Monday, May 23, 2011

Lawn Service, Opportunity Cost, and Comparative Advantage

A Striped Lawn

Image via Wikipedia

For many years, I took pride in mowing my own lawn.

I’m not sure why this was a core issue for me, but I somehow viewed having a lawn service as an unnecessary indulgence and, dare I say, a sign of sloth.

Hey, I’m being honest here.

This year, however, as my lawn grew and grew, I started to change my perspective.

  • First off, business has been exceedingly busy.
  • Second, I realized that any time I spent mowing my lawn was time that I was either not spending with my family or on my business. (Opportunity Cost)
  • Third, I thought about time vs. money. How much I would pay the lawn guys versus the upside opportunity from a revenue perspective from that same time on my business.

The economist, David Ricardo, introduced the idea of “Comparative Advantage.” You do the things at which you are best suited and you let others do what they do best.

I can mow the lawn, sure. But, I’m much better at selling Never Stop Marketing services. So I do that more and pay Dave to mow my lawn.

At least, that’s my justification now.

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