My 7-year-old granddaughter came over early today before the heat and humidity rolled in. Without any prompting from me, Zoe headed to my balcony garden and began deadheading the dianthus.
I’m just learning to garden in this new-to-me climate, but I’ve already discovered that deadheading is my friend. My lavender plant, which seemed ready to give up when all its blooms turned brown, sprang back to life when I snipped off the dead blossoms which were promptly replaced by a new crop of buds.
Novice gardener that I am, I had always assumed that plants were deadheaded simply to remove the unattractive blooms that had completed their life cycle. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
According to a gardening expert, for many plants, deadheading promotes more flowering on the plants than would occur without such plant care. It’s another fine lesson from the garden that we can transplant to our businesses.
Every ninety days or so (or even every month), take a look at what’s blooming and what’s just hanging on. Are there activities that are more duty than they are joy? Clients who aren’t really a good match? Entire parts of your business that need cutting back?
If you’re haunted by scarcity thinking, this is a challenging thing to do. You’ll start recalling the many times you’ve been told that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
You’ll be tempted to hang on to what you’ve got for fear that letting go will be the beginning of the end of your Joyfully Jobless life.
Poet David Whyte got my attention when he wrote, “Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” Reminding yourself of that is an excellent way to decide where deadheading is in order.
Consider this. What if deadheading those things you’ve outgrown is actually your way of making room for new growth? What if getting what you want begins with getting rid of what you don’t want first?
In one of the early chapters of Catherine Ponder’s classic The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity she talks about this very thing (although she doesn’t call it deadheading). She suggests that when we fail to see progress in our lives, it’s often because we haven’t made room for what we truly want.
She writes, “Begin moving the tangible and intangibles out of your life in the faith that you can have what you really want and desire. Often it is difficult to know what you do want until you get rid of what you don’t want.”
Deadheading, as my garden is reminding me, is an on-going process, one that pays visible dividends. In my business, it’s the way to keep evolving ahead.
As Catherine Ponder points out, “It takes bold, daring faith to set it into operation, as well as a sense of adventure and expectation to reap its full benefits.”
Whether it’s a luscious garden or a luscious business that you’re growing, be bold in clearing out that parts that don’t fit. Don’t wait to discover that deadheading really is your friend.