Three and a half years ago we purchased two olive trees. They were only small and we knew at the time that they would not fruit for at least another 3 years. We shifted them around the garden trying to find the perfect spot for them to grow and strengthen, watered them diligently but not too much, repotted them when they started to grow too big for their pots. Then came our tree change, there was no way we were going to leave our precious olive trees behind. So we secured them onto a trailer and carted them along freeways, motorways & highways for the 4 hour drive. All the while mindful of the fact that without care we could loose the opportunity to reap the fruit from these trees that we have been caring for, awaiting the arrival of the day that they would finally bare fruit. When we got them to our new home, again we sought the perfect spot, a north facing wall protected from the strong winds… and again we waited. Just this month (15 months after our tree change) we were very excited to discover one of them had produced it’s first fruit!
I believe caring for a business or career is much like caring for these olive trees. Sometimes you need to shelter yourself from strong winds that could potentially knock you over, feed your business diligently but not too much, in order to build a solid foundation so that when the fruit does start to produce on your branches you can sustain the weight. But most of all you need to put in the planning and preparation that will enable such growth to take place, as well as have the willingness to wait, to eventually reap the rewards of all your tending, nurturing and foundation building.
When I first started this business I was adamant about making sure I had my financial record keeping structured in a way that prepared me for a time when I would be reliant on well structured record keeping. I was the same with marketing. Marketing is so much more than just promotions, so setting up a solid, consistent brand means that once you start to get more exposure your image as a business portrays a professional persona rather than one in need of branding. Then there’s pricing. Structuring pricing from the start in a way that allowed me to draw an income for my work as well inject funds back into the business, rather than waiting for a day that I could pay myself or invest in items necessary for my business to grow. I did not want to let these things just evolve.
Growing a business organically can mean you don’t see immediate results from the efforts you put in at first, but forming healthy business habits from the start will enable you to grow with confidence.
Putting into practice behaviours that you think you will need when you reach a certain point in your business before it happens, will mean once it does you will not be overwhelmed by the change. Preparing for growth can also present you with opportunities when you least expect them and you can attract work you may not have expected to attract. Planning and preparing for growth (not hoping) I believe is the key to reaching your goals and reaping rewards. Both a willingness to wait and creating a solid foundation are important to enable growth to take place.