How Do You Define Success?



The knee-jerk answer to this could be “corn yields” or “soybean yields.” With high land prices and the long-term importance of soil organic matter, though, high yields alone no longer determine the long-term succession of your kids at the farm.

Albert Schweitzer defined success as loving what you do.

Barbara Bush measured success by how you treat others, from family to strangers.

I think third-generation Iowa farmers Jim and Cathy Sladek are successful ( They (JCS Family Farms) formalized a strategic management approach that identifies company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). They restructured their farm business before increasing their acres in 2008 to “navigate today’s ongoing farm consolidation,” Jim says. “My guesstimate is that farm size will double in five years.” Their goal is to ensure a viable operation for future generations. “Agriculture is running out of excuses for not using standard professional business practices,” Jim says. “As hockey player Wayne Gretzky says, ‘Skate to where the puck will be, not where it is now. We have to be more professional about managing risk,” Jim says.

Profit is the dirty word that makes other goals possible.

I’m a huge fan of Wells Fargo Senior Economist Mike Swanson, who frames success this way: “How will your grown children view the way you used today’s once-in-a-lifetime agriculture bonanza? Only you can define the outcome of your business. Generations ago, farmers said, ‘I can’t control the markets and the weather.’ Rolling the dice is not good enough today.

“The first hurdle of success is a mental one: You cannot control things, but you can manage them. Success has wiped out the lessons and discipline of 20 years’ experience and education. You can anticipate patterns without having to accurately predict the correct time, price and place an event will occur. That’s your job: to anticipate patterns.”

As the mother of a musician, a marketer and an engineer, I know that success takes many forms. How do you define success?

Discuss this Blog Entry 12

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on May 5, 2014

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on Aug 21, 2014

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A lot of marketing agencies define success as turning a profit. Strategic Campaigns Inc defines success as the ability to develop others and make a win win scenario. Just read some of these Strategic Campaigns Inc reviews and see how they do their training. Alternatively, you can read this Strategic Campaigns Inc review and view more information about their jobs and salary ranges. That'll tell you how to define success. All in all, Strategic Campaigns is doing it right by hiring the right people and training them. That's how you define SUCCESS!

on Aug 27, 2014

This is true. Portland, Oregon is no stranger to successful companies either. In fact, the sales and marketing corporation called DMA Portland has had some success of their own. For more information on this company, go read some DMA Portland reviews for further information about salary increases and what not in the past year. It's simply amazing.

on Aug 27, 2014

DMA Portland Oregon is really on top of it. After posting the last comment, I found out that they just opened another location. This marketing company is killing it. Go read about DMA Portland Oregon over on their google site and you'll see what I mean.

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