Is it time for a bigger pot?

By Jessica Albon

Root-bound plant

Image by gokoroko

I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday (thank you for the birthday wishes!) and out in the garden planting zinnias and planting my baby tomato plants in the garden. I mentioned before that this year I’ve grown a bunch of heirloom tomatoes from seed and it’s been really intriguing to watch them grow. They’re finally looking like real tomato plants so out into the garden they went.

What was interesting to me was the way their roots wound around the outside of the pot–checking that boundary and feeling their way against the plastic. Now that their roots have much more room to explore, I know they’ll once again test their new boundaries.

And, of course, while I was planting the tomatoes into the garden, I was thinking about your business and wondering if it’s time for you to “repot” yourself, too. I know for me, it’s been awhile since I explored those boundaries, and it’s also been awhile since I considered whether or not I needed a bigger pot.

So, what are some of the signs that it might be time? Some things I’ve been noticing:

  • That restless feeling of wanting to stretch more and feel more sun (metaphorically speaking) on my face.
  • Having way too much great stuff to share with you to cram it all into the confines of a weekly newsletter.
  • Being chock full of ideas and finding myself running out of time each day trying to get them all implemented at once.
  • Growing bored having certain conversations with my support team–thinking, “Let’s just scrap this program and move on to something new!”
  • Being utterly enthusiastic about certain things on my to-do list… And completely uninterested in others.
  • Finding that I’ve filled my personal creativity time with work, excusing it by saying “but the work I do *is* creative!”
  • Feeling just a little bit cramped and like it’s been awhile since my last growth spurt.

Which ones of these are true for you?

If you can relate to these feelings, you’re really going to love these solutions that I’m implementing:

  • More stretching in the business, please. I’m going to do more of that scary stuff out on the edge of what I do. More exploring to reassure myself that the world (or my business) isn’t flat and I will *not* fall straight off the map if I go too far.
  • Blogging more. When you find yourself with too much to say to cram it all into your newsletter, it’s time to start (or reactivate) a blog or sign up for Twitter.
  • Grow the team. Reorganize the priorities. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew ;-), and I’ll admit it. So, that means some things are going to have to go. But, also, a lot of it is stuff that’ll help with the stretching I’m yearning for, so because I want to keep that, I’ll need to add some additional support to help the business accomplish more.
  • Aha! Those things I’m feeling bored about, it probably *is* time to wrap up. (Hey wonderful client people–not a one of your projects is a boring project for me; these are business-y projects, joint ventures, that sort of thing.)
  • See above. What other ways do you handle those things on your to-do list that simply don’t inspire you anymore?
  • It’s time to push the work creative back into its own separate category from the personal creative. It’s time for me to get back into painting just for the sake of painting and to be more protective of my creative time.
  • For me, focusing in on those big, stretchy projects will help me feel less cramped. If this is a feeling you’re having, write me and tell me how you’re going to stretch yourself out of it.

Just like those tomatoes can’t grow any bigger unless you plant ’em in the ground, YOU can’t grow any bigger in the same old pot. I’d absolutely, positively LOVE to hear from you about the ways you’re feeling cramped in your current spot and what you’re going to do to stretch out.