Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Winter Wheat

Times are tough in the world economy, thanks in large part to our irresponsible fiscal behavior in the U.S. for the past 30+ years.  Some say it's a tough road ahead.  Others say that's being generous; we'll see an incredible time of shortage.

Economies, like most states of being, follow patterns.  There is a logical series of seasons that provide a refreshingly predictable pattern if viewed from a long term perspective .  So if you're one of those who wring your hands when things look tough, take heed.  If you are fettting about the impact of the next elected Commander-in-Chief over the next 4 years let's consider something more familiar; seasonal change.  Winter is necessary and important to spring.  

During this time of seeming scarcity I've heard a lot of poor strategy.  Consider sales teams.  In a down economy the natural tendency is to back off and blame the economic conditions for the lean times.  What if we took an entirely different approach.  I call it the winter wheat mentality.

Most people are familiar with the concept of a farmer planting his crop in the spring as soon as the fields are availabe to work.  Breaking up the ground, fertilizing it, and preparing it for planting is no small job.  It requires time, effort, and money.  Invest them and you will recieve a return in the harvest time, typically fall.

Another lesser known secret to the wheat farmer is something called winter wheat.  Winter wheat is plated in the fall and  sprouts before freezing occurs.  Then it becomes dormant until the soil warms up in the spring.  As soon as the conditions are favorable the winter wheat comes up and starts to mature into something quite useful.  Had the farmer waited until the field was ready for planting in the spring, weeks would have passed before he could begin to plant and the harvest would be delayed.  Winter wheat also has a different constitution from summer wheat but that's a story for another post.

In times of headwinds, dropping temperatures, and scarcity consider the winter wheat analogy.  Now is the time to plant.  Now is the time to prepare and work harder than what seems logical to the outside observer.  If you are working the ground and planting seeds right now, you'll be the first to reap a harvest when the economic season turns.   Remember, everything follows pattern.  The warm glow of solid indicators will return once again to smile upon us.  How many opportunities for growth will you having waiting beneath the soil when that time comes?

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