“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 for what I could best determine was for no reason what so ever. Like many people who share my upbeat attitude toward life, I knew that 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. 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 71 now… and I am supposed to be much wiser.
I paused to identify the root cause of the squeak and soon 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 little “fix” not only solved my problem but took all of 57 seconds. (Ain’t growing old grand? 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 fall for this one in and of itself. This message is not about clothes dryers or blue and yellow cans of oil. This morning’s message is all about identifying the squeaky wheel and giving it some oil 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.) Solution: Eliminate the friction… early… fast…. like now!
Like me, your initial thought process might be that the noise, problem, snag, dilemma, or 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-fledge 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 manners. Your computer set-up. Your neighbors. Your children. And just about a million other places. But regardless of the source, all squeaks – before too long – require some focused attention.
I’ll cut to the chase. 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.
So for this week, 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.
And here is an idea for you whackos out there. 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. Trust me, by using this little reminder, you will begin 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.
Now, a little sage advice for you readers who make a habit of taking everything they read literally. The machine in the text above was an example. If your squeak happens to come from your children or perhaps a temporary misunderstanding with your boss or spouse, please do not attempt to fix your problem with WD-40.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.