I think I’m going to teach my kids it’s all about value. It’s not about making money, but creating value. Do that and money will take care of itself. Value can be traded for things like money, but value is it’s own thing that does a lot more than money.
I write about construction. I built houses many days ago which families are still enjoying and deriving the value. A home is a valuable thing, no? I got paid for building those and evidence shows I blew that money long ago. I created lasting value for others to enjoy because I traded that value for money. Does that make me the fool?
Funny thing is I still have the skills I gained building those houses. If I needed money, I could put on a tool belt and do it again. Or I could use those skills gained and create that value for me. Know what’s really wild? I could build a house unlike anything I’ve ever built before just by taking those learned skills and applying them in a different way. What’s the point?
Drop me in the middle of the woods this morning and I’ll be sleeping comfortably tonight.
Now, construction is a great way to make money. But if that had been my motivation? I built apartments for a while and the focus there is schedule and budget. One of my favorite people from those days was a framing contractor who told me he knew how much he was going to make as soon as he signed the contract because all of his work was subbed out at a square foot price.
If you didn’t follow that, lets just say every job generates accounting numbers. Those numbers tell of many things and most folks are interested in profit and loss. That’s what superintendents track. It’s very easy for owners to focus on that and with reason. If I had gone into construction with the goal of making money, I would be very good at it and all my decisions would be motivated by profit. The difference?
I would have to hire someone to make me comfortable in the woods.
I simply cannot overemphasise how fundamentally life altering it is to know if you do not like your environment you have the power to change it.