Running a business with multiple owners

Running a business with multiple owners

Recently I was asked a great question by Rob – about models/leadership structures for multiple business owners, for example, more than two siblings that run a business. 
  
Firstly, it is a little bit more complex but very achievable if the owners are okay leaving their egos at the door. 
  
Having a clearly defined organisational structure in place is the most important thing here. 
  
I have outlined a basic one below:

Let’s assume there are four siblings.

Since they all own the business, they all sit in the ‘shareholders’ box. This means they also share in company dividends/profits, and they also receive payment for work completed (whether they are also the CEO/Operations manager or farming). But, if they stop working, their pay might stop, not their dividends (as they are an owner).

Creating a Board of Directors (each owner sits on this) is a great place to start, and you can set the frequency of meetings to every six months. Each director has an opportunity to help the business achieve its goals and give feedback to the leadership team (those that are responsible for the direction of the business).

And if there is indecisiveness, you can implement a voting system or a way to make good decisions without conflict (I know this can be tricky working with siblings).

The most important decision (and sometimes the hardest) is to ensure you allocate a Chief Executive Officer or Chief Energy Officer (CEO). Someone needs to be in charge. Someone needs to be the key decision maker during the board meetings and the person where the buck stops.

This position can be rotated around if you find each person has this skill set and desire to be the CEO.

It’s tough to run a great business without someone allocated to this role (it can be done, but it’s just hard). Those saying they want everyone to be the CEO are shooting themselves in the foot big time. Imagine being on a ship with four captains, and each captain thinks they know the best path to get to the destination, but all paths are very different. They probably all work, but it’s just constant fighting over who thinks they know best. It’s wasted time and energy.

We often find that one or two siblings/parents love leadership roles, and the other siblings/parents love farming. This is great when you get this dynamic right. You can really set things up, so people fall into their sweet spot.

You might have one sibling who is the CEO, one who heads up operations, another who heads up marketing, finance and admin, and one who sits below the operations manager and is just happy farming.

There is nothing wrong with this, just as long as you have a clear position description for everyone, and everyone knows where they sit.

You also need increased communication frequency the more decision makers you have involved.

If you need more help with this, then our Take Control program walks you through all of this in detail and helps you set everything up – https://www.farmownersacademy.com/takecontrol/ 

Many of the clients in our Platinum Mastermind program are in business with parents and siblings. Some of them have decided that it’s just easier if the more strategically minded sibling (who is allocated the CEO) goes off and creates the strategic plan, then enrols the rest of the family into the vision.

This is the key role of the CEO, to create a strong vision and bring the others with it.

It’s important that the partners/siblings respect each other and trust each other. Without this, it’s very hard to make it work.

The main thing that can stop this from working is ego.

There is a great saying, ‘you can’t have two kings trying to run a castle.’

If you have two or more very strong leaders, both wanting their way, this can ruin a business. Either one of the siblings needs to take a step back to allow the other to lead, OR you need to find a way to have two separate businesses (or you split the partnership somehow). This is another topic for another day, but there are ways around this.

The glue that sticks all of this together is having aligned company values.

The reason why a lot of family members can’t work together is that they share different values, and there is a clash.  For example, one sibling might be super driven, and another isn’t. The one that is driven is always making the one that is not as driven feel wrong and bad (and vice versa). The fact is, there is no right or wrong. No one is better than the other. It’s just a clash of values.

So, the first thing to always come back to is your organisational chart and getting this really aligned, so everyone knows where they sit. But be very careful of having a flat leadership structure as it is tough to make this work.

Andrew

P.S. if you want a brochure of our Take Control program sent to you, just reply ‘yes’, and we can send one to you.

Do you really respect your time?

Do you really respect your time?

Some people are in control, and some people aren’t.  

Either you run your business and life, or your business and life will run you. 

If it’s not scheduled in your calendar, it just won’t get done – learn to schedule time for important personal goals and things that will drive your business and life forward. 

A Stop Doing List is far more powerful than a To-Do List. Learn to say NO. 

Never end a day until tomorrow is planned. It takes just 10 minutes but will double your effectiveness tomorrow. 

Plan in the BIG days. This is a full day that is completely focused on working on big projects that can move your business or life forward. 

Invest 1 hour to plan out your week and write down what you want to happen. I promise you, this alone will triple your effectiveness.

Work in 90-day blocks. It’s important to press the reset button if you have a bad quarter. 

Don’t get ‘faked out’ being busy. The big question is, ‘what are you busy doing?’

Master the art of Slowing Down to Speed Up. Do you really think a professional Golfer who is rushing to play a faster round will get a better score?

Respect your time enormously – until you respect it, no one else will.

Time is way more valuable than money. You can always get your money back, but once time is gone, it’s gone forever!

