Do you qualify to learn how to multiply business profits?

LOGIC

A young entrepreneur in his early-twenties contacts a Profit Mentor. He says to him: “I’ve come to you because I wish to learn how to multiply my profits.”

 

“Do you have any experience in business?” the Profit Mentor asks.

 

“No, but I have just finished my Business and Management degree. So now, I would just like to round out my education with your wisdom.”

 

“I seriously doubt,” the Profit Mentor says, “that you are ready to learn to multiply profits. It is the deepest understanding of the knowledge in any business. If you wish, however, I am willing to examine you in logic, and if you pass that test I will help you learn how to multiply.”

 

The young man agrees.

 

The Logic Test

 

The Profit Mentor holds up two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face; the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

The young man stares at the Profit Mentor. “Is that the test in logic?”

 

The Profit Mentor nods.

 

”The one with the dirty face washes his face“- he answers wearily.

 

“Wrong. The one with the clean face washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face.”

 

“Very clever,” the young man says. “Give me another test.”

 

The Profit Mentor again holds up two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face, the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

“We have already established that. The one with the clean face washes his face.”

 

“Wrong. Each one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face. When the one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face wash his face, he also washes his face. So, each one washes his face.”

 

“I didn’t think of that,” says the young man. It’s shocking to me that I could make an error in logic. Test me again.”

 

The Profit Mentor holds up two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face; the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

“Each one washes his face.”

 

“Wrong. Neither one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. But when the one with the clean face sees that the one with the dirty face doesn’t wash his face, he also doesn’t wash his face. So, neither one washes his face.”

 

The young man is desperate. “I am qualified to learn to multiply profits. Please give me one more test.”

 

He groans, though, when the Profit Mentor lifts two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face; the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

 

“Neither one washes his face.”

 

The Qualifying Wisdom

 

“Wrong. Tell me, how is it possible for two men to come down the same chimney, and for one to come out with a clean face and the other with a dirty face? Don’t you see? The whole question is nonsense, foolishness, and if you spend your whole life trying to answer foolish questions, all your answers will be foolish, too.”

 

May we all have the wisdom to ask, and answer, wise questions as that qualifies us to learn how to multiply profits in business.