lessons learned from rosesThe spring after moving into a new house a friend came by and noticed a dead twig beside the house. 

She said, “I think that’s a rose bush. Maybe try cutting it back and watering it every day for a  week.”

I thought she was nuts, but I was curious enough to try.

Even if just to prove her wrong. And, it seemed simple enough.

And wouldn’t you know it. Within a week, that dead little twig had little leaves sprouting everywhere.  And two weeks later, tiny buds.

She stopped by again and explained how trimming or snipping some of those bud would create bigger roses. Again, I thought se must be nuts. I wanted to let ALL of those buds grow. They all had the potential of being beautiful flowers. But she insisted, and I tried it.

Obviously she knew far more than I did.

It was really hard for me, watching those little buds land on the moist dark soil.  The first few days it looked pathetic.  But sure enough, when I was watering again around the 4th or 5th day, those remaining ones had bloomed. 

They were a deep rich velvety red. I couldn’t help but reach out to touch the petals.

And every year after I looked forward to trimming back everything on that little twig beside the house, watering it daily, trimming off the buds to allow the others to enjoy & eventually bringing a few of them into the house to enjoy at the dinner table.  Except one particularly dry summer, when I decided to just let all the buds stay. Not one of the bloomed. They all shriveled and died in the heat.

So I ask myself, is it true? Do we also need to do the same in business?

  • Should we “prune” off perfectly good, beautifully creative business ideas, so that a few good ideas in our business can flourish and grow? 
  • Would allowing all of the nutrients and energy channeled into one or two programs/products be enough?
  • Would there be an awkward stage (just like there was with the rose bush) where you’re not entirely sure it was a good idea?
  • And how do you even decide which ones to trim off and let go? In the case of the rose, they were all perfectly viable, but if I’d left them all, none would have bloomed.

When you’re creative, and have more ideas than you have time to implement, it can seem unfathomable to laser in and focus on one project. But what if it was the best way to create the most vibrant offerings?  Just something to think about. Please take a moment to share your comments below. Have you had a similar experience? 

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