Learn to set goals and plan – this is a MUST if you want to be productive.  Sadly this stuff just isn’t taught at school or University – so you have to find the people to teach you these vital skills.

Get clear on what income you want to make next year, then refuse to work on jobs that pay less than the hourly rate of this income.  You won’t achieve this income goal if you don’t do this.  You have to learn to pass the low-value jobs onto others. 

Focus, Focus and More Focus. This is the key to success.

Time Management is by far the number one secret of the rich, successful and happy individuals. It’s a skill that can be mastered by all.

Til next time,

Robbo

Gosh, I wish this stuff was taught at school

Gosh, I wish this stuff was taught at school

I’ve just finished a 9-day course. It was a big one, delivered online from 9am to 10.30pm each day. 

I got so much value from this. 

It was all about living in the moment and having peace of mind. 

The instructor is a master at this. His presence was next level, and he was able to help us learn to live a life without any fear, worry or stress. 

Tracy Secombe from Farm Owners Academy also shares this wisdom. 

It reminded me of the importance of learning from a master of any particular topic. That is, find someone who has studied an area you are interested in and then learn from them. 

The presenter opened the session by sharing how our ego is never satisfied. It has been programmed from a young age to constantly seek and achieve goals, with a feeling of ‘I will rest and enjoy life once I achieve this’. 

When you think about this, it’s so true. 

Many of us think like this, including me:

  • My life will start when I finish school;
  • If only I were 18;
  • I just need to get through college or University;
  • I just need to find a partner to settle down and marry;
  • I just need to have some kids, and my life will start then;
  • I just need the kids to get to 18, and then I can rest;
  • If only I were young again;
  • I just need to make a million dollars and then rest;
  • I just need to make 10 million dollars, and then I can rest. 

It’s the ego that keeps us in a state of always DOING rather than BEING. 

No wonder there is so much suffering in our lives. 

Our programming started all the way back at school.  

School teaches us to become somebody, and we begin this lifelong need to constantly improve and always get better.  
 
But in the pursuit of continually improving and getting better, we often miss out on enjoying the present moment that is going on around us. 

 
Our ego doesn’t want to sit in stillness – it always wants to be on the move and achieve. 

 
If we sit in stillness, the ego sees this as a threat. 

If we look at improving our business, we ultimately want to do it for some form of peace of mind (e.g. financial security). 

The best thing I picked up from this retreat is; don’t fall for the mirage of ‘I will find peace of mind when X or Y occurs’.

Peace of mind and relaxation are open to us right now. But, unfortunately, it won’t happen sometime in the future because we are wired to achieve a goal and then go straight for the next one.  
 
Now is the time to feel it and experience it.  
 
Now is the time to make the most of your life. 

It’s still great to have a successful business, but do it for fun and not to arrive at the destination.  
 
On that, next week you have the chance to learn from two master’s in business. We will be peeling back the curtain on how you can run a great company. Yes, it’s online, but it’s also only one day, and in the end, it’s all about gaining new knowledge that has the chance to change your direction for the better (as the course I just completed has). 
 
Registrations close at 5pm on Monday 12th September.  

 
[Last Chance] Register here: https://www.farmownersacademy.com/business-summit/
 
Like running a business, mindfulness and living in the moment is a skill – you can learn this and live a really peaceful life full of happiness and peace.   
 
Have a great day, 
 
Robbo 

The farmer who sold up

The farmer who sold up

I was at our neighbour’s place over the weekend. We have a lot in common as we both grew up on the land, and we both work with farmers. 
 
We were talking about how some farmers get very frustrated if they see or hear of a farmer ‘selling up.’ 
 
They may even refer to them as ‘quitters’ or ‘soft.’ 
 
I’ve got a very different perspective on this – if you don’t like it (or really love it), then why do it?   
 
My father finished school early because his father was sick. He took over the farm as a young 19-year-old. 
 
He had just returned from the Vietnam war, and his mother had tragically died soon after his return. So, at the time, farming seemed like the only option. 
 
I saw first-hand the stress and frustration that being a farmer had on dad. 
   
In saying that, he never complained about it. 
 
But when he was 54, his stress levels were significantly heightened. While some of this stress could be attributed to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the war, a lot of it also came from working long hours on the farm.  
 
He had reached his breaking point. 
 
The doctor said to him, ‘if you don’t slow down, you could die.’ Both of his parents died young from heart attacks. 
 
Dad sold up the farm. They moved to the coast. 
 
Was he a quitter?  
 
Was he soft?  
 
Or did this help save his life?

Here is what I saw after they moved: 

  • For the first time ever, dad was not carrying the stress of having an enormous debt. 
  • He was finally being able to relax and be himself. 
  • He was the happiest I had ever seen him. 
  • His relationship with my mum and his three boys was much healthier, and he was much better to be around.  
  • He realised that he was never really that passionate about farming, and if he had his time again, he might have considered a different career. 

