Book review – The Practicing Mind

Book review – The Practicing Mind

Today, I wanted to summarise the learnings from one of my favourite books, The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner.

I got a lot from this book, and the concept that you need discipline and patience to see results really resonated with me.

The author refers to learning the piano. You need discipline to practice and patience to become good at it. And you need both of them, and in many ways, once you understand this, then you can let go of the outcome of playing the piano well, to simplify focusing on practice, and give yourself the time (patience) to succeed.

The Book in Three Sentences

“Real peace and contentment in our lives come from realising that life is a process to engage in, a journey down a path that we can choose to experience as magical.”

“When we subtly shift toward focusing on and finding joy in the process of achieving instead of having the goal, we have gained a new skill. And once mastered, it is magical and incredibly empowering.”

“With deliberate and repeated effort, progress is inevitable.


The Practicing Mind Summary

  • If you are not in control of your thoughts, then you are not in control of yourself. 
  • A paradox of life: The problem with patience and discipline is that developing each of them requires both of them. 
  • We erroneously think that there is a magical point that we will reach, and then we will be happy. 
  • When we subtly shift toward both focusing on and finding joy in the process of achieving instead of having the goal, we have gained a new skill. And once mastered, it is magical and incredibly empowering. 
  • However, the practicing mind is quiet. It lives in the present and has laser-like, pinpoint focus and accuracy. It obeys our precise directions, and all our energy moves through it. Because of this, we are calm and completely free of anxiety. We are where we should be at that moment, doing what we should be doing and completely aware of what we are experiencing. There is no wasted motion, physically or mentally. 
  • When you focus your mind on the present moment, on the process of what you are doing right now, you are always where you want to be and where you should be. 
  • To focus on the present, we must give up, at least temporarily, our attachment to our desired goal. 
  • Remember, judgment redirects and wastes our energy.

In summary, creating the practicing mind comes down to a few simple rules: Keep yourself process-oriented. Stay in the present. Make the process the goal and use the overall goal as a rudder to steer your efforts. Be deliberate, have an intention about what you want to accomplish, and remain aware of that intention.

Have a great day, 


3 things to consider if you are going through a cash flow crisis

3 things to consider if you are going through a cash flow crisis

What a difference a year can make.

From record prices, and one of the largest appreciations in farmland we have ever seen, to high input costs, with many areas now facing drought and lower commodity prices.

That is farming!!!

There are three things to remember if you are feeling stressed from all of this:

ONE – It won’t last. Just like great times, the bad years also won’t last. It always has and always will turn around. It’s just patience. Be careful getting caught up in something you can’t control. For example, it won’t do you any good stressing because you have not received any rain. The best thing to do is stay focused and present. Take one day at a time.  Be very careful allowing yourself to become a victim.

TWO – You are your greatest asset. Use these times to upskill, learn, and get creative.  It’s amazing what you can create when you work on yourself and invest in new skills.  Keep reading, learning, and doing courses.  Education and mentoring have the ability to open you up to new ideas and skills, and more often than not this can lead to new opportunities. Great companies are made in tough times (why not jump onto our free online training about working on creating a great team – register here).

THREE – Double down on your financial management. Update your budgets, review your financial model, get to know your numbers, look at your business model to make sure its strong enough, and get help in this area if you are unsure. Understanding what is coming in versus going out is more important in a cash shortage situation. Having an updated budget that you refer to at least monthly (for some it needs to be weekly) is more important now, and really knowing your business will help you make the right decision to see you through these tougher times.

And remember IT WON’T LAST.


P.S. Stories from the Farm: Hear how Adam and Benita were able to work on their financial management after a bad drought and create a great farm.

How these farmers went from working 7 days per week to 5 months off

How these farmers went from working 7 days per week to 5 months off

I recently had the privilege of interviewing remarkable farmers, Tim and Cheryl Freak, for an upcoming masterclass titled “How to find, keep and grow a successful farm team.”


The conversation left me truly inspired as they shared their journey, and are now taking extended breaks from their farm – 5 months away last year and 5 months travelling this year!


Seven years ago, Tim found himself working seven days a week, with the entire operation hinging on his efforts. This lack of work-life balance was a common predicament they shared with many farmers.

The idea of taking substantial time away from the farm was unfeasible due to the belief in the necessity of hard work, and there was an undercurrent of guilt associated with stepping away. 


Today, their farm operates smoothly even in their absence, a testament to the strategic framework they’ve established. Moreover, this framework continues to evolve, thanks to the selection of team members who not only earn their trust but, as Tim aptly expressed, outperform him in his own role.

To grasp the full breadth of their transformative journey, I encourage you to register for the upcoming free webinar, where they’ll be sharing their insights. Secure your spot here:

One resounding takeaway from their experience is the necessity of setting a goal to create what we at Farm Owners Academy call a “freedom farm” – a self-sufficient farm that flourishes independently.

The act of documenting this goal, coupled with a compelling reason to attain it, was what started them on this journey. It’s worth highlighting that, at the outset, neither of them possessed a blueprint for how to do it.

Yet, as they articulated, the key is to have the goal, with the “how” often revealing itself in due course.

