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Looking to take your business to another level? Well, the best way to improve your business success is to improve yourself. Today’s guest says the best decision you can make is to invest in yourself.
Monique Allen is the Founder & Creative Director of The Garden Continuum, a landscape firm that focuses on landscape projects. She’s also a published author, educator, and industry leader. Monique has dedicated her life and career to creating an alternative approach on how we can improve our land, our lives, and our business. She has turned The Garden Contiumum into a 7 figure business and learned some valuable lessons along the way.
She believes employers need to stop hunting and start attracting their perfect employees, especially if they are looking to outsource some of their tasks.
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we chat about the importance of teaching within your business, how to attract and build a great team, how to work on your self-awareness, and why you need to invest in yourself first.
If you want to set your business up for growth and improve your chances of success, tune into this episode to hear what Monique has to say.
💡 Name: Monique Allen
💡 What she does: She’s a Business Coach & Founder of The Garden Continuum, Inc.
💡 Noteworthy: Monique is the founder of the Life-Scape Method for landscape development and the author of the book “STOP Landscaping, START Life-Scaping.”
💡 Key Quote: “My gift is to be able to see the divine order in chaos. And in the trades businesses, we operate in chaos. A lot of times, we’re brought in when things are broken. So we’ve got to fix stuff. We have to be diagnostic. We have to be forensic.”
Teach within your business. Because of the revolving door employment problem, there’s an omnipresent fear among business owners of losing their top employees. The fear is based on a presumption that if you teach your employee everything about your business and industry, they’ll leave you and launch their own business. But Monique begs to differ. Instead, she believes business owners should embrace generosity.
“I think as owners, we need to kind of step into a relatively uncomfortable initially space of generosity and understand that there’s another amazing thing that happens beyond the fact that when you teach, then people can implement and apply within your own business. But when you really work a business with that level of generosity, you don’t have somebody exit your business by the back door. They actually walk out looking straight in your eyes out the front door, and that might be your best colleague.”
How to attract your perfect employees? One of the most common challenges that all business owners are currently facing is staff shortage. The pandemic has caused a major labor shortage around the globe, and companies now operate with a constant fear of running out of staff. Monique offers an outside-of-the-box solution. Rather than hunting, you should focus on attracting your perfect employees.
“One of the main things that I’ve embraced at this point is that you have to understand that just like with people in your lives, […] people come into your lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And that you’ve got to look at your employees that way, too, and you sort of accept that truth at the beginning, then you can always look at every single person you’re recruiting that way too. Am I recruiting them for a reason? Are they going to be with me for a season, or are they going to be with me for a lifetime? And what that does is it helps set your emotional expectations about how this is gonna go. So that’s one which is huge.”
Self-awareness is the first step to personal and professional growth. A business coach and a professional educator, Monique is also committed to helping other business owners reach their full potential. She says she’s done a lot of personal work herself to get to where she is today. She now uses that experience and knowledge to create a safe coaching environment for others.
“Mostly what I’m doing with people is helping them to figure out how to look in the mirror so that they can have some self-awareness about how they are reacting and how if they took a breath and took a step back, they might be able to respond. And then what happens is when you respond overreact, you actually bring your full intelligence, and when you’re reacting unfortunately you don’t. You bring your fight or flight. You know how we talked earlier about the brain part’s easy, but the heart part’s hard. Unfortunately, when we’re reacting, we’re totally reacting with the whole heart part. And we’re disconnected.”
Invest in yourself. The best investment decision that every business owner can make is to invest in themselves. You can never go wrong if you decide to spend money on personal and professional growth. But you need to give yourself permission first. That’s why self-reflection is important. Take a look at the mirror and prepare yourself to do the work.
“If you’re on a merry-go-round, if you feel like for landscapers, every spring, it’s the same story. If you’re on that merry-go-round in your life, the only way to get off is to give yourself permission to get off, which means you need to make a decision to invest in yourself. And the investment that you make in yourself is not selfish. When somebody works with you, Tyler, and they say that they’re ready to work on their business, they’re making an investment in themselves so that they can turn that investment around into their business. You’re helping them work on their business so that they stop neglecting it.”
“What happens is it’s not that our minds are against profit, it’s that our hearts are because we think that somehow that’s greedy, or somehow that’s a bad thing. And so the reminding is that money is energy and that I bring incredible positive energy to your space, whatever it is I’m doing there, and the positive energy you bring back is, yes, you cover my costs, and you make me money, and you make some profits so I can do that barbecue for my people so that they stick around.”
“Because we’re all wounded, terribly wounded from the revolving door employment problem, there is this incredible fear that if I teach them they’ll take it when they leave. And so there’s a ‘keeping very close to the vest.’ And look, I’ve suffered it, I’ve aught people whole programs and then watch them go and open their own business. But that’s an itch that if somebody is going to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, there’s nothing that you as an owner are ever going to be able to do about that.”
“I have a very, very high health value. And so, having a health value alignment means that somebody who’s personally beating themselves up health-wise is not going to be a good fit for my company because I’m going to feel out of alignment, and they’re going to feel out of alignment.”
“It’s not really about skill. I mean, it is about skill, especially in the trades. We’re very worried, very interested in skill. But I think the hurdle there is a lot of times, especially if owners are the ones writing the job descriptions; they’re writing these job descriptions that are for these Hercules-type superhero people that don’t actually exist. And they’re forgetting that people are actually very simple of mind when it comes to craft.”
“What I saw in the marketplace was an amazing resistance to work and also a lot of fear. I call it a fear economy. And because we’re dealing in a fear economy, there’s always like ‘What are you going to do to hurt me?’”
“You never put a job ad out there and leave it and throw money at it and wait for clicks. You don’t do that. You have to mine; you have to constantly be mining. So I think the biggest tip that I would give to anybody who’s recruiting right now, be everywhere but don’t pay tons of money to be everywhere, just simply be everywhere and then figure out ways to hyper-engage with those platforms.”
“I think we’ve got to understand that we’re seriously imperfect, and sometimes you really do want to haul off and punch somebody, but it’s not very productive. So how do you get the help you need in the community that you have? And that’s going to take your identifying that person and then asking that person for permission to be that person for you.”