The other day I was reading an article called The Myth of Doing it All: Modern Moms and Hiring Help and a crazy thought popped into my head. If Ward and June Cleaver time traveled to 2013, how extravagant would they think our lives have become? What would they say about all the services that we now pay people to do, that they surely did for themselves.
- Auto maintenance like oil changes and brakes
- Weeding our gardens and mowing the lawn
- Eating out when it’s not a special occasion
- Washing and waxing our cars
- Professional house cleaning services
- Hiring someone to paint the fence or interior rooms
- Using nannies and childcare providers
- Beauty services like facials, manicures and pedicures
And this list doesn’t even include all the things that we simply don’t do any more at all because of advancements in technology!
Have we really become a spoiled generation? Or is it that our lifestyles have changed so much that hiring others to help has almost become a necessity?
Over 10 years ago, I was at a wealth development conference, and a multi-millionaire made an extremely bold statement. “Wealthy entrepreneurs do not do the minimum wage jobs in their lives, unless it is for pleasure.” As I remembered the chores that would be waiting for me when I got home from the seminar, I thought to myself “yeah right, easy for you to say!”
Yet as I listened to the point the speaker was making, that we need to look at the monetary value of our time and the choices we make on how we use it, I realised there was truth in his statement that could be applied to even my “ordinary” life.
One thing that will never change, no matter how much money a person makes, is the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day.
While June Cleaver may have had all the time in the world to maintain a perfect house, today “people are bludgeoned by the stresses of a hectic day to day life, in this economy, and have little time to maintain their home.” Yes, it costs money to pay someone to clean your home but the value of the time that has been freed up for other things and the reduction of stress, can far outweigh the expense for many.
We all pay for conveniences and we choose different ways in which to invest our time. Yes, some of the things that we pay others to do can be considered luxuries, but in many cases it may be more of a business and time management decision. Lifestyles have changed – we are busy and there is only so much that can be done each day. The services we use are designed to bring value to our lives.
And the beauty of paying others for their services is that it is a win-win situation.
When we put money into the service industry we are having an impact on the economy.
“The world economy is increasingly characterised as a service economy. This is primarily due to the increasing importance and share of the service sector in the economies of most developed and developing countries. In fact, the growth of the service sector has long been considered as an indicator of a country’s economic progress. Economic history tells us that all developing nations have invariably experienced a shift from agriculture to industry and then to the service sector as the mainstay of the economy.”
The service economy is going through a revolutionary change. New services are being developed to fulfill our needs and to meet needs that we didn’t even know we had. In 1960, for example, a little over 50 per cent of the workforce in Australia was employed in the services sector. Today, the figure is over 75 per cent and is growing steadily.
The service economy here in Australia is growing so quickly that the government is moving towards a more skills oriented approach to education to prepare people for jobs in the service industry. Councils like Service Skills Australia are working to develop qualifications and trainings that will help to ensure that the services that you utilise are held to quality standards.
So, the next time you are feeling a little guilty about having a family portrait done for your pets, getting your dinner delivered because you are too tired to cook, pampering yourself with a massage or having someone else fix your flat tire because you don’t want to ruin your brand new manicure, remember this…
The money you spend for these services is helping to build a stronger Australia.