Thursday, October 7, 2010

A shift in thinking

     "Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be Happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do in order to have what you want." ~ Margaret Young.  I liked that quote and the fact that Yahoo posted an article on creating your own job on FB this morning.  I liked those two things because they relate to this mornings blog.Remember that high school guidance counselor that said if I wanted to be a jeweler I would have to be a watch maker?  He was historically correct.  During the late 60's most jewelers had a background in watch making.  The shift from being a society based on agriculture to one based on manufacturing introduced a dependence on arriving to work on time. Trains ran on a schudule, Workers were paid by the hour. The question " Do you have the time? " began to mean,  Do you possess a machine that indicates the passing of time in a uniform and accurate manner"  To the farmer time was bigger,  seasons, months, sunrises and sunsets.     The industrial revolution introduced new words and concepts.  Punch a clock,  full time and part time,  tardy to mention a few. Minutes and seconds became important.  With all of the emphasis on time came machines to regulate it's passing,  Pocket watches, later  wrist watches, the Regulator on the wall, and the Grand farther clock, kept the time.  There were  people that made watches. All of the train stop towns across the country had a gentleman that repaired clocks and the portable ones.  He had the skills to make parts  needed.  The curious thing to note is that the keeping of time was accomplished through a mechanism known as an escapement.  Watchmakers work on very small machines. It takes a great deal of concentration to do that kind of work.  There was a constant demand for services.  Most of these watchmakers  were mom and pop shops.  He did the watch work,  she talked to the people.  The extent that he didn't have to talk to people during his day became a direct reflection on the quality of his work.  Other things happened they discovered that customers would buy jewelery while they were getting their time machine repaired.  There are a few famous businessmen that began as watchmakers.  J. C. Penny,  Sears and Roebuck all started as watchmakers.  It took me along time to realise that the reason these entrepreneurs succeeded as sellers of jewelry, perfume, electric shavers, diamonds and thousands of other things came from the watch makers bench. Their ability to invest in things they could sell came from the positive cash flow of the watchmakers bench!  I didn't have to be a watchmaker ( that's a good thing because the world doesn't need watchmakers anymore)  No, I needed the positive cash flow the work at bench produced!  That's statement represents a shift in thinking. The counselor could never understand. He got paid for showing up on time. He didn't create things.  I love making things.  People like the things I make.  Sometimes the things I make speak to people, we'll call that work my art.  A positive cash flow became another thing I could make.  In fact the better I got at making it the more time I could spend attempting to communicate.  Let's give that a while to sink in.  Want a much better understanding?  Read "Rich Dad Poor Dad"


  1. Yep. First you make sure you live a happy life, then you worry about how nice of a house to live in and if you can afford to eat out everyday.

  2. Absolutely spot on! The hours we live are more important than the stuff we have!

  3. What can we repair today that people will sit and wait for ? Should we put jewelry showcases in auto repair waiting areas ?