Sunday, January 9, 2022

Batteries, Bulbs, Blogs and Bucks

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

When the kids were little, we always made sure that we had plenty of batteries around the house during the holidays and birthdays. Because it was always a mood killer when one of the boys got a cool toy that they cannot use because the batteries were not included. Ah, but how many batteries should we stockpile?

Well, it was always more than five, but less than fifty. In other words, it was never imagined that we would EVER need more than FIFTY batteries in a single day.

And, hording batteries is not a good idea, because having MORE than you could ever need, does not give you an incremental peace of mind. MORE batteries in the junk drawer in the kitchen did not help anything. And, the money spent on hoarding batteries could be spent on something else, something more useful. And, batteries will slowly lose their power when sitting in the junk drawer. So the rule became: more than five, less than fifty. 

Similar but different rules for light bulbs. In our house, we don't have a major surplus of light bulbs in storage. In our house, we have normal light bulbs, low voltage bulbs, and some lights where they are fancy, high intensity floodlights. "Hey, the light is out in the master bedroom shower". Well if we don't have THAT BULB, we can take the bulb out of the guest bathroom, swap them out, and then put on the shopping list: light bulbs. Very low stress transaction. Now, the light bulb for the floodlight on the deck is expensive. And the package says lasts for 1,000+ hours guaranteed. And it is long, not round, so technically is it even a "bulb" at all? We never have spares for the deck floodlight. None. Damn, is it light bulb or lightbulb???

Spoiler Alert: you are currently reading my Sunday Blog. I was on a Seth Godin LinkedIn Live session yesterday, at noon - on Saturday. There was around 3,000+ attending LIVE. At noon. On a Saturday. But the recording of the session is now available. What is the difference between attending LIVE, vs. watching the archive? I predict that there is a small percentage of people who attended the LinkedIn LIVE yesterday (a Saturday) AND they will watch the archive of that LinkedIn LIVE AGAIN

I noticed that the New York Times just charged my card (again) $17 for my monthly access to their online subscription. I cannot remember the last time I actually used it. 

Then I started to think about money. You know, bucks. Is money more like batteries or light bulbs or blogs? Don't even get me started on podcasts. 

Money seems to be more like batteries. If you have MORE than you can possibly need or use, having EXCESS will not produce additional peace of mind. And, the time you spend acquiring the surplus could be spent on something more useful (your family, your health, your community). And, the surplus dollars will slowly lose their buying power while sitting in storage. The world needs more George Bailey, less Mr. Potter. 

OK, land the plane Tom...

It's all about time. Not money. Time is the only measure that matters. How much TIME it takes to run to the store (on a Christmas morning?) to buy batteries for the toys. Or to get the light bulbs for the bathroom or the deck floodlight. You cannot read two blogs at once. If you are reading THIS right now, you are NOT reading someone else's blog - right now. It's impossible. 

How many audio books do you have in your Audible library? How many blogs enter your inbox every day? How many subscriptions do you pay for, and then never use? 

Everything, everything, EVERYTHING is about Time Management. Not money management. Time. You can make more money, you cannot make more time. And Leadership is about Options Management. Good leaders help their people make the best possible decisions, on what and where to spend - their TIME. 

There is a cool Navy SEAL saying: "Two is one and one is none". In other words, have two knives, one is a backup. Have two guns, one is a backup. Have two of anything important, because if you only had ONE and lose that are toast. So, two is one and one is none makes good sense. But not twenty - just two. This idea simply emphasizes the importance of a backup plan. That having one of something is like having none at all and that having two of anything is the same as what you think having one is.

OH TOM! You can never have too much money! 

OK Google: how many hours are in 72 years (the average life expectancy) 

631,139 hours. That is how much time you have to make the money - to then - buy the batteries, the light bulbs, read the blogs or listen to those Audible books. And don't even get me started on listening to podcasts. You can always make more money, but you cannot (ever) make more time

Batteries, Bulbs, Blogs and Bucks: it's all really about time management. 

OK, see you right here next Sunday! Now, please excuse me while I go cancel that New York Times subscription. I can use that $17 to buy... well, not light bulbs. Or batteries. 

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