You Could Probably Make Much More

You are never stuck. You just choose what you are worth by the value you decide to give others. A little imagination and effort can probably make you much more in the way of money or reward. Consider this simple story for today.

Steven T. FLORIO Vice Chairman of Advance Magazine Group

One day, when I was about twelve, I was down in my carpenter grandfather’s basement workshop when he said, “You should start earning your own money. You clean up this wood shop and I’ll pay you what it’s worth.”

So I spent the next three hours making that place shine. I swept up all the wood shavings; I wiped down every piece of equipment and made it gleam. I stacked all the wood neatly.

Then I found my grandfather and we went back to the shop. He looked around for what seemed like a very long time. Then he nodded slowly and said, “Fantastic!”

You can imagine how proud I felt. Still nodding his approval, he reached into his pocket and handed me my wages—a quarter! Twenty-five cents.

A quarter?! I couldn’t believe it. Even in 1960 a quarter for three hours of work was nothing to an American kid.

He said, “I want you to learn something about the world.”

“In the real world, cleaning up is useful, but it’s not worth much. Anyone can do it. It’s worth, maybe, a quarter.”

“Now, if you had built something useful with these tools, a bookcase maybe—something that was functional—that would have been worth a bit more.”

“But if you had envisioned something new, something no one had ever thought of before, and if you had built that, pouring your heart and your soul into it, well, that would have been worth a lot of money. Remember that.”

And I have. To this day, I still carry that quarter.

It reminds me of the importance of envisioning and building something excellent, something that will last long after you are gone.

And that kind of vision and love of craft is not something you can get from most businesses. You certainly don’t get it from a business plan or a five-year projection. You get it from your heart. It’s got to be something you feel in your heart. That’s where it all begins.

Trump, Donald J.. Trump: The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Ever Received (Kindle Locations 831-847). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Can you consider doing something more and make yourself worth more? Too often the thing that is holding us back is our own determination and imagination.


Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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