Hi Everyone!

My series on “How To Make Money Run After You” will be my most lengthy series that will be published in Manila Bulletin by far, as such I believe that it deserves it’s own website. The new website is a hundred times more awesome than my already awesome business advice blog! so that I can organize and really teach all of you how to not just make money run after you but to be able to create “True Wealth”.

Go here now to check it out: http://wealthflowproject.com

For the past 3 weeks, I have been very busy creating a brand new site which contains not just my money management articles but ALL my business and investing articles including my super genius wife’s articles on career management. Once you get to the new site, you will immediately see how much effort I really put into it as all my articles are now much more organized and tasks and assignments as well.

What’s more is that I became really “obsessive-compulsive” about making sure that all my lessons are received by all and that the tasks and activities are clear and step by step. I call this the “Wealth Plan” and it is FREE for all of those who sign up on the new site. (On the right side you will see a big red arrow, can’t miss it really) Just place your name, email and phone number, then click register. Super easy!

Go here now to do that: http://wealthflowproject.com/instructions

Oh, by the way, you will also have a blast looking at all the “cartoons” I personally drew for the site! Yes, I also draw and doodle, one of my other hidden talents. Also, just to let you know, I drew all of the artwork on my iPAD and directly uploaded it into the site. Super awesome! I love technology don’t you?

So, for those of you who what to stop running after money and make “Wealth” flow instead to you,

go now to http://wealthflowproject.com  or just Click HERE Now

All the best!

Mark So, your handsome business mentor!

Money Leeches in the Family?

If you have not yet read Part 2 of this article, please click here to read it now

In the last article, I talked about being aware and effectively stopping your Money Leeches!  Should a Money Leech appear who is NOT Immediate family, I recommend that you only offer P50 and not a Centavo more. Although it may seem very harsh, this is the first real step in getting your money to stay with you. Also remember, if you think you can’t do it, think about the welfare of your immediate family. Money leeches are not your burden, they are not your problem. Instead, think of them as “Money Management Tests”. If you are able to stop your leeches, you pass the test and you immediately get to the next level. Fail the test, then you will stay stuck where you are.

But what if the “Money Leech” is from immediate family? Like a brother or a sister or a parent, what then?

First, let me define what an “immediate family money Leech” is. — This is the brother or sister or parent that will habitually ask you for money. Most of the time, they even feel entitled to it because of the blood relationship they have with you. You know the type right?

Well, this is where it gets very sensitive for a lot of people. Everybody has a different opinion on this, but this is my clear cut view on it. Not all members of your immediate family have the same weight. You must prioritize who within your immediate family to be generous to first.

In my life, this is my prioritization: My first priority is to my wife and children, then my parents and then my siblings. And with that in mind, I give 90% of my money to my wife and children first, then the next 5% goes to me and the remaining 5% goes to a special fund just in case an immediate family needs it.

Side note: If you give 90% of your money to your wife / husband and children, make sure that it is not siphoned off by a relative of your wife/husband because they too may have a money leech or leeches. This is a concern of many married people as well. –Sit down and talk to your wife / husband about this if this is indeed the case with you. Your objective is to teach your spouse about money leeches and have a unified front against them.

Now, should there be a money leech in my immediate family the maximum amount of cash I or my wife gives is only the 5% of whatever we have at the time. Now depending on how much money you have right now, that can be very little or that can be very big, the point is, even if it is immediate family (outside of my wife and children) our cash generosity is budgeted, controlled and managed.

Another side note: If you are single, I do not suggest offering 90% to your immediate family unless you plan to never marry, still budget it to 5 to 10% because of 2 reasons: 1.) If you give more than that, you might not have a money leech now, but if they get used to it, you would have created a money leech down the road; And 2.) You need money for when you get married someday. If there was a major regret I had in my life, it was that, I didn’t plan financially when the time to marry the love of my life came along. Even though it worked out in the end, I could have planned so much better.

