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01 Business Basics

Kevin Brown

Conference

Recorded

  • January 13, 2021
    8:15 AM
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Father God we recognize as we begin to talk about business basics that all the things that we talk about all the things that we manage are really yours you're the owner and that's really good news and so I pray that as we go through this class and have this conversation this morning you will be with us help us to learn what is appropriate for our situation in Jesus' name when I put up on the screen for you just a little bit more about my history my stops along the way so I'm an accountant in a finance person by training these are the these 6 bullet points of the companies that I have worked for over my 30 year career the point that I want to make about this lie that will be obvious to all of you in the room probably is that none of them are in agriculture right I'm definitely a newcomer to the agriculture field and so the engagement that the silos and I have had together over the last 9 months on the Better Together farm constitutes the majority of my exposure to the agriculture in its industry the thing that's been really fun about that for me we've done some business work and you're going to hear much about that during the course of this morning's conversation but most of the time that I spent there I actually got into the dirt and into the weeds so to speak I was helping them with farm operations and it's been a wonderful experience and through the course of that 9 months I begin to kind of catch the the the vision or the energy that I know drives a lot of you brings you to conferences like this and to consider or invest in agriculture in the way you have so it's been a really fun experience I put my contact information up there on the screen as well so if you have questions or want to contact me for any reason after the course is over please feel free to do so. Ok so I'd like to just check a little bit about who's here and basically what I'm trying to understand is the level of I don't know engagement or how deep you've gone into the agriculture is a business model Ok so I'm going to ass 3 questions the 1st one is do you consider yourself or are you in a situation where your farm your agriculture business is your primary source of income Ok primary source if it if it contributes more than half your household budget Ok that's what I'm looking for so yeah go ahead raise your hand if you're in that spot so there's a few of you Ok if you're not in that spot but you're seriously considering being in that spot or you're on your way to being in that spot just not quite there yet please raise your hand Ok so probably a quarter to a 3rd of you and the rest of you presumably are here for some other reason I want to ask you to raise your hand and hopefully the business or the presentation is geared for those 2 groups of people hopefully you find something useful and valuable even if you're not in one of those 2 groups. The format in the method we will be using today is a case study approach I want to explain a little bit about the case study approach because it's not necessarily the same as other presentations you might hear and I just want you to know what you're getting and what you're not getting in this approach so the case study approach uses a real life story to demonstrate the relevance and application of selected principles and that's the key point right here a case study approach is not like a textbook where you're going to get a survey of all the concepts all the theory a list of all the things you have to think about that's a very valid approach to learning and instruction is just not what we have today in a case study approach we're going to take selected principles and apply them in a real live setting and the benefit of doing that is you get it's a little easier to connect sometimes if you have a life story because you can put yourself in that person's shoes and it's also a little you know deeper you spend more time on a narrower set of principles so you probably have a better chance of understanding in assimilating them but just so you know it's not going to be a comprehensive list of all the things you need to think about in business basics so I just wanted you to understand that the other thing let me mention at this point. This like I gave a few things in the handout or the I guess it's a handout that was circulated in advance those I have a lot more slides in just that but if you see slides like this one that has underlines and then words fit in the blanks usually they're associated with a handout So if you're following that you can take note when you get those slides and make notes as you like Ok let me introduce the the group that will be using for our case study the family better together farm is a family farm this is the Seiler family and let me introduce the family to you you'll see some of them here during the presentation today on the far. Yeah the far left is Alan Alan was just up here a moment ago and you may have bumped into him in some other way Alan is what I would loosely call the founder of the farm it was his energy and drive as a teenager that kind of steered the family in this direction by the way like all small businesses that are run by families everybody does everything right so the rules are kind of the things I'm going to use in introducing each of these folks just describe things that they spend most of their time doing but they're not rigid roles you just can't survive in a small business having rigid roles Ellen is the founder I would also describe Alan is the soil scientist manager occasionally we call him the soil scientist fanatic because he thinks about it so much but most of the time we just call him the soil science manager but he's going to soil fertility also the construction manager and designer next to him it's all you've already met Alan next to him is Aubrey. Aubrey is the farm c.f.o. she keeps the books for the farm she's also the customer service manager so whenever a customer has a you know a complaint or question they want to ask the one that they talk to you in obvious raise your hand you get to meet Aubrey a little bit more