When the going gets tough

When the going gets tough….


I have two part system I follow when things get tough…

Some people buckle down to get every detail done.

They work long hours, they do good work and a lot gets done and don’t exactly get caught up but get close enough to be comfortable.  They continue to work hard and it gets tough again and they jump in to work long hours, they do good work and a lot gets done….


You get the picture.  The sad part about this hamster wheel is the satisfaction quotient is not real high and what is there is short lived.


I do something different.   


Part One: Change the Game.  Instead of repeating the same process over and over I change the game.  Not for change sake but to move the vision forward with less stress.  There will be a chance of finding a different solution that puts the hurt on the hamster (or the hamster wheel for all you hamster huggers)if I look for one.


Example:  Instead of employing more people that we can’t afford, I challenged the processes involved. 


1.       No room in the store to add another person to pack more bags.

2.       Not enough time to get the deliveries done.  1.5 hours spent packing up the vans.


The solution was easy.  Have one of the day time packers pack in the evening from 4 to 12pm.  They get done just in time to pack up the vans so the drivers have at least 90 minute each to deliver. The packer also gets more done because there are no phone calls or interruptions.  More focus.


Part Two:  Satisfaction Quotient.  I want to “feel” like we are making a difference. 


Example:  Our processing plant was such down, the government decided to add significant regulation to any CSA’s, and we are in a drought.  My response?   Knock out the middle wall in the store.  Why?  It will be more welcoming and creates more space for you.  Game changer?  Absolutely.  How?  It keeps me “feeling” like I am taking steps forward while our government pulls me back.  That “feeling” is all that matters.  It’s what oil is to gas in my car (or Hydrogen next year).


Both the “game changer” and “feeling” are necessary to help me stand up to a tough industry and keep moving.  They have to be employed simultaneously at best or at least one after the other.  Without these two things happening I would be buried in details, regulation, and the missed order.  I would be the hamster.


My point of sharing?  Come see the store after this Thursday.  Bring the kids and have lunch in the barn or a romantic afternoon.  BBQ is on.  Very exciting!    I’ll take care of the other things.


Your “I am not a hamster” Farmer


Tara F. Smith