When I was still in high school, my parents invested in a clothing business. We were bankrupt because we partnered with a wrong person. Five years ago, while we were renovating a rental space into internet café, we were swindled by a couple whom we thought were the owners of the commercial building. We lost thousands. Worse, the only way to get justice was to file a suit. Knowing the justice system in the Philippines, we decided to just forgive and forget. Few months after the incident, we revived our plan in a different location. The business lasted for only six months. We were neither gaining nor losing money. It was break-even, so to speak. I guess, my parents’ patience way back was so short to give it one more chance. Last May 2010, we took another risk. This time, it’s a sari-sari store. And here’s the story…
Putting up a sari-sari store is a no joke. It is not as simple as it may seem. There are a lot of elements that must be put into consideration such as capital, location, market, delegation etc. Yes, even a small business as sari-sari store is a challenge and a risk. And I am glad, that our family was able to surpass all the initial trials. When we started, the net profit was so small. We barely felt the product of our hardwork. But we thought it was ok since we were just starting. After few days, we decided to invest more. We filled our storage cabinet with typical goods found in any sari-sari store and other items for human consumption. When we had enough, we invested in improving our facility by putting a roof outside to cover our customers from the scorching heat of the sun and the rain. We also put a wooden bench where one can sit and relax while sipping a soda. Thus, our actions have been producing good fruits gradually. I am happy to say that we now have regular customers or in tagalong “suki.”
Venturing into business is actually exciting. Seriously. In spite of everything that we’ve been through, I can honestly say that in bad days business can be so complex and demanding but in good times the fulfillment is divine. It is not only a source of income moreover it teaches us lessons. Recently, I went over the Kerygma Feast Prosper Series (How to Open Your Life to Abundance) bulletins. The Bo Sanchez’s talk has six sub-topics (1) Believe; (2) Serve; (3) Grow; (4) Duplicate; (5) Invest and (6) Tithe. Unfortunately, out of the six bulletins only three were left and these are about Serve, Duplicate and Invest. Now that my parents have finally entrusted me to be involved in the operation and decision making, the messages of Bro Bo are starting to become more valuable.
In the Feast bulletin, Bro Bo said…
(1) February 28, 2010 Session 2: Serve. If you want to be rich, I encourage you to find more people to serve. The more people you serve (number of customers), and the more ways you serve (number of products), and the more excellent your service becomes (quality of products), the richer you’ll become.
Insight: When we started the business, our products were very limited because we were afraid to spend a lot and lose a lot. But our notion was so wrong. When we added more goods and improved the façade of our store, it became more attractive. Thus, more people began to recognize our small business and eventually we are now serving more people.
(2) March 14, 2010 Session 4: Duplicate. If you want to become wealthy, you need to duplicate yourself. Why? When you duplicate yourself, you serve more people. And more people served means more financial rewards.
Insight: My mother used to tell me “Kapag late ka na nagbukas, maghahanap ang mga tao ng ibang tindahan kahit malayo. Mababawasan tayo ng suki.” And I think she’s right. Besides, if we open at an early time and closes late, the possibility of earning more is bigger. And we shouldn’t be comfortable with what we have now because there is always a threat of competition. Someday, other businesses might flourish so in this line of investment, business development is highly recommended.
(3) March 21, 2010: Invest. Handling your money isn’t just an isolated area of your life. It reflects your character. It exposes your values. So bring this area under God’s rule. Live below your means and learn to invest for your future. By doing so, you develop patience, perseverance and detachment.
Insight: Two weeks ago I formulated a system that will help us handle finances properly and I call it “Income Allocation System.” Regularly, I divide our earnings into four categories which I put it in my piggy banks. My belief is simple: Money is tempting. If you want to save, don’t let money entice you.
In the topic, Invest, Bro. Bo also cited the three types of money pumps: (1) Business, (2) Property and (3) Paper Assets. The talk focused on paper assets. The talk was so powerful. My desire to learn stock investing was awakened and empowered. Unfortunately, I had no job then and the family was not yet into new business. I was totally broke. Since I was also hesitant to ask my parents for a capital, nothing has happened until this day.
Although we have a small business now, there is no harm in learning stock investing. If we talk about long-term plans and much bigger profit, I think investing in paper is a wise option. Realistically speaking, our earnings are either enough or inadequate to pay the monthly bills and other expenses. We are only able to save because certain percentage goes to piggy bank with label “savings.” Good thing, everybody is too lazy to hook bills and coins in a small rectangular hole except the perpetrator. And that’s me, of course. Hehe! And when I am able to reach a thousand I will deposit it to the bank only to withdraw it few weeks later for our monthly outlay. What a joy! Lol!
However, our current venture is still a big blessing from God. And I truly believe that it is just the first step towards bigger undertakings. The question is, are we now ready to step further and take new risk? Well, I think it’s irrational to pursue something that we have no knowledge of. That is why I am glad that there are various tools available to educate us with essential information on how to invest in the stock market and other means of investing. For example: 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich is a book written by Bo Sanchez. In this book, you will neither find tips from a former lotto winner nor 6 lucky numbers that you can bet in 6/49 raffle. The book reveals the importance of having a wealthy mindset which is the root of any success story. The website Investing in Philippines is a blog that shares and discusses investing opportunities in the Philippines. Bo Sanchez and his Truly Rich Club are conducting seminars about gaining financial wealth and spiritual guidance at the same time. And so much more…
In short, there is no good excuse not to learn and widen my knowledge on investing. If still nothing happens, it’s called laziness.
Photo grabbed @ pcij.org