What my new dishwasher taught me about gratefulness and what truly matters in life.
We’re living in a sort of odd cultural moment where it’s cool to be an entrepreneur and it didn’t used to be that way. It actually used to be if you didn’t go ahead and complete high school, then go to college, and then right out of college get into this super crisp job environment that you can move up the ranks and then retire at 65 and buy an RV. If you didn’t go through that, then culturally you were kind of weird. People didn’t really understand you. It wasn’t cool. It wasn’t smart. You had to live up to a certain kind of ideal that people had in their minds. Again, it was a cultural thing.
These days we’re actually seeing quite a shift, just in the last 10 years or so. There has been an absolutely dramatic shift in the cultural landscape around this. Entrepreneurship has become a really celebrated thing and we’re still not totally there, but for the most part it’s become celebrated. Actually I think some people have taken it too far. They’ve celebrated it to the point of making it seem like a pipe dream to people, something that’s actually not real. In many places in America, you don’t even need to be making $100,000 per year in order to have a super nice life, especially if you’re good with money.
So much of what you see about entrepreneurship is about the millions of dollars that you make, etc., you guys know the story, Lamborghini’s, the beach, all that stuff. Is that stuff nice and is that stuff possible for people? Yeah, absolutely. But the dream of entrepreneurship, the freedom that it allows, is possible without that. It’s possible without having to have such extraordinary results so to speak. I just want to speak a little about the freedom of that.
Don’t get me wrong, as a full time entrepreneur, I work hard. I mean, I work arguably harder than I ever have, and yet at the same time there is a degree of freedom where I am allowed to do things because I say so. I just want to give you one quick example of this, just to get you thinking about this. If you’re not doing this, or not living this kind of life, something that you could look forward to, but then also if you are already doing this, something to reflect with me and be grateful for. Especially as a Christian, I am grateful to the Lord that I am allowed to live a life in which this kind of thing is possible. As simple and mundane as this might sound, I want you to really think about how much of a hardship this would’ve been if you were working a full-time job.
The other day we bought a new dishwasher. We were really excited about it. Our old dishwasher, if you saw this thing (now I know first world problems, at least we had a dishwasher, but we might as well have not had one). Seriously. It was really bad. This thing was all tore up and it was nasty inside. It was to the point that even if you cleaned it, it would just get nasty again in 1 cycle. So it was time for it to go. We were able to go ahead and get a new one purchased. We were really looking forward to it. We signed up for the delivery and everything and for them to hook it up and the whole deal. Well, they bring the dishwasher in and of course something goes wrong. It turns out that they couldn’t go ahead and set up the dishwasher because they didn’t bring a long enough water line. And they’re not actually allowed to swap it out even with a different one than the one they have. Basically, at that point what they had to do was simply drop it there. I had to go to the store and buy my own water line. They told me I either had to install it myself or get a plumber to do it and we will just refund you the money for the install. So that’s what happened. They refunded the money for the install and we ended up going to the store, buying the hose, and we spent the vast majority of the day installing the dishwasher. I got basically no work done that day. I think I did work a little bit that evening. But it took until 4:00 to get it all done because we had to get the old one out, and the people had tiled the old one in so it was really a lot harder than it should’ve been to get the old one out and the new one in, but we got it done. Plus, it really doesn’t help that I’m not much of a handyman, just being honest. But you know what, we had the freedom, I had the time. I was making the rules. I needed to take a day to help my wife get our new dishwasher installed and I did. We did.
And it’s that sort of freedom that is worth so much more than any dollar amount could even encapsulate. So if you’re with me on that, just be grateful that you’re in a situation where you can do that sort of thing. If you’re not in that situation yet, then honestly, I would really be thinking in your mind when you’re setting your goals and when you’re thinking about how to get to this point that that’s the goal. The goal is freedom. Yes, you need a certain amount of money to be able to live, but the money is nice and money can solve a lot of problems, but it can’t solve all of the problems. Freedom can solve a lot of other problems that money cannot solve.
I think of another situation real quick where my wife had gotten her eye hurt, and many trips back and forth to the doctor and to the eye surgery place, etc., I didn’t have to call off of work. I didn’t have to get anybody’s permission. We just did what we needed to do, and I molded the work around that. That’s huge. That freedom is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. So if you can make it financially, the freedom that you get from being an entrepreneur, especially if you’re learning how to put some boundaries around your time, will just make a gigantic difference in your life, like it did in mine.
God bless. We’ll talk to you guys in the next one.