The following is based on a true story. The study this account describes was done back in the days of overcrowded classrooms. It describes elementary school age youth, and I was a kid myself when I heard this report. That means it was done “a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”. Here is the story followed by it’s life lesson for manufactured housing professionals.
A classroom of some forty children was given a bag full of candy. They couldn’t open the candy up until the teacher and the study leader gave them the okay. With great anticipation, back in the day when a bag full of candy was not so common and thus quite a treat, the children awaited their instructions.
‘Class, we are going to make each of you a deal. You have sitting on your desk a bag full of candy. You can have that candy today if you wish. Or, if you agree to skip the candy today, and wait until tomorrow at this same time, we will give you two bags full of candy instead of the one sitting in front of you.’ The students were asked if they understood the instructions and the offer. One bag today, right now, or a second bag full if they waited until tomorrow.
What did they do?
Two of the forty some children went for the one day delay to get the second bag of candy. Two out of forty, or roughly 5% of the class. The others went for less, happy to accept what was in front of them rather than get double the result. Now to a child, tomorrow may seem like a long time off. But how often do we adults do similarly?
The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
~ Thomas Merton
A professional friend of mine reminded me this past weekend about a Ross Perot vintage bit of wisdom. It went something like this, ‘Too many corporations are thinking ten minutes to ten days ahead, instead of planning ten years ahead.’
Back in 1998 manufactured housing sales reached over 372,000 shipments nationally. In some parts of the country, manufactured housing sales reached 1/3 of all new housing starts. Things had never been better in decades for the Industry. Too many businesses took the ten minutes to ten days ahead approach. Too many failed to look ahead at the consequences of ‘burning a lender’ in one form or another, too many lenders (knowing what was going on) turned a blind eye to common sense, and too many customers were given less than stellar treatment. We could have owned the future of housing then. But instead of planning ten years ahead and doubling the manufactured housing business again, too many took the bag of candy sitting in front of them…
Are you ready to double your business? Get involved in the various calls to action by MHI and MHARR reported on the Industry Voices Guest Blog. Invest in yourself, your firm’s image, marketing and people daily. Do what is right today, and every day. Don’t give yourself an excuse, or wait for someone else to do it for you. Then you’ll end up having two bags of candy on your desk tomorrow. # #
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management
(Outsourcing, Consulting, Coaching & Publishing)
email@example.com – 847-730-3692, cell 832-689-1729