Growth Dynamics (From seed to seedling to plant)

The following post arose from a conversation that I had with one of the people in my close network.

When you look at the growth process of a plant, you realise that it is as dynamic as the presence of water in a river. There is always growth and development, there are always a number of processes taking place at any one time and a stream never holds the same water twice. Its always someting new.

The is no point in time, when you can say that the growth or change process has become dormant. Even when the plant itself is dead there is a process of decomposition, as it is reassimilated into the ground from whence it came.

So growth takes place consistently, if growth is not taking place then the system is dying.

A seed may be the best seed in the bunch, but it can not remain a seed forever because it will shrivel and die. The support systems that are put in place for that period are only relevant for a season, after that either development takes place or the seed dies.

My good friend was boasting to me about how “structured” and conformed his days were, how he knew what to expect day after day and how he was really good at his job and how every day was exciting because he had a chance to prove himself and flex his muscles in the mirror.

To me, alarm bells were ringing left, right and center. Its not that I despise being good at what you do, what I was majourly concerned about was “the comfort zone”. Whereby a seed gets very satisfied with being the “chief seed” the “choisest” (if I may use such a word) of all.

It is critical to realise that nature and life itself never intended for things to remain the same, change is inevitable, but the level of discomfort that it will cause in your life depends on how ready and fluidly prepared you are to experience the transition.

From the moment we are born, change is the only constant, so the same thing applies to business. Conditions and the environment that exist will only last for a certain period of time.

There can be no assurances or guarantess that a marketing or sales strategy that worked for similar “company A”, will work for similar “company B”, because the external influences change at any given time.

It is also critical to realise that there exist such things as the business life cycle and this applies both seasonaly and in the long term.
What is key in this is that, it is imperative that you understand what phase your business is going through and adjust accordingly.

When planting a seed, growth homones and weaker fertilisers are required to ensure that growth takes place to the best of the seed’s capacity.

But the very same strategy that worked at seed level becomes irrelavant at seedling level, at growth, maturity and harvest there are different fertilisers (organic/inorganic), pesticides and support systems you have to put in place to ensure a successful eneterprise.

So it is an absolute shock to me when someone expresses comfort at consistency. The only comfort I personally feel a person should have is comfort in change.

Life is a continuously developmental cycle, but it is of utmost importance that you make sure that the change is structured towards development.

Constant change is not beneficial if it is perpertualy circling like a dog chasing its tail. Change has to be progressive.


Growth of Business (The Greenhouse Effect)

As the first leaves break through the ground, that is when the plant is at its most vulnerable.

A business is at its most vulnerable when it is at its infancy, because that is when it becomes exposed to the true environment in which it is to exist. It becomes exposed to competition, in some economies that is when it breaks the minimum tax levels and it becomes to various laws and legislation.

If not protected and well monitored this is the time that it can slink right back into the earth from whence it came.

The seed has to be nurtured by creating a rich mix or medium in which growth is to be fostered. Similarly a business dream has to be soaked in the right nutrients in order for it to have even a single chance at seeing daylight.

A business plan/proposal has to be thoroughly researched and complemented with the right support systems before it is actually launched into the market.

Systems have to be set up to ensure that when the business is rolled out every department and resource is available to kick into action when the relevant function is called into play. It would be a serious hiccup if the company was to produce a product only to realise that a major aspect such as packaging or labeling is not in place. Suddenly, you have an almost complete product sitting in your warehouse crunching money that you do not have to spare out of your pocket every extra minute that it spends there.

In the event that the product is easily perishable every extra minute stored is a minute closer to disaster.
Smart farmers prepare some plants before the season in which they are originally intended to grow in has begun. Some conditions are too harsh for the seedlings to flourish in. Therefore they need to be sheltered before they are exposed to the environment in which they are to spend in their existence in.

Sometimes in business you need to shelter your growing business and protect it from the full scale attack of an open market system, that is why in there are things such as trade restrictions. These are meant to protect the growing firms within a nation from the full scale impact of a harsh and developed economic system.

In this discussion we shall focus on a microclimate of developing a business. In some businesses it is wise to create a business and expose it to a controlled or small market releasing it as a pilot project in order to iron out any unforeseen challenges that would prove catastrophic in a larger scale.

It’s easier to recapitalize a business worth $10000 by 20% of its value than it is to recapitalize a $100000 business. The task of correcting a $2000 mistake is far easier than a $20000 mistake, at times the mistake involves the salaries of your human resources, and human resources are just one resource that you do not want to make a mistake with.

