“I would not be a successful entrepreneur today if it wasn’t for the Dream Factory and the encouragement and support. The truly amazing, diverse programs and networking events has us all movin and shakin.”
Julie Remele, Transforming Spaces

Gardening and Business: Very Similar

By: Nancy Cantor

July 3, 2020

During the past couple of months of the pandemic, the scope of my world has changed. No longer driving to networking meetings or to client’s locations, I spend my time at home.

As a Business Dev’t Consultant and founder of the Dream Factory Community for women solo-entrepreneurs, I quickly moved all my business events and client meetings online over Zoom. Here are my online virtual backgrounds that I use when I am leading programs.

Even though I am my home, I am expanding my business, developing new offerings and networking opportunities. I am speaking nationally, and networking beyond my usual scope. When I am not busy marketing, or taking care of clients, I spend time attending to my flower gardens on my near-acre property and my vegetable garden at Ashland Community Gardens.  Balancing work and gardening is a great opportunity to have insights that apply to both.

In my gardens, there are many perennials that come back every year.  Some have grown, or changed the scope of their territory.  Not all of them come back, but I focus on the ones that do.  It is so interesting to see how they are doing. Some years the Rhododendron bloom prolifically and other years they don’t.  Every year, I introduce new plants to my gardens.

It is similar to client care and acquisition.  I do everything to attract new clients, take care of them and watch them grow.  In the Dream Factory Community we have a community, maybe like a garden, where they are planted. I spend my time cultivating and fertilizing by delivering new opportunities so that members of the community can benefit.

My clients include private coaching clients and Dream Factory Community members.  They are all so different but there are needs they all have.  Flowers need to be planted in right place with appropriate soil, water, ample light, and room to grow.  Clients need similar things.

When in-person events and programs were not possible we moved everything online. So far the Dream Factory Community has had 3 luncheons, a breakfast, and a conference.  I enjoy working and creating with my members who are the featured speakers at these events.

As with any public speaking, these Dream Factory Community presentations are opportunities to make a contribution and attract potential clients and referrals. Just like a flower show, I take ample time making sure they do a great job when they present.  Since I have more time (not driving to and from meetings and attending events) I am investing my extra time in my clients.

As money and time are the lifeblood of a business; in a garden, water, sun and periodic time spent on the right things create a thriving climate. Because of my commitment to my clients moving forward, there are new ideas to plant and water.  I visit my vegetable and flower garden every day to do the same.

In the Dream Factory Community, we are adding weekly check-ins, and a anti-sabotage team who will help members if they get stuck.  I love that these ideas were championed by members who wanted these programs for themselves and others. Once the idea was brought to light, I worked with them to plan out the delivery.  It is a wonderful process of co-creating programs that benefit the community by adding new support structures run by members.

I love having natural gardens that provide a beautiful landscape without intensive upkeep. My front yard is a meadow of Black-eyed Susans, Blue Flag Irises, Daylilies, Lily of the Valley that continue to expand.  They really have their own ideas of where to go and I delight at their decisions every year.

Since I have bittersweet which is an invasive weed, I am very proactive in pulling it regularly.  Flowers, business owners, and dream creators, all need room to grow. Negative thoughts, time disorganization, lack of communication, leadership and support can get in the way of them getting what is essential for them to thrive. Weeding is essential for the right aspects to prevail.

As I go back and forth between gardening and business, I can see that what is true in gardening is true in business.  It is a creative progress that honors the organic nature of people, vegetables, and flowers. Care for them, give them space, and continue to be interested in how they are doing.  Daily, weekly, or monthly, we all do better when someone is looking out for us.

If you could use some looking after, contact me or attend one of our events.

Nancy Cantor
nancy@cantorconsulting.com
774-248-4593
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