The business challenge was getting water from the top of a mountain, to the village down below. Anyone to do that would be compensated for their work.
One friend took the traditional route to solve the problem.
He worked hard.
He carried bucket after bucket, made trip after trip, and earned his keep.
So he started working harder.
He worked longer hours.
He used larger buckets.
And he earned more money as a result.
The other friend, after also taking the traditional approach for a while, decided to stop and think about how he could be more effective.
He decided to build a pipeline.
His work took much longer. His income reduced greatly, as much of his time was spent building this pipeline. (Which wasn’t bringing any water, so far, to the village. And thus, wasn’t earning him any income.)
Everyone called him crazy. Even his friend with the buckets.
Two years later, the pipeline started to work. Water started to flow. And so did his income.
He was able to stop working, but have money coming in to him every day.
While his friend with the buckets, was stuck with his job… and stuck with no income if he stopped working.
This metaphor describes the traditional 9-to-5 employee, versus the entrepreneur that builds a system which can generate passive income.