Is your poop heavier than your wallet?

I love my job.  I love my current employer.

But there was a time when I had a job I didn’t like.  I let it be known to some close friends and family, and received some advice from a friend (and former manager of mine) who I greatly respect.  He has a simple way of stating things.  He also has a colorful way of saying things, so I’ve cleaned it up a bit.

He said it something like this:

“You’ve got a bucket of money in one hand.  And a bucket of manure in the other.

As long as the money bucket is heavier than the manure bucket, you stay.

When the manure bucket gets heavier than the money bucket, you leave.”

He was right.  I was putting up with a lot of poo.  It was heavy at times, but the money bucket was still the winner in my situation.  I could have jumped ship and traded both buckets for new buckets.  The money bucket would have been smaller.  And the manure bucket may have been smaller.   I could have just dropped both buckets and ran, but that would have been a nasty mess.  I stayed the course.


Fast forward a couple of years and everything worked itself out nicely.  My perspective had a lot to do with it.

If you’re in a tough job situation, it can seem complicated and can perhaps even seem like you’re in something that you can’t get out of.  You’re not.  Simplify the decision by using the 2 bucket method.  You might find that you can put up with a lot of [stuff] as long as the payoff is good enough.  Or it may become abundantly clear that it’s just not worth it.  In that case, look for a better money to manure ratio.

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