Friends provide important perspective

Friends provide important perspective

Agribusiness
NO FILTER: Friendships are valuable because there are open and honest conversations.

NO FILTER: Friendships are valuable because there are open and honest conversations.

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With really close friends, it makes no difference how often you see them, or talk to them for that matter. The mutual respect and trust transcend time.

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Recently, I got to spend time with some close friends.

I went to school with all bar two of them and I have known a couple of them since we were all five years of age. But we have all had different life experiences since then.

There is a certain familiarity with these occasions, and the conversations that come with them.

Some of the same stories came up, as they invariably do. Some may have been a bit embellished. Memories fade as we get older, as we fondly reminisce on past glories.

In addition, with really close friends, it makes no difference how often you see them, or talk to them for that matter. The mutual respect and trust transcend time.

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Perhaps the most valuable aspect of these friendships is that we feel free to talk openly to each other.

There is no judgement, just a desire to get to the bottom of any issues, and provide assistance and support.

These friends of mine all run extremely successful agribusinesses. As with any business, they've all experienced a few ups and downs along the way.

Indeed, persistence pays off in most areas of life, but the value of this trait cannot be overestimated in order to run a successful business.

I was primarily there to spend time with my friends in a personal capacity, but I also enjoyed the inevitable shop talk among fellow business owners.

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I was particularly interested in the various business models everyone employs.

Even though everyone in the room was in the agricultural sector, each business model was slightly different.

Everyone in the group used external advisors to a certain extent so there was a wide range of ideas and experiences that were put into the mix. Likewise, this environment allows for very open and honest conversations to happen.

To someone looking in from the outside, some of the conversations may have seemed a bit challenging.

But, for those within the group, it was a safe space to say what you really think, in a constructive way.

Challenging long held beliefs is a good practice to employ in lots of situations.

Just because something has been the right course of action historically, doesn't mean it is now.

Changing ingrained beliefs is hard work, but can be done with conscious effort.

A good question to always ask oneself is "why am I doing this?"

The biggest hurdle is normally recognising them in the first instance. But, it can be done with time and determination.

Questioning and probing respective business decisions really makes you think about things in a strategic way. A good question to always ask oneself is "why am I doing this?"

Some of these discussions may get a bit uncomfortable in the moment, but that is where growth comes from.

Friends are very important, whether they be long-term or newly-acquired friends. We all need interaction on some level.

Above all, it pays to hang out with people that lift you up, not drag you down.

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