Australian Business Coaching Club Newsletter - Are You Just Being Paid for Your Sledgehammer

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Are You Just Being Paid for Your Sledgehammer?

A farmer had a tractor which he had been nursing along for years. It was becoming so unreliable that, if it was a horse he would have shot it long ago.

However, there are two characteristics of farmers. Thye tend to be very self sufficient and believe they can fix anything. Secondly, they hate paying for advice. (These two characteristics not being unrelated.)

The tractor had broken down again. This time all the usual tricks were not working on it. He had checked the battery. The plugs were OK. The starter motor also checked out. He was at a loss at what he should do.

He did not want to have to pay for a replacement. Even a reconditioned tractor would cost him about $20,000. Then his neighbour suggested he try this new mechanical specialist in town who claimed he could fix any piece of farm machinery, but his neighbour warned he was expensive.

Reluctantly, the farmer decided to give this bloke a try. He came out in a new ute. As he got out the farmer could see he was wearing a jacket and tie. Just another city slicker he thought. What a waste of time. At least he thought he could have some fun with him.

The specialist asked what was wrong with the tractor. The farmer said, “If you’re so good, figure it out yourself”. The specialist walked over to the tractor, and lifted the engine cover and stared at it for a minute. Then he got into the tractor’s seat and pulled a stethoscope out of his pocket, and placed it on the engine, and listened carefully to its dying noises as he turned over the engine.

He walked back to the farmer, who was laughing by now. The specialist said, “I will fix it for you for $500”.

The farmer said “That’s ridiculous”.

“OK”, said the specialist, “I will give you $15 for it and take it away as scrap”.

The farmer thought about it for a moment. He had nothing to lose, and if the guy couldn’t fix it, he would run him off the property and have a great story to tell down at the pub. “Alright, lets see how clever you are” the farmer said sarcastically.

The specialist went back to his ute, took off his jacket, undid his tie, rolled up his sleeves and pulled out a sledgehammer from the back of his truck.

He walked over to the tractor, listened again with his stethoscope as he turned over the engine, then got off the tractor and pulled a marker pen from his pocket and carefully marked a cross on the side of the engine. Then he picked up his sledgehammer, took a step back, carefully aimed at the cross, and took an almighty swing at the tractor hitting it right in the middle of the cross. The specialist then got back up on the tractor, turned the key, and this time the engine fired, and stayed humming beautifully as if it had come straight from the factory.

He then walked over to the farmer whose mouth was wide open with disbelief. The specialist then said bluntly, “You owe me $500.”

The farmer exclaimed, “$500 for that? You were only here for 10 minutes.” He thought a moment, “Can you itemise the cost?” he said desperately.

The specialist walked back to his truck, put the sledgehammer in the back, pulled out a pad from the glove box and wrote for a minute, then walked back to the farmer with the account and handed it to him. It said:

1. Using the sledgehammer to fix the tractor - $10.

2. Knowing where to hit the tractor - $490.

If you are only being paid for your sledgehammer, learn about 57 strategies on how to get paid on knowing where to hit the tractor.

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Dr Greg Chapman - The Business Brain Surgeon
The Australian Business Coaching Club