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Woman smiling while standing in a barn next to hay bales.

Your Why: How to Take a Step Back and Discover It

I don’t often stop for very long to work on my business because I am so busy working in it, day in and day out. I bet you’re like me and even thinking about working on your SELF is an indulgence that just doesn’t fit your schedule.  There’s always a kid that needs something, an animal needing attention…maybe a husband too, an empty fridge, a pile of mail, dirty dishes, mountains of laundry, the bookwork from 6 months ago,  you know….all of the stuff a life of a FarmHer throws at us.  

If I had a $1 for every FarmHer or RanchHer I have met, who I have been in awe of about how she does it all, I would be rich.  Ok…not rich, but I know I would have over $500 in my “Marji needs new boots” fund!  

Polka dot rain boots and pink work boots sitting together on the farm.

Finding My Why Through Major Changes

Well, last year was a year of years.  For starters, I was supposed to come to Oregon and hang out with all of you.  I was even going to stay for a few days and take a few pictures.

But that all changed.  I was grounded.  Sitting with twelve canceled flights and feeling like I was going to crawl out of my skin.  I didn’t know what to do.  I created online content like CRAZY.  I reworked our FarmHer style, we relaunched our website, I walked miles and miles every day just to try to dispel the anxiety over what was to come.  

Everything I had worked for 8 years felt like it was crumbling before my eyes.  Online traffic was up, but advertisers started dropping like flies.  Events had stopped, which means speaking stopped dead in its tracks.  Online merchandise sales dipped over 80%.  The Iowa State Fair was canceled where we sell over 1/3 of our merchandise for the entire year.  And there I sat, wondering and worrying.  

A woman on a farm leaning on a fence looking out to the pasture in a plaid shirt and baseball cap.

Embracing the Change

I learned how to edit video and we relaunched our YouTube.  I cooked dinner. A lot. I sat on the deck with my husband at night and remembered how nice it is to be at home. And not just for a week or two at a time, but to really be at home.  

Within a few months, I started feeling a new calm.  My kids changed from calling for “dad” at night when they needed a hug to a call for “mom”. You see, I haven’t been home with enough consistency over the past 6 years for them to call for me.  That was always hard to hear when I was home, but thank GOD I have Tony who has always been everyone’s rock.  But believe me, my ears perked up and I was out of bed like a shot, running in to give that hug. I’ve missed too many of those over the years.   

Family of four and farm dog stands in snow on farm with two story white house, white shop, and evergreen trees.

As the summer came to an end and the change of a season came, I started to realize that the calm I was feeling didn’t have anything to do with the pandemic, but had everything to do with sitting still. 

 It was me not visiting the airport every two weeks. It was me putting that suitcase away because when you are traveling all of the time, you are never really anywhere.  When you’re gone you just want to be home and when you’re home, you’re planning out the next trip.  At some point, I got up the nerve to tell Tony that I was ready again for a change.  

From One Challenge to the Next

No different than the change that I went through when I jumped out of Corporate Marji clothes and into my FarmHer jeans. I needed a shift.  

The TV contract was up in a few months and I was already dreading having to hit the road again. At least, in the same way, I had been.  

The next question was, ok, so if you don’t do the TV anymore, what will you do because we all know you have to stay busy so you don’t chew your arm off…or mine.  I didn’t know the answer.  

When Opportunity Comes Knocking

Then, the answer came knocking at my door.  An old friend from my crop insurance days threw a new challenge my way. Something about the opportunity to make change for women in another part of agriculture, to finish out a story that I had cut short and some form of stability amidst chaos caught my attention.  

It was a new type of FarmHer challenge where I could stay home more, live out my own FarmHer dream, and sleep in my own bed MANY more nights.  

A Team of FarmHers Behind Me

How did I do it?  It’s simple, my FarmHer team is amazing.  

They already do the day and in and day out…because…well I was always gone.  So, they stepped up even more and I took one tiny step away.  Then, I stepped one foot back into the professional side of agriculture.  It’s been a challenge to juggle it all.  I won’t lie, there have been tears and frustration as I have tried to figure it out.  More than once I have reminded myself about all of those women…my $500 worth of boots women –  who do it all.  

A woman climbing the fence on a farm in a black tee shirt and ball cap.

Hold a day job, work a night job, hustle, a hundred side gigs, go out in the storm, and get up the next day and do it all again.  And those women, their stories are my guiding light.  They are my focus.  

With my team stepping up even more than usual, we have experienced 40% growth online just this year.  They are killing it.  I am redefining what is possible for women in crop insurance AND how crop insurance views women as their customers.  I am killing it.  Ok…so some nights I still have a meltdown, but hey, who doesn’t.  

I tell you all of this so I can talk about taking some time for myself.  I still don’t do it well, and I’m not going to stand here and pretend that you should.  BUT I am going to challenge you to do one thing.  

My Why

I am going to challenge you to spend the rest of today thinking about your “Why”.  

What is your “Why”?  Or your “Why’s”?  I can tell you hands down that my “Why” is my family, my two kids, and my husband.  They are everything to me.  They have pushed me to live my dream, change my goals, put myself last, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

My other “Why” is you.  

Each and every one of you who throws everything you have into what you do.  It’s the ability to share your stories and spread your light.  I love it.  It’s a part of me.  

FarmHer will always be a part of me, and I will always be a part of FarmHer but just like everything in life, it will continue to change.  

Marji Guyer-Alaniz holding her camera and smiling.

What is Your Why?

So what is your “Why”?  “Why” do you do what you do day in and day out?  You don’t have to tell anyone else your “Why”, but I beg you, know it and let it guide you.  Form your life, your business, and your world around that “Why” because we only get one shot at this.  Run after your “Why” with everything you’ve got, and if you fall down, get back up and keep running.  It’s your “Why”.

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