This week, a local tree trimming company came to trim up a few trees in our backyard. One of the trees is my favorite. I look at it every time I pass our living room. It is so beautiful and blesses me every Mother’s Day with clusters of dainty white flowers. With this in mind, I was a little nervous when the tree trimmers (who did a fantastic job by the way) started up the chain saw and I saw limb after limb being fed to the shredder and turned into mulch.
When they were finished, I went out to speak with them. They reminded me that all of the smaller limbs and branches needed to be removed if the tree was going to thrive and flourish. This made me reflect on a must read book by Dr. Henry Cloud entitled “Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward”.
In the book, he likens the pruning of a rose bush (in his example) to the natural endings that need happen in life and in business. Pruning by definition is the “cutting away of what is unwanted or superfluous, and thereby reducing its’ reach”. Dr. Cloud says that it is crucial to cut out, let go of, and prune those areas of your business that are good to make room for the best areas.
What could my business do if I were to prune it? What could your business do if you were to prune a client that is maybe holding you back or wastes your energy, talent and time? How much could you grow to your full potential if you were to let go of a portion of your business that may be chugging along but isn’t letting you reach your full potential?
I see my business like I see my favorite tree. It is beautiful and brings me joy, I’ve watched it grow over the years to what it is now, but I am so excited to see what it will become now that the broken and unneeded areas are gone.
Don’t get me wrong, I know first-hand that pruning can be painful and sometimes even paralyzing. Believe me – I’ve been there and still contemplate some areas to prune. But when you get to the other side, it’s exciting! It may be time to prune.