This morning I was talking to my neighbor. Sort of my neighbor. She lives about three streets over, and has a huge rice field in her back yard. I live out in the countryside, and it’s not uncommon to see many houses that have pretty big sized rice fields next to their house. It’s kind of an old world traditional thing here that keeps people connected to their roots, so to speak. Lately people around here have been preparing the fields for planting rice, so they’ll be ready to harvest in fall. It’s interesting to watch the fields slowly, one by one, transform from lots of unkempt dirt and weeds, leftover from last season, into flat, tilled earth. And then flooded with water to soak deep into the ground, and then finally when they plant the seedlings. Then itâ€™s only a matter of time before the result comes.
I went to a business seminar once, and the instructor was saying how creating a successful business is exactly like being a successful farmer. Many people start business with some vague hopes and only a partial understanding of the laws of human behavior. He said that when you have a clear outcome, and a solid understanding of human behavior, then your success would be inevitable. He went through a few examples of successful entrepreneurs that applied these principles. They knew exactly what they wanted, so much so that when it appeared, there was no misunderstanding. One of the dangers of not having a clear outcome is that when your wish comes true, you might not notice it. If you are having a bad day, or you just got into an argument with your boyfriend, you might not notice that what you’ve been working towards for so long is sitting here waiting for you to take advantage of this.
Farmers, on the other hand, know exactly what they want. They know how much they can sell a bushel of wheat for, and exactly what acreage is needed to produce exactly that much wheat. And they know exactly how to prepare the soil, and plant and feed the wheat, and when it’s ready to be picked. It’s like they buy a book on how to grow wheat and go to bed every night wishing the gods of wheat would visit them in the middle of the night and make the wheat magically appear. Sadly, too many people treat their business ventures that way. Especially folks that are starting a business for the first time.
One of the things that the instructor told us is that even if you don’t have a solid understanding of human behavior, if you have a solid goal in mind, and sufficient motivation and patience and drive to take you there, that will be enough. You jut have to be open to learn from your mistakes and be able to make adjustments along the way. One thing that he recommended was to dig underneath your motivations for that particular business, and find your underlying criteria for running our own shop instead of working for somebody else. He suggested once you have that, then you can shift your goals from being successful in that particular venture, to simply being a successful business owner. He explained that many successful businesses were started by people that had failed in several businesses before they became ultra successful. I think the average successful entrepreneur had five or six business failings before they finally hit their stride and began reaping the real rewards they were after. Persistence pays. This was due to their underlying belief in themselves, and their burning desire to be successful on their own.
So anyway, my neighbor was explaining to me the ins and outs of being a successful rice farmer. She started telling me how when she was a kid, she would sit and listen to her father tell her stories that his uncle told him and his brothers when they were kids. How you have to have a respect for nature and nature’s laws. And that how knowing and respecting natures laws is really not so difficult when you can embrace the cyclic nature of everything. Kind of like when you are on a swing and you swing your legs back and forth with just the right timing to get you higher and higher. Being able to pay attention to the cycles of nature, and not trying to control them, as so many people think you can do, but to respect and learn from them, and move in sync with them. Because when you move in sync with nature, you are moving in sync with the most powerful force in the universe.
And when you start to understand that people are also and expression of that infinite power of the universe, moving in sync with nature takes on a whole new range of possibilities.