Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness – great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy. – Jim Rohn
I was thinking about one of the things that Jay Abraham talks about every once in a while in his podcasts.
Highest and best use theory.
So, what does that mean?
Well, if you check out Wikipedia it has to do with figuring out what the value of something should be rather than what it is.
In the case of property, real estate, the value of it depends on the best use it can be put to rather than what it’s being used for now.
But of course, there are constraints.
Let’s take the example of a farmer’s field on the outskirts of a city – one that is growing.
The chances are that the farmer is using the land for pasture or growing crops – but the highest return will come if houses were built on it instead.
Unless the land is on a flood plain and houses built there will regularly get flooded and ruined.
Or unless the land is in a green belt zone and no new buildings are allowed in the area.
Or unless the soil is so soft and sandy that it will be far too expensive to put in the foundations you need.
In a more formal way – the ability to achieve the highest and best use value depends on four main things – whether you can do it legally, whether you can do it physically and whether you can do it financially AND if it’s the highest return option.
Now, it’s worth seeing if this highest and best use theory can be used to decide how you’re going to spend your time every day.
In some situations the more time you spend the bigger the result you get.
If you get a balloon and spend a minute blowing it up, you’ll get a small balloon.
If you spend a lot more time and assuming the thing doesn’t burst, you’ll get a bigger one.
There are many tasks where to get a bigger return you have to put in more resources.
And your time is a resource – which leads many people to believe that the more time they spend on the job the bigger the reward.
The harder you work the better your return.
But there is another school of thought that holds that it takes about the same amount of time and effort to do something small as it does to do something big.
For example, if you spend your time labouring for $10 an hour and your lawyer sister bills herself at $400 an hour, how do you compare the effort that goes into both activities?
Well, you don’t really. Both tasks need doing and the amount paid for them depends on the market for those services.
There are lots of people willing to work as labourers while there are few people allowed to work as lawyers and supply and demand ends up setting the price.
The same person who is labouring right now could end up learning everything about the real estate business and in ten years end up owning their own building company and making in a day what the lawyer makes in a year.
You just don’t know what is going to work out.
So, what should you keep in mind about how you spend your time.
My feeling is that the first test you should have is whether you’re learning something new every day.
With whatever you’re doing, are you stretching yourself, trying new things, understanding more about your business.
Do you just do the same thing day after day or do you learn more day after day.
And then the next test is whether you are at a stage when you can teach what you’ve learned.
If you can teach, then you can start a business or grow a business – because the point of being in charge is not to order and shout and bully but to teach and coach and develop people.
And throughout life maybe you can do both.
The thing that make humans special is our brains – the ability that gives us.
And the highest and best use of our brains is to do two things in our lives – learn and teach.
If you do that it’s hard to see how you could ever be dissatisfied with the life you live.
p.s. As it’s Sunday, today’s paper is about The art of learning.