New Beginnings

There's a fresh dusting of pure white snow over our farm's landscape. When I stop to look at the glistening setting, it is so beautiful, it almost takes my breath away. This new snowfall doesn't care what's underneath. Instead, it grants a sense of quietness and peacefulness of possible new beginnings. 

So what if you and I also had the opportunity to be quiet, to think, to decide….then to begin anew with action?  What new beginnings might be helpful for ourselves, our families and our business?

Ourselves: Stop and listen to your own body and mind. Look into a mirror. What is the state of your physical health and your mental health? Have you had your annual physical? Do you have benchmarks for your current health that will help you remain strong in the future? Are you worried, overwhelmed, stressed? What is the state of your relationships? Do you seek, find and benefit from a network of caring, positive, stimulating people? What is the state of progress in achieving items on your "bucket list?" Are you working toward that you want to have, feel, experience and become?

Our families: The #1 thing our families want from us is time. And I suggest the tone and content during that precious time is important. What types of interactions have you had? Review your individual morning greetings and evening good-nights. Explore and update happenings during meal time. Each can share something good they saw, created or experienced that day. What is it you and your family are looking forward to? Is it a school activity or a planned family vacation? What percentage of your family interaction is conducted via "screen time?"  What percentage of your family interactions is "face-to-face and heart time?"  What important thoughts and feelings are your family members not sharing?

Our business: A fresh start for our business might include carrying out the annual requirements for our business.  Do we need or are we legally required to have an Annual Meeting of owners, directors, stake holders, key employees? Do we have an honest review of the past year and upcoming expectations to share with those who own, lead, manage and work in the business? Have we reviewed our risk protection procedures and policies? What if we had a clean start on how we would deal with conflict in the business and actually use the productive steps? What if we took time to understand what our job responsibilities are and explain how we might need the help or resources of others? What if we would ask how we might help others do their jobs better? 

None of the above ideas cost a lot of money. Yet all would add great value. As I look at the fresh blanket of white snow, I'm not yet thinking about scooping out the driveway or cleaning off walkways. I'm taking just a few moments to reflect and give myself a fresh start. Who knew that a new blanket of winter weather is so good for ourselves, our families and our business.


Jolene Brown is a farmer, professional speaker, author and champion for the family owned business. She's from West Branch, Iowa, USA, and travels worldwide sharing leading-edge best practices that have the power to increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind. Her passion combined with her fun-filled spirit and valuable information brings humor, hope and helpful ideas to the people of agriculture. For more information and to check out her speaking availability, contact her at,


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