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Garden, river birch, Lighthouse, seating area

The Similarities Between Gardening and Entrepreneurship

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow – Audrey Hepburn

I never thought I would be a gardener. Then, we bought some land that needed tending. We cleared and raked and tilled until almost all of the bumps were gone. Then we planted trees. We are still planting trees. Some have done well, some have struggled. After that we moved to flower beds. And those well, those have changed many times over as we figure out what works on our land of sunny clay and what doesn’t.

I never thought I would be an entrepreneur either. But I’ve come to a place in life where it’s important for me to work for myself. I want the rewards of an entrepreneurial life (be my own boss, set my own schedule, work from home) and therefore I need to put in the time and effort. I need to learn the ropes, throw things out there to see if they will stick. I need to try.

I never saw the similarities to gardening until just recently. I realized that when it came to the garden I was surprisingly optimistic. I was willing to put in hours and hours of hard labour and planning just so that I could have something that encourages wildlife and is beautiful to look at for really, only a few months of the year. I had to put in lots of work with no guarantee of success. And yet, when it has come to my career, I have been so much harder on myself. The phrase, “I’m not good enough” always seemed to get in the way of the focus and hard work needed to get me to a place of consistent livelihood. I never once said I wasn’t a good enough gardener. I just did some research, planted a few plants and hoped they would grow.

So what’s the difference? Most likely it’s because the garden is private endeavour where as a business must be public. My failures in the garden are my own. Failures in business can be seen by many. But the lessons are the same and the spirit behind getting up each day and trying are the same. Who cares what people think. I just have to remind myself that each new endeavour is a new seed to be planted. And the more I plant, the more I learn. The more I learn, the better at it I will become. Persistence. Spring will come again.

Similarities Between Gardening and Starting a Business
  • Planning and research help but you have to try it to see if it will work.
  • Things will surprise you. Things you had doubts about will flourish. Something you didn’t plant pops up.
  • There will be failures. You had such high hopes for a glorious bed of awesome color all summer long and instead you get only a couple of blossoms. Learn the lesson and move on.
  • Always ask for help. Other people have been doing this for longer. Hire someone to do the heavy lifting.
  • It takes constant care and feeding.
  • You can’t be a pessimist. You have to believe that something will grow. Otherwise, the only place to go is back to the matrix.
  • You have to know that it will rain again. You have to keep reminding yourself through the long, cold winter, things will come back to life. You have to believe that all your hard work will pay off, in some way.
  • And, it will get easier. You figure out your limits and comfort zone. As you learn what works and what doesn’t you make the necessary adjustments.
  • Then, if you are like me, when the garden looks great, you start a new bed of flowers.

But remember, when things do thrive, take a moment to thank nature for holding its own and yourself for believing in the possibilities.

garden, fence, lighthouse, colourful seating, river birch

Garden Fence with new bed

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