The day before we left for a week long vacation, I thought I’d broken my lawn mower. I was mowing, had about 4 minutes of mowing left to do…and I accidentally ran over a pine tree branch (I was blinded by upper branch pine needles!). All of a sudden…the mower just stopped running. And I wasn’t smart enough in the ways of lawn machinery to know why.
Wow, a story on this blog that’s not about Working Out Loud? Hang tight…
My first inclination, like any experienced handy man, was to just let the mower rest for a week. It must have been over-exerted. And nothing like a little rest helps a Briggs & Stratton engine…right? Well…turns out…not so much.
I tried again tonight. And you wouldn’t believe it…but a little rest didn’t help heal my mower! Whodathunk? Now what?
To the interwebs! Even someone that thinks mechanical engines need some sleep eye can learn from the internet. I searched through multiple product support sites. Manufacturer sites. User manuals. Nothing.
But then…after about one hour of searching…I came across a thread between three people. “I drove my mower through a bush, now it won’t start. It will sputter a bit, but then quit.” Bush. Pine tree. Close enough…
“Me too, I have the exact same problem!” Pattern recognized
“I do too, right after I went through a bush!” Trend.
Turns out, by suggestions in that thread, I suspected that a spring had been knocked loose from the choke mechanism. I searched my yard and couldn’t find that spring anywhere. But getting a replacement part was going to take a week. And I didn’t know for sure if that was actually the fix or not, but I wanted to figure out if it was for sure before ordering that expensive $3 spring.
So I went and got a spring from one of my kids’ pens in the house (don’t tell them), connected it to the choke mechanism and the metal thingy the real spring should connect to…pulled the rip chord…and voila…the darn thing started again! Now, the choke was clearly in the wrong position due to the springs being of different tension, because it sounded about an octave higher than it should, but it started and kept running! So I couldn’t mow yet. But I knew ordering that part would get us back to functional.
Mcgyver would have been proud. But he’s no McBryver!! Right? No?
Short story long…
If those random customers of my exact same mower had not chosen to “Work Out Loud” to solve their mower problem, I’d probably have taken it to a repair shop and spent $50 to get a tiny $3 spring replaced.
Make the choice to increase your impact on others. Help people without ever knowing you’ve done so. Work Out Loud when trying to solve problems that other people likely will encounter at one point or another.
The impact of sharing what you don’t know can provide just as much value as sharing what you do know.