Learning from Nature.

I believe the best answers to most questions in life can be found in nature. And looking for a way to grow your business is no different.

When it comes to growth, life itself sets the gold standard. Nature shows us life and death every day in many shapes and forms. Whether its animals, insects, bacteria, or plants – they grow in evolving environments, and are dependent as well as impacted upon by others in the same environment.

Plants have been around much longer than humans (and business). They have had to contend with changing weather, animals and insects coming and going, other plants, and now they have to contend with humans. But yet they still continue to grow.

Businesses have parallels to plants. Plants grow, stall or die depending on the conditions around them (as do businesses). Plants grow by competing to use what resources they can get to fill whatever space they can (as do businesses).

In nature, a plant cannot grow unless the plant itself is in the right place, at the right time, and it has the right resources it needs. For example:

· a plant’s roots and branches must have room (a place) to grow;

· the right time includes when the plant won’t be eaten by other insects or animals; and

· plants need enough sunlight, water and food (resources) in the soil to feed growth.

Your business is no different:

· the right place must allow your business room to expand (e.g. a countries laws, the marketplace …);

· the right time includes when your business won’t be taken over or beaten by other competitors, and

· the right resources include having enough supplies, employees, money, and space to feed your business’s growth.

What is different is plants just grow, whereas businesses traditionally think about and target growth. And yet plants win the race against business when it comes to growing and how long they live. There must be something plants are doing right that businesses in general are not.

One of the biggest lessons we can learn from plants when it comes to growing any business is to change how we think about growth. Rather than look at growth as a goal, it’s important to consider growth as a result/side effect - something that happens as long as the conditions for your business are right.

Focusing on managing the conditions that are right for your business (or managing your business to be right for the conditions) would mean your business would grow automatically (just like a plant) and there would be no need to ‘worry’ about achieving x% growth.

As business owners we have an advantage over plants in that we can ‘manage’ and adapt our businesses to our conditions, or we can alter our conditions to suit our business. A plant can’t do that (not quickly anyway). Any growth (or not) your business achieves will then be a direct result of how well you, and your managers, manage your business and the conditions your business operates within.

As I usually say, this whole world can be controlled by your mind. How you perceive things are essential and a minor shift of thinking can make the difference between success and failure.

Nick Britton has served multiple positions in his career, however; being a preschool teacher was one of the greatest. He served as an advocate at the state level for children and special education. He is a graduate of the oldest private military academy in the nation, Norwich University, earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) and received his Master of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Vermont. He has several professional publications, hosts weekly networking events, and has given public speaking engagements in multiple regions of the country. He owns several investment properties and contributes on a regular basis to several sites. He can be reached at inspire@aplushustle.net