March 14, 2019

Designing toilets

Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 16th, 2019

You’ve probably heard me say “sell your head, not your hands” a million times here on the daily list, on podcast episodes, on social media, and so on.

But what exactly do I mean by that?

None of us are digging ditches. We do knowledge work. And knowledge work by definition is “head work.”

So, yeah… the soundbite breaks down if you think about it too hard. Here’s a an explanation that I hope will be more concrete:

For me, the real distinction between head vs hands is that “head work“ is about defining a new status quo and ”hands work“ is about maintaining the current status quo.

For example:

Someone with plumbing expertise could be hired to design a new toilet for Kohler (i.e., head work, designing new status quo) or to unclog a toilet for my mom (i.e., hands work, maintaining current status quo).

Like most things, this isn’t a binary situation; it’s a spectrum. The moral of the story is this:

if you want to increase your profitability, move your business more toward designing toilets and farther away from snaking them.