Recently, I had the pleasure of picking pears at the LDS Pear Farm. The light passed through green leaves in the morning light, and it seemed a green glow surrounded the trees. We worked quickly, trying to fill as many bins as possible (the pears go to an LDS cannery from which they get distributed freely to needy people throughout the world). It is a bit tricky to find some of those pears, because they are hiding in and under the leaves. But even a novice can fill many containers quickly when there’s a plentiful harvest. The big aha for me: sometimes when I would reach for a pear, I had two pears sharing a stem. At first I randomly selected which of the two pears to pick–whichever one I reached first. If I chose the smaller of the two the larger one sometimes fell to the ground, making it unusable. (Once on the ground, pears cannot go to the cannery.) Faced with a choice, I trained myself to pick the biggest, most plump pear. If I could only have one, I wanted it to be the biggest pear. If I had to sacrifice a smaller one, so be it. So I learned to get the most pears possible–or have success–I had to reach for the biggest one.
With all the reaching, bending, twisting and heavy lifting I did that day, my shoulders and back were sore the next day! Whenever I used those muscles over the next few days, I definitely remembered picking pears. My effort caused some pain, yes, but the success and sense of accomplishment was well worth the effort.
This has application in life and business. They say it’s better to aim for the stars and miss than aim for the mud and hit. I aimed for the biggest, best pear, and I need to do that in business too in order to be a success. It’s easy to say, I’m not ready for that market yet, I’ll stay in this smaller, comfortable one, serving the same kind of clients I have been for years. I recently had a conversation with Barbara Hemphill, an organizer I respect greatly. She advised me to decide on the direction I wanted my business to go and focus all my advertising, networking and budget there. Otherwise, she argued, I am really trying to promote two services and my resources are divided. In order to follow her wise words, I would need to let go of marketing for home organizing. That is a scary move because right now a large percentage of my business comes from homeowners. So in order to grow in the direction I see Efficient Spaces going, I have to sacrifice some comfort by seeking out larger companies.
Reaching for success is just like reaching for the best pear. You have to look for the opportunity, sometimes looking underneath the leaves, at all the possibilities. You also have to want it. You need to be ready to sacrifice, even go through some discomfort or growing pains in the process. Ask yourself why you are reaching for that pear, that goal. Why is it important to you? What is your motivation?
My motivation for getting a multitude of pears was to serve others, to give a hand up from unemployment or poverty. My Number 1 motivation for Efficient Spaces’ success is to make my clients’ business more productive and profitable by sharing my unique spacial and time management skills.
Success: Are you willing to reach for it even if you have to stretch to get it? What is your next step to take your business to a higher level?