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 of professionalizing their ranch before they even see what’s involved. They assume that professionalizing the ranch will take the fun out of the operation and detract from owner value. They have it backwards.
Professionalizing the ranch means clarifying roles and accountabilities. It means making sure that everyone in every role is qualified to produce the results required by their position and they are compensated fairly. It means having regular, effective communication on everything from big strategic issues to day-to-day challenges. It means selecting and structuring enterprises to produce positive cash flow and make a real economic profit.
When you compare your neighbor’s place to a professionalized ranch, several things stand out:
Professionalizing the ranch may seem daunting. It is a lot of work. But it is work that results in fewer crises and less stress, healthier relationships and more profit.
Professionalizing your ranch may not be as hard or take as long as you think. Most people assume it’s hard because they don’t know how to do it. They weren’t born with the knowledge and no one ever taught them.
At the Ranching for Profit School participants learn how to Work On The Businesses (WOTB) and professionalize their ranch. We recommend they devote two mornings a week to WOTB. That’s 104 mornings a year. That’s plenty of time to professionalize your ranch once you know how to do it. The key is making the commitment to devote 2 mornings/week to WOTB.
I believe T. Harv Eker was right when he said, “If you are willing to do only what’s easy, life will be hard. But if you’re willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.” Professionalizing your ranch is one of those hard things that makes life much easier.