The Two Sides of the Force

Don’t underestimate the force.

If you’re going to start something new, you’re going to have to learn how to navigate the force.

Anyone who has started a new business, taken a leap into the unknown, or ventured into any new territory in which your reputation, finances, or health are on the line knows about the force and its two sides…

 

Fear and Faith

You find yourself wavering between great moments of confidence: I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

…and pits of personal torture: This is the worst idea I’ve ever had. What was I thinking?

Like our latest offering. Or the big announcement coming later in this email. Will our efforts succeed or fail? We don’t know yet.

The risks, possibilities, money, logistics, ideas, demands, and goals press upon you, through which you either ride the wings of the winds of optimism, or claw through the desperate depths of doubt.

Or maybe both. In one day.

Have you been there before?

We’re pretty sure we’re not alone in this. We know many folks reading this have taken great risks in their lives and have lived through the repercussions of both success and failure.

Andy and I (Jodi) have been teetering between these two sides of the force for as long as we’ve seriously considered making a farm a significant part of our lives together. Our risks up until last year were mostly bite-size, in proportion to our means: trying this, trying that, venturing into one new area, and testing out another. We learned and took notes, drew up plans then scrapped them for others.

We are first-generation farmers and business-owners. Neither of us grew up on a farm nor inherited a business. We started this thing from scratch, and we had a lot to learn (still do). It’s just taken time for the pieces to come together.

Our first lambs in 2018

But suddenly in 2020, as the whole world was shrinking back, we took a giant leap. About three different developing storylines merged, and we stepped beyond the point of no return for the first time as a farm.

And we have ridden the highs and lows of faith and fear since.

As the launch of our new enterprise nears and the reality of our risk-taking manifests itself in our to-do lists and checkbook, these two sides of the force have taken on personas of their own.

The questions demand answers.

Is anyone even going to buy what we sell? Will the cash we’ve saved be enough? Will we be able to keep this pace up? How are we ever going to get all of this done in time? Is all of the sacrifice going to be worth it? Are we ruining our kids’ childhood?

And the biggest question of all: what if we fail?

Ah, there’s the real fear. The paralyzing kind that keeps us up at night and shortens our temper and bogs us down in worry.

So we’ve walked down that road in our conversations. What if we do fail? What will we do then?

When I walked through a health crisis several years ago, I found this exercise to be a powerful way to deal with anxiety. Let’s just walk down that road and ask ourselves, What’s the worst that could happen? What will we do then? How would we survive?

My Granny has told me stories of some really hard times that she and my grandpa walked through together, and there’s one thing she said that has stuck with me. She said, Most times you just do what you have to do, and go on.

Coming from a woman who endured the Great Depression, WWII, diphtheria, multiple financial disasters, cancer, layoffs, children in crises of their own, and now widowhood … her words give us courage.

She made a habit of moving in faith, not fear.

In this season, Andy and I daily have to decide: Will we retreat in fear? Or press forward in faith?

They seem like little choices at the time, but hindsight reveals a cumulative effect. One small step back becomes a full-scale retreat. One tiny step forward spans a great chasm of impossibility.

Noah bottle feeds our first set of calves in 2014

So it’s in faith that we share that big announcement I hinted at earlier…

 

We’re getting ready to launch our website.

I’ve spent months writing, researching, formatting, and constructing this website. It’s exciting because it represents a way to grow our reach and sell our product more conveniently. It’s nerve-wracking because we’re putting our story out there for everyone to see.

Vulnerable is not comfortable.

Though fear is a force we feel (and strongly), we’re choosing to let the force of faith lead us. This is Andy’s dream. And because I love him, it has become my dream too. Some dreams are worth the risks.

So we’re going for it, and we’re choosing to be strong and very courageous.

May the force be with us. And also with you.

We have open spots in our new monthly meat bundle subscription. Word of mouth is our best referral source, so we’d love your help!

  1. Would you share this post with 2 people who you think might be interested?
  2. Watch for upcoming posts on social media about our website launch and a flyer about our meat bundles. Please share the info or tag others there to help us get the word out.

 

Here’s how the monthly bundles work:

Each month’s bundle is selected seasonally. That means that during the summer, you’ll get a lot of grilling cuts (burgers, steaks, brats, chops, etc.). During the winter, think roasts, stew meat, and whole chickens. At Christmas time, a savory smoked ham. The featured cuts accompany a few standard cuts that you’ll receive every month, like ground beef and breakfast meat (bacon, ground sausage, sausage links, etc.).

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