Summer has arrived in wine country (at last) leaving a trail of beauty everywhere. While it makes it tough to stay in the office, the garden provides excellent reminders of the elements to make your business special — to you and to your customers.
Peach Roses - Don't Miss Roses in Bloom
Some business opportunities come with only a brief open window. Don’t fail to see it! Perhaps it’s a chance to work with a legend in your industry. Perhaps it’s a deal that closes within 24 hours. And perhaps you’ve only got one chance (like those American Idol folks) to show your stuff to the widest possible audience. No two blooms are the same. Don’t miss it!
Dog Teeth - Keep 'em Clean
Good advice whether literal or figurative! From a business point of view, staying at the top of your game (and keeping clean teeth) can make the difference in whether or not that window of opportunity opens for you at all. Be prepared!

If you’ve put off upgrading your skills in one area that’s becoming crucial to your industry, better move that priority to the front burner. You don’t want those canines biting you in the you-know-what on your way-out-the-door! Get those pearly-whites in order now.
Beautiful Blooms Hide in the Garden
Fair is fair. Irises aren’t exactly bottom dwellers in the garden. But they’re often not front and center either. They do their best work during a brief window of time. Then they look the same again the rest of the year.

Sometimes you’ve got to go looking for the miracles in the garden. Don’t wait for opportunities to find you! If you don’t venture out to see what’s new in the garden (or outside your business’ doors), you may never see the opportunities in front of you. If you’ve been wondering why there’ve been no opportunities, perhaps you didn’t venture far enough to uncover them?
Ignore the Drains in the Garden
(Okay, I just really liked this shot…with a little exception in the background.) Some great opportunities have a bit of …well…ugliness stuck around with them. Ignore it! It’s not the main point. Sheesh! Look how ugly and clunky computers have been for decades before Apple started making them really attractive. It can take time to work through the ugliness of some features you’re stuck with — even decades. Focus on the beauty. It will win out eventually.

All projects and businesses have aspects to them we don’t like to deal with. Accounting is not one of my favorites, but it must be done. Analyzing HTML code is tedious; but it is also necessary if something doesn’t look right online. Learn to power through the uncomfortable parts of your business. Thrive on the fun parts. It will keep you going!
Enjoy the solitude. Don't intrude!
It’s not often we get a look at something unedited or posed. My job in marketing is to shape a brand or a message into something that seems unplanned, natural and unedited (among other things). These times are unique.

Rare is the marketing message that doesn’t seem forced, manipulated or propped up. And the best ones seem genuine, organic and have a sense of …solitude. Why? Instead of shouting the ‘look at me’ message, they attract attention by simply being different from the rest. They don’t ask or demand for attention; their uniqueness draws you in.

Your business (or any one project) has a tempo. Some move at the speed of light. (Being a stock broker on a trading floor comes to mind.) Some plod along at an even, steady tempo, regardless of the whir around them. (Being a novelist comes to mind here.) And many of us have businesses with tempos that change frequently, like the movements in a symphony. Some are fast and some very slow.

Solitude isn’t a tempo. (But Duke Ellington would dispute that claim.) It may even be when the tempo stops and causes you to turn to look.

One thing that’s been very clear recently: It takes a lot of work to stay perfectly focused on the conductor! To speed up or slow down to match the world’s demanding tempo exactly requires unwavering concentration. And in so doing, it is rare to catch a glimpse of solitude. How about you?