My wife and I are getting ready for Christmas and this year, like every year, she has a list of projects she wants done. One of them is taking longer than I thought it would and as a result we are getting crunched for time. Everything has to be done by December 19th.
I’m pretty handy around the house and at fixing cars. I enjoy doing the work and learning about the different jobs. The only job I don’t really like is painting. I’m not that good at it and make a mess.
One of the chores was to paint our front room. It is 2 stories high and that means some of it will be done from a ladder. She persuaded me to get several quotes and hire a painter. (That was an interesting experience on its own; one person quoted over $1300.00, another said he would send a quote and didn’t and the third person is doing a great job at a very fair price.) The painter I hired gave me a quote and started the job Monday. He is doing a great job.
While he was working I was also working and something happened… I earned enough money to pay him for his work. As much as many of the things I do give me a sense of satisfaction and I like seeing the final results I finally understood the value of my time. Unless I really would enjoy the project and have lots of time to do it I am better off hiring a professional.
All these years I’ve prided myself on my ability to do my own repairs and household projects. I had the attitude of “Why pay someone when I can do it myself?” In many of those cases I was wrong. I should have hired a professional because the job gets done faster, better and with less stress than if I do it.
The value of my time is that I can earn more money from writing, working my Send Out Cards business and making sales than it will cost me to hire someone. An added bonus is that I am helping other entrepreneurs earn a living and I am sharing the proceeds from my work with others.
Learning this lesson also helped me understand the value of what I do. It also gave me another way to look at sales… “How much do I need to sell each day or week to pay for a project I want done?” For me, that is fun because even though I like money I am more motivated by what my money does than by having the money.
How do you value your time? What is your time worth?
I’ve had a problem staying in touch with people all my life.
When I was a child my family moved every three or four years and many of my school friends did as well. We were a military family and every year there were new faces in school and old faces missing. It was hard to build long term relationships.
I left home at 17 and joined the navy. I rotated through school and ships and postings every two years for 12 years. Not a great place to learn about developing long term relationships or deep friendships.
In my home life I was so used to moving that I moved every couple of years from one apartment to another.
The hard part about all the moving and work changes is I never stayed in touch with very many people. I never learned how and I am ashamed to admit I never worked at it.
My lifestyle, when I was younger, meant that I was very used to my own company and the casualness of friendship. In my ignorance, I was okay with that.
I’ve come to realize I was wrong and that I need to learn to stay in touch better.
I’m not big on social media because it overwhelms me. I go into Facebook and there are hundreds of postings to read from people I know and then Facebook adds dozens of suggestions. I enjoy reading about what is going on with my friends and family but never know what to say. I’m not very good at posting things because I lead a pretty basic life and don’t want to bore people. Hiring a painter was the highlight of my week. (Strangely enough, I use Facebook and Twitter to tell people when I’ve posted to my blog… hmm.)
To all the people I’ve met and been sort of friends with I’m sorry I didn’t do a better job of staying in touch and getting to know you. I’ve dropped so many good people and am ashamed of myself. I’m getting better at staying touch but learning new social habits and skills isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Stay in touch… there are people in your life today who you should stay in touch with. There are also people you should reduce your contact with.
To have a friend be a friend.
I was asked the other day how come I’m so grateful and how can I be grateful for so much (yes, even the guy who invented the furnace). It is actually pretty easy for me now. When I started it was much harder because I didn’t see how easy it is to be grateful and mean it. Send Out Cards taught me a lot about gratitude (and staying in touch).
I believe that if we express gratitude and mean it we will have more in our lives and will enjoy what we have even more.
How often do you express your gratitude for the things you have?
How often do you say thank you and mean it?
Some things that have come to mind for me this week are;
Snow tires. Thank you to all the people who put snow tires on your cars. The accidents you prevented will go unseen and the people who didn’t get hurt will never know what you did but you did the right thing.
The Go Train. Thank you to the Go Train. You carry my wonderful wife back and forth to work safely ever week. Yes, there are problems but they are minor compared to the safety of my wife and the other travellers.
Green Tea. Thank you to the people who discovered and produce green tea. I enjoy drinking my green tea while I am working.
Michael, the painter. You did a great job painting our front room. You did it fast and very affordably. I will recommend you to people I know and use your services again. (His contact info is on my referral page. http://www.danwrites.ca/the-referral-page.html
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay "in kind" somewhere else in life.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself: my work, and my God.
Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.
I’m thinking of a Gratitude Challenge in January. It’s a pretty simple challenge. Every day send a Thank You card to someone. You may think that you don’t know 31 people to say thank you to but that is part of the fun. The fact that the Gratitude Challenge follows Christmas makes it easier. Here is a tip… don’t be afraid to send a card to someone you haven’t seen for awhile but whom you should thank.
Thank you for taking the time to read, think about and share what I have written. Comments are always welcome.
With many thanks,