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We were sitting in convention workshop under the direction of Bruce Sellery, the founder of Moolala, when he asked the question, “What does money mean to you?” He expected us to answer. I said, “adventure and giving”. Another woman said “freedom”. I would be curious to hear your answer. Our values and attitudes towards money deeply affect how we pay attention to handling it well, or not, and getting what we hope for. Sellery says he has met many “smart capable people who are doing dumb things with money.”

Many farm families are struggling to make a profit, and some as one caller told me “are just trying to keep the wolf from the door.” We all have strong feelings about money, a context that helps us or keeps us stuck in the ways we use money. Sellery has a life-changing approach to looking at your context for money, cash flow, debt issues, tax plans, retirement, and opportunities. He sees money as having pillars in our lives, and if our behaviour with money and its consequences don’t line up with how we are actually living, then we will feel very stuck. For example, a couple values travel and freedom, but they are working long hours to pay a mortgage for a monster house that they barely have time to sleep in. They value “stuff” not freedom.

Many farm founders have been frugal for years, ploughing everything back into the farm business and they haven’t really stopped to think about their money issues. I see them with furrowed brows in family meetings as they want to be secure about their financial futures, want to keep the farm intact, and still want the next generation to farm without a new mortgage for paying off the founders.

It’s time to visit www.moolala.ca and check out Bruce Sellery’s approach. He is providing workshops in Calgary, and open to traveling to other centers to help folks focus on their relationship to money and find ways to make it work for them. He also suggests that you visit www.globefund.com to see how your mutual funds are doing. (This is painful, I have done it!)

Talk to your adult children about what they expect from your lifestyle choices, you might be pleasantly surprised. Many successors understand the years of hard work and sacrifice on the family farm that have allowed them to step into a very successful operation. What these folks don’t realize is that the founders are not world travelers, they just want time to play with the grandkids, and time to enjoy the seasons of the farm life at their own pace. I’ve had children ask their parents to spend money on themselves, and live a life that is much more leisurely than the past. You need to seek out a financial planner who sees planning in a “holistic” way, not just money and land, but what you value, your dreams, and your aspirations for making money work for you.

Some folks are scared by “complexity of money” according to Sellery. You need to find the level of
complexity that works for you. You can hire a financial planner that works only on a fee for service rather than a commission. You can interview 3 or more folks and choose the best fit. You can visit your local bank or credit union and see what they have to offer you for wealth management.

“Elaine, I have no wealth to manage!” Really? Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Your health is your wealth.” I value being rich in relationship and rich with good health. You may have meagre savings, but we all have to start from where we are. You attitude towards moola, i.e. money, may be causing you to act out of fear, or not plan at all for the future, because you can’t face the consequences of your fizzled money management .

You also may have suffered from poor risk management by being under-insured or without proper well-written agreements.

I am on a personal mission this year to have every farm family visit a lawyer to have a valid will written, and to choose a personal financial planner. What good is it for a man to gain a whole section of land and lose his soul or his family due to overwork and lack of attention to what really matters deep down in his heart?

How do you start to have the conversation about what money means to you?

Take some quiet time with a pad of paper, alone in the pickup or in the lazy boy and think about your behaviour with money. Ask yourself what you want your legacy to look like beyond money and land, a legacy of how you would like to be remembered, and your wishes to be fulfilled. The threat of death shouldn’t be the only motivator for us to get a better handle on our money or our affairs.

Contact Bruce Sellery to find out more about his approach at www.moolala.ca and pre-order a copy of his book or refine your goals by reading his blog. Take your spouse out for a nice supper or light the candles in your kitchen and linger over the thoughts and ideas you freely share about what you want money to do for you. Letting go of past bad habits is not easy. I am a firm believer as a coach that we all get to make choices to build new scenarios, and perhaps today is the best day to start making new choices about your money.

Tell me your story. I will hold it in confidence. My theme for 2010 is generosity, and I want to find out more ways to be more giving with the resources that I have been blessed with. I hope you will be kind to yourself, and start a new approach to aligning what money means to you with the way you act in your farm and your family.

It’s your choice.

Fixing Your Time Stress Mess

60 minutes

Workaholics will discover helpful strategies for managing their time stress. Gain understanding for the tensions of your age and stage on the farm. Learn why some problems are not solvable, but just need to be managed as polarities. Self-renewing people are joyful and productive producers.

$15

Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

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+1-204-534-7466 | elaine(at)elainefroese.com

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