Make no mistake; my life’s wealth is meant for my immediate family. Everything I make and have is meant to be shared with them, and to give them a better life BUT if I have a Money Leech problem and do not budget, and control it. The Money Leech will most definitely bleed me dry financially as well, especially if it is family –and let me add, if you are married, a money leech in the immediate family, if not managed will DESTROY your marriage. Trust me; I’ve seen it happen to those very dear to me. This is why I urge you to understand what I am sharing. If nothing else, I want all of you to have a great and happy marriage.

Be Generous in the Right Way

Now some of you who have read up to this point might be having a violent reaction right now saying “I can’t just abandon my brother, sister, parents and just give them 5% if they desperately need the money??? If I do, I am not being a good son/daughter/ brother/sister, I am a Filipino, they are my blood, I must give!”

Okay, calm down before you decide that I am a heartless scrooge.

Remember that we are just talking about Money Leeches in the immediate family who “habitually” ask for money and even feel entitled to it. If they are not “leeching” you dry and they desperately need help and you can afford to do so then give what you can. But I suggest that you only do so once because if you give more than that, you are creating a money leech down the road.

I am a very generous person by nature. The problem that I had before was that I was generous in the wrong way.  Being overly generous with money, especially if you do not know how to manage it, is extremely dangerous and is a clear recipe for money running away from you instead of towards you.

So instead, what I learned to do, and what I want you to learn to do as well is to be extremely generous in the right way, and that is to be generous in “kind”. To explain this further, I will give you 2 assignments today.

Assignment 1: Read my past article entitled “Business Reciprocity”. Click Here To Read That Article. Then Comment on either that article or this one. Complain to me about the problems you have in completing the assignments. Believe me, I will read every single one — even yours and I promise that I will not ban you or even get mad at you when you do. It is all part of the process.

Assignment 2: Set a budget for your Family Leeches and stick to it. Create a script on how you will say it to them. You can email it to me if you want. Email to: markso@zerocapitalclub.com

Good luck and see you in the next article!

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to: mhso@businessmaker-academy.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

Getting Rid Of Money Leeches


If you have not yet read Part 1 of this article, please click here  READ PART 1 NOW

Okay, let’s continue where we left off and go a little deeper on being more financially prepared so that wealth starts flowing towards you instead of away from you.

Our lesson today is about being aware and effectively stopping your Money Leeches!

Money Leeches as I’d like to call them are the People, or “Cosmically uncanny” situations that just happen to show up at the very exact moment you come into some money. Sound familiar? Think back…Do you remember the time that you got that P5,000 bonus from your job, or a sideline or unexpected business from a client?

Who called you or showed up at your doorstep needing urgent help or “who just happened to drop by” that very same week needing exactly P5,000?

Did your car, refrigerator, cell phone, or something else break down needing some urgent repairs totaling more or less P5,000?

Did you just happen to go to the mall that weekend, which incidentally was having a 50% off Sale on all items and bought something that you would never ever use for more or less P5,000?

I’m pretty sure you are smiling right now because you know exactly what I’m talking about don’t you? Yup, whoever he or she is, whatever “situation” arose the last time you came into money, you have just identified your money leeches.

I know because I used to have lots of them. And I thought that that was the story of my life. And because I thought that way, the next time I got into some money, the Money leeches would come! It became a reality for me, so much so that all the money I made almost always went to some “Urgent” or “Useless” expense.

The problem is that most of these money leeches are usually family members or close friends. Or when situations arise, like your appliance breaking down or a cellphone being stolen or any similar incident is that you feel that it was by divine providence and that it was beyond your control and you just have to give in.

Let me say right now, they can be stopped and it can be controlled. But it will take a major attitude and cultural change in you. It will require a lot of effort and a very “thick” face but if you apply what I will share, you will immediately achieve a Major breakthrough in our “wealth transfer project.”

First, stop thinking that having money leeches is normal. It is not. You have to change your attitude right now, here’s your first assignment that will help you do just that.

