I have always had big dreams, ambition and an endless quest to be my absolute best. While my journey hasn’t been straight forward in this industry, every decision I’ve made along the way has been filled with intention and grit. My career path in horticulture has been, and always will be, a series of small milestones. Each milestone I accomplished led me closer to my long-term goals, and I managed to find my way to the ultimate dream job early in my career. Becoming the Garden Director for a company like Magnolia is something I would have never predicted, but I knew my hard work would always pave the way to opportunities like this one. This opportunity has been a dream, and I hope my advice will help you chase yours.
To the women in the lawn and landscape industry with big dreams, my advice to you is:
Follow your heart. You know the feeling. When your heart isn’t in it, you’re exhausted, mentally drained, and uninspired. The best thing you can do for yourself, and others, is to find what makes your heart happy. When you’re inspired, you inspire those around you. When you’re passionate about what you do, everyone around you will rally to accomplish what your heart desires. Follow your heart.
Never stop learning. Early in my career, the thing that made work challenging was what I didn’t know. In this industry, there is an endless amount of knowledge you can gain. I’ve always said, “as long as you are learning, it is all part of the journey.” Forward motion in your career and life is a direct result of learning. Learn as much as you can and constantly seek out the knowledge you need to give your absolute best in everything you do. Never stop learning.
Stay rooted in truth. As a woman, I know how hard it can be to manage difficult emotions in the workplace. I’ve had many moments of not being taken seriously. I’ve been told, “this isn’t rocket science” by a client. I’ve also been treated with little to no respect due to my age. All this to be said, I want to remind you that you know the truth. When challenging situations arise, stick to the facts. The truth is more grounded than our fleeing emotions. Stay rooted in truth.
The details matter. Everything you do matters. From the email you write to the weeds you pull in the garden, the small details matter. The decisions you make in life should be filled with intention, purpose and care. When you slow down and focus on the details, your work is going to be accurate and well-crafted. My dad always said, “do it right the first time.” There are so many instances in life where this can be true, so I urge you to put your best foot forward. There will also be moments when you’ll fail. But if you tried your best, I promise you won’t be disappointed. The small milestones are the tiny details of your story that create a work of art. The details matter.