but she's here as well in the middle are Vivian's parents they are not with us today that's Elias and Amelia Lopez but they live on the farm as well in a separate house Elias comes down on market days and maybe other days too but at least on market days he'll come and help put the orders together I also refer to Elias as the chief storyteller he's got a story for every occasion and it's just a riot to listen to him so I really appreciate Elias and Amelia has a very important role she makes lunch on market days for the entire crew and she has become one of my very favorite people over the course of my time there because she makes awesome launches so that's Amelia then following across the screen Ricky is also here Ricky just raise your hand and Ricky is primarily the opera I call the operations manager he's kind of taken over the whole you know getting the field work done and getting the cultivated in planted and all of that that's a loose definition but that's where he spends a lot of his time he's also the sales manager so he's done particularly with like restaurants and. Grocery stores those relationships are the ones he's cultivated you'll hear from him a little bit about that later in today's presentation and Vivian's not in the room but she will be shortly Vivian is the family c.f.o. she keeps the family books in the family budget and she's also spun up a flower operation just in the last year so she's the flower tender which has been a real interesting twist and a nice addition to the Better Together farm. So let me tell you a little bit more about the farm having met the people this is an organic vegetable farm and I say plus because they also grew strawberries I believe for the 1st time last year their strawberries in the ground this year and then the flowers which I mentioned just a moment ago are in addition to the product mix but it's primarily organic vegetables. And they have about a 10 year history depending on how you count the start date but approximately 10 years they've been doing this in some form or another they're located on 15 acres in south central Oklahoma so from here it's actually just about 3 hours north is right up the road from Dallas to Oklahoma City about 50 miles north of the Texas border into southern Oklahoma that's where this farm is located the markets that they serve are in 2 counties Murray County is the county where the farm is located Murray canning County has about 15000 people so it's a very rural small town sort of county and then Carter County is the county immediately to the south of Murray County and they also serve that county Carter County has about 50000 people with its biggest city Ardmore of 25000 people so that gives you a little bit of the feel for the market environment in which they operate. The largest industries in our region are agriculture and when I say agriculture it's not the kind of agriculture we do here it's cattle running cattle and oil and gas those are really 2 of the biggest economic drivers of our region and finally I don't know that there's an official mission statement for the farm but through all of the you know soft informal conversations and and the thinking that I've watched the cyber family do over the years it's really clear to me that their mission is about developing relationships and I could have put developing relationships with individuals they really want to have that contact with their customers their market with the kingdom focus right with the idea that through these relationships they can either reinforce somebodies faith or perhaps by God's grace even bring somebody into a faith relationship with Christ so that's a little bit about the Better Together farming that's the group with that will be working through these topics with today here's what we'll do we have 4 modules the 1st 2 called What will it take and demystifying the budget are primarily about money and money sorts of things so we'll do those 2 1st and as Alan said in the introduction if you have questions along the way if you want to see you know want me to find something more that's on the screen or or any kind of clarifying questions feel free to just raise your hand and we'll take them as we go but we have specifically some extended q. and a time built into the schedule after those 1st 2 modules and then again at the end and those are your moments where you can ask about anything up to that point or if we have time you know anything even if it's not directly related to the story we're telling here if you want to ask those questions we'll take those during q. and a time. Ok so a couple of things so you won't be surprised about how I tend to read conversations like this one 1st of all I'm not shy about inviting attendees to speak now for those of you who are strongly interviewed you probably just had a panic moment right there Ok so let me tell you the other piece of that while I'm not shy about inviting somebody to speak in front of the group neither will I be the least bit offended if you just say I'll pass or I'm not ready to talk or I don't have anything to say at the moment any of those are fine right I don't do this because I'm trying to make somebody uncomfortable I just have observed over the course of my attending groups and sitting in the seat where you are that if I can overcome that kind of inertia and speak something that's on my mind and I tend to be believe it or not I don't tend to be one that talks a lot in large groups I tend to be a little skittish and when I do my heart races and pumps right it's like oh no this is terrible so maybe some of you can identify with that line of thinking but when I do I always remember what I said and I remember it much more clearly because I've gone through the process of articulating it saying it out loud in front of other people and that's an experience I want to invite as many of you as I can into because I think you'll derive more benefit from the conversation if you actually speak something that's on your mind now will have a couple of settings will be able to do that I may do that and you know in a large group I'm not even sure how well it's going to work if I get out from behind the mike and and do that but that's just something you shouldn't be surprised about