1.)    On a blank piece of paper I want you to hand write the following: >>Make sure that it is “Hand written” not type written:

“Having Money Leeches will kill me financially, I am now aware, I will defend myself and get rid of them now! ___________. (print your first name on the blank space then sign your name on top of it)

2.)    Scan that piece of paper or take a digital picture of it.

3.)    Email it to me as soon as you can. Please note that if you email it to me, you are allowing me to post it on my blog should I choose to do so.

4.)    Prominently place that piece of paper in your wallet so that you can see it every time you open it.

The exercise above is meant to “kick start” your brain to acting and thinking about defending yourself against these money leeches. And yes, it is true, If you do not fix it right now, you will die financially.

Next, identify the people who are NOT immediate family members who constantly ask for money from you. Note, these are the people who are NOT your wife, your children, your brother, your sister oryour 2 parents.

Here’s what you tell the people who are NOT immediate family the next time they ask for money:

Situation: My _______ just got hospitalized, Can I borrow P5,000? (Or whatever amount)

Response: “I’m so sorry to hear that, I hope _______ is alright. I wish I could give you P5,000 but I can only afford to give P50 right now hope you understand.

Regardless of the situation or any amount that a Non-immediate family wants to “borrow” from you, only offer P50! There will be 3 possible reactions: reaction 1: insulted, and will never want to ask money from you again. Reaction 2: they are grateful and they take it. Reaction 3: They negotiate. Regardless of their reaction only be willing to give P50 and not a centavo more.

It might seem heartless to you but it has to be done if you really want to get rid of the money leeches. Remember, this is to be used ONLY for non-immediate family. They are not your burden, they are not your problem. The priority you should always be your Immediate family. What if, God forbid, something should happen to any one of your children? Your wife?  Your Husband? Your sister? Your brother? Your Parents? And you don’t have money because you gave your money to someone else. Now that would be a real tragedy. If you can’t do this for yourself, then do this for your immediate family, reserve your generosity for them. But be smart about how you go about it. In the next article, I will talk about how to financially protect your immediate family and yourself from Money Leeches within your immediate family.

Lastly here is your 2nd assignment, give me feedback. Post a comment about this article or part 1: What I am interested in is not praises (although that would be nice too), instead, complain to me about the problems you have in completing the assignments. Yes, you read it right, post a comment below on why you don’t think this or any of the assignments I have given you will ever work for you. Believe me, I will read every single one — even yours and I promise that I will not ban you or even get mad at you when you do. It is all part of the process.

Good luck and see you in the next article!

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to:   mhso@businessmaker-academy.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

Today, I want to share a very special topic — How to make money run after you. This is a topic that I have never shared with the public before now. It is I believe something that anyone and everyone can and should benefit from, especially those who have been looking but could not yet to find a job. For those working very hard but still not having enough to make ends meet. For those who are stressed out with not having enough money, and are becoming desperate, this article is for you.

Don’t think for one second that because the world is in financial crisis that there is no more money going around, the truth is far from it. The fact is, the world is literally overflowing with money.  It may not seem like it to you right now my dear reader but read on and let me enlighten you.

Always remember this: Money is never destroyed, only transferred.

Wealth, on a daily basis is constantly being transferred from those who do not know how to handle money to those who know how. Even, and most especially, during financial crisis, does what I just said hold its truest meaning. My goal in this article is to make you one of those people where wealth is transferred to and not taken from.

First let me take the most recent financial crisis, break it down for you and explain how wealth was transferred in relatively simple terms, then let me show you the steps to take today so that we begin the process of “wealth flow”.  This article will be the first of a series, and after each article I will give you an activity or task to do. If you seriously want money to run after you, I strongly recommend that you follow the assignments for every article and give me feedback every step of the way.

In the most recent financial crisis in the US that started June of 2007 and reached its peak in October of 2008, the US stock market and consequently the Philippine Stock market had lost more than 50% of its value. Most people panicked and took out their money, or whatever that was left of it for fear of losing even more. When they did that, they lost half of their wealth in just a few short days, which took almost a lifetime to build. As of September 29, 2008 according to CNN money, approximately $1.2 Trillion dollars was wiped out in the US alone.

