Once there was a king who wanted to bathe in a giant swimming pool of milk rather than water… He had heard it was great for your skin, but it was too large a task to do alone.
He first told some of his workers to dig a pond. Once the pond was dug, the king made an announcement to his people saying that one person from each household had to bring a glass of milk during the night and pour it into the pond. So, in his estimations, the pond should be full of milk by the morning.
After receiving the order, everyone went home. One man prepared to take the milk during the night but milk was very rare in this town and he wanted to keep it. He thought that since everyone would bring milk, he could just use a glass of water and pour it inside the pond instead. Surely, because it would be dark at night, no one would even notice. So he quickly went and poured the water in the pond and came back happy.
In the morning, the king came to visit the pond and to his anger, the pond was only filled with pure water! What happened was that everyone was thinking the same thoughts as the other man that “I don’t have to put the milk, someone else will do it.”
When it comes to business help, do not think that others will take care of it all for you. I’m not saying not to accept help where you can get it. Help is important, but remember that it starts with you. If you don’t do things for yourself or at least oversee them, no one else will do it and if they do, you can’t complain that they did it wrong because you used something or someone outside of yourself to make it work.
There are only so many experts, workers, software, systems etc. that you can use to get ahead, all that will come later when you are rolling in your fortune. Meanwhile, if you want quality, get your hands dirty, do the learning, do the work and feel genuinely rewarded from it. This will avoid mistakes caused by others, it will encourage you to take responsibility and it will give you a sense of achievement.
If you have many automatic processes working for you and they are performing well, that’s great. But if there is anywhere in your life that you can step in and say – “Can I do more here? What can I do today that I didn’t bother with yesterday? What extra mile of work can I put in just for now?” Then every day will have purpose and every moment will feel in your control.
Life and business is all about what YOU put into it, so be sure you are doing everything you can every single day to actualize your full potential. Yes, leverage the help of others along the way when needed to improve efficiency, but never fully rely on others. Your life is what you make it, so make it ALL that it can be!
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