The vital difference between you and a tree

Have you ever planted a tree? I’ve come to the conclusion that there are few things more satisfying than standing back and looking at the tree you’ve just planted. 

Sketch of a tree at different stages of growth.

Think big in your business, don’t let your fears impose restrictions.

We have a little orchard out back of The Dingle, but two or three of the trees are dead. One of them will become a bird feeder hanging area, the others will come down.

But we’re starting to plant new ones. We’ve had fruit trees in pots for a few years, and they’ve struggled along – not surprisingly, really, because trees really need more space than that… and finally, they can spread their roots.

So on Sunday afternoon, we liberated our Victoria Plum tree and we’re hoping it’s going to go, “WeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” and grow like crazy.

We’ll plant the apple and the pear this week, too.

My fruit trees got me thinking about how we run businesses (bear with me, it’ll make sense). See, the three trees we have in pots have been struggling along, restricted by outside forces – the pot – and never fulfilling their potential.

The thing about us, though, is that our restraints and restrictions are self-imposed. Even if you’re working in a highly regulated industry like finance or health, the only restrictions on how well you and your business do come from you.

This is by far my biggest struggle.

Yeah, I struggle with focus sometimes. And clarity. And so I get overwhelmed.

But my real struggles take place inside my skull. Voices shriek at me, “You’re not good enough!” “You don’t deserve this!” “You’re crazy, and this plan is crazier!”

And at the same time, other voices whisper nonsense about getting the laundry done, finding a run to take part in, and feeling guilty because I’ve agreed to do a thing which means I can’t do a run that would take us up to visit Joe’s sister for the weekend.

Then I’ll find something else to worry about, like the fact that my old landlady is being really funny with me (I mean, really, WTF do I care? That part of my life is over now!).

Welcome to my brain. I don’t apologise for it, though, because I think many people’s brains are somewhat like this and not enough people talk about it, so everyone looks at these internet gurus, see the faces they’re presenting to the world, and find themselves wanting.

I’m here to tell you that you’re not wanting.

But you do have to get out of your own skull and allow yourself to achieve what you could if your brain wasn’t waiting around the corner to ambush you with a sockful of sand.

So make your plans. Think big and unreasonable. Don’t play it safe; life’s too short for that. And whenever your brain puts an obstacle in the way, give it the finger and carry on.

(And if you feel like you can’t do it alone, because nobody can really, well – buy yourself a copy of my book, Business For Superheroes.)



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS This blog post was brought to you because I had a shitty evening on Sunday. I was exhausted and my brain wouldn’t stop giving me hell. It managed to convince me my life was going to hell in a handbasket and I would fail at the stuff I’m currently working on. Well, knobs to that. One thing at a time. And today’s one thing is making great progress on a new client project.


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