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In This Issue

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Jim Rohn:

You must get good at one of two things: planting in the spring or begging in the fall.

Barbara next to Inspiring Tree No calendar was needed to announce the arrival of spring. Facebook and Twitter were full of posts from folks reveling in the onset of this energizing time of year. Gardeners were waxing poetic about the pleasures of digging in the dirt. Those in the southern parts of the country were delighting in the early crops of artichokes and peas while our northern friends were equally giddy over seedlings just going in the ground.

Alas, I have not mastered gardening here in the desert (I can barely keep houseplants alive.), but I've discovered that running a business offers many of the same pleasures as cultivating a garden. Several of my ideas are tiny seedlings, others are blooming lusciously, a couple of others are thriving because of benign neglect and one or two that are ready to be pulled up by the roots and tossed in the compost pile. Understanding the cycles of growth teaches us to be patient while being responsible caretakers.

Seems to me that if we applied principles of good gardening to growing a business, we'd discover all sorts of helpful guidelines. Of course, I'm not the first person to make this connection. Visionary entrepreneur Paul Hawken (an enthusiastic gardener) goes so far as to suggest that every business student should study biology since the lessons learned in the plant world directly apply to successful business.

Consider, then, the great British gardener Penelope Hobhouse's ten rules of garden design. The parallels to good business design are obvious. What business wouldn't benefit from applying these rules? I've added a couple of comments in parenthesis. You might want to post them in your garden-or office.

1. Never go anywhere without a notebook. Be a perpetual student.

2. Find one mentor, or many.

3. Do your homework.

4. Trust your own experience. keep notes of what works and what doesn't.

5. Don't get hung up on plants (or products or services!). A garden is bigger than that.

6. Never think you'll get it right the first time. If a plant isn't happy, don't hesitate to dig it up and move it to a better spot.

7. Encourage self-seeding plants to seek their own place in your garden.(Choose your own metaphor for that.)

8. Don't forget that sunlight and shade are design elements.

9. Avoid fussiness. Above all, simplify.

10. Focus on the garden YOU really want.

May seemed a good time to take another look at money and how to create a bumper crop. If you'd like to spruce up your prosperity consciousness, get rid of financial issues that keep you from having ease around money or add an additional profit center or two to your business, consider joining me for one or both of these teleclasses

In Beyond the $100 Hour we'll explore ideas to help you develop a healthier relationship with the money aspect of your entrepreneurial life and develop a relaxed and confident approach to creating a steady cash flow. This is not a Make Big Money Fast approach, but a thoughtful exploration of incremental growth. Tuesday, May 19, 8:30-10 PM EDT: 5:30-7 PM PDT.

My sister Margaret's Facebook profile says, "I fix houses and make girlie hair ornaments." Obviously, this is a woman who understands multiple profit centers. If you'd like to gain clarity about this essential of a successful enterprise, then Creating and Managing Multiple Profit Centers is for you. I'll show you how to keep growing your business by adding profit centers one at a time-and much more. Thursday, May 21, 8:30-10 PM EDT, 5:30-7 PM PDT.

Can't attend in person? You can still sign up and get the audio download. And if you want to take them both, you'll save $10 when you register for them at the same time.

Joyfully Jobless Teleclasses

I know I've mentioned it before, but I can't resist reminding you of one of my favorite books of the year. Plant Seed, Pull Weed by Geri Larkin applies the gardening metaphor to help you live the life of your dreams.

May is Find Five! month at Buon Viaggio blog. I'll be sharing all sorts of ideas and resources that you can add to your joyfully jobless journey. Stop by often to see what's happening there.

Need to do some weeding? Julie Morgenstern has been helping us get organized from the inside out for a long time. She's got a great challenge with her 55 Things Spring Fling Countdown. Great ideas for getting rid of stuff that's holding you down.

Spring Fling Countdown

MAKE GARDENS Plant, nurture, cultivate, harvest. Those same cycles exist in a good business, but a lot of folks that want to go straight to the harvest. In fact, it was the lack of sound idea cultivation that led me to design next week's Follow Through Camp program after watching new businessowners plant a few seeds-and promptly dig them back up to see if they were growing yet.

Even though the deadline is fast approaching, Alice Barry and I have made room for two more participants. This is going to be a terrific event for acquiring tools you'll use forever for growing a better business.

Connect and share with other entrepreneurial thinkers on Twitter. You can find me at It's a great place to plant seeds and harvest innovative ideas.

And if you'd like to make a statement with Northern Sun's Makes Gardens Not War t-shirt, click on the link below.

Make Gardens T-shirt

I'll be back in Madison, WI on June 18 & 19 for three lively seminars including Making a Living Without a Job, Cheap Tricks:Marketing on a Shoestring and What Would an Entrpreneur Do? You can find out more here:

Madison Events

Buona fortuna,


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