Getting Filthy with Experience

Rodney Koop
Contributing Writer
The New Flat Rate

I get muddy almost every day by jumping on one of my favorite all-terrain vehicles and taking a spin down into the woods.  I almost always plan to stay clean and seldom don any protective clothing. But I love mud! Something about it draws me into it.  I love the challenge of making it from one end of a soupy swamp to the other. That’s why anytime I go into the mud I either have a friend on another 4 wheeler or I make sure the ATV I’m riding has a winch so I can pull myself out of the muck when I’m in too deep.

Your job is probably similar, you may be a business owner or you may be on your way up the ladder of success and just hanging on a rung but my advice is to get filthy with experience!  Get dirty with doing!  Get a fortune of foundation!

Sound crazy? Well, if there is anything I have learned in the 40 years I’ve spent supporting myself and family, it is that experience is another word for time. Time in the trenches getting dirty, getting sore, getting tired and learning something along the way.

My first real job was working for my dad (anyone share that joy?) as an electrician.  I have always referred to those 10 years as “crawling through attics”.  I often thought I hated my job but I had to admit that I love pushing a button or throwing a switch and seeing the results of my work. And having a foundation of skilled labor gave me the mechanical skills to do my own repairs and work with tools on my home, hobbies and equipment. In fact, I actually enjoy physical work and the satisfaction of making, creating and/or fixing stuff. As you get older in life you realize that many people do not have the skills to work with their hands. Like so many of you, I am very thankful that my father made me learn a trade.

Watching plumbers, backhoe operators, concrete finishers, framers, and even electricians, I am convinced that experience, which results in any level of expertise, takes time.  And that time must be spent working.  Yes, I said working. For some reason, it seems that 10 years is where expertise begins to form in the working man.

Have you ever seen anyone who “cherished their laziness”?

Would you want your daughter to marry someone who considered work a bad thing?

Whatever you are doing now, do it with all of your heart, passion and energy.

Out of work comes curiosity, then curiosity breeds research, then you experiment with your own ideas and out of that comes experience.  Experience leads to passion, next comes opportunity (which means someone actually wants to pay you for your expertise!)  After that come the rewards.

When you get to the place in your life that your experience produces rewards, buy an ATV with a winch and enjoy the fun (mud) that life has to offer.

– Rodney Koop, Founder of The New Flat Rate and father of 9 great kids is only beginning to get filthy with experience.  Life is a journey and every day an adventure.

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