You never know until you walk in those shoes-a phrase that I value now more than ever since becoming a small business owner. When I think back on the past two decades and how my life and even my dreams have evolved, I’m stunned. I never imagined that my choices would lead me where I am today.
The opportunities, challenges, troubles, and thrills of being in business have educated and forever changed me. These days, I do my best not to assume anything about the why and how of other’s actions, especially those in business. I know that there is so much more to the story than meets the eye. It feels as though the learning curves will never stop, and that’s what piques my interest.
My most current lesson is a whopper, jumping into the online course arena. When I first knew I wanted to create an online course, I announced it in crazy Lisa fashion in our 2016 printed catalog. This was long before I had figured out how I was going to do it. Little did I know just what an undertaking this would be and where it would lead me.
It took me a year to find my way to learning how to bring this new area of business to life. What held me back was the ever-present challenge I faced with owning and managing a thriving business. After some restructuring to relieve my day-to-day business life, the door opened to a whole new area that I am thrilled to pursue. Just one more piece of my yummy little pie falling into place.
In 2018 I created and launched several successfully on-demand online courses— Seed Starting Made Easy, The Easy Cut-Flower Garden, Cool Flowers: Beyond the Book, and the first Flower Farming School Online course. Little did I know that creating and making the courses was only the beginning of this process!
After that came the marketing, administrative support, course hosting, bookkeeping, technology, glitches, and the tech support and on and on. Great balls of fire, I thought Suzanne and Kelly were going to skin me alive! The year 2018 proved to be eye opening. It was a huge skill shift for The Gardener’s Workshop team. As a result of rising to and nailing this challenge, my support team grew into this collaborative that today makes amazing things happen.
So now, I’ve found myself in a very exciting position.
I am producing courses for other amazing teachers of farming, gardening, and business. Having been a part of speaker and author circles for all these years has given me ample opportunities to see the very best teachers in action. Those that inspire their audiences and give them those awesome take away nuggets. What is a nugget? I believe that attendees should always leave a program or workshop with something they can go home and use. I call that newfound inspiration and knowledge a nugget. My gardening, farming, and business life has been changed by these type of life changing teachers.
It is a priceless gift to receive the knowledge to do something that you have longed for or dreamed of. I know because I have been on the receiving end of learning from some of the very best teachers in the farming and gardening industries. Producing these online courses taught by others is a way to bring their significant messages to a wider audience beyond the lecture hall, conference audience, or workshop.
Most of the farmers, gardeners, and business owners that I know as great and powerful teachers will never produce their own online courses. Chances are, if I hadn’t made that crazy public announcement back in 2016, I would have never gone down this long and involved road myself. Life was good. I loved my business of farming, teaching, writing, and providing to others the tools, seeds, and supplies I used. I could have gone on for a longtime just sticking to that plan. But I didn’t stick to the plan.
The goal for the courses I produce is that they offer content that is life changing in some way. In your home or garden, on your farm or to start a farm, these courses will make available sustainable ways to start, build, and expand your business. You will learn to be innovative. But most of all you will learn how to have the life you want to lead with balance of faith, family, work, and community.
Keep your eye out for my handpicked teachers bringing life changing lessons. Click here to be in the loop with my Course News! Be the first to know when new courses open plus special offers, exclusive information, and more!
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a cut-flower farmer, author and nationally recognized speaker on organic gardening and farming.