Your Business and the Story of a Tree; Part One

This morning, I went to take a short walk outside. I've been feeling a little more flexible since this weekend, and I figured a stroll would help me keep that liquid feeling in my bones that I've missed so much.

I stopped when I came to a tree and had myself a sit-down.

Have you ever gazed at the glory of a tree? I'll spare you the poem (you know the one, "I think that I shall never see..."). But I must say that trees have been one of the chief inspirations of my life, number two behind natural bodies of water.

You can easily miss the marvel of oaks and pines in the midst of the daily bustle. They really are miracles when you think about it.

One day, years ago, the wind, or a happy world citizen like you or me, put a tiny seed in the ground, maybe smaller than a pea, or about as big as the tip of your thumb.

Each day water from heaven or from a heaven-sent caretaker would caress or massage the ground with moist blessings. Each day the sun would whisper from behind clouds at it, or scream in a blistering tone.

And for weeks, months even, it seemed as if nothing was happening.

But underground, far below where you or I could witness, molecules were bumping into each other, atoms were hopping around, electrons were spinning. Then after a time roots began to spiral out into the soil.

And long after anyone human was really giving it any daily, specific thoughts beyond routine tendering, a little sprout started pushing up through the earth.

A dozen or a few hundred years later, there I am, sitting under the tree, thinking about trees and business.

The lessons nature volunteers us are fascinating, if only we'd listen. Our businesses, big and small, are like these trees. We put $1000, $200, $3 million into the investments that form our ventures - saved, borrowed, earned from past sales.

Every day we do a little more. Sometimes we do a lot more. And we, in our human impatience, often watch the location where we buried our money, looking for signs of life the very next day, sometimes the next hour.

"I bought this computer three months ago. How come there isn't cash coming out of the DVD drive?"

Seems like a ridiculous question right now, doesn't it?

But we behave that way all the time. I'm guilty of it too. Many is the time that I've whined about how some new promotional idea I'm testing didn't return my deposit of time or money in 3 days.

Then all of a sudden, on that fourth day, I have more sales in 24 hours than I had the whole week before.

Sometimes it takes even longer. I used to look at people who would come on the Net, buy a couple of ebooks and fall bass ackwards into cash 90 days later. And I'd think "Why not me? What am I missing? What did they do that I didn't?"

And the lesson I learned from that seven year experience were two things.

(Seven years including the small time, inconsistent returns I used to have before I really started to learn to study and be patient. As I've said before, I started making advertising money about two years in, enough to feel like an extra paycheck a month)

I'll tell you my lessons learned in part two....

Tinu is a web site promotion specialist and the author of several books on search engines, blogging, and RSS. You can read more tips on branding your business with a blog at Free Traffic Tips.

In The News:

How to Help Small Businesses Survive COVID's Next Phase  Harvard Business School Working Knowledge
A Way Forward for Small Businesses  Harvard Business Review

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