3 min read

Succeed in Growing - Garden Mentors

Be prepared to do some things really wrong. Accept that "fail" is just a 4-letter F word to learn from. Take a breath, accept the lesson, correct what needs correcting, and move on.
Succeed in Growing - Garden Mentors

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Robin Haglund, Founder and President of Garden Mentors Inc., located in Bow, WA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Garden Mentors is my business. For decades, I've helped struggling gardeners in person and online learn how to garden successfully so they can finally enjoy their gardening lifestyle & a great garden. I do this through hand-in-hand garden consultations, the Garden Mentors Online Gardening Academy, virtual garden coaching, gardening seminars, and more.

Tell us about yourself

Years ago, I realized there were a lot of people who wanted to be able to garden but didn't know how to find success that worked with their busy lifestyles. Going to generalized classes wasn't enough, and hiring everything out wasn't their goal. Seeing this gap in the industry options, I sought to become the missing link by offering hand-in-hand guidance to help busy people learn to garden successfully and fast. Seeing the lights of understanding fire off in my student's eyes when they "get it" and having them tell me how much they love and understand their gardens after meeting me, well, that lights me up. It feeds me and it continues to motivate me to continue to teach gardening through hand-in-hand coaching, online consulting, and a series of online gardening courses.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think my biggest accomplishment has been helping pioneer the garden coaching industry. When I started out almost two decades ago, my biggest challenge was getting the concept of garden coaching understood. Nobody was searching the internet for a garden coach, but over time that's really changed. I made a concerted effort to advertise the term early. And that helped me get coverage in Sunset Magazine, the New York Times, and on HGTV early in my career. Those features helped me make a change for myself and for the greater gardening industry. So today, I'm thrilled to see lots of folks hanging out their hats as garden coaches. And hopefully, each brings even more success to more struggling gardeners the way that I have been doing for years.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a business owner comes with many challenges. When people find out I work in gardening, they assume it's all sunshine, flowers, rainbows, and fruit. Sadly, business isn't always a Garden of Eden. The fact is: you've got to wear a lot of hats. And it's impossible to wear all of them effectively. For me, letting go of tasks I'm not great at and paying someone skilled in those areas is always a challenge. But that's just my ego getting in the way. Once I take a breath and recognize this, it becomes much easier to step aside and get help in the places I need it most. And I am so thankful for all of the amazing smart people who have helped me find my way past these challenges. Their help enables me to stay focused on what I do best: helping others become awesome gardeners!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be prepared to do some things really wrong. Accept that "fail" is just a 4-letter F word to learn from. Take a breath, accept the lesson, correct what needs correcting, and move on.
  2. When you make a mistake, own it. Nobody likes someone who plays the blame game. And if someone is blaming you, and it isn't your mistake, work with them to work it out without blowing your top or taking a bunch of knocks you don't deserve.
  3. Get organized and stay organized! If you aren't organized, you'll eventually run into trouble. That might mean poor bookkeeping leads to lost revenue or a tax nightmare. It might mean you overpromise and underdeliver. It might mean you work all the time and never keep time for yourself to get out in your garden and enjoy your one precious life.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://gardenmentors.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardenMentors/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gardenmentors/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gardenmentor/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gardenmentor/

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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