A few weeks ago, the Get Out of Your Comfort Zone article shared some general themes and lessons we’ve observed from many forward-thinking, successful family farm businesses. This week continues with more thought-provoking examples.
The roller-coaster ride of business ownership provides many chances to learn how to bounce off the lows in your business cycles, which is just as important as profits. Maximizing profits during cycle highs is just as important as minimizing losses during low cycles.
Accepting minor failures as mini-lessons on how not to something is far more valuable than remaining in fear of making a mistake, or alternatively, always swinging for the fences in hopes of hitting a grand-slam. Total fear and total fearlessness are at each end of the spectrum – aim for something in the middle. A series of small mistakes made over a lifetime is called experience and wisdom.
Business failures generally don’t happen as a result of one major disaster, although that obviously can happen. Failure is a longer-term process with many warning signs, flashing lights, bells and buzzers going off along the way. When no one recognizes or pays attention to these signs, failure happens. Face the facts, or get some help from someone else that can help you see the warning signs. If you’re the captain, don’t go down with the ship…adjust your navigational tools before you hit the iceberg.
Top performers plan ahead. Poor performers react and often have no margin for error. I know it’s a cliché, but failing to plan is effectively planning to fail. Like the laws of physics, this is foundational stuff and has always been true.
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Know Your Numbers. Know Your Business.