It takes 100 years for a redwood tree to reach its full height.
In ideal conditions, a healthy tree will grow about 2 to 3 feet per year, patiently reaching for the sky. 2 feet doesn’t seem like much, but year after year, it adds up to something mighty.
We live in a culture that values speed in all things—instant payment, lightning fast downloading and streaming, same-day free shipping, tap-post-click-swipe, immediate gratification.
When something doesn’t happen immediately, we often shrug and decide “it’s not meant to be” and give up. In our frenetic dashing, we forget that it takes time for big trees to grow.
Several years ago, I decided to offer a workshop about how to write a book. To save money, I figured I’d present the workshop in my living room rather than renting an expensive venue.
That first workshop, 8 people showed up. 4 of those people had been given free tickets and 4 paid to be there.
I remember feeling a mixture of hopefulness and discouragement. A part of me felt like, “Wow, it was tough to fill the seats in the room. I had to practically beg people to come.” My ego was a little bruised.
But the workshop went beautifully. As people left the room, I sensed, “there’s a tiny seed of ‘something’ here. I don’t know what yet. But it’s something.”
The next time I offered the same book-writing workshop, 10 people came. And the next time, 20. Then I decided to offer an online version. 50 people enrolled. Foot by foot, branch by branch, the project kept growing.
Last year, we had 150 people in the program—beyond my wildest dreams. We were able to offer 30 full scholarship spots, too.
This year, more than 250 people.
All through the year, my team and I receive emails from folks sharing photos of books they wrote—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cookbooks, children’s books, all kinds of treasures—and stories about how becoming an author has changed their lives.
This project has created a ripple effect that’s beyond anything I imagined, and, in many ways, we’re just getting started. It all started at a table in my living room.
What I’ve learned is that not everything needs to be fast.
Sometimes, the best things move slow.
Maybe, with certain projects, the solution isn’t to push harder and faster, but simply to keep showing up and give it time.
Like the saying goes, don’t leave before the miracle happens.
Who knows how tall your tree will grow?