[The Four Elements] Earth

Raul Popadineți
5 Nov, 2020 • 6 min read
A Symbol For Earth

In Hinduism, the Earth element was considered to be a part of us. It symbolizes the human body. If we decide to give it little importance, it will degrade, and the repercussions will be seen later in our life, whereas if we concentrate only on our body, other areas will suffer. 

It's trivial to keep a proper balance. We must be able to take care of it consciously to live a long and healthy life. It is a microcosmos that needs to be nurtured. If we create a schedule and have a cadence for when we sleep, work, eat, and leisure time, it will be easier for our body to predict what's happening. Every now and then, it wouldn't hurt to get out of the bubble and stress it out a little bit so we can slowly deal with unexpected situations and observe how our body reacts to them. We could decide to run a marathon, but we need training. We'll soon notice our limits and what we need to improve to reach our goal: diet, muscles, respiration, etc. 

We can follow progress by keeping a journal, use a notes app, or whatever fits our need. We can write down the downfalls and uplifts. In the end, it's up to us if we want to improve and get better at what we're doing, or we indulge in our situation and start to degrade. The only issue with the human body is that you have only one shot. If you destroy your body, you can't restart. 

With a company, on the other hand, it is different. It is the perfect training ground. We're not the first ones to start, fail, and start anew. Here we can learn about the uncertainties and unknowns along the journey and adapt according to them. We can follow the good parts of other businesses. 

This blog is our way of keeping a journal. We can come back later and evaluate if what we did was right, or we need to put the locker on the door, restart, or just a small shift is enough. 

One good lesson, which is quite hard to achieve nowadays, is patience, perseverance, and not losing trust. It's hard because we live in an era where people want to move quickly and make a profit even more rapidly.

Luckily, we continue to learn from Nature, and the four elements analogy are the perfect analogy in the business world because we can't expect to make a profit on day one, just like we can't grow a tomato in a day. It might be possible by feeding it some chemicals, I don't know, but that's artificial, and it'll be the same thing as it happens with VC funded startups. VC-backed companies' primary purpose is to grow fast and go for IPO or sale in a short time. A gardener who wants to produce the best tomatoes doesn't want to use an unnatural way. If we learn to use artificial ways of growing, we'll always be impatient and push harder on deadlines. Great things always take time. Earth is our best proof of that. Everything that surrounds us took years to grow; continents, as we know them today, were shaped in millions of years.

Our previous article mentioned that the Earth element is the product or the service you sell in a company. It is the foundation that keeps your business alive and brings money through the door, a solid ground that allows everything else to grow and flourish. 

Think of a business as it would be your garden. You want to choose the best soil on which you plant your crops. If it's not, you add supplements to make it more fertile. You can test various soils for different vegetables or fruit trees. You can choose to have a single type in the beginning or go with multiple ones. That's up to you. 

The seeds planted are your customers. Their roots match the trust growing between you and them. Getting them to become strong enough is a sign they'll become loyal. If their roots are weak and you don't nurture them, eventually, they'll die. Customers need your attention when they're stuck. Failing to listen carefully, have patience, empathy, and adapt according to their voice will result in a poor harvest or even no harvest at all.

Water is a vital source for growth along with the soil's nutrients. We associated this element with the company's people, and we'll discuss in our next post how this affects your product when they lack or deluge.

If the earth is good, and it has enough moisture, the plant will pop out from the seed. If the root represents trust, the part above the ground is the progress the consumer makes in life while using your product. 

All the stars seem to align so far, and you've reached a certain stability. You're profitable. Now you need to plan for the unexpected: system outages, a pandemic, surge of traffic, and others. These can produce a big disruption and even take you out of business if you don't keep an eye on them. You also have to have in mind that you're not the only business in the world. 

About a century ago, it was easy to sell something because people did not have too many options. Sometimes the only thing you had to do is just display the product, and people would buy it. Now there are so many options that people have to spend a lot of time filtering and comparing products before committing. There are a dozen that do precisely the same thing. Often the one that will prevail will be the one that presents it better to the customers. 

There's no such thing as an overnight success. It's hard to give the recipe for building a great product or service, but what seems to show results repeatedly is to create it and focus on building an audience afterward or vice-versa.

 In a world where everybody is trying something and wants to become the next big thing, it's foolish to think that you're the first one coming up with the idea. Remember the saying "there's already an app for that"? Usually, someone else did it before you, but it did not flourish. It wasn't exposed at the right time, or there wasn't a significant need for it. There are a lot of external factors that can cause a business to fail or succeed. It's up to you if you want to build something to make the world a better place or for the sole purpose of making money. Depending on the path, you'll use natural vs. unnatural ways of growing.

Earth is the foundation of everything. It is the solid ground on which we step every day. It allowed us to build a home for ourselves. It hosts thousands of cities and rural places. Some of it is stable, and some of it not. Sometimes earthquakes occur, and it can split continents apart. It has seen civilizations rise and fall. It is continuously changing, and we have to change along with it as it should happen to our business. Nurture your products like you would nurture your garden.

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