Let me repeat: The money was not lost. It was merely transferred.

During the same crisis, there were a few, very few brave souls who bought those stocks at extremely low prices. They held on to it, and became a whole lot richer overnight.

**Warning: Do not get overwhelmed with what I’m going to share next; Even if my examples are in Billions of US dollars, the principles that I want you to pick up, will and can be applied to your situation. Also, and more importantly, do not put in everything you have in any investment vehicle because of this. This is not the point of my example**

In the US, the most notable figure to do this of course was Warren Buffet who at the time bought a significant chunk of shares of Goldman Sachs in September 2008. Despite the odds and the panic, Buffet bought those shares at basement bargain prices, He invested $5 billion, held on to it during the worst of the crisis (which was October 2008), and turned it into $8.7billion just recently. Another similar story, although he did not buy stocks but rather bet against them (a.k.a. short trading), John Paulson of Paulson and Co. made a killing betting against the US subprime mortgage market. He made $4 Billion after the worst of the crisis was over. Although Buffet and Paulson were the few covered by the media, there were more who made a killing as well, the public at large just didn’t know it.

Okay, you might be thinking well those guys are professional investors, how can I ever come close to doing that myself? Well, first let me explain that this is just one of many, many examples of “wealth flow transference”. You don’t have to be in stocks or investments to apply what I will be teaching you in the next few articles. And for those of you who know me and have been following my many articles, you know that I will teach you how to do it in a very practical and “anybody-can-do-it” way, so please, read on.

Also, I will not be saying that you cannot be a billionaire, I will leave that option wide open for anybody willing to try, but before we think about billions, or even millions, let’s first come back down to earth and start with the basics.

How and where do I begin?

I’m designing this and the succeeding articles to be very thorough and slow so that you not just understand it but experience it by applying it into your life, article by article. Of course you can go faster if you wish and I will inform you how to do that in the very, very near future.

In the meantime, this should be your first “realization” for this article– Running after money if you do not know how to manage it will result in forever chasing after money. Get your house in order first, build a strong foundation for money management first and you will see that the money will start running towards you and staying with you!

Now to learn and apply this lesson, here are your first assignment(s)

  1. Go to my blog http://www.markso.wordpress.com and subscribe to it (There is a space on the left side to input your email address)
  2. Search for, read, and comment on the following articles in the search box of my blog (Type it in the search box)
    1. “The Most Important Advice About Money I can Ever Give You” (You may have to scroll down the list to find it)
    2. “Money Management Simplified part s 1 to 3”  (You may have to scroll down the list to find it)

Good luck and see you in the next article!


Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, A Trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, You may email your comments and questions to:   mhso@businessmaker-academy.com or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars

Hello Everyone, It’s been a while hasn’t it?

Well, today I want to teach those who have a Business or those thinking of starting a business a very simple, very powerful, and almost effortless way to increase profits. And although what I will explain is pretty obvious, most businesses would surprisingly go the complete opposite of what I will share. You might even be practicing this in your business or are planning to do this when you launch your business.

So if you want to increase your profits with minimal effort, then my dear reader, please read on.

Almost all businesses I know at one point in time will resort to discounting as a way to increase their sales.  In fact, this practice has become ‘gospel’ to starting and even growing businesses that it becomes the ‘go-to’ tactic when they want to get more sales. I myself have discounted a lot in the past and even though it gets additional sales, I slowly and painfully realized, that it does something that you will not immediately notice, it will inevitably decrease your overall profitability.

So over the years, I have learned how to increase sales and profitability without resorting to discounting. And believe me, this will be a lesson you would want to take to heart and try on your business soon. But first, let me share why you should take this simple lesson seriously by showing you the math.

Let’s say your product’s selling price is P50 with a profit margin of 30% or P15. Now, the number of people buying that product is 10 per day. So, if we do simple multiplication, your total profit for the day will be P150 (10 people X P50 X 30%) or ( 10 people  X P15 profit ).

