One New Year’s Day during my daughter’s college years, she called to tell me about her celebration the night before. “The party I thought was going to be fun wasn’t,” Jennie said, “and the one I thought was going to be boring was terrific.”
“What a great metaphor,” I replied.
“Oh, Mom,” she groaned, “you think everything is a metaphor.”
She was right, of course. I love metaphor and think they’re highly underrated as learning tools. I’m not alone in thinking so. In his wonderful book, Growing a Business, Paul Hawken suggests that the best training for running a business is gardening. I have always found the parallels fascinating and thought of it again when I came across an article about Geri Larkin’s book Plant Seed, Pull Weed.
Here’s what you need to do, says Larkin, if you want to have a great garden:
1. Want a great garden
2. Do what needs doing
3. See what’s in front of you
4. Share its abundance
5. Give it your enthusiasm
6. Keep the weeds at bay
7. Have patience
8. Harvest its joys
These steps may sound simple—obvious, even—but they require mindfulness and continuous practice. Just like meditation or gardening or raising baby humans. However, if you want to have a great business you couldn’t find a better outline. Nice metaphor, huh?
The vast majority of success stories are written by the plodders. ~ Paul Hawken