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Begin with the End in Mind
04/09/2021

Too often, we have a grand idea to start a new venture or how to refresh or elevate our business to a new level, to be profitable and viable for the long term, doing what we love to do.  We want to be independent and free from the bureaucracies of working and being controlled by others in our daily grind.
 
This happens in the personal aspects of our lives, too, as we make grand plans to elevate our health, our diet, our physical being, our relationships with God and with our families and friends.
 
Too often, though, just as we experience with New Year’s resolutions, we fall into the trap of slacking off, taking the path of least resistance, cut corners and do only what we need to do to get by to the next day.  “Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow”.
Too often, we have a grand idea to start a new venture or how to refresh or elevate our business to a new level, to be profitable and viable for the long term, doing what we love to do.  We want to be independent and free from the bureaucracies of working and being controlled by others in our daily grind.
 
This happens in the personal aspects of our lives, too, as we make grand plans to elevate our health, our diet, our physical being, our relationships with God and with our families and friends.
 
Too often, though, just as we experience with New Year’s resolutions, we fall into the trap of slacking off, taking the path of least resistance, cut corners and do only what we need to do to get by to the next day.  “Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow”.
 
If we are true to ourselves, we acknowledge our shortcomings and know we will continue to just plod along every day and fall into complacency and the acceptance of just enough to make it until tomorrow.
 
We figure we just need to get through the short term before we can get to the long term. 
 
This is no way to run a business, much less our personal lives.
 
Begin with the end in mind.  It is never too late to start realizing your goals and objectives by adopting new techniques and processes to manage for the long term. 
 
Young producers, no matter the size or scale of your operation, should put in place business processes that will grow with your operation and provide you with the information you need to gauge the progress of your operation accurately and consistently.  Data does one no good if it is not processed appropriately with other pertinent data to reveal performance, progress, and trends.  A positive bank account balance at the end of the year and a completed Schedule F to the federal tax return are not, by themselves, examples of sufficient management information for long term decision making.  Of course, useful information is derived from these sources.  However, they are only pieces of the big picture.
 
Consider doing the following tasks as you begin to build your business:
  1. Get your mindset focused on the fact your operation is more than a way of life, it is your career, a business, and a means to achieve the goals to which you and your family aspire.
  2. Set up a functional office, separate from your living area, where you can work on your business without the distractions of your home and family life.  It may be in your home, but get it separated from the regular home traffic.
  3. Invest in an accounting / financial management program that will grow with your business and provide you with meaningful information that will help you develop proactive solutions and decisions and to make real financial progress over the long haul.
  4. Budget for continuing education in the technical disciplines of your particular enterprises and operation.  Give equal attention to and budget for continuing education in the practices and disciplines necessary to manage the business.
  5. Develop friendships and mentorships with your peers in your sphere of business.  Bounce ideas and thoughts off one another.  Do not be afraid to share information when and where needed.  Cultivate relationships with consultants, lenders, professionals you will need in various disciplines to manage all the different functions in your operation.
  6. Engaging with consultants from a variety of disciplines will pay in the long term as you can then leverage your talents to productive use.  Work with other’s strengths.  Leverage your strengths with their strengths…Teamwork…Depending on the size and scale of your business, no one person can get it all done in a timely manner.
  7. Once established in your business, become active where you can on the local and national levels in organizations that support agriculture.
  8. Finally, do not forsake personal growth (family, community, spiritual/religious, hobbies).  These make the person whole.  Your farm may be your career and the way of life you imagine.  Step outside the business regularly and engage in the world around you.  You will be a whole person and one who will grow, mature and be a force for good in the world.
Pete Weisenberger
Weisenberger Agricultural Services, LLC
pete.weis0956@gmail.com
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