“I’m not making enough money” sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to most employers.
If you want a raise, you have a few options:
Produce more value
Leave for greener pastures
Let’s focus on #3: If you want to earn more money, produce more value. Ranch employees cost lots of money: often 30-200% more than their take home pay.
Instead of complaining, start by asking good questions. Asking good questions and following up on the answers is a critical life skill that benefits you the most. Good questions require a different kind of thinking than complaining. Good questions start with humility, require us to challenge ourselves, and often follow from an attitude of gratitude.
If you work in a business that is profit oriented, then helping the ranch achieve its goals is a win-win. And being proactive makes you a leader. Remember that you and your employer might have different priorities. You may want to learn more about horseshoeing, she may want you to learn more about grass management. If you want to be a farrier, then learn more about shoeing, but if you want to grow in ranching, you’re better served to follow her suggestions.
Even if it doesn’t appear that way on your paycheck, ranch employees are often very well compensated relative to people in other industries. Many ranch employees make more money than their employers. There are lots of things we don’t pay for. Many ranch jobs provide housing, utilities, ranch beef, horse feed and vet care, insurance, retirement, a great place to raise kids, no commute, etc. Remember to value all the perks that come with the job and that those perks are not taxed. Of course there are some downsides and there are some unreasonable employers, that’s true everywhere. You have to decide what’s important to you and your family.
In all of your hard work, don’t forget to become a great manager of your own money: your family will benefit and it’s great preparation for ranch management. Make a budget with your spouse and revise it every pay period. Avoid consumer debt at every turn. Question all your choices: do you need a new truck or are you better off with good term life-insurance. Most people are amazed at what they spend on things they can’t afford that aren’t important to them. If you need help, listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcast or radio show while you’re riding in the tractor. After a lot of practice, it’ll get comfortable. Imagine how smart you’ll look when it comes time to discuss ranch budgets.
So, what do you have to be grateful for? What can you do better? How can you produce more value? For goodness sake, BE PATIENT. Invest in your future self. Then it may be appropriate to look for bigger opportunities elsewhere, not just grass that looks greener across the fence.
Never mistake your vocation for your identity. Your pay is often a reflection of the value you provide to a business, not your worth as an individual.