Showing posts from June, 2024

What Do You Do When Things Go Wrong?

Many times, we look at a situation and ask,  How hard can it be,   What's the worst that could happen? Sometimes, things are pretty hard; sometimes, bad things happen, and things go wrong.   What do we do? How do we react? An old business partner/mentor named Otto Wuethrich told me once. When all else fails, read directions.  I'm going to say that again, when all else fails, read directions. At that time, I was struggling to open a sack of soybean seeds to dump into the planter. A little tag clearly said pull this tape here, and I was thrashing around doing everything but following the directions. This little saying has always stuck with me, and I think we can carry it one step further and say when all else fails, go back to the basics.   No matter what profession we are in, there are the basics of every profession that we must do every day. When all else fails, read directions and go back to the basics always works. I remember looking at Otto and laughing a

Before The Bodies Are Cold

Selling farm real estate can be a fascinating yet challenging endeavor. I've often remarked that farm properties usually go on the market due to the "two D's": death and divorce.  Many times, I am called to a family's home after the parents have passed away, and the family is undecided about how to move forward. Typically, some siblings want to keep the farm, while others prefer to sell and cash out.  Both opinions are valid as everyone's motivation is different. However, those two motivations could not be more polar opposites. Most of the time, parents have not done an excellent job of estate planning and have just kicked the can down the road, and they say that the kids will handle it after we are gone. Yes, the kids will handle it all right, but probably not in the way that parents envisioned. I have heard countless times from heirs that their parents would roll over in their graves if they knew what was happening now. One story in particular br