Building a Success Team

Thanks to a mid-harvest dump of snow, it has been quite a while since I have sat down to write. But as I have said, this blog is more about documenting my journey and observations about life rather than consistency. I am just a farm boy writing when I get a small window of opportunity within my chaotic life.

Building a Success Team

As always, my goal is to grow in all ways and the biggest contributor to this growth is my willingness to learn. This was one of the revelations I had after plowing through 31 audio books in the combine this year. I’ve realized I need to push myself to learn more often. I realized I haven’t been pushing myself to stretch my mental muscles and expand my knowledge in areas such as business and fitness over the past two years. While from the outside it may seem like I am ultra-focused, internally I know I can do better. After all, we all measure our own success based on what we see as our true potential. Now the only question is, how do I push myself to learn and to reach that potential?

When we were kids, we went to school for 12 years to build up our knowledge base. Then we graduated and attended post-secondary for four to six years to specialize and build up our employable skills. Beyond that, the path becomes less clear, but now we have the freedom to focus on developing knowledge in the areas we are passionate about. I feel that at the age of 40, I am in my prime years for furthering that knowledge. Although I can’t study any of my passions full time, I can seek help to develop those that I live and breath every day. Two of those passions I am going to write about here are farming and fitness. Real estate will have to get it’s own post another day.

So here are some of my thoughts about building a success team for excellence both on the farm and in my fitness training.

The Land

Farming is a very complex business and along with managing variables that are completely out of our control such as the weather, insects and weeds, we are often forced to make educated guesses to be successful.

My family has been farming for more than 105 years but that doesn’t make me a farming expert. In fact, having such a long history can sometimes act as a barrier for growth as time can make us entrenched in tradition. This fall, in an attempt to learn and break some of these barriers, I hired an agronomist to work with us on our operation. Using the simple premise that we don’t know what we don’t know, it was a step we needed to take. Since taking that step 45 days ago, I feel like my knowledge has been expanding daily and that my plans for 2015 are laser focused. Having an expert in my corner to bounce ideas off of or to eliminate mental uncertainty has been well worth the cost. This left me wondering why more farmers don’t use an agronomist. The only answer I could come up with was fear. Fear of hearing the answers to the hard questions about their operations, fear of revealing they don’t have all the answers, and even fear of being shaken out of their comfort zone. I say this because it is probably why I didn’t take this step sooner.

Although it has been just over a month since I hired Steve Laraque with Beyond Agronomy, I see him being part of my success team for many years ahead.

The Body

I have worked with coaches and trainers for a number of years, and while I have a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Alberta, I still choose to leave my training in the hands of a coach. I do this for a number of reasons but a big part of is efficiency. Although many people view physical fitness as a luxury, I don’t, however with a busy schedule I do have to be accountable to many different people on a daily basis. Having a coach and a workout waiting for me on my phone at 5 a.m. saves me the time and energy it takes to plan a training session. It is already hard enough to fit one to four hours of training into my day, nonetheless plan them as well. With the help of a trainer I not only save time but I can ensure that my training sessions are of high enough quality that they make the best use of my time.

Cycling, running and cross-country skiing are all sports that require very demanding training schedules. While I know that I could show up at races and participate with the goal being just to finish, that is not how I am wired. If I am going to race, my goal is always to at least bring the fastest, strongest version of myself to the table.

The challenge with this is building that successful team and finding the right coaching fit to help me meet that goal. In the past I have had many coaches and enjoyed great success with all of them; however, until recently something just wasn’t clicking. I believe all things happen for a reason, and while the early September snowfall wreaked havoc on the farm, it gave me a chance to meet my new coach Luke Way.

Building a Success Team

I discovered Luke through a recommendation from fellow racing friend and the September snow break gave me just enough time to drive to Kelowna to meet him in person. After only two months of working with him I can feel a positive difference in my mental and physical outlook. His ideals resonate with me and I buy into his program 100%. Adhering to a fitness program is hard and while it ranks high on my daily priority list it is probably the easiest part of my day to make an excuse to skip. Luke’s program includes enough variety and intensity that I feel like each session has purpose, making it easier to commit to my training.

Although I still have a number of positions to fill to round out my success team in both my business and personal life, searching for those people is part of the journey. As we strive to learn, grow and find people who motivate us we are able to create checks and balances that reveal our weaknesses and create room for growth. Once we eliminate the fear of learning, the fear of admitting we don’t have all the answers, then the sky is the limit to our potential.

For me, having a success team means having a group of people pushing me out of my comfort zone, pushing me to face the unknown, and then motivating me to learn new things and gain strength where I am weak.

What does creating a success team mean to you?