Fresh Facts 44: Excellence is the Most Satisfying Endeavor

We say, “heat makes sweet,” so we oughta have some really sweet fruit this week. Did I mention it’s HOT?! It’s so hot I’m really glad to head up to the house and write this newsletter at five in the afternoon.

  We have a lot of wonderful subscribers up in the Lake Isabella area so seeing pictures of the wildfires makes it personal. We’re praying for their safety and protection as well as all the fire personnel working so hard in this heat. It’s gonna be a tough fire season.

  On a happy note, the river and all our canals are full for the first time in four years. There’s enough to give every farm two good irrigations. You might think that water’s water, but this direct from the Sierra snowmelt water that gravity carries down to us through canals that our grandparents dug with mules is pretty close to pure. No salts or nitrates and you can just see the orchards and vineyards saying a satisfied,  “Aaahhhhhhh that’s sweet!”

   I’ve been told that only the Nile gravity irrigates more acres than the Kings River. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sounds pretty impressive. What I do know for sure (because I wrote a paper on it in high school) is that there are about one million acres of Sierra snow that drain down through Kings Canyon to irrigate one million acres of towns and farmland—the most productive garden in the world and one of just a handful of Mediterranean climates anywhere on the globe.

   The challenges we have as Californians regarding water quality and quantity are staggering, but our tools are a lot better than mules and Fresno Scrapers. Yes, we have a shortage of water, but our greater shortage is leadership.

   I’ve been to parts of the world that effectively desalinate seawater and have seen the multiplication of conservation-, technology- and abundance- (instead of shortage-) minded leaders.

The cost of reverse osmosis desalinization is $200 bucks an acre foot and for perspective, a typical California home uses about an acre foot per year. Even if there were another $100 bucks worth of utility overhead to get it to your home, that’s only $25 dollars a month if you had no other source.

  Private free market would gladly finance it as would all of our irrigation districts because that number works for most of our crops and all of our homes. That’s what abundance-minded leadership looks like. We’re all too familiar with what shortage-minded leadership looks like.

   So last week, we talked about family heritage, what was worth investing a life in. This week, I think business heritage might be a good way to finish up. So what’s important to our businesses and why run one? Profit? Absolutely. Nobody gets a paycheck and we aren’t here tomorrow for our clients otherwise.

   Bigger, more? Every business and industry—like a ship—has a hull speed where it runs most effectively. There’s really no point trying to exceed that if you’re there.

   So let’s say a business has reached its hull speed (no easy task). What’s next? Or to personalize it in a career that’s cranking along, now what? Do you try for more responsibility or a promotion? More pay?

   I think the most satisfying next step in all the above is focusing on excellence, incessantly driving out mediocrity wherever it sneaks in. Good enough isn’t.You’ll never be out of a job or bored, but you might be hot. Eat Healthy! 

Author Uncle Vern

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