Illustration: Jillian Ditner
Coffee Cup Chats was a weekly column I used to write about being a self employed creative and when I stopped writing it I got a lot of requests to bring it back. So guess what? It's back! Grab your coffee or tea and let's show Monday who's boss. I thought this topic was especially timely with all the kids going back to school. Seasons changing, it's time to re-evaluate. Let's dive in....
Pruning: the practice that entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants.
Oh pruning. It's such a chore if you're the gardener and it's a literal pain if your the plant. For the sake of this coffee cup chats metaphor, you happen to be both the farmer and the plant so it double sucks as far as your concerned. Sorry.
Think of your business (or your life) as an apple tree (or a... what is the flower in that illustration? A Hydrangea bush?). Lovely leaves and strong branches connected to the core of your purpose and your dreams. They shoot out in various directions. Each year you wait for the crop of apples to come (dreams, cash flow, free time, success... what is your apple?) and this last year you noticed that while some branches produced juicy goodness, other's came up dry. And while those branches may have taken a while to grow, while they may appear strong, the truth of the matter is, they've gotta go.
You've got to be ruthless and skilled. TARGETED. A bad ass narrow-eyed ninja of dream growing potential. Focus, friend, and snip snip snip.
What freedom there is in getting rid of the excess? Think: spring cleaning. Think: a really great trim at the salon. Think: shedding those last 10 pounds. That stuff is holding you back. And while sometimes it is hard to think of cutting it off, the truth of the matter is that your survival (and fruit bearing potential) depends on it.
What branches aren't holding their weight? It may be hard to let some of them go, especially if you worked really hard to build them up but it's time to say goodbye for now. Focus, breath, snip, release. You'll be better because of it. And you're creating space for good to grow in it's place!
That's not to say that you can't come back to a few things later on. Maybe this just wasn't the season for that particular dream. Prune it back and try again next year. Who knows, maybe it will grow back bigger and better than ever. Realize that new hobby wasn't as fun as you thought and now it's just taking up precious time? Donate all the remnants and move on. Do you see clearly the toxic relationships holding you back? Snip snip. Trim off the damaged, the non-productive, the structurally unsound and make way for the new, the lush, the juicy fruit of your labors.
You get the picture. You have to clear out the old and make way for the new. You have to cut back to grow. What in your life right now needs to be pruned? Where can you CREATE SPACE to be fruitful in your endeavors? Life is busy and chaotic and unpredictable but remember, you hold the sheers. Snip snip snip bossbabes!
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