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If you and your children have read The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon, you can recite this law with eyes closed. The second basic law of money is:
To those who are yet to get hold of their copy in the hope of teaching their children the basic laws of money, let me tell you what happened to Arkhad, the lead character in the story:
In his quest to earn more, Arkhad got into a business with his friend Azmur, the brickmaker. It was a buy and sell business of precious stones.
When Algamish, Arkad’s mentor, found out about it, he expressed his disapproval. He exclaimed, “Every fool must learn his lesson! Why did you get into that business? You don’t know anything about jewels. Neither does your partner who led you to this! Why trust the knowledge of a brickmaker about jewels? Would you go to a breadmaker to ask about the stars? No! You go to an astrologer. Your savings are gone!”
True enough, Arkhad’s hard-earned money was all gone because they were duped into buying worthless bits of glass that looked like gems.
This is a common occurrence up to this very day. We get into a business or an investment just because someone we know seems to be doing well in it. Don’t we see a lot of people get into the food business or whatever is uso (popular)? Remember the lechon manok syndrome? Andok’s Lechon Manok (charcoal-roasted chicken) became a big hit in the 1980s. Its success and seemingly simple business model enticed a lot of similar offerings. Unfortunately, most of them flopped, closed shop and lost money.
Herd Mentality is at work here. This is a behavioral bias that describes how people can be influenced by their peers or what they see around to do certain behaviors largely on emotional rather than rational basis. This bias is also known as mob/pack/gang mentality. It is also related to groupthink. In the vernacular, we call it “gaya-gaya!” J
In getting into a business, we often forget to take into consideration our own core competencies. We are all wired and gifted in different ways. It would be good to be aware of these gifts and passion. Hone them and eventually use them, together with the connections that you’ve established, in setting up your business which fills a need in this world, allowing you to be of service to others.
What is your point of intersection?
Let me share two representations that can serve as your guides in observing the second basic law of money. On the left is a graph I developed from the original words of 94 year-old writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I came up with this paraphrase with a graphical representation that says, “God’s will is the intersection of our greatest passion and the world’s greatest need.” And when I say passion, please don’t misunderstand it to be that thing that you do that always makes you jump for joy. There is no such thing. Passion always includes some sacrifice and it is not something we go out looking for hidden in a secret valley. It is something we discover in ourselves as we engage, as we do the work. This concept, by the way, helped me in discovering my second wind. J
Let’s couple that with the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai on the right to further refine the concept. Ikigai is the intersection of four things – that which you love, you are good at, the world needs, and you can get paid for.
Who to listen to
The second part of the second basic law of money is to seek advice only from competent people.
If the Babylonians like Arkhad had a hard time sifting through their sources to figure out how to increase their earnings thousands of years ago, imagine how much harder it is now for the regular Juan who has access to the internet?
Advice comes cheap these days. With the proliferation of all sorts of information on the internet and people hawking different products and services, it is not only prudent but imperative to select your sources of advice. Is the person or source reliable? Does he have a good track record? Are there possible conflicts of interest? Are they disclosed? What is his character?
Getting into a business entails hard work. Even simple passive investing entails discipline and patience. Unfortunately, the lure of easy money and quick returns are still too tempting for most people, and this is the reason why scams continue to proliferate from the time of the Babylonians up to the present time. If you are offered something too good to be true, it is not true! You have to be skeptical, walk away. Chances are, it is a scam.
Let’s share true-to-life stories about the second law
In our Kumu show tomorrow, we will be sharing our own stories of how my son, Enrique, and I also got in trouble when we didn’t observe this second basic law of money. We would love to hear your own stories too. Let’s share lessons by sharing our actual stories. We will also hear the story of our guest, Inna Gatmaitan, on how she is using her gift of singing as she keeps her day job. She will not only share her story but also a couple of songs. See you at 11 am on Thursday April 15, 2021. Please come early at 10:55 am when we start the live broadcast. Ask your family and friends to join. Cheers to High FQ!
- To learn more about your money behavior, get your copy of FQ Book 2. Get copies for your loved ones too. The principles you will learn from here are not only applicable in your financial life but all the other important aspects of your life. https://fqmom.com/bookstore/
To know more about FQ Book 2, watch this short video .
- ThursDate! To add some practical knowledge while having kulit fun online, please make it a habit to join us every Thursday at 11 am on Kumu. I’d appreciate if you come early at 10:55am when we go live!
- How good are you with money? Do you want to know your FQ Score? Take the FQ Test and get hold of your finances now. Scan the QR code or click the link https://fqmom.com/dev-fqtest/app/#/questionnaire