If you've ever started a strawberry patch, you would know that it takes up to three years before you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
I planted a strawberry patch when I was in middle school. Sadly, we moved from my childhood home less then three years later. I felt a great sense of loss and disappointment at not getting to enjoy the vine ripe, fresh strawberries I worked hard to cultivate.
But, that's what we needed to do, so I packed my belongings and settled for store bought strawberries.
Growing a business is usually a slower process than most people realize. We think we are going to be bumping out loads of strawberry rhubarb pies in the first season. Only to realize, it doesn't work that way.
This reality can be difficult to swallow. Not only is it a blow to one's ego - it's easier to assume we did something wrong than to consider the fact that maybe we just need more time! It also hurts our piggie banks - sometimes to a devastating degree.
At which point one must decide, do we continue on or get a job?
The emotional roller coaster of entrepreneurship is no joke. Money isn't the only reason people quit. The stress, and demands can be extremely taxing. If one isn't resourced adequately for dealing with the ups and downs, continuing on isn't a viable option.
Worn out, exhausted and demoralized, there've been points in my own journey where I've pondered, "should I just apply for a job?" I never let myself make that decision when I'm down and out, instead I rest. My resume remains out of date as the pull of my own entrepreneurial endeavors continues to remain more fulfilling than the alternative.
Here I am, a dozen years after quitting my full time job to start Rosabella Consulting. This journey is nothing at all like I had envisioned it would be.
I pivoted my services before I even launched. I've written over 400 blog posts and published a book. I have learned to love administrative tasks like invoicing - how else will I get paid. I have approximately 90 gigabytes of other content I have created for client work and programs like EntrepreNerds.
I'm not the best at sticking with repetitive tasks. I'm easily swayed by exciting new ideas. And I have had to quail the east coaster within me, learning to slow down in order to speed up.
For twelve years now, I've been figuring out how to stay the course. Learning how to be focused and persistent so I am able iterate in a more realistic timeframe. As in, not striving for immediate results, then doing a 180 when things don't pan out exactly like I hoped they would the very next day (ok, I'm being dramatic but you get the point).
After all, just because strawberry plants don't produce fruit right away doesn't mean you abandon tending to them or plant something else in their place. Instead you fertilize, water and winterize them, trusting that in time you'll pick enough ripe berries to enjoy for dessert with your family.
Slow and steady. Diligently and with an open mind, I've been focusing my efforts on building the Co-Creating Retreat Experiences program for the last year. I absolutely love facilitating retreats and creating conditions for collaborative conversations. It's invigorating to see the progress teams have made as a result of their investments in working with me.
And, it's just another beginning. In January, a door opened to me. I've been working on an exciting new opportunity for Rosabella Consulting that's about to be announced. It's the kind of thing I've dreamed about for years, only it's even better than I imagined.
Keep your eyes out, I'll be sharing more soon.
In the meantime, if you've got a retreat coming up and want help, let's talk! I have a few spots available for facilitation work that'll get your team talking and following-thru like never before.