I love the advent of spring, on many levels. Foremost is the miraculous emergence of flora and fauna after months of a hard and cold winter: the chirping of the peepers down in the river shallows at night and the sprouting of snow drops through sleet. Logic would dictate that the extreme cold would kill all life, but it always comes zooming back as the temperature holds above freezing.
Last year, I bought a strawberry pot kit on sale, later in the summer, and followed the directions to germinate strawberry plants from seed. The directions warned that it would take 30 days for the strawberry seedlings to sprout. "30 days," I thought. "It can't take that long!." I monitored the pot on my warm and sunny back porch every day for 3 weeks, got discouraged and gave up. It probably didn't help that I gave up watering the strawberry pot as well. Not even a sprout emerged. Nothing like growing peas: you drop 'em in the ground, and bang, a few days later, they start sprouting.
Here's the answer, from GardenGuides.com:
Strawberries are cold germination plants. They require a minimum of a 2-week period of freezing temperatures followed by cool temperatures in order to break dormancy. The seeds require temperatures between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit in order to germinate. Light requirement is minimal until the seedling emerges from the soil, then full sunshine is required for it to thrive. The seed must remain moist for the entire period of germination or the embryo will die of thirst once dormancy is broken.
I think of my failed strawberry gardening experience when I listen to the frustration of job-seekers and entrepreneurs in my network:
- It's been 3 weeks since I applied online to the job, and I've heard nothing;
- It's been so quiet these last few weeks, and I'm getting discouraged;
- I've submitted 5 proposals over the last 3 weeks, and no response;
- There are no jobs out there for me, I'm not qualified for anything that's advertised;
- I've networked with everyone I can think of, there's just nothing out there;
- The economy sucks.
I've mentioned several times in previous posts my Daddy's mantra: if you make 30 calls and get one sale, you're doing great.
A pivotal distinction in that mantra is the necessary germination / gestation period after you make the 30 calls: depending on the product you're cultivating with potential clients / employers: whether it's a system, a widget or you, there is a necessary germination (or gestation) period that occurs after you cultivate the client. The timing needs to be right, the need for the product needs to be yesterday, your attention to the client's needs during both the cultivation and the germination periods needs to be constantly crisp and spot-on. Depending on several factors and various internal and external environmental conditions, the germination period for closing a perspective client, sale or job can be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or even years.
In my career, I've been hired on the spot; and I've been hired 3 months later and one year later, respectively. I've acquired clients after just a 1-hour conversation, and I've also acquired clients 7 months after a 2-hour conversation and a 3-hour proposal.
The product one of my dear colleagues sells, due to its complexity and cost, typically takes 2 years to sell, after requisite long cultivation and germination periods.
Another dear colleague called me last week, frustrated after a quiet 2 weeks. "I've put out all these feelers, and I'm hearing nothing back," they said. "You need to keep putting out new feelers, and stay in touch with the existing feelers, until one or more germinate," I replied. They called me back a week later, much happier, reporting 4 leads from their cultivation efforts. "How did you know??" they asked, amazed at the results. "Every prospecting effort has a gestation period," I replied. "Some efforts will fail the gestation period: however, before there can be a breakthrough, there must be a breakdown: which drives renewed and new cultivation efforts on your part, which in turn increase the chances of your success."
My best wishes for a fertile season, and a fruitful harvest.