I often use the analogy of “growing a garden” or “cultivating land” when teaching my children how to work hard in the effort to achieve worthwhile goals. Whenever I’m learning something new, I just tell them that I’m “plowing through the plants,” because in learning, I find that even when old roots might need to be torn out, the soil around it is ready to infuse life in the next planting. No garden is ever going to be perfect. One corner might get a return on investment far faster than another, and another may not return anything at all, but it looks incredible to you.
Each of us is given a plot of land—life —to garden, grow on, and cultivate as we will. We may leave it dry or overwater it, but we ought to plant multiple seeds that we wish to grow in it and work to care for those seedlings so that they can mature into productive plants. Trees and vegetation, like goals, grow in different environments and at different paces. Ideally, we give each what it needs.
This analogy is just as applicable in business as it is in our personal lives as we strive to achieve success. I look at my plot of land as a starting point that could be made into anything. I learn as I go, and as I plant more seeds, I may find that I’m better at growing some things than others, that other plants grow better here or there, and in this learning, I evolve and grow, as well. Some areas I’ll plant seeds to harvest in the short term; some sections I’ll plant seeds that will take years to mature, such as wisdom and patience. And there will be seeds that are more difficult to grow, that I have to learn to cultivate by experience.
The lesson of all of it is that no matter what type of garden you grow, no matter what challenges or interruptions you confront, you have to put in effort and time. You must work in the blazing hot sun and the rain, go through the seasons and learn from each of them, and you will have to understand what every one of your plants requires and keep up with them.
You don’t get a twenty-foot-tall tree in a day, but if you’re willing to put the work in and get started today, you’ll be that much closer to having one down the road—if not for you, then for the next down the line. The same will be for your family business. Sow the seeds of hard work, determination, passion, and conviction to then reap success now and into the future.