by Burke Hedges
Once upon a time long, long ago, two ambitious young cousins named Pablo and
Bruno lived side by side in a small Italian village.
The young men were best buddies, and big dreamers.
They would talk endlessly about how someday, someway, they would become
the richest men in the village. They were both bright and hard working. All they
needed was an opportunity.
One day that opportunity arrived. The village decided to hire two men to carry
water from a nearby river to a cistern in the town square. The job went to Pablo
Each man grabbed two buckets and headed to the river. By the end of the day,
they had filled the town cistern to the brim. The village elder paid them one
penny for each bucket of water.
"This is our dream come true! "shouted Bruno. "I can't believe our good fortune."
But Pablo wasn't so sure.
His back ached and his hands were blistered from carrying the heavy buckets. He
dreaded getting up and going to work the next morning. He vowed to think of a
better way to get the water from the river to the village.
Pablo The Pipeline Man:
"Bruno, I have a plan," Pablo said the next morning as they grabbed their
buckets and headed for the river. "Instead of lugging buckets back and forth for
pennies a day, let's build a pipeline from the village to the river."
Bruno stopped dead in his tracks.
"A pipeline! Whoever heard of such a thing?" Bruno shouted. "We've got a great
job, Pablo. I can carry 100 buckets a day. At a penny a bucket that's a dollar a
day! I'm rich!. By the end of the week, I can buy a new pair of shoes. By the end
of the month a cow. By the end of six months I can buy a new hut. We have the
best job in town. We have weekends
off and two weeks paid vacation every year. We're set for life! Get out of here
with your pipeline."
But Pablo was not easily discouraged. He patiently explained the pipeline plan to
his best friend. Pablo would work part of the day carrying buckets, and part of
the day and weekends building his pipeline.
He knew it would be hard work digging a ditch in the rocky soil. Because he was
paid by the bucket he knew his income would drop. He also knew it might take a
year or two before his pipeline would pay off. But Pablo believed in his dream and
he went to work.
Bruno and the rest of the villagers began mocking Pablo, calling him "Pablo The
Pipeline Man." Bruno, who was earning almost twice the money as Pablo,
flaunted his new purchases. He bought a donkey outfitted with a new leather
saddle, which he kept parked outside his new two-story hut. He bought flashy
clothes and fancy meals at the inn. The villagers called him Mr. Bruno, and they
cheered when he bought rounds at the tavern and
laughed loudly at his jokes.
Small Actions Equal Big Results:
While Bruno lay in his hammock on evenings and weekends, Pablo kept digging
his pipeline. The first few months Pablo didn't have much to show for his efforts.
The work was hard, even harder than Bruno's because Pablo was working
evenings and weekends too.
But Pablo kept reminding himself that tommorrow's dreams are built on today’s
sacrifices. Day by day he dug, inch by inch.
Inches turned into one foot........... then ten feet............ then 20............. then
"Short-term pain equals long-term gain," he reminded himself as he stumbled
into his hut after another exuasting day's work. "In time my reward will exceed
my efforts," he thought.
"Keep your eyes on the prize," he kept thinking as he drifted off to sleep with the
sounds of laughter from the village tavern in the background.
The Tables Are Turned:
Days turned into months.One day Pablo realized his pipeline was half-way
finished, which meant he only had to walk half as far to fill his buckets! Pablo
used the extra time to work on his pipeline.
Durring his rest breaks, Pablo watched his old friend Bruno lug buckets. Bruno's
shoulders were more stooped than ever. He was hunched in pain, his steps
slowed by the daily grind. Bruno was angry and sullen, resenting the fact that he
was doomed to carry buckets, day in, day out, for the rest of his life.
He began to spend less time in his hammock and more time in the tavern. When
the tavern's patrons saw Bruno coming they'd whisper, "Here comes Bruno the
Bucket Man, " and they giggle when the town drunk mimicked Bruno's stooped
posture and shuffling gait. Bruno didn't buy rounds or tell jokes anymore,
preferring to sit alone in a dark corner
surrounded by empty bottles.
Finally Pablo's big day arrived, his pipeline was complete! The villagers crowded
around as the water gushed from the pipeline into the village cistern! Now that
the village had a steady supply of fresh water, people from around the
countryside moved into the village and the village prospered.
Once the pipeline was complete, Pablo didn't have to carry buckets anymore. The
water flowed whether he worked or not. It flowed while he ate. It flowed while he
slept. It flowed on weekends while he played. The more the water flowed into the
village, the more money flowed into Pablo's pockets!
Pablo the Pipeline Man became known as Pablo the Miracle Maker. But Pablo
understood what he did wasn't a miracle. It was merely the first stage of a big,
big dream. You see, Pablo had bigger plans. Pablo planned on building pipelines
all over the world!.
Recruiting His Friend To Help:
The pipeline drove "Bruno The Bucket Man" out of business, and it pained Pablo
to see his old friend begging for drinks at the tavern. So, Pablo arranged a
meeting with his old friend.
