This year I became a beekeeper. It wasn’t intentional but when our farm intern’s hive swarmed, we were able to catch it into a new hive with a new queen. Both colonies survived and when our intern left, she gave me the new hive as a parting gift.
Suffice it to say that I am brand spankin’ new at this. Given my high self-expectation barometer, I think I’ve done fairly well: I’ve spotted the queen more than once, I can see eggs, and I can tell the difference between capped honey and capped brood. In non-beek speak, I’m doing pretty fucking good.
Last night, I woke up panicked. I was stress dreaming about the bees (lol I know, don’t @ me). The season is changing. There are new things to do. I need to level up my skills.
“When do I harvest the honey?”
“What equipment do I need and what preparations will make it easier?”
“Do I skip honey harvest this year and try again next year?”
“What about mite treatments?”
“I should probably harvest some staghorn sumac because it’s really good smoker material.”
“What about feeding them and prepping them for the winter?”
“What are the small actions in between all these big things?”
All those questions? They make me feel inadequate — and I hate feeling inadequate.
That’s the thing about growth. It’s very rarely comfortable.
As an entrepreneur, I feel fairly certain that you understand this on a cellular level. We walk a duality of enjoying the challenge of beautiful, audacious goals…while also wanting things to feel stable and safe. We love different experiences…as long as they’re still paying the bills. We want to learn new things…but hate feeling woefully inadequate.
The truth of the matter is that this is part of the reason why you were drawn to being your own boss in the first place. Hates taking orders from others. Always sees a more optimized way to do things. Resents performing to the status quo. But also wants to be really fucking good at everything you try. Me too.
When I started panicking about the bees, I launched myself into a Facebook group, Google, and a Beekeeping 101 book. I checked the hours of the local apiary to make sure I could run up there if I needed to. I found a local membership group and a mentor. I leaned on all of my supports.
Without them, I’d be flailing and worse, I might hurt the bees. #clientmetaphor
The point is, it’s okay if you aren’t an expert in something new. It’s okay if this next level of growth is hard. Everyone, including you, thrives with the help of a community. It’s all a matter of finding the right support, the right community…and strategies to deal with the stress dreams.
If you want to build a regenerative business, building community and asking for help is a fundamental part of your growth.