Building A Business Is Like Growing A Plant

Let me tell you about Fiona.

Fiona is a philodendron that my wife acquired shortly after we moved to San Francisco and got married in 2014. For those three years, Fiona hung in the corner of our sun-filled San Francisco apartment.

That’s Fiona in the top left of the picture.

Then we moved to Colorado and Fiona hung in each of our living rooms we’ve had here in Denver. At our second home here, she hung in the corner but wasn’t super happy. She got watered, but didn’t get enough sunlight.

Top left again. Not dead for sure, but not as happy.

Now, Fiona hangs in the bathroom near my office, which is in a loft in our new house. I water her frequently, because she’s front of mind (and face!) when I go into that bathroom. She’s super happy there, even growing new leaves and a whole new sprout on top!

She’s happy in the bathroom with morning sun!

“John,” you might be saying, “why are you telling us about your plant?”

Well, taking care of Fiona has been analogous to growing businesses.

You become their owner (through purchase or growing them from a seed).

You hang them somewhere (or put them into a market). Hopefully, they’re happy and grow.

You water them. They grow.

Occasionally a leaf dies (an employee stops performing, a growth channel dies, or a product line stops driving profitable growth), and you need to prune it carefully.

Sometimes you move them to an area without enough sun, and they start to get sad (e.g., you move upmarket and the product isn’t ready, or you get distracted by a side project).

Then you move them back front of mind, give them enough sun, and they start to flourish.

You’re never going to avoid all of these. You do get better over time.

I heavily recommend getting a plant and learning to take care of it. It might just make you better a building companies.

Oh, and they help clean the air in your house for you, too—double win. Health is wealth!

One thought on “Building A Business Is Like Growing A Plant

  1. This was a great read John. I think my number one thing that I have neglected while growing my business is my personal health. Once i shifted to focusing on my health first, business second. it became a game changer for me.

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