Now you feel your sales are low and you want to increase it, and what do you immediately think of?  “let’s give a 10% off promo” or let’s do a “Buy 1 take 1 promo”, etc.  Am I right? Of course I am because I’ve done it myself many, many times😉

So, let’s take a look at the 10% off promo. 10% off your selling price means your P50 now becomes P45 (P5 discount).  Now, let’s assume that your promo produces 1 more customer or 11 customers for the day, then your total profit will now be P110 (11 people  X  P10 profit). P10 because it used to be P15 but I discounted P5 so my new profit is now P10.

If you get 2 more customers for the day, then profit becomes P120 (12 people X P10 profit)

3 more customers, P130 profit

4 more customers, P140 profit

5 more customers, P150 profit

So what can we conclude in this simple example? If I give a 10% discount, then I would need to add at least 5 more people or 50% more buyers just to have the same profit of P150! What more if you do a buy 1 take 1 promo or a 50% discount? Well, you do the math and you’d be very depressed I assure you.

So here’s my first lesson for you to increase your profit without any effort at all. STOP giving discounts if you really dont need to.

Easier said than done you say? Well, read on as I’m not yet done. In fact, in my businesses, I will go a step further by doing the complete reverse of what most of my competitors will typically do, I increase my prices by at least 20%. Now I know what you are thinking — yikes! Less people will buy from me if I do that — Not necessarily true, but for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at the math again and see what happens when you start losing some customers:

The original profit = P150 with 10 people @ P50 @ P15 Profit. I increase my price to P60 (add 20%) @ P25 profit from P15.

If my volume drops by 1 person to 9 people/day then, my profit will STILL be P225 (9 people X P25)

8 people/day, P 200 profit

7 people/day, P175 profit

6 people/day, P150 profit still

Now even if I lose 4 people or 40% of my volume, I will still get the same original profit.

Okay and I know what you are thinking, increasing prices are in many, many cases viewed by a lot of businesses as “Taboo” or “Evil” or “Un-filipino-like”. And I would agree in some cases, but I do not in many. I do not agree that businesses have to resort to “I’m-a-good-guy-so-I’ll-price-it -just-to-get-by” pricing or “Buy-from-me-because-I’m-the-lowest-priced-in-the-universe”. Thinking that way will surely run your business to the ground sooner or later.

If you are worried about those very thoughts, I want to assure you that you do not have to be a Bad guy when you raise your prices. Far from it actually, and you certainly do not have to be the lowest priced for you to have top sales. What I have learned throughout the years is that price is NOT the only thing that the customer is concerned with.  Customers for the most part are  concerned with 2 other things and sometimes even more so compared to price. 1.)  Quality /assurance and 2.) if it solves their problem.

And so, the 2nd lesson I will leave you with in this article will be this: have the courage and the strategy to increase your price by communicating and even going so far as to guarantee the quality of your product and making sure that it solves a problem that the customer is willing to pay a premium for. If you can do that, you are on your way to increasing your profits with minimal effort.

Author Box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, Investor and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Founder and Chief Trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses.  A sought after speaker for business, investing, Sales and Marketing he is inviting you to attend his 2 day course on Proactive Sales and Marketing to give solid strategies on increasing your sales through practical, no-nonsense marketing. To register for this please go call (632)6874645 or 6873416.  You may email your comments and questions to:   mhso@businessmaker-academy.com

PH Blogs

The phone rings in the office at around 10 in the morning and my secretary answers it. It was from a priest, a Monsignor in fact looking for me. I wasn’t around at the time so my secretary asks for his number and purpose of the call. She got the number but the priest didn’t leave any specific reason, just that he wanted to talk to me urgently.

As I arrived in the office later, my secretary informs me of the call and asks if I want her to call the Monsignor back. Of course the natural reaction of anybody when a priest wants to talk to you would be to return their call as soon as possible. (Maybe he wanted to bless me, who knows right?) So I quickly make it a priority to talk to the man of the cloth.

