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March 2012 Archive for 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.

My Gift to You

Mar 27, 2012

 

Woodland   South Carolina  NRCSFrom Legacy Moment (03/23/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.


 
When faced with challenging circumstances, the test we all must overcome to reach the prize, I fall back on a few simple affirmations for strength and reinforcement. I encourage you to use them as you see fit. Learn their meaning, memorize the lines and soon they will become a part of your countenance.
 
For strength, fortitude and comfort, always remember:

 
 
1) Success is a choice.
2) Insecurity and uncertainty strengthen your resolve.
3) It is better to create than to conform.
4) A life of challenge is more satisfying than a life of regrets.
5) Leadership is earned through service, not granted by dictate.
6) The legacy you leave will be the lives you touch.
 
News & Resources for You:
 
The Moehling family shares their inspiring story on the latest episode of 'Leave a Legacy' TV.
 
For ideas and information, browse the Legacy Project 2011 Report(The 2012 issue is being prepared now, and will be published in July.)
 
Gauge your succession planning process by checking off each action step as you proceed. 
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Photo of South Carolina woodland used courtesy of USDA NRCS.

Now It's Your Turn

Mar 20, 2012

 

LegacyWorkshopAmesFrom Legacy Moment (03/16/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.


If you’ve attended a Legacy Project Workshop, you know how we conclude the day. After participants have learned the five keys to planning success, utilized some of the Legacy Project planning tools and explored their own misgivings, I ask them to commit to a next step. "Nothing happens until you make a commitment," I encourage, then follow with, "Please take the next 10 minutes to write down three things you learned today that you’ll take back and share with the family, or will do to follow up on your succession intentions."
 
In the end, beyond the Workbook support material and notes, each participant leaves with a record of three things they’ll do to take the next step in the succession planning process. One step might be to jump in with both feet, schedule a family meeting and work to define the family’s common objectives. For some, the commitment may be very small, like going home to read the other sections of the Workbook. Either way, and for every action in between, the important point is a commitment to action and progressive steps toward your goal.
 
This week, we completed Farm Journal Legacy Project Workshops in Moline, Ill., West Lafayette, Ind., and St. Charles, Mo. That translates into almost 300 new promises. On top of the thousands of attendees over the past two years, that’s a lot of families that are taking steps to cultivate multigenerational success and create a lasting legacy.
 
News & Resources for You:
 
Browse the Legacy Project websiteThere's a wealth of information at your fingertips, from tools to TV episodes.
 
Have questions specific to your family? We’re here to help.
 
The next Legacy Project Workshops are coming up. Registration will open soon for the July 10 workshop in Fargo, N.D., and the workshop in Omaha, Neb., on July 12. 
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Ask Kevin

Mar 14, 2012

 iStock Cross Roads CroppedFrom Legacy Moment (03/09/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.


"There are many roads to town," as I’ve often expressed. Like the saying "One size doesn’t fit all," the goal of succession is to examine the options available and then select the best choice for your situation.
 
Here’s a recent question to the Legacy Project mailbag. As the scenario below plays out, the family operation will not continue unless we impose a solution.
 
Q. "My husband’s parents are trying to ‘force’ us into a partnership with his younger brother. We’ve been down this road before, and each time we had to buy him out to save the operation. This time, he assures us, he is committed. Nevertheless, we don’t want to do it all over again. Their dad wants to retire. Can you recommend how to divide the farm into separate operations, rather than form a partnership?"
 
My response:
 
A. The key to any business partnership is a good working relationship. Obviously, there isn’t one here. The goal must be to create a business relationship that is both complementary and compatible. In this instance, you have neither. I recommend you start with a business plan that divides the operation into separate operating units.
 
What’s best for you, your family and the farm is ultimately an individual decision. The keys to success are clearly defined objectives, a thorough examination of options and then decisive action.
 
Ask Kevin
 
 News & Resources for You:
 
Our Goals Clarification Worksheet can help you identify some common ground to get started.
 
The next round of Legacy Project Workshops are scheduled for Fargo (July 10th)  and Omaha (July 12th).  Registration will be available soon; for now - remember to save the date. 
 
Missed some episodes of "Leave a Legacy TV"? Catch up here, and meet some of America’s great farm families.  
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Succession Planning for Small Business Owners

Mar 07, 2012

 

iStock Brown BarnFrom Legacy Moment (03/02/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.


 
The 2006 Hartford Business Owners Survey found:
 
- More than half of business owners agree that their business is their greatest personal asset and the primary source of family income.
 
- Only one-fifth of small business owners have drafted a legal agreement detailing their company’s ownership in case of marital dissolution.
 
- Only one-quarter of companies with fewer than 100 employees have key person insurance.
 
- Two-thirds of business owners worry about having enough money for retirement. About one-fifth of small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) offer a 401(k) plan.
 
- More than 40% of small business owners say their top long-term personal-finance concern is how to leave their business and realize the monetary benefits of their hard work.
 
 
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 90% of U.S. businesses are family-owned but only 30% of family-run companies succeed into the second generation. An even smaller percentage survive into the third.
 
A well designed comprehensive succession plan will address these issues and more. Have you taken the first step-- to sit down with the family to discuss your succession planning intentions and begin creating a lasting legacy? Start with the family meeting, use Conversation Starters and commit to action.
News & Resources for You:
 
Family Meeting Agenda: Ready to map out your family meeting?
 
Conversation Starters will help you identify topics to start the important discussion.
 
Miracle of Commitment will suggest some steps as you begin the journey of succession planning. 
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