Every single disgruntled employee has the potential to bring down an entire company to its knees, employees are like the roots of a company and anyone of them may be the taproot, which if damaged the entire plant can just shrivel and die.

So the mistakes that are made in a controlled environment are far better than those involved in full scale implementation.

10 disgruntled employees are better managed than a 100. Once a business has grown sufficiently it can gradually be exposed to a larger market growing into new markets and gradually adjusting to correct practice as it grows.

Once it is healthy enough it can fully branch out and realise its full rollout and it has a better chance of success. There is greater possibility of success once you have gained confidence in the viability of your business and you have a few loyal clients to fall back on as well as good contracts with suppliers and markets.

Your human resource base will also be in a better placed position to handle the pressure that is associated with running large scale corporations.

Once an entity has also proven a model at a smaller scale, this means that it is feasible for implementation at a larger scale.

“The Money Tree”: Land Preparation – Part 2

When farming, it is essential that the land that is to be used for the production of crops be kept as free from rocks and stones and other impediments to growth as possible.

A growing, well prepared seedling can even fail wither and die if it meets a rock under a seemingly fertile ground. You will notice a wide difference between it and the surrounding crops and you are left
wondering why some growths appear to be strong and healthy whilst others appear to be failing yet the fertilizer was distributed evenly and even the pesticides applied the same.

You as the principal promoter has to take the initiative to instill the culture of thoroughness and preparation for the environment in which production is set to take place.
Stones or hindrances in the production process can be found in the case of bottlenecks in production or the transfer of one semi-finished component to the next stage in the cycle.

Plant layout should be made in such a way that components can be transferred from one stage to the next with the least amount of effort and time delay possible.

Smooth running is essential especially when dealing with huge volumes or a consistent flow of goods and services as any slight delay will be felt throughout the chain of production and output.
The losses realized from idle time in machinery, human resources and equipment can at times prove catastrophic.

I know of a construction project that required the use of a hired crane for which they were paying $15 000 per hour. Unfortunately the site where the construction was to take place was open without any
undergrowth vegetation, and it happened to rain just before construction could commence.
The engineers were forced to lay some several layers of rock on the ground so that it would be able to hold the crane. The loss was quite a lot, as the project hours for the day were extended for six to seven
hours, that means an extra $100 000 was spent.

The amount though huge, was far less than what would have been experienced if the crane had become wedged into the ground and had been stuck for two to three days as they search for another even larger
crane to pull the first one out.

So at times it may be necessary as we explained earlier to experience some losses in order to avert realizing an even greater loss later on.

Another approach that would also make sense if possible is to identify land that best suits your individual business. It is far easier to go into an environment that has already been altered and modified to suit the needs of your business.

In most cases, you find that there is considerably more expenditure on real estate areas on a continual cash flow basis on areas that have already been made suitable for the intended business, classified as
prime real estate areas, than what is spent on altering the state of the environment to suit the needs of the business.

When investing or in farming terms, sowing into your business, ensure that you make the land as fertile as possible. You can do this by creating sufficient and efficient support systems for the crops or
engines of the business to perform well.

For example in a law firm it would not make much sense to load a professional and exceptionally performing lawyer with tones of data entry work.
This job can easily be performed by another subordinate. If necessary where large volumes of work are involved a personal secretary may even be necessary.
You do not want a situation whereby every partner within the firm shares the same secretary and each one tries to prioritize their work.

It’s like several plants all fighting for the same nutrients, at the end of the day the plants will end up weak and produce very little output.

So such little support systems have to be put in place to ensure that efficient production takes place, though measures have to be put in place to ensure that the right resources are availed at the correct time. There is such a thing as over-fertilization, were too many resources are given to the employee
to such an extent that the firm begins to realize negative returns from the addition of further resources.
So you have to be careful that an optimal number of inputs are maintained at any one time.

“The Money Tree” : Land Preparation – Part 1

In any business, it is essential that you make sure that you do the ground work first before you begin to inject any of your seed.

Shoddy preperation, no matter how good the seed input and effort thereafter may rob you of the potential output from your input effort.

First impressions count.
The most important thing that you can have from a client is his confidence. Confidence in your ability to get… not just barely get the job done… but do it excellence, in a classy manner.

Confidence in your ability is the client retainer. Clients will come back for a second sale based on how impressed they are based not only on the work you have done but also the impression and perception they have of you.

It is this perception that markets you and extends your reach and influence.

On the other hand you should take note that you create an environment that suits the type of business. You have to, “dress the part, so to speak”.

There is absolutely no need to present an exterior that is clearly innappropriate for the job, for example going for an interview that seeks a proffessional plumber, gardener, landscaper or handyman putting on an expensive suit.

