A few weekends back, I spent the weekend with my wife, kids and grandparents. I enjoy talking with my granddaddy as he usually asks how things are going with work. This time, when he asked about work, I took the opportunity to ask him what he thought I could do to make a BIG impact. In his usual fashion, he responded by telling a story with a moral, rather than giving me a straight answer.
Granddaddy’s story was about creating breakthrough moments. He told me how he remembered a one-man machine shop with a reputation for getting the results of much larger shops in the area. At that time, independent shops were cutting pipe for larger ammunition factories. Granddaddy had been able to arrange a tour of this little shop, and while there he asked the lone machinist, “How are you able cut so much more pipe than everyone else?”
The old man’s response will blow your mind. One day, while watching his machine, he had a breakthrough moment. The machinist realized that if he simply reversed the order his machine was making its two cuts, then there would be no wasted pipe and twice as many finished pipes would be produced. Sure, he had to shut the shop down for a few days to make the necessary changes, but it was all worth it when he doubled production.
I firmly believe that tomorrow’s answers are staring us in the face today. Many of us know this intuitively, but often our meticulous minds get the best of us. We end up questioning ourselves into analysis paralysis instead of actually putting great ideas into action. We find ourselves asking:
- Do I actually have the time to fix this?
- Can it really be this easy?
- What if this idea doesn’t work?
If that machinist had been stuck on these questions, he would still be watching a painfully slow machine cutting half as many pipes. Like the machinist, we need to look at the big picture questions like these:
- Do I have time to be complacent?
- Can I afford to keep doing what I am doing?
- Am I wasting time on work that could be improved or (gasp) eliminated?
- Am I making this more difficult than it has to be?
- What if…?
Forward thinking is about asking these kinds of questions, and it is another blessing of being at HORNE—we take the time to consider the future. So, ask yourself these questions, and if you see something, speak up! It could be your own breakthrough moment!
About the Author
Nick Reiber is a wealth advisor at HORNE Wealth Advisors. With an eye for the future, he brings energy and insights that make his team and his clients better every day.