$10,000 for a Hammer

One of my favorite stories about the explaining the value of bringing in someone who has been around the block a few times in terms of expertise and experience goes like this:

Knowing where to hit the machineOne day in a large factory with a long assembly line a critical piece of equipment suddenly stopped working. This one machine brought the factory’s entire assembly line to a complete halt.  Partially finished products were backed up all through the factory. The company that owned the factory was in a complete panic as they were losing tens of thousands of dollars for every minute that the factory was shut down.  The workers were nervous, as they didn’t know what to do or say to bring this machine back to life.  No amount of fiddling by the operators or floor engineers could get the machine fired up. No one on the factory floor knew how to get this critical component back online.

The managers and executives were in a frenzy and didn’t know what to do either.  They knew there had to be a way to get this resolved and online or they would lose an enormous amount of money.

The chief mechanic was called in and he insisted that there was only one expert who he knew could correct the problem quickly so the factory could be online making money again.  Needless to say, the expert was called in. When the expert arrived, he examined the halted machine from this angle and that angle, skillfully moving all around for about ten minutes.  He then went and removed a hammer from his toolbox.  He walked up to the machine and inspected one specific spot before he struck the machine once with the hammer.  A loud whack was heard throughout the factory floor.  Suddenly the machine came back to life and started running at full capacity. Goods started moving smoothly down the assembly line at full rate and the factory was back online.  The workers sighed a sigh of relief.  The corporate executives rejoiced.

The expert then presented the chief mechanic with a bill for $10,000. “This is outrageous!” the mechanic exclaimed “10,000 dollars to hit a machine with a hammer? You spent ten minutes here just to hit it with a hammer!!!! I’ll require an itemized bill for this!”

Hammer InvoiceThe expert pulled out an invoice sheet, wrote a few things down and then presented the chief mechanic with the following itemized invoice:

• Hitting machine with hammer $1.00

• Knowing where to hit machine $9,999.00

• Being Online and Making Money PRICELESS


Who do you have in your business or life to call upon to ensure that business flows?  Find a mentor that can create VALUE for you and your business.  It’s a PRICELESS opportunity to win!

Michael Hamburger

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