The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter The only weekly electronic newsletter published for Professional Horsemen.
November 3, 2007

If you are looking for positive results in your horse business, we should have a conversation about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help. E-mail or call me. (716) 434-5371

this week:
  • Are You Busy With the Right Things in Your Business?
  • Speaking about the Horse Business...
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • Horses are Horses-Business is Business

  • Are You Busy With the Right Things in Your Business?
    mowing hay

    Old Doc Lewis, a general practice veterinarian, used to say a farmer's favorite jobs were mowing hay and plowing ground. They are "see where you've been" jobs.

    If you've knocked down a thick hayfield on first cutting, you know what he meant when he said you can see where you've been. Starting the day traversing a waving sea of tall grass and finishing the day admiring the sight of acres of flattened hayfield while enjoying the fresh cut fragrance of curing forage is a perfect day of work.

    The evidence of your production for a day's effort is on view for you and the whole world to see. A plowed field produces the same "see where you've been" feeling of satisfaction. Things have happened and you brought it about.

    Doc's observation of what constitutes measurable and gratifying work may have come about from his own diversions on his afternoon "off". I recall seeing him more than once on his afternoon break, wearing a white shirt, necktie and huge grin, operating a bulldozer on his farm. The work routine of a veterinarian and the management of other business interests were probably the motivation for him to spend some "dozer time" being able to see visible results for his energy.

    In most businesses, the important and strategic work that gets done each day is disjointed and incremental. Small pieces of work may lead up to the completion of a big project and an occasional sense of accomplishment, but too often the work you do is part of an ongoing cycle and is seldom readily measurable like the view of twenty tons of hay waiting to be baled.

    What this means to business people, including Doc, you and me, is that we crave the opportunity to do work that allows us to see where we've been and avoid or abandon the work that is vital to business success because it provides no instant gratification.

    As an example, have you been guilty of operating a pitchfork mucking stalls in the morning when you should have been making phone calls to prospective horse purchasers?

    Or were you sweeping the barn alley when you should have been compiling and reviewing last month's lesson revenue and lesson horse utilization?

    Did you drive thirty miles to the office supply store for printer paper, tape and paper clips when you could have been organizing a staff meeting, creating a marketing plan or calling on a very delinquent receivable?

    Your business will run smoother with better profitability when you recognize the attractive lure (addiction) of "see where you've been jobs" as a comfort diversion from the important, but more abstract work of running a business.

    As uncomfortable as it may feel, put down the pitchfork and pick up the telephone to increase your profits during your normal workday. Schedule your see where you've been jobs for your day off.

    Speaking about the Horse Business...

    Need a speaker about the horse business for your horse organization?

    Talk to me about talking. Keynotes and workshops available. (716) 434-5371

    Others have said

    "Measure not the work until the day's out and the labor done." -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." -- Aristotle

    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Back at the Barn
    old barn ny

    Helping farmers who were "making hay" provided me with spending money in my teenage years. Definitely in the realm of "see where you've been" jobs, stacking hay on wagons behind the baler and later "mowing it away" in the county's cavernous, wagon swallowing, gambrel roofed barns was true farm work.

    Originally designed for storing mountains of loose hay, those high peaked barns taxed the best bale tossers to their physical limits. And occasionally, they were taken to their mental limits by inexperienced hay handlers.

    On hellaciously hot and drenching humid summer days, I had a low tolerance for the whining of inexperienced help. It was in clear violation of the hay handlers' code to complain about heat, thirst or the excessive velocity of airborne bales tossed in your general direction. Whining separated the novice from the experienced pro.

    With the best hay handlers around me, I recall appropriate discussion was limited to heated debate over the benefits, or lack thereof, for stacking baled hay on its cut edge for better drying when the mow was already stacked 29 tiers high.

    Inane discussion (argument) kept our thoughts off heat, thirst and malicious bale velocity and the ego bruising lure of becoming a whiner.

    Experienced hay handlers like my friend Terry would offer profound wisdom as the last hay bale for the day came off the conveyor and was stacked away. He'd punctuate the end of the job with, " Well, there's the one we've been looking for."

    Horses are Horses-Business is Business
    Doug Emerson photo

    I work with Professional Horsemen who are struggling with the business half of the horse business.

    If you've had enough with not enough: time, money or the right people in your horse business put down your pitchfork and pick up your phone. Give me a call (716) 434-5371 and we can talk about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help you.

    Welcome to new subscribers this week. If you know other horsemen who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them!

    I appreciate your help !


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