Insight 8: A sheep helps us to power on and up

Its 1998 and I’m a young banker working in the King Country looking after farmers – prices are poor and it’s a farming recession. I call into see Mike who’s been reading the Economist magazine and provides me with his thoughts on state of the world. Mike had modest borrowing and his results were okay.

I call into see Rob, he’s been reading the National Business Review and provides me with his thoughts on the NZ Economy and the Government. Rob also has modest borrowings and his results were above average.

So, I call into see my largest customer, Mark. In our general catchup, he shows me an X-Ray of a leg bone with a steel object in it. The story goes like this; “Quentin, I was crutching a sheep and it kicked out and smashed the shearing comb. I picked up bits of the comb but couldn’t find the last bit, so just carried on. A couple of days later, I was walking around the farm and thought gee my legs sore. So, I popped into town and they took and x-ray and there was the missing piece of the comb stuck in my leg.”

Here’s the thing, Mark had so much borrowings he should have been broke 3 times over, but he wasn’t. In fact he was making so much money it was ridiculous. He wasn’t worried about the things outside the farm gate, but as shown by his ability to ignore pain, he was incredibly focused on what he could control.

At the moment, with so much noise and negative sentiment around, it easy to get distracted and its time more than ever to stay focused on the things that we have control over, can be good at and make our businesses awesome. Stay focused.

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