Fertilize Your Neighbor’s Lawn

I love my front yard. I have really, really good grass. In fact, if you drive by my house there’s a good chance you’ll see me relaxing on my 2 seater patio set, running my feet through the grass, and my kids walking around barefoot just for the sheer pleasure of feeling the lushness between our toes — it’s that good.

I haven’t completely obsessed about my grass, but I have done some things over the years to bring it along to it’s current barefoot-worthy state. Really, all it takes is some water every few weeks, a bag of fertilizer a couple times a year, and a good sharp blade on the mower.

Oh, and a secret that I’ve never shared with anybody until now: I fertilize my neighbor’s yard. I don’t fertilize the whole thing, but each time I fertilize, I overlap my neighbor’s yard by at least a few rows.

Why do I do that?

The house next door is a rental. And before it was a rental, the owner didn’t spend much time trying to make the yard anything special. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad yard at all. Our neighbor (who we love) keeps the lawn mowed and it always looks nice. However, if I blindfolded you in my yard, took off your shoes and made you walk into my neighbor’s yard, even blindfolded you could probably tell where you crossed the line. We keep meaning to check if their house is still in Lawncare.net service areas, we hope so!

If you don’t fertilize your lawn, weeds grow and grass doesn’t get thick and healthy. In our neighborhood, dandelions, violets, and clover are like ninja weeds. They sneak in when you’re not looking and silently take over the yard. The best way I’ve discovered to combat these weeds is to not let them in to begin with. Hence my “overlapping” fertilizer into my neighbor’s yard, effectively establishing a larger perimeter of protection.

But what also happens is that my fertilizer also makes my neighbor’s yard look a little better.

On a recent visit to Costco, I walked by the cell phone kiosk. The employees at the kiosk don’t work for Costco, they work for the wireless company. But, as I walked by one of the wireless employees asked me if I needed help finding anything. I asked him if he knew where the batteries were. He proceeded to walk me to the battery aisle. He also told me he didn’t actually work for Costco, but he knew the store pretty well and would be happy to help me find anything else.

He was happily fertilizing his neighbor’s lawn. I’d like to think that he understands that the more Costco thrives, the more his business is likely to thrive.

We happily recommend our caterers (Spinelli’s Deli and Fusion Catering), our coffee provider (Crimson Cup), and our business coach (Mike Paton, an EOS implementor). And they also recommend us to their customers, clients, and friends. We figure that if our partners are healthy and profitable, that automatically makes us stronger as a business, too.

So, who could benefit from a little of your fertilizer (and not the B.S. kind)? Take a minute this week to send some business to your partners, customers, or even your next door neighbors (one of ours is a great web development firm called DynamIT, by the way). Think of one person who could benefit from knowing who you know, then let them know via a quick phone call or email. It’s that simple.

Call it what you want: paying it forward, good karma, or fertilizing your neighbor’s lawn. No matter what corny analogy you use, it will be good for their business, and for yours!


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