- to remove dead or living parts from (a plant) so as to increase fruit or flower production or improve the form
- to cut out or get rid of as being unnecessary
- to reduce or diminish by removing what is unnecessary
For entrepreneurs, one of the challenges of being in business for oneself is recognizing and knowing when and how to cut away those activities that disperse our energy and don’t increase results.
When we moved into our house in August 5 years ago, I was so excited that there was a peach tree in the back yard. I had always wanted a fruit tree but although I was an experienced vegetable and flower gardener, I didn’t know anything about fruit trees.
It seemed really big to me and only produced about 2 dozen peaches that first year, so I called the city tree specialist who came and took a look. The diagnosis…the tree had not been pruned in many years, it already showed evidence of major branches breaking away and needed significant pruning to bring it back to high productivity. The prognosis…sketchy, at best.
The problem was, I couldn’t prune more than 1/3 of the tree each year without making it vulnerable to disease and the tree already only had three major branches left.
So I did what I could the second season and voila! We had a great peach harvest! Unfortunately, the third season we had a heavy wet snow that broke off one of the main branches. Bummer. One down, two left and no peaches at all due to a hard freeze that killed the buds.
Fourth season, I did more early spring pruning and low and behold, we had a nice peach harvest again with enough to eat fresh, can, freeze and give away. The pruning was working!
Fifth season, the two remaining branches were still way too tall, and even with pruning, another heavy snow took out one of the branches. Only one branch left – how pitful – and no fruit again this year!
The bottom line was that had the tree been taken care of and pruned from the beginning, it would have had a longer, healthier, and far more productive life.
Examining my one-branch peach tree the other day, I realized that we (people) are much the same. When we neglect to remove that which does not serve us or that which spreads our energy in all different directions, we don’t produce the results that are otherwise possible, and we make ourselves weak and vulnerable to the forces of circumstances.
I see this with entrepreneurs all the time. They spread their energy all over the place, reaching out in all different directions and wonder why they are not getting the results they want.
One of the ways I self-prune is by scheduling periodic strategy sessions with myself. In those sessions I:
- Notice what gives me energy and what depletes my energy so I can make choices that nurture my growth and produce the best fruits (Results)
- Look at what has worked in the last few months so I can repeat it (Guess what gets the best results…speaking)
- Examine what hasn’t worked in the last few months so I don’t repeat it (Excessive e-mail and social media time, too much time planning and not enough time doing)
- Explore what I could do differently using my successful mentors as models of possibility (Reinventing the wheel consumes way too much energy)
- Determine what can be outsourced so I’m focusing my energy on that which I do best (Train and coach)
To stand strong, maintain resilience and stimulate purposeful and fruitful results, we must regularly prune away the old and unsupportive actions and thoughts.
A pruning step you can take today is to join me and Master Certified NLP Practioner, George Ira Carroll, for Energize to Capitalize, a full-day workshop where you will learn practical and fun strategies to raise and channel your energy to produce amazing results in your business. Check it out by clicking here!