Have you ever had your own garden? If you have, then you know about all of the hard
work that goes into tilling the land, the planting, pruning, weeding, and everything else that comes with garden work. Gardening, when you think about it, is an act of faith. We do our part in preparing the environment for growth, we plant, water, protect the seed, but ultimately it's out of our hands if the seed will grow or not. The same can be said of every area of our lives, particularly when it comes to chasing after our dreams and opportunities. It's all about the harvest, but the harvest is largely impacted by how much we sow into whatever we are pursuing.
The problem that many of us have is we are comparing our yard work to someone else's harvest. Many of the people we admire toiled in their own respective gardens for a decade or more before they saw even the first hint of fruit beginning to blossom. Everyone wants to create a YouTube channel (self included) because we see our favorite "influencer" with millions of likes and thousands of subscribers. The only problem is that many of them were present at the beginning of YouTube or shortly thereafter. It takes years of uploading videos to find what sticks and attracts an audience. It takes years to figure out how to grow and attract a following on any social media platform. These things are not as easy as they appear to be. Don't be fooled into planting in an area you aren't gifted in or passionate about simply because you are witnessing abundance in someone else's garden.
I have been performing as a spoken word artist in the city of Louisville, KY for 10 years and believe me, I am just starting to see the fruit as an artist. I've had spurts of growth and amazing opportunities over the years, but more often than not, I've been working in my garden in the backdrop. I am not the most popular or well known artist in the city of Louisville, there are pockets of the city I've never performed in and many who don't know my work at all. There are those who know and there are many who are blissfully unaware, even though I have been in the city the whole time. I've been maintaining my website since 2013, and yet some people still ask me how they can book me or if I even still do poetry. How do you think that makes me feel, to know I've been working for 10 years and some people still have no idea what I do?
In the past, I've let it get me down and let it cause me to question why I'm even doing this. I've fallen into the comparison trap and wondered why it seemed other artists were getting more high profile bookings. I've wondered if anyone even cares about what I'm doing or if I'm making any sort of impact, and if I'm honest, I still wonder sometimes. The difference for me, has been the year 2021. I just decided to lean into writing and really go hard at it. My first quarter of this year has brought me some amazing opportunities and I've made more money writing in this year than any other year since I started.
That brings me back to the concept of working your land. I believe that each one of us has land or territory that we are given. Whether it's a gift or talent, some skills, or whatever, there is something that only you can do. No matter who tries to imitate you or steal your ideas, they still can't do it like you. Focus on what you are good at and the opportunities that are in front of you. More times than not, they aren't the most glamorous things in life but they are yours. You are uniquely you for a reason. Focus on being the best version of yourself and not a second rate copy of someone else. Every one isn't meant to be an entrepreneur and everyone isn't meant to be a 9-5 employee. it's also worth mentioning that not everyone should be a real estate agent or a forex trader. I mentioned those things because they seem to be the two newest forms of making money that people are getting involved in and they appear to be trendy. If you are passionate about those things, then have at it. But I have a sneaking suspicion that people are getting involved in these activities because they seem relatively simple to do. Go through some training and all of a sudden you are ready to make money and "be your own boss."
Maybe it's true and maybe it's not. I believe in working what has already been placed in your hand. Work your land and keep your eyes off what someone else is doing. The people that you see killing it in the public eye were working when the cameras were nowhere to be found. Staying up late and working on their craft, their land, and cultivating it to fruition. They protected their land from those who wished to poison the crops with doubt and negativity. That is the pruning that is necessary to bring a vision into reality.
I'm not speaking as someone who has or is currently doing this all the time. I just know that this year I am beginning to see fruit in a garden that I was questioning if it was even alive. And that's the thing, most of the time it will look like nothing is happening, but that's because a majority of the necessary growth in a garden occurs below the dirt's surface. The germination of the seed and the growing of roots all take place out of our sight. Keep working on what you know you should be working on. The thing that nags at you if you neglect it for too long. The thing you have tried to quit multiple times but somehow you are always drawn back to it. Work your land and watch it work for you. I hope this encourages you to take inventory of what's in your garden and to work at it until it yields fruit. That thing inside of you isn't buried, it's been planted.