Amazing farmhands, great culture, and winning succession plan: Here’s how they did it.

Amazing farmhands, great culture, and winning succession plan: Here’s how they did it.

Imagine finding two hardworking farmhands that you completely trusted…

That you could train up to do all the farm jobs…

So you have time to do things like: 

  • work on the high-level strategy to increase profits
  • make succession plans
  • even free yourself up to take multiple holidays each year

Sounds like a dream, right?

But that’s what actually happened for Tim and Cheryl Freak when they implemented our TOP Producers Model (more on that model coming soon!)

Here’s a quick look at their Return on Capital – you can see the positive trend over the last few years:

Now, taking multiple holidays each year isn’t something most farmers do. So we asked them to share their story with us during a Growth Session as part of our Platinum Mastermind.

Turns out, Tim and Cheryl are doing some very unique things in their farm (including a highly unusual succession plan that’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever heard.)

And today, I want to share 5 of the key things they did to create such incredible results for their business.

It’ll really open up and idea or two for you…

Had a strong vision (and a deadline!)

Tim, Cheryl, and I first met a few years ago at our TOP Producers Program 2-Day Workshop. Part of that workshop is thinking about your 10-year goals.

Up until that point, the Freak’s were just going along day to day, staying busy and not really thinking about where they wanted to be down the track. Sitting down to create that 10-year vision got them on the same page and gave them clarity.

They say that’s what started it all…

Over the years, they’ve been through lots of chaos and ups and downs. (Just like all farmers, right?)

But even when things get hard or challenging, they focus on the end goal of where they want to go. Even if it feels like things aren’t happening fast enough, they remember it’s just part of the journey. 

They’re open to working through the challenges because they know how great it’s going to be when they achieve that 10-year picture.

Importantly, Tim and Cheryl don’t just say, “We’d like to achieve these goals someday.They put deadlines on their goals. 

Having a deadline gets everything in motion. It forces them to do things they might not feel ready for…but they know they need to finish to hit that 10-year vision.

It’s easy to use the words “fortunate” or “lucky” when describing the Freak’s situation. But I want to drop those words.

Because I believe they attracted all of these opportunities because they were ready for them. Having the right mindset, being open-minded to opportunities, believing that things can get better…that all matters a lot.

Hired help

To build a farm that runs without them, Tim and Cheryl knew they’d need to hire people to help with the workload. They couldn’t keep doing it all themselves or they’d never have time for the high-level strategic work to grow the farm.

RELATED PODCAST: Why Doing the Technical Work on Your Farm is Costing You a Lot of Profit

Hiring is one of the hardest tasks for farm owners. When you’re used to doing everything yourself, it’s tricky to think about someone else coming on. You might think they won’t do it as well as you will or that you’ll make more work for yourself by having to manage them.

Even though they had the same fears, Tim and Cheryl moved forward anyway…

A few years ago, they met Aaron and Anika, a couple who were installing a new fence on the farm. They were impressed with things like:

  • their work ethic and integrity
  • how quickly they picked things up
  • their ability to grasp the big picture (instead of getting stuck in the weeds)

Neither Aaron nor Anika had much farming experience. But the more they spoke with them, the more they could see they had a burning desire to own a farm or be involved in a farm someday.

So Tim and Cheryl took a chance…and asked the couple if they wanted to come work on the farm. They didn’t know if they’d say yes but figured…what did they have to lose by asking?

Turns out, the couple said yes. They started working on the farm part-time and three years later, it grew into full-time.

(And it’s since evolved into a really clever shared ownership situation…which we’ll talk more about in a minute.)

The key takeaway is that you can find great help even in unexpected places. So keep an open mind! Freeing up their time by hiring help is what allowed the Freak’s to do the high-level work that grew their farm business..

Documented systems…then delegated

Like most farmers, Tim used to keep almost all of his knowledge in his head. Nothing was down on paper.

But when he looked at his 10-year vision, he knew he’d need to document his systems if he wanted the farm to run without him.

