What Kind of Business Are You Growing?
There’s a lot of advice floating out there on the internet that will not work for me or you. We need to learn to think for ourselves and ask the hard questions to see what fits, what doesn’t, what aligns with our values and what doesn’t.
Let’s dive into these 3 lessons.
Lesson #1: Soil is Everything
Erin said that soil is everything for a farmer. It’s the lifeblood of the farm and directly impacts the quality of what is grown and produced.
The phrase, “Garbage in garbage out,” comes to mind when I heard this.
This applies to you and to your business.
What are you letting into your mind, your heart, your inbox?
- Is it helping you build a healthy soil to grow your business in?
- Are you nourishing and taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally, so you can show up and serve without burning yourself out?
- How are you nurturing your potential clients and current clients?
- How are you establishing healthy boundaries when working with your clients, or even your own work habits?
“Planting flowers in balanced soil produces healthier, heartier plants that can stand against pests and diseases.”
When we take time to:
- Create healthy boundaries,
- Take time for rest and recovery,
- Nurture our clients,
We are building up resilience to handle the stressful times when they arrive. We are building sustainable businesses that can handle the adventures of entrepreneurship.
“Powdery mildew, aphids, bugs, lack of good bacteria in the soil stresses out plants so they cannot produce a good seed crop.”
To improve our soil, we need to give a boost of nutrients to help build up the health of the soil for us, for our clients, and for the longevity of our businesses.
A few questions to think through:
- What is stressing you out in your business? Is that stress leading to issues in your business that is causing you to not produce at the level you want to serve at?
- Are high levels of stress impacting your health and quality of life?
- What do you need to thrive as an entrepreneur?
- Are there changes you need to make, things you need to get clearer about
- the work you do,
- the business you are creating,
- the business owner you are becoming and want to become
- How are you preparing and offering “good soil” to your clients, through your marketing, in the products and services you provide?
If we want to not just survive, but thrive in your businesses, you need to look at the soil we are cultivating for your businesses.
Lesson #2: Am I Growing the Business I Want?
At one point Erin asks, “Am I creating a business I would want to own?”.
Floret has gone through its fair share of growing pains. Before COVID, they were already a growing business. Once COVID hit, interest in gardening and producing beauty in backyards gardens grew exponentially.
Erin said two poignant things about this:
- When the world was falling apart, people sought out beauty.
- In dark times, beauty matters even more.
If we are building long-term, sustainable, and simple businesses, we are seeking beauty differently than a flower. But the goal I think is similar.
- There is beauty in simplicity.
- There is beauty in serving our clients in deep and meaningful ways and watching what we do has a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.
- There is beauty in doing work we are good at and enjoy.
Are we pursuing simplicity and beauty? Are we pursuing and doing that type of work?
Or are we lost in the work that pays the bills, sort of, which only services to stress us out? This leaves us vulnerable to the hills and valleys of entrepreneurship, economic shifts, or the changes in algorithms of our marketing channels.
Here are some questions to reflect on:
- Do you feel blessed by the work you are doing? Are you sacrificing yourself to do that work? Is it worth it?
- Are you creating a business you would want to own? If not, what would a business you would love to own look like? What kind of work would you be doing? What type of clients would you like to work with?
- Are you working in your strengths and what you love to do? Or are you trapped in the work you are good at but no longer enjoy?
Erin Quote: “I want a big impact overall. But does it have to be this go big or go home type of thing?”
This is an important question we should all ask.
And I don’t think this refers to playing small or dreaming big. Too many of us play small and hide.
- We do get to control our rate of growth.
- We do get to control how many clients we take on.
- We do get to control how many social platforms we show up on.
- We do get to control how many webinars we attend, freebies we download, courses we take, and coaching programs we join.
- We do get to control who we allow into our inbox that impacts our thinking, our inspiration, and the way we do business.
Are you growing the business you want?
Lesson #3: Get Clear on What You Sell or Offer
And this includes getting clear about the mission, vision, and purpose of your business. Getting clear on your why and your values.
At one point, Floret had a dilemma with a large project they had taken on, growing Dahlia Tubers. It was a monumental project. They could see that if they wanted to become sellers of tubers, then that was going to be a costly and intense endeavor to take on.
Did they want to become that big in the dahlia world? A hard decision when it is a favorite flower.
In the end, they decided not to take it on and gave the amazing tubers to smaller flower farmers. This gift would give them the opportunity to grow these amazing flowers and share them with their customers.
Erin said she realized, “I didn’t need to sell them. I just needed to find them homes. I needed to listen to myself to remember the simplicity of the mission of Floret, which is to get more flowers out into the world.”
Returning to the core of why you do what you do is so important.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- What are you called to do? What has been laid upon your heart?
- How are you going to do it?
- The services you are offering, do they fit into the mission and vision for your business?
- Does it help build healthy soil for you and your business or is it a distraction, a bright shiny object?
Another big question Erin and Team Floret had to ask and get really clear on is if they were a cut flower grower or a seed producer?
Erin started out selling her flowers but in the end grew into producing seeds.
Selling flowers was one way to get more flowers into the world. Then Floret got to a place where they could see a way to increase the size and breadth of their mission. To get more flowers into the world, they would focus on producing seeds that others could grow flowers from and then share.
When considering being a flower grower and seller and being a seed producer, they could see a problem. These two services were two different businesses. Each business would have a unique set of processes, messaging, website needs, and addressed their overall mission in different ways.
To keep the simplicity of the Floret vision, they had to get clear about who they were as a business, and where were they going to put their time and attention.
Are you clear on what you sell and offer? Or are you confusing yourself and your clients by offering too many products and services?
A few closing thoughts.
In episode 2 of the second season, Erin said something that I had to pause the show and jot down the following:
“Just because things are not going the way you wanted, doesn’t mean you are on the wrong path. The hard times can make you better, stronger, and more resilient.”
“Failure is not bad, it’s opportunity, failure is beautiful.”
She was referring specifically to a failed crop of her favorite flower, Sweet Peas. They had a large patch of diseased flowers that was spreading and threatening the surrounding flower patches. They made the hard and heartbreaking decision to dig up an entire patch.
This was to be a special new variety of seeds they wanted to offer in their online seed store. Digging up that flower patch put that seed project on a long hold.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a post from Floret where that same type of sweet pea that had to be dug up was now thriving and growing and seeds will be available soon.
At the end of that episode, they said, “From failure, from what you think is just hard, is where the good things always come from.”
- Good soil.
- Building a business or growing a flower that you love.
- And getting clear on what you do.
These are important business lessons we all need to learn.
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and thoughtfully answer them.
- This is deep work.
- It’s inner work.
- It’s the work of entrepreneurship, of growing a business you are proud of and excited to share with the world.
Take the time to think through the questions asked in this post if you want to have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the customers you serve.
These are just a few of the lessons I learned from Growing Floret. I highly encourage you to go watch the show to savor the beauty, be inspired by their work, and learn a few business lessons along the way.
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, WordPress Website developer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs Oliver & Mochi. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. Marta also fully believes that change starts with gratitude and that gratitude can change everything. Find out how with the “Grateful Friday 7-Days of Gratitude Starter Kit”