Business Wisdom from a Thousand Year Old Tree

Business can be an experiment in endurance.

And finding your “money tree” can be a long process figuring out what works and what painfully does not.

Bristlecone Pine trees are the longest-living known organism. These trees succeed in harsh conditions for hundreds and thousands of years. Yes, thousands. One in California, nicknamed Methuselah is 4,849+ years old!

Taking clues from this long-living organism, find your place in the “business forest”.

1) Rule your niche
As noted in a Nova article, the Bristlecone Pines live “where practically nothing else can”. There is “little competition…for water and nutrients”. Have you found your niche that has little competition? Through Internet search research, one can find niches that are a part of the everyday of your business but may not strike as a amrket you control.

2) Survive drought
These amazing trees that live at 9,500 feet in the White Mountains of California, receive scarcely 12 inches of water. When drought happens, the trees slow their growth incredibly. For it – and a business to last through hard times – storing energy and reserves must be in it’s dna.

3) Resists disease
“Rust never sleeps” I heard a wise man once say. Rust or disease in a business can be negative morale, complacency or a clinging to what “worked in the past”. The Bristlecone Pine resists this through it’s solid make up. Build on sound priciples; offer your customers value, treat staff members with care and responsibility. Growing up in a small town I realize the people I work with may meet me in the grocery aisle. Build relationships and a business you can be proud of and are respected for.

4) Bigger is not better
At about 60 feet tall at the most, Bristlecone Pines size pails in the shadow of the famous California redwood trees over 300 feet. What the Bristlecone Pine has however is an innate ability to be flexible in a harsh environment. Utilizing reserves, it can survive season long droughts and be no worse for it.

5) When a root dies, the tree shuttles that part of it’s “business”
Have you a part of your business that needs to “die”? For emotional reasons sometimes we cling to sacred cows that should be put to rest.

When roots die on a Bristlecone, the tree allows the whole part fed by that root to die. Do you have areas in your business that really need to be left behind? Maybe there is a new idea seedling just waiting for some resources that are being wasted on an old, stagnant idea?