So he started small…

He started approaching his daily tasks with an attitude of, “How can I teach someone else how to do this?”

At first, it felt like slowing down. It took some time to document his systems and train Aaron and Anika. But once they took over those jobs, it freed up so much of his time!

Sometimes, you need education to change direction instead of motivation to speed up. By slowing down to train his farmhands, Tim gave himself the freedom to focus on the high-level projects that sped up the success of the farm.

One of the key things in your role as a farm owner is being able to let go and let someone else do the work. Tim and Cheryl said they were able to let go and delegate so easily because they have such a strong 10-year vision.

They have so many things to tick off their bucket list and places they want to visit, but they know they can’t do that if they keep doing everything on the farm themselves.

This is a key lesson: You can’t reach your big goals if you keep doing everything yourself.

If you want to create a farm that can run without you, you need to open yourself up to letting go. That’s exactly what Tim and Cheryl have done and it’s a big reason why they’re able to work less, take holidays, and have more time to focus on high-level strategy.

Created a strong company culture

What struck me most about Tim and Cheryl’s story is their focus on creating a win-win environment for everyone involved.

It’s not about being greedy and screwing over their team members, where the farmhands lose and the owner wins. (Because in the end, as we all know, that doesn’t pan out anyway.)

The Freak’s were very keen on ensuring their team members were going to have an amazing career and an amazing future. They saw that throughout their district, a lot of farm workers were leaving their jobs. They thought the grass was always greener somewhere else. So they wanted to create a company that people wanted to work at so they could retain their workers.

One of the ways they created that great company culture was by offering to mentor Aaron and Anika, as part of their package. (…Which they said was actually pretty easy, because they took what they learned inside our Platinum Mastermind and passed that wisdom straight on to the couple!)

The young guys are just soaking it all up and are so passionate and hungry to learn. It’s allowed the Freaks to grow as leaders and the farm workers to get an incredible education. It’s the ultimate win-win.

The Freak’s say that Aaron and Anika just about feel like family now. They do really like one another! That makes them want the best for each other, which is an incredible dynamic for a team to have.

Tim and Cheryl also love the challenge of creating an environment where everyone enjoys coming to work, even though they’re working hard. Tim says his biggest problem is actually leaving the farm to go home because he likes being there so much.

Best problem on the planet, right?

RELATED PODCAST: 7 Ways to Run a World-Class Team and Master Communication in Your Business


Split their business


If you own a farm business, then really you’re two separate things:

  1. You’re an investor in land
  2. You’re the owner of a farming business

The fact that you actually run your business on your land is coincidental.

Tim and Cheryl realised this and have chosen to split their business into two separate entities (…which is one of the smartest things I’ve seen.)

They’ll continue to own and control the land, as they always have.

And they’ll also set up a new farming operations business. That business will own the sheep, the machinery and the supplies and will manage the day-to-day operations of the farm.

Here’s the really clever part…

They’re giving Aaron and Anika an option to buy into the operations business!

It’s good for the couple to have some skin in the game. That’s so motivating and will get them really invested in the success of the farm. Plus it gives them a way to own a piece of the farming industry they’re so passionate about without a huge amount of capital. (Another win-win!)

As the business grows, Tim and Cheryl will be stepping back from the day-to-day operations. But they’ll still be involved in three main ways:

  • They’ll be paid a wage from the operations business
  • They’ll get money from the business for the lease of their land each month
  • They’ll remain on the board

What’s also great is that this setup allows the next generation to have a crack and use their innovation…and the Freak’s won’t have to take on that risk.

With the land lease, Tim and Cheryl will be taken care of financially. So the older generation won’t hold the younger one back and the younger generation won’t risk what the older ones worked so hard for. It’s the ultimate win-win.

The key takeaway here is to keep an open mind!

Tim and Cheryl did some very unconventional things (hired people who had no farm experience, created a culture where everyone genuinely enjoys work, letting their employees buy into the business) that are paying off for them.

