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Corn+Soybean Digest

In The Fast Lane

In the Fast Lane
This column is being sent out on Labor Day 2001. Tonight I am lecturing in my Small Business Class on the pitfalls of small business. And one of the pitfalls is the hours worked, especially with ag producers. (By the way, the class is going great. I tried to scare away students with telling them about the workload – but out of 150 students, 141 hung in there!)

One in four small businesspersons work more than 70 hours per week or over 3,500 hours per year. That equates to over 42% of the hours in a week. Another 51% engage between 50 and 70 hours/week, which is still one third of total time. It’s no wonder that today more families are picking lifestyle over business as the driving force.

Time management is one of the major challenges facing men and women today as businesses grow. First you must develop the ability to delegate responsibility and accountability. Second, you must prioritize the $100, the $1,000, and the $10,000 decision. Time is often spent on the $100 decision and not allocating enough time for the $10,000 decision. The result is a feeling of being trapped or bogged down in details.

Airline Woes
Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today had the same problems I had with the airlines going to South Dakota. He graded the airlines "A" for safety, "C" for service, and "F" for customer relations. I say "Amen" to Mr. Neuharth.

Carol Hallett, CEO of the Air Transport Association, responded to him in the August 31st USA Today by saying that a vast majority of the millions of passengers who flew this year did so without significant delay or difficulty!

What planet is she from?! Sounds like an out of touch bureaucrat who doesn’t have to fly like the normal citizen – or is she just plain lucky? I would love to give her a list of my airline woes, but I don’t think she would listen.

Hats off to Al and his organization. At least they are monitoring the problems. I know I get at least one e-mail a week asking about different aspects of flying from the staff at USA Today. I guess now you can tell what one of my hot buttons is.

Sports Perspective
There was great football on Saturday all over. Oklahoma looks tough. And a very entertaining Wisconsin/Oregon game. My Hokies are hurting with the loss of their leading scorer in the nation and rusher in the Big East. Lee Suggs is out for the season. This is a class kid and it is a shame it had to happen. Fresno State won!!! It is taking on the Big Ones and winning.

Next week I will be reporting back from Lincoln, NE. Friday I will be speaking to the Cornhuskers with Coach Solich. I am picking Big Red over the Irish.

Final Note
I would rather be outside in the rain than inside the airline terminal trapped in line or on a tram!!

My e-mail address is:[email protected]

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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