So as the phone was handed over to me, things quickly began to unravel.

“Hello… father?”

“Maaark! (as if he knew me for a long time), how are you? This is Father something-something (I’m leaving the name out as I will explain some more on this later)”

“Yes Father, how can I help you?”

“Well you see Mark, I’m currently involved in community work for some military and police people, you see they have several good projects for their community and they are in need of some financial help…(a deliberate pause)”

“Yes Father, go on…”

“Okay, now I’m selling a few tickets for P5,000 each for an event that will happen on this date, can you purchase a few from me to help their cause?”

Now if this was the younger, naive and inexperienced version of me, I would have answered this way:

“Okay father can you give me some more details for this event? I can probably buy one ticket to help your cause, where and how can I give you my contribution?”

And I would bet that a lot (not all, but a lot) of people who talk to this priest would most likely say the same thing or some version of it if they had the money. Why? Because the mere mention of him being a priest would make most God fearing people instantly want to help the request of a holy man.

But you see, because I’m a little older now a little more experienced I don’t quite buy it just yet. So instead of rushing into giving a total stranger my hard earned money, I ask a few hard and straight to the point questions.

“Ah okay father, by the way what’s your name again? (then he repeats his full name), Okay father, just a quick question before anything else (he says sure!) — is it normal practice for priests to call people soliciting money for tickets?”

“(Pause)… (He was quite obviously surprised to get this question from me)… Uhm…No…it’s not… which is why I’m a little embarrassed to be calling you like this”

Honestly, he would have had a slightly better chance if he answered this way: “Actually my son, yes, when times are tough, even priests have to do what they can to help others.”

But he didn’t. Now at this point, I remember recognizing his voice from somewhere before but could not place it until now, then it dawned on me that he had called me a year or two ago, I remember his distinct voice pretending to be the head of customs and at that time selling me “smuggled” Johnny Walker for P5,000 per bottle.

So I continued asking a few more questions, but this time a little more direct as the plot became a little clearer:

“Okay father, I have to be honest, I do not know you, and I hope you understand that I do not just give my money to strangers. Also, how did you get this number?”

“Well, Mark, yes you are right, I understand what you are saying, I don’t know you, but my name is Monsignor something-something, you can actually look me up on the internet and a retired General gave me your number”

Now, when he said “you can look me up on the internet” this should have been good enough, but in my mind, anyone on the phone can get the identity of someone already established and claim that that is him / her so I just said.

“Okay thanks Father, but I will have to pass.”

“Really, hindi mo talaga ako matutulungan?”

“Sorry Father, I have helped many people in my own way and through various means, and I still do so until today but I will have to decline politely. Thanks for calling anyway.”

And the phone went dead.

Okay so the reason why I decided to write about and publish this particular incident of my life is to teach you 3 important lessons from it so that you avoid being scammed.

1.)   Do not be intimidated or be awed by titles or designations or positions of people over the phone. You always need proof of the person’s identity especially if it’s just by phone. Now offering of proof on the internet will not be good enough as I mentioned, you need social proof, who knows him/her that you know too? what does that mutual person say about him/her?

2.)   Remember this saying: “To catch a thief, you must think like a thief”. Although this is pretty self-explanatory, most of the time we tend to play a role in the scene that the other person sets up.  In the example above, the person paints the picture that he is a Monsignor, so normally people opposite that person will play the role of the good Catholic constituent. Etc.

3.)   And lastly, if you work hard to make money for you and your family. You must also work hard in protecting that money from people who will constantly try to take that money from you and your family.

Remember, being generous is a good character trait to have, but we must also be prudent and smart.

