Are there traits or behaviors that help you excel in life? Is it possible to sabotage your success by avoiding certain daily practices? Below is a roundup of five daily habits that, if followed, can increase your chances of standing out from the crowd.
Learn from your mistakes
During our developmental years, we are taught to avoid mistakes at all costs. This attitude carries through life. Employees who make the slightest misstep are petrified. We have a propensity to apportion blame—or punish someone—rather than learn from the situation. This shuts down many perfect opportunities for growth.
Elon Musk takes a different approach. When something goes wrong, it piques his curiosity. He questions everything, looking for valuable insights and take-aways. Instead of pointing an accusing finger, or beating himself up, he’s discovered that the fastest road to improvement is to understand how errors occurred, adjust the process accordingly, and move forward.
Intuition is your inner guide
Being a top entrepreneur is not just cerebral. You also have to learn to rely on your ‘gut’. Intuition, or gut feeling, actually involves the second brain, which resides in the stomach. Our two brains communicate details they’ve picked up—things our conscious minds may have missed. That’s why we get that tingling sensation deep down in our stomachs.
Our brains are powerful ‘pattern recognition machines’ and constantly scan the horizon for details, cues, and threats that we need to be aware of. In fact, the US Navy has been researching this phenomenon for some time and has verified the fact that it is possible for someone to sense danger before it materializes. Even in modern business, with information galore, not all problems can be anticipated. We need to tune in to our inner voice.
Lawrence Ellyard, CEO of the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT), has relied on his intuitive business sense to steer his firm through COVID-related business interruptions. During the recent lockdowns, Ellyard’s firm experienced unprecedented challenges that couldn’t be met with spreadsheets, figures or other usual metrics.
Ellyard says, “As robust as our accounting and reporting functions were, they just couldn’t tell us everything that we needed to know. We had many employees who weren’t able to carry out their work; they were worried about losing income. We had to rely on our instincts. As a leadership team, we found ourselves asking what would be the right thing to do? How should we act in this situation? What are our values and guiding principles?“
Emotional Intelligence is the smartest choice
Emotional intelligence, popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman, also helped the Australian CEO to navigate the difficulties. Ellyard admits he had to pay careful attention to how he communicated with staff, and also how he managed his own emotions.
“Because leaders have to make tough decisions, and get the job done, they are often driven, direct and unaware of how they make others feel. I found that in the midst of all the tough days we experienced, the atmosphere could get a little fraught. It was crucial for me to understand that everyone was feeling vulnerable. I tried to keep my communication style positive and upbeat and monitored my own stress levels so I didn’t appear angry or upset. Understanding how you operate within a group of people can literally save relationships and ensure that your business does not implode. A business is only as strong as the links you forge with your team.”
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd
Whether it’s setting standards for personal conduct, or deciding on the company direction, successful entrepreneurs forge their own direction—they don’t ‘go with the flow’. Steve Jobs didn’t want to make another grey box as a home computer. No. He bucked the trend. He wanted to create devices that were elegant, intuitive, and at a much higher price point. Many balked at his ambitious plans, including his own company who actually fired him for a period. However, his commitment to his vision eventually turned Apple into arguably the most influential company in the world, with unrivalled profit margins.
You have to back yourself
Ellyard advises aspiring entrepreneurs to have unshakable confidence in their vision, and in their abilities, whilst maintaining humility. He says, “It’s a fine line between hubris and self-belief. You want to maintain a humility that engenders support and brings people onboard. I find that leaders have to constantly guard against ego, as it can be off-putting. Don’t kid yourself that you’re some kind of Superman and you can do everything. No, you need a team around you; you need the support of others who complement your skill set. But, also, you can’t lead by committee. You have to be a leader with a clear vision. You have to give people something to aim for.”
The Perfect Investment: RAD Diversified and Income-Producing Farms
Amidst the global lockdown of 2020, Dutch Mendenhall, founder of RADD America, began looking for an alternative to standard residential real-estate investments. So, he turned his analysis to farms and was blown away by the immense potential he saw. After going public in late 2019, RADD America purchased US farmland and made slices of the real estate available at minimum investments of $10,000.
