About six weeks ago my boyfriend and I were at the local garden centre one Sunday afternoon, when we decided to buy some seeds to grow some herbs on our kitchen windowsill. We bought a box that contained parsley, basil and chives and I set about planting them when we got home. As someone who is not particularly green fingered I realised how important it was to make sure I followed the instructions for looking after these herbs, where they should be placed and how to water them, otherwise they wouldn't grow and we wouldn't then be able to use them in our cooking.
After about a week small sprouts appeared in the basil and chive pot but there was nothing yet in the parsley one. A few days passed and the basil and chives continued to grow a little more each day but there was still nothing from the parsley one. My boyfriend then started to say that he didn't think the parsley was going to grow as the other herbs were really growing by now. I told him that the parsley would start to sprout when it was ready, after all the foundations had been laid (i.e. the seeds planted and watered) and I also believed it would grow, it was simply a case of that herb taking a bit longer to develop than the others. Sure enough, about another week later the parsley started to appear and it wasn't too long before we were adding the herbs to our cooking.
A couple of weeks ago I attended Sellick Partnership's annual team building event in Nottingham where the theme was focussed around 'growth'. During the days away we took part in various activities and I got the opportunity to work with colleagues from other branches that I hadn't known or spoken to before. On a few occasions I did feel outside my comfort zone, but being put in a situation I've not dealt with before is something I enjoy as I know that I learn and develop from those experiences. Over the course of the couple of days we were away I started to seriously think about growth, and what it means to me in both my business and personal life - and I even thought about how I'd 'grown' the herbs from seeds just a few weeks previously, hence the reason for me telling the story above.
So what is growth? - the Oxford dictionary online describes it as "the process of increasing in size", and thesaurus.com defines it as "development, progress" with some of its synonyms being "advancement", "improvement", "success" and "prosperity". Whilst researching the word and looking at its meaning, I also found some interesting quotes -
"You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety."
"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work."
"To get something you never had, you have to do something you've never done.”
As I read about its meaning, and looked at the synonyms and quotes, I started to think about some other words that I personally associated with being able to grow in both my business and personal life - "aspiration", "creativity", "opportunity", "positivity" and "imagination".
For me to enable growth in business includes laying a solid foundation, nurturing and developing relationships, knowing and undertstanding our customers, staying alert and spotting opportunities, building on my strengths, having a strong market awareness, and above all having passion and belief for what I do. It's also important to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. After all, you never know where the experience will take you.
As part of our growth at Sellick Partnership last week, we all received a pot and some seeds in the office to grow our very own sunflowers. Having now planted the seeds, I'm carefully looking after my little pot as I know that it won't be too long before mighty sunflowers will grow!