About the Author:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila.  A sought after speaker for business and forex, he is scheduled to conduct his signature seminars on Business Start-up and expansion as well as his Complete Forex Trading Course this month.  To know more about these seminars, you may visit www.businessmaker-academy.com or http://www.forexclubmanila.com or call (632)6874645.  You may email your comments and questions to:   markso@zerocapitalclub.com

Over the past year, I’ve written a good number of business advice articles for Manila Bulletin and each of those articles were and still are meant to help as many people as possible. These articles are from my experience and discoveries through a lot of trial and error in “business making”, and to be honest, all of those articles contain a secret or two of mine on being successful in business, so in this particular piece, I’d like to summarize some of the more valuable lessons and what has made me who I am over the years. I do hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Keep things simple

If there is one truth about what works in this world is that the simplest of solutions are all you really need. A lot of times, I find myself looking at an opportunity and immediately start thinking of all sorts of “creative” ways of making money with it. Most of the time, it becomes an exercise in creativity rather than making a decent profit. In my article entitled, “Do Not Overcomplicate Your Business” I talk about this incident where a student from an Ivy League school was over complicating what should be a very simple and straightforward business — printing and selling of t-shirts. (Go to my blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com and search the title if you have not yet read it) I mean, come on, how complicated can that be right? Well, as the story turns out, you’d be amazed at how our train of thought can be so devoid of common sense.

Find the customer first

When I first heard this line from a successful entrepreneur (a close and dear friend) a long time ago, I was blown away at the simplicity of the logic. This is really not a secret in business making, just find and talk to a successful businessperson, they will instantly validate it, and many a times, that is most probably how they started in business in the first place. So to explain further, I used to think like the throngs of would-be entrepreneurs when it came to starting a business, find capital, put up the business, then make money. The problem with that logic is that in order to be in business, you needed capital first and in many, many cases that was the whole problem, the reason why you want to start a business in the first place was because you did not have money to begin with, so I experimented with that line “Find the customer first”, tried this and tried that until finally I figured it out. I discuss this a little bit more in my article: “How to Make Extra Money with Zero Capital” (again go to my blog and search for it if you have not read it yet).

Learn how to sell

Business in its purest form is selling. So naturally, if you want to be in business, you need to learn how to sell. Now the problem with this for a lot of people is that the mere mention of the word “sell” sends shivers up and down their spines, “can’t do it”, “don’t want to”, “I don’t think I can” would probably be the three phrases that just popped in your head right now. But the truth is, anyone, given the right motivation can sell, in fact, the people who you think can’t sell are actually the ones who can outsell even the most gifted of sales men. In my article series “The Tale of Two Salesmen Parts 1, 2, and 3” I unravel the mysteries and debunk the myth that sales and selling are only for a select few. When you get to read those articles on my blog, you will soon realize that sales is not a position, it’s a way of life.

Manage your money

Now, the thing about selling is that if you do it very well, money comes in. And I used to think that the more money coming in, the richer I will be. Well, it is true, but unfortunately that’s only half right. What I experienced was that, the more money that I made, the lesser there was of it remaining because I spent most of it on useless stuff. It took my wife and a huge knock on the head for me to realize that no matter how much money you made, what mattered more was what you did with it. In other words, how you spend is much more important than what you make. This is another key to my business success. In my article series “Money Management Simplified Parts 1, 2, and 3” I discuss step by step how you can spend properly and of course manage your money. So if you haven’t done so yet, go to my blog now and search those articles.

Keep investing in yourself

I said this once, and I’ll say it a thousand times more. The real secret to becoming a success is to never be content to just stay where you are. You are a product of evolution, when times change, so must you, when times get tougher, so must you. In this world we live in, it is the strong that survive, and so the most basic and yet most potent advice I could ever give you my dear reader is to never stop investing in improving your self, expanding your knowledge, practicing until you understand, making mistakes and boo boos along the way are all the things that you need to do constantly to keep on growing and succeeding.

In the end, I hope that my business advices through my articles and my blog have helped you in some way, hope or form. If it has, do leave a comment on my blog on any or all of the articles that you read there. Good luck and God bless!

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader, marketer, sales consultant, and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila. Mr. So is slated to conduct his 7 Point Formula for Business Start Up and Expansion this November 13, 2010. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at markso@zerocapitalclub.com. To read more of Mark’s interesting and life enriching articles you can go to his blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com