Article by Ernie Boxall 13.01.16
In Chinese 5 Element Theory. Winter is the ‘Water Element,’ the time where all the seeds of the next harvest are below the earth being nurtured by the nutrients in the soil so that when spring comes the plant will be healthy. The DNA of the flower/vegetable is already set so that all that all it needs is the right climate to allow growth.
So what has this got to do with business?
I have tailored my knowledge of the 5 Elements of Chinese Medicine to my business so that my plans can be part of 90 Day Goalsetting for the sections of my work and life. To outline what this means let me explain briefly what the 5 Elements of Business are.
Fire… The spark…the idea for our business.
Earth… The support for our business.
Metal… The financial and ethical elements of our business
Wood… The fuel for the next business idea
Water…The direction/speed of our business and the nurturing of the seeds we have planted.
How Do I Use Winter?
The period around our deep winter month of December can be used to make the plans for the next 90 days of the New Year. By now we have been using the days before the Christmas period for networking and growing our contacts. We should have been easing down in the weeks leading up to Christmas so that the few days available to be with family and friends can be taken without fear of missing out.
But while we may not be in the office or on the road so often, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be making connections and plans, so that when we get back to full time work our schedule can be managed more easily.
How Can We Nurture Our Business?
At this time of year, few people will appreciate a phone call concerning work, but social media is alive and well. Connecting with people through social media to wish our contacts our best wishes; to leave messages asking for, or suggesting New Year meetings; to setting up special offers for our services. In this way we can not only begin to nurture contacts or the next year, we can also begin to fill our diaries with meetings and business plans.
• What Are The Physical Aspects of Winter?
The physical element of winter is water and when we think of water we think of the merest trickle at the source, becoming a stream; a brook; a river and eventually an ocean. Water flows forward. It flows at different speeds and creates different outcomes.
The gentle forward movement of water represents the steady growth of our business from its inception. The speed increases as we grow our contacts and we have to make sure we are protected against stagnation: The business grows and the speed of our distribution increases, still moving forward but manageable: The business increases in size and the depth and width of our enterprise moves forwards towards our goal for the business plan until we reach the ocean of a completed contract and look to the next business idea.
What Can Go Wrong?
What are the negative aspects of our Water Element?
As with all aspects of Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang, there are negatives to our business plans. As we continue the Water Element what does this mean?
The trickle at the source can be blocked by debris. Our plans put on hold by small difficulties, minor problems and small setbacks. As the trickle becomes a stream or a brook, it can meander this way and that, procrastination and a lack of forward movement means that the business wavers. The situation can become so extreme that the water stagnates and all the plans die or lack of energy. Or more dangerously, the river becomes a flood which sweeps all of our ideas away and we lose our connections. The speed of the water rips away all of the pillars we have in place to support our interests and our connections. The earth, which has directed the flow of business falls away and creates a waterfall which just cascades onto the rocks below.
Which direction is your business flowing? – What plans do you have for the next 90 days?
What speed is your business flowing at? – Are your contracts being managed efficiently?
Is your support in place? – Have you kept in touch with your connections; thanked your staff or partners for their work over the year.
Is your business moving forward?
That is the question only you can answer.
If you would like details of the ‘5 Elements of Business’ by booking Ernie for a presentation contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07962 216833
The Spring Element will follow @GrowLeamington in February until then plan your next three months in business.