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Are You a Farmer or a Hunter?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

February 4, 2011

Comments (11)

Farmer's hands holding grain with a great field of wheat in the backgroundWhen it comes to your business, are you a farmer or a hunter?

There are benefits to both, however, you're going to want to evaluate each before making your choice.

Guest blogger Tim Lundeen shares his perspective in a unique article about the differences in today's VOX Daily.

Farming vs Hunting

By Tim Lundeen

This has probably been spelled out in any number of books. But it came to mind, and decided to make a few notes for myself, as a reminder in case I forget. ("I wrote them in my diary so I wouldn't have to remember." - Dr. Henry Jones, Sr.)

In my business, I have two prominent philosophies to choose from: I can either be a farmer or a hunter. Both activities (as a profession or hobby) are legitimate, worthwhile and beneficial. But as a business Philosophy, I must choose one or the other.

The Farmer

A farmer sows seed, with the natural expectation of reaping a harvest; and cultivates seed and soil for an enhanced harvest. A farmer's point-of-view is a broad spectrum, thinking in terms of acres or hectares, and in bushels or bundles. Farming requires input from others, and eyes set on the horizon. A farmer thinks long-term, and is for the most part a Producer. Even while personally enjoying a harvest, the ultimate result impacts and benefits others; from the marketplace to the neighbor next door.

The Hunter

A hunter maintains specific tools, with the natural expectation of hunting down a specific prey; and cultivates knowledge and skills for tracking and eliminating an intended target. A hunter has a sniper's focus, thinking in terms of distance and timing, cross-hairs and calibration. Hunting demands minimum distraction, one eye closed and the other squinting down the barrel. A hunter thinks short-term, and is for the most part a Consumer. Even if hunting season were year-round, only so much prey can be respectfully hunted, carried, butchered and blessed at a single family table.

What Should I Be?

So these are my choices. Am I cultivating my skills, and researching what good soil is worth sowing those skills into? Or am I squinting breathlessly down the sights at "that One client" that I desperately need? Do I understand that the relationships I'm forming among colleagues and clients are long-term and require time and patience? Or do I only invest enough thought and effort to keep on a trail until the target has been identified, isolated or eliminated?

And what will the on-going success of my philosophy look like? Have I truly become a blessing to my community, a mentor to others, handing an abundant crop over to the next generation? Or will my achievements be represented by a series of furry plaques and whitetail shoulder mounts, depicting my solitary successes?

Making a Choice

In my own business, I have a choice to make in my "philosophy" - how I think about myself and others in regards to the goals that I set and the actions I take. I've seen both farming and hunting mentalities in business, and I choose to pick the one that works best for me. HINT: I like it more relational and long-term.

NOTE: Anyone reading this who thinks I'm against hunting, has completely missed the point.

Tim Lundeen
http://www.narratorvoiceover.com/

©iStockphoto.com/Bart Sadowski

Related Topics: business, farming, hunting, philosophy, reading, Tim Lundeen


Comments


    Hi Stephanie (and Tim),

    This is a very comprehensive and analytical crossroad not only of business but also of life...are we farmers or hunters in everything we do and to everyone we meet, is an additional question. Insightful subject matter and thought theme! Thanks for posting / sharing!!

    Daniel Goldman

    Posted by:
    • Daniel Goldman
    • February 4, 2011 9:01 AM

      My philosophy has always been about sowing the seeds to reap the harvest. I have used this metaphor for years, without distinguishing between farmer and hunter. Even in real estate, the term "farming" is used to identify cultivating a certain neighborhood or geo area for business. I suppose it's common in business. But as a farmer, one must consistently be sowing those seeds - planting more - and expanding the field. One can never really rest.

      Posted by:
      • Debbie Grattan
      • February 4, 2011 12:42 PM

        Absolutely the reason I coined the term Human Agriculturalist and Storytiller as my professional title. With a farming background I understand the concepts of preparing, planting, nurturing, and not taking credit for the harvest. The harvest is His.

        Posted by:
        • Linda Lord
        • February 4, 2011 12:43 PM

          Regarding an 80/20 combo of Farming/Hunting, respectively: I suppose a 'hunting' mentality could apply to honing a Skill, but I'd stick with farming as a philosophy of business Relationships. Unless you like being hunted down yourself, I'd shy away from placing People in the cross-hairs.

          Posted by:
          • Tim Lundeen
          • February 4, 2011 2:26 PM

            Great insightful article. I would say I'm definately a farmer, not so much of a hunter, though I think I'd like to cultivate the hunter in me a little more (not deer though!)
            I like your philosophy here, thanks for the article!

            Posted by:

              If I can be just a bit frivolous, but not entirely, I would say this biz resembles deep-sea fishing. You set a course, cast your net in unseen depths, and you wait - prepared for massive effort when the big haul comes in!

              Posted by:

                Since I need to have a bit more variety in my "diet," I do both Farming and Hunting. Sort of mixing metaphors a little bit, but many of my long term clients and referrals came from the days when I was out hunting for clients. So, the game I target today are nurtured into pernnials.

                I also sewed the seeds of online fruit early - and today, with little effort on my part, reap the benefts of a well-placed website in the search engines. The trap is set and the game comes to me a lot of the time. It is up to me at that point to keep them happy.

                Posted by:

                  Hello, Tim. I am also more of the farmer in my voice over business. I enjoy cultivation and, as any business person will tell you, repeat business is the best business there is. That's where being the farmer comes in handy! However, my British wife, being the PR guru she is, has always been more the hunter ... perfect relationship? Oh, yeah!

                  Posted by:

                    Excellent fresh perspective (actually, for all of life)!

                    Posted by:
                    • RK Hunter
                    • February 7, 2011 1:15 PM

                      I was always a farmer until recently. Then I thought that I really should be sowing more seeds. So I started to promote myself on social networking sites.
                      But I had a brainwave today! Why not gather all the narrations I'd done for videos (that are on YouTube) and put them into a playlist with my name as the title? So that's just what I've done.

                      I've only remembered a few of the hundreds of videos that I've voiced, so haven't managed a huge playlist (I lost my entire hard drive last year, and the back-up due to a huge thunder storm) but have a fair selection on there now, and will start, over the next few weeks to try and market myself using this playlist.

                      It might not make any difference, but hey, at least I'm a farmer and a hunter now :)

                      Posted by:

                        I'm BOTH a hunter and a farmer. With a bit of forager thrown in for good measure...

                        Posted by:

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