As I was working on heifers last night, a thought crossed my mind about the journey that took me from a young, 4-H kid with little show stock experience to spending endless hours in the barn. My first show heifer lived in an old, pull-together hog shed and we had to catch her halter using a pitchfork. Today, our heifers lay under fans in the barn and get rinsed in an inside wash rack. It’s been a wild ride with highs and lows but one thing has been consistent, hard work. It doesn’t matter where you come from because what really matters is how much heart you have to make your dreams a reality.
Hard work isn’t heritable, it’s developed. As a kid, I wasn’t sure what that meant but as I grew older I learned quickly. As I got more and more into this industry, I realized that raising cattle is something that I’m passionate about. This revelation unlocked my true work ethic. My favorite quote is from Grant Cardone when he says “Your greatness is limited only by the investments you make in yourself.” To me, this means that the only person responsible for my success is me. Work as hard as you can and do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality.
Hard work isn’t about where you started. The thing about hard work is that nothing else matters when you have it. It doesn’t matter what genetics you have or the facilities you use, hard work will forever pay. Like I said above, I started with a dry lot and a hog shed. Now, we’ve got two inside pens, outside runs, and an indoor wash rack. It doesn’t matter what type of facilities you have or don’t have. Working hard will give you the resources to help make your dreams a reality.
Hard work can’t be bought. A lot of people in this industry think they can buy the next champion. Money doesn’t account for how these animals change but it’s hard work that molds them into their full potential. Working towards your dream will only cost you effort and sleep which are the most renewable resources you have!
This is our passion, our ambitions, and our livelihoods, so find your motivation and figure out how to get where you want to go. Some might say that hard work has a negative connotation, but I believe that it’s just another tool that I can use to build my future. Get after it and good luck!
Greg Kirlin resides on his family farming operation in west-central Illinois and is a Feed Sales Representative and Marketing Specialist for a local feed & grain company, Dearwester Grain Services. He uses his passion for livestock production to help local producers reach their goals in both commercial and show stock settings. His brother and he both have a passion for raising and exhibiting purebred Simmental cattle.
Greg lives by a quote from Grant Cardone which states “Your greatness is limited only by the investments you make in yourself.” Keeping this quote close, Greg lives each day reaching for success and working towards goals set daily. He hopes to challenge readers to create their own success through passion, determination, and hard work.