Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Resolutions: 7 lessons from the farmer to make them stick

By Virginia Mburu
Remember Mwakazi….?

He is the Passionate Entrepreneur and owner of Makao Interior Designers.  What about his  wife Pendo, son Jabali and daughter Waridi?

During the Christmas holidays, they took a vacation for a well-deserved rest. The last time we met him, he was reviewing some motivation lessons he had learned the previous weekend. Now we meet the family holding a kamukunji (meeting).

Waridi, “Have you made some new year resolutions?” Mwakazi asks.  Waridi looks confused. “What are resolutions?”, Waridi asks. “Jabali, can you explain what a resolution is” asks Mwakazi looking at Jabali expectantly. “It is…eh eh eh, it is deciding to start or stop doing something."
  
“Great”….Pendo jets in… “That’s my boy”.  Now that you know what a resolution is, what  is your resolution,  Waridi?” Mwakazi asks. Waridi is now excited. “I want to improve my science grades”. Pendo joins in and asks, 
“Good, but tell us why”. “Because I want to be a doctor when I grow up.”, Waridi replies.

Mwakazi  interrupts, ‘Wow, you got it right there Pendo, when setting resolutions, one  must make sure  they get to the  basic reason why they need to make a change or start on something new.” 

What is personally motivating the change? This is what will keep you pushing on long after others  have given up. You also need to set a structure and system that will support the new resolution.

Furthermore, you do not have to wait for January 1st to make resolutions. You can make them any time a change is required.

Pendo interjects, “Yes,you sure need to actively support the achievement of the resolutions. That reminds me of this verse in Matthew 12: 33-"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” 

Jabali jumps up, “I will increase my football practice  because I want to be  the striker in my favourite club - Arsenal. And Dad, can you please enroll me in the newly established Makinika Football Academy?”  

“Hold it there Jabali”, Said Mwakazi. “Let us first see what we can learn from the verse Mum talked about. Let us brainstorm how we can  “make” our trees (resolutions)  and fruits (outcomes) good.

It seems that we largely determine the  fruit we  are going to harvest- the good, the  bad and the ugly- "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad.” 

Mind you, we  will all recognize what effort you applied to the outcome- “for  a tree is recognized by its fruits””

By the end of the session, they came up with the following steps to ensure a bounty harvest and enjoyment of  the most succulent healthy fruits.

Lesson 1…..Make the  environment good

How many palm trees are found growing in a cold place such as Limuru and   who has sighted a tea plantation close to our lovely beaches?  You may call it climate or environment or whatever. 

What matters is that the environment you are planting your resolutions in must be “right”. Have you had a close look at your ‘mind’ environment- Is it supporting or sabotaging your resolution?  

What about the ‘habit’ environment or the “physical” environment? Now think of this exciting ‘earn more money’ resolution yet you maintain the same old time wasters in your day plan? What outcome do you expect?  

Now let’s get to the actual spot where you will plant the tree. Whereas the general environment is good, the spot you plant may lack in sunshine. 

They say that fruit trees needs six hours of sun a day when it is growing.  Have you chosen the spot in which you can have your ‘six hour of sun’ per day and gloriously shine?  

Now that you have a ‘shiny spot’, you dare not forget that you need to space your trees. Yes- avoid chasing too many resolutions at the same time- prioritise and space them. 

Have you observed what happens when plants are planted too close? You may have to actually break down your main goal into smaller goals that can be easily and quickly achieved in succession all leading to the main goal. 

Lesson 2…..Make the seeds good

Select seed varieties that are good for your environment. Are you growing Katumani maize seed for low rainfall or the hybrids for the high rainfall areas? 

Is that new product/ service/ idea right for the environment (market/customer)? Have you done enough surveys to ensure fit? 

Once you ascertain the seed variety and environment match, now make the quality and quantity of seed good. Is the new product/ service/idea meeting the customer needs? Will it produce enough fruit for the market? 

Lesson 3….. Dig up and mix the soils

Which plants do better-the ones where a tractor dug up the soil or those planted where one dug up with a panga? 

Just as plants need a well-drained soil, so does the soils you plant your resolutions in. Have you “dug up” enough due diligence as to what it entails to succeed in that area? 

Lesson 4…..Water and feed the soils

Younger plants need more water than those that are mature as they are yet to develop extensive root systems. So will the resolution- it will need more effort time, resources etc. as you start. 

And please don’t forget to apply some mulching to conserve moisture. By the way, did you add the right fertilizer at the right time to ensure consistent growth of your resolution?  A refresher course, a new skill, a coach, a mentor, a reminder system such daily reviews, post its, etc. 

Have a   brainstorming session to identify all the waters and fertilizers necessary and apply them early- Remember you train a tree when its young! 

Lesson 5…..Tree pruning, thinning and weeding

Farmers know this too well. You have to do away with the weaker plants to give way for the stronger plants. Could some of those resolutions give way to others that have more impact?  

While at it, you may find that those left after thinning start growing some unnecessary/weak branches. Other branches may get damaged or even die off which follows that you need to constantly prune. 

Which branches of your resolutions are no longer helpful in the production of a good fruit? Prune them!  

What about those  weeds that  you did not plant but they will infiltrate your well drained, watered and fertilized soil whether you like it or not? Time to do away with all extras that do not support the production of the desired good fruit!  

Lesson 6…..Insect, pest and disease control 

Think of the diseases, pests and insects that damage the plant or the fruits. Now consider the attitude, habit, culture, system etc. diseases that compromise our resolutions.  

And the pests like theft, returns etc.   that eat into the fruits? What insecticides (systems and structures) do we apply to protect the already good fruits? 

Lesson 7…..Fruit thinning

You may have observed that trees have a natural process of fruit thinning. Immediately after flowering when fruits start growing, you are likely to observe that the tree sheds off quite a number of fruits. 

Some farmers go a step further and actually thin the fruits manually. What about you? The tree has now matured and produced many fruits. 

The question is- should all of them be allowed to grow and if so, will they all grow to be “good and sizable” fruits or should you do away with some and leave those that the resources at hand can support?  

Over to you Passionate Entrepreneur; 
  • Do you have the “WHYS” behind your resolutions?
  • What systems and structures have you put in place to ensure a bounty harvest of “good” fruits?”

Share your experiences, suggestions or questions in the comments section below. Who knows- You could probably be the customer who will benefit from the “GOOD FRUIT”!

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.

Update


 Virginia Mburu
The Work Less, Make  more Money Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach

Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.    Download some ofher gifts- absolutely free lessons on www.biasharacoach.com