The one question I’ve never been asked

Have you ever pitched to a panel of mentors before? It’s nerve-wracking! In my 60 second pitch, I tell the audience that we generate leads on a Pay-Per-Lead basis. I go on to say that oh yes, we also plant trees as we generate leads.

Following the 60 second pitch, we get quizzed on the business model, how the Pay-Per-Lead works, etc. But nobody asks why we plant trees. People usually do an acknowledging nod and proceed to grill me about the boring stuff.

As you know, we plant a lot of trees using our partner charity One Tree Planted onetreeplanted.org.  Check out One Tree Planted to see all the different regions of the world that they plant trees in.

I found this a little weird that the one question that isn’t asked is why trees? What’s the use of a tree compared with donations to educating children or feeding the homeless?

Not that I’d expect someone to rip my head off saying;

“Trees?? There’s war and famine in the world and you’re planting trees?”

But you know, nobody has ever asked how the tree planting came to be. April is Earth Month, ahead of the 22nd April Earth Day. As such, I thought it worth sharing the context behind the tree planting as we generate leads

 

Do what you’re good at and add an environmental or social benefit to it

When I was writing stories in Primary school, they always seemed to take place in a massive forest somewhere. I mean considering my last name is Wood, its probably not a surprise that I like forests. Being part of the business accelerator crowd in Bristol, I’ve seem business owners create some amazing technical feats that are going to have a huge impact.

Years ago I was wracking my brain about what I could do and I heard this phrase “do what you’re good at”. Now I’m not particularly technical, but at the time I said “I am good at selling stuff.” I then delved into learning more and more about sales processes and managing a sales operation. All the while I was wondering how I can make this indirectly beneficial for the wider world.

It was then 5 years ago that I put the two thoughts together,

“Why don’t we just generate leads for others and plant trees as we go?”

No client’s ever asked for us to plant trees, it was just something that I personally wanted to do. Whilst I may not be the inventor of something that will transform the world, I certainly have a team that will create leads for them and we can plant trees along the way too

I started this planting trees locally, myself. As the team grew, this got a bit unwieldy though. At home, we had avocado and acorn trees sprouting everywhere in the spare room. It all got a bit messy really. Thankfully we came across One Tree Planted as a charity to plant trees for us.

 

“Do what you’re good at and add an environmental or social benefit to it”

 

I actually wrote a blog about this a while back. This talked about local and global companies who are all working to make a difference in their own way. Check it out

 

one tree planted

 

Trees aren’t just long term, they’re really long term

What I like about trees is about who actually sees the benefit. I heard this phrase once “To plant flowers in your garden is to be optimistic that the future will be better than now.” Now you may roll your eyes at that and I wouldn’t blame you. But I like the idea that you don’t get the pay-off of a plant for years or maybe decades.

I or our team are probably personally never actually going to reap the benefits of the trees we’ve planted and are going to plant. But 30, 50, 100 years from now, these forests of mature trees will benefit people, plants and animals and continue to do so for hopefully thousands of years.

 

one tree planted

 

Trees help the rest of the ecosystem happen

What I like about sales is that one big sale can have a huge ripple effect, setting off a virtuous cycle. I like sales because it basically funds the rest of the organisation. In sales, you bring in the work that kickstarts the whole processWhen you land a big contract, you know you are helping by providing work for everyone else in that organisation. That then has a knock-on effect with their families and their communities.

For many ecosystems, trees form a very similar function. The trees allow the right conditions for other plants to grow. This attracts insects, which attracts birds, etc. There’s this whole ripple right up the food chain and it started with that tree. This is why I like working with One Tree Planted, they are helping build these foundations on which the rest of the ecosystem can sort themselves out.

 

one tree planted

 

Hope you enjoyed this, fancy reading some more?

I hope you enjoyed reading about the 3 main reasons we plant trees as we generate leads

Earth Day – You can find out more about Earth Day here and ideas on what you as an individual or organisation can do to help

 

One Tree Planted – Big shout out to One Tree Planted! You can check out their work here or even plant a tree if you like

 

Sustainable Growth – We have a blog with tips on how your business can be more sustainable here