An Early Lesson

At 13 years- old I learned my first lessons in compensation that impacted my behaviors- some of those behaviors to this day. I liked playing golf and wanted to play as much as possible during the summer. I needed to figure out a way to pay for my golf passion. But did not desire to follow my father’s advice, paint fences and mow lawns, as I had the previous summer. That was way too hard and took away from time playing golf. I needed a creative solution.

I approached the teaching pro, Dave Tapp, and asked for a job. His response was not what I wanted to hear, I was too young to be “hired” for a job. Back to painting fences and mowing lawns!

But I continued to think on creative ways, as well as being a pest to Dave, to come up with a solution. We finally agreed on the following: each morning I would be responsible for setting out water for the golfers, and rake the traps; in the evening I was responsible for picking up range balls. In return, I could play as much golf (Mon thru Fri) as I wanted and received two 30-minute lessons each week.

I learned a few things from this simple summer of golf. First, compensation can come in different forms- not just dollars & cents. Next, the concept of creative solutions. I was too young to understand the concept of a barter system, but somehow figured it out. And finally, the concept of negotiation and persistence. The process of negotiation does not have to be negative or adversarial. If you just keep collaboratively communicating to find mutually beneficial solutions, many times good results will happen.