I love to grow things. With my training as a scientist, I’m always trying to experiment with new ways of gardening or cooking, or pretty much anything. As I entered my office, I noticed the blueberry bush cuttings had formed buds. This is a good indicator that the plant has started growing roots and is overall in pretty good shape. I thought the metaphor of rooting a blueberry bush was a pretty good analogy to my experience over the past year. 

A blueberry cutting, when trimmed from the main plant, experiences shock. Its source of food, water, and nutrients is removed, and the cutting now needs planting and care to have a chance at growth. The end of 2018 was the year I was ‘pruned’ from the corporate bush. While it was a surprise at the time, I’ve known over my 23 years in that company that it could happen at any time. Really, it had happened several times before through restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions. Those times, I wanted (needed) to continue in the company, so I looked for new roles, but in 2018 I was ready to form my new identity. I had just started an executive and leadership coaching business, Sparked, and while my ‘soil’ wasn’t as ready as I would like, I did have a place to grow.

Once the cutting is in the soil, it needs attention – warmth, nutrients, and water are the primary necessities for health. For me, 2019 was a new beginning, building the infrastructure, processes, and discipline to craft a successful coaching business. A fledgling business needs a strong strategy, champions, clients, and a constantly evolving network to create the opportunity for growth. As I reflect on 2019, it was a year of growing roots that make a stable business. Learning through trial and error, identifying and relying on a mentor who had done this before, and trying new things are all key to encouraging the roots to grow a business. Sparked continued to expand its client base, I continued to improve my messaging, my network grew through social media and speaking engagements, and I could start to see a strengthening in my business and in my confidence.

With a good root structure in place, the blueberry bush starts to bud, highlighting that water and nutrients can travel from the soil through the branch to stimulate growth. I believe this is where I am now. My strategy is working, the infrastructure supports what I do, and my clients recognize the value I bring and my desire to help them – that is key. So, for 2020, I will continue to build my client base through coaching, helping others follow their dreams, achieve their goals, and realize their potential. I’m really excited to lead a couple sessions at the Global DIA meeting and open up the Veracity Men’s Conference in June. Other ideas for bringing leadership skills and capabilities, particularly through individuals and teams in transition, are forthcoming. As Sparked Professional Coaching grows, there is more opportunity to yield greater fruit for businesses and individuals.

How is your ‘plant’? Is it thriving, growing, producing the fruit you want? Do you have a vision that allows survival even if there’s a cut? I’ve written before on the necessity of having a plan, an idea what you’d like to do in the event of a change – have you done this? If you need help developing this plan, reach out to me – coaching helps you be and bring your best.