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By Austin G. Hackney

It’s no secret that the majority of new enterprises fail. That fact applies as much to setting up new farming projects as anything else. It isn’t always because of a bad business idea or that the market wasn’t there for the produce.

Running a successful farm on any scale is tough. There’s more to it than having a brilliant idea, identifying a market, pulling together the financing, and setting up the infrastructure. There are five common reasons new farmers may fail. It’s worth knowing what they are so you can avoid them and make your project a success.

Burnout

Running a successful farm is time consuming. Don’t let it become soul destroying. It’s hard to get the work/life balance right. Your farm will be the focus of your attention around the clock, especially in the early days.

But if you let your farm take over your life, you set yourself up for failure. Your happiness, your energy, your sense of identity and value outside the farm, are all vital contributors to your business’s success. Make sure you don’t abandon your hobbies, social life, and family time. Take exercise for pleasure not just at work, and eat well. If you lose touch with your loved ones, your friends, and your health, what are you working for?

Lack of Planning and Development

A great idea is only a great idea. To turn it into a successful farming enterprise means putting in the time and resources to develop the idea into a sound business plan. A poor plan or an underdeveloped concept can spell doom for a farm before it even gets started.

Make sure you explore and develop your business idea. Don’t forget to plan for contingencies. Make realistic cash flow forecasts and allow for scaling up and down as things change and develop.

Losing Heart

Most successful entrepreneurs have tried and failed in business many times over before achieving success. Running a new farm is tough. It’s demanding mentally, emotionally, and physically. You can’t always see the progress you’re making. When you’re working like a dog around the clock and don’t see the results, it can be demoralizing.

It’s important to remind yourself that the only way to win a race is to keep running. Remind yourself of your original inspiration, how great it will be once you succeed, and your deep motives for making things work. Contact other farmers who are already successful. Most are happy to help and inspire others just starting out. Keep inspired.

Irrational Decisions

Successful women who farm have the mark of genius about them. Several of the most successful are considered eccentric in their lifestyles and habits. They may be passionate risk-takers, but they have their feet firmly planted on the ground. In enterprise, doing things differently can be a route to success. But in decision-making nothing beats stepping back and taking a cool, rational view of what to do.

Don’t let your passion and enthusiasm cloud your thinking. Before you decide, it’s a good idea to consult with people whose knowledge and ability you trust. By all means leap, but make sure you look before you do so.

Losing Focus

Managing a farm or smallholding is complicated even if you don’t have a large staff to support. With so many aspects of your business to manage, it’s easy to lose sight of your aim. If you stop doing the few things that push your business forward, and become distracted by the many unnecessary ones, the success of your farm can falter.

As part of your business plan you should have drawn up a mission statement. Make an inspirational version of that statement like a screenwriter’s “elevator pitch.” What that means is to name your core business aim, and the essential strategies for achieving it, and then sum it up in only two or three sentences. When you lose focus, return to that elevator pitch and get yourself back on track.

One thing all successful farmers do is learn from their mistakes. The most successful also learn from the mistakes of others. If you’re running a new farming enterprise, make sure you do both to avoid unnecessary failure. Finally, keep in touch with your passion, work smart as well as hard, and never give up on living your dream.

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Oh, we are all about…




8 Fashion Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Look

There is no getting around it. You will have to invest money and energy into your clothing, especially if you want to look your best. But are you setting yourself up for fashion failure? Are you guilty of one of these common fashion mistakes? Change your ways, and reclaim your sensational style.

The clothes don’t fit.

Are you wearing clothing in the wrong size? Come on, you can tell us.

The first step in looking great in your clothes is wearing something that fits you. It’s a mistake to get stuck on a size number because sizes can vary spectacularly depending on brands and even the style of clothing. You may need a larger size in a blouse to accommodate your chest but a smaller size in jeans or the other way around. Some styles may not fit you at all, simply because the cut doesn’t conform to your body type.

And remember, just because you can get into it doesn’t mean it fits. This is an easy fix – just be flexible when it comes to size.

The bra is all wrong.

Your bra is the most important article of clothing that no one is going to see. When undergarments go wrong, it can throw off your entire outfit. Bras that are too tight can cause rolls and hills where you don’t want them, and bras that are stretched out or too loose will not give you proper support.

If necessary, ask for a fitting each time you buy a new bra. Make sure your entire bosom fits neatly into each cup and that the bra hooks easily without you having to yank on it.

Once you have a great bra, take care of it. Your bra should never see the inside of a dryer, and hanging it from a door handle to dry is going to pull it into a non-symmetrical shape. Read this article to learn more.

Thinking it’s okay to skip the iron.

We all do it. Who irons jeans anyway, right? And some people don’t iron at all, and that’s okay… if you never leave the farm. Unless you have a closet full of travel-wear that doesn’t wrinkle then maybe you should consider the ol’ iron on occasion.

If you want to wear a piece of clothing that can wrinkle, you need to make a commitment to ironing it. When you walk into a room in wrinkled clothing, you might as well be wearing knit shorts and a t-shirt. It makes you look sloppy and unable to handle the world. And no one wants to make that kind of impression.

You don’t double-check your whites.

Crisp, white clothing can be classic and stylish, but you can easily give all those advantages away by neglecting to check yourself in white.

White is problematic for two reasons. One is that light travels right through it, and the other is that it doesn’t hide much. Before you wear white, check your undergarments. Stand in natural light and check to see if you, or someone else, can see right through that white fabric. And be sure that your underwear is smooth, understated and doesn’t call attention to itself!

Forgetting to check every angle.

You check your look in the mirror every day, but you might forget that all you’re seeing is the view from the front.

Before you leave the house, you should be sure you’ve covered all the angles. Twist and turn to see your whole body, get a mirror that shows multiple angles, or even take a picture. Just make sure you get a good look at what is behind you.

Gettin’ lazy with the laundry.

Think of your clothes as an investment, and treat them like valuables. Keep your clean laundry folded or hung in your closet instead of in a pile on the floor or bed. And when you are cleaning your clothes, follow the instructions! Not doing so is probably the biggest no-no we’re all guilty of. Almost all clothing has a tag that will tell you how to wash and dry it. Read that tag before you buy anything. If you never use a dry cleaning service, it doesn’t make sense to buy clothes that are dry clean only.

Wash clothing in cold water whenever possible and avoid the dryer when you can. Hanging clothes on a clothesline to dry is typically the best option for keeping them looking as new and fresh as possible.

Keep it balanced.

Wearing tight clothing all over isn’t a good look, and loose clothing from head to toe can swallow you. Make sure you are keeping a balance between your form-fitting clothes and your free-flowing pieces. If you are wearing a tight top, balance that out with a loose, full skirt. Alternatively, wear an oversized or boxy top with skinny jeans.

You don’t have clothing tailored.

We’re talking dressy or professional clothing here, which will probably be used less often, but is just as important. Dressy pants and suits should fit your body in a very specific way, and every body is different. Get on the sewing machine and make sure that all your tucks and hems are in the right places and if you don’t sew then find a good tailor, it is well worth it.

You choose your outfits carefully, so be sure to get the best from them. Start by cutting out any fashion mistakes you are making, and your efforts will certainly be reflected by the way you look.


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