History Repeats, Again!

History Repeats, Again!
History Repeats, Again!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Outsource Your Children

I’ve decided to run my life more like a business. With the private sector as my inspiration, I will privatize my life. From now on, all activities will be scrutinized for their contribution to the bottom line. Status quo will no longer be my credo. Efficiency will drive all my actions.

First, of course, I need a business-like mission statement. A mission statement must concisely summarize your core values but be general enough to maintain some wiggle room. My mission may evolve, but for now I’m going with: “Maintain a laser focus on the end of the day where the rubber meets the road as things tee up going forward.”

Next, I’ll need a vision. After a bit of market research, I’ve decided that my vision will be: “Execute the mission statement.”

Running my life as a business means putting a cold-blooded, steely-eyed dollar value on everything. Everything must have positive return on investment (ROI), or it gets cut. No waste, no fluff! Mapping my activities onto a balance sheet may be difficult, but I believe such discipline will help with my laser focus.

After careful analysis I’ve decided to outsource my kids. I know this will be hard on them -- possibly traumatic-- but for the good of the organization, some difficult steps have to be taken. They are, after all, a major cost center that has yet to show a profit.

Everyone says “kids are the future,” but this isn’t very laser-like. Too much ambiguity! When exactly does this future arrive and what is the the net present value of my investment? If my US-based kids don’t deliver positive cash flow, there are kids in other geographies who will. For the price of one of my kids, I can get many more through a well-executed offshoring strategy.

I know this sounds harsh, but I’ve bench marked my kids against a representative group of neighborhood children and, frankly, mine are under-performing. On those occasions when I really need a family, I can rent one! So, until I have more clarity around their short term value-proposition, I will outsource my permanent kids and replace them with contractors.  This should vastly improve my expense ratios.

I know this sounds tyrannical, but I need to be “lean and mean” in order to compete in the global economy. In the long run, we will all benefit from right-sizing the family. In recognition of their prior service to the organization, my sons will be eligible for a 2-week training program that includes lawn mower maintenance, putting dishes in the dishwasher, washing machine operation, and other skills that will be invaluable in the emerging service economy.

In gratitude for their past service, my sons will also receive a severance benefit equivalent to 2 weeks allowance for every year they’ve lived under my roof.

Speaking of roofs, I’ll need to improve the asset side of my balance sheet. Assets -- things like clothing, furniture, and kitchen sinks--are a drag on earnings.  My accountant suggests that I donate all my assets to charity, take a tax deduction, and then lease back the things I really need.

Here’s how it works: I donate my socks to, say, the Salvation Army.  Since many of those socks are less than a year old, I’ll claim a large tax credit against my earnings. During the portion of the year when I can’t wear sandals, I’ll rent socks and show this as an expense on my balance sheet. It makes no sense whatsoever to have a drawer full of under-utilized socks in the summer time. Outsourcing my socks is both fiscally sound and well-aligned with global trends.  

My business plan is still evolving, but I feel it’s directionally correct enough to launch. “Launch and learn” is the way I’ll tee this up for now. I’ll “adapt and go” as economic conditions change going forward. 

Please contact me about franchise opportunities, motivational appearances, and personal consulting on how you, too, can find win-win scenarios through privatizing your life.


  1. I'd like to know your plan for eating. I've always thought it a waste to have a "family dinner" with left-overs. Will you be packing the left-overs in crates and selling them in bulk to China?

  2. Outstanding idea. And when I want to see a Disney movie, I'll just rent one of your kids. I'll get to see a good movie, you get the rent money. I'll even pick up the popcorn tab. It's a win-win!