Ok so I wanted to warn you in advance the other thing I want to do is have some time where you have conversations in smaller groups Ok so we'll have 2 or 3 spots actually 3 spots throughout the presentation where I'm going to invite you to go into a small group and discuss the question Ok And so what I'd like to do now is just kind of organize ourselves and make sure we've got those groups in play. So what we'll do is I want to in invite you to identify. A group that you can be a part of 2 or 3 people I recommend I'm not going to enforce that if you want to do more that's fine but I wouldn't encourage you going more than 3 because then you just don't have as much time to share as I think would be valuable right so it may be a little bit challenging in this setting because we've got masks and we need to keep our distance and we all need to talk loud enough for the person we're talking to to hear without making it so loud that the rest of the group can't hear but let's do the best we can and if we need to shift chairs a little bit during those sharing time so that we take more advantage of the space and get where you can hear somebody that's fine but what I'd like to do at the moment is just take a couple of minutes and have you get in a group with somebody normally if this were. A covert environment I would encourage you to get together with somebody you haven't met before but that is a little more risky and so if that's something you don't want to do what I would say is get in a group that you're comfortable with Ok but let's just take a minute and do that right now if you're going to be in a group with someone you haven't met introduce yourself and Siler family if you just tell me I want to make sure everybody's paired up you don't need to take a long time maybe just a minute or 2 but I want to make sure that everybody's got that group so we're ready to go Ok somebody got there Ok folks I think everybody's in a group so let's go ahead and come back together. You'll get plenty of time to chat with one another as we go through the day. One other thing let me encourage at the beginning and then we will get into the the 1st of our modules. I encourage you as you're describing your situation whether it's a life situation or something you think about to use numbers in communicating about your situation wherever possible there's a natural tendency that I've observed over time when we talk about numbers not everybody has it and I'm kind of on the opposite end of the Specter guy talking numbers probably when I shouldn't be talking in numbers but there's a lot of us that just are a little uncomfortable talking about numbers particularly when it's talking about money and when we do that we lose some of the power and some of the focus of the communication like you've heard the expression he's making money hand over fist right that's an expression that to one person might be true if somebody got a $1000.00 and to somebody else it wouldn't be true unless it was $100000.00 right you see the relative nature of that expression and so if you use a number to describe a situation it can really be helpful and efficient Now I'm not suggesting that use numbers to describe everything Ok but sometimes numbers are really useful so I just want to encourage that type of communication we'll be sharing numbers as we talk about the Better Together farm situation and I hope that encourages you whether it's today or in your conversations after today about your situation to get a good handle on your numbers and not be shy about using numbers in your communication Ok so module one is entitled What will it take. I looked up the survival rates of new businesses and I wanted to just take some some answers or guesses maybe some of you know these or have seen these numbers before maybe not but we've got survival rates that I'm going to put up here for business is at various lengths of time the 1st one is 2 years Ok so is anybody know or want to take a guess about how many businesses are still alive 2 years after they start. How much. Higher thanks for answering 20 percent and when we get close enough I'll just go and put it up on the screen little bit higher Anybody else want to take a shot it's higher than 20 percent. 30 percent that's closer but not quite there yet Thanks Victor right I'm going to call you names and a cancer in the back. 50 percent that's getting much closer but it's actually a little higher than 50 percent wow you know things are better than we thought here I'm not sure this is going to communicate the message I want but that's all right we'll keep going higher than 50 percent. 70 percent that's actually fairly close and you're right yeah I just want to hopefully you won't be offended if I say your names I just want to try and learn names and I can 65 percent about 2 thirds of businesses. Survive or 2 years Ok the number at 5 years I'll give you a hint is lower than 65 percent Ok they may want to take a guess about what that number is at 5 years how many are left $45.00 very close actually it's 50 percent and. Yeah good answer how about 10 years what do you think 10 years. What's the barn called 30 percent yeah it's actually a little bit higher than 30 percent you see a pattern here don't you about a 3rd of the businesses are still left standing at the end of 10 years and our last one is 15 years 15 years Anybody want to guess that that number. 