As we think about what projects (seeds) to plant, I’ve been reminded of the first basic leadership law: You harvest what you sow.
To put it another way, to reap the benefits or achieve success, you must first sow. You must act and put your ideas into practice in order to reap the benefits. Those who seed and plant are the ones who reap. You must sow the seed to reap the harvest after taking care of it. After harvesting with care, you then use the harvest wisely.
A second section of the law asserts that if you plant well, you will harvest well. If you sow bad seeds, you will reap bad results. This means you can’t sow bad and hope for the best. You can’t hope for flowers by planting weeds.
Another aspect of the law of sowing and reaping to consider. You don’t always get back what you put in. That is critical to comprehend. You get far more than you put in. What good is an activity if you merely receive what you sow?
But, it does not work well all the time. What is the farmer to do now? He must decide to repeat the process or not. “Should we try again the following season?” Even if the farmer lost everything in the previous harvest, I would advise him to plant again, even there being no assurance, but the odds can be in your favour.
In business, the same principle applies. We must carefully choose what we want to sow, and then nurture the seed (project, business, enterprise, etc.) until it is ready to harvest. We will never get the advantages of the crop if we pluck up the seeds too early and abandon projects before they have had chance to establish themselves. This is something a lot of colleagues do. They abandon their aspirations just as the harvest season approaches. And, as the analogy goes, even with our best efforts, the crop (company or project) may still fail.
And then what do you do? Like the farmer, I recommend picking yourself up and trying again. After all, the law of probability will almost certainly apply, reducing the chances of failure, given, of course, that you learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.
I have had my fair share of bad harvests before. I almost lost our home in 1995 when I had taken a second mortgage to finance a business that went bad. But I was never deterred to continue on chosen my entrepreneurial journey. So can you!!