The One Flush Rule

There are many different rules our parents gave us as we grew up. Don’t talk to strangers, finish your food, go to college—the list could go on and on. I want to tell you today about a rule in my house that shows you where I came from, and that no matter how low you go, you can still end up with your own jet someday.

I’m talking about the “one flush rule”.

Many of you know what I’m talking about—comment below if you’ve been under this rule. Some people might hear it like this: “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”. It went something like this: I would go to the bathroom (#1) and I’m not allowed to flush because my brother is going to use the bathroom also. The goal here I guess is to save money by saving a bowl of toilet water.

How much does your municipality charge for water, maybe 3/10ths of a penny per gallon? If you flush 5 times a day that’s 1,825 flushes a year. Let’s not do millionaire math (from The Millionaire Booklet) here, let’s do a little flushing math:

1,825 Flushes = 3,650 Gallons x 3/10ths of a cent per gallon = $10.95

Are you a person that doesn’t flush to save $10 bucks a YEAR?

My family growing up was. It’s ridiculous to think that it’s better to deal with toilet stagnation than to spend a few extra bucks a year on your water bill, but I know I’m not the only middle-class family that had the one flush rule.

My parents were children of Italian immigrants who came to the US in the early 1900’s. My father was the first in the Cardone family to go to college. He—like me—was ambitious and had an entrepreneurial spirit. He started a little grocery store and later began his own life insurance company. When I was young he became a licensed stockbroker.

With a strong work ethic, he was able to make a little bit of money and buy us a home on the lake. We went fishing on a boat, water-skied, had a riding lawn mower and lived among doctors in a nice neighborhood.

My dad died of a heart attack a short time later, and my mom—with no professional skills—sold the house to downsize to “save” as much money as she could. We went from a house on the lake to a tiny brick house on a tiny lot, surrounded by houses that all looked exactly the same.

How many of those other houses in my neighborhood had the “one flush rule”? How many households around America today still have the rule?

I always say you never want 1 of anything to determine your success—you want to add zeros. For example, you don’t want 1 dollar, 1 apartment, or 1 income stream. It’s better to have many. The only thing you want 1 of is a spouse. You want to have lots of flushes. Every time you use the bathroom, go ahead and have the freedom to flush it.

Have the freedom.


Be great,


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