Kate Spirgen
PORTRAIT BY AMBER SMITH

There’s a certain line from Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching” that’s been running through my mind a lot during the past few weeks: “The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.”

After spending a week in Columbus, Ohio, attending this year’s Cultivate, I came away feeling better educated, but also a bit wiser by Lao Tzu’s standards. I had no idea how much I didn’t know. I probably still don’t. And while realizing just how much there is to learn about the industry can be overwhelming, it’s a great motivator to just keep on learning.

That’s the great thing about meeting up with your peers and continuing your education, no matter how you do it. You’ll always find there’s more you don’t know. Even seasoned industry veterans can find themselves unaware of a new trend or buying habit or HR problem. There’s always more to discover as the market evolves and customers change.

But that’s the fun of learning, and you can use it to your advantage. The newer generation of “plant parents” want to find out everything they don’t know about plants — even what they don’t know they are in the dark about. It’s a whole new world for them and they’re looking for guidance, so be that authority and that educator. If you don’t do it, someone else will, and who knows what kinds of misinformation will get out into the public knowledge. You can be the resource that tells them what they need to know to be successful with their new hobby.

You can find out more about that in our show coverage here, in addition to photos from the show here. There are also takeaways from the sessions we attended on our website. Just click here and you’ll find all kinds of tips and tricks to help your garden center. From email marketing ideas to trends to HR advice, there’s plenty to put into practice at your company.

Have fun finding out what you don’t know, learning and using your new knowledge to grow your business.

Kate Spirgen
kspirgen@gie.net