“What’s that sound? I didn’t notice it yesterday? There it goes again!”
These were my exact words a week or two back when my clothes dryer began squeaking. From what I could determine, it was making a weird noise for no reason that I could discern. Like many people who share my upbeat attitude toward life, I figured it would probably go away as fast as it came. I went back to living my life.
But when it started to make the same noise again the next day, I took notice with closer attention. Years ago I would have given the dryer at least two to three months to correct itself. Then, like most good husbands, I would have eventually gone out and replaced the unit.
But I am older today, and much wiser.
I paused to think about the root cause of the squeak and ascertained that there was an obvious fix for this unwelcome sound. I decided to squirt a little WD-40 (all-purpose oil) into the lower workings of the machine. VOILA! This “liquid gold” not only solved my problem, but took all of 57 seconds. A new question now surfaced: “Where would we all be without duct tape and WD-40?” I was at peace again while watching Sunday’s final three holes of the weekly PGA golf campaign.
But you are too smart to settle for a simple machine fixing cure-all. My message today is not about clothes dryers or blue and yellow cans of oil. Today’s message is all about paying attention to the “squeaky wheel,” and providing a remedy before it burns your motor out. (Squeaks are the result of metal rubbing on metal creating friction, which in turn creates heat, which in turn has all the ear-markings to ruin one’s weekend.) It is nothing more or less than a “sign” that something is not right. Solution: Eliminate the friction, early, fast, like now!
Like me, your initial thought process might be that the noise, problem, snag, dilemma, snafu will fix itself if just given a little time and space. WRONG-A- MUNDO!
The simple squeak is a sound that was invented to warn you of bigger things to come. Squeaks don’t just go away. They escalate into full-fledged bumps in the night.
Where will your “squeaks/friction” come from? Your employees? Your suppliers? Your prospects? Your clients? Your landlord? Your processes? Your marketing? Your customer relation practices? Your telephone conversations? Your computer set-up? Your neighbors? Your children? Or just about a million other places? But regardless of the source, all squeaks require some initial attention…some oil.
I’ll cut to the chase rather than beat this message to death. A little oil early in the “squeak” will not only fix most squeaks, but will save you many hours and many dollars down the road.
I want you to be on the alert for squeaks. Then grab your own can of WD-40 and fix the squeak as promptly and efficiently as you can. One squirt may not be enough. Go ahead, give it a few blasts. Oil is cheap. Replacing the unit is expensive. Early maintenance is usually a lot less expensive. Problems won’t go away by themselves and squeaks are a sign of potential problems.
And here is an idea for you. To remember this million-dollar message, I want you to cut out a picture of a clothes dryer and tape it somewhere you can see it throughout the day. Using this visible reminder will help you to hear your squeaks before you are faced with a burned out motor. Most problems DO come with a WARNING. It is up to us “smart” people to listen, hear and respond accordingly.
This week’s product of the week: WD-40.
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