It takes 100 years to grow a mighty oak tree. It takes about six weeks to grow a garden squash.

Are you dreaming of being a mighty oak tree but only putting in the effort it takes to grow a garden squash?

We’re an impatient lot, aren’t we?  We have this grand idea of success and once we decided we want to achieve something, we wonder why it hasn’t happened already. How many of you have started a new diet to lose 20 pounds and two days after you start eating healthy and working out, you step on the scale and wonder why the number looking back at you is exactly the same as it was two days ago.  Or you have a website built and start blogging … only to wonder why a week later you’ve only had three people visit the site and one of those visitors is your mom.

How does an oak tree grow to be the mightiest tree in the forest?

How does it grow tall and strong and beautiful? Inch by tiny inch. It grows by doing what oak trees do every day, day in and day out. It stands strong every day and reaches for the sunshine, it takes in nutrition through it’s roots and stretches itself higher toward the heavens so it will grow tall. It bends with the wind. It first accepts a tiny bird on its limbs, then a slightly heavier squirrel, then a raccoon. Soon it’ll be strong enough to accept a child climbing from limb to limb or even strong enough to accept a tree fort being built in its canopy. It grows. It strengthens. It adapts to the changing elements and accepts greater and more challenging demands.

Day after day. Season after season. Year after year. It grows. It works hard to stay healthy and grow stronger and taller and more resilient in the face of Mother Nature. It provides shelter to forest animals, it cleans the air with it’s beautiful leaves, and it provides a place to play for kids. If a lumberjack decides to chop down the tree, it would provide wood for building many houses or pieces of furniture, or it would keep dozens of families warm from the heat of a fireplace. The value of the tree is immense because it spent many long years growing and becoming strong enough to be called Mighty.

How does a squash grow? Pretty much the same way. Seeking the sun, spreading its vines and finding nutritious soil that will feed it’s roots. It’s a short life and the squash is ready for harvest in about six weeks. Squash is delicious and will feed its family well for a meal or maybe two. There’s nothing wrong with squash. It’s delicious and a great healthy food choice. But it only lasts for a season and then it’s gone.

Is your business a mighty oak or a garden squash?  

Or better yet… what do you want your business to become over time? What are the goals you want to achieve? You can’t expect your business to grow mighty like the great oak tree if you’re only putting in the effort and time that it takes to grow a garden squash. Show up every day. Do the work it takes to grow and thrive. Be patient. Work hard. Reach for the sunshine and spread your limbs to accept all that the universe has to offer you… and your business.