Last week, I talked a little about the idea of a business coach for the farm – and what that relationship looks like. A farm business coach helps you move your farm from where it is now to where you want it to be.
The coach – just like in any sport – helps you build your skills and develop your strengths. It's the coach's job to point out areas where you have opportunities to improve and to help you step up your game. If you want to improve what you're doing and always make it better, you've got the right mindset. A coach just shows you specific ways to start making your dreams real.
One of the key practices of a farm business coach is to help you see and realize what's possible, rather than simply sticking to whatever worked in the past. Business coach Robert Hargrove explains this concept in his book Masterful Coaching.
In your farm business, you deal with problems and dilemmas where there might not be easy or immediate answers. For these problems and decisions, a 'thinking partner' can be helpful. Hargrove describes the business coach as sometimes serving in this role. The coach works with you to build on your ideas, offering new insights or concepts when appropriate.
A coach helps the farmer see the full range of possibilities for the farm business as it moves forward. Even in situations where you might feel hard-pressed to see opportunity at first glance – for example, high cash rent or volatile markets – the coach helps you gain a fresh perspective and new ideas in tough circumstances.
They help you continue to imagine possibilities – and to entertain 'different' thinking that you can then use to solve problems and create solutions. Your business coach could help you create an overall strategic plan and goals for your farm based on the ideas you discuss together. Or they might help you select metrics for your farm that will help drive your most important decisions.
With the challenges that you're facing today in ag – like commodity and land price changes – could it benefit your operation to have someone help you think through your approach?
Albert Einstein once said, "The same level of thinking that got you into the problem won't be sufficient to get you out of it." If you find yourself stuck in a business problem that doesn't seem to have an answer, a 'thinking partner' may help you through. You emerge with new ideas or insights and find energy from a new approach. That can make the difference between what currently is and what is possible on your farm.