It is said that our life is shaped by our careers or business but I want to think of the reverse to this… our business is shaped by our life! Experiences good and bad are the building blocks to life and this is often reflected in business. Our decisions come from what we have experienced in the past as well as our knowledge of the present and vision is shaped by experiences that we want to see reversed or grown.
Well, Greenline is no different and the business was born during a very difficult year. The anticipation and opportunity of a long-lasting partnership with my father was cut short when he was taken with cancer. This experience got me asking some deep questions about the direction of Greenline and why I should continue. My father’s motive was simple… start a business to provide for me. So, I decided to carry that forward. Provide a business that gives my family an opportunity and… a direction.
With this mantra I continued on. As the years and the personnel of Greenline increased, I continued to ask the same questions. Which direction and why? I had never really clarified this thought process as the day to day detail kept my mind full of doing, not formalising a vision. I can still remember the first year in business and the fifth, the tenth and now the twentieth year and I think “How did we last this long?”
Finding or describing a vision is difficult. But reflecting over life experiences and summarising what and why we do certain things helps to shape the true picture. A deeper purpose; rather than purely profit is the key to a sustainable business model. As we all know profit is normally the last in line after all the other factors align. So, what is a deeper purpose? I discovered that I enjoy helping others. Whether it be time or money or space… it is motivating and rewarding. Purpose is simple and uncomplicated. Purpose, when applied unselfishly, is movement.
So, growing up I lived outside. My early memories of light and sounds and smells and space were outside, doing things, exploring, climbing and running. It must have been perplexing to my accountant father and school teacher mother. I was uncluttered and free. I didn’t take a bag to school until 5th grade. Life was one big discovery. A tall tree or a shed were there to climb. A creek was there to cross. Everything outside was a challenge to size up and conquer. And I believe every child needs the outside learning experience.
Being outside also meant room to build things. A cubby house, a chook run and a garden were all early accomplishments. This led to an interest in woodwork, metalwork and drawing at school. The fulfillment of a new idea, a design that turns into something tangible is a real-life changer.
The vision… spaces to grow… encapsulates all my experiences and purpose and sets the basis for decisions now and in the future. It carries the idea of care and helping others. It embodies learning in an outside environment. It suggests an adaptable environment to encourage growth. It paraphrases an expectation of something good, something changing and something to look forward to. It is ageless and doesn’t have a destination. Because life is a journey and experience, a point along the way.
Greenline and spaces to grow are synonymous. They perfectly express the combination of experience and purpose. A vision… to live by.