How the hell, one might say, Zen relates to a business start-up?
To start with, Zen gives a way, which focuses upon direct experience rather than theoretical knowledge. So, out goes the argument that prescribes an MBA to start your business. We have a level playing field- as long as you are willing to learn.
In this article series I would present small practical ‘taken for granted’ ideas to supercharge your business start-up process. Wait till the end to grab the ’sutra’.
I was once given responsibility to water plants in my dad’s garden. It had to be daily, twice a day. Most plants were nearly dead. Two of them caught my attention. One was a three feet stump rooted in dry mud. Another was an empty pot, half-filled with damp soil. I saw no reason to water them. But orders were orders. Every day I indulged in this seemingly pointless exercise. ‘All they need is daily water’, my dad stressed repeatedly.
It’s a pain to do something you believe is useless and yields no obvious results. Somehow I started to think that my dad wanted me to do this just to keep me busy. I carried on, howsoever reluctantly. Every morning as a religion just before my breakfast, and, every night before my dinner I watered the dead plants. A few weeks passed.
Then something amazing happened. I started to enjoy the activity slightly. By now, I had stopped worrying whether watering would actually help the plants. I was just performing something without expectations. Because the task started to become a chore, I somehow had to learn to enjoy it. And lo! It was like meditation. Twice a day I was enjoying something with no worries about results. Think about it, how many such activities we do normally? I thought hard, but found none. Everything we do has an attached expectation.
Brand New Life
Then, one fine morning the empty pot had a sapling. A brand new life was sprouting out of, what I considered to be, a bottomless pit that had been soaking all the water. The dry stump too showed signs of green growth. Suddenly, the whole garden looked alive in that moment of astonishment. Hard work paid off. Did I worry about this all that while?
Your small business also needs constant watering. Every day. Find out what constitutes ‘watering’ for your business. Is it daily networking? Or, honing your core skills? Or, seeking and learning ways of marketing? Although watering is directly related to growth, you would find myriads of activities in your business, which are not directly related to results. For example, learning some html if you have a web-based business. The knowledge of HTML wouldn’t come handy straightaway, or, may be never as you can’t be proficient enough. That doesn’t mean you don’t sharpen this skill. Remember, I had dead plants to water. Find out activities that you believe are essential to your start-up. They might not come into play right now, but remember that you need them in the long run. Do them as a religion. Enjoy them. You would soon find growth popping out of a seemingly dead well.
This article was kindly donated by Hersh Bhardwaj. You can find out more about Hersh’s work here.