When my wife Nina and I moved to Ashland, Ore., one of our goals for our newly remodeled home there was to have the landscaping done sooner rather than later. We had lived in our previous home in Berkley, Calif., for 21 years, never quite getting around to actually having the landscaping done. We did have several plans done over the years, but never quite pulled the trigger. This time was going to be different.

Eleven year ago, after many months of planning and then construction, the landscaping at our new home was done. Every Spring since brings the garden back to life. We are in the middle of that part of the year right now.

Flowers are blooming all over our yard. What little lawn we have is lush. The vegetables Nina, my wife, has planted are growing bigger every day. It's beautiful!

There is one unintended consequence: Weeds.

It is remarkable how quickly weeds proliferate and how quickly weeds reappear after one has weeded. Two choice: Continue to weed or live with the landscaping always including weeds.

Here are some suggestions you might consider:

Be Proactive
We had a plan for the garden, with goals in mind for what it would look like when it matured. You need the same things for your business. You have no business plan? You have no desired outcome but make it to tomorrow? Add them up and you get no success.

Accept that creating something creates the need for ongoing maintenance. The resulting work that needs to be done is not why you decided to start a business. However, it MUST be done, or your business will morph into something that will not be what you wanted it to be.

Be Realistic
Welcome to ongoing maintenance! That's what comes with building something with an end in mind.

What kind of maintenance is needed?

  • Training employees
  • Firing those employees who are not a fit for the company
  • Modifying procedures and systems as a process of continuous improvement

The prospect of having to do this work might not inspire you but you have no other choice except to have your garden be filled with weeds.

Step Back Once in a While
Stop and appreciate what you have created. It truly requires stepping back to see not just the weeds, to remember what your goal was, and to see how far you have made it.

Many of us are just good at seeing the weeds and to some degree that is why clients hire you. You have to give yourself a pat on the back sometimes.

By doing the above, your business will be healthy and more likely what you want it to be. Just remember that a dream is usually accompanied by a little maintenance work.

By the way, if you ever come by in the spring, that guy on his knees with glvoes on and a bucket next to him is me. Yes, I'm the weed guy!