So, next time, if someone says that they are thinking of ‘selling up’ and leaving, perhaps consider this the best decision possible for them. Maybe their best life is on the other side of being a farmer? 
 
Who knows, but why judge? 
  
Have a great week, 
  
Andrew 

The brutal truth about trading time for money

The brutal truth about trading time for money

Are you stuck in the trading time for money trap?

Sadly – most people are.

Trading time for money was ingrained into most of us from an early age.
We were taught to choose a career when we were older such as being a doctor, lawyer, electrician, artist, farmer etc.

And our brains would visualise seeing ourselves working in exchange for money.

Tertiary education builds on this belief system, and this also occurs when you work for someone else (i.e. Work harder – get a promotion and I will pay you MORE money for your efforts).

This is all still trading time for money.

It’s  easy to get caught in this trap – and if you’re not careful, it will become your identity.

If you run a business – you may still be thinking this way and it’s difficult to experience freedom while thinking like this.

I was personally caught in this place for many years.  But equally – I’ve always been fascinated with figuring out how to break this.

Once you break this mindset – I believe EVERYTHING changes.

You start looking at what problems you can fix and you start realising that people are comfortable paying bigger dollars for you to remove their problems REGARDLESS of how long it takes you to do this.

With this new mindset – you also start looking at other ways you can generate money that doesn’t involve your time.

An example could be fixing multiple people’s problems at once instead of doing it one by one, or in farming, selling directly to the consumer.

Here is the brutal truth about what your hourly rate needs to be.

Let’s assume you have made or you have a goal to make $1 million per year.

If we take an average work week of 40 hours, and we allow 4-week holidays, then your hourly rate needs to be $520.

But the reality is, that not every hour will be productive, so we need to consider 50% efficiency, so in this case, your hourly rate needs to be $1040.  This means that doing work for less than this, could be inefficient and just not worth it.

You have to change your thinking before you will ever take action.
A great mentor of mine  – Marshal Thurber taught me ‘Andrew – you have to spend more time ‘un-learning’ than ‘learning’’.

This is so true.

My advice is to stop thinking about how much money you can make per hour – and start to think about what problems you can fix and what people would pay for this.  OR – what is your profit goal, and what does your hourly rate need to be to achieve this.

Robbo

The pros and cons of being a hard worker

The pros and cons of being a hard worker

Do you love to work hard?  
 
Do you see yourself as a doer?  
 
Do you have the attitude, ‘If there is a job to be done, then get out of my way and let me do it?’ 
  
This attitude has served you because things get done. 
  
A real theme in the Agriculture industry is to be a hard worker. This was most likely passed down from the generations before you. Farmers are incredibly proud people and will often find pride in being hard workers.  

Whilst this has served you, it’s also essential to look at some of the challenges if you have this attitude. For example:  

  • Do you feel guilty when you are not working?
  • Do you feel there is always more to do? 
  • Is it hard for you to stop and slow down, even on holidays? 
  • Do you work a little longer and, consequently, see a little less of your family? 
  • Do you occasionally have a conflict with your partner because they want you around more to help out around the house and the family? 
  • Do you find it hard to employ people because most can’t do the job as well as you?
  • Do you get frustrated with lazy people and think they are hopeless? 

To become a true business leader, you must challenge your identity and belief system. There is no other way around it.

Working hard is an ingrained belief system that took years to create, so it can take a little while to undo.   
  
We are not saying that working hard is wrong – but more an opportunity to challenge your beliefs and your identity and to realise that possibly there is a different way to go about things.     
  
Great business leaders lead from the back of the ship, not the front.  
 
In other words, they understand that it’s okay not to be that person that is first in to get things done.  
 
To run a great business, you need to start sacking yourself from most things that need doing.   
  
Hire great people, then get out of their way.  
  
It’s important to let others have a go, and it’s okay to be the lifted, not the lifter.   
  
Sometimes you need to stand back and let others do the work, so you can let go and free up some time. 

Your guilt is fear and is something that can be removed if you do a little bit of internal work.  
  
This is not always about you working less. We know many of you hate this idea.  However, learning these skills will allow you to work on higher priority things OR take a bit more time off and learn to relax and enjoy life more. 
  
Charlie Mort from Mort and Co has never worked a day in his life in a feedlot. Yet he is still a busy and productive entrepreneur. This has helped his business move to annual revenue of over $700 million.  If he was trapped in the feedlot as a worker, then it would be impossible to create something at this scale.   
  
More than 90% of your success is a mindset. This is what we mean by sometimes you are smarter to be educated to change direction rather than motivated to speed up. 
 
Robbo 
 
P.S. For just $110, our Business Summit on the 15th of September will help you make this shift and learn how a successful business owner (not farmer) thinks and what they do. Register at https://www.farmownersacademy.com/business-summit/ 

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