During a fortnightly coaching call this morning with a GrowFARM® client of 4 ½ years, our discussion revealed a breakthrough moment to him. A man of few words, he had been asked by other farmers if this “GrowFARM® thing” really worked. He related how he had tried to explain to them that with constant focus he had taken time to make it work, to get the key factors into line, and that it was working really well.
I told him that is exactly what he has done. But, it was probably more accurate to say that he had evolved his business over time so it just worked really well now with minimal effort every year. EVOLVED - that hit him like a sledgehammer! Recalling how he had progressively taken 2 years on his breeding farm to move the key levers of stocking rate (at different times of the year), pasture covers, proper pasture feeding, animal condition and timing, he realised that step by step evolution had occurred by default. What’s more, he was in a vastly different space from where he used to be. Animal health costs are a fraction of past levels, he gets the same number of lambs from 1000 fewer ewes, winters are easy and he finds his workload has greatly reduced. In an industry obsessed with production, how could this be?
In short, he did what it took to lift his business operational literacy to where it needed to be. Most importantly, he did it through ACTION. He focused on understanding profit and the principles that govern it. He used his powers of thinking and reasoning to accept it and get started. He had the courage to learn as he went because he understood early that you can’t know everything at the start. He followed the clear profit system. He used the tools and support to grow to a point where he rocks on into the future with confidence, regardless of markets and climate variability. He has truly transformed his world!
What does that mean? It means he expends less effort, takes focused action, sees with clarity, has more spare cash and happier staff, takes personal leadership and has buffer in his system to absorb nature and life’s inevitable challenges. He also spends more time with his family doing the things he enjoys, such as going on school camps and watching provincial and international rugby matches live.
Now, this client will readily admit that any farmer can do this too if they really want to! It’s just that he followed through. Yes, some others have achieved this too, but in the NZ sheep and beef industry there tends to be a big weakness here. Many are not taking the steps forward that need to be taken to generate great results, that in turn help them achieve what is most important to them. Just take a look at all the effort going into growing the business skills of our farmers by our industry good providers and others!
Our discussion turned to observations that some farmers can always find things to do on their farms, and so do not always face up to what it is going to take to move ahead, therefore nothing really changes. He was a little like that too prior to 4½ years ago. Once again, it takes evolution. When you are on a definite path, are committed to change and use the right systems, you can’t help but evolve. Anyone can do step by step evolution i.e. step by step lasting change over time. Very few can do fast revolution.
My client’s efforts prove that evolution is central to driving farm business literacy, and that lasting habit change and results are within reach of those who are prepared to take a step, then another, then another. It is about unlocking the potential we each hold in ourselves and our businesses.
I am proud of the efforts of our clients and I am proud of where our clients are going. There really is a ton of ability among our NZ sheep and beef farmers to evolve, grow as business owners and deliver - they just need to back themselves to unlock that potential and get on with it! Our families, our rural communities, our industry and our country depend on it.
If you are curious about how the GrowFARM® System helps sheep and beef farmers build business literacy and generate the profits they really want, contact me here.
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