Seasons of change

Feb 12, 2018

At all times, there can and must be all four seasons within a person and a company – tilling, planting, toil, and harvest – to create growth.

The start of a new year always brings great optimism in our personal lives. But the same can also be said for our companies. Optimism is necessary. Who would leave their house in the morning if they knew it would all be bad all day?

Our pastor at church recently gave a sermon in which he discussed that every season is not a season of harvest. He explained that there are seasons of tilling the soil, planting seasons, seasons of toil, and only then, the seasons of harvest. On any given item in our personal and professional lives, every season is not a season of harvest. Sometimes we must clear the field, till it up, plant the next crop, and work the land to make sure it produces. The farmer calls that his work.

That much is a clear to any of us when we consider it conscientiously. The trick comes with understanding what season you intend to be in on any given item, and knowing what season you’re actually in, and being able to reconcile the two. At all times, there can and must be all four seasons within a person and a company to create growth. Unrelated items do not generally move in tandem; everything is not up all the time, but everything is also not down all the time (forgetting 2008, of course).

So when we turn the page to a new year, it’s easy for us to think that it’s time for a season of harvest. But we must look more closely and understand that it’s really a different picture. We all have parts of our operations that need attention, and perhaps some clearing of the land. We have other things that are ready to be planted or started, and others still that are really ready to produce a bumper crop.

As the leader of our company, it’s been a tremendous experience learning these lessons and many more firsthand since we started our firm nine years ago. There is a famous sentiment that suggests one can either succeed or learn, but need not fail.

Our firm had many successes in 2017, both internal achievements and the notice of external recognition. But we also learned many lessons in 2017 that will prove to be very valuable in 2018 and beyond. In some sense, this is the same as any year we’ve had. To continue the biblical undertone, “There is nothing new under the sun”.

We all know that this is a people business. I am filled with gratitude for our team members and my partners in the firm. Whatever 2018 holds for us, I’m thankful to be running our farm – I mean our firm – together.

After all, the farmer’s work is also ours.

Will Schnier is CEO of BIG RED DOG Engineering & Consulting. He can be reached at

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Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.