Happy New Year! With the New Year comes resolutions for many. Losing weight, reducing stress, getting organized, saving more money (or spending less) and spending more time with family are traditionally among the top of the list.
If you look at the heart of most New Year’s resolutions, the resolution usually requires developing a whole lot of self-control and discipline in order to create a new habit and ultimately long-term success.
I’ve already heard from some clients that in addition to the “traditional” New Year’s resolutions, they are adding discipline with grain marketing to the top of their list. Discipline is essential to any short-or long- term goal. Discipline is also an essential component to farm marketing, especially when it comes to pulling the trigger on those cash sales. When working with farmers and their marketing, we’ve found that no matter how much time and knowledge about markets a person has, everything falls apart if there is no discipline. Discipline is required in two main areas:
- Prior Planning. Prior planning is very important, and is what I have referred to in the past as “market scenario planning.” First, imagine all the possibilities of what the market might do (why prices could go higher or lower). Then develop your strategy for each scenario. That way, you will be ready for whatever the market (global weather, trade deals, Presidential tweets) throws at you!
- Implementation. When your market indicators signal that it is time to act, implement your strategies! How many of you have been close to a trigger point on a cash sale, set many months in advance, but when that signal is close to getting hit, you cancel your order? Or change the order to sell a smaller quantity? Or you don’t follow through because there is some market news that just sounds too tempting. That’s where lack of discipline hurts. Call your grain elevator in advance and place those target orders for cash sales. Really think about what percentage of your crop you want to be pricing at each target. When it comes to your marketing, turn your attention inward and make a conscious decision about your strategies and your actions. Keep the end goal and your overall average price per bushel in perspective.
When you feel tempted to abandon your previously planned goals and strategies for whatever excuse or reason, stop and ask yourself if it's really worth it. Take out your written reminders of your long-term goals and revisit them again. If the goals are still vitally important to you and the strategies still make sense, you should have no trouble choosing the right action.