Much of your youth and young adulthood is spent planting, watering, and weeding your garden. You are looking forward. You envision the harvest, but it’s cloudy, rainy and unclear. Yet you plow on and work on. You refuse to give up hope. When you finally make it to harvest time – you have no choice but to have the yield of the crop, no matter what was done in your younger years. Looking back can be wonderful, dangerous, delightful and sad. You can be filled with thankfulness for various decisions you have made, or regretful for times where you decided not to water your crop, or tend to the weeds. It’s all, at the end, about the crop. And the crop depends on many things. But more than anything it depends on the tending of the farmer.
This is often very similar to how it is building a business. You can be wide eyed – and fearless in your early years. Seem to face clouds and doubt as time goes on, and then in the later years able to see what the efforts of your toil returns.
I personally wish I could look back and have great pride in every decision, but I cannot. I wish my crop, this fall would be abundant but as I see it coming in sometimes I have regret. I recall times where I failed with employees, failed on decisions, failed on direction. And as we head into this autumn of this companies growth, I look in great anticipation as to what the efforts will have yielded. It’s too early to tell, but I will have invested all I could, engaged at every turn (good or bad, I was engaged), and done right as much as I know how for my team and my cause.
As I write this, we have been issued some game changing patents. We have hired on a full executive team of people much more talented than me in many respects. We have launched some really cool products and I’d argue we have made a difference. We will be missed if we were gone. And so, as we head into the time of harvest – I reflect on decisions we made good and bad and I wait anxiously on the results.