Your own vegetable garden or somebody else’s?
It is up to you to decide! ‘A lot of new entrepreneurs work in other people’s vegetable gardens, they don’t grow their own.’ I liked the metaphor of the vegetable garden, that Bas used in the weekend ‘TOP entrepreneur’, that I attended. Like in a vegetable garden, in entrepreneurship there is also a natural process of the seasons: first you look for fertile soil, then you decide what to seed, after nursing you will (or will not) be able to harvest and after harvesting the whole cycle starts again. ‘It is not right or wrong to have your own garden or work in others’, he said, often, ‘it’s just the way people unconsciously start’. If you start your own business, people from your network hear about it and before you know (if the network sees something in you ;-)), you have your first jobs. Easy peasy. You don’t have to do any marketing, don’t have to develop products yourself, you don’t have to recruit…you can just show up and do ‘your thing’. That is, in case that thing is a service, like in my case.
I realised that I have, gratefully, spent the past 3 years working in other vegetable gardens. And a tiny bit in my own. I do have many ideas and plans, but was too busy working in other gardens, to be able to grow my own. After this full weekend about target group, products, marketing, website etcetera, the seed was firmly planted in me: I strongly feel it is time for me to grow my own vegetable garden. So I hope to inspire you with some of the main insights from this weekend about what I (and you?) need to have the courage for…;-)
1) Increasing your impact by living your own purpose
Most entrepreneurs start working for themselves, because they feel some kind of longing or urge (the latter in my case ;-)) to be able to fully live their soul purpose. If you’re used to working in a box, like a corporate box or educational box or whatever system you’ve spent your career in, entrepreneurship is the gate to more freedom in fully living your purpose in your own way. If you (finally) know what your life is about, your true Self is so happy and eager to go and live it, that it is a challenge to find other vegetable gardens that mirror your exact purpose. So by working in others vegetable gardens, you run the risk that you’re, in a way, boxed in again. Wasn’t that what you didn’t want anymore? The more you live your own truth, the bigger the impact will be!
2) Trust your own uniqueness
There are so many colleagues in the area of transformation, leadership, social entrepreneurship… so why would anybody be waiting for me? This is a limiting belief that I hear a lot. Inside myself and among other entrepreneurs. If you believe this to be true, it will become true. If you can trust that you are a unique combination of talents, experience, personality and purpose, then that will become your truth. I had a total blind spot for some of the great things I carry in my backpack, because they’re so common to me. Challenge yourself, go ask what makes you unique among friends, make a list of all the things you will bring to the table. You will empower yourself and strengthen your uniqueness.
3) Show your colour!
Showing your true colour means you’ll attract the ‘right’ people: those people that resonate with your colour. For the past few years I thought that my target group was ‘everybody in the world’. That I would just say yes to anything I sensed a yes for. Noble, don’t you think? Now I see that it doesn’t help. I am in the process of setting the boundaries of my target group, which is quite challenging for somebody that wants to include the whole world. But working on it, helps me shaping my own true colour better and better. And discovering the needs of what I, for now, consider my target group, sure helps me to get more clarity about my colour. And it is a lot of fun to do! So don’t think you have to all do it by yourself, include your potential customers to shape your colour together!
4) Taking a risk
If you work in somebody else’s garden, there are always compromises to be made. What seeds will be planted, what soil is chosen, how often the garden is taken care of, with what, how the harvest will be divided, etcetera. And it makes perfect sense, that this is the way it is. Because the owner runs all the risks, you’re not. He/she decides and you’ll have to lean in. But entrepreneurship is about taking a risk, daring to lead, daring to fail. It takes courage, guts. But if you trust your uniqueness, embrace your own purpose, showing your true colour, you are ready to take the risk yourself. It will pay off, perhaps not right away, but it will.
5) Dare to share
Also when you are not ready…dare to share.. Or if you make mistakes. Make sure you are, in some way, out there in the world. You don’t have to wait for your website to be perfect to show it. It is perfectly fine to show non-professional video’s. Bas even says: better a bad blog than no blog at all. Dare to ask publicly. For money, for advice, for support, just be vulnerable. Easier said than done, because being out there, means people will have an opinion about you. There will always be people who like what you do and people who don’t, people who will judge you. Don’t take it personal, don’t let it withhold you, dare to share, as often as you can, so that people have the opportunity to get to know you.
6) The universe needs guidance
If you believe so, the universe wants to do everything to support you. For those who have red books like ‘Synchronicity’ and ‘The alchemist’ they know: the universe doesn’t judge, is unconditional and will help you putting the right things on your path at exactly the right moment. But you need to be clear. The clearer you are about your purpose, your target group, your goals, the more support you’ll get. The more you can envision everything you want to manifest, the more precise it will manifest. Be honest and clear about what it is you do, how and certainly why. Intention includes destination: imagine your ideal manifested world and it will happen.
7) The future is now
There are always reasons to consider this moment ‘not the ideal moment’. There will always be ‘ifs’ that need to be fulfilled before you can do what you really want. If I would have the money, if I would have the time, if….Excuses are mostly a manifestation of fears. Unrealistic fears, so fears that are not supporting you. In my field of expertise (transformation, consciousness and sustainable impact) the momentum is now, yesterday and, for sure, tomorrow. Every day that I wait writing my book, developing my products, interviewing my customers is a missed opportunity. The future is now.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
Now I wish I could tell you that my new website is live, my book is at the publisher and my first product will run next month. That is not the case and it doesn’t go that fast. I am in an ‘in between’ situation, which is quite hectic. I’m working in my own vegetable garden, which is totally overgrown, AND in a few other vegetable gardens at the same time. So of course this is not a smooth process ;-). I have commitments, love the things I do, the people I do it with and why I do it. So there are a lot of decisions to make and at the same time I have to build and run daily stuff parallel. But isn’t that just like life: the future is now and now is perfect in all imperfection :-).