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Deb Neuman Deb Neuman
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Weed out the bad

July 18, 2012
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I got a little carried away planting my garden this summer. I have flowers in beds, hanging baskets and clay pots. Lots of flowers. Now that the heat of the summer is upon us, some of them are not doing well and need to be pulled out. It kills me to pull out a plant and toss it away, especially after all that time I spent planning where to plant it, watering, fertilizing and nurturing it. Still, after all that TLC some plants are dead or dying. This leaves me with the choice to pull out the dying plants and let them go or try to bring them back to life. This is not unlike many of the tough the decisions we have to make in our lives and our businesses.

When we start a business, for example, we plan our strategy, we invest our time and resources and we plant our seeds. We nurture our business along, giving it everything we've got to make it grow and bloom and flourish. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. But more than likely some aspects of your business are working well and others not so much. Like plants that don't make it through the season, the reasons parts of your business fail are likely varied. Plants may fail due to a poor location (too much sun), poor soil or an insect invasion. Parts of your business may fail due to not understanding the needs of your customer, not pricing your product or service correctly or overextending yourself to the point that you can't do anything particularly well. Weather is a factor that can impact both your plants and your business especially if you are operating a seasonal business.

The key to long term success in your garden and your business is to recognize what is not working as early as possible and make adjustments. Before I ripped out the dead plants, I tried relocating them to a different location to change the amount of sun they received. I fertilized and gave them ample water. Then I gave them some time to recover. Some did others did not. When you recognize that something is not going right in your business (or your life for that matter), take action! Take the steps necessary to turn things around. After that, if it's still not working get rid of it. Cut out what is not working in your garden, your business and your life. If you don't, you risk the bad taking over the good.

It's hard for me to pull out the dead annuals that I spent time and money on. But after trying to nurture them back to life without success, I decided the time had come to cut out and remove what wasn't working anymore. The end result is a more beautiful and lush garden, as the good plants have been given extra space to grow and to thrive. So whether it's your garden, business or life, take a lesson from mine: If you weed out the bad and let it go, you'll make more room for the good to grow, and you'll achieve beautiful success!

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