By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners program manager

Jacki HartThe year 2009 is going to be a time of opportunity for the optimists in our industry. Winston Churchill once said, “Pessimists find difficulty in every opportunity, optimists find opportunity in every difficulty.”

There’s no doubt that if you ignore the media rant about ‘the economy,’ and focus on the things you can adjust and carve with a scalpel, rather than panic and hack them apart with a hatchet, you will have new opportunities this year in ways never before available.

In December, a North American webinar for our industry revealed timely advice from the industry’s TOP prosperous business mentors. The five main points which emerged in the webinar are exactly aligned with the five Pillars of Prosperity in our program. The advice is: “Take advantage of the opportunities that are all around you.” (Sales Success) “Continue to develop relationships with your customers.” (Developing Customers for Life) “Be a great leader to your team.” (Leadership) “Be proactive and manage your financials.” (Financial Health), and “Stay inspired by the vision you have for your company.” (Professional Operations).

Hearing from those who have taken the program

This month I am featuring Paul Doornbos, an optimist and true entrepreneur. He focuses on the things he can control, and works on educating himself in order to maximize on the benefits of change. I hope you find inspiration, and join him in the Prosperity Partners program.

My sincere thanks to Paul for sharing with me his prosperity journey. The Prosperity Partners program is working to help businesses at all levels to step back, assess and determine the best next steps toward a more prosperous future. Check the listing of upcoming seminars at I hope to see you there!


Thornbusch Landscaping Company, owner Paul Doornbos CHT, CLP. Established in January 2007, Thornbusch offers landscape installation, maintenance and small design/build projects in the Thousand Islands region, employing three to four full-time during peak season.

Q. What are the core values and vision of your business?

A. Our vision is to be known and respected in the industry and by our customers; where “can” is an opportunity and “can’t” is an excuse for others. Our core values are on our vehicles, advertisements, stationery and business cards. They are P.R.I.D.E.: professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication, experience.

Q. What things keep you awake at night?

A. Two things mostly: 1) communicating the vision clearly to everyone who is a part of the team, and helping them understand their roles in communicating them to our clients, and 2) developing new effective ways to continue to provide our services to our clients to best meet their needs.

Q. What stuck with you the most from the Prosperity Partners Introductory Seminar?

A. The importance of being YOU; knowing yourself and believing in yourself. Realizing how much the success of one’s business is also tied to and related to personal growth.  

Q. How have you been able to apply the things you learned to improve your business?

A. I have always believed in the importance of “numbers” and planning. This seminar reinforced that. As a result, we review, update and analyze our financials daily and weekly, in order to make informed adjustments as required. This information is also passed on to those who influence our employees.

Q. What are your next steps to improve your business, and did the program help you to clarify them?

A. The next steps continue to be identifying through SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and developing plans to deal with them appropriately, so as to move forward prosperously. Yes, the program helped me clarify the direction and priorities for moving forward.  

Jacki Hart may be reached at

Caption: Thornbusch Landscaping Company, owner Paul Doornbos CHT, CLP. Established in January 2007