Dig Deep: Lay Your Foundation

An interesting aspect about building is that when laying a foundation you have to first begin with digging in the opposite direction to that which you intend on the building to rise towards.

The moment you decide to directly begin the process of building a building you expect to hug the very sky, your pick up your tools and start digging in the complete opposite direction.

Even the bible says it in Prov 11:24 “there is that scattereth, yet increaseth…”. There is always a time, and usually that time is at the very commencement of a project, where people might not quite grasp what it is that you are doing. It seems to the untrained eye as if you are quickly digging yourself into a ditch from which you cannot escape.

The funny thing about the foundation is that, the bigger the building, the deeper and more solid the foundation has to be.

So the bigger the project, the more time, effort and resources have to be committed towards ensuring that the project sets of from a solid base.

It is not an easy task and most people who observe humungous buildings take little to no regard at all to the foundation upon which the building is built.

As in the parable of the house built on sand, shoddy workmanship and preperation for business implementation will be made manifest once the waves of market forces begin to play havoc on the business model.

In other words, a solid business has to be built on a sound moral, ethical and business values because the higher the building, the mightier the fall and the more people that will feel the crush and even the more law suites involved.

Just to slip back to my favourite past time… plants. Trees and shrubs are very fascinating life forms. For the purpose of this discussion, we can consider the desert shrubs. Some appear to be very tiny above the surface, with only a branch or two visible with a few small leaves.

An uninformed person can actually assume that they can easily uproot the entire plant by pulling it out with a single hand.
An attempt at this would prove them extremly wrong as the ernomous size of the underground root network would at some cases even constitute more than 99% of the actual plant size. So what is in reality visible to the casual observer is nothing more than the tip of the iceburg.

The key to some of the most successful businesses, is to look tiny and insignificant from the top, but have a vast network of resources at play just below the surface, capturing every single drop of opportunity that comes your way and anchoring the business so heavily, that you would nees a complete industrial meltdown to cause it to break a sweat.


The Root (Part 3): Support System

The most essential thing that you have to understand about one of the most essential parts of a plant, “the root” is to understand that it has the massive backing of the plant.

In business, you have to realise that you need to take care of your business in order for it to take care of you. If you are to reap any fruits from the investment input into your business you have to ensure that its internal clockwork and functions are at their optimal point.

Some plants can easily be reproduced by making cuttings from the parent plant. The new plant/cutting, continues to survive for a short while without some of the most essential elements as the roots and leaves.

It would not be a wise thing for a plant to assume that it can continue to operate in such a way for a long time.

There comes a point in the new plant’s “reasoning” that the plant realises that it has been separated from its source of nutrition and the time has come to develop an independant system.

If the plant fails to produce the necessary organs such as the leaves and roots because it thinks it is still alive, it will suddenly wake up one day and the internal storage would have been exhausted subsequently leading to its wilting and death.

If you neglect the most essential drivers of your business as it reaches its maturity, it may suddenly whilt and die on you. And you wonder what happened.

The business would have been operating very well for the last 12-15 months and because the systems in place appear to be operating very well. There is need to continualy review the systems in place and assess the functions, viability and overall feasibility going forward.

There is a need to continually review each and every function to make sure that it is well catered for and is able to perform its function to the best of its capability.

Some things that were efficient whilst you were serving five or ten clients may no longer be as feasible when there are now 25 to thirty clients.

New equipment may need to be purchased, vehicles acquired, software upgraded, buildings upgraded and refurbished. There are so many intricate details depending on the type of business that you have to look out for as you progress in business.

The bible says “do not restrict the horse that treads the corn.” There are certain “perks” that are derived from working in certain industries, at times these appear to be irrelevant to the operations of the business.

However they offer a certain level of satisfaction and quality of life to the employee.
These need to be regulated in order to ensure that the company suffers minimal loss from these activities but gains in improved perfomance from the employee. They can be used as moral boosters and perfomance enhancers ensuring that the core objectives of the business are achieved.

They say a hungry man is an angry man, this is obvious in many day to day business activities in a lot of our companies. We have seen industries being brought to their knees because the employees have been neglected.

