Shortly after I completed my engineering degree in the UK, I had to go to work in a manufacturing facility in England to get “practical experience” as they called it. The technicians, many who’d been there for many years, had certain routines from which I picked up some real “life experiences and practices.”
It’s always amazing what important principles you can take away, even if you go on to do something completely different in life.
# Have pride in your tools.
Every technician had a “toolbox” which they looked after lovingly. It was almost like a “rite of passage.” At the end of each day, they’d boast to each other about the tools they’d managed to acquire, and what they were used for. They would clean their tools after the day was over.
Buying and investing in good quality tools was considered a technician’s personal responsibility, not the employer’s.
“I feed my children with them tools, don’ I?” one of them once explained in his colloquial English.
I would always lose my plastic pen. Then someone said, “You would not lose it, if you invested in a proper pen.”
“Wow,” I thought. “This is just like those old English technicians and their tools.”
That day, I went out and bought myself a nice set of pens. I immediately stopped losing pens!
Question: What are the “tools of your trade”?
Do you have your own computer? Everyone who runs a modern business, or works in a profession, should have a laptop.
A computer is not even a “tool”; it’s the “toolbox” in which most all the modern technological tools are kept.
Are you on the Internet? Do you have it in both your business and your home?
# If not, you better sell your car, if you have one, and walk, but you must have a computer and be on the Internet
# If you have a house, it would be far smarter in today’s world to have a smaller house with Internet, than a bigger house with no Internet.
# It would be far, far smarter to have a smaller car, or none at all, and be able to afford a computer and Internet for your business and family, than to have a luxury car or the like.
# Those who understand what I’m saying here are better positioned to make the career changes needed as a result of disruptive changes to the workplace, and the jobs we do.
Whatever work you do, or plan to do in the future, you have to upgrade your “toolbox” for the changing times ahead. I want you to be prepared. Remember what I wrote last week about your mindset? And the week before that, about imagining the horizon beyond today’s horizon?
As I’ve written you before, the “mobile revolution” has already given way to the “Internet revolution.” If the Internet were an ocean, then what you’re seeing today is just the shoreline. The Internet will even transform our villages. In the future, the village store and grinding mill will use the Internet, even to order and manage inventories. Even the village school will be changed by the Internet.
You will see it happen. Somewhere, somebody is already working to find a solution. Just five years ago, if I had said to you, “Villagers in the remotest parts of Africa will be able to receive money from anywhere in the world within five minutes or even less,” what would you have said?
You’re the ones called to make this kind of thing happen. It’s your time. Is your toolbox ready?
To be continued. . .