Starting a Business in Agriculture with Marlene Eick

Asking All the Right Questions: Tips for Success in Agriculture (and Life!)

Ever felt uncertain about what you want to do? Well, today in her interview with AgGrad Live, Marlene Eick has news for you: wherever you are, you’re not stuck! And she wants to help you stop feeling stuck too by sharing three of her best tips for success: patience, action steps, and savvy budgeting.

It’s hard to imagine it, looking at her now, but Marlene—a successful life-coach and co-owner of HerdMark Media—knows exactly how it feels to be uncertain about your life goals. Though both Marlene and her husband BJ wanted to do something in the agriculture field, neither of them was 100% sure what that looked like, so they tried a lot of different things until they finally wound up with the last thing anyone expected: HerdMark media! Marlene and BJ’s very own company has grown from their background in sales and photography to help agricultural businesses tell their story through social media! HerdMark wouldn’t have existed without their career-goal questioning, and Marlene believes the process of asking questions and trying new things taught them both some valuable lessons like these:

3 Tips for Success




Marlene is quick to point out that when you have a goal, “Staying patient is hard, because you want to be doing it now!” Relating that back to their own struggle, she admits that it was difficult to determine whether their failures were a sign to keep trying or just give up. Because of that, she advocates the value of sticking with your goal, but continuing to try new things. Maybe the problem isn’t with your dream itself; maybe you just haven’t tried the right combination yet!




Whether your dream is to start your own business or something totally different, Marlene recommends breaking your big goals down into “action steps.” Using her personal example of trying to lose weight, she suggests dividing a big goal—like losing 25 pounds—into something you can act on practically, like working out three times a week. She says it works because habits are compound actions. The choices you make—good or bad—create habits that pile up and leave you either with success or disappointment. The key is to evaluate your choices carefully and learn to manage them!    




This also applies to your personal finances, and Marlene wants other young professionals to know that the finance choices you make when you’re young are also compound behaviors. To address that issue, she returned to her earlier tips, saying that her message for young people is first to ask questions. What do you want your life to look like later? And what choices can you make now to give yourself that life? Once you’ve answered those questions, turn to Tip #2 for managing those goals and crafting a plan of action.

Marlene doesn’t promise that implementing this advice will give you a perfect path to success, but she does promise that they’ll make your life—and future career—easier! And after trying and proving them all herself, she’s super passionate about using her own experiences to help others.

If you’d like to connect with Marlene for more advice or tell her about your story, you can find her at and on Instagram @marleneeick. And don’t forget to subscribe to the AgGrad YouTube Channel to learn more about career opportunities in agriculture, and follow us online: Website:

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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.