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It’s that time of year, New Year’s Resolutions, Bucket Lists, and planning for what is going to happen in the New Year. I meet with some guys several times throughout the year, and we often talk about business ideas and different ways of doing financial planning. Mostly, the talks are about changing the methods of financing for different businesses and farming. All of the finance parts are pretty straightforward. We also get into what we will do to make the coming year exceptional. Then we get into the bucket list stuff.
Most of the financial talk centers on ways to lower the cost of different business enterprises. This can include cost savings on labor, land, and capital. Most of the talk sounds like some sort of finance course. It can include working with banks, stock market strategies, and even just buying parts in bulk. It is mostly math and what matters to different types of business.
Once we get off the finance, the fun really begins when we discuss ways to make our lives better in the coming year. We’ve got great plans too. One guy usually brings a big bag of candy to the meeting. For the last three years, he has brought candy claiming he is going to quit eating candy at the start of the new year. That sounds like a good plan, but he has brought candy to the last three meetings.
It seems like we all have plans for the usual stuff. Run five miles a day, do 100 pushups in the morning, eat only healthy food, and of course losing weight comes up in conversation. That’s all well and good, it doesn’t hurt to talk about some of these things.
For the last five years, the only things that have been accomplished are the things that could be done in small steps. One guy completed a new farm office by breaking down his construction costs to $2500. He would save $2500 and pour concrete, and then when he saved $2500 more he bought lumber or roofing material. Once he was through with those things he got $2500 of labor to frame the building. The project went on like that until he completed the office. It was a well thought out plan and he has a beautiful office. He usually leads the discussion on how some of our projects need to be broken down so they can be completed.
This year I was supposed to lead the part where we went into the bucket list. I decided we were going to quash some of the crazier ideas right from the start. All the talk about climbing Mt. Everest and swimming the English Channel were kicked out immediately. I wouldn’t even let them mention riding a camel across the desert or going to the North Pole. After most of the bucket list items were ruled out, we tried to come up with some plans to make the crazy things come true. After a few hours, we left, but everyone's plan still had one item in common, "lose weight."