A goal, after all, is essentially a dream with a deadline.

Their resolve to attract farmers from outside their familial circle was also rooted in the knowledge that their children weren’t inclined to return to the farm.

In a bold move, they sought out individuals without direct farming experience but possessing the right attitude. These individuals were trained and, within a few years, empowered to take on greater responsibilities.

Their present reality is infused with travel and a bigger purpose of helping other farmers. They have a profitable enterprise that works
without them.

Their support has extended to a young couple, Aaron and Anika, offering them a transformative opportunity they might never have encountered without Tim and Cheryl’s vision.

As Tim and Cheryl revel in their newfound freedom, traversing new horizons and embracing life to its fullest, a profound lesson emerges –
it all commences with the act of setting a goal.

This case study is a wellspring of wisdom, and I urge you to reserve your place to learn about their remarkable journey.

Click here for more details of the masterclass or to secure your seat!

Wishing you an exceptional day ahead.


P.S. We are getting closer to finalising the core content of a new program, however, before we do – we would love to get YOUR INPUT. Let us know “What are your top 3 current challenges in your farm business?” and go in the draw to win a $100 gift card –
click here to complete (less than 2-minutes) 

The power of asking a good question

The power of asking a good question

To get better results, we’ve got to make smarter choices, and those smarter choices often begin with asking better questions.  

Let me share a real story that might hit home for you, especially if you’re a farmer dealing with challenges. 

Imagine this… back in the day, I had two top-notch coaches working for me. Out of the blue, they knock on my door and tell me they’re packing up and taking their clients with them. 

That hit me hard – suddenly, my earnings took a nosedive by a whopping $80k every month.


I was staring at a big hole in my budget, wondering how on earth to plug it.

Now, here comes the twist.

One of my business coaches throws me a challenge: turn this mess into a question and brainstorm at least 20 answers.

I’m like, “Why 20?”  

After the first ten ideas, your brain cranks into overdrive, especially when the heat is on. So, I tackled a simple question: “How can I pull in an extra 50 grand this month?” 


Game on.  


I dive into brainstorming mode – and let me tell you, the first ten solutions were easy. But then, it was like trying to herd kangaroos – a bit tougher. Still, I stuck with it. 


I gathered my team and asked a few of my mates for their input. You wouldn’t believe the cracking ideas they came up with! We ended up with a solid list and many ideas I would never have thought of if I didn’t do this exercise. 


And that’s where my business coach stepped in – to help me pick out the three best ideas and provide guidance in making them happen. 


Can you guess what came next?  


It worked, and we managed to make that 50k and got back in the black, all in just a week.  


I was blown away by how simple and darn powerful this process was. 


So, give it a burl. Craft a question that tickles your brain (works best when there’s a bit of a deadline) and shoot for 20 answers.  


Chat with your family or team – they might just throw in some ripper suggestions you never thought of. 


Who knows, you might just crack the code to solve whatever puzzle you’re facing. So, gather your thoughts, ask around, and prepare for great solutions.  


Have a great day, 



Tweaking the business model is working for Farm Tender

Tweaking the business model is working for Farm Tender

To face the headwinds in Farming and Agriculture, I am sure you have heard us talk about the importance of having the right business model.

Those with a robust business model will see through challenging periods in Ag.

In this blog, I wanted to share a post about how Farm Tender tweaked the model of their least-performing category – Livestock.

This is an excellent example of how strategic thinking can improve a business.

Farm Tender has had success over the years selling Machinery, Grain, Hay, Trucks, Utes, Livestock Equipment, Fertiliser and Chemicals through their online marketplace. But Livestock has been a gross underperformer.

They knew why it wasn’t working, but they thought it would turn around if they just kept at it. 

The problem was they were competing with Agents. With the new model, they are enhancing what they do. They are giving extra options and opportunities to sell for their clients. 

When Farm Tender Founder, Dwain, says they ‘tweaked’ the model, it’s actually a bit more dramatic than that.  


They have, in fact, done a complete 180 and flipped it on its head. To go from charging the seller if they sold, to not charging the seller at all, completely free. They now pass on some of the cost to the buyer if they buy and use a fixed rate per head. You can See the fees here. 


They have even given the new category a name, “Zero Commission Livestock Selling.”  


The result has been a dramatic lift in Livestock listings. This was the first thing they wanted to achieve. And not only have they increased the listings but also the quality of the listings—larger numbers of commercial stock.  


But it’s only a start.  


So, when they have better quality listings and more of them, it means buyers will start taking them more seriously as a spot to purchase. It’s the classic marketplace dilemma. For buyers to come, you need sellers to list.  


Tweaking the business model for their Livestock category is starting to work for them, even though it’s only early days. 


It’s a great example of how changing how you run your business can have a huge impact. And this is what we mean: ‘your greatest success is just 3 degrees above or below where you are currently looking.’ 


If you have some Livestock to sell, consider using Farm Tender as a selling option or tell your Agent.  


Reply ‘keen’ to this email, and we will forward it to Farm Tender and get them to send you some more information or visit their Farm Tender website here.  




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