I watch a limb from a bush beaten with the rain, bowing with the weather. Dipping in the wind, yet it comes back to its right position. There is bird crap on one leaf and there looks like a leaf has some rust, or decrease on another. Yet I listen, to just the rain… as it hits the leaves, soft and strong all at the same time, watching, all the time this dance of the earth.
This alone reminds me of business, dipping in the wind, yet resilient. Business is slow, or it is so fast that we try to keep up, and yet life, continues to move forward. There are weeds that are so stubborn, you can spray them with roundup and somehow, in some craziness, they spring up on the other side of the concrete as if to say, “In your face, I will survive.” I see unwanted “greenery”, in business, those who say yeah I need your services, yet ever never really make the call to you. People who would rather trash your business, or your reputation, than give you credit for your years of service, experience, or business, than admit they have little or no experience at all. Or just people who can’t stand your success. Crazy as it sounds; there are people who internally cannot embrace that you are surviving without them. Those people are weeds! Spray them, pull them, hoe them, but at all means, get them out of your mind! Without them, you will be a better man, a better business owner a better spouse, parent or entrepreneur! We can’t eliminate everyone that crosses us, but we can limit and set boundaries to those who are continually negative and hateful to us our relationships, & businesses.
The crap you never saw coming on your way in business is someone comments posted about how rude you were to your customers, or how you took business more serious than you do family. Yet, your reputation as the officer at the helm, the father of this family or the woman at the hub of their lives doesn’t depend on that heat that you hear. I cannot imagine the comments that you hear i.e., the crap on the leaf. You know as well as I do, the rain will eventually wash it off, but for now, it is ugly and we don’t want to touch it!
I had one weekend a few years ago that I had three, complaints from clients, not to mention the “firing” that was coming down the pikes, which I never enjoy. The short story was, “there is crap on your leaf” The long story was, I had an employee that could not spell to save her life, so when she labeled anything, it was misspelled. She unorganized more than she organized, and frankly told me if “you don’t like it; put your big girl’s panties on and fire me.” She labeled some containers wrong and was too proud to admit it, which is undesirable, but as it is, we have every available technological resource at our fingertip, the mistake was so very fixable that before a client had to say anything, it should have been repaired. Without a moment’s delay of when I became aware of the situation, it was repaired, up and issues were addressed. But that doesn’t mean crap doesn’t happen.
As I listen to this rain beating and tormenting the limbs, I know that this alone brings strength. How is it that a plant takes a beating from a hail & rain storm, and grows out of it stronger than before… where does that make sense? Yet I see how the resistance makes it come back up, again and again, to say, “This storm will not keep me down and I will not be broken.” Then it reaches for the sun, this one little limb; that seems such a tiny little part of this big plant, reaches new heights stronger than ever. It takes strength, to not be broken. It takes patience to make your spirit wait. To survive the storms in business and wait through the difficulties, takes strength.
For many of you, your business is your baby. You thought of the idea, you helped it grow and have made it more by the grace of God than you ever could have imagined on the first thought. To leave “this baby” to chance that someone gives it a bad recommendation or word of mouth is like spitting in your face. In short, you’re not having it! Be patient, & be calm and know that being emotional and retaliating only will compound the problem. Give it time and think through the problem. Admit and apologize when you are wrong, publicly if you must, but do so to move on, and let go of the bitterness that will otherwise set in.
The wind and rain comes, but know it builds a deeper root in our business and our character. Look past the storm that you are in right now, and learn something from it, I am certain it has purpose.