tending versus toiling in your businessAre you TENDING versus TOILING in your business?

Most business owners tend to TOIL, more than they ever imagined!  They spend their time working long hours; putting out fires, and dealing with recurring mistakes. Therefore, they find themselves too worn out to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

You may be familiar with the story of Adam and Eve, how “in the beginning” God gave them instructions to take care of a Garden. What a gift!


Theirs was a turn-key operation—all systems perfectly designed. The only thing they were required to do was TEND or take care of it, not to work themselves into the ground!

I believe, as today’s business owners and managers, our assignment is the same!  Make our systems so effective that we can enjoy TENDING, with little to no TOIL!

How to End the Curse

You may still be wondering, “What’s Adam and Eve got to do with business?’  Well, I believe their story has some broader implications, if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes.

Business owners and managers tend to hold meetings over and over, rehashing the same old problems with employees. These multiple meeting hope to keep everyone on the same page. All the while, they endure constant interruptions from others seeking information, so they can do their jobs. The reason for that is, there are no systems or standard processes to keep them on track.  Guess we might call this constant need of management oversight, “the curse”! Some just accept it as, “business as usual”!

I Call Those Frustrations “System Busters”

Now, let’s look a little closer at our Garden story, to understand why Adam and Eve were told only to “tend” the garden. A great system—a great network of systems—had already been created to manage the Garden’s day-to-day issues and upkeep. So, given that perfect system, Adam and Eve might have just enjoyed “tending” the garden. Think of it, no worries with the constant frustration of pests, drought, and other things that can cause chaos in a garden. Unfortunately, like modern human beings, they proved capable of botching up a two-person apple festival!

Okay, so let’s replace “tend the garden” with “tending your business.”

Granted, most businesses begin with a less than perfect situation, with few if any carefully considered processes for running day-to-day operations. It’s not surprising then when things go wrong and for all the dust we might kick up in an unkempt “garden”, things tend to get worse.

Now for the Good News

Our toil—our work—was never meant to be a chaotic, overwhelming burden. So, what if we spend some of that “toiling” time developing sustainable systems that will manage and actually STOP most of the chaos we deal with every day?

With the right systems in place, your business, like a well-kept garden—might only need a little pruning here and there.  Or you can just keep fighting the weeds!

I say, we need to toil smarter, seek out better systems, so all we have to do is tend to our business and enjoy watching it grow!

Here’s how to have a well-kept garden… read:

Did I mention—Great Systems Work?