Barn Principle

I heard an old story about a farmer and his wife. They had a few good years of harvest and could save away some money.

The farmer had planned on using the savings to build a new barn. The older one wasn’t big enough to store everything he needed, keep the animals warm, and give him enough space to work on the tractor. He spent more and more time mending holes in the old roof every year.

His wife had planned on using the savings to build a new house. The older one wasn’t big enough for their growing family. The kitchen didn’t have enough counter space, the dining room was too small, and the one bathroom was never adequate. She spent more and more time reminding her husband about all the things that need fixing every year.

The two of them sat down to decide. They shot reasons back and forth in favor of the barn or the house. None of them were bad reasons. Both the barn and the house were lacking but there was only enough money to take care of one. What were they to do?

The farmer finally said, “Dear, you are right. This house needs to be rebuilt and I want to give you everything you want. So we will build a new barn with the savings because the barn builds the house.”

The barn builds the house.

A better barn means a better farm. A better farm means they can make more profit. More profit means more savings to build a better house. The barn builds the house.

We face the barn or the house question every day. Do I want to cash in my time to build the house and have a more comfortable life right now? Or do I want to cash in my time to build the barn and live more productively and effectively and have a better life in the long run?

There is the financial part of the Barn Principle that tells us to invest in our lives and future good, instead of mortgaging it in a lifestyle of debt.

There is the leadership part of the Barn Principle that tells us to make sure our organization/team is focusing on what makes us better, more effective and self-sufficient instead of what would make us more complacent and comfortable at the moment.

Most importantly, there is the personal part of the Barn Principle that tells us not to cut corners for the sake of instant gratification, looking good to others, or short-term goals, instead of really deciding and building a better life for yourself, your spouse, your children, and your community.

Figure out what your barn is. Is it the way you need to spend your money, the way you spend your time, the energy you’re putting into your family/kids/relationships, the energy you’re putting into personal growth, or the importance you’ve placed on your faith.

Build the barn because the barn builds the house.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s