Lessons Gleaned From My Garden

Featured Author: Cyndi ONeill-Dady

This was first presented in December of 2019 at an Exceptional Connections event. I read it loud and proud as I really do believe this topic is important for us as business people.

Gardening is a lot more like networking than you might think at first glance. Accomplishing each step in the process moves you closer to mastery and reaping the fruits of a bountiful harvest. In gardening as with networking, the act of sowing seeds, nurturing and watering them places the vision of the harvest in motion. Building critical skill sets over time increases the yield of your efforts, and creates sustainable success into the future. I believe there are six seasons to creating a successful garden, as well as becoming a successful networker. When you become proficient at these six seasons you are considered a “master gardener”. In networking when you follow these six seasons and master the six Connection Circle steps you are considered an “Exceptional Connector”.

The 6 seasons I have identified are:

First you Plan - envision, dream, forecast the vision of what you want to accomplish

Second, You Prepare good soil and by doing so create the foundation for future success; gather resources, tools, and equipment…

Third, It’s time to Plant - implement, focus, take action, sow seeds for a promising future.

Fourth, Pruning is the season to eliminate, streamline, clean-up, weed out anything that will drain positive growth or energy. In networking this is also the time to take inventory of your relationships. This season requires tenacity and a ruthless commitment to cut off or cut back what is no longer serving you to achieve more fruitful growth.

Number 5 is Pick - This is the season that brings me the most joy. It’s when I harvest my crops and enjoy the bounty. It also offers the opportunity to be generous, share the spoils of my labor along with joy and happiness.

The last season is to Prosper. This is the fulfillment of all of your hard work, and the realization of your vision. It is important to take time to pause, reflect and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The garden is definitely my happy place.

My humble beginnings as a gardener started when I was a young girl, and had potted plants in mustache cups all along the window sills of my bedroom. Over the years I have discovered the value of these 6 seasons, and how they relate to building sustainable relationships. By resurrecting half dead plants that my family and friends brought to me, I became known as the plant whisperer. The revived plants contributed joy and happiness to people who thought the situation was hopeless.

Nurture your network and relationships like you tend a garden. Take action to cultivate your relationship garden. Just like you do not start off with a harvest, you start with seeds; you do not start with great relationships, you end up with them. The investment of time, effort and consistency allows you to reap the rewards of being an exceptional connector.

About the Author: Cyndi ONeill-Dady

Cyndi, a seasoned professional with a BA in English from the University of California, brings over 16 years of expertise in business relationship marketing strategy. In 2009, she established Exceptional Connections® Networking, driven by her vision to become an Exceptional Connector.

As a driving force in this initiative, Cyndi mentors business professionals to create lasting and meaningful connections. She cultivates authenticity through her "6-Steps to Exceptional Connecting" process, empowering rapport, facilitating change, and building trust.

As an avid organic Gardener, her commitment extends to creating nurturing environments that foster growth through connections, allowing relationships to transform into advocates. Cyndi's "Networking Lessons Gleaned from my Garden," a 6-Step framework drawing parallels between networking and gardening, showcases her nature-inspired insights.

A contributor to a Women of Influence audio compilation, Cyndi's dedication to authentic connections positions her as an inspirational figure in networking and relationship-building.