I've been talking to you recently about the new rules of profitable farming. The game has definitely changed, and with that, we have to change in order to excel in this new environment.
My final rule is about being open to feedback. If you are going to constantly change and adapt, you need to evaluate how you're doing to be certain you are headed in the right direction.
The ability to adapt is your sustainable competitive advantage. You have to change quicker than your neighbor. Telling you where the high in the market is will not give you the advantage. The truth is if you adapt quicker than your neighbor, you stay ahead of them. I don't know if I can outrun a bear, but if I outrun you, I don't have to outrun the bear. It's a simple truth.
Being open to change is foundational. This means I am willing to listen to outside opinions. The goal in listening is to learn, realizing that I will take what I understand and put it into a comprehensive plan. Only then can I move forward with accountability to execute the plan.
Here's the hard part. My ego gets in the way. Don't try to tell me I've been doing this wrong. You might have a good idea but I know what I'm doing. We have all thought this before. Ego keeps me from learning and I may think my ego protects me. We must decide if we want to be proud or successful. It is a good thing to be pleased with success and the changes we've made.
I have made a lot of changes in my life. I assume until I die I'll need to continue changing. It's hard. We don't want to hear that we didn't make the right choice. I do not, however, want to make wrong choices.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We get frustrated with some of our results, but we're not doing anything to change the outcome. That's our challenge today. Are we going to make mistakes? You bet we are. I think if you're not making mistakes you haven't tried anything in life. Failure is part of succeeding. You fail. If you reflect afterward, you learn. Look back. Evaluate. Learn.
Accept and embrace challenges to your plan. Get outside help. Be accountable. Ask people to help you change. Notice that things are not working the same as they did prior to 2005 and start asking why.
These are the new rules:
Understand the game
Develop a plan
Leverage the pieces
I grew up playing a lot of cards. When my wife and I were first married, we were at her parents' house playing a card game I was familiar with. I had this thing won, I thought, until they told me "that's not how we play in this house. That's not our rule." My wife kicks me under the table. "Don't cause a problem." The bottom line is, before we played the next game, I asked what all the rules were. We have to do that from time to time with our business because things change. Ask for feedback and learn the new rules.
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