20 percent very close to a little bit less than 25 percent and I got these numbers off of a graph so they're all kind of loose but they give you a basic idea Ok so there's a little bit of a story now these are businesses across all industries but certainly I think the dynamics of starting a farm are similar in many respects to the business to the task of starting a business in another industry in a similar vein I looked up on Investopedia Web site the top 6 reasons new businesses fail Ok you may want to take some guesses that what might be on that list too little money and that is one of the reasons I these only come up in order so I'm going to tell you that that one's Number 3 there's a couple that are above it. It's a good one but it's not one of the ones serve more so you can. Personnel Yeah no that's not one of the top 6 Ok in the back. Ok so say again not enough. Not enough market research yes that's actually right the number one reason which you'll see as soon as we recover from the screen that I just knocked over Sorry about that is a failure to investigate the market right so many I've heard this phrase used in many new businesses that are thinking of starting up they're looking for a product market fit right many business owners have the tendency to assume because they love the product and evolve their product that the market will also but that's not always true right Ok So failure to investigate the market what else Number 2 is one that hasn't come up yet anybody have any guesses about that yes. Planning nailed it exactly right a person or inadequate business plan that's number 2. Number 3 is inadequate capital or money that's the one that we had just a minute ago so any more guesses and at some point I'll just spend the rest of my output any other thoughts there's a couple areas we haven't covered yet. Lack of mission or vision that's not listed as such as one but that would certainly be related to this number to a business plan or inadequate business plan. Ok. So you get expenses Yeah I would describe it as part of this number 3 inadequate capital and money but yeah more money going out the money coming in yeah that's definitely a problem and that can be a problem or a reason that businesses don't make it Ok let me just go ahead and give you the rest Number 4 is poor location internet presence and marketing very closely related to number one which is a failure to investigate the market but this has more to do with tactics you know getting yourself near or in a place where your customers can find you either physically or on the Internet and so forth number 5 is one you might not have guessed remaining rigid. Anybody surprised to see that up there or does it actually fit which you experience you Ok so there's a few of you nodding your heads yet remaining rigid one of the top 6 reasons that businesses fail and then the last one expanding too fast. Yeah expanding too fast you can imagine how that works if you you know if you get a good hit with an initial product and then suddenly you think you should double your size in a year that takes a lot of time and money and resources and there's a lot of things that can go wrong Ok so. One other slide I want to put up that has to do with the success and the issues of starting a business is a slide from this entrepreneurship one a one series that's put out by Diego fotr Diego does a podcast called farms small farms smart and if you're familiar with the Us podcast a few of you so back in February when I was 1st starting with the Better Together farm I listened to all of these he was just putting them out at that time and I thought that looking at the titles was another interesting way to think about the challenges that new businesses face right so if you look at these titles you'll see some of the same things not all of them but some of the same things that were on the previous slide financial challenges marketing challenges he even has one in which he uses the same language rigidly adhering to a dot ideology you see that in the bottom right of that rigidness is an issue the other thing that Diego put in his titles and in his content that I really liked is the challenge how difficult it is to start a new business there are so many demands there are so many risks are so many things that co can go wrong that it just takes consistent sustained effort over time to make it most of the time for most of us that's the way it is and so we actually put in a whole title not accepting how hard it is and I think that theme is very germane it's a useful useful thought when it comes to thinking about starting a farm or any business but we're talking about farming today in particular so in one of his podcast it's the one in titled it might not be if it now he says it this way. Businesses including farms may fail because the owners don't have 3 things. The time the skills and the money. And so time in skills are things I'm not going to spend a lot of time on in this class you will get skills training in other places I think most people understand what the time issue is but we're going to focus specifically on money and the what the what I would say a couple things about the money piece of this challenge is that given how difficult it is to get into a new business to assimilate all of the things you have to do to deliver your product or to deliver your service to understand your market so that you're producing a product or service that people in your market want and are willing to pay for all of those things take time money if you don't have enough of it will not allow you to have that time so having enough money buys you time and I'm not talking about like an hour in a day but buys you 6 months or a year or 2 years or 5 years whatever it may take to learn the skills and if you don't have enough of it in reserve you really run the risk that you won't learn the skills or assimilate fast enough and your business will fail the other thing that he talked about that I think is particularly useful to understand is that when money is inadequate and when you don't have that picture in mind and you haven't counted the cost before you go into the business the stress level can be extremely high right and the way our financial system is these days it's very easy to be beyond the point of no return and not knowing until you've already racked up a bunch of credit card debt or until you've borrowed all the money that you possibly can from friends and family or whatever things there are you can really dig yourselves a pretty deep hole right. And the stresses that come with that can be really heartbreaking he said what when he said I've seen families break up over this issue that's what really caught my attention and that to me is really sad and heartbreaking and so that's what we're going to spend most of our time particular in these 1st 2 modules is providing a framework for how to assess whether your money supply with your money planning is adequate for what you have in mind that's really the goal Ok. So let me do this what we'll do is I'm going to give you a little bit of case history from