The key unit of any business are its employees and if they are mistreated or given a package that is below the standard that a normal being can operate under, then the business owner is simply sitting on a ticking time bomb.

It is only a matter of time before the employee bomb explodes on it.
I am continually amazed at employers who choose to neglect and abuse their employees through poor pay packages as compared to the actual business net revenue and poor working conditions.

Whilst a dollar here and there is saved in the short run by employing strategies that disadvantage the employee, an employer should be wary because watering down the wine is a dangerous strategy.

Shortcuts in business are the quickest way to failure.

A strong, secure, solid employee root base ensures that the business system is founded on a solid rock.

The Root (Part2): Discovery

One thing I love about roots, their ingenuity. We are all endowed with different talents and capabilities depending on the size of the destiny that we are meant to fulfill.

I can just imagine if roots could talk and a tiny oak tree growing through a small crack in the wall telling the older “wiser” creeping weed that it (the oak tree) would at some future date break the wall down.

The creeper would look at the tiny little oak and probably say, “are you crazy? I’ve been growing for 10 years and my life’s ambition is to cover this wall because I know I will NEVER be able to break it down and you are telling me that you will break it down in five years? I think you need to get real about your dreams.”

The truth of the matter is, the oaks’ dream is just a dream for the creeper, but for the oak, it is inevitable.

It is very easy for most people to judge their own capabilities based on what their predecesors managed to achieve within the same time span. Some people may even feel as if they have failed and the everjudging community may even look at them with a critical eye as failures because they judge them based on other people’s capability.

Nobody except God can truly know what you are capable of, and it is my prayer today that you may have fellowship with Him and He may reveal to you the extent to which you are capable of achieving your dreams. Or even unlock hidden potential that you did not even know that you had.

I am preety sure that most of us would be blown away in shock if we knew God’s plans for us, or saw ourselves in the manner that God sees us.

God’s spirit lives within us and it is just bubbling with life giving power to increase and multiply whatever we put our hands to.

The tiny little root will grow a tiny unnoticeable fraction every day and keep spreading, sniffing and searching out sources of nutrients.

When it finds a solid, good enough source, it plugs in and embeds itself deep inside and focuses all of the energy of the plant towards establishment on that new primary root.

When doing Bonsai, you are encouraged to train your plant by restricting the growth of the root. This just goes to show the immense power that the root has in shaping the growth of the entire organism.

Roots constrained in combination with a few other tricks can keep a massive tree that was meant to cover a huge area no higher than a toddler’s knee caps.

Your roots are what feed your business, social, spiritual or other intellect. They are found in the form of your senses and your mind. Keeping them couped up and constrained will result in exactly the same result as our 400 hundred year old bonsai tree.

Im sure it asks itself daily if there ever is such a thing, “what on earth is the matter.” Every other tree that is anywhere near as old as it is has grown to massive heights and has amassed quite some massive fruit.

You have to not only free your mind to endless possibility, but also feed it with new material, it may surprise you what it begins to attract you to.

The Root: A Lesson of Persistance – Part 1

There is no need to be a failure as a success.

Plants and their nature never cease to amaze me. You will find them literally everywhere, given half a chance a place that previously seemed to be totally desolate can reveal so much hidden potential.

This should be the same drive by which you need to follow through with your dream. Go ahead and dream big even amidst the most challenging of situations. A certain young man once worked for me as a general hand. He was unfortunate enough not to have completed his secondary education, and I told him he had potential to get ahead in his life through making use of his hands.

For a moment he stared at his hands and could not even believe what he heard me say to him. He just shook his head in disbelief, and replied, “with these hands… I dont think so.” In his mindset, because of his perceived disadvantage of not having gone further with his education, he saw himself as forever banished to being a “failure as a success.”

In his eyes, there was no way he could not ever become any more than what he was. “They have eyes, but they do not see.” He could not even see what he was already doing with his own hands that was already bettering his life. He had already made an active decision to do something with his life but he could not even see what he already had.

