Starting out in farming may be hard but never give up!
There are hundreds of success stories in newspapers or online platforms dedicated to agribusiness success stories in Kenya. But not many who are interviewed in these farming success stories will stand up and talk about how their agribusiness ventures failed, how that actually feels, and how they are dealing with it.
It’s simply not very ‘empowering’ or inspirational…but it needs to be out in the open.
If you’re a successful farmer in Kenya right now, chances are, this isn’t your first agribusiness venture. Most successful farmers in Kenya whom I know are people who have tried, failed, tried, failed, and tried again…often many tries later…and eventually succeeded.
A beginner farmer in Kenya who succeeds at his or her first agribusiness venture is very rare and sometimes we can get lost in all the successful agribusiness stories in Kenya that when we fail we beat ourselves up and give up on farming all together.
This article is for those beginner farmers who are on their first, second, or third attempt in farming. You may have a string of failures behind you. But you’re still determined to succeed. What do you do?
- Get up and Try Again
This is the best advice: Just get up and do it again. If that sounds harsh or impossible, then maybe you’re not cut out for farming. You won’t magically rise and become a successful farmer after failure. You have to fight back. You have to get up. Research more, Get Training, You have to hurl yourself back into the battle with all the ferocious energy that you can muster. Those who rise first will succeed the fastest.
- Understand Why Your Agribusiness Venture Failed
Always learn from your failure. Don’t waste it. One of the first things you can do after watching your agribusiness go down in flames is to ask the question why? What did I do wrong? How? Write down the reasons why your farm failed and make improvements on the next time you try again.
- Get Agribusiness Management Training and Coaching
What did you miss when you started your farm? Capital? Training? Labour? Transport? Market readiness?
If you didn’t have a agribusiness/agricultural training to get you ready on your venture, then it’s no wonder you didn’t succeed. To shortcut your path to success, get good training and coaching from existing farmers or attend a practical training course on farming. Try looking for a variety of experienced farmers near you, each of whom will have perspective and experience that can guide you in your agribusiness venture.
- Manage Your Emotions
Emotions are one of an entrepreneur’s most powerful personal assets. Why? Because emotions can keep you high when everything seems to come crashing down. If you’re emotionally calm when your agribusiness venture is stormy, then your emotions will keep you at a balanced level. You can make wise and rational decisions. Protecting your emotions doesn’t mean being weak. Protecting your emotions means staying intentionally positive, surrounding yourself with upward influences, and making sure that you’re receiving the right dose of encouragement to balance out the negativity.
Connect with fellow beginner farmers and share your farming experiences. You will learn that you are not alone in this struggle. This will help you understands some of the challenges other young farmers go through and get inspired to grow and try again.
Ask advice from experienced mentor farmers who have gone through many failures before. They may have wise words to tell you to keep you going.
Relax after working so hard. This will help you get emotionally balanced after trying so hard.
Getting discouraged, losing your momentum, and giving up…these are the hallmarks of a beginner farmer in a nosedive. By maintaining a strong grip on your emotional power, you will be able to build an enduring agribusiness venture.
Great piece. Success is a result of fighting a very long string of challenges designed either by nature, mankind or circumstances to pull you down. Only the wittiest succeed.