3 Greatest Threats to Farriers

Recently, I read a Facebook post that used a quote from Craig Trnka. The quote read: “The Single greatest threat to farriers is isolation.” After reading I asked myself “Is that the single greatest threat to farriers?” That’s a pretty tall order. “The single greatest?”  I agree isolation is a big threat and probably ends some careers, but it’s 2013, and there are too many ways to fix that problem, if you’re willing to.

 No, I feel there are other problems that pose a greater threat to farriers . Our business is no different than any other business, the principles of good business are the same. To say isolation is the greatest threat, means that our work is the main reason we fail as farriers. The truth is farriers fail to succeed because of the very same reasons other businesses fail. There are “three greatest threats to farriers.”

Complacency is number one in my book. It’s not ok to be comfortable where you’re at. Never settle for good enough, we are obligated as farriers to push ourselves physically and mentally. Isolation is really just an excuse for complacency, or rather an effect of. Example: my mentor Mark Milster, went to his mentor Jim Keith when he needed help shoeing or getting ready for a contest. Jim Keith lived 6 hours from Marks house. So in order to study under Jim Keith, he drove to Jim’s house. That’s called doing whatever it takes (WIT) to succeed. Isolation is no excuse, there are too many people willing to help you get better. You just have to make the sacrifices.

The second greatest threat is “God’s gift syndrome”. Once you think you know it all, is when you start learning you’re really not as sharp as you thought you were. Every time I started thinking I was really something special, God sent me a good financial lesson. (He does that because that’s what I learn the best from) I seem to make my largest skill increases after these lessons. I tell my students that ” This business is a life long devotion to continued education in the art and the science of farriery.” Never be to proud to learn and improve yourself.

Number three greatest risk is, no passion. Not having any passion doesn’t just kill marriages, it kills businesses as well. The horseshoeing grind is unlike any other in that it is physically and mentally grueling. Day in and day out you sacrifice your body and when you’re not working, you worry about keeping clients or maybe even getting rid of a few clients. Whatever it may be it chisels away at your passion leaving you exhausted and maybe even bitter. Bring it back, bring back the passion, and light the fire that drove you to where you are now. In order to surpass someone within your vocation, you must first surpass their passion for your vocation.

I have great respect for Craig Trnka and this was in no way an attack on him or his quote. This is simply my opinion, I’d like to know what yours is. The path to success has a lot of forks in it, one direction says easy and the other says hard. The guys that make it to the top always choose the path labeled hard. Craig Trnka himself is one of those people.

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