Obtain a Yield to find personal and business fulfilment

Obtain a Yield to Find Personal and Business Fulfilment

When you’re a small business owner, what you want is personal and business fulfilment, but you can sometimes feel quite overwhelmed and discouraged. 

Clouds build up over you, and it looks like you’re about to get rained off the job.

Watch how the sun breaks through the clouds, and you can suddenly see your way forward. 

The answer you’re looking for is right in front of you, if you have eyes to see it. You see problems and obstacles in front of you, but they are actually the very things that you need to get where you want to go.

We’re using the permaculture principle “Obtain A Yield” to navigate through your bleak darkness towards clear skies.

You’re feeling stuck. You know that you can do more, you know that things could be better – if only…  but it’s frustrating how so many things are holding you back. Well-meaning people all around you are offering good advice, but it’s easy for them, they don’t have the kind of circumstances you’re dealing with. They don’t know what it’s like living your life.

How do I know this? You’re not the only one. I used to feel like that too.

Knowing there’s something more to achieve business fulfilment

I had a tidy little business that was contributing my little bit (my very little, humble bit), but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I can do more. The frustration was relentless, and no matter how often I tried to convince myself that I’m fine just doing my little thing, it wouldn’t go away. Nagging at me, keeping me up at night. Knowing deep down that, no matter what excuses I try to throw at it, I am meant to be more than just this.

But all I could see around me were fences. I could try this, but I don’t have the money. I could try that, but I don’t have the time. I could try something new, but I can’t because of something else. The frustration was relentless, and I was feeling very discouraged, like no matter what I tried I just couldn’t catch a break. After a while, I came to realise that either: this is all there is for me, or else, I must be missing something. And if I am, what is it?

Permaculture has the answer, because mother nature knows best.

Consider the permaculture principle: “Obtain a Yield”. This principle reminds us that if we are to pursue any project, career, or any worthy endeavour, there needs to be a return that is greater than the resources invested into it. In your garden, it’s harvesting a crop at the end of the season. In business we call this: turning a profit, but applying this principle to the bigger picture adds a lot more perspective than just making money.

The answer here is to realise that you are investing your time, energy, money, skills and attention into something. Are we going to settle for mediocre returns so that we can keep doing the same thing over and over and get the same result? Is that really what all that effort was for? We’re not talking about money either, but fulfilment. If you have a voice inside you that demands to be heard, you will not find any kind of life fulfilment until you have given your all into creating the result that really lights you up.

In my situation, I took a huge leap of faith. What I found was far more valuable than the work that I have dedicated my life, career and company to.

I found me.

In your pursuit to obtain a yield from the pursuits that you embark on, you will probably face many fences like I did. The thing that I was missing at that time was perspective. I didn’t have fences of limited money, time, or something else, there were in fact platforms. I just needed a ladder to get on top of them. The ladder, in my situation, was faith.

Believe in something you can’t see, but you still know it’s there. Jump into the unknown, and trust that it will be ok. Instead of seeing the limitations in front of me, that leap of faith elevated my perception, and I suddenly saw opportunities to overcome my lack of time, money and everything else. That change of perception didn’t take those challenges away, I still had them, but what I had now that I didn’t have before was the strength and the confidence to overcome those challenges, and that strength and confidence came from a raised perception of my situation.

It requires a bit of effort – nothing comes for free. How very appropriate, then, as we celebrate the “obtain a yield” principle, to recognise that the effort required to stretch yourself to overcome your challenges will pay BIG dividends. The end result will be far more in value than the sum of its parts.

Had I ignored that voice inside me, and been content with my little plot in life, I never would have tested those fences. I never would have realised what was possible, and obtained a satisfactory yield that honoured the call inside me to do more and be more. 

What is the business fulfilment yield for you?

So the real yield that I’m inviting you to discover is finding fulfilment and your sense of purpose. What is the yield that you want to obtain from the efforts that you invest into your business? When you’re 80 years old and looking back at your life and all the things that you’ve achieved, what do you want to be remembered for? What really matters to you?

The number 1 reason for giving this any thought at all in the first place is to make running your business easier and more fulfilling.

Picture a spiral staircase, it goes around and around in a circle, but each revolution brings you higher (or lower, depending on your direction). The only thing that contributes to the height you’re at is the position of the steps, each one placed higher than the last. Without that, you just go around and around in a circle and not actually get anywhere.

