Sep 18, 2014
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Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

Don't Let the Clock Steal Your Farm's Future

Apr 22, 2014

Clock Face  From Legacy Moment (04.18.2014).
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When a person is in their early 20s, the future is a long way off. It's merely a concept, not an inevitable reality! Then--surprise, surprise--that same person is sitting at 60 looking back, wondering what happened and where did it all go?

For both the young and the mature, the clock is a thief. In youth, the moments pass slowly and the tick-tock rhythm of the clock lulls you into complacency. As you age, the minutes mock your plans and tempt you with busy activities that make you believe that getting something done is better than doing the right things.

It doesn't matter how old you are, when you start or what your objectives are, time waits for no one. If you want to accomplish something, achieve some level of success, or reach a goal, do it now. Clearly define your objectives, write a plan of action, implement the plan, measure your progress, and adjust accordingly based on your results. Time is a finite resource; in fact, it's the only one that is absolutely limited.

So it's incumbent on us to do the very best we can with the time we have. If passing the operation from one generation to the next is a lifetime goal, don't hesitate--start today, where you are right now.

  • Schedule a family meeting. Whether it's a first for the family or the next in a series, communication is a key to planning for succession.
  • Learn about succession. The Farm Journal Legacy Project has an archive of tools, information, and resources to help you achieve success--check it out.
  • Find help. You can't go it alone, especially early on. Every person in the family needs to actively participate in the process and a person cannot be both a participant and facilitator.
  • Take an assessment. Are you and your family ready for the process? If you're unsure, the best way to find out may be to take a quick assessment, and then share your answers with each other.
  • Talk with others who may share their experiences. Though not a spectator's event, succession should never be done in a vacuum either. Swapping stories and sharing solutions is a healthy and effective way to deal with the challenges of planning for succession. 

News & Resources for You:

Looking for some basics? Take a few minutes to browse our Legacy Project FAQs.

Ready to take the first steps? Sign up to attend a Legacy Project Workshop.

Eager to settle on specific goals for your farm, family and future? It all begins with A Series of Simple Decisions (eLegacyConnect self-assessment).

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