"Bruno, I've come here to ask you for your help." Bruno straightened his stooped
shoulders, and his dark eyes narrowed to a squint. "Don't mock me," Bruno
"I haven't come here to gloat," said Pablo. "I've come here to offer you a great
business opportunity. It took me more than two years before my first pipeline
was complete. But I've learned a lot during those two years. I know what tools to
use now, and where to dig. I know where to lay the pipe. I kept notes as I went
along so now I have a system that
will allow me to build another pipeline in less time........... then another...........
I could build a pipeline a year by myself, but what I plan on doing is teach you
how to build a pipeline, then have you teach others and have them teach others.
"Just think, we could make a small percentage of every gallon of water that goes
through those pipelines."
Bruno finally saw the big picture. They shook hands and hugged like old friends.
Pipeline Dreams In A Bucket-Carrying World:
Years passed. Their world pipelines were pumping millions of dollars into their
bank accounts. Sometimes on their trips through the countryside, Pablo and
Bruno would pass villagers from other villages carrying buckets.
The friends would pull over and tell them their story and offer to help them build
a pipeline. But sadly, most bucket carriers would hastily dismiss the notion.
"I don't have the time."
"My friend told me he knew a friend who's uncle's best friend tried to build a
pipeline and failed."
"Only the ones who get in early make money on a pipeline."
"I've carried buckets my whole life, I'll stick to what I know."
"I know people who lost money in a pipeline scam."
Both men resigned themselves to the fact they lived in a world with a bucket-
carrying mentality............. and only a very small percentage of people would
ever see the vision.
End Of Story
WE LIVE IN A BUCKET-CARRYING WORLD
Who are you? A bucket-carrier............ or a pipeline builder? Do you get paid only
when you how up for work like Bruno the Bucket Carrier?
Or do you do the work once and get paid over and over again like Pablo the
If you're like most people, you're working the bucket-carrying plan. It's the timefor-
The problem with bucket carrying is that the money stops when the bucketcarrying
stops. Which means the concept of a "secure job" or "dream job" is an
illusion. The inherent danger of carrying buckets is that the income is temporary
instead of ongoing.
If Bruno woke up one morning with a stiff back and couldn't get out of bed, how
much money would he earn that day? ZERO! No Work-No Money!
The same goes for any bucket-carrying job. Once bucket-carriers stop carry
buckets for any reason, they won't continue to get a paycheck.
Real-Life True Story:
My previous dentist was the best dentist I ever had. A complete professional.
Great personality. Great technician. Every visit was virtually pain-free. She loved
what she did and set her own hours. She was only open three days a week so
she could spend four-day weekends with her family.
She pulled down more than $100,000 a year working three days a week at a job
she loved. This was a bucket-carriers dream job if there ever was one!
One problem. Before the age of 40 she developed arthritis in her hands and
couldn't work anymore. Today she teaches at a university earning one-third the
income she earned as a dentist.
There's no such thing as a secure bucket-carrying job no matter how great it
The problem with the time-for-money trap is that if you can no longer trade-thetime,
you no longer get the money!
Most people mistake bucket-carrying for pipeline building. We observe 99% of
the people in the world are carrying buckets, so we assume bucket carrying is
the way to get what we want in life.
We grow up surrounded by bucket-carriers, so we figure that's the way-of-the-
world. It reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw recently: 100,000 lemmings can't
People think the same way about bucket-carriers. 100 million bucket-carriers
can't be wrong. Well yes they can!.
Let's face it. there are a lot more bucket-carriers in this world than pipeline
Because bucket-carrying is the model that our parents followed and the one that
they taught us to follow. The bucket-carrying model tells you here's what you do
to get ahead:
Go to school and learn how to carry buckets.
Work really hard.
Earn the right to carry bigger buckets. (get promoted)
Resign from "Bucket Company A" to work for "Bucket Company B" which lets you
carry even bigger buckets.
Work longer hours so you can carry more buckets.
Put the kids through bucket-carrying college.
Try to get promoted from carrying metal buckets....... to carrying plastic
buckets............ to carrying digital buckets.
Dream of the day you can retire from bucket carrying after 30-40 years.
Until then, keep carrying those buckets....................... or, the bucket-carriers
dream comes true. You hit the big lottery! (the odds are 1 in about 14-15 million
against them, but hey most all bucket carriers think it could happen to them,
so........... until then, keep carrying those buckets)
What do all those bucket-carriers earn for their efforts?
Surprisingly little. According to Parade magazine's "What People Earn" survey,
the average worker in America earns $28,500 a year. Subtract almost 20% for
taxes, and that leaves $22,500 take-homepay.
Let's face it, that's not enough for most people to live on.
What do bucket-carriers do when they need more money?
Because they have a bucket-carrying mentality, they come up with a bucketcarrying
solution............ if you need more money you've got to carry more
"i'll get a second job carrying buckets in the evenings and on weekends," Daddy
Bucket Carrier decides.
