Planted versus Buried: Food for Thought This Thanksgiving Season

“Before anything can grow, it must be buried and covered with dirt.” A reflection on life, business, career, and the things that are important.

As the year winds down, we are entering the season of festivities. Where we spend time with family, friends, and loved ones and commune around food, laughter and thanksgiving.

However in order to give thanks, one must reflect on their life, family, business, career, and the things that are important to them. It is this reflection as Thanksgiving approaches that I want to share my thoughts on being Planted versus Buried.

I saw a meme a couple of weeks ago of a seed being planted and the quote with it said something along the lines of “before anything can grow, it must be buried and covered with dirt.” I thought, my goodness what a powerful visual and insightful statement.

Planted versus Buried: A reflection on life, family, business, career, and the things that are important.

Typically we avoid things that are dirty and avoid getting dirty ourselves if we don’t have to. And we definitely do NOT want to be put in a dark place or in any way shape or form be associates with being buried. So the idea that in this case the dirt and darkness is exactly what we need to grow stuck with me.

It gave me a different perspective on my perceived failings & shortcomings and how to be grateful & appreciative despite it.

Often times in business as in life, we are hesitant to share our struggles until we are out of them, if at all, for fear of being judged or in my case not having come out on the other end to give a solution. Don’t we all hate folks who complain without providing any tangible solutions to resolving the issue or sharing how they overcame?

Nonetheless, I’ve come to understand that there is value in sharing observations along the way. Because we all struggle and need yard posts and street signs to encourage us to keep on our journey.

So, I banked the meme in my mental rolodex of things that resonate with me and put it aside. Then on Sunday, this same meme came back to me as the sermon from a well-known preacher talked about this exact idea!

He discussed the relationship between the vine, branches and the fruit. Being pruned versus being cut down. Being planted versus being buried. It was incredibly profound. Here is a link to listen to it if your interested  (starting at 1:33:10).

Since then, I have not been able to get this idea of being planted versus being buried out of my head. I started reflecting on my business and the ups and downs I have faced this year ( I shared some of it in my post 4 Business Takeaways I Learned From Grief) and I realized in hindsight that the challenges I, like so many other entrepreneurs face, from feast or famine, to clients that are not the ideal, to change in direction despite your conviction about where you are now, to the realization that some things may just not be for you, to the disappointment and struggles of inconsistent revenue and more. These are not meant as a sign of failure or lack of ability but rather a mental pruning to get you focused on what is truly needed and what is really important.

In other words, sometimes our business has all the right branding, messaging, website, network etc but it’s missing its purpose. Other times the purpose is crystal clear, the mission is honorable and life changing but the messaging is completely lost, there is no strategy or branding or voice to get people to know you exist.

But both sides are needed to be truly successful.

As I think about all that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving season, I am appreciating the fact that when you are deep in the process of growth, you have to start out in a dark place.

No different than the seed (your business, ideas, dreams, and aspirations) that is put in the ground, covered with dirt, and watered (your strategy, time, business plan, and development) in order to grow roots that are firmly planted in the ground to support the plant (you & your business) when you finally breakthrough the dirt and start to blossom.

This process can begin at anytime in your life and at any stage in your business. Whether you believe in God or just the Universe, there is a force beyond your control that will initiate this process whether you like it or not. The best thing you can do is identify it for what it is, and go through the process.

There is no timetable for when and how long it is going to take. So be patient, lean on your tribe, and accept that you will make mistakes and have missteps in the process but in the end it will be worth it.

So this year I am thankful for everything I have been through personally and professionally. I am grateful for the ability to develop solid roots for the breakthrough that is too come.

I am overjoyed and optimistic about seeds I am nurturing now that I couldn’t have foreseen at the beginning of the year and I am grateful to be going through my season of planting so I can harvest in the near future and get to share it with all of you.

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!! I wish you much success during your season of growth.

All my best,


Elaine Mensah

Elaine Mensah is a strategist + creative experienced in the communications, fashion, tech and entrepreneurship realms. A natural at conceptualizing creative ideas and translating them into vivid realities, she has been the fuel behind the business development strategies for a global portfolio of clients.