"Clearing The Trees"

“Clearing the trees” is a phrase we use pretty often at CreatorsGroup.

I started using it after reading an obscure post in the St. Cloud Times. The post was a brief one written by a man who had just interviewed his father about life on the farm in the early 1900s.

His father’s parents came to the United States from Hungary in the 1860s.

They came for a better life. A chance.

And what they found were trees.

To survive, they had to farm. To farm, they needed to access the soil. To access the soil, they needed to clear the trees.

They’d use all sorts of methods to clear the trees.

Usually they’d start chopping down the trees in the winter. Nothing much grew in the winter, but things did fall during that season.

And when the sun began to melt the snow, they’d trudge back out to the stump that was left behind. Sometimes they’d even leave it for a few years to deteriorate.

At any rate, they’d begin to chip away at the stump. They’d grind away at it, have a horse pull at it until there was nothing left.

Sometimes they’d work all day to remove one stump.

But they’d eventually remove it.

Then they’d plant their food.

When we say to each other that we’ll “clear the trees” for each other, it means that we’ll do the hard work that makes your work easier.

This mindset makes us think about the entire team, and it reprioritizes our work.

In fact, it transforms the way we view our own work.

It’s natural to think about “my job” as the job that I have to get done to make me look good. But many times—especially in small startups— only doing “my job” doesn’t benefit the entire team.

So when we consider “clearing the trees” to be “my job,” we begin to make other’s jobs easier.

Clear the trees quicker, plant quicker, become more likely to survive.

That’s a job well done.