If you ask me, it’s an absolute waste of time…
…to try and manage things you can’t control.
No matter how hard you work, you’ll never be able to control the weather, your family’s actions, or interest rates at the bank. So I’d rather help you focus your limited energy on the things you CAN control.
When you take control of your farm…
● You’ll become the master of your time
● You’ll feel great about the money the farm is making
● You’ll get all the important work done AND feel fulfilled at the end of the day
I know this might feel like a vague concept. “What do you mean by ‘take control’, Andrew? How do I do it? What exactly do I need to take control of?”
So let’s make this real…
Inside this blog post, I’ll walk you through the 6 key areas you, as the business owner, must take control of if you want higher profits and more freedom. You’ll learn what to do and how to do it to go from chaos to control in these areas.
This comes from Step 3 of our Top Producers Model which is all about Taking Control.
Once you get a handle on these 6 areas, your farm will run like a well-oiled machine
CLARITY: Decide on the big vision for your business
The biggest challenge I see farmers face is procrastination…
Which I believe stems from lack of clarity.
Vision is a clear picture of where you’re going and WHY you’re going that way.
When you create a vision that’s compelling, it’s like a magnet. It instantly creates movement in that direction.
If I set a vision to become a professional golfer in 10 years’ time, suddenly my actions will change, right? I’ll start doing things like:
- hiring a coach
- saving up for new clubs
- watching golf videos on YouTube
See how the simple act of creating a vision improved my clarity and changed my behaviour almost immediately?
I’m a big fan of setting a 10-year vision that’s a bit bigger than you think you can achieve. Set something that’s a little bit scary! That will push you and create more positive movement than a smaller goal.
Your vision has to enrol and inspire you as the leader, so you can enrol and inspire the team to get onboard the bus! Put your 10-year vision somewhere where everyone can see it daily to motivate the team and remind you where you’re going together.
Because it creates so much movement, I would put creating a clear 10-year vision down to the #1 most critical thing you can do if you want to move forward and create a profitable business. Don’t overlook it!
ACTION: Fulfil the big vision
Someone might go off and spend hours coming up with this beautiful 10-year vision. But without Action, it remains a dream…and you remain stuck.
That’s because you can’t manifest your big vision if you don’t have a system to get stuff done.
That system starts by breaking down your big 10-year vision into 3 smaller chunks:
- What should your farm look like in 3 years, to be on track to that 10-year vision?
- What do you need to achieve in the next 12 months to hit that 3-year picture?
- What do you need to accomplish over the next 90 days to stay on track with your 12-month goals?
See how that works? We’re winding back the clock to make it crystal clear what you need to do over the next 90 days (we call this a “quarter” in the business world) to eventually make your 10-year vision a reality.
So work backward to decide on your 90-day goals…and then ONLY focus on those goals for the next 90 days. Make sure every action you take, every job you do, is related to one of those 90-day goals.
One of the ways we practice Action here at Farm Owners Academy is through a weekly meeting to make sure we’re staying true to our 90-day goals. I actually get quite derailed if someone starts talking about something outside those goals for the quarter. It’s like, “Hang on, it’s not on the plan! So we’re not going to focus on it.”
I keep my 90-day goals open in front of me every day. I know that if I focus on those 90-day goals, I don’t even have to worry about the 12-month goals — they’ll take care of themselves if I work the 90-day plan.
If you’re serious about taking Action on your farm…
We have a free webinar that will help!
Action is the essence, the backbone of our webinar 3 Steps to a Highly Profitable Farm. (I feel it’s the most valuable part of the whole training, if I’m honest.)
This webinar will help you articulate your Clarity Action Plan so you can set your 90-day goals and take massive motion towards your 10-year vision.
People: Because teamwork makes the dream work
I know that’s a cringey saying…but it’s true! You can’t achieve your 10-year vision by yourself.
Once you have clarity and you know what needs to get done over the next 90 days, you also need to build the right team to help you. You can’t do it alone.
Often farmers will hire the first person they meet at the pub. This person doesn’t fit your company culture and you end up getting frustrated with them and spend all of your time fixing their issues.
In the end, you think you’re the only person that can do the job right so you sack them and go back to doing it all yourself.
