I Don't Own a Lawn Mower! (And how that impacts how you do business)

I Don’t Own a Lawn Mower! (And how that impacts how you do business)

In Chronicles of a CEO by Rebecca Liston

It’s quite possible that I am the Queen of Analogies. Sometimes I string several of them together when I get really excited about a topic, and before you know it, the example I am using that is meant to create clarity becomes slightly confusing.

(“Wait, is she talking about lawn care or hockey? Bloody hell, I do wish she’d slow down sometimes!” — spoken by many a-colleague and dinner party guest!)

But I digress…

As many of you know, I am in the midst of creating and perfecting the most delightful business event ever — BeaverCon London Canada, 2017.

(It is going to be soooo epic…and if you’ve not yet registered, you can here!)

But again, I digress…

Anyways, in preparing for this event, Stella Orange and Sarah Dew and I were chatting around the table. What would we like to talk about at this event? What did we want to discuss? What issues are we seeing in business that simply must be brought to light? What trends are in the making? What new ways are there to do business, to keep us all on our Growth Edges and still having fun?

(Which is what BeaverCon is really all about…really…you should come!)

Again, I digress…

So there we were, pondering the biggest of the biggest issues in business today — because we do like to consider ourselves to be on the Growth Edge at all times — and suddenly it hit me:

“I don’t have a lawn mower!”

Now it’s quite possible they thought I was completely off my rocker in that moment, but God love them, they just paused, turned to look at me, and Stella said, “Explain.”

And so I did.

Something that has long bothered me about many of the businesses that I see around me — coaches, healers, consultants, and the like — my own included — is that we’ve somehow come to the conclusion that we need to have or to own all the accoutrements related to “doing business” ourselves.
Desks. Projector screens. Mailchimp accounts. Zoom meeting platforms. Those little plastic thing-ys that you put your business cards in on a display table when you go to an event…

Do you know how many of those little plastic things I own? And how few times I actually used them? And how much money I invested in owning them? And how hard it is to get rid of them?


Because everyone else I know in business already owns 6 or more themselves!

Look, this may seem like a ridiculous thing to be talking about — business card holders for pete’s sake — but let’s take this one step further.

The mentality of “I have to own it myself” is inherent in many things that we do.

Sometimes the things that we feel we need to “own” are not just bits of plastic that hold cards.

Sometimes they are ideas.

Sometimes they are skills.

Sometimes they are clients.

(Yeah, let that last one land for a minute.)

So here’s the thing…

What if we didn’t have to own everything?

What if we openly shared our Zoom Meeting Accounts — you use it during the hours of x and y EST, and I will use it during the hours of q and z PST.

What would happen then?

We would save money — because we would share the cost of the account.

And we would then be two people in collaboration.

And what could happen from saving money AND being in collaboration?

Good things. Good things could happen.

You could buy more lattes. Or donate the money to your church. Or save it for a rainy day. Or feed your kids!

And suddenly, as a result of being in collaboration with someone, two people’s energies are meeting and well, as the old saying goes, “When two or more are gathered…good shit happens.” (Okay, so I may have paraphrased that slightly…)

Whenever we are in any kind of relationship, we, as individuals, become “More.” Our powers become greater. Our energy soars.

(Yes, yes, I of all people know that relationships can also really really suck…but for this moment, I want to focus on the positive.)

Good things can happen just from sharing a Zoom Meeting Account.

So what could happen if we shared our skills as openly?

What if we got so damn clear on our “lane,” our “wheelhouse,” that we could shout it out to the world and people could come to us and we could share with them openly because we love what we do and we could create change in their world and we could benefit because life is good and we are lovin’ it and so are they….

What could happen then, if we were so clear on our skills, but also the skills of those around us, such that we could send everyone we knew to THEM when they needed it so that they could share openly because they love what they do and they can create change in their worlds and we could all benefit because life is good and we are lovin’ it and so are they…

Look, I don’t have a freakin’ lawn mower.

But my neighbour, Don, does.

And I know it. And everyone knows it. And all our neighbours send one another to Don to use his lawn mower. And Don is thrilled — he hates having that thing sit in the garage getting rusty and dusty — and the entire neighbourhood loves it because we love the lawn mower, and we love Don, and now our grass looks really, really good.

See where I am going with this?

It is time, dear reader, to decide:

Do you own a lawn mower? A weed whacker? Maybe you’ve neither, but you have the gas to fuel them.

And then you need to discover:

Who DOES own the lawn mower? And the weed whacker? Because you’ve all this gas to put somewhere!

And you have to find those people. And develop those relationships. And create situations that WIN for everyone — sharing resources for the greater good, the best outcome, is where it’s really at!

And then, as it will follow, you will see that you don’t need to “own” your clients, either.

You will see that the ultimate goal is for your client to create whatever it is that gives them joy. And you will bring the gas. And Don will bring the lawn mower. And Sally will bring the weed whacker. And before you know it, your client will be so delighted and overjoyed by the sheer process of collaboration in this way — this way that you’ve orchestrated because you know your lane, you know what gifts you bring to the table, and those that others do — that success will find her all the faster.

The energy of collaboration alone will propel your client further, faster, because, dear reader, that’s Alchemy At Work.

And it’s beyond brilliant. For everyone.

Fully completely,

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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.