If you struggle with negative thinking or a closed-minded attitude, keep an eye out for next week’s blog post. We’ll be talking more about how to develop a winning mindset – something all profitable farmers have in common.

Learn more about the Platinum Mastermind

This is the high-level program that Tim and Cheryl joined to give them many of the ideas that transformed their business. Curious what it could do for YOUR business?

Click here to learn more.

The 3 key financial figures profitable farmers track

The 3 key financial figures profitable farmers track

Most farmers struggle with profits.

Even if your revenues are high, you can still lose money after all your costs, interest payments, and other expenses are paid out.

Like our student Travis..

In the 2014/2015 year, he and his brother had a great revenue on the farm – $2.12Million.

But they actually lost money that year. After they paid back the bank interest, it eroded their profits which led to a NEGATIVE return on equity (-4.2%).

The bottom line: despite high revenue, they ended up LOSING $57,000 in profit that year.

Far out!!

When you’re working so hard on the farm, day in and day out…that’s not a situation any farmer deserves to be in.

Luckily, there are ways to turn it around…

We helped Travis make some changes (which had nothing to do with working harder, by the way) that completely transformed his situation.

Because of these changes, in the 2017/2018 year, his business profit grew to over $500K (a 997%  increase…in just three years!)

So how did these farm owners turn things around?

The first thing they did was analyse their numbers.

If Travis didn’t look at his numbers, he’d still be working his backside off for very little return. And that just doesn’t make sense.

In this blog post, you’ll learn about the 3 key financial figures to analyse your results so you can increase profits.

This ties into Take Stock – Step 2 of the TOP Producers Model, the system that helps our students achieve 4.6% higher returns than the average farmer. 

The Take Stock step is all about understanding and interpreting your numbers so you can make smart financial decisions from them.

And it all starts by understanding these 3 key financial figures…

 

The Importance of Tracking Your Numbers
 

I know what you’re thinking:

“Andrew, I have enough on my plate…do I really need to add one more job in tracking these numbers?”

The answer is “hell yes .” Here’s why…

Think about a pilot…

Even when the flight is smooth, they’re always looking at their dashboard. It’s full of dials that provide feedback – Are we on course? Is the pressure right? Any bad weather up ahead? – which allow them to make good decisions.

Profitable farmers do the same thing. They look at their key financial figures (their “dials”) to measure their businesses and make good decisions going forward.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to study accounting or finance to master this! It starts with just three figures that will help you make profitable decisions in the short-, medium- and long-term…

RELATED PODCAST: Generate More Profit by Getting Your Financial Records in Order

The Cash Flow Statement (Short-Term)
 

What it is: A snapshot of how much liquid cash you have available

How often to analyse it: Weekly when things are tight, but monthly is ok

There’s a saying: “Sales are vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality.”

The Cash Flow Statement tells us what’s going on in the business right now. You can think of this as your ongoing day-to-day budget – it’s the liquid cash you’ve got to play with.

Did you know more businesses fail due to a lack of cash flow than making trading losses? That’s why it’s key to track your cash flow and make sure you always have enough to keep the farm afloat. 

 

I also recommend farmers create a Cash Flow Forecast, where you predict your revenue and expenses for a year. This allows you to roughly predict incoming cash and outgoing cash…so you can spot any bottlenecks before they occur.

For example, let’s say you notice on your Cash Flow Forecast that in July, your costs are very high. You could take action to balance that out by:

  1. increasing revenue
  2. decreasing costs, or
  3. negotiating with a supplier to pay the goods at a later date 

Maintaining your Cash Flow Statement really helps you make good decisions and look for cash gaps.

You’ll also get better as you go. Your first year, you might not be very accurate in your predictions and that’s okay! Every year, you’ll learn more by tracking your numbers and you’ll get better at predicting your cash flow.

Profit and Loss Statement (Medium-Term)

What it is: A recording of your true revenue and expenses

How often to analyse it: Yearly and also quarterly. (If you can do it monthly, too, that’s ideal.)

