Since early 2015, the dairy industry has been a difficult place to operate. Despite feed costs dropping considerably these past two years, the decrease in this expense area pales in comparison to the precipitous drop we have seen in milk prices since the end of 2014. Occasionally, I have had a Client remind me just how tough it is out there right now, after which I remind them that I not only analyzed their cash flow numbers this month, I also saw similar results at numerous other operations. Believe me: I do understand how difficult it has been for all producers. It has been brutal. I’ve been asked to compare this 2015-2016 time period to the calamity of 2009. Frankly, 2009 was simply devastating for many producers, but the last 20 months have been like “dying a death of 1,000 blades.” The pain has just gone on far too long. I recently read a fabulous article by New York Times best selling author Brendon Burchard (visit www.brendon.com). Whenever I get worn down by events, I love to read some of his work or listen to one of his presentations. In this particular article, he discussed how we can deal with adversity when it strikes and outlined five major points:
- “Have confidence.” – He goes on to explain that this is a natural outgrowth of believing that you can overcome the difficulty you are facing. Becoming negative will do nothing but lead you into depression, so simply remember that you can, indeed, figure things out.
- “Keep perspective.” – Regardless of how difficult things may seem, it is quite likely someone in the past has faced the same problem. If others have overcome this, you can too. He also reminds us that each of us has survived hardship before, and we can do it again.
- “Schedule Action.” – A far superior course to waiting to see what happens would be to make certain that you schedule specific actions to deal with your problem. Set action steps you can take each and every day to handle this. Do not, under any circumstances, delay action. Avoiding actions will only make things worse.
- “Ask for help.” – Believe me. In nearly every one of the financial turnarounds with which I have been involved, I wished the Client had come to me for assistance sooner. It amazes me how many times during the past 18 years of consulting I have found myself saying, “ Boy, I wish they had gotten me involved six months ago…” As my business coach Dan Sullivan says, “All progress begins with telling the truth.” In other words, face reality and openly discuss your challenge with someone who has been there before and who can help you.
- “Honor the struggle.” – Brendon explains that this represents a crucial element to having success in life. Sometimes we have to face adversity because we simply cannot control everything. Just accept that and guard your attitude.
I hope you find Brendon’s thoughts and my application of them to our industry helpful. And, please remember: Your attitude determines you altitude! Harvey Mackay, Best Selling Author & Speaker