Category: Planning & Management

Succession Expectations or Agreements?

Transitions are hard enough. A lot of folks make them tougher by making assumptions and building expectations. We can remove unnecessary drama and angst by turning our expectations into agreements. An expectation is something that either you or I have. An agreement is something you and I share. In the short run, expectations are convenient. […]

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Managing For What You Want 

In Cash Flow Quadrant, Robert Kiyosaki explains that there are four ways to make money. You can be an employee (E), working for someone else for a salary. Alternatively, you can be self-employed (S), a business owner (B) or an investor (I). If you compare the E and S quadrants to the B and I […]

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Whistling Again

We use key performance indicators to assess the health of a business. Some evaluate economic and financial health. Others measure labor productivity. Still others measure the health of the ecosystem. Last week I added a new key performance indicator for measuring business success to my list. I spent an evening with Craig and Connie French […]

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Want To Keep It? Then Build It To Sell It.

Stan Parsons wrote, “If you want to be a cowboy get a job.” A business owner’s job isn’t to put up hay, work cattle, or build fence. It is to build a business. We hire employees to produce results that contribute to customer and owner value. When business owners hire themselves to work in their […]

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Professionalizing Your Ranch

There are two types of athletes, professionals and amateurs. The professionals get paid to play. The amateurs have to pay to play. I look at ranches the same way. The professionals get paid to ranch. The amateurs subsidize their operations with unpaid family labor, off-farm income and inherited wealth. Some people balk at the idea […]

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The Laws Of Economics

My Cousin Vinny is one of my favorite movies. There’s a scene where Vinny, played by Joe Pesci, challenging the witness, asks, “Are we to believe that the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove?” That line, makes me think of some people who market grass finished beef and use grazing practices that […]

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Getting It Right or Getting It Fast

A young rancher attended his first Executive Link meeting a few weeks after completing a Ranching for Profit School. He showed his EL board the long to-do list he created at the end of the school and worried that there wasn’t enough time to get everything done that he needed to do. “I’m constantly putting […]

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Having a Ranch AND a Life

A friend included me in an email chain informing us of a farmer he knew who recently took his life. I don’t pretend to begin to know this man’s pain or anything about his situation. But the story struck me as beyond sad. Responses in the email chain spoke of the stress of farming, peer […]

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Smart Resolutions

A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions. Gym memberships go way up in January. By Valentine’s Day that box of chocolates is looking pretty good and gym attendance is way down. It isn’t that resolutions are bad ideas. They’re not. Or that people can’t change. We can. It is that most resolutions don’t provide […]

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If Someone Is Doing It, It’s Possible

I often hear people joke, “Ranching for profit? That’s an oxymoron.” I get frustrated hearing it, but I don’t blame anyone for thinking it. There is a lot of evidence to support the “ranching isn’t profitable” paradigm. These days ranches are valued more for the scenery than for livestock production. In fact, looking at a […]

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