Planting and harvesting are two sides of the same endeavor. One one side you are doing the prep work. You are making the small investments and putting the effort into making sure things are working right. You are brainstorming and fleshing out ideas. You are making plans and starting things. One the other side you are getting the benefits of those long term relationships you have nurtured over years. You might even be getting a financial reward of some kind.
It is what happens in the middle that is the most important, however.
Lots of people have the same ideas, but it is the people who execute on those ideas, who take the ideas and push them over the line. Those are the people who are successful. They are the ones who take the time to address problems or issues that come up. In an agricultural standpoint, those are the people who get out there and weed the garden. Or those who get out and spray for pests. They may be out checking on what they have planted and checking in to see if there is any fungus or disease which may have crept into their field. They check for pests and work to make sure to take the correct measures to get rid of them as well as preventing them and other pests from getting in. This middle time would be the “Tending” phase of growing a crop.
What does this look like from a business or personal standpoint?
Tending in a business or personal sense is making that phone call to the friend or prospect. It is checking in on the status of that project. It is seeing how the morale is for the team. It is having the earnest conversation with the employee to see how they are doing at work and at home, and sending them home if they need time. It’s exercising compassion and understanding, but also making sure that things do not fall through the cracks and that the trains run on time.
Planting in business is getting the people together to start a project, getting investors to buy into your idea and setting up the company for success. Harvesting then is the successful completion of a project or it can be the ultimate harvest when you sell your business and cash out.
In personal relations planting is the “getting to know you phase” of your relationships when you are learning a persons likes and dislikes, their quirks and what topics are off limits when talking to them. Harvesting is a little different, but would be the time when you reach out to your friend or relation when you are in a difficult time and ask for help. For you it is harvesting, for them it is tending and nurturing. And I’m sure that, when the time comes, the roles will be reversed and you will be the one providing the support and they will be the one doing the “harvesting.”
Planting can be a fun and exciting time and harvesting is a great reward for the work you have put in, but the greatest amount of effort for any endeavor is the tending of the crop in between those two events. And that is really where the most joy comes from.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.