go out and either buy your starter kit or set up the foundations to create your own thing.
- As with anything new, you start by planting a seed and then you nurture it into the early stages of growth. You give it light (ideas), water (money), and warmth (your energy) and hope that your ‘baby’ comes to life and pushes through.
- And so it grows, either slowly or swiftly, until you allow it into the real world where you now have to protect it from the weather, pests, and predators (the economy, your competition, and the bank).
- If you neglect it, it droops and flails. Provided you catch it early on, you may be able to save it and turn things around again. But if you neglected it for too long it dies. Then you need to let it go, and/or start fresh with a new seed or business and promise yourself to be more careful and attentive next time.
- When your seedling or business grows to maturity, you become more secure and confident as you see it laying down solid roots, becoming resilient, and going into full bloom. You are filled with pride and joy.
- Buoyed by your ‘green thumb’ or business savvy, you may be happy with the one plant you grew, or decide to branch out and add other varieties. Down the road you’ll need to remember to prune out old, dead growth that no longer does anything for you.
And so the cycle continues – year after year. One more thing to keep an eye on though to nurture your business: sporadically weeding out anything that’s threatening to suffocate and take over the healthy growth!