Knowing Where to Tap

A freight ship breaks down while in port. The engine just won’t run. The owner of the freight ship calls in several experts in freight ship engines. Each one shows up with a bigger, better, more complex machine in an attempt to fix the engine in the freight ship. None of them can get the engine to run. The last expert to leave tells the owner he needs to call Old Man Jack.

The owner calls Old Man Jack and tells him about the freight ship. Old Man Jack shows up the next day, carrying a small toolbox. The owner of the ship follows Old Man Jack to the ship’s engine. Old Man Jack opens his toolbox and removes a stethoscope. He spends the next 5 minutes walking around the engine, putting the stethoscope on the engine and listening for a few seconds. He returns to his toolbox and removes a small hammer. He then goes to one of the spots where he placed his stethoscope earlier and taps twice on the spot.

The engine shudders to life and starts running perfectly. The owner is amazed at what he has just seen! He eagerly shakes hands with Old Man Jack. Old Man Jack returns the hammer to the toolbox and tells the owner he will receive an invoice in a couple of weeks. The owner happily agrees to pay Old Man Jack’s invoice.

A couple of weeks go by and the invoice shows up. It has one line on it:

Freight Ship Engine Repair – $1,000

The owner is outraged! How could the old man charge him $1,000 for less than 10 minutes of his time and all he did was tap the engine with a small hammer. He returns the invoice to Old Man Jack with a note that says, “Please provide an itemized invoice for time and materials.”

A couple of weeks go by and another invoice from Old Man Jack arrives. This one has three lines on it:

Freight Engine Repair
— Engine Repair Hammer – $4
— Knowing Where to Tap – $996

It’s not always about the “newest”, “biggest”, or “best”. When it comes to fixing your business, sometimes you just need to know where to tap.