That is clearly not aligned with the job at hand, and if a suit sits well on you (like it does on me) you may have a difficult time convincing the interviewer that you are capable of getting the job done at all.

Appearances need to be appropriate for the job at hand, but then there is an added advantage for going the extra mile. For example a free lance photographer who shows up already in gear equipped with some cameras is at an adantage to one that just…. well for lack of a better word.. that just shows up.

The business premises reflect the characteristics of the culture and nature of the environment at the firm. In my gardening example, a farm that is producing crops in the middle of weeds, with stones dirt and garbage openly visible would greatly hamper the prospects of a potential supplying contract with a major buyer.

Likewise, the office environment speaks volumes about the attitude of the firm and its employees about its associated business. It is the responsibility of the principle promoter, that is the owner or manager of the business to ensure that the bar is set in terms of visible standards of organisation and seriousness.

A client walking into a building should not get lost! If the reception area is lost in a labyrinth of dark passages and corners, it is highly likely that you will lose more clients than those you gain.

I have been in situations where I end up knocking on the “Senior” Manager’s office, just to get directions to his receptionist, but that obvously defeats the very purpose of the system.

The layout of the firm is very essential if speedy and efficient execution of the work is to be done.

So a significant amount of time has to be spent in “clearing and preparing the land”, a well designed and good product may be discredited by the appearance that is displayed by ist handlers.

The environment has to be set up in a manner that allows for the free flow of information and the efficient transfer of goods and services.

In a set up where by production or manufacturing of the said product, it is advantageous to ensure that the client is kept as far away and as unaware of the hustle and bustle of activity.

I know of several people who just love to eat chicken meat but cant stand the sight of blood and would not want to be anywhere near a place were chickens are being slaughtered.

Thus it would be very unwise to have a butchery, were if one just peaks behind the counter, they can clearly see the slaughter house in full swing.

Creation and your ability

The manner of Gods’ creation is one which just boggles a typical person’s mind. Without a spiritual revelation Gods’ word remains a mystery to anyone that reads it (John 9:39).

For example, just look at the creation of man.
Now just to test your general knowledge, who was created first? Man or animals?

Honestly, without referring to your bible what do you think?
Now read Genesis 1:25-26.
Dont continue reading without reffering to your bible.
Now did the bible say a different thing from what you thought?
Well then, go to Genesis 2:7 & 19.

Now what do you think?
Confusion? Repetition? What then?
The response to that is i feel God telling me that the initial creation as in Genesis 1 was that of a declaration of faith and authority of the Lord.

As he declared unto us that the righteous shall live by faith. This is the very faith that the Lord shows us even from the begining of his very word. That as we declare things in our life, they are automatically created in the spiritual realm because we were made in his image. (Gen1:26 & Gen 2:7)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1). Man was already created but he was not manifested physically. The physical manifestation of man was to come at a later stage but the job of creation had already been done.

Now let us learn the lessons of creation and faith. God declared and spake the words and catalyst of creation, then he went out and performed the actions that were associated with the declaration that he had made. In this he gave us a classic example of how he expects us to behave and act out our faith. In the great book he says, “faith without works is dead”.(James 2:20&26)

Therefore we should also in our lives make the declaration of creation in faith through his name and go out and perform the actions that are associated with that.

Thus as we have God in us we are able to do his works as his Son Jesus Christ did as he had seen his father do and promised us that even greater works than those we would be able to do in his name.

The blind man in the book of John chapter is a classic example of the fact that whatever that you are born with or any situation that may besiege you is never meant to defeat you, but only to manifest the greatness of God’s power.

The mighty men that were under the charge of David in 2 Samuel 24 won many a battle in a supernatural manner taking on hundreds of soldiers and conquering them under the power of Christ who strengthened them (Philipians 4:13). And the victory was of the lord (2 Samuel 24:8-16).

So no matter how great the challenge may be that you are faced with, know only that the greater the challenge you are faced with, the greater the victory of the Lord and the greater the benefits that are going to come your way.

Can you imagine the distress that the blind man felt and the utter hopelessnes that he had, for before his time no man had ever been cured of blindness through either miracles or medically (John 9:32).

Here was a man who was faced with an impossible predicament, a challenge that had before that time never been known to be overcomable. And who would show him that nothing was impossible? None other than the lord unto whom glory is due.

Is there a situation or challenge that you are facing today that you feel that it is next to impossible to overcome? Well, guess what, that just gives God an opportunity to prove his omnipotence and you an opportunity to glorify his name as he clears the way of all challenges before you.