So if you feel like you just keep going around in circles without having any impact on the growth of your business, or the circumstances of your life, perhaps you’re stuck on a spiral staircase where all the steps are at the same height, and you won’t be going anywhere. Unless you change the height of those steps, you’re always going to stay exactly where you are now. You need height, to raise your perception.

You can see this “being stuck” thing happening, when every day and every week and every month seems like it’s a cut-out copy of the last. The repetition is very predictable, and you can’t see the way out of it. Run faster, and you’ll just get tired quicker and burn out.

It takes an outside person, someone who isn’t caught up in that repetitive cycle, to recognise and point out the things that need to change – in order to add some height to the next step. The funny thing is, you would be doing pretty much the same thing as before in each step, only this time, there’s that little bit of extra effort to metaphorically raise your foot onto a slightly higher step, and that’s what makes all the difference..

Who would be a good person to fill that role? This is the sort of thing that a coach does. Finding a coach that understands your situation would really help to get that guidance, as well as providing the shift in perception that can help you overcome the challenges, or the fears – in other words, the fences – that are holding you back.

Explaining the Metaphors

I use metaphors and analogies and parables all the time, so it’s become an automatic thing for me to explain something this way. That’s just how I roll. So, to spell it out in very simple and literal terms, the connection I’m making here between obtaining a yield and applying it to your business, is like this:

The Metaphor and the Meaning:

Your Plot = Your current situation, or business frustrations.

The fences around your plot = The reasons you can’t do what you want to do, your limitations.

The ladder you need to climb to the top of your fences = Raising your perception (the way you see things)

Climbing the ladder = Having faith, trusting in what you believe

Your fences becoming platforms = You see opportunities to overcome your limitations.

You jump off those platforms = You overcome the limitations by making a choice, and taking action.

The Yield you obtain from your efforts = The fulfilment of realising and achieving your purpose.

Does this help to clarify the connection between obtaining a yield and overcoming the limitations you think you’re held back by?

What is holding you back?

What are your fences? What could you discover if you raise your perception, and see those limitations as platforms? What do you need to act as a ladder, to overcome those fences?

What is the answer to finding personal and business fulfilment?

Having a community is important. Build a support network, and also, learn from the experiences of others, so you don’t need to repeat those same mistakes. If you still do, it’s ok, your support network will have your back. A community reminds you that you’re not alone, and helping others develops this community around you. We’re all in this together, and you can find the place where you truly belong among people that understand you. Build your community with intention and purpose, and then proactively maintain it. Beautiful friendships and relationships don’t happen by accident.

Realigning yourself to work with nature is a very powerful process. Love the earth, and she will love you back. Find the natural order of things, and let nature take its course. You can sometimes think that you have a great idea, and you will find anything that supports your theory. But mother nature has been here a heck of a lot longer than you, and she has it all figured out. Mother Nature knows best, and when you can find and honour the wisdom in nature, you won’t go wrong.

Having a trustworthy structure in place is really important. This is where you get your stability from. It’s like the difference between building the frame of a house with steel, or with tissue paper. The strength of everything that you attach to that frame will be entirely dependent on the strength of the frame itself. With your business, the structure that forms the bones of your management, marketing, operations and finance is crucial. Pay attention to the stability of that structure, and then everything that goes into it will be so much more secure as a result.

Always be true to yourself. There is no one else like you, and so it’s really important to let that pure essence of you shine through. The world needs your unique contribution. If what you’re seeking is a sense of fulfilment through running your small business, then choosing your purpose, which is at the core of everything that’s important to you, is the only way to go. Anything else, and you’re missing out on the best purpose of all – being YOU. Get a crystal clear vision of what you want to achieve, and then go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. You go and obtain a yield, and make it the best yield you can produce.

Obtaining Your Yield

So as you invest your efforts into your little plot, pay attention to the yield that comes as a result. Are you satisfied with your returns? Does this bring you fulfilment? If you feel that life is good, and all things are as they should be, and you are fully content with your place on the earth, then you’ve reached a rare and valuable place, and I celebrate you. I know that this result is entirely achievable – for everyone. 

It doesn’t actually have to be that rare. If you want to find that beautiful place of contentment and fulfilment, if that is the yield that you so greatly desire, then pursue it. Pursue it with intention and faith and tenacity and confidence. 

In permaculture we call it obtaining a yield, in business we call it making a profit, but what it really is underneath all of that, is achieving something better than you had before. Making something better, moving forward, growth and progression and improvement, it’s what mother nature does best, and it’s what we should all be striving for.