When I was young, people on farms and ranches prepared for things. In the area where we lived, people worked hard everyday to stay prepared. Since they didn’t know if it would be wet or dry or if the winter would be cold or mild, they had to be prepared for whatever might happen. They didn’t talk about planning except in the morning, and then they planned their day. This is what I call a 24-hour plan. That is the plan I live by.
Now we are so lucky. Someone tells us what the weather will be for the next year. Someone tells us what the market will be (or might be) and on and on. So now all we have to do is plan our year. With all of this information we have a plan that will show us how to breakeven. That sounds like a great way to do business! The bank will like it because if you breakeven that means that they will get their money. You can feel good because everyone “just has to have a plan,” although it really is just a business guess or a market hope.
Now don’t think that I am against planning. A 24-hour plan is great. In the morning we know close to what the weather will be and what the prices are. That means that our plan is dealing with something we know, not something that “might” happen. Planning for something that doesn’t happen can be as bad as not planning at all. A plan is not for the person making it, it is for the bank, the accountant, and universities. In the past, a bank didn’t need a plan because they only loaned a small amount on the assets you had. Now, they loan a much larger amount on the assets that you have. Now they want a plan. The plan lets them know that you have at least spent some time and thought on what you are going to do, but mainly, it helps to cover them if you fail. The accountants and university like a plan, not because they know it helps, but because it keeps them involved, and they like that.
Making the plan. . . We don’t know what the weather will be; we don’t know what the market will be. For a plan to be any good, it must cover everything. Since we can only guess what these things will be, we don’t have a plan, only a guess or a hope, so why have it? Any plan will have to be adjusted as we go along, so why have it? If we don’t adjust and things change, this could really hurt, so why have it? Smart people say “A constantly revised plan becomes no plan at all.” So why have it?
Have a 24-hour plan. Adjust as conditions change. Don’t be tied to anything except what is best for the conditions that exist right now. If you have to make a plan, give it to the people who want it, then forget what is in it and work with what is happening now; then you will stay prepared.
Have a 24-hour plan, and stay prepared.
Then you can Smile and Mean it!