While the Cash Flow Statement focuses on liquid cash, your Profit and Loss Statement takes into account non-cash assets and costs to give you an accurate picture of what the business actually made in profit over a period of time. 

 

I recommend breaking your income down by category, so you can see which crops and products are bringing in the most revenue over time. You may decide to reallocate land to focus on your highest-revenue products and get rid of ones that aren’t bringing in much money.

You’ll also see your true expenses (including things like finance, tax, and FCF) pulled together in one place. This helps you spot any areas where you can reduce your costs…or maybe even eliminate an entire category if you don’t truly need it.

Analysing your Profit and Loss Statement helps you make great future decisions. You can also use the data to update your budgets in the Cash Flow Forecast, so you’ll have even better predictions going forward.

Balance Sheet (Long-Term)

What it is: A statement that records ALL of your assets and liabilities to give you a clear idea of your true Net Worth

How often to analyse it: Yearly (your accountant should provide this to you on an annual basis, which makes it easy!)

Your Balance Sheet totals all the cash in the business account and the value of all the assets (land, plants, livestock, etc.)…

And also includes all of your liabilities (money owed to suppliers, banks, etc.)

This shows your true Net Worth: the equity left over when you take EVERYTHING into consideration.  

Your goal is to increase your Net Worth every year.

The Balance Sheet paints a great picture of where you’re going on a long-term basis. It helps you objectively see if you’re improving year on year. It’s also a very good indicator of the ability of the business to cope with poor seasons or prices.

RELATED PODCAST: It’s How You Respond to the Drought that Matters Most

Putting It All Together: What to Track When
 

So how do these financial figures fit into the farming season? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Start of the Farming Season: Analyse & Plan:

  • Set goals
  • Project forward:
    • Cash Flow Forecast
    • Profit and Loss Statement
    • Balance Sheet

Each month of the farming season: Implement and Track:

  • Monitor Cash Flow
  • Profit and Loss Statement (recommended monthly but not required) 


After the farming season has finished: Evaluate and see how it compared to your estimates:

  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Balance Sheet

     

You’ll use your evaluations from the end of the season to help you project forward at the start of the new season. 

It comes back to what I always say…

Sometimes, you need education to change direction instead of motivation to speed up.

When you measure your numbers, you’ll see the full financial picture of what’s really happening on the farm. Then you’ll have the ability to make tweaks that can improve the overall performance of your business.

A profitable farm starts with these 3 simple financial statements.

Don’t just think about tracking your numbers. Let’s DO IT.

Unless you have a system to track and review your numbers, you can’t use this priceless financial information to make better decisions that lead to higher profits.

Inside our Take Control Program, you’ll learn our proven system to track and review your key financial figures – along with spreadsheets and formulas to make it all so simple.

Click here to learn more about Take Control and sign up for the program.

The 7 deadly sins that keep most farmers stuck

The 7 deadly sins that keep most farmers stuck

Between Greg and I, we’ve been working with farmers for 50 years.
 

And during that time, we’ve noticed a really troubling trend:
 

Most farmers stay stuck, forever.
 

Longer than forever, actually…
 

Because they spend a lifetime stuck and then pass that legacy down to their kids and then they stay stuck and the cycle continues for generations.
 

We’ve also seen the other side…
 

Our Farm Owners Academy students make, on average, 4.6% higher Returns on Assets Managed than the average Australian farmer – meaning that they make $108,000 more every year (assuming a $3million property).
 

In analysing the TOP producers compared to the average “stuck” farmers, we noticed 7 key mistakes that the average farmers were making.
 

These mistakes keep the average farmers stuck, grinding away but never achieving the financial success they know they’re capable of.
 

The good news is that all 7 of these mistakes are fixable. Once you learn what they are, you can improve on them and get out of the “stuck” cycle for good.
 

In this blog post, we’ll break down each mistake and then give you the first action step to fix it:
 

Mistake 1: Thinking They Don’t Have Enough Time
 

I’m the son of a wool farmer so I know how busy you are.
 

