Are you lettuce or raspberries? 

The garden is talking to me. It has an important business message for YOU!

We're in the middle of a serious drought. Yet without irrigation, my raspberries are bearing fruit.

The grass is yellow and the ground is cracking and crunching underfoot. Yet the burdock plants grow six inch long leaves overnight after getting cut down.

The new vegetable plants need to be watered twice a day to survive. Lettuce won't survive one day without water.

I know what you're thinking. What does that have to do with business?

Can Your Business Survive a Drought?

Do you want to know the secret of the raspberry patch? Of the burdock plants? And do you want to know why writers are lettuce? Take a walk with me in the garden and listen to our conversations.

Do you have a network or list that can survive this?

The Raspberries Talk to Me

Me: Hi raspberries! Thank you for the wonderful fruit today! Delicious! Keep up the good work. But hey, I want to know your secret.

(R) Raspberries: Hey Christiane. Glad you're enjoying the fruit. Here, take these. We did a really good job on these. Save a little for the birds though.

Me: Sure thing. But the secret! I want to know the secret!

R: Uh, what secret?

Me: Haven't you noticed it hasn't rained in four weeks?

R: So?

Me: And I haven't had enough water to give you!

R: We have plenty of water Christiane! 

Me: Where are you getting it?

R: We have a very happy network of roots underground. They go deep and far, and we collaborate with mycorrhizae. We have a very intimate symbiotic relationship. They give us extra roots. Our networks look kind of like your doodles. We find water wherever it is!

Me: How do you know about my doodles?

R: We watch you through the window.

Me: Oh. Did you tell anyone else?

R: Well, we have a happy network underground. No telling who else knows.

Me: Oh dear.


Analysis of conversation: I think it's self explanatory, no? The first year I planted my raspberries, I had to water them. Shallow roots! It's all about roots and networks!

Be as tenacious as the burdock. Don't give up.

The Burdock Talks

(I know you want to know why writers are lettuce. Be patient okay?)

Me: Hi annoying burdock plant! I find you annoying on my lawn, but I admire your tenacity.

Burdock (B): Hi Christiane! We love to annoy you!

Me: I know. I can't get rid of you.

B: But you know we can give your immune system a boost right?

Me: I know, but after digging up your 18 inch root, I need an immune boost!

B: (laughing): You don't get it do you? Digging up the root boosts your immunity too. It's great exercise.

Me: (sigh) But it takes so long! And makes my muscles sore.

B: Don't your human docs say you need at least 20 minutes of exercise a day?

Me: How do you know that?

B: I can see the articles you read through the window.

Me: (Gasp) You're stalking me!

B: Now if I was stalking you, you could just jump outside and you wouldn't have to dig up my root. But as you can see, I'm solidly in the ground!

Me: I guess. Go ahead and stalk me. That would make things a lot easier.

B: (Robust laughter) You wish!

Me: So tell me your secret. How do you grow six inch leaves overnight? You seem like an immortal plant.

B: I am! We are! You can't kill us unless you eat our root, but you have to get every speck of it. If you miss a piece, we grow back just as fast.

Me: The secret the secret! Where are you getting the water to grow leaves?

B: That's easy. Our roots go deep, very deep. There's still water down there. Plenty for us!

Analysis of conversation: Your business needs deep roots!

And now, what you've been waiting for…

Why Writers are Lettuce

Me: So here's my lettuce patch.

Lettuce (L): Water! Water! Water! Water!

Me (watering lettuce): Here ya go. Can't you say anything else?

L: More water! More water! More water!

Me: Can't you grow long deep and networked roots like the burdock and the raspberries?

L: More water! More water! More water!

Me: Hello lettuce! Good morning. I just gave you water.

L: More water! More water! More water!

Analysis of conversation: Freelance writers are lettuce. (Come to think of it, other types of freelancers are too.) They are always looking for work, then more work — well, most writers. Some are burdock or raspberry plants. They have deep or networked roots, and have some kind of residual income. I dare say that some writers are like trees with very strong and deep, networked roots.

The lettuce freelancers produce the base of the salad. But then there are tomato freelancers. They still need to be watered every day, but they become the highlight of the salad.

I'm striving to be the highlight of the salad as I begin to create deep and networked roots. It's a lot of work at first to push those roots strategically in focused direction underground, connect with and form symbiotic relationships with other businesses, to strengthen the base of my business.

It looks like nothing is happening sometimes. But the garden reminds me that there is something happening underground. The evidence eventually peeks its head up out of the earth.

That's when someone shouts: "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!!!" 

That's the sound of an entrepreneur who just experienced the manifestation of her diligence.

So don't give up!

Keep working and learning from those who are successful! Push those roots deeper. If you're working hard and learning from the pros, you're almost there!

So, what kind of freelancer are you? Please tell!