How to stop chasing butterflies and cultivating a Garden?

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

As a young lad, I grew up very close to nature, and we always chased insects. Either I am trying to catch grasshoppers just for the fun of it, or I’m actively listening to the chirping of crickets armed with a torch light and a cutlass to blind them and swiftly block them from getting away through the ready hole just infant of them. Catching insects requires a lot of strategies but it requires chasing. Our chasing usually brings little results.

On the other side, if we could have thought about it more deeply and been long-term in our approach, we would have realized that while chasing butterflies is an effort in futility and frustration, there is something even more remarkable – cultivating gardens and thereby attracting the same butterflies naturally without exerting so much effort.

So in your life, business, relationship, parenting etc. are you chasing butterflies or cultivating gardens? If you discover you are chasing butterflies, how can you stop and spend your energies more proactively to cultivate a garden?

Let’s evaluate the areas of our lives where we currently chase butterflies and what cultivating a garden looks like.

Product Development

Chasing Butterflies: In product development, constantly reacting to customer feedback without a clear strategy can feel like chasing butterflies. You might make quick fixes or changes based on individual requests, but it may not lead to a coherent product.

Cultivating a Garden: A strategic review here would involve stepping back to define a clear product vision, conducting market research to understand customer needs, and then systematically working on product enhancements aligned with that vision. This proactive approach can lead to a thriving product ecosystem that attracts and retains customers.

Marketing and Outreach

Chasing Butterflies: Randomly trying different marketing tactics without a well-thought-out plan can be like chasing butterflies. You may expend resources on campaigns that don’t yield the desired results.

Cultivating a Garden: A strategic review would involve creating a comprehensive marketing strategy based on target audience analysis, market segmentation, and a clear value proposition. By nurturing relationships with potential customers through consistent messaging and engagement, you can create a loyal customer base over time.

Marriage Relationships

Chasing Butterflies: In a marriage, if partners constantly seek the excitement and thrill of the early stages of the relationship, they might end up chasing butterflies. They could focus solely on the fleeting moments of passion and newness, always expecting novelty and excitement.

Cultivating a Garden: A more strategic approach to a successful marriage involves cultivating a garden. This means investing time and effort in nurturing the relationship over the long term. Partners should work on building a strong foundation of trust, communication, and mutual support. By tending to the emotional and practical needs of the relationship, couples can create a deep and lasting connection.


Chasing Butterflies: Parenting by chasing butterflies might involve reacting to every minor issue or challenge with quick fixes, constantly seeking to keep children entertained, or trying to shield them from all discomfort. This approach can lead to overindulgence, short-term solutions, and children who expect immediate gratification.

Cultivating a Garden: Parenting as cultivating a garden involves a more strategic and holistic perspective. Parents should focus on providing a nurturing and structured environment for their children’s growth. This includes setting boundaries, teaching values, and offering consistent support. Over time, this approach helps children develop resilience, self-discipline, and the skills needed to thrive in the long term.

So, take a critical look at your life, your business, and your relationships, If  you are chasing butterflies, step back, and start cultivating a garden today.

Adeolu Akinyemi

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