I recently had the pleasure of meeting an amazing man from Ohio who helped to create a thriving consumer-facing business in China. His approach and thought-provoking questions about our company impressed me a great deal. He was obviously interested in what we do and listened with a critical ear to our answers. Towards the end of our meeting, he even offered to check in with us periodically and provide help where possible. This was an unexpected and generous offer that surprised and pleased us.
But it was the next part of our conversation that impacted me the most. He asked us if there were other companies he could help. One of my colleagues was curious about that and asked him, “Why are you doing this? Are you looking to invest in us or any of them?”
The man simply responded, “If I help the ecosystem, it can only help me.” He went on to explain that he saw a gap in consumer-facing start-ups in Ohio. Since this was his area of expertise, he had the knowledge and experience to help others succeed. By “feeding that ecosystem,” he explained, it would be primed and ready in the future whenever he wanted to start a new venture.
This reminded me of something a friend had said a few weeks ago as a way to start a conversation. “Don’t be a creosote bush!” she declared.
I thought she had gotten too much sun on her recent trip to the desert, but I asked anyway, “Why not?”
“Because the creosote bush looks beautiful in bloom, just like all desert plants. It seems perfectly healthy and fine out there in the dry dust of the Mojave. But the real lesson for us as humans, the one that gives us the opportunity to choose to be like the creosote bush or not, is in what it does to survive.”
It survives, she told me, by emitting a poison through its roots. It doesn’t harm itself in the process, but it makes the ground around it so toxic that no other plants can grow. “That’s why you never see a whole bunch of creosote bushes jammed up next to one another,” she said. “Imagine what would happen if that’s what you did to everyone around you?”
It occurred to me that Go Get The World is the exact opposite of the creosote bush, and just like what the man described about what he does! By nourishing those around us and helping them to grow and thrive, we are feeding our ecosystem, and not poisoning it like the creosote bush does in the desert. By striving to give a helping hand to our daughters, sisters, and co-workers, they can succeed and prosper in fascinating careers. Then, together, we can all feed the ecosystems around us, all grow and flourish, and the world will become better than we found it. #FeedYourEcosystem #GoGetTheWorld