Once upon a time, in the middle of nowhere, sat a small village. Most of its inhabitants enjoyed their life, but the river wasn't very close, and getting the water they needed every day meant a walk to and back from the river.
The elders discussed the problem at length and agreed Something Had To Be Done. They would create a common water supply for everybody, and issued an open tender to provide water for the whole village.
Astonishingly, they received replies from two people rather than the one expected. More fierce discussion ensued, which bid would best solve the problem? The elders finally allowed wisdom to prevail. Both were accepted when they realized that each bidder would try harder to give better service with a competitor.
The First Bidder's Solution
The one supplier, Bernie Bucket, was very clear on what to do - buy two buckets.
He started filling them at the river and walking to and fro between the river and the village. In the village, he emptied the water from his pails into the holding tank built by the elders.
The second supplier, Pipeline Philip, just vanished.
This made Bernie the monopoly supplier for water. The villagers were definitely better off, yet on weekends and holidays, things weren't perfect once the water tank ran dry.
The Second Bidder Returns
Several months later, Pipeline Philip returned. Having create a comprehensive business plan, he'd found some investors, and brought a construction crew to install a pipeline between the village and the river. Once the crew had completed their work and the water started flowing, Bernie had some real competition.
Speaking at the pipeline completion ceremony, Philip enjoyed himself immensely.
Our water is always available - 24/7/365 - he stressed. That's 24 hours each day, 7 days each week, 365 days each year. He knew Bernie's water would sometimes run out by the end of the weekend and on holidays.
We filter all our water, he smiled, every drop is clean. He was keenly aware about one of Bernie Bucket's problems: mud and leaves fell into his buckets on the way back from the river.
And the best part comes last. Our water costs only thirty cents, he declared. He knew that Bernie had scored big by taking advantage of being the sole supplier. Bernie's water was three times the price of the water from Philip's pipeline.
The villagers then appreciated the real value of competition, they all cheered and clapped enthusiastically.
Bernie Bucket's Response
Bernie immediately realize he needed to make some changes, he would have to work harder with such stiff competition.
More work would solve his supply failures. He paid his teenage boys to work over the weekends and holidays so his water would never again run out
Cleaner water had become crucial, so he got lids for his water buckets
Improving productivity was also needed, so he purchased two more buckets, and a piece of wood for his shoulders to which he attached all four buckets
Bernie stopped walking and started rushing to and from the river. The extra buckets enabled him to carry extra water, so he slashed the cost to equal Pipeline Philip's thirty cents. His life had become far less comfortable, yet he still was able to make a living.
His life had become more dismal several years later. He was working seven days a week since his teenage boys had not returned after college. Despite his promises of a steady income, they seem remarkably uninterested in a guaranteed job for life!
Pipeline Philip's benefits
The regular flow of money was filling Philip's bank account, the success of his water pipeline was helping to make him wealthy. Let's do it again, he said to himself.
With a business plan fine-tuned for other villages, he made more pipeline proposals. Those that accepted make it easier for him to find investors for each new project. He bought steel pipes in quantity and his healthy cash flow eventually meant outside investors were needed no longer.
Although he made just a cent or so on his water, his business acumen and his pipelines gave his customers a continual stream of water much like the continual stream of hard cash much appreciated by his original investors.
The Moral of this Story
There's a moral to this story. Which are you doing?
Are you hauling buckets, or
Are you building a pipeline?
Then you need to answer these vital questions about your family's future:
If you stop putting in time, would your income along with your expenses continue unchanged? When would the cash flow also stop?
If you found yourself unable to work tomorrow, or just stopped working, what would you have to let go of? Where would you be living in a few years time? How significantly would the loss of income affect your standard of living?
If your answers don't inspire you, you urgently need some clarity. Do you realize that, "To make a change in my life, I need to change my life." So explore these even more important questions:
What would you prefer to be doing in the future?
Why are you continuing to do what you’re doing now?
How would you rather be earning income?
Rather discover how to achieve what you really want to achieve, and how natural law can bring you what you want as well as what you do not want. Are there any other issues that need attention? Do you realize that part of having what you want also includes having more time!
There are always consequences. If you spend most of your life working, when will you have the time to enjoy your family, your friends, your money, and yourself? Money without having the time to enjoy it can be a mixed blessing, one you probably would prefer to avoid.