Don’t lose your cow!

There’s an old Texas saying: “It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow.” Is losing your job the milk or the cow?

There’s an old Texas saying that goes:  “It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow.”  In other words, what we see as “failure” may not really have diminished our ability to contribute, produce or earn an income.

Is losing your job the milk or the cow?  If your business bombs, have you lost some milk, or is your cow gone?  If you have an accident and can no longer hammer nails, is your cow really gone?

General Douglas MacArthur once said, “Security is your ability to produce.”

Security does not come from a job, from a company or from the government.  It comes in your ability to be productive – and that is seldom taken away.  Especially in this “knowledge worker” economy.  Your strongest areas of competence are likely between your two ears.  Those can be refined and developed daily.  And if you lose your current job or business, those competencies can be applied somewhere new immediately.  

I’m an old farm kid.  A cow gives milk pretty continuously.  If you dump the pail over from this morning’s milking, just wait a couple of hours and go back to that same cow for more.  She’s just as capable as she was this morning.  Your skills are the same.

Don’t lose your cow!

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  • Evan

    Hi Dan, as part of my Personal Finance we are required to read a few blogs that our teacher believes to be great quality and inspirational. I just wanted to say how I totally agree with this post. When moving on from a job is it important to remember your skills are still valuable. Losing a job is not the end of the world, as everyone must face failure in order to be successful!

    • Amanda Howard

      I call this sage advice! Such wisdom in the most simplistic advice! You’re never at a loss if you remember the hard work that got you to the top before the fall. Keep on keeping in, one foot in front of the other.. you know what it takes persistence and resilience.

    • Evan – how cool! Sounds like you’ve got a great teacher.

  • Karen Ray

    Such great, positive advice, delivered with humor as always!

  • Cliff Feightner

    You may no longer have a job
    That don’t make you a slob
    The things that you gain
    Should come from your brain
    And set you aside from the mob

    • Cliff – I LOVE this one. So much wisdom packed in there.

  • Rebecca Elvy

    Thanks Dan – this is such a great post!
    I love the idea that the things we ‘attach’ to as our security are actually entirely replaceable – incredibly liberating!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Rebecca