Many years ago, I remember reading a story about a small village in Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “The Cashflow Quandrant.” In the story, the small village didn’t have water so they hired two different people to bring clean water into the village on a consistent basis.
The first person purchased two large buckets and would hike back and forth from the lake to the village several times a day bringing water to a tank located in the village. This process repeated itself each and every day with the person making numerous trips from the village to the lake and back again. Each time this person brought water to the village, they were compensated for their service.
The second person disappeared for many months and returned with a plan to build a pipeline from the lake to the village. They began to follow the steps outlined in their plan and built the pipeline for the next year, or two. Once the pipeline was finally completed, the village had water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This second person worked for several years to design and build this pipeline, but didn’t earn any money for this work. However, when the pipeline began to deliver water on an consistent basis, money began to flow into their hands on a consistent basis. Oddly enough, they never once hauled one bucket from the lake to the village.
This story still resonates with me because it highlights two different approaches someone can take in their lives.
One approach is to sell your time for money. Go to work and earn a paycheck. To make more money, you have to sell more time and work harder. The only way the first person could increase his or her income would be to carry extra buckets of water, or to make additional trips to the lake each day.
The other approach is to use your time and resources to build a pipeline designed to pump money into your bank accounts on a consistent basis. With this approach, you have to work without pay in the beginning but are rewarded after as money flows to you without significant effort once your pipeline is up and running. Sure, you’ll have to manage your pipeline and make repairs when the water stops flowing. However, this pipeline management is a great deal easier than hauling buckets each and every day. If this second person wanted to have more money, they would simply design and construct another pipeline. They wouldn’t go out and get a bucket.
Kiyosaki ended this little story suggesting we ask ourselves the following question about how we are using our precious time:
Am I hauling buckets, or am I building pipelines?
The good news is a pipeline can be many things.
A pipeline can be a business you own generating consistent income without your day-to-day labor.
A pipeline can be stocks you own providing dividend income on a consistent basis.
A pipeline can be rental real estate you own providing monthly rental income on a consistent basis.
So are you working on any new pipelines this month?