I have been asked way too many times in the last few years, more like judged, about what Hortfire LLC is and where it is going. Hortfire LLC will always exist, it will never go away, no matter what. When the original project started in college, it initially was a project, yet when I noticed I was totally beaten to development and placing that project on the market, I stopped putting my effort into that project. Looking back, for the time, it was the right thing to do then. Which really leads me to where I am today, and pondering a question yet again, of what or how to move forward.
In the past month, Mr Hortfire has married Mrs Hortfire, well I don’t know if she likes that name or not, but when I refer to her in my blog writtings, she will be referred to as Mrs Hortfire. Why, because we like everyone else like to keep their private life private. Even before our nuptials, myself and Mrs. Hortfire had numerous long talks about what WE wanted out of Hortfire LLC. She has been a guiding light in the last 8 years of Hortfire, and at times she has been the inspiration to actually have me focus on it and solely on it.
So after, working for people and their companies, building a better life for them, it was apparent that I needed to solely focus on just Hortfire LLC and build a better life for US. So I did and unlike in 2008, I took a different approach, I got input from people who I trusted for quiet some. Again, I spent money marketing, I had some clients and I tried day in and day out working hard to build up business. Well, after several years of blood, sweat, and tears, I really cannot say I have a lot to show for it. And yes, I have heard every reason possible to why.
“You didn’t try hard enough.” “You don’t know business.” “You didn’t market it enough.” “You are too expensive, you need to be cheaper.” “You will never support a family with that business.” “No one pays people to do that.” “You don’t want to work,” On and on..
So why haven’t I stopped and just got a job working for someone? Well, who says I am not looking for just that as I juggle still trying to have a business? Who says, I am not up late every night stressing out and looking? People can say what they will, but until they walk in my shoes, they just don’t know.
In the future, the estate gardening side and design side is going to go away. I don’t see a future in it in. It isn’t worth the time. To be competitive and to operate the business is extremely difficult, when you are the sole person, regardless if you very good at it or not.
What isn’t going away is the plant breeding, horticultural research, plant propagation, or the tea division. It may be all that Hortfire LLC represents in the future outside of writings, maybe some videos and other media. The future is more about being products based than services based. While some of you might be thinking. “How can you be committed working to someone else and still own a company and have it grow?” The answer is simple, “When the time comes for expansion through growth, we will surround ourselves with the right people, give them the right tools, train them properly, and watch them Grow Forward.” Even if they should fall down, we will there to help them back up and to support them.
While this may be the “old standard of doing business” in the United States, it is the standard we will be known for because we value loyalty and passion. We know that we cannot make superior products if we don’t make superior employees first.
All this doesn’t mean we are not going to quit sharing our love of plants and the environment. That would be the opposite of what Hortfire means, spreading horticulture like wildfire. So while I sit at this crossroads, I know it is time once again, to stop trying to have a business based on services, which the vast majority of people don’t value, and to start having a business that produces goods that people love, even if it means a have to commit myself to someone’s business. Because no matter if I am the boss or a just a team member, the loyalty and passion that I desire in my future employees, I will always put forward for someone else. Change is coming to Hortfire LLC, some might not like it, some might want it, and some people might say,”Ah you are taking the easy way out by quitting.”
For me and my family, I am taking the right path by focusing on my family first and then providing secondary income next. All of this is about, making sure my (future) children do not have to experience the hardships I experience growing up. It is about a long term fit with the right organization of people to do great things, not only for me but for those who have given me the opportunity to do so. Most importantly, it is about providing Mrs Hortfire with the security she deserves.