BY CARRIE GREENE— I often connect two things that on the surface seem to have nothing to do with each other. Do you ever do that? Here’s something that occurred to me while I was out for a walk. Your business is like a dandelion. Let me explain.
Dandelions were brought to the United States as a medicinal plant. They seem to have taken to the environment very well (at least here in the Northeast). So much so that they are now looked upon as weeds and, judging by most of the homes in my neighborhood, we do everything in our power to get rid of them.
As I walked I noticed that some of the yards I passed didn’t have a single dandelion, some had a few and others were covered with them. Clearly there were a variety of levels in the “anti-dandelion” campaign. I picked up one of the dandelions and just like a little girl, blew all the seeds off it. I watched the seeds float away and wondered which lawn they would end up on. Each seed had potential, but I knew that only some would end up growing into another dandelion. There was nothing I could do to control it, it was up to chance, and the way the wind blew.
When I blew the seeds off the dandelion I let them all go. I didn’t worry about picking the right seeds. I didn’t worry about where the seed would fall and if it would grow at all. But imagine if I had.
Then I realized that I likely had more ideas in my head, than the dandelion had seeds. Different ideas, and different opportunities swirling around, waiting to be set free, to take root and to grow. Would those ideas end up in an “Idea Safety Zone”?
When it comes to entrepreneurs and small business owners I have now identified what I’m going to call “The Dandelion Effect”.
Some entrepreneurs throw caution to the wind. They take all of their ideas and just set them free and just let them land. They hope their ideas take root and grow into something wonderful and profitable. They don’t protect, or weed, their lawns (or in this case protect their time and energy) and let whatever happens happen.
Other entrepreneurs guard their ideas and their landscape (aka, their to-do list) carefully. The last thing they want is to let those seeds loose. Who knows where they will land? It is better not to take the risk of launching something that will never take root. If nothing can grow, and all of their defenses are sound, nothing can possibly go wrong. The best part of this is that they fit in. Nobody will look at them like they are crazy, after all, your lawn is “supposed to be” dandelion free.
Then there is the third type. Entrepreneurs who let some of the seeds grow. Maybe they choose the seeds purposefully, or maybe not. The thing is, that they are willing to go against the status quo and let some of them go. They may focus on nurturing them, or they may let them find their own rhythm and just grow.
The one thing I know for sure is that if you want your business to grow you have to plant seeds, and you have to be cautious not to plant them all.
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must go against the rules and let what other people believe are weeds grow. People are going to tell you that you are crazy or weird. They are likely to tell you that having a job is easier (it is). You need to be willing to say to your neighbor, “Hey, I like a few dandelions growing, don’t worry, they won’t bother you.”
I would caution you against having a field of dandelions. When you have too many things happening at once you will find yourself just planting more and more ideas and not nurturing them. What’s more is that when you have that many ideas growing none of them will stand out. You will confuse yourself, your prospects and your clients. Ultimately you will not realize any of the success that you deserve.
I’d like you to consider this your invitation to follow your own rules. Go ahead and take a deep breath, choose a few seeds and plant them.
Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & who helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of “Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!” Resources at http://www.carriegreenecoaching.com/