TO STAY OR LEAVE…

5 comments

Autumn is coming. Colours are changing in the landscape and everyone seems to have a cold. Things are really slowing down here: whilst many of the farmers I’m interviewing on the Farm Like a Hero tour are still in mid-season, we’ll be wrapping up our season in a month’s time. In this video I’m sharing some more thoughts on the cost of success and on how to proceed from here.

Are you finding yourself in a transitory phase of life?

Join the conversation in the comments below. Thousands of people come here to learn, so please share if you have  knowledge or experience that might benefit others.

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Best,

Richard

YOU MIGHT ALSO FANCY…

5 Comments

  1. Marie Melnitzky-Ekhator

    Dear Richard, hard to make a concise comment, just this: you have no obligations to your mission anymore. You have totally succeeded.
    You are free.

    PS.: are you aware which separate part of your work you like best?
    Regards, Marie

    Reply
  2. Greg SSmith

    Hi Richard, I feel for you because I have been through a similar situation when about your age. (I am 60 now.)

    What you have done is awesome and great, but it is time to take your life back for yourself in my view. If you do not this will become very toxic, and it need not be so.

    This is important to me because when we were about where you are in life now, the wheels fell off. With our small baby in hand my wife was diagnosed with Cancer and given a few months to live. We fell into a drawn out brutal battle to keep her alive to at least see her daughter reach school age, and finally succeeded in that (just.)

    My point is, it brings home what is important in life, and balance is totally the key.

    The destination is NEVER as important as the journey. We men do seem to fall into the trap of thinking everything will be great when we achieve our objective/s, but there will always be another.

    Over decades I have slowly realised that continuing to push yourself on something (like what you have done there) when there is an alternative is the biggest problem.

    So, consider this. Presently what you have built can only continue while you remain. Therefore, unless you take the next step your legacy is temporary. The next step is to make yourself obsolete, without having to abandon your achievements.

    How that is done is actually surprisingly easy once you realise it. Basically you progressively develop the ability to put all the irons you have in the fire under management. It is not actually important what you do. It is far more important what you make happen.

    I guess what I am saying is, there is a very finite limit to how much you can personally achieve, including in the inspirational sense to others. As you have come to realise, there is also a heavy personal costs to pay.

    However, it is unlimited how much you can achieve if you LET GO OF DOING IT ALL YOURSELF.

    I don’t know much about your business, but let me give a very basic example. Lets say we are talking about meat chicken production.

    You can only do so much until it becomes physically impossible, no matter how much labour you have. This is simply because decisions must be made by you. But what if you simply designed the system, and a system to duplicate the first system. All of a sudden the amount of meat chickens you could produce would be virtually unlimited, and could be adapted to anywhere in the world.

    You must build a system, fill it with procedures and try it out. Eventually you will be able to leave it to run free, and in the process achieve your own freedom.

    What people don’t seem to recognise is that freedom is actually the ability to immediately and freely to choose what you want to do because you have no obligations other than those you have chosen to take for yourself. Freedom is when you own you time without obligation to others.

    The glory of it is, when you begin to build things to be completely independent of you, the potential becomes unlimited, and your life together with your family will become unimpeachable.

    Just as a final point. The only consistently successful way to make endeavors able to be put under management is to remove the decision making element that binds in the process. There is only one thing that binds people to a business, and that is the authority to make decisions. Free yourself of this obligation and you have freed yourself.

    In other word, get someone to write out WHAT you do for a cycle (the system). Then they write out HOW you do it (the procedures). Finally, When you do it (triggers, schedules…) Contain this in the framework of WHY you are doing these things, and magically you have created a business/whatever that can be run ‘under management.

    Reply
  3. Rat West

    You have helped many people get into farming, and the enjoyable lifestyles that can bring. But many of your former trainees or interns will have little capital, but could borrow to purchase land if they could prove viability. Would some of those people come to run the farm together, on a profit share, with you only as a part-time manager or consultant. Within two years, they could be successful in getting funding to buy you out there.
    This could respect your customers, allow your hard work to continue into the future by others and give those a chance to farm. It also gives you and your family much more time together and some good breathing space to decide your futures, and plot a definite exit route whatever else you choose to do.
    Regards

    Reply
  4. Jon

    Richard
    Well done on noticing the need for change, I find this alone is most of the battle. My experience is that each piece is part of some broader plan that I am not entirely aware of and expect that some oft hat plan will only be seen from my death bed. Men as a rule try to button things down, create a plan, rigidly stick to the process etc etc. Already advice on how to springs to mind.

    It maybe your time on this ground is coming to an end, it maybe that some other transformation will come into existence, including the right people for the job. Often tricky to know who they are, they may already be in your orbit. I also believe that nothing is more important that YOU. Not in an egotistical manner, more in the fact that if you are right within yourself all else will follow. Nothing worse than a Martyr. So if YOU are right, then you have the resources to support others and clearly family then comes into play.

    Awesome to see a dad being with his son in an environment that he obviously loves.

    My hat off to you Richard, you have done more than many will ever do with so many facets of your businesses. I personally have taken some of your advice and used it on our small 5 acre block here in New Zealand and for putting this content out Thank You.

    Everything has a price to be paid and losing ones family or self for that is too high a price to pay.

    So I wish you both well in your deliberations. My partner and I sometimes just sit down and agree that each will talk for 10 or 15 minutes on whatever is on our minds with no interruptions from the other, no commenting on what is being said or expressed, and for the listener to observe what impact the other persons words are having on us. Then we swap over. It is very liberating process and so many different things have been shared. Often just being listened to is what I need.

    Blessings on the journey

    Jon.

    Reply
  5. Kelsey

    These are such big pervasive problems for farmers! Thank you so much for your transparency and showing that even when you are pretty much at the peak of success these issues still exist. Really excited to see what you decide to do in order to find a different model thats works for you.

    Reply

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