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Finding the Power to Take ActionThere is nothing scarier for farm families who are trying to gain control over their lives than to have no clue about what the future holds.

I chuckled the first time I was asked over the phone if I would like the “senior’s discount” for age 55 plus. I remember thinking, “Wow…I now qualify for this! How did that happen?” This followed quickly with wondering what’s in my future as a senior.

As you begin to near some of these ‘milestones’ of aging, you begin to realize time has a way of slipping quickly by, something like the toilet paper roll that spins faster as it reaches the end of the roll.

Please promise yourself and your next generation farm partners that you are not going to sit idly by but will engage the power needed to take action.

Embracing Your Power for Action

  1. You are going to speak to your spouse about letting go of power and control of the farm, and what that might look like. This means taking your spouse out on a date to have fun, to engage in intimate conversations about what is keeping you awake at night. Then decide on the date for “becoming the hired man again.” I do not expect that you are ever going to retire, just “re-invent” yourself and your roles.
  2. You are making a date with your accountant and tax planners to discuss your net worth, your living costs, and your intentions to bring along the next generation. Remember that April 30th is always a deadline you honour with our accountant, so how about a deadline for farm transition? It is a process and may be a series of dates, not just one day.
  3. Action begets more action, so you are going to have coffee in a casual way with your family to talk about your dreams for the next new chapter in your life. This includes the farming and non-farm business heirs. Perhaps you can meet with each adult child independent of the others. Trust me; they are scared that you are not dealing with your future lifestyle choices, and they want you to enjoy the fruit of your labour. Have courageous conversations.
  4. Bedtime reading for nights that are short of sleep will include reference to my book: Do the Tough Things Right…how to prevent communication disasters in family business.
  1. Book some counseling time if you are emotionally distraught and need new coping skills. I am encouraged when coaching clients realize that “counseling is about recovery and coaching is about discovery.” Some folks need to have therapy to release the burden that is keeping them stuck in neutral. Take care of your mental health.

Here is the farming forecast for this spring:

Many aging, 55 plus farmers are procrastinating, and not sleeping well. There is a tug of war on their heart regarding their fear of failure. Should they turn things over gradually? What will their new roles be? Will anyone appreciate them when they get older or thank them for what they have helped to grow?

Face your fears. Talk with your spouse. Set dates. Act.

Then celebrate your family relationships and business success.

[Tweet “#Farmers: Find the power you need to take action!”]

A giant orange pumpkin filled with crushed ice and glass bottles of Orange Crush pop is my favourite childhood birthday memory. My mom was also great at putting money in wax paper in the layered chocolate birthday cake and making black cat chocolate drizzle cookies. These memories did not cost a lot of money to create, but they did take time and intentionality.

Strong families celebrate! Think about how great you are going to feel when you embrace the power of target dates and timelines.

Take the time this spring to set target dates for action for your farm businesses continued success. Let your trusted team of advisors help you confirm what prices and money targets need to be proposed.

Just like my October themed birthday parties, I hope you get as much delight from your next generation’s feedback as we did when we discovered the quarters in the birthday cake. It is the small things in life that make a big difference. Don’t let the little foxes of family irritations spoil the vineyard of potential success.

Keep your promises. Honour the timelines and dates.  Be concrete with your proposals. Then your entire family will sleep well at night, and be sure of their future.

Have a great life, don’t embrace fear, live intentionally.

Remember, it is your farm, your family, and your choice.

 

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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