Tending Life’s Garden
One of the things I enjoy doing is taking care of the flowers on my front porch and tending to the few houseplants I have. I enjoy the color they bring to the home entryway, and people often comment on how pretty the flowers look.
It’s not hard to do. These annual flowers bloom, look great for a while, and then start to lose their color and die. As they fade, I simply pull them out and replace them with something new, and the planters look great again. It’s really simple to keep my porch flowers fresh. Tending to a garden and enjoying healthy, beautiful flowers is just one of the blessings of life for many. This is why the gardening industry appears to be thriving. People invest money in things they see value in.
We also have a few very hearty indoor plants. They have been around for many years. Recently I have come to appreciate the importance that a couple of these plants have in my life history.
One is a huge plant that my mom, who passed away many years ago, gave us as an open house gift when we moved into our large screen-printing showroom and office facility more than 20 years ago. The plant is still going strong. It came with a little foam bird that is quite thrashed looking now, but I keep it in there just to commemorate the grand opening memory. That was a milestone in the life of my business.
Through the years, a couple of other longer-term potted plants did die, but new plants have replaced them. In my life’s illustration world, the actual life of our business is reflected in our plant’s life history. Team members, who were a part of the business, both good and bad, have come and gone. Marketing strategies have changed and, like plants that grow and branch out, we have continued to grow and move into new directions.
When I first received some of these plants in the ’90s, social media wasn’t even born. For reference, LinkedIn started in 2003. Facebook, the game changing social media network, was founded in 2004. Twitter in 2006. The first pin on Pinterest was posted in 2010. Google+ began in 2011, which is the same year the promotional products industry social networking platform commonsku launched. Through all this, my office plants have continued to grow.
Some plants require special care. One becomes root bound and needs to be transplanted to a larger pot to survive every so often. It’s kind of scary when you outgrow where you are and need to take the risk of moving into something bigger. If you don’t take the risk, however, your business, like the plant, will die.
Other plants need pruning—cutting back parts that are not growing well or trimming parts that look great, but are not growing in the right direction. All of our plants need to be watered and occasionally fertilized to remain healthy.
On a more personal note, one particular plant has significant place in my wife’s and my hearts. A good friend gave it to us when we lost our first son through a miscarriage. While we have had to go through some difficult times, we now have an amazing 18-year-old son. This plant is more than 20 years old. When I needed to transplant it earlier this year, I felt pressure to take special care. Thankfully, it’s doing quite well.
It’s the same way in our businesses and personal lives. To thrive, we need to take care of what we are entrusted with. That means investing a bit of time cutting away what’s stagnant. Adding fertilizer with personal and professional development, spending time with your family and friends, getting away from the office to be refreshed, and making hard choices to cut away those parts of the business that are dying or are not sustainable in the long term.
Plants offer a good analogy to our business and personal lives. We have an orange tree that started in a little pot. It’s in the front or our house now and is huge. Those of you who have fruit trees know that a good healthy fruit trees is going to consistently deliver a harvest each year. Neighbors and friends are the recipients of all these tasty oranges.
Part of a growing a business and our garden is accepting change. We need to water and prune it. If we don’t do that, it will die. Consider the ways you can plant a garden that is healthy and produces much good fruit for your family and for your business.
And if you don’t have a good houseplant. Go get one. Enjoy the benefits of growing together.
And in other news, FreePromoTips.com is launching a new education component dubbed, SuccessFit. More details will follow, but to get started, we have created the FreePromoTips SuccessFit Facebook Group. This is a community where like-minded people in the promotional marketing industry can connect, share their sporting adventures and encourage each other. We invite you to post your mountaintop selfies, events you have participated in and the recreational activities you enjoy away from the office.
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company and also publishes FreePromoTips.com, a popular industry resource. The FreePromoTips.com website and twice-a-month e-newsletters are packed with beneficial information. On the website, you can opt-in to receive these informative twice-a-month e-newsletters! Check out what’s new in the GP2: Good Products—Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of free end-user safe product videos you can share from the YourPromotionSolution.com website. Like the FreePromoTips.com page on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and Pinterest, and connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.