Better Together farm in this area then I'm going to introduce a question and I want to invite you to get in your groups and talk about the question a little bit and then when we're done with the question will come back together and I'd like to do some sharing with the larger group after you've had a chance to share in the groups Ok so the case history for better together farm I mentioned earlier that they had had a history of about 10 years for the 1st 8 years or so of their operation I would describe it as a hobby operation what that means is they had income from another source and whether or not the farm made money was not that big of a deal to them if you would have said how much money did they have to have from the farm in order to live they would have said 0 because they had enough income from another source Ok So that was the 1st 8 years of their history. Then midnight $21000.00 about a year and a half ago their situation changed and they've you know share a little bit more about that when she comes up to share but what happened is that the farm became their only source of income Ok so you can probably imagine that's a significant change suddenly the outlook is a little bit different. The attempts that they had at record keeping and we're talking right now about record keeping just within the family system we'll talk about the business side of it in just a minute but right now I'm focusing on the question for the family the question is What does it take what does this farm have to produce in order for us to be able to live off of it right to get an answer to that question that's what the whole title of the module is about what will it take so the attempts at record keeping for family finances their personal finances that they had had over previous years I would say had mixed results and there was some some progress and some good things but some level of discomfort and again Dave you know share more about that in just a minute they also had a very strong aversion to debt that's just a family value that's been in place for a long time so that's a little bit about the history that they've had so as we go into our group and do a little bit of discussing on this question let me introduce a question and then say a couple words about it the question is do you know how much money your business has to generate in order to be sustainable. Do you know the answer to that question Ok so you can scale it on a $1.00 to $10.00 if you have no idea like you don't know if it's a dollar or a $1000000.00 and your answer is a one. If you know exactly what that number is and you've been through this whole exercise and you know you can give an answer right off that's a temp Ok And there's lots of space between there so just how well do you know that is it a one in 10 somewhere in between then if it's less than a 10 or less than even a 9 or an 8 like if it's kind of on the lower end how could you make it more clear do you have any ideas or or processes that you know you could go through to make it more clear if you wanted to if you were on the higher end of that scale How did you get there right what was your process what did you learn along the way so that's the question I'd like Have you discussed between yourselves so a couple of choices if you're here and you either are on a farm that's you're relying on primarily for it's for your income source now go ahead and use your own situation right or if you're thinking about it and this is very it's a question that's very appropriate for your situation answer this through the lens of your situation if it doesn't connect with you or if you're not in this spot think about the case study think about the Better Together farm that we just went through think about these things that I've shared and answer the question for them how well do you think they knew the answer to that question and what could they do Ok so that way even if you don't have a situation for yourself that fits you can answer as best you can through the eyes of a case study that makes sense anybody need any clarification on that Ok very good so let's take about 5 minutes or so I will give you a kind of a verbal cue at about halfway point so if you know you can get an idea to make sure that it's a chance to share but let's go ahead and discuss this question in your groups your small groups for just about 5 minutes. Ok folks let's begin winding down those conversations and go ahead every situation your serves and we'll come back together in the large group thank you for sharing it's always hard to quit when you're just in the middle of a agr. Story learning some good information so what I'd like to do now is take just a few moments welcome to some of you have come in just recently by the way good to have you here and it's nice to see the class filling out I'd love to take a few minutes a large group sharing and as I explained to people who were here early in just in case you didn't hear that part I'm not shy about inviting people to share because I think there's benefit in sharing but if you decide not comfortable or not ready to share that's fine as well but I think many times in small groups you surface stuff that would be valuable for the larger group here so what I'm going to do is invite you to share either something that you thought was interesting or to invite somebody from your small group say hey I never heard that before that was really good right so you can volunteer somebody else to share and then if they don't want to share they can still say you know I'm going to get some people to join with me in this criminal investigation of you know asking people to share but anyways always if you don't want to that's fine so anybody volunteer or anybody have something particularly interesting that they think they would like to share with the group or you want to volunteer somebody from your group any volunteers. Ok So Shawn how about you. If I can reach you with some I could be better for you to speak into the might because when we get on the recording. You know one thing that just I just remember there's a thing in states called this is white and deadness and I think I would encourage every administer read it because it's he didn't have a total of urgent she would leverage her