I was recently reminded of an old episode in the Star Wars movie entitled The Empire Strikes Back, where the famous character Yoda encourages young Luke Skywalker to use his mind to accomplish a task at hand. The task, no easy feat, is to retrieve his disabled spaceship out of a remote bog where it has sunk, but only by using his mind…

Do you remember their verbal exchange? Young Luke, thinking this task was nearly impossible, agrees to give it a “try.” Yoda, in the quote he is famous for, states, “No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” In case you need a refresher, here’s the link:

Are you facing some similar challenges in your business? I’ve recently completed two Client refinances, both of which took a long time. In spite of being profitable, their lenders just were just not willing to stretch in the way that we needed them to go. After their refinancing, one of these Clients is now working on their third straight year of being profitable, and the other one is working on year number two of profitability.

What has been the secret with these folks? Yes, their prices have improved, but more importantly, they didn’t just decide to try. They established guidelines that said they were not going to fail. They would do whatever it took to get profitable again. They turned over every stone to determine what needed to be changed!

Just in case you are wondering, please understand that there is a real problem with saying you will “try to do something.” The issue is that when we say we will try, we don’t actually have to commit to doing anything substantial. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon many times in the past. Essentially, it gives us an excuse for not accomplishing the task at hand. Trying is not the same as doing something!

Here are some recommendations:

  1. Forget trying. As the famous Nike commercial states: “Just do it!” Push forward and don’t take NO for an answer.
  2. Realize that it’s been done before. I’ve seen Clients get their Accounts Payable caught up before, by cutting their overall costs of production by more than $2.00 per cwt.
  3. As my Business Coach Dan Sullivan says, “All progress begins with telling the truth.” Recognize what your current position is, use that as a starting point, establish what must change, and then measure what your results actually are.
  4. Stay committed to the process. In the Client examples stated above, some people said I was crazy and cited examples of where this type of thinking didn’t work. However, I know that sometimes you just have to tune out the “noise,” and simply get it done!
  5. Maintain no “Sacred Cows.” Regardless of who is selling you something, take a close look at that product or service. You can’t help that person’s sales, if you go broke. Purchase only what you need and what you can afford within the limits of your Break-Even levels. It’s the only way you can succeed.

As you think about how to overcome your business challenges, ask what action you need to undertake this week!What will you do differently, going forward? Think about it.

Here’s a suggestion for you. Sign up for our new Success Strategies Business Navigator Program. If you are open to learning new concepts and discussing them with other producers, you should take a look at this new program that will start early next year. It’s completely online, freeing you from travel but offering you an opportunity to learn from industry experts in the areas of milk marketing, management, financial analysis & banking/finance. For the value of the milk production of one 85 lb cow for a month, you can enroll in this quarterly workshop program for one year. What have you got to lose? Check it out at:    


You won’t regret it. I wish you the very best for a success-filled year!

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