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How satisfied are you with your farm partners?How satisfied are you with your farm partners?

Putting some numbers to that question could provide valuable perspective.

Davon Cook

May 23, 2022

2 Min Read
Young farmer sunset

If you’re a perfectionist like me, things are never quite good enough. My mind is always churning with ideas of how to improve this, or squeeze that into the schedule, or prepare for possibility X.

Someone asked me once, “What’s your satisfaction ratio?” My what? She meant, what percent of the time are you at peace and content? What percent of the time are you somewhat ruffled or worried or stressed? And what percent of the time are you in full crisis mode?

I won’t share my answer, but I will share that putting numbers to the question provided valuable perspective. It made me take stock that things aren’t as bad as they seem sometimes.

After I learned the concept, I realized it can apply in many variations. For example, sometimes family members are reconsidering their participation in a family business, especially if there is ongoing conflict. I found it helpful to put a number to the ratio of how often you’re feeling:

  1. Great! I love that I work with my family. I enjoy spending time with them. I appreciate their skills and how we complement each other. I’m proud to be part of this endeavor together. I’m grateful my kids can be part of our business. I’m at the right place.

  2. So-So. We’re having a rough day. I’m annoyed with how someone is behaving. I’m frustrated. We lost our cool. But I manage it. I know tomorrow it will blow over and I’ll feel differently. It’s just part of the deal.

  3. Awful! I go home cursing or crying to my spouse or friends. I’m not sure I can keep doing this. I wonder if I’m at the right place. This is not working!

I can’t tell you what numerical ratio is right for you. But putting a number to it helps you logically evaluate reality, rather than emotionally react in the moment. And you can set goals and an action plan if you want to change the ratio. 

Davon Cook is a family business consultant at K Coe Isom. Reach Davon at [email protected].

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 


About the Author(s)

Davon Cook

Family business consultant, Pinion

Davon Cook is a family business consultant at Pinion (formerly K Coe Isom). She helps families work well together in the business and navigate transitions in leadership and ownership. She works with farmers and ranchers all day every day and is passionate about production ag. Davon has been specializing in this area since 2012, partnering with Lance Woodbury at Ag Progress and K Coe Isom. She facilitates peer groups covering a range of strategic and technical topics, so she understands the issues producers are managing every day. Her perspective is shaped by spending ten years working in her own family’s cotton business near Lubbock, Texas, and a career spanning the ag value chain from McKinsey to ConAgra to consulting with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation throughout Africa. She welcomes comments, questions, and conversation!

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