Many times, we look at our life, the end picture…. and immediately are blown away by the magnitude of the dreams that we have or the destiny that may be. We often fail to see what resources we already have, some of which we may already be using that have the potential to take us to even greater heights.

The limits to which we may reach simply depend on how much we allow our minds to stretch and wonder and discover the secrets that life has in store for us.

However, it does not always come easy. Bumps and roadblocks are something that can never be totally guarded against, but you just have to hang in there, think postively and allow some unexpected solutions to some of the challenges you may face.

There are very few entirely new concepts, businesses and methodologies that you may come across. Somewhere, somehow, somebody out there has faced the same or similar challenge as the one that you may be facing.

The “six degree” theory, states that we are all seperated by six people in our networks to everybody else in the world. However, subjective that theory may be, it just goes to show just how well connected and intergrated we all are.

So imagine how many solutions and experiences are available for our education from the very people we socialise with on a day to day basis. The key is to know which combination of people is the right one. In the face, of challenges, you can safely take comfort that there is a solution out there for you to get, all you have to do is rich in and reach out to get it.

Plants just dont seem to know when to give up, I especially admire weeds, they are particularly persistant and will grow out of any crack or crevice that they can fit into. They are a constant menace to farmers and gardeners anywhere.

As such successful people are those that are a constant menace to their destiny.

Learn from spoilt children, dont give up until you get what you desire. Jacob refused to let go of God until dawn broke and God was forced to bless him. It was not that God failed to escape, but the blessing was so massive, that he had to make sure that the recepient, Jacon, would really appreciate what he got and not take it lightly. Only then could he become, ISRAEL.

The hollow in his joint an everlasting reminder of the night God visited him with a blessing that would last the ages and be remembered for all time.

So as I sign off I leave you with a question, “what opportunity are you being prepared for by the challenges you think you are facing?”, because it might not be a challenge, but a lesson embedded for the purpose of increased valuation.

Breaking New Ground: Business Reality

Reality depends on your perspective of events, situations and scenarios. Your enterpretations of so called reality is what determines the reality that you exist in.

Successful enterprenuers create their own reality by maintaining an optimistic though objective approach to handling the circumstances they find themselves in.

When a farmer ventures into a virgin piece of land, he can immediatley see the potential that lies within a seemingly useless piece of land with dust and shrubbery. A seemingly desolate piece of land devoid of nutrients life or even minerals can be turned into some of the most beautiful ranges of vegetative microclimates with the right attitude.

I have even seen deserts turned into havens by the use of the right technology. “Whatever the mind can concieve and believe, it can achieve.” Zig ziglar.

The power of the mind rests in its usage in enterpreting events. Events happen and they take whatever form in manifestation they so desire, the course they will take however afterwards depends on the interpretation that you choose to place on it afterwards.

Have you ever been suddenly confronted by an unfortunate situation or bad incidence and taken a downward spiral of self pity and desperation. It seems as if all the energy has been drained out of you and that every hope, dream and vision is all vain and hopeless.

I have been one such victim often losing days and sometimes weeks of productive time before something snaps me back into a more positive reality.

I have realised that there exist certain stimulants around me that encourage a positive mental attitude leading to a more positive reality. They are not always standard and immediately obvious at first glance, but they provide for a better version of reality that spurs me onward and fuels me like a new battery in a child’s toy.

Everyone seeks answers and a prescribed fuel battery cell, that will spur them on to realising their potential, but the truth of the matter is that there does not exist a single prescription that fits everybody.

Each mind is unique and independent in itself and the way it manages the chaos around it.
Dependency comes about as a result of the need for association, as we string together beads of similarities in those people around us.

However, the beads that we choose to pick out from those associations we make add on to the fabric of our reality and creates the enterpratation of what we see around us.

There is a method of farming known as hydroponic farming which makes use of the deadest of medium to grow plants. A brand new hope and future, new life. Most people’s reality depends on convention and what they have been taught need to be done in order to realise certain aspects, but as we take a closer look at what realy make up reality, we make up our own.

So no matter how dead a situation looks, there is always hope that even the brightest of futures can be realised.