You’re working 10, 12, 14 hours every day…and there’s still work to be done when you pack up at night.
 

So it makes sense that you reckon lack of time is your problem.
 

But in reality, it’s not about time management…it’s about priority management.
 

The most profitable farmers manage to find time to grow their businesses. So you can, too.
 

It’s really about focusing your limited time on the MOST important tasks. It’s about getting clarity on the $500/hour tasks that will really propel your business forward… and hiring help to do the $25/hour jobs that eat up your time.
 

Your first step to cure this mistake: Open yourself up to the possibility that you DO have enough time.


There’s so much power in the beliefs we have. (We’ll talk more about this in our next blog post.) So if you keep telling yourself, “I don’t have enough time,” you’ll never have enough time!

 
The key is to start paying attention to how you use your time. Throughout your day, ask yourself: “Is this really the best use of my time? Is it moving me towards my big goals? Or would I be better off hiring someone else at $25/hour to do this job?”


(Priority management is a key module inside our Take Control Program. Many people have told us that this is the best time management course they have ever done and that they have tripled their productivity since completing this module! Click here to learn more.)


Mistake 2: Lack of Big Vision


For most farmers, there’s so much to do on the farm that they’re not really thinking big picture.


They’re just trying to get through the day! They never think about how it will affect their year, 3-year picture, 10-year picture, or the life of the farm.


As a result, they keep repeating the same day, month, and year over and over again…never really improving or growing.


To get un-stuck, you need to create a big vision of where you want the farm to be 10 years from now.


Really let yourself dream and imagine how great life could be if the farm was more profitable and could run without you.
What would that look like?


And here’s the kicker…


Don’t be skeptical about this
. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking anything that looks good is too good to be true. Don’t reject the idea that you have the ability to transform your life.


(Farm Owners Academy students like the Freak Family who took a five-month holiday and David who cut his work hours in half have already proven that it’s possible!)


You CAN have more money, time, and freedom on the farm. But you have to be open-minded or you’ll miss the opportunities in front of you.


This picture says it all:

Your first step to cure this mistake: Start believing in what’s possible. (A coach is a massive help here!)


A coach will see more in you than you will. I should know…a coach pulled me out of my darkest time and helped me build two million-dollar businesses…simply by helping me believe in that bigger vision!


You can speak to one of our coaches for a free session where you’ll start to see the possibilities in front of you. (What do you have to lose…it’s free!)


Click here to book a complimentary coaching session with a farmer.


Mistake 3: No Ongoing Education


If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!


All jokes aside, ongoing education is something all top farm owners invest in. The stuck farmers reckon they know it all…but the profitable farmers know there are always ways they can improve.


TOP producers are constantly learning.
They’re listening to podcasts, reading books and articles, taking courses. They’re always looking UP – to people who are doing it better than them and can help them continue to get better.


RELATED PODCAST:
The More You Learn, the More You Earn


Henry Ford said:
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”


I don’t know about you…but I want to stay young. Top farmers never reach a point where they stop learning. That’s when you plateau, which is a fancy word for “stuck.”


The good news is that you’re here reading this blog, which shows me you’re taking steps to learn and grow. You’re already ahead of the game!


Your first step to cure this mistake:
Learn with us (for free).


Hop on our FREE webinar The 3-Step System for a Highly Profitable Farm to learn how to free up 20 hours in your week
(yes, really!)


You’ll walk away with proven strategies to better leverage your hours, so you can make time for the high-level work to grow your business. This is an easy step to continue your education and become the best farmer you can be.

Click here to sign up for the training.


Mistake 4: Letting Fear and Doubt Stop Them from Having a Go


Here’s something I’ve learned over my 20 years as a business coach…


Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.


A comfort zone is a beautiful place…but nothing ever grows there. The only time you’re actually growing is when you’re uncomfortable and stretching yourself to be better.


Average farmers let fear and doubt dictate their actions:

       What if I try my hardest and it doesn’t work out?