Income-producing farms vs. other real estate asset classes
According to Mendenhall, an apartment complex in today’s US real estate market commands approximately a 4% or 5% cap rate. Farms offer somewhere around a 15% to 20% cap rate.
“When I first began looking at investing in farms, I compared each acre to an apartment or housing unit,” Mendenhall recalls. “The variety that income-producing farms provide is what I really love about them as an opportunity. With one season producing wheat and corn the next, you can double tap — you can raise livestock on top of agriculture. Putting money into the farm only pays off in time. Everything from improving soil to increasing irrigation makes a major impact on potential income, and so much of America’s farmland has fallen into disrepair during the last 20 years.”
When Mendenhall began investing during the early days of the pandemic, sustainable acres of producing farmland sold anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000. Today, he finds that income-producing acres of farmland easily sell for $9,500 to $10,000.
“I’ve seen farmland values almost double during the last couple of years,” Mendenhall says. “Currently, we’re in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Idaho, but we are analyzing land all over America. What reports don’t show is the difference between a properly maintained acre of farmland and an acre that is in disarray. There’s only so much workable farmland on the market today. We’ve hit the tipping point, and now, there’s a scarcity of land for people to buy. If you have the opportunity to purchase amazing agricultural land, you have to pull the trigger quickly.”
Income-producing farms as an asset class
Mendenhall is no stranger to investors. Since 2006, he’s connected them to deals in short sales, wholesaling, residential properties, and storage units, though he admits that every asset class has caused the same excitement as farmland. “At this point, we can’t find enough bargains for our investors,” he says. “They take real pride in their investments and keep asking us for more.”
RADD America takes a true grassroots approach when connecting its investors to farmland. “The farming world is different from any other in real estate,” explains Mendenhall. “We start by having our acquisitions and agricultural teams meet with farmers. When we get ready to brand cattle or plant, all the local farmers come and help. In the same spirit, our teams go out and help the local farmers when it’s their turn to brand and plant. To do it right, you have to build a relationship and a connection that’s quite different than other types of investing.”
RADD America is composed of expert investors and expert farmers. The company offers its investments through fractionalized ownership. In other words, the company purchases one farm and then allows a joint pool of investors to own it together.
“If you don’t have a team that knows how to farm and maximize income, you’re not going to get the best possible return for investors,” warns Mendenhall. “Thankfully, our team isn’t so big for this type of investing that we forget who we are, and we have the economy to scale at a great pace.”
The impact of global competition on income-producing farm investments
RADD America closely monitors global trends. In Mendenhall’s experience, investors win when they move before the market. However, when they move after the market, they lose.
“When Russian first invaded and sparked its war with Ukraine, for example, we kept a close eye on its global impact,” he says. “As one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, we knew that Ukraine — now in the midst of a war — wasn’t going to be able to produce wheat at the same scale, so someone else needs to step in and fill the gap. We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in the world to stay on top of evolving trends.”
In terms of global competition, Mendenhall is frustrated by foreign entities staking ownership of American farmland and agriculture. In this area, China has positioned itself as the number one threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
“When foreign powers have ownership of agricultural land in the US, it puts us all at risk as Americans,” remarks Mendenhall. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen soil quality erode, closures of meatpacking plants, and numerous fires. The likelihood of nuclear war in this age is very small. The quiet war of buying American agriculture and unsettling the American dollar is the threat we face today.”
Clearly, RADD America has a lot to pay attention to at home and abroad. “We’re monitoring weather patterns and making one-year, three-year, and five-year predictions,” Mendenhall explains. “We’re also paying close attention to interest rates to see where this shifting economy is headed. The up-and-down cycles are faster than they’ve ever been. Monitoring the industry is critical. With expert investors and agricultural specialists from RADD America on your team, farmland can be one of your most promising and rewarding investment opportunities.”
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