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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.

The Common Denominator of Success

Oct 18, 2011

iStock CropFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (10/14/2011).
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In the corner of my desk drawer sits a tattered yellow booklet that I’ve had for the better part of 30 years. I used to carry it with me but, due to its age, now it stays tucked away for safekeeping. The pamphlet was given to me by a then-leader in the financial services industry. This industry giant is still recognized around the world for his resumé of outsized accomplishments. Over the course of my own life, I’ve aspired to live up to his example.

That pamphlet is titled The Common Denominator of Success. The sum and substance of the piece is an essay by Albert E. N. Gray in which he expounds on the key to lifelong achievement. Gray says, "The common denominator of success—the secret of success of every [person] who has ever been successful—lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do."

He then explains what things "failures" don’t like to do. Well, you may surmise that the things failures don’t like are the very same things you or I don’t like to do either. For instance, any given farmer may not like planning, decision making, physical labor, managing others, establishing professional relationships, etc. Yet, if we embrace the premise of the message and learn to like—or at least be effective and efficient at—doing the things most people don’t like to do, we will become more successful.

To paraphrase Mr. Gray, "[Agripreneurs] form habits and habits form futures."
 

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