Growing a garden, like growing a business, feeds the soul.
Entrepreneurs are typically ‘A type’ personalities: intense, driven, perfectionists. They don’t take “no” for an answer and they push hard for their success. Sound familiar?
All that intensity, however, can be hard on the stress levels. Too much stress at work can lead to heart disease, gastrointestinal ailments, and personal stress at home. Finding a way to channel the stress and deal with it is vital. For some people, that’s yoga. Others prefer higher intensity sports, like squash. If mediation is your thing, go for it.
However, there are some really good reasons to consider a simpler activity, like gardening.
Gardening calms the mind
Working with your hands, particularly when the rest of your life turns in more cerebral circles, can be very calming. You focus on what you’re doing in the garden, digging in the dirt, planning your flower beds, setting up your veggie patch or simply weeding and raking in preparation for the winter season. This allows your mind to relax and wander.
Is it any wonder that some of the greatest entrepreneurs claim to get great ideas while they’re in the shower? It’s the same principle! Relax, keep your hands busy, and put yourself in a different environment.
Gardening fights the feeling of being cooped up
Particularly through the winter months, but all year around if you’re a busy entrepreneur, being cooped up indoors can take its toll. It saps your energy and momentum if you stay in one space too long. Changing your scenery is re-energizing and can help when your productivity stalls. There’s no better way to change your environment than to literally change your environment!
Whether that’s with some indoor container gardening or actually getting outside and working on a garden, you can boost those creative juices by getting your hands dirty!
Gardening helps defeat SAD
Even entrepreneurs are susceptible to SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder. In case you haven’t heard of it, SAD is a mood disorder associated with winter. The dark, drab days of winter can drag you down and give you a case of the winter blues.
In some people, it gets much more serious than that, but for most of us, it’s a question of spending some time in the great outdoors, enjoying sunlight, even if it is a little chilly! Gardening—whether in a greenhouse or an indoor container garden—can help offset those winter blues.
Gardening feeds the entrepreneurial spirit
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep. Gardening can help you break that pattern and rejuvenate your entrepreneurial spirit. The added bonus is that watching things grow from seed / seedling into actual plants is very similar to watching your business grow, except that it happens faster, leaving you with that satisfying feeling of accomplishment that you will eventually get out of your business as well. Gardening will feed that need to achieve in a positive, relaxing way.
Some tips if you’re just starting out with a gardening hobby:
- Don’t worry if you don’t have a natural green thumb—you weren’t born a gardener any more than you were born with all the skills necessary to be an entrepreneur. You were, however, born with the “can do” attitude that will lead you to success, in both business and your gardening. Leverage the tools that make it work for you. There are so many products that can make it easier. A great example is Rubber Mulch, a weather resistant, durable mulch that keeps your garden in great shape, as well as looking beautiful.
- Start with the right seeds—just as you would want to start with the right employees, tools or processes in your business, the seeds or seedlings are the basis for your gardening success. Look for plants that grow well within your gardening zone—any decent garden centre can help you with that!
- Start with a manageable project—perhaps a full scale redesign of your backyard isn’t realistic in the short term, so take a smaller step. Container gardening is a great way to get going. Grab a few large pots to grow everything from flowers, herbs or veggies. All you need is good gardening soil with compost, holes in the bottom of the pot or rocks filling the bottom to provide drainage, and your seedlings. Give your plants lots of sunshine on your deck or patio and plenty of water. Share with them your plans to grow your business: plants are avid listeners!
- If space is limited, consider herb gardening—If your space is confined to a garden that fits on a window sill or next to your back door, it’s great to have an herb garden so you’ll have fresh herbs readily available year round. All you’ll need is a few small pots, garden soil, and drainage inside the pots. Keep the plants watered and once established, snip the tops frequently to propagate growth. Herbs also freeze well to be used over the winter months. Simply dry the herbs and place in freezer bags or fill ice cube trays with herbs and olive oil.
Growing a business can be a grueling task; growing a garden can be your saving grace. Get your hands dirty and take a break from your everyday. You’ll be glad that you did!
Rhianna Miller is the Home & Garden Design Expert at RubberMulch. Rubber Mulch is the original and environmentally responsible mulch made from 100% recycled rubber used in gardens, playgrounds and sustainable landscaping. Rubber Mulch is weather resistant, durable, and the most cost effective mulch around. Homeowners especially love the fact that it is maintenance free, just put it down and forget about it.
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