Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on Me

Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on Me

Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on Me

I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report.

Well, it’s April’s Fool Day and when it comes to family business plans and promises, if you don’t have it in writing you may very well be fooling yourself.

Jolene Brown, farmer, professional speaker, author, and family business consultant shares

Brown: “We’ve all heard the expression, ‘Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.’ You know what I have found out it is one thing to be ignorant and not know what to do but it is another thing when you know what you need to do and you don’t do it. When it comes to family business, I always have to remind people, if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist. And all the wishing, hoping and tom foolery that we do means nothing if we don’t have it in writing.”

Brown gives the example of a young couple with seven children who are active in the family farm. He has three siblings who are not involved. His parents’ will would split the farm four ways, which means that the son involved in the farm would most likely have to sell the farm to pay off his siblings. That wasn’t the parents intention as they wanted to farm to continue into the next generation.

Brown: “But if you want a different outcome, if you want a legacy to continue then there are things that you have to do. You can not fool yourself into hoping and wishing that everything will be okay. You actually have to take action.”

So has your family business taken the time to put your family’s wishes into an actionable and written plan??
To read more of Jolene’s wisdom and humor go to


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