Do You Know Who I Am?

No, I am not Darth Vader, but I really believe this is a good question for each of us to ask ourselves. I recently listened to a speech by Matthew McConaughey, also known as the speech that broke the internet, where he explained that knowing who we are begins with knowing who we are not.

If you haven’t heard that speech, I highly recommend you listen to it. I find it very motivational. However, what does he mean? Please allow me to provide you with a couple examples.

I had a Client several years ago who sold his dairy operation. He had children, but none were interested in running the dairy. One was an outstanding Doctor, and the other child was a very successful Accountant. He was the third generation on the operation and had done very well. Unfortunately, he felt ashamed because he had no children to take over for him. Following extensive discussions, I reminded him of how well he had done, how successful his two sons were, and how he had continued his family’s legacy for a third generation, at a time when dairying was no easy task. In essence, to convince him that he was, indeed, a success story, he needed to recognize what he was not – someone who would live forever – because no one can do that.

I had another Client whose banker convinced him that he should diversify his operations. He was a lifelong dairyman, but he became convinced that he should diversify into almonds, too. On the surface, it sounded good. Almonds were bringing $3/pound. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, over the next five years, development costs soared from $6,000/acre to $12,000/acre. Operating costs skyrocketed and, magically, the $3/pound price dropped to $1.80. Oh, and did I mention that the Federal Reserve Board ratcheted interest rates up by over 5%? His stress levels jumped dramatically. He had done a great job of diversifying, but he was simply tired of the worry associated with the higher debt levels and soft returns.

Effectively, he began to realize identifying whom he was began with recognizing who he was not. He was not one to deal with the stress associated with higher debt levels and lower margins. He divested part of the almond property and got himself back on track.

What items do you need to consider as you recognize who you are by first identifying whom you are not? I wish you well with this crucial process.

If you run a dairy of any size, I have recently introduced a system to allow you to measure your dairy operation’s cash flow results. I call it the Success Strategies AdvantageTM, and it is designed to create a budget for your dairy operation, using numbers for your region of the country, measure your actual results against this, and provide you with crucial Break-Even numbers. Check it out at today.

Let’s take your business to the Next Level!

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