The Unavoidable Truth of Entrepreneurship: A View of Ownership and Work From a Farmer’s Perspective.
I live in a part of the country that is heavily agriculture based. I being an avid student of entrepreneurship am always seeking ways to understand and apply this concept of “ownership of work” not only to my business but also find insights to share with others. I discovered a valuable application of this topic right in my own backyard… from the perspective of a farmer.
There may be no greater “high risk” occupation than that of a farmer. There is a lot of work and a lot of factors that have to fall into place for a successful outcome or harvest to be achieved. Case in point, farmers are dependent on the weather. The last time I checked, they had very little control of it. Sometimes it never rains, sometimes it rains too much. Sometimes it rains at the wrong time! Sometimes, severe weather brings damaging hail storms and tornadoes. I have seen many a crop wiped out entirely in just a few hours of time only to find a resilient entrepreneur back in the field pursuing livelihood once again.
There are many BIG and important decisions to make. First, the farmer determines what to plant. This is based on a variety of issues such as where he lives and what grows best, economies of scale and supply and demand, or simply just what he wants to grow! Then considerations are made for either irrigation of simply planting and relying on the rain to water the crops. More risk…yep! Once these decisions are made, the farmer does not just throw seed to the wind; he prepares the field for planting. This is not an easy undertaking…it is typically not an eight to five, five day work week! There is also a significant financial investment involved as well. Once the field is ready and the crop of choice is planted, then the work begins. Does any of this sound familiar?
A constant care of the crop is required. As mentioned earlier, a host of circumstances can deter or even destroy a favorable outcome if ignored. However, with great tenacity and commitment and yes, maybe a few breaks along the way, a result of all the efforts are culminated with a field ready for harvest. There is an unavoidable truth to the natural process that you will reap what you sow. A farmer will not grow cotton from planting wheat!
So, here are the take-away points for us. If you want more opportunities for your business or from your work, or more productivity from your people and your day, plant the seeds of seeking them, nurturing them and cultivating them. Just like the farmer, hardships may occur and the results you seek may not happen overnight. You may have to start again. You most definitely will have to WORK! But remember why you committed to what you started, or as the farmer, what was chosen to be planted and press on. Own it.
Similarly, you absolutely cannot harvest what you don’t plant! If you never seek to grow, if you never search for ways to improve and learn, you certainly will not attain them. Wayne Gretzky, the famous professional hockey player said it best, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Amen.
The perspective of the farmer clearly demonstrates how successfully identifying, caring for and cultivating the important things in our work and our career can positively impact both individual and organization. The question then becomes: Knowing the impact of the exponential power of what we can accomplish when we truly take ownership of what we do, or perhaps what we will miss if we don’t, why would anyone not take the opportunity to dig a hole and plant a seed… Grab your shovel!