One day while cleaning out my car, I was captivated by a peculiar looking adult tricycle parked next to one of the dumpsters by the car wash. It was handcrafted with two wheels in the back, one wheel up front, and a reclined seat in the middle that only rode about eight inches from the ground. As I curiously started walking towards the tricycle, I realized the owner was inside the dumpster.
“Is there something I can help you look for?” I asked.
He poked his head up from inside the dumpster and looked straight at me.
“Huh?” he replied.
I asked again, “what are you looking for?”
He pointed at two garbage bags full of aluminum cans next to his tricycle. I realized that he was working. Intrigued, I asked if he would be willing to answer a few questions about his work ethics. He agreed and jumped out of the dumpster for the unplanned interview. As the conversation progressed, I asked how old he was when he had his first job and this was his response.
“When I was about nine-years-old my best friend and next-door neighbor, Matt, had a brilliant idea to earn money. Matt and I did just about everything together and everything we did was either fun or dangerous, even if it wasn’t supposed to be.
One summer afternoon we negotiated with our parents to clean the rocks and debris out of the street gutters in exchange for a dollar. After we swept all the debris from the gutters into the road, we collected our money. Getting paid was such a wonderful feeling that we decided to expand our services to our neighbors. Matt and I knocked on his neighbor’s door and asked if we could clean his gutter for a dollar. Matt’s neighbor walked out to the street with us to ensure he needed our services. Standing and staring at his gravel filled gutter, he asked if we haul the debris away, or just sweep them into the road. Eager to please, we both agreed to haul it away. About three-fourths of the way through the job, Matt was called home for dinner and I finished up. While I dumped the last pile of debris into the garbage can, the homeowner came out to see the progress. Impressed, he pulled out his wallet and happily paid me a dollar fifty for a job done exceptionally well. I thanked him profusely and headed home.”
“By the next day, both Matt and I were on to something else. Most of the time it was harmless fun, but occasionally the urge to make money would overwhelm us and we would come up with some other way to make a buck. Whether we were playing together or working together, life was always exciting, only sometimes we were paid for it.”
I was astonished by the detail of his captivating response and how well it related to what I was trying to do. I thanked him for his time and raced to a notepad to write his story down. His story underlines the fact that when we designate energy toward productive tasks, it is called work, but work does not always make money. Money is just the most common commodity that we trade for our work.
In fact, work is the simplest way to convert our energy into money. It’s not the easiest way, but undeniably, work is the simplest method through which to obtain financial gain. This method is so simple; in fact, two nine-year-old boys with no experience did it. When energy is harnessed, money can be made in myriad of ways. We can make money ever second of every day, even while we sleep, if we choose the right paths.