Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter 
August 27, 2010
 What Tradesmen Know About
Getting More Done
In Less Time 

Have you ever watched an amateur start to paint a barn? It goes like this:
1.       Raise ladder into position on barn siding
2.       Return to garage to get forgotten screwdriver to open paint can
3.       Remove lid and return to garage to get rag to wipe spilled paint on
          side of can
4.       Climb up ladder with full can of paint and brush

5.       Climb down ladder with almost full can of paint to find hook
          to hang can on ladder

6.       After climbing back up ladder and finding loose paint, back down 
          again to locate scraper and putty knife

You get the idea and perhaps have had the exact experience.  Lack of tools for a job makes for a very long and unremarkable day at work.

Most likely you've watched people at work in various trades.  They all carry their tools for the job in a tool belt or at finger tip reach.  Electricians, roofers, and siding installers often work on ladders and learned it's far easier to carry the common tools in a belt than make trip after trip down and back up a ladder for forgotten tools. 

Your farrier probably carries a hoof knife in his apron and you can be sure his tools are positioned in a shoeing box less than an arm's length away. When you're bent over holding a heavy hoof in hand, happiness is efficiency to reduce wasted time and avoid unnecessary expenditure of energy.

Surprisingly, in jobs that aren't skilled trades, I often see workers carrying only a few tools to help them through the day.  Examples are: a construction laborer who operates a wheel barrow for eight hours in light rain without the benefit of a set of gloves or rain gear. Or an office worker who shows up for a meeting without a pen or notepad.  Or a salesperson who never has a business  card or a pen to write up a sale.

Employees in horse businesses are guilty of coming to work without their tool belts as frequently as any other industry.  If a person works hands-on with horses daily, her tool belt may include: a pocket knife sharp enough to cut leather or a lead line in an emergency, pen, note pad, gloves, a watch or cell phone to know what time it is and always a belt to peel off quickly to wrap around the neck of a loose unhaltered horse.

Managers and business owners who try to navigate through their days without the benefit of their own personal tools within easy reach complain about their lack of productivity and blame everyone and every thing except themselves.

Their "tool belts" should include: planner (electronic or paper based) cell phone, pen and notepad, business cards and the forms and documents they need for the day.  

I'm not suggesting they need to have these tools strapped on their bodies like a handyman, but it's silly not to have them close by and easily accessible. 

There is no need to make any more amateur trips up and down your occupational ladder. If you're a professional horseman, show up for work each day with the tools to perform like one.

Others have said...
"An architect's most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site."--Frank Lloyd Wright
"My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky." --William Faulkner
"If it's not done right, you can't fix it."--James Palladino

Back At The Barn

barn window I recently visited Charleston, SC with our son Phil. We made a quick road trip with the rest of his sister's "stuff" for her to start the fall semester at The College of Charleston.

You can't visit Charleston without taking a carriage tour of the historic district of the city.
Our carriage from 
Palmetto Carriage Company was pulled by two mules. They're brothers named Hit and Run and are so broke to the tour routes knowing where to stop and turn, they could do the tours themselves if they could talk.

Our guide, Matthew, was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining for our tour. He told us Charleston has five carriage tour companies operating and is the largest carriage trade city in the States.
equineGenie Software Demo
eG pro boxDitch Your 3 Ring Binders, Legal Pads and Sticky Notes Now!

Click here to learn more about how you can view your horse and business records instantly wherever and whenever you want.
I do workshops about the business half of the horse business like this one in Canandaigua, NY on October 22, 2010.

If you'd like to host a workshop in your area, please contact me at

Until next time,


Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman   (716) 434-5371
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