Maybe I was 11 or 12,
somewhere in there. My older brother would have been 13 or 14.
One day my mom went visiting. My brother, the gifted
one, wanted to see what made the cuckoo clock work.
So he took it off the wall and started taking it
apart. You know younger brothers, always got to follow the lead.
I went to the bedroom and got the alarm clock. A few
minutes later there were a 1001 clock pieces spread on the floor.
We learned how those kinds of clocks worked. The
re-assembly began. My brother hung the cuckoo on the wall about 15 minutes later.
I had put the big hand on the alarm clock's face.
Not only did he get the athletic ability, the looks,
the coordination, dang if he didn't get the "tinkerin" gift too.
It was when I was a kid I first uttered, "It
My Dad would always say, "No, life isn't fair,
but you can always go to one."
But even then, my older brother always bought back
the giant stuffed animals for winning the prize. I came home with some useless trinket I
"won" from some guy trying to guess my weight.
He was always 10 pounds over and he always would say
"Wow kid you look a lot fatter than that, I
guess I lose."
Then hand me some 10-cent piece of junk I had paid a
Anyhow, there I was with the guts of the clock
spread out on the floor. The ticking of the cuckoo had suddenly become extremely loud and
Not because anything was wrong with it, it ran
perfectly, but because I realized my mother would be home any minute.
My older brother had asked if I NEEDED help. I said
NO. He went outside to play. I suddenly had great regrets for trying to be so independent.
Mom came in. Stared. Said the words every kid hates
"Wait until your dad gets home."
I didn't have to wait long. He came through the door
as if on cue.
My mother explained to him what was going on. I
tried a feeble attempt at blaming my brother. But they looked at the cuckoo clock, and
then back at the 1002 parts on the floor.
Yea, it seemed I had picked up an extra piece or
My dad was a quiet man. Didn't yell. Always kept his
cool, was in control.
He said; "You've got one hour to put it back
together and it had better be working, or YOU will buy us a new one. They cost
Then looked at his watch, looked at the cuckoo and
grinned and walked away.
I was paid 25 cents a week to clean my dad's
Every night I would walk across the parking lot,
sweep the floors, clean the mirrors, fill up the shaving cream dispensers, straighten up
and mop and wax the floor.
It took about 90 minutes. I was paid a quarter, a
WEEK, in case that escaped you the first time.
Now the upside to the work was I got to watch the
shop's color TV (we still had black and white at home) while pumping up the barber's chair
and sneaking the Playboy's from out of the back room.
$2.50 would be TEN weeks of work. I ran out the back
door yelling for my brother.
I explained my dilemma. A grin came over his face,
you know the kind, but I'll clean it up and call it a "smirk".
"OK, but it will cost you a quarter."
Math was never my strong suit, but even I knew a
quarter was less than $2.50. About nine weeks less.
I agreed. By the time I was able to shake a quarter
out of my cheap pink piggy bank (which I had won at the fair, by the way) my brother had
the clock back together and working.
Like I've said before, when it comes to the family
talents, I got squat.
But I begrudgingly gave him his quarter and we went
to find dad. I showed him the clock.
He looked at me. Looked at the clock. Looked at my
Looked back at the clock, and then at me and asked;
"How much did it cost you?"
"A quarter", I replied.
"Beats spending two fifty don't it? I hope
you've learned your lesson. You boys get ready for dinner."
I heard him chuckling as we left. My brother mocked
"I hope you've learned you lesson, I hope
you've learned your lesson," while tossing the quarter into the air right in front of
I kept thinking about which lesson I was supposed to
Maybe the lesson was, don't worry about how things
work, it doesn't matter.
NOPE, I'm just as curious now as I was 40 years ago.
I still want to know how things work.
Maybe the lesson was, don't take things apart you
don't know how to put back together.
NOPE, I have a garage, basement, attic, and storage
shed filled with projects I'm going to re-assemble one of these days.
I can still take things apart with the best of them.
Then it dawned on me. The lesson.
The lesson I learned was this: it was better to
spend a quarter getting someone to do it for you than it was to spend 10 weeks doing it
YEP. That lesson. The one I learned that cuckoo kind
of a day, a long, long time ago.
It is my opinion that it is better to hire people to
do work that would take too much of your time to do by yourself.
Another way: your time is more valuable than your
How about a real life example? Sure.
My brother grew up to become a very good auto
mechanic, very good with his hands, he builds machines for a living. Complicated machines
I don't understand.
About the only thing I can do well with my hands is
swing a golf club, well, at least putt.
One time my brother spent 3 days pulling an engine
out of a car and fixing it. Something about a rod, or piston, or one of those parts that
do whatever in a car. It would have cost him about $500.00 to have it fixed.
He spent a weekend and a vacation day and got the
job done. In my brother's mind he saved himself 500 bucks.
That is how he thinks. Nothing wrong with that, just
different from how I do.
He fixed this car during my OFF-KEY SINGING TELEGRAM
SERVICE days. You can read about that at the 50 cent ad post on the home page.
I was making a thousand dollars a day delivering the
most God-awful but hilarious singing telegrams throughout Northeast Ohio.
Even if I knew what to do.
Even if I had the tools and the inclination.
Even if I knew where the motor was located...
If I had spent the same three days fixing my own
car, it would have COST me almost $2,500.00
I would have lost the income.
It is all perspective. My brother saved 500. I would
have lost five times that.
It all goes back to that cuckoo clock. And it shapes
my decisions today.
In the SQUARE ONE WORKSHOPS I teach this concept.
There are many people in poor financial shape. Some
in great credit card debt, a self-created hell, so to speak.
The common advice is to
Try to negotiate a settlement
Consumer Credit Counseling
Borrowing from "Peter to pay Paul"
Call your creditors, beg them, plead with them, and threaten them with bankruptcy
Go deeper in debt
My advice is different.
MAKE MORE MONEY.
And how you do that is to use your time to maximize
Not to fix things around the house.
Not to putter on your car.
Not to read all the forums.
Not to join every affiliate program and hope...
But to use your time and get maximum monetary return
on your time investment.
I'd like to elaborate. I know this is a long post,
but maybe just one person can learn something from it. OK?
Spend your time with the activity that is going to
make you the most money.
In BYBA, I mentioned Monique Harris, who came out
on-line a few years ago and today is making executive income and sharing the stage with
the some of the biggest names in marketing.
And I compared her to Lady A. The fact is Lady A
could be Mr. C, D or F...there are a lot of Lady A's.
There are scores of people who over the last few
years have spent thousands of dollars with different programs, on all kinds of get rich
quick schemes, and the more desperate a person gets, the QUICKER they want to score the
And the more likely the are to fall for scam after
scheme after flukes.
Because they are more emotionally susceptible to it.
Those of you that have read REMOTE HYPNOSIS can now understand this. And why certain types
of HYPE can make people part with their money so easily.
They WANT it to be as good as it sounds (the opportunity) but know inside their minds and
hearts the truth of the saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably
Personally, I'd leave out the probably in that last
Want to make more money?
Put more value on your time. FOCUS your time on the
activity that is going to be the most productive for your goals.
Don't know yet what those are?
Friend, you really need SQUARE ONE WORKSHOPS, but
I'll continue this post sometime next week. Stop back, you won't be disappointed.
Now, I've got to go fix that leaky toilet. Or call