Top of Mind: Think Big, Succeed Big

January 25, 2017 02:48 AM

During this goal-setting and planning time of the year, I have a challenge for you: Think big. I’ve talked to many farmers this winter who are understandably cautious about the year ahead. Yes, there are many reasons to be worried about in 2017 and beyond. 

But instead of focusing on all those factors you can’t control, make a promise to yourself, your team and your business that you will strive for greatness and extraordinary results. 

“Everyone has the same amount of time, and hard work is simply hard work,” write Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, “The One Thing.” “As a result, what you do in the time you work determines what you achieve. What you build today will either empower or restrict you tomorrow. It will either serve as a platform for the next level of your success or as a box, trapping you where you are.” 

What does thinking big look like for an entrepreneur? The authors provide several insightful examples: 

  •  At age 27, Arthur Guinness set up his first brewery in Dublin and made the decision to sign a 9,000-year lease.
  • When J. K. Rowling came up with the story of Harry Potter, she thought big and envisioned what a seven-year education at Hogwarts would be like before penning the first chapter of the first of seven books.
  • Before Sam Walton opened Wal-Mart, he envisioned a business so successful he felt he needed to go ahead and set up his future estate plan to minimize inheritance taxes. By thinking big long before he made it big, he saved his family about $12 billion in estate taxes. 

Be Bold. Although farming is a cyclical business, it provides ample opportunities to shake things up. The world is changing. Is your farm operation ready to capitalize on new trends and mindsets? Are there areas of your business that can become more profitable or efficient? Is your business positioned to grow forward to support and inspire future owners and managers?

To gain a competitive advantage, Keller and Papasan encourage business leaders to challenge themselves. Don’t just set an achievable goal—bet big on your operation. Set specific objectives to propel your business to an entirely new level. 

“None of us know our limits,” the authors explain. “Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Achievement and abundance show up because they’re natural outcomes of doing the right things with no limits attached.” 

I encourage you to pick up this book and see how it can apply it to your operation. These winter months provide excellent chances to think outside the box and envision success. Good luck! 

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