The power of perspective

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I spent much of the day mowing grass with my son, teaching him how to become a pro with weed eater.  We mowed our house as well as our warehouse.  I don’t hire people to mow my grass for a few reasons such as 1) I am cheap, 2) It is good exercise, 3) It is good for the kids to work and see me work, and 4) It reminds me of my past.

Mowing grass is something I know a lot about because when I graduated from college with a fancy degree in the mid 1990’s, I was only able to get a job paying $6.50/hour to cut grass in 90+ degree weather in Huntsville, AL.  And that is what I did until EDS (a software company owned by Ross Perot) was kind enough to take a chance on me.  Fortunately, I have never had to cut grass for a living since.  I hope I never have to in the future, but I also know it is possible.

During a break today, I told my son about my past and about how today, those past decisions seem very silly to me.  Because I was unwilling to own my own business, I gave up almost all the profit.  One person and I could cut a typical yard in 30 minutes.  If the boss cleared $30 for the cut, he pocketed about $24 and we made $3 each.

Would you believe that it never occurred to me that I should go out and start my own lawn care business?  I can’t…  If I was in that position today, even if I had no money, I would find a few hundred dollars to buy my own equipment and pocket the entire $30 for a 30 minute cut.  I would also have a goal to buy better equipment and get multiple crews going.

The reason I thought differently back then is complex but it came down to conditioning that had shaped my perspective.  I am not saying my perspective was wrong back then or my perspective today is better, but there is definitely a difference. I am glad it changed and thankful for key people who helped me change it.

Perspective is a powerful thing.  It can shape your life for the better or the worse.  It can unlock doors or keep you in a cage.  It can blind you to truth.  Be wary.

Greg Howlett

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