Thursday, September 10, 2015

farming talkers and farmers

When I was 22 I went to one of those cult-like self-improvement classes; it involved fervent exercises, sleep deprivation, and exercises.   It was a bit hokey, but there are several things that I learned during the 5 days that stuck with me, and actually made it possible for me to chase my dreams.  

I interviewed a batch of people for a farmhand position, and one woman stood out.  She was working on a local farm, and unfortunately that farm had been bouncing her paychecks, and while she liked the work, she didn't like not being able to pay the bills.  

I asked her a bit about her interest, and she described a goal she and her husband had; that she'd like to run a cow-calf operation, and they'd been thinking about it for a few years.  As I listened to her, I had a flashback to my 22 year old self.  

At 22 I was working for a big company, but I knew I wanted to work for myself, and this seminar basically drove home the point that life is happening now, that this isn't a dress rehearsal, and what was I waiting for?  Set a goal and take steps to achieve it - or drop it as a goal.    After this week-long seminar, literally the next day, I started my first business.  What they said rang true to me.  

So I'm listening to her talk about her dream, and I interrupted her:  "Why don't you do that now?" and I got a whole list of reasons she couldn't farm.  But then the far-away gaze came up and more talk about the goal.  

"What are you doing to achieve your goal?  what steps are you taking now?"  and again, a few more reasons, and the far-away gaze.  She was used to people just... what?  agreeing with this distant dream?  

At 22 I started trimming my dreams to what I was actually looking to achieve; I wrote a "vision" statement that was where I wanted to be in a year, and in 5 years.  

A farmer is someone who takes the idea about farming out of their head and makes it real.  takes a step towards that goal every day, even a small step.  Focus on a goal, and setting goals, and making those goals, are the way to get to big things.  

If there is something that you've told someone you'd like to do, take a minute and think about what stops you from doing that right now.  And then figure out something, anything, you can do to take even a tiny baby step towards that goal.  

If you're at a party and someone talks about skydiving and you find yourself saying "I've always wanted to do that" stop those words from coming out of your mouth and look up a jump school and be out the door the next morning!    

Do you really want to have your headstone say "I wish I would have..."? 

So for this woman I suggest that she find some free land to farm, and to buy a few cows this year, and start growing her herd.  I pointed her in the direction of some land I knew was fallow, and I talked about how I talked to people whos land I was farming.  

I'm not sure she'll ever be a farmer, but she is a farming talker. 

1 comment:

Penutbuter said...

Outstanding. I have been doing the same practice lately of identifying what I need to do to start my farm and have worked out and accomplished some of the work. Some of it will be a bit longer term but doable under plan.

Your site provides the kind of insight and information needed to start pulling ideas together and for that, Thank You.