Ever feel like you’re the one “making” your business grow? Pushing, doing, making it all happen at your desk, on your computer, at the meetings. It’s just you, pushing that rock up the mountain where your goals live.

Sometimes we’re so busy pushing for what we want (the traditional business model) we forget that business, like everything else, is part of Nature, so of course the same principles apply.

What if we remember that we can actually create what we want by working WITH the most powerful forces on the planet instead of pushing against those forces with the power of our wills? Now wouldn’t that be easier?

Lessons about life, including business are everywhere in nature. Let’s look at one.

It all Starts with the Soil

For most people organic farming means growing without the use of chemicals. But it’s much more than that. Did you know that organically-grown produce can have twice to ten times more nutrition than conventionally grown produce?

The reason organic food has a higher mineral content comes down to the soil it’s grown in. Organic farmers use natural fertilizers that rejuvenate and develop the soil. They know that the long-term fertility of the soil is critical to the health of the plant.

Faking it

Now, we also know that you can artificially pump up the growth process. I just ate a piece of fruit that looked like an apple and tasted like an apple (well, sort of) but I noticed it just didn’t have the same depth of flavor and vitality that the apples from the tree in my yard have after that first cold snap in September.

I think that’s because it was grown in depleted soil, chemically fertilized to grow fast, designed to ship well and look good arranged in a giant, shiny pyramid (oh wait, that’s the wax), harvested last fall, and gassed to retard spoilage.

No offense to the apple that’s now in my belly, I could survive on it, but you know what I mean. There’s just something, well, artificial about it.

In the drive for profit, we’ve been pushing nature to be more “productive” and we’ve created some mighty big imbalances in the process. Faking it just doesn’t work in the long run.

Back to Business

So remembering that all-important soil, which model for growth are you using in your business?



Rejuvenate and develop the soil for the long term (foundation)Deplete the soil, but use short-term methods to stimulate growth
Tastes good (actual quality)Looks good (perceived quality)
SustainableRelies on non-renewable resources
Work with cyclesManipulate cycles
More nutrition (the actual benefit, the real, juicy stuff that you promise your customer)Less nutrition (pumped up perception of value)

Composting – or something to try at home

Where is your business depleted? Where are YOU depleted? What can you put into your business or yourself today to rejuvenate the soil, the living, vital foundation for your growth?

From the ground up, how can you make your products/services more real, more authentically satisfying to your customers? And maybe crunch on an Organic apple while you’re thinking about that.

Sylvia Nibley has been coaching entrepreneurs for 28 years and is the creator of the well-loved GROW Your Business Organically program.