I grew up in a place known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ where homes don’t have A/C or heating and where trees are green year round.
Maybe that’s why I have a special appreciation for the beauty of the fall foliage. It also made me think why trees get rid of their leaves this time of the year.
The leaves are beautiful, and perfectly fine. It’s not like the tree does not want them or that it feels it would be better off without them. The tree probably invested resources, energy and maybe effort in creating the leaves. So why drop them?
It’s getting ready for the hard times. Mother nature has made trees smart enough to know tough times are coming and while the tree wants to keep the leaves, it must get rid of them to focus maximum energy and protection on its core. The tree is smart enough to know it cannot support its core and the leaves, and that if it tries to do that it would probably die. So the leaves go. Could we consider this wise and courageous?
How many things in life, or in marketing are very nice, we want them – but like leaves in winter, create a distraction of resources and energy that we cannot afford?
When people talk about focus, often we hear the things they plan to do. Those with a more pragmatic approach know focus is about the things you will stop doing.
- If you don’t have a list of things you will stop doing, you are not really focused.
- If you don’t have a list of customers and markets you will not serve, you can’t say you are focused.
- If you don’t have a list of marketing tactics you won’t pursue in 2014, you are not focused.
- If you don’t have a list of the projects or tasks that would be nice to do but you won’t, you are not focused.
It’s hard to let go. A few months ago I realized I would not be able to keep my responsibilities of my job, my family, this blog and my new photography blog. Like the tree that lets go of a beautiful leave, I had to make a decision to stop working on posts for my photography blog. Sometimes I catch myself with ideas for a good post, but then I remember I can’t do all, and I have to move on and focus on the important things in my life.
It takes discipline. It’s hard. A few years ago I heard ‘The most important thing is that the most important thing remains the most important thing. It is not only a tongue-twister, it is a very wise saying – an important one.
As we start making plans for the next year – for your business, your marketing plan or your personal life – what leaves will you drop this year?