Leave a Legacy
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.
Success Secrets of America's Best Agripreneurs
Oct 25, 2011
From Legacy Moment (10/21/2011).
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Part I of II:
Our agriculture heritage has endowed each of us with the values of hard work, independence and self-reliance. Tapping into that legacy will provide your family with financial security, peace of mind, and lasting success.
Industrious people are searching for more fulfilling occupations. They’re learning that government is not the answer, corporations no longer offer jobs for life, and self-employment is more difficult than it sounds.
Farming is the quintessential family business, and American farmers are the patrons of effective business principles. Ten secrets of entrepreneurial success from the American farmer include:
1. Plan your cropping rotations. Use your personal values to generate business value. Plan your business. Start with a vision statement, declare specific goals, design action plans and follow through.
2. Prepare the ground and plant your crop in the spring. Without action, nothing happens. Your plan should be so big, so motivating and so important that you’ll do whatever is necessary to achieve success. Like work expanding to fill the time allotted for a job, your capabilities will expand to fulfill the commitment to your goals.
3. Maintain your equipment to avoid costly repairs and downtime. Execution is key to lasting success. It isn’t how many times you get knocked down that matters, but rather how many times you get back up. There are certain inglorious details that must be attended to in growing a successful business, and it’s incumbent upon an owner to ensure they are done.
4. Cultivate as necessary to ensure a healthy yield. A growing business may be likened to a child in the family. It requires nurturing and care. It demands attention and needs support. A vibrant business is never a once and done affair. To grow a successful business, an owner must market, sell, manage, invest and suffer risk.
5. Consult professional advisers to learn and adapt the most efficient technologies. One person can’t possibly know it all. Utilizing the knowledge and expertise of others is a smart way to grow the business, integrate new technologies and invest limited resources. Striving to do it yourself may become a costly mistake for a business owner.
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