Business Lesson 2 from Mr. Blandings

As you know, we’re culling business lessons from the funny, smart film, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948).

The plot line is simple. The Blandings want to leave their cramped city apartment and move to a house with space for kids and animals.

The Blandings set out to find a house that both fits their budget and fulfills their dreams. As luck would have it, they soon find and buy an antiquated house, rich with history and surrounded by acres of land.

It’s ideal, except for one tiny detail.

It’s so decrepit, it’s uninhabitable. Renovation costs turn out to be so steep, it’s cheaper to demolish the house and start over. That’s what the Blandings do.

Yes, you guessed it. A complicated set of laws and regulations make it illegal for the Blandings to demolish the house, even though they own it. To learn the particulars, watch the film.

Between the purchase price of the house and land, costs for demolition, and fees for settling the legal issues, the Blandings have spent nearly $20,000, a princely sum in 1948.

What do they have to show for this investment? A beautiful but empty piece of land and a knotty legal snafu.

What’s the lesson? The family friend and attorney sums it up nicely:
The next time you’re going to do anything, or say anything, or buy anything, think it over very carefully, and when you’re sure you’re right – forget the whole thing.
Whatever you did yesterday, are doing now or intend to do tomorrow, somehow you’re going to trip over a law, rule or regulation. And that trip is going to cost you.

Building a successful, profitable business has always been a challenge. It was true in 1948. It's even more true today.

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Related
Business Lesson 1 from Mr. Blandings
Business Lesson 3 from Mr. Blandings
Business Lesson 4 from Mr. Blandings
Business Lesson 5 from Mr. Blandings
Business Lesson 6 from Mr. Blandings

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