Archive for the ‘Personal growth’ Category

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!

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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

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

Have you ever gone to a fortune teller? Or at least know of anyone who has gone to one? When I was younger, my mom would bring me and my sister to “Aling Erly”, a very gifted “manghuhula” (fortune teller) every so often to ask what the future holds for us.

I say “gifted” because I remember one time when a significant amount of money went missing from the “house fund”. We searched the whole house for it but to no avail, so my mom called up “Aling Erly” and consulted with her. And after a few minutes of reading cards, she said that the money was not stolen and that it was in good hands and it will appear soon enough.

A day later, my mom receives a call from our long time accountant who says that my (late) grandmother gave him the envelope with the cash by mistake and he will return it that evening. Spooky? You bet. Mystical powers? Who knows, but I will say that there are indeed people who can do amazing things and may have real psychic abilities. But, (yes there is a ‘but’); for the most part, fortune tellers don’t really use any “mystical powers” but rather something more basic, and, if used properly can be very, very potent. It’s called “The Power of Suggestion”

Has this ever happened to you or someone you know? — You go to a fortune teller and she tells you that tomorrow, you will meet the man/woman of your dreams? You’ll probably say that you don’t believe that and shrug it off. But, that very same night, even if you really don’t believe, you will most probably take a bath twice, make sure to put on an extra coat of that whitening lotion, and in the morning before leaving the house, you look at the mirror a few minutes longer checking out all angles making sure you look absolutely perfect. And then, all throughout the day, whenever you bump into a stranger, you start thinking “Could he/she be the one?”

If this has happened to you, then you know what I’m talking about, this is the power of suggestion at work. Fortune tellers most often than not say things that you want to hear, and they use the power of suggestion to make you believe that what you just heard from them will come true. The result is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy which, I believe is something that anyone with the right mindset, focus and a few practical guidelines can use to achieve unimaginable achievements in their lives without needing to go to any fortune teller (or anyone for that matter) anymore.

Read on because what I will share next will actually translate to your destiny.

“Destiny?” Well, not to be dramatic, but I believe we are all destined for something in life. While there are those who believe that their destiny in life is already pre-ordained and there is nothing they can do about it, I believe that we can all choose what are destiny will be. The problem that I see is that most people don’t know what they want in life let alone what they will be destined to become.

How about you do you know what you want in your life? Yes? Good, why don’t you write it down right now on a nice clean sheet of paper (even if you said NO, you can start by putting your thoughts down in writing, go ahead, try it). Now what I want you to write down are all the things you want to accomplish in your life time. So ask yourself this question after writing what you want in life “If I accomplish all of these, am I willing to leave this world happy and content?” If the answer is Yes, then congratulations, that is it. If the answer is No, then keep writing all the things that you want until you say Yes. Now once you say Yes, what you are doing is “suggesting” to yourself what your life will be like, what your destiny will be.

Okay good, what I want you to do now is to read silently what you wrote down every night, forever. Of course if you want to add more to what you wrote, go ahead and don’t feel at all limited by it. In fact, I suggest that you start a “journal” that you will update as you go along.

Okay, once you’ve got that down, here’s the critical part. Every time you read your “Journal” to yourself, I want you to ask “What am I willing to do to achieve these?” Are you willing to work harder? Are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to take a bit more risk? Your answer will now determine the choices that you will make. Your choices, based on what you are willing to do, will lead to not “if” you will achieve what you wrote down in your Journal but rather “how fast” it will take for you to fulfill your destiny.

Do you know this saying? “Be careful what you wish for…” Well I believe that the next sentence should not be “…you just might get it.” But rather, “…you will get it.”

And so, my wish for you my dear reader, is that you will have the greatest life ever and that all your dreams will come true. May you strive everyday to live your life to the fullest and may you make the choices that matter. May the power of your suggestions, give you hope and direction and may you help yourself fulfill your destiny sooner rather than later.

