Think of your entrepreneurial journey much like growing a tree. First, you decide what type of tree you’d like to grow. Next, you learn how best to grow it. You then cultivate the soil to provide a firm foundation, but with necessary room to grow. The seeds go into the soil and it’s time to begin growing. Over a relative time, care is provided along with water, fertilizer and other nutrients so the tree not only grows but grows strong.
“Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” – Anita Roddick
For a while it’s frustrating as you stare at the dirt wondering when the first signs of growth will penetrate through the surface — a breakthrough of sorts. Then, one day it appears through the surface of the soil and as fragile as it is you wonder how it had the strength to push through. You then care for the tree a bit more, nurturing it along as it grows and grows, branches sprouting out along the way.
At times, it may look a bit unhealthy, so you move it into more direct or less sunlight, maybe increase watering or add some new fertilizer to the soil around it. You may even relocate the tree to a bigger space, a deeper hole to firm up the foundation so it can grow stronger. And then, you see it blossom as it takes a new form with bright flowers, attracting visiting insects from far and wide. It’s beautiful, but you’re cautious as there are predators that may want to feed off your tree, destroying it along the way. So, you protect it with insecticide or even a cage around it to prevent it from being eaten altogether.
Once mature, your tree will only require periodic maintenance. Sometimes it’ll need to be trimmed and pruned to spur new growth, again making it stronger and stronger and more beautiful than ever. You then think, maybe I should plant another one, and then another? Possibly you can grow them to a certain point and then sell them. After all, you know the process. You’ve gone through the learning curve. You most likely still have some or many of the resources you used to grow the first one. There may even be something new that will help it grow faster.
You see, growing a tree is a process. It takes time. It takes perseverance. It takes care and thought at every step. And yes, it takes you staying involved and committed to, not only the process but to the desired results. If you quit or neglect your responsibilities, your dream and business will die, just as the tree would die.