Become a Master Business Gardener

I absolutely love this time of year.  It’s a different type of New Year’s, it’s spring and gardening season.  It’s the season for “earth born miracles!” Are you like me, it feels like a miracle that you put a little seed into the ground, you give it a little water, remove weeds, give it some nourishment and with a little patience, you have an abundance of a produce that you can’t eat as fast as you grow it?

Tomatoes are one of those produce that you must have a great deal of patience with, there are several seasons of teasers.  The plant starts to grow, it gets taller, thicker, sturdier and accumulates many, many leaves.  Then one day you notice a blossom, then a few more blossoms and quickly find the plant is covered in tiny white flowers.

Little balls of green start to pop up in the places there had once been flowers, that feeling of, “I’m going to get to eat my first vine ripened tomato very soon,” literally makes your mouth water!  More green triggers of hope grow and finally one gets big enough that you know it will fit on top of your grilled hamburger perfectly.

But there is still one more step the tomato must take before you can harvest that first fruit.  Ripening; part of a tomato starts to turn pink, then one is completely pink and finally that fleshy color begins to make turn fire engine red.

Your desire to eat only one tomato on your hamburger turns into the desire to make salsa.  That involves a few more tomatoes.  You watch for those that are starting to turn pink, you might even pick them and put them in a window seal to encourage a quicker ripening, but it just takes time.

One day you go out to water your garden and you realize that you have a bushel of tomatoes ripe.  You can make salsa, your grandmother’s spaghetti sauce and even preserve a few for the fall.  At one point it felt like you’d never even get one to ripen and now you have more than you could have ever imagined from one starter plant.

Every company shares with you the success stories of their top earners. They tell you a little bit about how they watered, nurtured did a little hoeing.  But the part they expound on and go into great detail is the harvest, the bushels of tomatoes and how good their grandmother’s spaghetti sauce tasted.

They do this so you have hope that there will be a harvest and to keep going, but sometimes they don’t explain how early they got up to weed, how dirty they got, how they build things to sturdy the plants and how they had to research to kill the bugs that were eating the plants.  It’s difficult, it’s hard work, you have to learn about things you never thought about learning… but wow, there is nothing like the taste of a self-grown, vine ripened tomato.  And there is nothing like building a business, knowing you dug deep, got up early, researched solutions and worked crazy smart!  The feeling of that check that is large enough that pays off a credit card.  The feeling to taking your family on a dream vacation and making priceless memories.

Become a Master Business Gardener

The top earners or those who grow bushels of tomatoes are constantly learning, improving their skills, learning about new ways to fertilize, clever ways to start their plants earlier in the year and how to kill bugs


The first and most basic key to growing a business and tomatoes is pure and simple consistency.  The watering patterns, the times you add nutrients and the timing of the products you use to eliminate any pests are essential to a healthy garden and a higher yield.

The activities to grow your business tomatoes are

  1. Set your goals on a weekly basis.
  2. Share tips, ideas, and do demos that will increase the confidence of your clients and empower them to try more products.
  3. Follow up with fence sitters and past clients.

Just enough

If you’ve ever grown a garden or even a house plant, you know that you can’t water the garden with four weeks’ worth of water one day a month… the water just runs through the soil, the plant can only take in so much and a majority of the water is wasted.

Water those plants weekly and the plants absorbs more water and with less effort, the plant grows consistently and produces more fruit.  Your clients will be the same way, if you consistently feed them tips and resources on how to use your product, they will buy more.  But if you wait a month, you are re-exciting them, you have to do more basic education and the repeat sales will be less.

Make videos, share blogs and magazine articles, post images that share tips and suggestions on a consistent basis and seldom talk about “sales,” specials or ask people to make purchases and the your business plan will grow stronger and healthier.  The harvest will be bountiful and fruit will continue to grow and mature over a longer period of time!

Continued Education

Master Gardeners are always learning, attending meetings sharing ideas and reading up on new techniques.  It’s a process they know will never end.  They never feel like they’ll know everything there is about tomatoes and if they find someone who knows more, they buy their book, take their class and follow their blogs.

There is always a new variety of tomato, a new disease, a bug that becomes resistant to the current products etc…  You will always plant it, water it and nurture it, but there are constantly new ideas to improve the process.

Sales will always include connecting to people, giving good customer service and follow up.  But there are unique ways to set yourself apart.  The methods for making your customers feel special and for delivering the product are constantly improving.  Not to mention marketing via social media and the many, many different ways you can communicate with individuals is changing and daily.

Read books, listen to podcasts, attend webinars, work with coaches, and any other way you can find to improve your skills.  The key is to only change one or two things at a time.  You need to know what made the biggest difference.  You won’t maximize the impact and results you can get with each change if you try to make too many tweaks at once.  Set your goals and make sure your actions are supporting those goals and will ultimately grow your business.

This consistent habit will give you the skills like a Master Gardener to not only grow mass quantities of fruit, but also grow the finest quality.  Would you like to attract a positive, consistent team?  Would you like to have a system that functions in a way that you make more money with less effort?  Is giving your team the tools to also enjoy a plentiful harvest important to you?  Then always be learning.

Remember, you are growing tomatoes, it takes time, but the harvest is worth the work, consistency and working smart! Enjoy your salsa, your dream vacation and the satisfaction of becoming a Master Business Gardener.

Michelle Withers

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