During the Canadian Florist Business Forum this past May, I had the opportunity to visit with Jennifer Harvey who told me about the extensive travels she had planned for the coming summer months. Eager to learn how industry colleagues in various cities and provinces operate, she uprooted herself for weeks on end to visit them. No doubt, the experience complicated her life: she lost time at the shop, had to figure out logistics and keep track of her itineraries, and contend with jet lag as she bounced around time zones. But all that paled in comparison to what she gained: a richer perspective, enhanced appreciation for her craft, and new ideas about how to grow her business.

Since we spoke, I’ve thought a lot about personal growth. The only way to have it is to challenge ourselves. Whether the goal is to run a marathon, write a novel, increase sales, or develop a romantic relationship, you have to commit yourself to something that may be inconvenient, awkward, intimidating, or literally painful (looking at you, pushups!). It’s so worth it though—even if the only discernible reward is the feeling of accomplishment. At the end of the year, is there anything more gratifying than knowing you gave something your all or had the courage to try something new?

I’m writing this letter from an airplane en route to Bogota for the Proflora trade show. Even though the timing (smack in the middle of the magazine’s closing) is quite terrible and a few loved ones expressed apprehension for my safety, I felt I couldn’t possibly turn down the invitation to see some of the prettiest flowers out in the field, get a better understanding of the supply chain, network, and ultimately experience another culture. The trip will make the coming month challenging, but as I know from experience, it will pass. And when I look back, I’ll have great memories, more knowledge, and perhaps a few new floral friends.

For this issue, we asked contributors to share stories that illustrate the benefits of diverging from the standard way of doing things. You’ll hear how your peers pushed themselves to greater financial success and emotional fulfillment by taking a chance on pricing, education, accreditation, competition, public speaking, and more. If you’ve been hesitating to try something that’s always excited—but scared—you, we hope their anecdotes will give you a friendly nudge to pursue your dreams.

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2018!

Katie Hendrick
Katie Hendrick is the editor-in-chief of Canadian Florist.
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