January 22, 2014
When you are setting out to grow your business, you have to remember it takes persistency, effort, time and emotion. One of the best analogies I can use is to think about building a business the same way you would grow a Chinese bamboo plant.
The first thing you need is a tiny, tiny seed…you are the seed when you are starting out.
You scout out the perfect spot to plant the seed. You take your little shovel, dig up some dirt, drop the seed in, cover it back up and you water the seed.
When you start your business, it’s just you and you use all the tools and resources to start the growing process.
We’ve all planted something and whatever it is, it seems like it takes forever before we see the results we want when the seed is first planted. You can’t just plant a seed and walk away, expecting the seed to grow on its own without any help.
You have to water it, fertilize it and maybe even talk to it!
With Chinese bamboo very little happens in the first year! You can take great care for 365 days and you might only see a tiny shoot poking out of the ground.
It’s like hearing “no” a bunch of times when you are first selling in your business. The key is to keep working at it and learning as you go. Now, I would expect you to grow, improve and see results before the end of your first year but maybe your first 90 days doesn’t go too well.
You don’t quit after three months, right? No! You stick with it, keep watering and know eventually you will see growth.
In the second year of growing your Chinese bamboo plant, you water, fertilize and protect your little shoot…not much else happens.
You stick with it!
The third year…water…fertilize…protect…not much happens in terms of seeing results.
You stick with it!
Fourth year…water…fertilize…protect…not much else!
You stick with it!
The fifth year…You water. You fertilize. You protect that little shoot! Something crazy happens! Your little shoot goes from a peon-looking shoot to a 90-foot plant in six weeks!!!
How in the world, Andy? Simple: you stick with it!
You did all the right things to get in position to help that little seed explode … and it did!
The great American poet/writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, toiled ever upward through the night.”
Your business and people are frequently like Chinese bamboo plants. You have to invest hours and hours in them both. You have to develop your team and yourself. You have to work harder and smarter. You have to stay disciplined as you try to grow. It can be slow, but over time the effort pays off. Meetings, interviews, coaching, traveling, etc. It all matters, even if you can’t see it early on.
Here’s the secret: If you give up, you won’t get to see your seed turn into a booming 90-foot plant!
Hey, if it were easy everybody would do it! It takes time, effort and emotion to make it explode!!!
If that little plant shot up the first year, I’m guessing the roots would not be ready when the first big gust of wind rolled around. That plant would be so weakly rooted, it get blown down.
But, because of the time, effort and emotion spent over time, a solid, strong plant can withstand a big gust of wind. That’s also true when you are dealing with people. Lasting growth starts on the inside. It’s hard to see change going on, but it’s there. It’s a process and it takes time…you have to be patient with new people and help them get better at their tasks. When you grow on the inside, you are building a solid foundation of character and conviction that is hard to rattle.
Sticking with it is the only way you are going to ever see your little seed turn into a giant 90-foot Chinese bamboo shoot. Don’t give up! Your efforts will be rewarded over time. When you establish the root system, your growth or the growth of your team will spring up and you might not even be ready for it! It will seem like it happened overnight.
Plant the seed, nurture it and see that it grows like a Chinese bamboo shoot!
World Book Encyclopedia states that one bamboo plant can grow up to three feet in 24 hours. Rick Warren writes about this amazing plant in his book, “The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission.”
To see this growth, you can’t quit!
Will you get discouraged at times? Yes.
Will you do things right and feel like nothing is happening for you? Yes.
Those who keep doing things right and stay positive will find out that persistency pays off.
Those people will finally receive the reward for sticking with that little seed.