April 25, 2012

Let it Grow, Let it Grow, Let it Grow (Year Two)

As (very few of) you likely remember, I wrote a piece last year on the hazards of growing grass, and the business takeaways I experienced as a result of indulging my green(ish) thumb. Here’s the link if you missed it.

Given our early spring I am, once again, attempting to get grass to grow; and, once again, I find myself surprisingly loquacious on the business lessons I am taking away:

Yes, the bald spot is disconcerting: Part of the reason I’m in this frenzy of grass growing is that I moved a whole lot of plants that didn’t work for me. (Don’t worry, I didn’t just throw them in the rubbish bin, I simply moved them out of my sight line.) When faced with the results of my decision, however, I must say I was a bit disconcerted. There was even that one, wild, moment when I considered moving everything back where it had been. But the fact remains, you have to clear out the old to make room for the new—and despite how unattractive that initial bald spot may be it does have the potential for new growth.

For a long time you will simply think you’re watering a mud pit:  I can’t tell you how many evenings I spent standing around my yard with a hose (in shoes I could hose off, no less—always guaranteed to make a girl feel glamorous) thinking, “This is the stupidest waste of time imaginable. I am watering mud.”  I had, however, been told about the importance of watering every day, so I watered every day. In my experience, business works much the same way. Regardless of how preposterous/unrewarding/futile something may sometimes seem, the main thing—as always—is to keep showing up.

There will always be people who point out how you’re not doing it correctly:  I call these types, ‘gawkers and stalkers” and they’re very different from actual, gardening experts whose opinions I’ve actively solicited. Instead, these people show up with no intention of getting their hands dirty (not to mention no experience of gardening) solely to point out that you’ve planted too early or too late; you’re watering too much or too little; you used the wrong kind of fertilizer; your efforts will be wasted regardless because of global warming, etc. As hard as it can be to tune them out, this is what’s necessary. My grass is growing, regardless of their remarks. Your business is the same: solicited, expert opinions are invaluable. As for the rest? Turn a mental hose on them.

Happy growing,

Frances Cole Jones

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