Top of Mind: Get Out of Your Way

October 1, 2013 09:39 PM
JeanneBernick Spring

How can you take your farm business to the next level? The best advice I’ve heard lately is to "get out of your own way."

Most of us (me included) are often limited by what we think is doable, rather than giving ourselves permission to think bigger and worry about the details later. I know a successful CEO who has grown his business 80% during the last five years and literally vanquished the company’s debt. He often repeats the following motto to his senior managers: Think a decimal point bigger.

When you come across a new business idea that excites you, do you start listing the details that make it impractical? That’s a typical response to innovation. Instead of listening to your doubts, stop and simply hear them. Look at them for what they are: just fears that keep you in a holding pattern. Need some instruction on this idea? Read the classic book, Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way, by Rick Carson, who is a counselor/personal and executive coach for businesses and nonprofit organizations. This simply written book contains powerful ideas on managing your inner critic.

Part of getting out of your own way is learning to trust your business values. You can’t take your business to the next level unless you are clear about what is important to you, notes farm business consultant Lance Woodbury. "Honesty and integrity are fine, but go deeper," he says. "What does that mean when dealing with landowners, employees?" For some, value is in neighbor
relationships; for others, value is financial success. Neither is wrong, but align your business with your values.

Once you determine values and a definition of success, write down goals. Maybe it is to have standard operating procedures in place in six months. Put today’s date and then a target date, Woodbury says. Now list the obstacles in the way of getting that done—time, technology, help, your own mind. Take each obstacle and plan a strategy to address it.

Progress Over Perfection. It’s critical to recognize progress in taking your business to the next level. After all, there is a difference between happy successful people and unhappy successful people, adds Woodbury.

"Unhappy people look at where they are and how far short they are from reaching that goal. They look at the gap. Happy successful people turn around and look at how far they have come. They recognize progress," Woodbury says.

So get out of your way, let things go and move forward. Work for progress over perfection.

Jeanne Bernick

Editor of Top Producer

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