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The Hot Dog Stand

An economic fable

As I listen to the worry about the economy, I am reminded of something I read many years ago.  It was the story of a man who owned a hot dog stand.  He did regular promotion and had a very successful business.  One day someone told him that he better be careful because there was a rumor that the economy was going to slow down.  He was advised to watch his spending and to save his money because it could get really bad.  Being a simple, but successful man, he decided to listen to the wise, very educated men giving him advice.

He knew he needed to cut back on his spending, but how and where should he do that?  He couldn’t figure out what to cut out, so he again asked for advice.  He was told that he needed to cut out everything that was not needed to make the hot dogs.  He was warned that people were going to stop coming into his town and those who were living there weren’t going to be able to afford his hot dogs.  He knew he needed to save his money; he had to prepare himself for the hard times to come.

The hot dog stand owner realized what he needed to do.  He would take down the signs along the road into his town.  That would save him a lot of money and after all people weren’t going to be traveling into his town anyway.  Sure enough, it happened.  There were less people coming to his hot dog stand from out of town.

He decided that his wise advisors were right.  If they were right about the out of town business they would probably be right about the people in his town. He knew what he had to do next.  He would stop the ads in his local paper.  That made perfect sense, because the people in his town wouldn’t be able to afford the luxury of his hot dogs anyway.  An interesting thing happened; people from his town stopped coming in.

As he sadly looked at the down turn of his previously successful business, he was grateful for one thing.  He had his friends and advisors who helped him save some money.  They predicted what would happen and they were right.

Unfortunately we all get caught up in the worry and frantic actions to save ourselves from the doom and gloom of “the economy”.  We read the stories and listen to the news and try to prevent disaster.  We prepare for the worst and the worst seems to happen.

There is a brighter side to the picture out there.  There are people wanting to improve their homes and their lives and they are not agreeing with the Sooth-Sayers who are telling them to save their pennies.  I have been getting reports of: “I have more work than ever”.  I spoke with a few clients who were at the recent home shows.  They reported that there were more people than ever interested in remodeling their homes. That is good news, but it is only good news for you if you do something abut it.