What I Learned from Hiring a Plumber
I recently had to hire a plumber for a DIY job gone sideways. We had a leaky faucet in our bathtub that I had already made two attempts to fix on my own. After spending close to $100 in parts and crappy tools and spending at least 12 hours watching Youtube and doing it wrong, I finally relented and called a pro. He came in and did the job in less than two hours and charged me just under $300. I was happy to pay. As I spoke to my new friend, he shared with me that he had a Class C plumbing license from the state, which means that he can make up to $150,000 in profits as a solo entrepreneur. And while he hasn’t reached close to that number yet, he provided a good living for his family without sacrificing quality service by hiring other less-experienced plumbers.
Here are my takeaways as I pondered this transaction:
- Money is God’s Reward For Serving Your Fellow Man. One thing I have learned from Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s amazing podcast: financial transactions are spiritual events. Think of this: I walked away grateful because I have saved myself many hours of frustration and pain. My new plumber also walked away grateful because he has made a decent profit in a short amount of time, and multiplying similar jobs together means he can cover his time, materials, and expense and provide for his family. Neither of us feels that we lost anything, and both of us have gained value. In most cases, the wealthiest people and corporations in the world are also the ones who have improved the most lives. We tend to demonize large companies and CEOs. Think of how many movies you’ve seen where big business is the antagonist: Rekall of Total Recall, Cyberdyne of Terminator, Omni Consumer Products of RoboCop, RDA Corporation from Avatar, SPECTRE from James Bond, BiffCo from Back to the Future 2, or Tyrell Corporation of Blade Runner. In reality, if a company does become evil, it won’t be there for long unless they’ve got help from the government. People will choose to take their business elsewhere. The Top 10 companies in the world are Walmart, Amazon, Exxon Mobil, Apple, CVS Health, Berkshire Hathaway, UnitedHealth Group, McKesson, AT&T, and AmerisourceBergen. Think of how many hundreds of millions of lives are better off because of these corporations. Ask yourself if your life is better or worse because of Walmart, Amazon, and Apple. The answer is obvious. God rewards us when we improve others’ lives with little green certificates that bear the images of US presidents. If you want to enhance your money-making ability, you should contemplate more ways to improve the lives of others, whether your boss or your customers, and you’ll be surprised how people will be willing to pay healthy amounts for your services.
- Learning a Trade or Skill Is More Important than Formal Education If I could say one thing to every teenager today, it would be, DON’T GO TO COLLEGE, exempting professional trades like medicine, law, or engineering. Current statistics tell us that 41% of college students will either drop out or fail before achieving any degree. They begin their lives with a massive disheartening failure, then end up at the bottom rung of the ladder anyway. For those who do graduate, very few end up using their training in real life. What we can be sure of, whether those students graduate or not, is that they will come away with a mountain of crushing debt and indoctrination into the woke culture of the left. I can’t understand why Christian parents would ever want to send their bright-eyed students into the cultural lions’ den, filled with professors and administrators that hate you and everything about your way of life. Don’t be surprised little Johnny or Suzy comes home preaching the false gospel of critical race theory and gender fluidity. I hope you are happy paying the average $35K/year for private tuition to destroy your child’s faith and worldview. I am confident that my plumber friend never darkened the door of a university classroom. He is far better off as an entrepreneur, charting his own course and directly improving his customers’ lives. You’d be better off joining the military, attending a trade school to learn a particular skill like plumbing, HVAC, mechanics, or heavy equipment operation. Or to find an excellent pay-to-train position that ends up with a lifelong career like at Newport News Shipbuilding.
- A Solo Entrepreneur Is Always Preferred Over A Government Agency. When I was hiring this plumber, I have been desperately trying to gain the proper legal status for our church as an official non-profit organization. It’s so complicated that we had to hire a law firm and pay thousands of dollars to navigate the bureaucracy. It’s already taken nearly a year and still not complete. In contrast, I was able to call my plumber in the morning, have him arrive in the afternoon, and complete the job on the same day. AMAZING!
Today I don’t care how many letters you have behind your name, how much tuition you paid, how many books you’ve read, or how many tests you’ve completed. How many lives are you improving? I know one professional student who went to school so long that he eventually became a professor. He is utterly aloof and awkward, rejecting his Christian roots, indoctrinating his students in the modern religions of global climatism, wokeism, epicureanism, and humanism. He may think he is a high priest of his university, but actually, he is offering no tangible improvement to anyone.
About the sweaty workers that keep our economy humming. The plumbers, framers, masons, carpenters, electricians, glaziers, painters, welders, mechanics, and drivers make a great living while helping their fellow man.