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 October 9, 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

In my earlier years, I never really thought of myself as a manager of people, truth be told I never really understood how important managing people really was until I became an Entrepreneur. And even when I embraced entrepreneurship full time, I made many, many mistakes in this field which taught me huge lessons not just in business but in life over all.

You see, back in the day as an inexperienced Entrepreneur, I thought that people management was simple: “if you want your business to succeed, you must hire people who have the background to run your business for you.” Little did I know that those thoughts were the most devastating thoughts ever to cross my mind. Why? Because no matter how good the people you hire, or how much money you offer them, the truth is: No one can ever run your business better than you.

I learned the hard way that being a business owner did not mean that you hired people to think for you and run the day to day operations for you, it meant that you needed to first know what you really want your business to become, and to do that, you need to be Employee number 1. Because and remember Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it usually will. And if you are not there to steer the business clear of problems, you should never expect Employee number 2, 3 or 4 to do it better than you.

The greatest mistake I made with my first business was to hire a General Manager and her managers (Employee number 2 and 3 and 4) to run the business. I was still working for a big multinational company back then and had the excuse of “I’m too busy to handle my own business”. So I relied on the salaries that I was paying my people to make them grow my business, solve problems and make me rich!

Of course, reality is never that easy. Because people that you pay but do not manage usually result in the people taking their salaries and end up making excuses for why things didn’t go as planned.

To read more about my problems on my first business and how I solved it, Click here to read: “Business and the start of a beautiful relationship parts 1 to 3”.

In hindsight, I realized that my biggest mistake was that I “abdicated” instead of “delegated”. Abdication is what happens when you are not there to guide people and as a result fail to fulfill your responsibility as the founder of the business. Delegation is when you slowly give some responsibility to the people you hire so that they can eventually do the work for you over time. Take note, the operative words here are “slowly” and “over time”.

So in my next business, I tried “delegating”. I was more hands on in the business. But there were still big glaring problems. The biggest problem of all was my attitude. I was either too nice, or too strict, or too tyrannical or all of the above. So as you can imagine, some of my people were complaining behind my back. I wasn’t consistent in my approach and my moods got the best of me, because and this is not an excuse: as an entrepreneur you are faced with an extreme amount of stress on a daily basis.

So how did I learn to manage my people better? Well, three things.

First I had to learn to be better than the normal guy. As an Entrepreneur, you will really face a lot of hard and stressful times but even during those times, I had to learn how to become more “presidential” which meant I needed to stop being dramatic, learn to act from my head and not from my heart. It wasn’t easy, but I (with my wife) realized that the solution to achieving this was to slowly and painstakingly build a system to address the needs of our people. This is where my wife, Jhoanna really excelled, she built our Human Resource System almost single handedly which did not just address concerns of our people but also replaced impulsiveness and drama with solid procedures for addressing our people’s problems.

Second, and simultaneously, I had to weed out the bad apples in the bunch. You see I believe that the business owner has to do his / her part in becoming better at managing people but the people themselves must be willing to be honed to become even better for the sake of the Business. Unfortunately there are those who just do not have the right attitude and the only answer is to remove them from the equation. Once I cleared the ranks, replacing them with “better” people was the next task, and to do this, we created a criteria for hiring people, and that criteria was the most important of all, it was to hire those that believed in what the business wanted to achieve. This unified belief is what bonded our people together to act as one with the owners themselves. Without this bond you can never really build a team with a common purpose.

Third, and finally, I realized that the first two things will not matter at all if I did not show them exactly what it was that the business wanted to achieve. So the last and final ingredient of how I learned how to manage people is to lead by example. I am Employee number 1 and as such I must show the rest of the team how to do it the first time, the second time, the third time, until they can do it on their own. Today, I can honestly say that I have come a long way when it comes to managing people. Today I can honestly say I together with my wife are better managers of people.

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. Attend Businessmaker Academy’s Business Operations and People Management this August 7, 2010 at Businessmaker Academy. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at markso@zerocapitalclub.com or call 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 and look for Kenneth Dalen