The act of gardening, provides you with an ample of time to observe, think and ponder.
Here are some of my experiences, which I believe can be applied to life, investing, everyday business and even building a effective nation/state.
Trial and error is good. But it always helps to do a little bit of research/planning up front, before you dive feet first into anything. The amount of planning put in place is inversely proportional to the level and probability of loss
As with everything in life, you need a framework for what you are trying to accomplish. Without going into too much details and using a relevant example. I had a small plot in the backyard where I ended up growing pretty much everything I wanted to grow. Now, the tomato and zucchini plants grew. No, I mean they really grew. Literally overshadowing the other plants and stunting their growth. Something that could have been avoided with adequate planning/research and having a framework in place of what exactly I wanted and how I was going to “scale for growth”
3- Diversity is good
I was amazed to see the different kinds of creatures that each one of the plants would attract. The raspberries would attract these beautiful Japanese beetles of different colors and hue. Where as the sunflower attracts the bumble bees, honey bees, ants and some other exotic creatures that I have been unable to identify. Then there were so many other creatures that each one of the plants attracted. They didn’t destroy a significant chunk of the crop, so I let them be. Earwigs, I don’t fancy…but then again…who does. Then the flowers would attract more of the bees, so that was good for my vegetables. And finally having a combination of these plants in one tiny plot meant, that the weren’t sucking up one particular nutrient off the ground as opposed to the other. So you can apply this principle in so many different ways. From investing, to hiring workforce, to even things like urban planning. Relating to urban planning, author Richard Florida makes a very convincing case for diversity of all types in his writings and how it is crucial for the economic well-being of any community/city/state
4- Vision and Direction
Wow, again this can be applied so many different ways. In my garden I had to direct the plants to grow a certain way. My goal was to get the best ROI, even though I had limited space to grow. Since the zucchini plants would not stop sprawling, I had no option but to run a separator so they wouldn’t run over the herbs and other plants. The tomato plants required stakes and cages for their upright growth. The cucumber plants wouldn’t stop sprawling, however their growth was easily directed by guiding and criss-crossing them over a wooden bracket fence. Worked like a charm. The Sunflowers were huge. bright and magnificent. However they required stakes from the get go as they couldn’t sustain their own weight. Also, it’s usually true for almost everything in life…but an over encompassing strategy doesn’t work that effectively in “all” circumstances. You have to tweak and fine-tune each event, instance in order to get the best ROI for your time and effort. It’s more work, but the returns make it well worth the effort.
I follow a similar strategy with my investments. Having money sitting in GICs and savings account just doesn’t cut it for me. So the investments have to be cared for, moved and monitored periodically. I’d say the same goes for your workforce, if you are running an Enterprise, a business or even an entire country. Set the vision, sell it, provide a framework for growth, direct the growth where required but don’t overdo it.
5- Start early
Here in Canada, that means starting mid to late April when there is still frost…maybe even some snow on the ground. For me, this meant I had to move the seedlings indoor each and every afternoon. And then place them outside every single morning, for the tiny seedlings to get the nourishment they needed from the sun. I did this everyday for weeks on end. A trip over the weekend meant that I lug the seedlings with me whereever I’d go. I didn’t mind. The returns were fantastic and that made it all worth it! This summer I am investing in a make-shift greenhouse
From an investing perspective, I cannot overstate the importance of starting early. If you are in your teens/early 20′s and you are reading this. Then “save your money”. Do not give in to peer pressure and dump money on the latest gadgetry and going out most weeknights/weekdays. It is absolutely crucial to have a “nest egg” in order to get a head start for your investments. Also, in the absence of doing so you will not be able to leverage the cyclical compounding interest on your investments. Meaning, that you will probably end up poor for life.
Businesses of all kinds, need to be on the watch for rising trends across the different landscapes (SWOT analysis). Refer to my social, mobile, local post for an example. On a nation/state level, I’d like to cite the example of South Korea and all the amazing companies and products that have popped out of such a tiny nation. Plus the country is digitally wired/connected with an infrastructure that leaves the competition far far behind. Watch out for some interesting breakthroughs coming out of Korea to that effect. Perhaps, even entire virtual reality landscapes that mimic the “real world”. The possibilities are endless when you create a world class playground. Naturally, innovation and prosperity follow through.
6- Monitor and care
I don’t think I have to elaborate much here. But I’d like to mention that there is perhaps no such thing as a “green thumb”. It has more to do with education, the actual environment and the materials being used.
Conversely, if you do not care about your money or your business. Then nobody else will
“Life’s a garden. Dig it!” - Joe Dirt