I know, I know. You nearly made it in the NFL. Or, you would have, but you broke your collarbone the day before the recruiters came to see you play. Terrible timing! Or, there was that time you “walked on” in college, but the coach didn’t recognize your talent. Of course, you were practically a golf prodigy, too. Yeah, could have been a pro golfer, but your college roommate’s, best friend’s cousin from high school, Phil, was already pretty good, so you let it go. You’ve got that great story about how you “almost” went pro—maybe we all do—but it didn’t happen for a myriad of reasons.
But what if you still can? Maybe not on the court, but definitely in the field—our field—agriculture. No, it’s never too late to go pro and own the space your business is in right now. And why not?
I’ve been speaking a lot about change in the past two years. It’s certainly an evergreen topic. Every time a client proposes I address the challenges we’re facing in the industry, I am reminded that the big “year of change” is always that year for someone, someplace. I’m not trying to ignore the big issues of the year ahead, but history teaches there were big issues before and there are new big issues coming that we must work through in order to thrive.
I’ve discovered while change is inevitable, being a pro at dealing with it is not. Steven Pressfield, author of “Turning Pro” (a copy is required reading for my column readers; get one headed your way today) defines becoming a pro simply: “I could divide my life neatly into two parts: before turning pro and after. After is better.”
The most important thing about deciding to go pro is intention, or rather being intentional about it. That’s why most of us fail to ever go pro during our long careers and lives, we simply do the work and react. Rich Horwath, author of “Elevate,” cautions that all leaders and all organizations have a culture, one that is either created or allowed.
Creating the culture of a pro requires some inner work on the part of the leadership and time spent working on the business. “Turning pro is free but it is not easy,” Pressfield says. “All you need to do is change your mind. Turning pro is free, but it is not without cost. When we turn pro, we give up a life with which we may have been extremely comfortable.”
See my three steps for making the choice to go pro. Remember, if this is hard, you’re doing the exercises correctly. Take time with it, give it 90 days and reassess. Schedule the time now, so you don’t forget. Change is not automatic; otherwise everyone would be a pro. So, as I often say, ACT like a pro out there. This is the year you and your operation don’t have any reason to sit the bench. TP
3 Steps to Elevate your Farm Business
STEP 1: Find Direction With Your Strengths
- What are your three greatest strengths?
- What unique value do you bring to the operation?
- How do you see these strengths being manifested in the business? What if they are not? Why is that?
STEP 2: Identify The Changes To Make
- What has to change in your operation?
- What aspects of the business are no longer working?
- Where do we need to invest that we currently do not?
STEP 3: Create Your Game Plan
- Make some decisions about going pro. What would that look like for this business?
- How is that honestly different than it is today?
- What written goals will I commit to now?
Sarah Beth Aubrey’s mission is to enhance success and profitability in agriculture by building capacity in people. She fosters that potential through one-on-one executive coaching, facilitating peer groups and leading boards through change-based planning initiatives. Visit her at SarahBethAubrey.com.
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