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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Learn from Sluts

I was in a coffee shop seated next to a group of people talking about how to get rich. I was not purposely eavesdropping but it was difficult not to listen because half of the people in the coffee shop could hear them. All of us were polite not to appear we were listening or annoyed. I, on the other hand, had just finished my work , and armed with a laptop, I had a burst of wicked inspiration.

A lanky young man dressed in dark t-shirt and blue jeans, probably in his late twenties or early thirties, was leading the discussion and reading passages from a book. The book was covered so it was hard to tell the title but judging from his lecture, and the passages he read from the book, it sounded like one of those How-to-be-rich, How-to-Manage-your-money type of books. His audience, 3 women in their mid-twenties, diligently answer his questions and make notes as if they would have a test afterwards. Three empty plastic coffee cups were on the table, and a half-full mineral water and a small saucer with chocolate crumbs still on it. They obviously all shared the slice of chocolate cake before the lengthy discussion started.

The odd thing about this is that the young man sounded like one of my college classmates giving a report. You know the type. One of those students who read the chapter thoroughly but he did not completely understand all of it but he knew enough to give a decent report. Still, there is no stamp of conviction and experience in his words, his pronunciation, and his pacing. The young man sounded like he is just being paid to do this. That's the ironic part. Half of the people in the coffee shop heard him when he said that broke people work for money but people should work for financial security. Somehow, I do not see in him anything that would convince anyone from believing his financial words of wisdom, and yet those 3 women looked at him like as if he were Li Ka Shing. At the end of the lecture, the young man confidently ask the 3 women, "Are you willing to attend the Module 2?" The 3 women said in unison, "Yes."

Always be weary of people giving advice. It is not the advice, it is the person giving advice. Indulge me a bit because I cannot seem to find a way out of this. I will give you some pieces of advice but then again, who the hell am I to give advice. Well, let me just say that my own rules apply to me as well so there. Continue reading or stop.

Oh, you're still here. All right, let me begin.

I have a friend, and judging from his appearance you would not guess that he is managerial material but he is. He is quite successful now and should I say, financially hefty. He only started reading about this How-to Books after he made it up to the corporate ladder. How he got there? He skipped the crap and started to work. Did he do "good work?" Absolutely not! He did "exceptionally great work" that made everyone looked pathetic. And when he had enough of the politics of his career, he submitted his resignation only to be offered a higher position with a heftier salary. Amazing isn't it? Yet, among our circle of friends, he is simply dismissed as a boy, foolhardy when it comes to relationships but unknown to many, he is a tiger, a shrewd intelligent strategist. You will never see him with chocolate crumbs still on the saucer.

In my short life, I have met many successful people. I have not met any Filipino millionaires or billionaires who have oppressed the poor to become rich, oh no, I'll meet them later in Heaven. I have met self-made business people, self-educated artists and self-made geniuses and they all have one thing in common. They have never asked for anything. Everything was handed to them before they even asked for it because when they were asked to shovel shit, they made shovelling shit an art form.

I could also give some of my experiences as a manager but that would be self-serving, and I am still enjoying shovelling shit. So let me just leave you with these pieces of advice.

1. Beware of voracious readers and theories peddlers without experience, they will lead you to disaster.
2. If the person giving you financial advice became rich by writing books about giving people financial advice, be wary. They became successful by selling advice that we can learn for free if we just stop reading and start doing something. But did they actually practice what they preach, that remains to be seen. This is like learning sex from a virgin. No matter how detailed the explanation may be and no matter how dazzling the visuals may be, he or she is still a virgin. It is always better to learn from sluts and man whores.
3. If you constantly complain about your work, that means you are not good enough to be given a better and higher position. Complain all you want, and drag others to your level if you want company, but your circumstance will never change tomorrow, next year or ever. Shut up and work.
4. Never listen to anyone about anything unless he or she had at least half a decade doing it.
5. Hate successful people all you want but they do not know you exist. The only time you're wasting is yours.
6. Some people say you can never have it all but you should not stop trying. Some people have it all, we can too.
7. I have never met an unattractive successful person. If you look like you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot take care of yourself.
8. It is always our fault why we fail. Period. Move on.
9. If you are still reading this, then bless you. I hope you're at least good-looking, sexy and young because you can at least marry for money.
10. God, are you still reading this? Go!

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