I heard a question in a podcast this week - 'What are you planting in the garden of your life?' and it really struck a chord.
I'm a gardening fan and know all about making sure that all that you plant has the right conditions to succeed, so it seems appropriate to treat our micro businesses in the same way!
Having spoken with many of you over the last few weeks, it seems that the ever changing winds of micro business life are pretty taxing so how about we take a step back and have another look at what we're planting, how we're planting & if the planting needs a rethink!
Here are some ideas & signposts to make sure you find success this year. Stick with the gardening analogy if you can - it might be a bit of silly fun but may make some salient points!
The soil - my Mum would say this was the most important part of garnering. An organic gardener for 40 years, it's all about the nutrients, the richness & the texture. How are you feeding your business? What additional richness are you adding in? Are things a bit heavy and claggy and require some drainage and light? Are things a bit too light & you need some extra structure & depth? TIP - take a look at the basics in your business.
Are you in too deep and feeling weighed down? Take some time away with a good notebook and no tech. Add some light & air to your business so that you can see where the good stuff is.
Are you scatty & lacking focus? Think about what structure you could add to your week or dive deep into some new knowledge, reading or learning. Try 'A New Beginning' Course - free inside Simply Club.
Lost your mojo? Think about what the most important ingredient are in your business and add more of it - a lot more! Maybe time, personality, storytelling or images would all add some rejuvenation.
The conditions - in gardening terms, the weather is often our biggest challenger and the 'weather' of life and business right now is stormy & unpredictable. What would you do for your precious plants to keep them safe?
If you feel battered by in coming crisis', seek protection and support from fellow Simply Club members, group mentoring or using the Forum for help. Make use of your friends to seek the connection you need
Feeling all out of ideas, light or water? Take some time each day to water and nurture your business. An inspiring podcast, (try ours!), blog or video workshop. A little each day will help.
Feeling the cold of slow growth? Find patience and perseverance as you wait for all your hard work to bloom. Consistency is often the key to micro business success. Take another look through the How To Guide archives or a video workshop or two.
What you plant - I can't grow lupins in my heavy clay soil and that's just one of those things. But....there are always alternatives. It's easy to fall down a rabbit hole of dismay when something stops working but there are always new things to plant.
If what you're selling or producing no longer sells, then you are the gardener and you can always change. Ask your customers, drop into the forum for ideas, run a survey with a prize draw to find out what your customers want most. It might only need a small tweak to bloom again.
Too many weeds and not enough of your favourites - if you're attracting customers you don't want or selling lots of low value stuff, then maybe it's time to have a good weed out. What do you really want? What's the real vision? Sometimes re writing our bios or website helps attract different folks or strengthens the brand. Sometimes simplifying our offer, helps people see what the real value of what we do.
Feel like it's taking too long? Remember a fabulous oak takes decades to look majestic. Don't compare your step 1 with someone else's step 10. Stay focussed on your plan and what quick wins you can achieve along the way. A great vision will take longer to reach maturity. It's all too easy to give up if our little patch doesn't look like a Chelsea Gold winner, but actually it's our special little corner that we can nurture, take care of and grow at our own pace.