Making ideas reality is a lot like growing tomatoes (Part 1)

It’s become pretty clear lately that implementing a new idea in a creative practise or a not for profit is a lot like gardening.

If seeds are like ideas…

The soil = conditions in which the idea can take hold and grow.

Your garden beds are a lot like the financial foundations you create to protect and grow them and the harvest is the sustenance and income gained from the idea.

See- this metaphor could go on for ages!

Let’s take tomatoes- a delicious fruit that comes in a plethora of different varieties and a lot of people like them, particularly the home grown variety.

They can sprout a number of different ways.

1. Nurtured carefully in the greenhouse before being brought out into the world for exposure to the elements when they are strong enough.

2. Randomly sprouted via the compost heap or emerging from last year’s harvest or

3. A risky planting straight into the soil, against traditional advice, because you’re confident in the strength of the stock and the position you’ve placed them in.

It’s a lot like ideas. Some of our most precious, or freshest ideas we like to nurture carefully before we share them with people, making sure the hows, whys and when’s have strong roots before exposing them to criticism or competition.

Sometimes we get ideas when we least expect them, they arise from projects we thought dead and rotten, unexpectedly taking root and flourishing. Sometimes we feel so confident that we discuss, pitch and exchange them before they are fully formed because we know the conditions are just perfect and we’ve already got a good foundational relationship.

Seedlings are like developmental stages of implementing an idea. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes we plant them next to things we shouldn’t and both plants wilt because of their incompatibility or because they’re competing for the same nutrients or hogging the sunlight.

Sometimes seedlings get gobbled by all matter of creatures that were there before us or continue to sabotage the first green leaves no matter how much you beg them to leave.

There should be enough for everyone without having to bring in the big guns for a chemical spray down. That kind of toxicity can leave its presence felt for years. And the fruit never tastes as good.

Sometimes collaborations, even if the early kernel of an idea was brilliant, don’t work out, sometimes it’s not a good companionship planting. Others thrive next to each other, making each of you greater for it. Make sure to draw those near you who support you and complement your offerings. Sometimes they even cross pollinate and create experimental new varieties.

And remember, even though you want the magic to last all the way till Winter, it’s also about knowing when to pull the dying and weak tomato plants out and prepare for the next crop.

Next up- the harvest.


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