The Sweet Potato Who Taught Me About Business

Several months ago I discovered a forgotten sweet potato in a bowl on my counter. It had started to grow roots.

After getting some input from others, I took the potato and using some toothpicks suspended it in some water and soon it grew leaves.

Then I decided to plant it in a planter and set it where it could see the sun.

It grew and grew.

I shared it on social media a couple of times; this potato that became more than it might have been.

Some, like me, delighted in it.

One friend discovered her own and was inspired to aim for growth but sadly, it did not survive.

Another friend said, “You’ll never grow big sweet potatoes in that little pot.”

I decided to wait, to nurture it’s root system, for me it wasn’t so much about the edible yield that might come but abundance of joy that it brought.

Today, I transplanted my little sweet-potato-who-could into an outdoor pot, so it could receive the sun directly on its leaves and have a greater space to grow. There are lessons in this experience that are true for business.

Sometimes a business happens when we don’t expect it.

Some businesses won’t make it.

Others may not understand our approach and that’s actually a good thing because it means they weren’t meant to receive the gift our business has to offer and that leaves space for those who do.

Businesses have stages of growth. Sometimes that growth happens faster and greater than the structure we have built to sustain it and sometimes growth happens slower than we would like or believe it should be.

Businesses need support. They need to be fed, to be nurtured, to be attended to and to shift when they are ready; just like my little potato.

At every stage of growth, there are risks. My sweet potato may not survive being transplanted.

Early in the process I jokingly called myself a farmer but I really do not even care well for houseplants. It’s a skill that I have yet to develop but if I choose, I can. Or if it chooses me, I can decide to step into that role.

Sometimes we don’t start out wanting to have a business, or seeing ourselves as business owners. This is often true in alternative healing practices but then there is an invitation to step into that role. It’s a learning process, an initiation, and can be a spiritual practice all on it’s own.

Business requires a lot of skills, especially if you are a solopreneur or a small business owner, and it can be the biggest mirror to ourselves; showing us every place we still have to grow.

Sometimes the best thing you can do, is get some help.

That’s how my sweet potato has turned from surviving to thriving and honestly, it’s true for my business as well.

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