assets in order to further God's work so we're thinking about furthering God's work we need to make increase it feels like I may have about 6 or 7 on that scale on where I feel like we need to land as a minimum level and but I think we need to leverage whatever we can further the Lord's work given the next steps in mind specifically for getting from a 6 or 7 do an 8 or a 9. You know if not that's Ok just curious what you think you know what's really coming out is like just building little pieces here like we're putting together a shop and buy store and we're doing this we're building something on their table to capture all of our production. Information all of our plants and everything and just I don't know there's just a lot of things that build up all of the same time so grow something that makes money. That's a good one right there is something that makes money incremental steps are outstanding by the way and so I hope you didn't miss that in what Shawn said incremental steps are worth celebrating Ok anybody found the courage to volunteer in the last couple minutes how about you and I can't quite reach your name is it Michael anything you'd like to share. In response to the question and if not that's Ok. Yeah back to you later. Ok that's fine anybody else. Who. Ok I mean what you guys talk about. I was thinking a family of 5. Who would think you were doing need to be sustainable not so many depths I don't think I have that many I think with a $40000.00. Home. For a family of 5 I think I need to have data of the family 4 hours expensive I already have the land and everything thought oh no if they'll have to start I would. But through 3rd of all I need to make I live 40000 dollars a year and tell us a little bit about how you came to that number was it did you just wake up one morning and it was there or did you have some other process how did you get to that number just a paragraph don't speak for ever on that because I know it can be detailed but you know how they came up with the $40000.00 that we need well because we does what we spend the right that's what we need right now today we have a budget idea ready model we already did a budget a formally and we came out with the money we need 2000 least 25022000 dollars a month that's one thank you for sharing and probably it's no surprise to anybody that that's where all this really does you need a family budget right but you ladies already been down that road to her numbers pretty clear Ok what I'm going to do with this point is to invite Vivian to come up and tell you a little bit about what the side of her family actually did Ok and so she'll share that part of the story and then when Yeah go ahead. You know about a year and a half ago. My husband right calls me and. After 25 years he tells me I just like got let go. From the company you know he lost his job that was very hard for me. I was in grief he had devoted himself to this company. And I had begged him to leave many times and he wouldn't leave the company because he was so devoted to it and in the in they let him go and I'm like you know I'm sure some of you come through this anger. Maybe a little bit of panic. I figure he get another job right and we'd be fine again. I was I wasn't to worry about finances because I thought he'll get a job and would just keep on moving. Fortunately we had no dead. And so. It took a little bit for me to catch my breath I had been. On the finances for the homelike keeping record and getting all the receipts in just you know making sure everything got paid and kind of have an idea how much we were spending but I had not found that magic system. That I could work with and I actually came into the finances of the home very reluctant I don't know if anybody else felt that way about finances but. I rather be involved in anything else but finances. But I don't know 4 or 5 years ago we were driving to clockwork for. Actually conference in Aberdeen I were in the front driving and Ricky and Aoun were sitting in the back with a box and a computer entering the year receipts for that year for the farm and I'm like there's got to be a better way of doing this you can't wait to January to enter all your receipts in this is crazy and so when we got back I said all right I'm taking over the farm finance I'm just I know I can at least and to the receipt every month or every week and not at the end of the year. So they were very thing fall and I had a crash course on Quick Books. Yeah can be I just know curio. And we were very blessed to have a friend that manages her company with Quick Books and I could call her you know because there's just no manual for that thing and I that going on bad to hand. Jump in and several months later start helping and she's taking it over now I think Guinness but I wanted something like that for our family because I could understand that one but the other systems I couldn't anyway. As you can see I'm not the speaker of the home I do grocery list and so my notes are in a grocery list Pat. My families are the speakers. So this coming into this year. I knew well back off coming into this last year I'm still in 2020 I knew I needed to do something Ric had been given a lump sum of money like after let go of the company and. This is got to last at least 6 months before he gets a job. So we start looking into what expenses we had and fortunately Keven came into our lives at the farm I mean he was with us in the church and things like that but he came to work up the farm volunteer and he became our consultant and he became mine tutor and finance and all that kind of stuff and I was just got sick and I go Keven help me so he goes Ok you have all this all this recordkeeping key figure this out let's figure this out and so we started working with it and laid out a plan as far as taking the lump sum of money and dividing it. Knowing our expenses how much we would spend a month kind of thing and then dividing what we have by that and we were blessed that we could make it last for a year so that you are in this April or May something like that. So we've been working at this now for a year in April will be a year that we would be working together on this family budget. And record keeping and the system that worked for me for my