1. Make lists of jobs and cross them out as they are completed.
2. Don’t sleep in. If you are tired, go to bed earlier and get up at the same time. One hour in the morning is worth two at night. Get out of bed and get going.
3. Pick up dead stock straight away and dispose of them out of sight.
4. Do something for others. This can be one of the most satisfying things you can do when you are under stress.
5. Keep your alcohol consumption to your same level as pre-adverse event.
6. Share your thoughts. Work as a team.
7. Take heaps of photos as events end. For example, in drought, it’s therapeutic to look at photos of a really wet winter and vice versa.
8. Take a deep breath from time to time. This is the one thing we can learn from smokers.
9. Stay one night a month off-farm.
10. Where possible have fun. Post-snowstorm, take a toboggan and let the ‘kids play’.
11. Record the event, what you did right and wrong. Keep as learnings for the next generation, and yourself.
12. Contact an old friend (one you have talked to in the last year) once a month. Friends are the family you choose for yourselves.
13. You are tough and capable. Live, breath, work it.
14. Burn the candle, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Life is too short. Today is the special occasion.
15. Embrace and utilise modern technology.
16. Don’t do an ‘Ostrich’ and put your head the sand.
17. Be open to new and progressive ideas. If your advisors are tough on you in tough times, you probably have good advisors. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. However choose an advisor/friend/mentor and stick with the advice they give. Trying to take advice from too many people can be confusing.
18. Set goals short and long term, plus ideas/methods on goal achievement.
19. Be flexible in both the short and long term. The sun will rise tomorrow, some things can be put off.
20. Leadership = knowledge = time. There are a few shortcuts, but this formula is almost 98 per cent right.
21. An adverse event provides a challenge, try and turn it (or some aspect of the event) to your advantage.
22. Always look forward, experience is the only thing you should take from the past.
23. Don’t be scared of success or failure. There is always an element of risk in any business, especially farming. Henry Ford famously stated, ‘Failure is the opportunity to try again with more knowledge.’
24. Be optimistic, with a touch of realistic.
25. If you think you can, and if you think you can’t, you’re probably right. In other words, attitude and application are critical.
26. Try to do what you enjoy and employ others to do the things you don’t enjoy.
27. Life is never fair. Get used to it!!
28. Look after your staff and yourself. Without health you have very little.
29. Don’t make decisions by your neighbours’ actions.
30. Be honest. Tell the truth to yourself as well as others.
31. It’s okay to get angry, or cry. Do it, then move on.
32. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
33. Forgive everyone. Time heals almost everything.
34. What people think of you is none of your business, so don’t worry about it.
35. Never miss an opportunity to praise someone for something good they have done. Worker, family member, truck driver. It’s just as much benefit to the giver as the receiver.
36. The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand at a time of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.
Read more about Foxown Farm in issue 71 of latitude, on sale now at all good supermarkets and bookstores. Or, subscribe now and never miss and issue!