Five months ago I planted marigolds in order to ward off the mosquitoes. I live in Florida and in my neighborhood these blood-sucking pests can grow as big as pterodactyls. I don’t particularly like marigolds but they’re better than mosquitoes.
But what I like less than marigolds and more than mosquitoes are squirrels. You would think that with as many peanuts as my neighbor feeds them, in my yard, of course, that the squirrels would be sitting around like people on the bench outside of Golden Corral. But if squirrels love peanuts they must also love marigolds (and pepper plants, I might add) because out of an entire bag of seeds, not one plant grew to maturity.
So I did what any sane person would do, I gave up.
All these dreams I had of growing a lush garden of veggies and beautiful flowers, I gave up to those elongated rats with bushy tails.
About a month ago, in one of my abandoned planters, two “weeds” began to sprout. I thought about pulling them but then figured why did it matter? I wasn’t planning on planting anything else until the weather cooled. So I watched them grow taller and taller. One day I noticed a familiar looking flower on top of my “weeds.” They weren’t weeds at all but my marigolds, sprouting five months after they were planted.
What kind of gestation is five months for a seed? Garden pros will tell you they usually take 45-50 days from seed to flower.
But they were a beautiful welcome surprise and one I appreciated more because I had long ago given up on my plants.
Social media for business can be the same way. You plant and cultivate relationships for a very long time. Many people give up because they don’t see any return on their hard work. There’s no predicting when it will take root and take off becoming something beautiful, something you had dreamed about.
With my marigolds they blossomed when I wasn’t looking, after I had given up. While social media success may be as unpredictable as my marigolds, it is unlikely to happen if you abandon it. Get out there consistently and tend what you’re sowing. Be helpful. Become a resource. Don’t ask for anything in return (at first). Just create great content for all to enjoy.
Don’t give up on your dreams, even when the squirrels seem to have the upper hand. Remember what it is you want and keep tending it. With nature, and with social media, things do not always happen on our time schedules.