This weekend, my neighbor and I were commiserating over the seemingly slow economic recovery. John’s acute business savvy and race-track mentality contrasts with my “why lose money betting” mentality – and serves him well.
We poked at each other over why some flourish even in a recessinary economy while others fail. We agreed that success has much to do with attitude and much less to do with luck. (Luck is made by attitude.)
His main point: “Now is not a good time” is a popular cliché and an evergreen excuse. Reason: When you're looking into the future, there's never a good time to do anything. It's always easy to come up with at least one logical "do nothing" reason. And this attitude hamstrings the future of many farmers.
For example, back in 2004 we sold our Iowa family farm to my cousin, who grumbled and bellyached that $2,700 was an outrageous price. (But he paid it.) Since then, the value has almost doubled.
As business-savvy John points out: If your business needs to grow for its future owners (and you’re equity rich), it’s wise to invest during recessionary periods. And I’d emphasize, “as long as it’s manageable debt!”
Doing nothing is not an option
Yes, the future is always uncertain. But it's a cop-out to use it as cover for permanent inaction.
If you can foresee the benefits, it’s a good time to grow for the future! Wealth never grows by sitting on your assets. (Yes, you can take that several ways.)
Now is never a good time. But, there may never be a better time. When things are booming and prices are “golden”, you’re too busy. When prices are depressing, you don't have the resources. That mentality results in permanent inaction.
Business success requires thinking beyond the present. Every farm with a future thrives on hope for the next generation. That’s the real reason you’re in the business. So don’t mentally freeze up! Think ahead. Tap the best outside minds available to you, and plan ahead.
Shift those hopes and dreams into gear. Then gently throttle forward.
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