It’s late April, and finally the leaves on the tree outside the window are starting to grow. The shoots have been there for 3 weeks now, but it seems like they’ve been sitting there forever, waiting for a burst of energy.
Today, however, it seems like that had a growth spurt overnight, and instead of bare branches I can now definitely say that there are leaves on that tree.
I live in the upper apartment of two, so the branches and green leaves are at eye level. I work from home, so I have my office in the part of the living room that was probably in the architect’s plans meant to be the dining area. I thought about using the spare room as my office, but it now serves a much more important function – that's my perspective at least. I’ve turned it into a meditation room. It’s a little oasis of calm, sparsely furnished with just a single bed for any visitors who do come to stay, a small table with a salt lamp and a couple of meditation cushions.
When I’m working, I love having something pleasant to look at rather than a blank wall, so my office takes up the space beside the corner window. From here I can see the street, the huge, old tree in the garden of the house in front and the side of Cave Hill, a local beauty spot. There are flaming patches of deep yellow gorse flowers at this time of year.
My neighbours joke that I am an air-traffic controller, perched at my desk. No one gets in or out without me knowing about it! I can keep an eye on all the comings and going of the people of the street.
On weekdays, I can set my clock to them. A group of mothers walk their children to school before 9am, lighter on their return having deposited them at the classroom door. And there they go again at 2.45pm to collect their brood – is it that time already?! It’s an accurate gauge that I use to measure if I'm keeping up with my plan of work for the day or running behind schedule.
Over the last few years, I've seen the infants outgrow their buggies and develop into big and strong, tall and proud 4 year olds who trot along beside their mother to the school gates and back again. (One cute little blonde girl had no choice in the matter and was ousted prematurely from her buggy by a new addition to the family.)
The signs of growth are all around, no doubt about it. They are barely perceptible from day to day, but over weeks and months the changes and developments are obvious.
The same can be said for business growth. Success doesn’t just happen over night. It takes time – at least that's what any successful business owner I’ve spoken to has to say. Olympic athletes didn't just wake up one day and discover that suddenly they are best in the world. They put in long hours of training over many, many years and make sacrifices in order to reach excellence.
Why should it be any different in business? It takes time to grow and to mature. All the parts need to be in the right place. Even if it were somehow possible for the leaves on the trees to appear in January rather than late April, I wonder how long they would survive in the cold and frost.
So take heart, my friend. The results of your consistent, daily effort with burst forth. And success will taste all the more sweet for it.
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