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Survivalists know all sorts of interesting things about surviving in whatever environment they plan to be in. They realize they’re going to be placing themselves in a dangerous situation, so they do their homework first—or they learn the hard way, by trial and error.

In many ways, the landscape season requires a survivalist mentality. The more prepared we are, the better chances we have for survival, both personally and professionally.

Here are five tips to maximize your chances to survive—or better yet, thrive—this season.

1. Preparation

Preparation means different things to different people. The landscape season brings increased hours and stress. There’s no way to avoid it. Rookies should seek advice from a mentor or coach. Managers should prepare their people in advance. Those with spouses, children or other significant personal responsibilities should proactively discuss how things may be different during the busy season. When the season hits, it hits hard. Be ready.

2. Dealing with failure

Sometimes things go wrong and sometimes things really go wrong. When a failure occurs, it can send a stressed-out person into a downward spiral that’s difficult to recover from. Instead of letting a bad situation eat you up, find someone to talk through it with. Get some perspective and maybe even shed a few tears or laugh it off. It’s important to let it go. Move on.

3. Go the extra mile

It sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best way to survive is to go “all in” and put in the extra effort. By not putting in the extra effort to finish what’s on your plate for today, you simply add to a never-ending pile of stuff for tomorrow and the next day. Would you rather work 60 hours with a ton of stress or work 65 hours and sleep like a baby? Git ‘er done.

4. Embrace it

This technique is No. 3 on steroids. Instead of grumbling and being a general sourpuss until the season ends, it’s better to embrace the season. Despite the long hours and added stress, there is great enjoyment in what we do, if you have the right attitude. Learn to love it.

5. Plan your escape

Choose a vacation destination or a new toy as a reward for you and your family. Begin to plan for the big day when you will be able to escape from the grind of the season. Hang a photo or a brochure on the fridge. Buy your tickets. This mentally gives you hope—an essential ingredient for survival.

Now go forth.


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About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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