By Mark Wesley, publisher, business gardener, and marketing strategist
At Metamorphicx, we believe that everything you want your business to be starts with a good seed put into good soil. We believe that everything we see is an effect of what we don’t see. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do or how polished your technique is, if you don’t have a good foundation, you can’t create a great business that will bring you more life.
When you begin creating a great business, you begin by chasing after the best ingredients. When you are chasing after the best ingredients, you are in search of great leadership. When you are in search of great leadership, you are searching for great roots for your business. And if you want great roots, you need great seeds planted in great dirt.
By having a great foundation from the beginning—strong roots that grow from the best seed in fertile soil—you will achieve a great outcome for yourself, your employees, your customers, and your community.
If you create the foundation (the soil, the seed, the roots) with great care, the effects will provide you with the life of your dreams.
The Model of Your Business: The Tree of More Life
We believe that the metaphor of a robustly growing tree applies to your business—and your dreams—well beyond the basis of a solid foundation. Our vision of The Tree of More Life describes your business from conception to fruition, from the ends of its deepest roots to the tips of its highest branches.
The model of The Tree of More Life can guide you through the earliest stages of business development through the most detailed of your business strategies. It informs your decisions and keeps you focused on what really matter.
It all begins, however, deep beneath the ground.
The Seed: Your Dream, Your Desire, Your Idea, and Your Vision
If your business is to have any meaning beyond merely being your job, you must connect your business with those things that are most important to you. Your business should be a realization of what you want from your life, what your deepest convictions are, what you value, and what you love. It should be making a healthy contribution to the realization of your dream.
“What dream?” you may ask.
Well, the dream that started this adventure, the dream that drives all that you do. No one starts a business without a vision of how they want that business to improve their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and their community.
Often, though, that vision—the idea or dream that made you want to start a business in the first place—is murky. It’s out of focus, not fully expressed, vague.
If you expect your business to contribute to your dream, but you’re not clear about what that dream is, how can you possibly realize the dream? How will you know where to go on your journey toward the dream, and how will you know when you get there?
The seed of your Tree of More Life, then, is that dream drawn into sharp focus. It’s a clear picture of what you want your business to do for you.
The Dirt: Your Mission, Your Purpose, Your Faith, and Your Persistence
On its own, your seed will not grow. If you simply hold that dream in your hand without feeding it with the nutrients it needs to flourish, it will never turn into anything bigger or stronger than itself. It will not change your life unless you give it the energy it needs to develop.
In order for your business to be more than just another job for you, it is vitally important that you identify and articulate your innermost driving force, the motivation that gives you a sense of direction and purpose, that motivates you to your highest levels of energy, that puts you at your best.
This driving force guides you to live a life that is consistent with your core values and beliefs, and it’s the essential starting place for any business. It will help your business to grow strong and true, but it’s not just about the business. It is about what the business can give you: More Life.
A focus on your core motivation gives you the ability to live your life intentionally, rather than randomly. It keeps you on the path to your dream, and it frees you from distractions that may lead you away from that path.
When you apply this concept to your business, you can see that persistent attention to your core values will help you to make business decisions that are directly related to your journey toward your dream. It will help your business to grow, and it will keep the business growing in the right direction. It will assure that the structure of your business is entirely consistent with your vision of what it should be.
Your core values, thus, are the dirt that nourishes the seed of your dream, that allow it to develop strong roots that will support and feed the parts of the Tree of More Life that will eventually bear fruit.
Above the Ground: Your Business Takes Shape
With the seed safely planted in rich soil, you are ready to nurture your Tree of More Life to produce the fruit of your dreams. The roots, the trunk, the branches, leaves, and fruit that grow from the Tree are the reality of your business, the real-world manifestation of what you’ve begun by planting the seed.
Our vision for those parts of your Tree of More Life are a topic for another time, but for now, it’s essential that you understand that it all starts with a carefully nourished seed: your dream and your vision for your business, fueled by the passion that makes you who you are.
Mark Wesley owns metamorphicx and me+mi publishing. He has spent the last 25 years developing products and providing services for businesses across the United States. As an EMyth-certified business coach and Duct Tape marketing consultant, Wesley helps clients improve their leadership, branding, finance, management, marketing, sales, and customer engagement skills. He is a current member of the IBPA board of directors.