Take it personally, please.
Taking care of our mental health, bodies, and relationships is something that we are quick to overlook. If we take this both seriously and personally, we can make a difference for future generations. Unfortunately, we are in an industry that prides itself on working hard and never taking a day off. While working hard is an admirable trait, it’s a part of life that needs to be evaluated continually. There was a local farmer that told a story of a huge basketball game that his daughter was playing in and she wanted him to be there. He shut down corn chopping for the afternoon and took in his daughter’s basketball game. His perspective was, that in 30 years, the farm wouldn’t remember he quit chopping early, but his daughter would remember he was there for her. And he’d always remember the smile on her face.
We are in a difficult industry with ebbs and flows that make all of us question our sanity. Taking time to maintain our relationships as well as time for ourselves, will help us navigate troubling times. Now the controversial stuff. We are fat. I’m too fat. You are four times more likely to die of heart disease than an accident on the farm. This also doesn’t account for obesity-related deaths such as cancer, stroke, and diabetes. While we are good about working hard, we don’t get our heart rate up nearly enough. Get on that treadmill to make sure the ticker keeps tocking. Because physical health pays dividends in seeing future generations, seeing your wealth compound and helps in the aging process. You’re the only one who can take this personally.
The Inevitable Exit Plan: Have One
We all have an auction one day. When we are young it’s hard to think about retirement or an exit of our business. Particularly concerning in a commodity market is the difference between getting out on a high or being forced out is the difference between generational wealth and bankruptcy. Some of the struggle in the agriculture industry is an unwillingness of parents to allow younger generations to take ownership and responsibility. Some of this apprehension has been rightly founded in witnessing parents that transitioned too much ownership too quickly. We ought to be seeking professional advice to allow a system for those younger generations to flourish and take over while preserving a legacy that potentially spans generations.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, you have the ability to get yourself out. Work hard but balanced and write down what your competitive advantage is. Seek to define your risks while keeping your eye on an exit or transition plan. Do this all while taking care of your body. As the CEO of your life, own it and take responsibility, and by all means, do take this personally.