Mowing Over the Weeds

It’s been an unusually busy spring at our house. The combination of family and business responsibilities necessitated that some things get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Taking up the very last spot on that list is the yard – and it looks like it. There are bare spots, several varieties of weeds and even a few leaves from the neighbor’s yard. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve made time to get the yard mowed, but each time I mow over a fluffy white dandelion head, I feel guilty. I know that I’m only prolonging the inevitable. The yard needs resources – money, time and concerted effort – and I’m willfully ignoring it. Mowing temporarily masks some of the problems, but they still exist.

Most of you have already made the connection. Our businesses are not unlike my yard. They easily grow weeds, get bare spots and have junk blown into them. The daily press of demanding customers, underperforming vendors, slow receivables and aggressive competitors takes every bit of our attention. We have loads of good intentions – deal with that employee whose performance is pulling down the entire team, evaluate a new software package to replace the one that every employee hates to use, stroll through a competitor’s store and see what they’re doing or call that customer that is steady, but you just feel in your gut is pulling back in their commitment to your company.

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Every time you run across one of these “weeds”, you think to yourself, “I know I need to take care of that” and half-heartedly resolve that you’ll get to it soon. Welcome to mowing over the weeds. I’m not writing to lay a guilt trip on you. I’ve obviously got my own struggles here. What I am doing is sending out the wake up call. It’s for me and for you.

I swung by the local hardware store earlier this week and picked up the weed killer. It’s in the garage, ready to go and will be applied to the yard this weekend. Now, it’s your turn. You don’t have to eliminate every “weed” in your company this week, but pick one. Don’t hope that it makes its way on to your calendar – write it on the calendar and make it happen. Eliminate one of those “weeds” a month and before long, your “yard” will be the envy of all the neighbors.

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Mike Chirveno

Mike Chirveno

I have great admiration for people who risk their personal wealth to run a small business. I'm honored to be invited into each client organization and be a part of their success.