"I can go back to the bucket-carrying job I had before the kids were born,"
Mommy Bucket Carrier says.
"The kids can get bucket-carrying jobs after school and in the summer," they
Today North Americans work the longest hours in the world. Yes, even more than
the work-obsessed Japanese. Is the earn-more-money-by-carrying-more-buckets
No. Here are the facts.
Consumer debt is at a record high. The average household has 95 cents worth of
debt for every dollar earned.
The proportion of women working to support their families more than doubled
over the past 20 years.
More people are taking second and third mortgages on their single biggest
asset............ their homes............. to pay the bills.
Hello! What's wrong with this picture?
It's the fallacy of carrying bigger buckets. Bucket carriers tell themselves
everything would be okay if they could just carry bigger buckets.
Bucket carriers are forever wondering how much money other bucket carriers
earn. True, the doctors bucket is a lot bigger than the cook's bucket.............
about ten times bigger! But that doesn't mean the doctor is financially
independent. He's just as dependent on his bucket carrying job as the cook.
They spend more! Truth is, the doctors and lawyers making six-figures are
spending most of their income to support their lifestyles.
a. The average worker drive a $5,000 used car. The doctor drives a $45,000
b. The average worker sends his kids to free public school. The doctor sends his
kids to private school............ and on and on and on.
The doctor spends just as much of a percentage of his income than all other
bucket carriers. All are living paycheck-to paycheck. If you don't believe check
the bankruptcy records. You'll see every kind of bucket carrier listed in there!
All Buckets Eventually Dry Up
All buckets dry up no matter how big they are. Pipelines, on the other hand, are
self-sustaining. But pipelines require sacrifice. Pipelines don't build themselves.
You have to be willing to put in the time and effort to build them.
A Bigger Bucket Won't Solve The Problem. Why?
Carry as big a bucket as you can but build a pipeline on the side, because as long
as you carry buckets, you have to show-up to get paid, and no matter how big
the bucket is... it will dry-up.
Many a person has gone from the "Millionaire Next Door" to the "Bankrupt Person
This person had a HUGE bucket and now has nothing!
His name is Darryl Strawberry. Professional baseball player. The 38 year old
outfielder broke into the majors as a teenager and was hailed as the next Ted
Strawberry has made a fortune in his career............. $2-$5 million every year.
That was just from his baseball contract! Add a couple million from
endorsements, speeches, autographs and more and he's earned $50-$100
million before his 40th birthday!
A guy like that has to be set for life right? WRONG!
According to a local newspaper report, "Strawberry has no income or savings to
support his current wife and their three children."
Strawberry bought expensive everything........... including drugs and alcohol.
Strawberry didn't build a pipeline............. because he thought he had enough
money to last forever no matter what. He can't play baseball anymore becuase
of his drug problem. He won't be allowed to play ever again. He's Broke!
It's Your Turn To Choose
What sounds like the best plan to you? Remember, most of your friends and
neighbors won't understand! They've been taught to carry buckets.
Time Levels The Playing Field
It doesn't matter how much money your earn ............ or how little money you
earn........... we all have the same amount of time in each day. 24 hours. It
doesn't matter if you're a doctor, lawyer, or cook. It only takes time to build a
pipeline. Yes you'll need tools................ but those will cost relatively very little.
So everyone has an equal opportunity when it comes to building a pipeline!
Some people put off building their pipelines because "right now isn't a good time
for me." Guess what? Right now is a bad time for anybody! We're all stressed.
We're all busy. We're all putting out fires and dealing with unexpected
emergencies. There's a word for these bad times.
It's called life!
Some people waste their lives waiting for the "perfect time" to do x, y, or z. Well,
they'll die waiting because there's no such thing as a perfect time. If someone
told you they'd give you $1 million dollars if you'd sit in a corner and knit for two
hours every day for one year, you'd find the time right?
It wouldn't matter if your son broke his arm.............your car wouldn't start........
the cat got sick. Rather than forfeit $1 million dollars, you'd find the time no
Waste Not Want Not
People often ask me why they should take the time and effort to build pipelines
when things aren't going so bad for them right now. They say they deserve to
relax in the recliner and watch TV after a hard days work. Got a few bucks in the
bank.... kids are doing good in school........... no need to "rock the boat".
There's no better time to build your pipeline than when things are going good!
A Final Thought
A man was on the 30th floor of a fancy hotel overlooking Central Park in
Manhattan. He pulled back the shades........... and threw open the window to
enjoy the view. As he leaned out the window, he was startled to see a man falling
past his window.
"How you doing?" he asked the falling man.
"Fine so far," came the reply.
The point is, there are lots of bucket carriers in the world that think they are
"doing just fine". But they can't stay in the free-fall forever. Sooner or later they'll
meet the ground.
For bucket carriers it's................... don't or can't show up for work............... no