The road to recovery from the big dry.
“I love a sunburnt country…”
Never have the lines of Dorothea Mackellar’s classic poem been more real to us than they have been through the Australian summer of 2019-2020.
First, the absolute scorchers leading up to Christmas. Then, the smoke that choked up much of the state. It all continued to intensify into the horrific ‘Black Summer’ fire season. And finally, over the last month your patch has likely been under some of the widespread falls across the state. As dams began to fill, fires dampened, and hopes buoyed just a little with some decent, soaking rain.
But we all know that such a drought can’t be broken with just one good rain. We also acknowledge that many across our region are still battling with bushfire recovery efforts, at the height of what would’ve been peak season.
And so we find ourselves in limbo… knowing we’re not out of the woods yet, but also doing what Aussies do – gathering ourselves up and taking steps along the road to recovery.
If there has been any good thing come out of the dry, it’s that we now have a fresh determination to plan and build for future times. Our resolve: if it does get like this again, we can, and will, be ready. Drought will not break us.
And the same can go for our business finances. This dry has hit hard, not just in the agriculture sector, but the ripple effect has been felt far and wide, particularly in the regional and farming communities that are close to our heart. Across our towns and cities, the hit to cash flow and income has been felt by many. Which is why we’re passionate about connecting our clients with resources to walk the road to recovery, both personally and in business.
Because hard times may come, but it doesn’t have to steer us away from achieving our goals. It’s simply an opportunity to build strength and resilience along the way. So building on Drought Downpour Part 1 where we unearthed the practical drought supports available, here’s our ‘Three R’s’ to walking the road to recovery from the drought:
1. Reality Check
Yes, it’s essential to spend time living in the headspace of goals, plans and vision. In fact, goals are our passion. But we also need a good dose of reality to keep our feet on the ground so we can actually get where we’re going.
Reality means having our head in the game – it’s the difference between adjusting your play based on your results so far, not ignoring the scoreboard until it’s too late. This means saying ‘goodbye’ to old systems that don’t serve your business finances, and ‘hello’ to more efficient ways of keeping track of progress.
Reality means being proactive, getting organised, planning ahead. And now is the perfect time to take stock, so any course corrections can be well in hand as EOFY rolls around.
A reality check is also about renewing perspective; realising what’s most important to you and your financial life. Because you have enough to think about – and hours spent in the receipt shoebox of doom is definitely not the best use of your brain power!
2. Road Map
No one could’ve predicted the extent and severity of this drought. Unfortunately there’s no way of knowing when it might strike again… so a road map for a way forward probably sounds like a dumb idea.
Or does it?
We can’t predict if it’ll be a good year or not, but we do know there are cycles. Good years come and go, so do bad ones, some better than we expected, and some worse than we imagined. So it makes sense to prepare with the knowledge that not every year will be bumper, but not every year will be a failure either.
Your business road map might not be able to tell the future precisely, but if you considered your business in light of these natural cycles, rather than only year on year, how would it change your operations and business decisions? And how could such a road map help you become proactive in your finances? In the good years, structure your business finances to build margin for the harder times… it might not be possible to fully replace a lost income or cover a year’s worth of losses, but planning for hard times could help to ease cash flow strain, or help cover essentials.
A road map is also a way of understanding where you are, and where you’re going. As we walk the road to recovery from this drought, it’s important not to lose sight of the big picture, and what you’re trying to achieve. Having a plan and an awareness of cycles in business can empower you to achieve your goals.
3. Resilience Building
Our third ‘R’ is for ‘Resilience’, which is simply the ability to persevere in spite of adversity. In other words: grow as you go.
Resilience is also about acknowledging the ‘new normal’ after a challenging season or event, which is key for our road to recovery. It’s about growing our own personal capacity through testing times, and then adjusting to life again with a fresh perspective.
Resilience can also be viewed in terms of making our business operations more resilient to withstand further periods of droughts or dry spells. In fact, there are pockets of funding available through the Farm Innovation Fund via DroughtHub to operators who want to update and replace old infrastructure – but it’s important to consider all the options, enlisting sound financial advice – not just simply buying something because the grant funding may be there.
Resilient people are more likely to reach their goals too. Key aspects of resilience, such as increased self-awareness and cultivating an attitude of gratitude, make you more likely to take note of the positives along the road to recovery. Recognising and celebrating wins along the way not only increases your likelihood of success, but there are proven health and well-being benefits too… bonus!
Resilience in your business and your finances is important for the road to recovery. Building financial and drought resilience can start by simply connecting:
- Connect to your present situation: Get a handle on where you are right now. What are your present strengths? What are your biggest challenges? Can you use your strengths to greater advantage? And do you need to stack your weaknesses? If so, we have heaps of quality resources to help you navigate forward.
- Connect to goals: Know where you’re going. We love goals! But more than that – we’re passionate about helping people reach their goals. If you need to revisit your goals to reconnect with ‘why’, we’ve got you covered. Check out the myths behind goal setting and how to achieve goals in real life right here.
- Connect to support: Know who you’re with, and who you can reach out to. If there’s one weakness of being a proud Aussie, it’s simply that – pride. It’s a good thing, but don’t let pride keep you from reaching out when you need a hand. Whether it’s financial, practical, or you need to get your headspace in order, reach out. Check out DroughtHub’s resource page.
In one way or another, Australian communities are all walking the road to recovery together. Whether it’s your personal life, your financial life (or practically, both!), it’s a journey made all the more manageable with The 3 R’s: a Reality Check, a Road Map, and Resilience.
We’re here to help you reach your goals as our communities navigate the road to drought recovery and drought resilience. If you want to find a better, less stressful, way forward on the road to recovery, give us a call and book a time to catchup today.
Drought Downpour Part 1: Read about the downpour of support during the media storm of 2018, and what’s still available right now.
Drought Recovery Guide: Helping primary producers navigate management and decision making in periods of drought recovery.
Goal Setting in Real Life: The myths of goal setting and how to make your goals work for you.
The 52 Minute Tax Refund Maximiser: This home-grown, handy tool is our way of helping you take stock of your current position and maximise your tax-time potential – 52 minutes today could save you over your next 52 weeks!