Remember the four A’s in the new year: Awareness, acceptance, alteration and then achievement.

Doug Ferguson

December 29, 2023

5 Min Read
Be a winner not a parrot in 2024
VECTORBOMB-THINKSTOCKPHOTOS

It is the time of year when all the talking heads give us their prediction for the new year.  This week I have heard some convincing statements that say we are heading for a deep recession that will cause markets to crash. I have also heard some convincing statements that we are heading for an uptick in our economy that will make investor’s portfolios look stellar. 

I haven’t seen any predictions on the cattle market yet.  If you have followed this column over the years, you probably can guess I am disheartened by that since I like to pick on them.

Don’ believe all the forecasts

I was listening to forecast on the economy and one of the hosts tied recessions to basketball jersey numbers.  Kobe wore number 8 before he wore number 24.  If you remember, 2008 was the housing bubble the caused all markets to crash, and therefore he was humorously suggesting that 2024 will leave us in pain.  This was a new show to me, and I missed the host’s names. 

Otherwise, I would love to give them credit.  This joke of theirs perfectly illustrates how silly forecasts really are.  At least they based theirs off hard factual numbers, and not manipulated ones or feelings or a personal agenda.

There is a short supply of market information this week due to Christmas. I won’t be discussing markets in this column. Followers of this column know I continually write about personal responsibility. Those who have attended one of my marketing schools may recall the four A’s I begin with: awareness, acceptance, alteration, then achievement.  If we stick to the four A’s we can fend off detractors.

Personal accountability

When I was in college a group of us started a rodeo team and I was appointed to be captain. I had become really close with some of the guys.  We had a schedule set up for days to workout and days to go to the practice pen during the week.

At an appointed time, I would venture into the dorms to assemble the guys and go to the gym. I would get there shortly after 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and they were asleep. They partied all night, went to morning classes then ran out of steam in the afternoon.  It took me awhile to wake them up. Then they needed a cigarette, then some coffee. 

While sipping coffee they would get distracted by something on TV and need to watch the end of it.  By the time they were finally ready to go it was too late to make the drive to the practice pen, or the gym.  We missed our window of opportunity to do what we were supposed to do. 

Remember when you were a kid, and your mom would ask you “If your friends all jumped off a bridge would you jump too?”  Of course, the answer was “No”.  Here’s the thing.  I should’ve just walked out of those dorms and went to the pen or the gym myself.  But I stayed trying fruitlessly to get the guys to go. 

Earlier that year I had some momentum. The momentum came to a complete halt that fall semester.  Not only did I stop winning, I got hurt.  Some of those injuries may have been adverted if I hadn’t missed workouts.  You see I didn’t jump off the bridge, they did, and they pulled me over the side with them.  That’s usually how it works.  We don’t intentionally jump.

The parrots

We see the same thing play out with the coffee shop boys. I often times call them Parrots. I recall a day in June of 2012.  One of the coffee shop boys said if it didn’t rain by the 4th of July, he would have to sell his calves.  And just like parrots, the other guys that were there repeated and agreed.  What I heard was that the week after July 4th, there was going to be fire sales, and there was.  I got some really great buys on fresh calves during the drought that year.  All I had to do was wait for the first one to jump and take his buddies with him.

I make the joke that you need a PhD, piled higher & deeper, to hang out with the coffee shop boys. I just explained how valuable they can be. It’s not just your local group either.  We can fly this all the way up the flagpole to the smart people in Denver. They tell us something and almost an entire $80 billion dollar industry believes them.

Few people are immune to it.  Some people claim to be different and that they offer paradigm challenging philosophies.  Challenge their paradigms and you’ll quickly find out they are more status quo than they admit.

Awareness and acceptance

How do we become immune?  First is awareness.  Awareness is knowledge of a particular subject.  We must educate ourselves.  One question to ask ourselves is “what does this have to do with me making a profit?”

Then we must accept we are the sole cause of our results.  If your buddies jump off that bridge and take you over with them it is your fault. You should’ve walked away sooner. Educating yourself and having self-awareness will protect you.  If money is the desired result, we must remember that it is the effect and it will refuse to replace us as the cause. Implied hint: if you want to make money you must work on yourself.

Psychology is important

We will then eventually alter the way we think. All our issues with the market are internal. That’s the reason I introduced psychology into the beginning of my schools. It doesn’t matter what we are trying to do, or give, or become, everything rises or falls based on our perspective.

Finally, once we become more highly aware, accept responsibility for ourselves, and alter our conditioned thinking, we can achieve what it is we set our sights on.  Winners do winning things!

Marketing education

I will be presenting at the Regenerative Legacy Summit that will take place January 16-18.  There are some outstanding speakers lined up for this event.  It is virtual and the cost is free.  More information here The Regenerative Legacy (agsteward.co)

I have two schools coming up. One is February 6-7.  As of this writing there are only 12 spots left for that one.  I also have a school April 2-3.  More information here Marketing Schools – Mr Cattlemaster  

As of right now, we do not have plans to hold a marketing school during the summer.

The opinions of Doug Ferguson are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

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