The biggest lessons to help farmers succeed in business

I started my career as a Business Coach 20 years ago. Having clocked over 10,000 hours of coaching and working with over 1,000 clients, I see some amazing similarities to why some exceed and why others don’t.

The list below is my biggest learnings from 20 years of business mentoring and I hope it helps you.

1. The top business owners know what they want. They operate from a centered space and have a very high level of clarity. Because they know what they want, they only focus on doing things that get them to their goal. They don’t fluff around doing things that are not aligned with this. In addition, they ALL focus on one thing. Not two things – just one. They understand – if you try and chase two rabbits, you will catch neither.

They Focus OOne Course Until Successful (FOCUS).  Because they can clearly see what they want, they can easily handle obstacles when they arise.

2. They puppeteer the process.  Imagine for a moment a team playing a game of soccer.  They are about to kick off.  Now imagine that you are floating above this game of soccer. You can see your team below. The centre forward, the left and right forward, the wings, the goalkeeper, etc.

They are all in position and they know what they need to do (score goals and win the game). They are the puppets and you are just the puppeteer. That is, you need to:

1. Figure out what the game plan is and what the game is about

2. Decide what positions you need to fill

3. Hire people based on the right skill.

4. Keep them focused on doing their job to a world-class level.

Great farming business owners puppeteer the process and remove themselves from being the puppets (workers). If they ever do get onto the field to play, they stay in their genius and hire people to take on the roles they are not great at. They spend a lot of time ‘off the field’ analysing “what do we need to accomplish here?” and “who can I find to help me accomplish this?”. They look at their game from a 30,000-foot view.

3. They hire an Implementation ManagerThe most important decision you will ever make in business is ‘who is my second in charge?’. The CEO sets the vision for the business. The Implementation Manager then keeps the team accountable to fulfilling the vision. A great Implementation Manger makes the plan happen and ensures that the people are sticking to what they are paid to do, and working as a unit with everyone else. This 2IC will free the owner up about 50% of headspace and time.

Too many business owners I meet never take the risk and engage this person…so remain trapped in working really hard. It’s often the wife of a farmer that does this role and often without the wife, the business will fail.

4. They focus on a stop-doing list, more than a to-do list. They know that doing less is the key to their success – so constantly hand tasks over to others. They work on a stop-doing list at least every week. They are masters at delegating and handing tasks over.

5. They put themselves first, team second, then farm work third.

If they are not functioning at a high level, then the rest of the business suffers. Top farm business owners take 4 to 7 weeks a year out of the business to recharge. They understand that 1 hour of inspired work beats 6 hours of uninspired work – so they are ok taking lots of breaks. If you go to a gym and do weights, you won’t actually get the growth until you rest. The same is true in business. Your growth, insights, and inspiration come in your downtime. They look after themselves mentally, physically and emotionally.

6. They don’t waste time trying to figure things out. They really understand that one of their greatest sources of leverage is other people’s knowledge. They are very comfortable in asking for help.

They find other successful farmers and take them out for a coffee or lunch to learn from them. They know this is the fastest route to their success. They all have mentors – paid and unpaid – and are always acting like the ‘dumbest person in the room’.

7. They all have a weekly scorecard. They know where their business is at on a weekly basis. They receive a weekly scorecard (or at least monthly) that tells them the key figures they need to know to run their business.

Let’s assume you are on an island, and you needed to know some key monthly figures that helped you run your business. What are the 5-10 things you need to know? Top owners get these reports weekly to help them make decisions. They also forecast their sales and expenses and review their profit and loss.

8. They get that one of their number one tasks is hiring the right people. That is always on the lookout for the best of the best. They respect the impact a high-performance team member can have on their business – and they are not afraid to take the risk to invest in the people to help them grow. They almost always see a ROI from these decisions.

9. They understand that attack is their best defence. If you were to watch a sporting team defending during the game, you can almost guarantee that they are going to lose the game. When there is a difficulty, great entrepreneurs step up and attack. They get clear again on what they want and move forward to attain this. They play to win, not to defend against loss.

10. They invest enormously in self-education. From reading books and listening to podcasts, to going to courses and engaging coaches and mentors. I have never worked with a top performing business owner that didn’t invest a huge amount of time and money into their self-knowledge.They know it’s what they don’t know that hurts them most.

11. They get the power of positive vibration. They know that when they are feeling great, and giving off a great vibe – amazing things come into their life. This is why they work daily at keeping this vibe. When they are in this positive vibration, everything flows. When they enter a negative vibration, they are quick to recognise this, change state and get back into their positive vibe.

12. They have a lot of fun.They just get it’s the process and not the goal that is the most enjoyable part. They don’t do work in roles they don’t like or are not good at. They turn it into a game and play to win, but play always because they enjoy it. If you think of a game of golf, what is the point of rushing around the course just to finish because you don’t enjoy it? Business owners respect the journey and make it as fun as possible.

13. They plan their year, quarter, week and day. If you don’t have a planning system in your business by now, my suggestion is to get one – or go and get a job. There is just too much to achieve, and you need a system to help you figure out what needs to get done and what order of priority you will do it in. Top business owners invest 2 days to plan their year out, 1 day each quarter, then 60 minutes each week and 10 minutes to plan each day. This creates a huge amount of flow for them and helps them move forward in a really controlled and powerful manner.

14. They have an open mind. They realise they are on a journey and if they let go and trust, everything has a way of working itself out. They all understand that there is a higher power and regularly take time out to reconnect to this. This helps keep them in their heart and out of their head. They understand that “Ego says “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”

 

Andrew Roberts

Farm Owners Academy

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