We have a rather large garden, one that requires LOTS of extra work. When the cool weather comes, I'm a bit relieved to see the plants start to die and the hours in my day freed up a bit. This year, however, my husband worked diligently to pick almost every single green tomato that would have been ruined by frost and brought them into our home to ripen.
We had tomatoes EVERYWHERE! On the counters, in boxes and crates, and even on the floor. I was a bit annoyed at first; how could these hard, green fruits ever amount to anything tasty? And were they worth the work we put into picking and storing them?
Now, almost 2 weeks later, I'm seeing them ripen gradually. I have over 30 ready to eat just today, and I put them into the slow cooker for a homemade pasta sauce! As others in my community search their grocery stores for bland, overpriced tomatoes, I am enjoying the fruits of our labor. And I am happy....
So how does this relate to a small business? It has everything to do with how to handle the slumps that will inevitably come into your work life. Business will slow down, the pickings will get slim, and you will find yourself faced with the choice of digging around in the dead leaves for hard, green fruit so that you can enjoy a bustling, ripe harvest later.
- Sit down and make a list of every client you consider "minor".
- Search your LinkedIn profile for connections you made in the very early days of your work that turned into nothing but still hold promise.
- Shuffle through old business cards from conferences and Twitter lists you created of friends and colleagues who may have gone into business for themselves.
- Watch them in Google searches to see if they get new funding
- Have your LinkedIn notifications go to your email if/when these contacts take decision-making roles at new startups.
- Ping your PR and media friends for new trends that surround the industries your contacts are working in
What green fruit can you pick today? Share how you're doing this in the comments!