Nature is and always will be my best teacher. The wealth of wisdom that she shares in the simplest things astounds me. And so I ask questions and she responds in my dreams. When I asked the question of “What is the nature of a healthy business?” her response, “think of a seed”. And so I have been thinking a lot of seeds!
So often in business we look only at today, the blossoming of the flower, occasionally dipping back into the past for lessons learned and rarely planning for the blossoms to happen years from now. Seeds have a lot to teach. They hold the wisdom of the strength of past practices but they also hold within their tiny breadth the complete package for the continuation of generations of blossoms to come.
To continue our vision of Fair Trade we need to be like a seed. We need to plant the seeds now that will allow our businesses to thrive long after we are gone. We owe that to the producers, to the movement and to the customers that have grown to love, support and depend on us to provide fair trade goods. And we owe it to perpetuating the wisdom that we have garnered along the way.
Ric and I started Ganesh Himal Trading as youngsters, 35 years ago. Throughout the years we have cultivated a warm and compassionate staff here in the US and an amazing group of partners in Nepal that have made it their life’s work to make our collective vision a reality. That was the first seed planted. But leadership has to evolve away from founders and into the hands of those who have been mentored. Eight years ago we started to cultivate the soil for the planting of the seed that would allow for the continuation of our dream far into the future, encapsulating the Fair Trade values and relationships cultivated over these 35 years.
And so on June 1, Ric retired and Austin, who many of you know, became my business partner. This transition has been a long time in the making and has been cultivated with the same care as the rest of Ganesh Himal Trading. Read on to hear their thoughts on letting go and moving forward.
If Fair Trade is to grow and prosper we need to engage in what it takes to transition and to do it now. We have seen many great businesses continue on because of this planning and far too many fail. Take care that the seeds you planted are well tended and ready to blossom again and again, without you, into the future. Our Fair Trade partners and movement deserve that care.