       Am I really good/smart/strong enough to do this?

       What will people think if I fail?


The fear and uncertainty stop most farmers from taking action, forever staying stuck in place.


But successful farm owners know that fear is part of the process of growth.
So they feel the fear…and then do it anyway.


As I always say, you can’t steer a parked car. You need to be moving! Even if you’re driving in the wrong direction, that’s okay — you can use your momentum to turn around and try again.


TOP Producers know that failure is just feedback to start again more intelligently.
And they’re not afraid of messing up…they’ll just get back up and start again.


Your first step to cure this mistake:
Because the fear of failure is something we all struggle with, we recorded a podcast episode to talk more about ways to outsmart it. Click below to listen:


RELATED PODCAST: How to Deal with the Fear of Failure


Mistake 5: C.A.T.F.W.


Complaining

About

The

F*cking

Weather
 

Enough said. 😉
 

Seriously, though. There are plenty of things you can’t control in farming – the weather is one of them.


A TOP Producer will make money, no matter what the weather is. An average, stuck farmer won’t make much money, even if the weather’s perfect.


RELATED PODCAST: It’s How You React to the Drought that Matters Most


You can complain about the weather all day and blame it for your misfortune. OR…you can get serious about creating a business that won’t be broken by one or two bad seasons.
 

The choice is yours.
 

Your first step to cure this mistake: Stop CATFW. It’s that simple!


Mistake 6: All Learning, No DOING
 

Most people believe that knowledge is power. But knowledge is only potential power.
 

Implementation is the true power.
 

Success is rather simple:
 

  1. Plan the things you need to do to grow your business
  2. Do them


That’s it!
 

Some people succeed because they are destined to. But most people succeed because they are DETERMINED to.
 

Actually doing all the things you plan to do is the difference between staying stuck and being successful.
 

This is why coaching is so powerful.
 

A coach doesn’t just help you strategise how to grow your farm, they’ll also push you to follow through. They won’t accept excuses or let you coast by. They’ll help you make the time and create the systems so that you’re taking action every day, week, month, and year, to help you achieve your big 10-year vision.
 

Your first step to cure this mistake: If you’re really ready to commit to taking action and making big changes to increase your farm’s profits, check out our Take Control Program.
 

This is a 12-week coaching and mentoring program to help you become the best farmer you can be. Click here to learn more about Take Control.
 

Mistake 7: Not Following a Model
 

Many farmers go to courses and learn about the technical aspects of farming, but they don’t know how to put it all together.
 

They don’t understand how to balance the mindset stuff with the action steps with the day-to-day running of the farm. As a result, nothing really changes.
 

That’s where a model comes in.
 

A model gives you a framework to follow. It’s a set of processes that, when put together, help you achieve your goals and objectives.
 

It’s kind of like paint-by-numbers. You simply follow the steps inside the model and before you know it, you’re making huge progress towards your big vision.
 

When you take a passionate farmer and add the right business model it leads to PROFOUND RESULTS.
 

At Farm Owners Academy, we created a business model that is proven to help you maximise your returns. When you give yourself a few years to implement this model, you’ll completely transform your business and your life.
 

Your first step to cure this mistake: Read next week’s blog post. We’re going to start walking through the TOP Producers Model. ← This is the model you need to transform your farm!

“Some people get results, other people find excuses.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
 

What about you?
 

Are you ready to step up and become the best farmer you can be? Or will you continue making excuses for why you’re staying stuck?
 

I really hope you choose Option #1. Because over the next few blog posts, you’re going to learn the model to help you transform your farm.

The #1 success secret that most average farmers don’t think about

The #1 success secret that most average farmers don’t think about

Here’s a mind-blowing stat:

Farm Owner Academy students get 4.6% higher Return on Assets Managed than the average farmer.

Given a $3Million property, that’s an average of $108,000 more every single year (compared to the ABARES figures).

The big reason why our students are so successful?

They follow a proven model.

