By July 13, 2012 Read More →

A good philosophy for home workers

A good philosophy for home workersLast week John Wallis gave us his farmer’s take on home working. Today he muses on the importance of knowing what to try and control, and what to accept, a useful philosophy for all home workers:

How do you switch off after work, John? If you do switch off!
Downside….It is very difficult for me to switch off. There is always something to do on a farm. Stuff to repair and maintain, paperwork, without the actual business of actually planting or harvesting. Living on the farm I am always in a position to be busy. Often when I leave work I find my brain searching for a crop to grow and a market to supply, or find a way to cut my costs and increase efficiency in order to be more competitive.

When I stop and think of it my job is all about acceptance, we make very few business decisions. Decisions are mostly made for us. We may have a passion for growing orchids or keeping guinea pigs but we know that there will be somebody somewhere in the world who will be able to produce these things cheaper than we can, and the market will be theirs. We can only produce what we can shift, whether we enjoy growing the product or not. We don’t really even decide when to plant or harvest because the seasons and the weather dictate that as well.

There is always a big temptation to expand or diversify and borrow huge sums of money to do it. On paper a farmer could be worth millions but not be able to put his hand on a fiver! Banks queue up to lend you money, safe in the knowledge that they can sell your farm and chuck you out. There is no such thing as a dead cert so you need to think very carefully before you get too heavily into debt….Not that you have a choice most of the time.

Farming has the highest suicide rate of any industry in the country, getting into debt and losing the family farm is probably the most common cause of this terrible statistic. But don’t worry too much about us. We are busily living on a planet where there has never been more potential customers, and there has never been less farm land. We started trading before Tesco, and we are doing our best to keep trading long after they are gone!

In my job I have to try and control all sorts of problems with an iron fist, but sometimes things go astray and I have learned to accept problems and crop failures without letting them get me down. In life there are many things that you have to be in control of. You need to live within your means and manage your money wisely. You need to discipline yourself to get up and go to work, often when you really want to be somewhere else…….But, there are many things in life that you can’t control. Like illness and so many unpredictable things. These things you need to accept. If you fail, you fail, to learn to accept failure may be one of your most valuable lessons.

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