brain. And so I want to show you just a little sample. Of that. Thank you and. So this is just a little snippet of a monthly that we needed to race right home utilities 164 matter share I don't know if you guys have health insurance but that's our health insurance which kind of an interesting health insurance but anyway and then Pets $20.00 We have pets we have 3 pets. And so. You would need to do it however you need to do it you know you know. You come up with the things that you spend on and then a monthly how much will you be paying on that I took out my Like all of the fixed things like electric dollar Internet home utility This is my internet my my phone my electricity we don't pay on water Ok Ok anyway that's what I have under that category you would have your own categories and we're not going to get into those details right now because each one of you have your own you know but the most important thing I can tell you if you've never done a budget start keepin records of your spending like a general spend the turns and the next extra spending tours and you start getting a picture of. How much you're spending and that helped us to see how much we needed to have a month in then after we had this idea of how much we needed to spend a month we start tightening the screws. What can we give up what can we change let's change our Internet service to something cheaper that we can afford. And we did that and the system works the phone system works half of the time but at least is there when we sometimes need it. It's my pet peeve on the phone thing but and then. What we did after that went to tighten things up a little bit more where we felt that we could still fall under that budget to make it last for a year for us we decided to at that point we presented it to the family in new we said Ok guys this is what we came up with how do you feel about it how do you think and. The kids and Alan and everybody felt Ok. That seems like a very small amount of money to live per month but let's give it a try Ok And so every But he has been very helpful to keep us in that budget and so I felt like buying having the family buy into it was a major thing for our family you know just making sure that we were all good with this because this is an adventure in our family is taken together and. I can tell you that almost a year into it. It's actually so cool to see. The pain you know the. How we're spending how is rule you reduce because we're all in this together and the credit card bill that used to be because I don't like using cash I don't like carrying cash so that's just me you guys can do whatever I like credit cards because I can keep better record of things and we're very very self control with a credit card so will always pay our credit card every month so we don't you know that's just we deal with it as if it was cash kind of thing and so. You know it used to be a certain amount of money a month that came through that credit card and now it's a 3rd or less and a half a month. And so that's really exciting because then I start getting really motivated me we doing this you know it's working really well there's things I have to add to us I'm not very good with the food budget because co-ops come in and it kind of throws you off but at the end of the year and next few weeks we're going to work on getting everything resolved on our budget but I think we're going to come out really well for this year and in fact. You will hear a little bit more but we're blessed that the farm is my enough finances this year that is thrown as a few months ahead so we are ahead now for our ability to October as far as paying into coming back you know that needs to come back so it keeps us afloat for the next so what has this done for me. It's been a filter when I go to the store when I see magazines when things come up. I'm looking at through my budget filter I can't wait I can do with that what I can I can make this work I don't need it now Ok as help create a head for our whole family right when we're going out Ok we make that trip it's not in the budget you know about it so I share the budget with everybody they have a link to it they can go in there and see how it's all working out and can see where we're at at the time now is giving us a piece that you know it's we're working forward and it's. A team to achieve this goal so by design that bad after all there is something really positive about it of all of the cyber family when I invited them to recruit when I recruited them to help me with this presentation the one that was the least excited about getting up in front of cheering anything was view so I think giving deserves a special round of applause for their courage that she showed and being up here. Thank you very much. Let me underscore a couple of things that Vivian said that I think are really key 1st of all if you don't do anything else but you want to small step or a budget seems like too much incremental steps are a good start with keeping records and even if it's something as simple as I don't know if I can ever do a budget but I could look at last month's bank statement and last month's credit card statement and figure out how much to how much it cost me to live last month could you do that that's a start Ok so don't be shy about taking incremental steps and celebrating success right I think it was really key also that she engaged the family right she told you about then she emphasized how important it was I would underscore that if you have the team around you all bought into whatever the boundary is your chances of success go much higher in whatever happens you're in it together and then one other thing that you did you hear the results or if you didn't come up with a number what was your family's number you want to share that with the group you have for your family did they actually came up with a number this is how much per month it's going to take us to live and I just want to make sure that the audience hears that we came up with 272758 month and I want you to hear that number because it's going to be important element of the next module that we do we will undertake as soon as we come back from break and get started with module. 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