Cement: (n) a powdery substance used to make concrete.
I was young. My idealism and passion were running far ahead of my common sense.
I met a fellow who wanted to start his own construction company. He explained that he had the knowledge–just not the bucks. An
opportunity had come his way to lay down the cement for a very large driveway.
All he lacked was the front money.
I was not totally stupid. I inquired of him. I asked him if he knew how to do the job–if he had any previous experience.
After about half an hour, I was convinced that all the gentleman needed was the chance to get his seed money so he could do the task and therefore give himself a decent start on a new career.
Matter of fact, he invited me to come down and watch him lay the concrete. So I did.
The truck arrived, poured out the cement. But my friend did not have enough workers to spread it out and smooth it down, so it began to harden–lumpy, uneven and just generally ugly.
I watched as he became frantic and finally gave up, as the cement refused to be pushed around anymore.
It was a disaster. Not only did he lose the money I gave him, but the client demanded that he make restitution and pay another contractor to do the job.
I learned three things that day:
- If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t invest in it.
- Passion is no replacement for experience.
- Cement hardens much quicker than we want it to.