Ask a Margins Expert
Have a margins question? Through this blog, you will gain insight into improving your bottom line, as a margins expert answers questions and provides farm business advice.
Make Things Happen!
Mar 04, 2011
I heard a great quote from a very successful businessman this week. “There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who don't know what just happened” I would say this quote holds as true in agriculture as with any other business.
We all know of “those who make things happen”. These are the people who develop a plan, set specific goals and objectives, and are willing to immediately move forward with their plans. This group knows where they want to be and work their plans to make things happen. This group is also willing to assume higher risks than the average person. On the other hand, they consider that larger risks generally will have larger returns. They look at risk as a necessary component to achieve success and spend a significant amount of time calculating different scenarios in order to make sure that their actions are deliberate and accurate. When challenges arise in the middle of a project they consider these problems as opportunities to learn, adapt, and change course in order to be more effective. This group has a focus on their mission of achievement.
“Those who watch things happen” are an interesting group. This group can generally be divided into two different categories. The first category is those who watch due to a lack of motivation. Their view is that it may be easier to watch others work through challenges and problems and see if others have success before they try to create their own opportunities. Another big reason for watching rather than participating is to avoid risk and the possibility of being in an uncomfortable situation. Therefore, it’s just easier to watch others before taking their own actions. The second category of this group who watches things happen tends to be more vocal. These people would rather be verbal critics and simply talk about what others are doing instead of focusing on their own operation. Unfortunately, we've seen a great deal of this as competition for land and growth opportunities have increased over the past several years. Watching the neighbors, spreading rumors, and assuming the victimization role is definitely not a recipe for success. Hopefully as we move forward this particular group will recognize that redirecting energy into their own operation is more profitable than simply watching and worrying what their neighbor is doing.
“Those who don't know what just happened” tend to be that group which is focused on their internal operation so intently that they don't see what's going on outside of their own operation. This group is so busy trying to get their work done that they don't seem to have a clue of what's going on in their community, industry, or family. It seems that this group would rather not know what's going on around them because they are most comfortable just focusing on their own business or work. This group may also be somewhat resistant to changes. It's easier to look the other way, rather than engage new processes, procedures, or a major project that contains many unknowns. The final challenge this group faces is the need for continuing education. The world of agriculture today is faced with tremendous complexities and rapid change. The solution to success will be tied directly to knowing what's happening in our industry.
We can all ask ourselves the following questions. Which group do I fit in and what areas could I improve upon? Am I a person that makes things happen? Do I just watch things happen? Do I ever wonder what just happened? Once we are honest with ourselves we can figure out where we fit as business people. The great part about these three types of business people is that we can choose which one we want to be. We can continue as status quo or make the improvements necessary for our businesses.