…Specifically, they follow the TOP Producers Model, (which is something we’ve shared at our Platinum Mastermind and TOP Producers Program 2-Day Workshop…but never before publicly!)

When used properly, this model has the potential to:

  • increase your profits
  • decrease your work hours
  • skyrocket your fulfilment and happiness levels on the farm 

 In short: it’s POWERFUL stuff.

Drumroll, please…because it’s time to pull back the curtain and give you a look at The TOP Producers Model: 


I know that’s a lot to take in so don’t get overwhelmed! We’re going to walk through it together, step by step, over the coming weeks on the blog.

Let’s dig into this first level now and talk about practical ways you can start leveling up in this area.

Step 1 of the TOP Producers Model

Michael Phelps (regarded as the greatest swimmer ever) said his favourite book is The Power of the Subconscious Mind.

Jim Rohn (a world-famous business teacher) said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your business.”

Steve Jobs (the visionary founder of Apple) said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

What are all of these successful people telling us? Our thoughts and mindset matter.

That’s why the first step in the TOP Producers Model is to Tune In to a winning mindset.

From 20 years of coaching, I’m often asked, “What’s the fastest way to change your outside world results?” I simply state, “Change your inside world.”

To move from being a good technical farmer to a brilliant strategic business owner, you need a very specific mindset.  It’s a small distinction but trust me, it will underpin your success over the next decade.

A lot of people would call this rubbish. I know that. But in doing so, they miss an enormous opportunity to grow.

When you get the Tune In step right, the other layers of the TOP producers model become so much easier.

 

Here are the 5 ways to Tune In to a winning mindset: 

1. Define Your Goals
 

When I’m teaching the TOP Producers Model at our annual, live TOP Producers Program 2-Day Workshop, I use the metaphor of golf to explain this…

Imagine you set a goal to become very, very successful at golf in the next 10 years. You decide that you want to have a 0 handicap, which is basically a professional golfer.

When you set that goal, do you reckon it creates some movement?

Absolutely! That’s what a goal does — it creates movement in a specific direction.

Now, for a goal to create positive movement, it needs two main things:

  • It needs to be measurable (0 handicap)
  • It needs a time frame (10 years) 

Without those criteria, a goal remains a dream.

A few examples of clear farming goals are:

  • 10% return on assets managed in 5 years
  • 30% net profit (what’s left when you take costs from revenue) in 7 years
  • Have $2m invested off the farm in 10 years
     

The mistake most farmers make is they declare their goal…and then stop. There are actually four more steps you need to Tune In to so let’s keep going…
 

RELATED PODCAST: How Setting a Major Goal Will Bring You More Focus than You Can Imagine and Beat Procrastination
 

2. Employ Winning Strategies & Tactics
 

In our golf analogy, you might decide to do things like:

  • Practice 3 times a week
  • Play in 2 golf competitions every year
  • Engage a coach
  • Buy a set of clubs
  • Watch videos on golf

…in order to achieve your big 10-year goal.

The second step in the Tune In phase is uncovering all the big-picture strategies and tactics you need to achieve your goal. This makes your goal REAL by giving you tangible steps to take.

Once you define your goal, decide on the strategies and tactics that will help you achieve it.

Farmers might want to use some of these: 

  • Learn how to interpret your financials
  • Create job descriptions for each team member
  • Work on genetics for livestock
  • Create systems for how the business runs
  • Get a coach (top producers have them!)

Your strategies and tactics will change all of the time. That’s why we’re HUGE fans of working a 90-day plan that includes your key strategies and tactics for the next 90 days. (We’ll share more about creating a 90-day plan in a future blog post.)

You can’t become a professional golfer, or a world-class farmer, without the right strategies to move forward. That’s why you need to Tune In to powerful tactics to get you to your goal.

(If you want the fast track to learn all the strategies and tactics to become a world-class farmer, click here to apply for our Take Control coaching program.) 

 

3. Practice New Habits
 

If you want to become a professional golfer in 10 years, you’d need to develop some new habits, wouldn’t you?

