For the last five years, with the exception of the second half of 2019, the dairy industry has been a very difficult place to operate. Despite feed costs dropping considerably during this same time period, the decrease in this expense area pales in comparison to the precipitous drop we have seen in milk prices from 2015 to mid-2019 and now again in early 2020.
Believe me: I do understand how difficult it has been for all producers. We are in a very scary time, financially speaking. There is a great deal of uncertainty in both exports and in our domestic markets.
I recently re-read a great 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, probably even you, 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. This is an ideal time to “step up” your action levels on cow comfort, breeding, feeding and overall financial management. Do not “cut corners” in these areas. It will hurt you down the road.
- “Ask for help.” – Believe me. In nearly every one of the financial turnarounds with which I have been involved, I only wish the Client had come to me for assistance sooner. It amazes me how many times during the past 21 years of consulting I have found myself saying, “Man, I wish they had gotten me involved six months ago…” As my business coach Dan Sullivan says, “The challenges & obstacles you face are actually the raw material for reaching your goals.” With this in mind, don’t give up. Get the help you need and develop your success plan!
- “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, control what you can, and guard your attitude.
I hope you find Brendon’s thoughts and my application of them to our industry helpful.