One of the best bits of advice I ever received was about farming a career. This valuable quote was:
Be a farmer not a hunter!Anonymous
It was explained to me that a hunter kills their prey and once consumed, the animal never reproduces again. However, a farmer will not eat all of his produce but use some of his crops to sew for future crops.
In summary, the hunter is always looking for new targets and a quick return. The farmer, however, sees the long game and will in time have harvest after harvest coming in continually as long as the climate is favourable.
Often we hear of opportunists who come into an industry, looking for a quick profit, abuse the business, people and community for every drop of cash that can be squeezed without integrity or regard for others, and then callously move on.
They leave those people, their businesses and the community with a bad name and can ruin the good reputation of an industry as a whole. What many fail to realise is that it is the little things in life that make a life. Little things matter. Little things make lives and destroy lives.
However, a farmer waits patiently.
They know from past experience that they do not get massive results at the start.
Their patience will be rewarded with longevity and continual income over time as the seeds they have sown sprout and give a solid return.
So many businesses do not understand this principle nor many individuals in careers who have been trained to want everything now and do not recognise the investment they are being invited to partake in.
Raising kids, financial investments, career development and education are all things that require a lot of work and commitment at the start but give a great return as time goes on.
Dan Miller, in one of his newsletters commenting on starting a business, makes this comment:
“Relationships, kindness, prayer, leisure, rejuvenation, creativity and imagination require time for their development. I like the story of the Chinese bamboo tree:
You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilize it for a whole year, and nothing happens.
The second year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens.
The third year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens.
How discouraging this becomes!
The fifth-year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then—take note.
Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree sprouts and grows NINETY FEET (about 30 metres) IN SIX WEEKS!”Dan Miller
Just because nothing seems to be happening, does not mean nothing is happening underground where we cannot see our seeds transforming.
Beyond your everyday senses, people are having discussions, remembering your integrity and that amazing ‘going the extra mile’ attitude.
Do not forget that when times are tough the business that has sown good seed by assisting beyond their promises, maintained relationships and added value where they can, still has harvests coming in.
The hunter is avoided because they have wrecked and abused relationships, leaving dissatisfaction and regret.
When seeking new careers I find that the relationships people have honoured will eventually pay them back many times over. Try to add value where ever you get the opportunity and sow a good season ahead.
Many of the great philosophies and spiritualities have the concept of a return on our efforts. Sayings like ‘what goes around; comes around’, ‘swings and roundabouts’, ‘karma’ and ‘we reap what we sew’ all have commonalities.
The concepts point to the fact that everything has a consequence and as you have sown many seeds, harvests in surprisingly different ways will happen if we are patient.
Thanks for reading! I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comment space below!
About the Author
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia where he teaches the Electrical Trades at the Western Sydney Institute. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age, you can read his story online. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online through his website – www.davebrebner.com.