Buy good equipment; take good care of it

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Call this Rule #1 for life. Maybe it’s not the most important rule; it’s not the Golden Rule or even the Rule of 72.

Let’s call it the Hard Goods Rule: Buy good equipment and take good care of it.

Nothing provides better affirmation and aids in a better outloook than moving through the details of the day with equipment that works easily, well and with the rarest of failure.

If you need to buy a printer for your office, don’t settle for the $25 model that comes along as a premium with your computer. I’ve learned that lesson too many times. Go out and spend what you it takes to buy a durable, solid printer that runs and runs. Buy the features you need and just pay the price. If you find yourself leaning toward a cheap compromise, imagine yourself being late out the door and suddenly remembering a document you forgot to bring along. You’re in your winter coat and boots, leaning over the computer, the dog is barking because he thinks you’re going to take him for a walk, and you get a paper jam, or a message that the printer is out of magenta. With a cheap printer, this seems to happen 1 out of 2 times (thought it’s probably more like 1-in-5).

Visualize this and you’ll spend the good money.

A corollary to this rule is the Hard Goods Corollary: More power/fewer features.

Here are some tools and equipment to which the Rule of Hard Goods and Corollary apply:

  • Computer printer
  • Power tools (A drill shouldn’t drill just some stuff. For an extra $60 you can get a drill to drill any stuff. That’ll amortize to about $1.50 anytime you need to drill something really hard over the next 10 years).
  • Lawnmower
  • Computer (The reason people pay more for a Mac.)
  • Camera
  • Snowblower (If you want to wrestle with a piece of equipment, you’ll spend less and fare better against a snow shovel.)
  • Winter coat
  • Washer/Dryer (It’s all about power. Features break over time; a powerful machine runs forever.)
  • Stapler (Unless you never plan to staple more than 4 sheets at a time.)
  • Sporting goods (Whatever your passion – golf, tennis, baseball, sailing, jai alai – equipment that doesn’t go all the way just saps the fun. You may as well stay home to figure out what’s wrong with that g-d- Scanner/Copyer/Fax/Printer/Stickintheeye.)

There’s a place in the world for cheap stuff. If you’ve never been camping, never want to go camping, but you absolutely have to go camping just this once for one night with your son and the Cub Scouts, then go to Wal-Mart and buy the $39 two-man tent. You can buy a good tent for the next time you go.


About the Author:

Bob Rosenbaum is founder and principal of The MarketFarm, a content-oriented strategic communications firm.

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