That’s where taking control of your people comes in. It involves:
- Finding the right people for your farm (I promise, they’re out there!)
- Leading your team and motivating them to succeed
- Managing people and making things run smoothly
Taking control of people is challenging! That’s why there’s a whole module on this inside the Take Control program that shows you how to find great staff, write job roles, and manage and lead your team. Click here to learn more about Take Control.
Process: Build a business that can run without you
A successful business owner knows they need to create processes for their people to follow. Otherwise, they’ll keep being the only person who can do the jobs on the farm.
Processes also improve the quality of the work that’s being done. When your team has a system to follow, there are fewer mistakes, there are fewer issues for the farmer, and things start getting done the way you want them to.
Don’t get overwhelmed here…
There are only really 3-7 core processes that you need to worry about. You don’t need to create a 250-page operations manual!
Just pick the 3-7 tasks you do all the time and ask yourself…
How can I take this out of my head and break it down into steps?
You can either write down the steps in a Word document or film a video of you doing the task. Boom — you just created your first process!
Documenting your processes is helpful for your team members…and it’s also helpful for you to get that knowledge out of your head.
Every year, we host a two-day in-person workshop called the TOP Producers Workshop. I’d never host that event without a checklist! It removes mistakes and makes me more productive because I don’t need to keep anything in my head — it’s all on the checklist.
We have a whole module on processes inside Take Control. You’ll learn which processes you need, how to break them down into steps, and how to get your team to follow them. Click here to learn more about Take Control.
Data: The key for continuous improvement
Imagine playing sport without keeping score…
You’d never do that, right? But so many farm owners don’t “keep score” by tracking their data on the farm!
It’s important to make sure you’re measuring what you’re doing. Data allows you to make decisions objectively, rather than basing them on emotion. And most importantly…what gets measured improves.
RELATED PODCAST: Generate More Profit By Getting Your Financial Records in Order
The data component is about implementing what we taught back in Take Stock and ensuring you:
- Create regular profit and loss statements
- Maintain regular balance sheet statements
- Check in with your cash flow regularly
- Understand the RESULTS that are coming from your actions
Having objective data (and checking in with it regularly) helps you make smarter decisions as a business owner.
RELATED BLOG: The 3 key financial figures profitable farmers track
Did you know we have a course called Farm Financial Framework that teaches you everything you need to know about your farm’s financials and how to make profitable decisions based on the data? It also comes with a customised mini-benchmark report so you can clearly see where you need to improve. Email us at email@example.com for more information.
Issues: Because no farm is perfect
What business doesn’t experience issues?
None! Problems crop up in every business, no matter how well it’s doing. But the key is having a system in place to address those issues.
What a lot of farmers do is wing it and resolve the issues when they arise. This causes them to get derailed, to lose focus, and to be at the mercy of whatever issues pop up (something you can’t control.)
Inside Take Control, we teach compartmentalising — a way to handle issues without getting distracted from your 90-day goals.
When an issue crops up, ask yourself:
- Does this need to be addressed right now?
- Can it wait until the weekly meeting?
- Or can we park this for now and discuss it at the quarterly or annual planning meeting?
This makes life a lot easier. It doesn’t mean you don’t deal with the issue…but it means you can make some things wait. That helps you keep momentum and traction where it should be: on your 90-day goals.
Having a system to work through your issues without derailing your traction allows the farm to keep moving forward.
Those are the 6 areas you, as the business owner, must take control of if you want higher profits and more freedom.
…Did you notice the key phrase in that last sentence?
It’s not profits or freedom.
It’s business owner.
There’s a massive difference between a farmer and a business owner of a farming company. A business owner takes control of his business; a farmer lets it control him.
Are you ready to start acting like the owner of your farm? Start by taking control of these 6 areas.
Look, I’ll be honest. There’s only so much I can teach in a
If you want the proven system to Take Control of your farm, our 10-week mentoring program is the perfect next step.
Inside Take Control, you’ll learn to master these 6 key areas so you can step up and become the business owner your farm needs for higher profits, better efficiency, and more freedom.
We’ve helped over 160 farm owners Take Control…and we’d love to help you, too.