April 15, 2013
An interview with Grant Harrison
Grant Harrison
By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartThis month, I’ve interviewed Grant Harrison CLT of Escapes Outdoor Living in London. Grant was among the first business owners to participate in the Prosperity Partners seminars, and it’s really rewarding for our team at LO to read how helpful the program has been to the process of growth and strategic planning in his business!

Jacki: How has the Prosperity language helped you to be intentional about how you run your business?

Grant: I have been able to use the Five Pillars — Leadership Excellence, Professional Operations, Financial Health, Sales Success, and Customers for Life — to regularly evaluate my business throughout the year. These pillars have made me aware of areas I need to focus on. As a result of these regular evaluations, we are able to identify areas that need improvement, as well as areas where we can celebrate some success.

Jacki: Can you give me an example of the type of questions you ask yourself as a result of the Prosperity Partners tools?

Grant: It’s pretty basic, but then again, I’m pretty basic. I am constantly asking myself how we are doing in each of the five areas, followed by, “What do we need to do to improve and grow?”  

Jacki: How does what you’ve learned through the Prosperity Partners program help to rejuvenate your interest and passion, and keep you engaged?

Grant Prosperity Partners taught me to skillfully evaluate all aspects of my business. Evaluation reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing, which is because I enjoy it. It keeps me focused, and allows me to identify areas that need attention, and areas where we’ve seen growth and need to celebrate. We enjoy a good celebration!

Jacki: I understand that you’re involved in your local Landscape Ontario Chapter Board. Congratulations! I am wondering: What is it about being involved with your chapter that helps you in your business and/or maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

Grant: I love being involved in our local Landscape Ontario Chapter. I really enjoy meeting and talking with other business owners and discussing best practices. I always come away from an LO meeting with some good information, ideas, and encouragement. They’re a great bunch of people. Having said that, one thing I’ve learned is that it is often very easy to get too involved in volunteer efforts, which can be detrimental to the work/life balance. I encourage everyone to be involved in their local LO chapter, but guard your time wisely.

Jacki: What does being involved with your Chapter’s governance do to enhance your career and interests?

Grant I’ve been able to meet some great people and make some beneficial connections, both inside and outside the landscape industry. Being involved in steering the direction of the chapter is exciting. It helps us to focus on the future and think about where we want the industry, and particularly our chapter, to be down the road.

Jacki: What specifically has the Prosperity Partners program most recently done to help you with your business and work-life balance?

Grant: I sound like a broken record, but honesty, being able to intentionally and clearly evaluate all aspects of my business has been vital, especially in the last three months. Due to the evaluation process, I learned through Prosperity Partners, as well as discussion I’ve had with other trusted Prosperity Partners, to identify our strengths and move our company in a direction that focuses on them and gives us the best chance at long-term success and stability.

Jacki: Can you give me an example?

Grant: We have very recently decided to focus our business on what we do best: sales, design and project management. We have decided to eliminate the areas where we’re weaker — the actual landscape construction work.  Don’t get me wrong, we do and did great work, but it wasn’t profitable for us. Instead, we’ve decided to sell, design and manage the jobs, and let subcontractors who are more efficient at specific trades complete the projects. I credit Prosperity Partners for giving me the tools to properly and objectively evaluate our business. We are excited about the future and confident that this will prove to be a really good decision for us.

Jacki: What did you like the most about the Effective Management Short Course you attended on Jan. 7, 2013?

Grant: I appreciate that it was a quick and easy review and reminder of the Prosperity Partnership program. It’s always good to have a refresher.

Jacki: I’ve had lots of feedback on the Short Course concept. What are your thoughts on the value of breakout sessions/networking in a seminar?

Grant: I always find that the networking aspects of any seminar are the most valuable. I feel that I’m getting to the point where I’m able to give back and give some advice/experience to younger business owners. When I first started out, I benefited greatly from the advice and experience from those who were further along than me.  

Jacki: If you could start your business all over again, would you include the Prosperity Partners program in your learning and business development plan?

Grant: Yes.

Jacki: Going forward, will you continue to engage in the Landscape Ontario Chapter community, and if so, why?

Grant: I will likely be taking a short break from any official involvement in our chapter. The last two years have been very busy with LO governance and new projects with the chapter. With the change in our business, I need to focus more intently on its sustainability and success. However, I will continue attending meetings and being involved to a lesser degree...at least for now.
Jacki Hart may be contacted at prosperity@landscapeontario.com.