I run a small farm – is setting a Vision even relevant to me?

Dear ABDI,

You talk a lot about getting clear on your Vision for the future. I have a lot of trouble with this concept, and don’t really think it’s too relevant to us in our little vegetable farming business.

I honestly can’t understand how it’s important to look 15 years into the future, when things are changing every few months now. Plus, I’m dealing with a lot of things I can’t control or factor in, such as drought.

I think this might be more relevant for bigger established business that operate in more stable environments… Or am I missing something?

– Small Business Farmer

 

Dear Small Business Farmer,

When we talk Vision, all we really want you to do is spend some quality time thinking about your future. It doesn’t matter what you call it – it could be Goals, Objectives, Outcomes, the Future, etc. The value is in the process of taking time out to think about what you really want – both at a business, and a personal level.

I’ll give you some examples. How many times do you hear of family businesses breaking down because the different family members / units weren’t aligned in what they were looking for? Or you hear of a business spending a ton of money heading down one path, only to realise that heading down that track wasn’t really the best use of their time and resources? Or from the outside looking in, it seems that things ‘just get done’ … there appears no real direction.

Just by spending time thinking about where you’re going, what’s important to you, what motivates you, what you won’t compromise on – this time spent at the front end can reduce wasted time effort and resources later on. Then engaging others, either to help in setting the direction or helping you get laser-focused, can often make a huge difference.

Being in business is always an evolving journey – things will inevitably change from the path you set out on. But if you are clear on what’s important to you, and clear on the type of life you want to live, then you will always have some sort of ultimate objective to guide your way.

It’s easy to think there are “some rules” around how all this is done. While we have a way in which we suggest things are best done, we always say “just do what you feel or think is best”. The main thing is just to get started (that simple first step which is often the hardest).

All the best,

ABDI

 


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