Not every dollar is worth a dollar

Not every dollar is worth a dollar to you.

Some dollars are worth more to your business, and some are worth less because they come with unattractive direct or indirect costs to you.

In the late 90’s, I worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). It was a baller job for me back then, and it paid pretty well.

One of the “costs” of that job was that every time I taught a class, I needed to come in to work the weekend before the class and set up a lab computer for every person who was going to be in the class.

Back then, that meant booting every computer from 3.5″ floppy and either installing Windows NT from CDROM or from a disk image that Ghost downloaded from a Pentium II computer over an un-swtitched 10 megabit network. It was 6 hours or more of babysitting a process that would now all be handled with virtual machines and maybe 30 minutes of setup.

At first, this cost was attractive to me. I enjoyed the geeky, technical aspect of it, and the learning curve was really fun.

Over time, it became an unattractive cost to me. I wasn’t learning anything new, and it felt like low value work.

As you become a self-made expert, dollars that come with unattractive costs attached to them will become less valuable to you than other kinds of dollars. And as part of the virtuous cycle, dollars with costs you don’t mind bearing will become more accessible to you.