You’d need to develop the habit of practice. You’d probably need to work on the habit of getting your mental game correct. Good food. Fitness. Keeping your eye on the ball. There are all sorts of habits you’d need to adopt to become the top golfer you want to be.

It’s the same with farming.

What habits do you need to have to be a winning farm owner?  

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Planning your year, quarter, week, and day
  • Reviewing your financial figures monthly (if you don’t know much about finance, stay tuned, because we’ll be talking about that soon on the blog!)
  • Benchmarking
  • Having regular team meetings
  • Reading and learning
  • Having a morning routine to get going
     

It takes motivation to start something…but it takes HABITS to continue. So many people start well but lose traction. This is why it’s key to work on developing winning habits to push you towards your goal.

 

4. Develop New Beliefs


Unless you have strong beliefs like:

I’m a winner. I’m great at golf. The ball goes where I want it to.

…You’ll never become a professional golfer.


Most of us have limiting beliefs that hold us back.
They’re often subconscious thoughts we don’t even really think about, such as:

  • I have to work hard to make money
  • I never have any luck
  • No matter what I do, I never get good returns from farming 

But if you want to be a top producer, you need to believe things like:

  • Making money is easy and fun
  • I’m lucky and rain LOVES this property
  • Our business is a profit-generating machine
     

It might sound cheesy but it’s so important for you to work on developing these beliefs (daily is best). Because unless you believe it’s possible, you’ll never do what it takes to achieve it.

So let me ask you…

Do you believe you’re a world-class farmer?

When I ask this at the TOP Producers Program 2-Day Workshop, no one’s hand goes up.

But don’t you reckon that needs to come first? Don’t you reckon you need to work on that belief before you can create movement towards achieving your goals?

By changing your beliefs, you’ll change your reality.

It takes work, and you do need to know what you’re doing here.

But trust me – it’s worth it.

RELATED PODCAST: Could Your Money Beliefs Be Holding You Back?


5. Have a Powerful WHY

Have you heard stories of women lifting cars off the kids in accidents? It seems impossible yet they can

summon the unbelievable strength to do this. It’s because they have a huge reason WHY.

Wouldn’t you agree if you’re gonna go on the journey of becoming a professional golfer for 10 years,

you’d need a pretty big major reason why that goal is worth it to you?

 

That’s what would keep you focused for 10 years — practicing every day in hot, rainy, or even snowy conditions, even during the periods where you seem to lack progression.

Having a strong why is even more critical in farming because, let’s face it, farming is a tough business to be in. You need a strong why to keep you focused and working towards your goals.

How do you find your why?

After setting your goal, write out as many reasons as possible (selfish and unselfish) about why you want that goal. I like to come up with more than 50. The more reasons, the better!

Here are some to help you get started: 

  • To be a role model for my kids and put them through school
  • To go on family holidays EVERY year
  • To one day live off off-farm investments
  • To have other members of our community aspire to what we do
  • To become the best person I can be

Pick the reason (or reasons) that make you feel the most alive and excited — THAT is your why!

Your why is the glue that will keep you focused and seeing out your goal. When you create a why that is bigger than you, you have the ability to access so much more of your potential.

The First Step to Tune In
 

Most farmers wonder why they never become world-class, even though they’re working so hard. The reality is, in farming, hardly anyone takes the time to Tune In.

So what do you do to get started?

The first thing you need to do — and you can do this right now — is to commit.

Commit to stepping up and being the best farmer you can be.

Once you commit to your vision, you don’t muck around anymore. You step up. You set that big goal. You start developing new habits. You work on improving your beliefs. You get that coach that’s going to help you succeed.

You implement what needs to happen to reach your goals and your dreams.

That commitment is your first step to becoming a TOP producer. And you can commit right now.

Next Up… 

We’ll explore the second step of the TOP Producers Model, which is all about Taking Stock of your financial picture.

Don’t let the numbers scare you! You only need to focus on 3 key financial figures to get started. And you’ll learn exactly how to do that in our next blog post.

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