So on Friday I spent the day with my client Bon Courage Wine Estate and watched how the whole family got their hands dirty harvesting their 2017 seasonal crop.
It got me thinking about the words 'harvest time' and what it means to us as entrepreneurs.
If we start off at the dictionary - the words 'harvest time' when broken down refers to harvest - being the action of reaping what you sow. Harvest time is the period when the fruits of your labour is at it's best for picking or gathering.
As an outsider, viewing this family who are 2nd generation wine farmers in the beautiful and rich valley of Robertson working the soil with their labourers yesterday, I got the intense feeling that they are at one with the earth. They know what their vines and soil ask of them, the are in-tune with the fruit and it's readiness for yielding.
The matriarch of the the land is awake early morning and is excited to see the first light's yield - his enthusiasm is equally matched by his two sons - the wine maker and the financial director of the family estate who are both out there going about the business of producing an award winning yield for 2017.
This led me to think - what are we, as entrepreneurs putting into our businesses to harvest the very best we can in 2017? Do we have the passion and physical stamina to endure the race against the economy, the political playground and the environmental backdrop we find ourselves and our businesses in? Or are we just going through the paces - plodding along - because we just must...or do we wake up with a spring in our step, a twinkle in our eye and a hunger to 'press' the very best inspirational 'juices' we can out of our concepts, strategies and finances? Do we make time count? When harvesting winemakers are governed by the earth's ticking clock and they march to it's tune - otherwise they'll fail miserably and have a less then satisfactory yield - which in turn will affect their family, staff and communities livelihood and living conditions... a huge responsibility and one which they tackle with gusto and a passion that is clear to see in their eyes! These people live for what they do - they're focused and work intimately with the vines - they nurture their yields and they gently coax the very best out of what they've been given by our gracious Universe...
I pondered this all while sitting in the bakkie traversing the vineyards with the winemaker who was gracious enough to take myself and the National Sales Director out to experience their harvest time first hand. Do we as entrepreneurs 'work with what we've got'? Do we coax the very last inspirational juice out of a concepts? Do we nurture our ideas and awaken to a new day, quivering in anticipation for the day's yield? Is our enthusiasm tangible? Do we carefully watch and test our concepts until they are ready to launch? Or do we just expect the natural flow of business to take care of it's self?
In this day and age people don't want off-hand client service, they don't want by-the-way stories, they don't want superficial chest thumping and high-fiving and they most certainly don't want to deal with a team who are not passionate about the business they're in...if they smell that you're in it purely for the money - they'll look elsewhere to spend their money...
So in closing - fill your glass with passion. Nurture your seedling ideas. Feed your business with all the right support and inspiration - marketing, financial, mentorship, coaching, operations and human resources. Only do what lights your fire - be passionate - it's catchy and irresistible! Surround yourself with people who love what you do and champion your talents and virtues. Be proud of what you've achieved - it might not win an award, but it makes a difference in the lives of your customers, suppliers, staff and family.
It's amazing what a rich and abundant harvest can yield.
What will your harvest time yield in your business?