A weird and wonderful thing has happened in my garden and it struck me as a good analogy of my business. The spindly peach rose bush that I replanted in the hope that it might revive itself, has spread, strengthened and flourished – and… changed colour! It is so beautiful that I actually stop working to stare out of the window and give myself a little clap for being so horticulturally clever. Even if only by pure accident.
When I was Brian’s girlfriend he spent his summers in Wisbech working on a rose farm. I thought it was funny at the time but he loved grafting those flowers; I had no idea what he was talking about, but now I understand. Cut coloured buds are stuck onto different twigs so they can produce a sort of hybrid rose. In my case, the original white flower was supressed in favour of the newly crafted peach one.
Well, roses need care. Just like a business venture, you have to tend them with love, cultivate them and get rid of dead wood to encourage new growth. If you fail to look after the bush, it can die or suckers can spring forth. Most people chop off the suckers. By replanting my rose then leaving it alone, the suckers actually overtook the main plant and, stemming from the original flower, they bloomed white – stronger and healthier than the peachy flower that had so tempted me in Costco. (By the way, friends also need care, and I forgot to wish Brian happy birthday last week; hope you had a lovely day!)
I love business analogies. This one shows that if we don’t devote the time and effort we should to our main products and services, suckers can wind their way through to change the focus of what we do. This isn’t a bad thing. It does reflect my business in a good way! Circumstances meant that I neglected my plain English training for a while, allowing the social media strand to take over. It turned out to be a fantastic thing. That side of the business is flourishing beautifully and, just as there’s room in my garden for all colour roses, there’s capacity in my organisation for all types of training.
So I made a point of running a Plain English workshop last week. As advertised, I took some home-made baking for the delegates. Instead of my usual blueberry muffins I tried my hand at Nutella brownies, from a recipe someone posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I do make a point of telling people that I have no health and safety or food hygiene certificates, so when I was recently invited along to a business networking group at London Bridge, my invitation stated “bring your dangerous muffins.” It made me laugh. (Those people are still alive!) I’ll be offering more plain English workshops soon, muffins included!
You may have noticed that I finally have a favicon (the little icon on your Internet browser tab). Huge thanks to Wunmi, the fabulous graphic designer who heads up WeCreateMedia. She very kindly set it up for me at the weekend after I’d spent many hours trying to do it myself and before I threw my laptop into my 1930’s deco fireplace in frustration!! Wunmi and I co-presented a workshop for start-up businesses last year; she spoke about corporate branding and I covered social media. Together we helped set twenty emerging entrepreneurs on the road to brilliant web visibility – I love that!
Let me know if you’d like to run an in-house workshop. Some learning, fun and a muffin will surely brighten up this dull grey summer. ‘The more I get of you the stranger it feels; now that your rose is in bloom. A light hits the gloom on the gray.’ You can always find me here, sometimes working, sometimes picking flowers: @WeekendWitch.