I was watching a program on television with my son called Escape from Scorpion Island. It’s a survivor type of program but for kids. The children were divided into two teams and had a challenge to take. The teams had every right to be motivated to win the challenge because the prize was to be set free from the island.
Here’s what the challenge was: Fill up a long skinny pipe with water from the sea using the buckets that were provided to them. At the bottom of the pipe was a key attached to some sort of float. The sooner they filled the pipe with water, the sooner they could grab the key to open the treasure chest.
On every survivor show there are always plenty of obstacles. The obstacle was that the buckets had holes in them.
While the kids brought water back from the sea, water escaped from the holes. Very little water remained in the buckets by the time they reached the pipe.
The kids tried different strategies to keep the water inside the bucket. They used their t-shirt and tried to plug the holes with the shirt. That was a disaster. Soon they just tried to work as fast as possible to try to minimize the time that the water dripped out of the bucket. The kids were very tired by the end.
What a great analogy this story is for business owners. A business will go to the sea of sales with a bucket that has holes in it and try to bring the water back to fill their bank account.
But when the business notices that the sales didn’t put much money into the bank, they will go back and get more and more sales to try to fill their bank account. What they end up discovering is that they are very tired and have very little to show for the work they’ve done.