Posts Tagged ‘business smarts’

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: or call the office at 6874445 / 6873416 / 6874645 for a schedule of his seminars


My wife and I used to live in a condo unit when we were newly married. At first, the condo was pretty spacious and needed some furniture so we got a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, then gifts would come from friends and family on special occasions and over time the stuff we had would pile up. I remember one time feeling claustrophobic already, I literally couldn’t breathe anymore and no matter how many times we would donate, or purge we would feel that the condo was magically getting smaller and smaller.

Now this is not because we keep buying stuff, we actually live (then and now) a very simple life. We do not buy anything we do not need and we donate and “purge” regularly, the fact is everyone will eventually have more “stuff” over time. This is what I call “the power of accumulation” and what I wanted to share with you today is how I use this power in businesses. And how you too can build something small first then slowly, over time, accumulate not just “stuff” but wealth.

Before I start, I’m sure you are thinking right now: “I can’t start a business yet, I don’t know anything about businesses”. So I want to let you know one powerful truth:

“Everyone starts at ZERO.”

Every successful business owner starts by not knowing much about business. Sure, some of them might have studied about starting a business whether in college, grad school, books and even through seminars. And I wholeheartedly believe in education, but let me tell you another powerful truth:

“Experience is the best teacher of all”.

Let me explain further. If I were to tell a 5 year old child to stay away from the stove because he/she might get burned, then show the child pictures of what a burn looks like and tell her that it is very, very painful then the child has been educated on how not to get burned right?

Now, the child will listen to you…for a while that is.  But when you are not looking and the stove is on, chances are, the child will still go near the stove and accidentally burn her hand anyway. Because the child needs to fulfill her curiosity on what the word “burn” is and understand what you meant about how painful it can really be. Now, the moment she gets hurt and realizes that she never wants to get burned again, she has gained experience.

Likewise, the best way to learn about business is to experience doing business and find out first hand what it is like to go through the pains and gains of being in business.

So are you ready to gain experience and accumulate businesses? Alright then here’s the simple formula / plan that you must start doing now to start accumulating wealth through businesses: “S+R+A” = Power of Accumulation

S = “Start small”

There are many ways to start a business, but my method is the one that you can do right now. First off, know that no one can ever be sure if a business will succeed or not. So, common sense would dictate that you start small. If you have a small business already, good! If you don’t, then start one now by starting a sideline or racket. If you need some suggestions on creating a business without adding any costs, go to my blog at and search this phrase: “Money Management Simplified Part 3”. In that article are two incredibly simple ways to start a small sideline business with Zero Costs. I would also suggest that you read the whole series (parts 1 to 3) to learn how to manage your money for businesses.

As my readers already know, when I start businesses I start them with Zero costs, to me that is the ultimate way of starting small.

R = “Remain Small”

When I start a small business, and it becomes a success, I do not hire a lot of people, I keep it small and manageable. But I do something “special” inside the business to make it even more profitable. I call it “Multiple Streaming”. It’s a technique that I teach in my 7 point formula seminar. What Multiple Streaming does is that it takes an ordinary sideline or racket and it “doubles” the income streams of that business every year. Now, if I increase my income stream per business and keep my staff small and manageable, the business becomes a lot more profitable even without becoming too big. Why do I like keeping my businesses small? Well, lots of reasons but the most important reason is that small businesses can move a lot faster than bigger businesses and the relationship between the customers, the staff and me are more direct and personal, no red tape.

A = “Accumulate”

Now, once my small business’ income stream stabilizes. I do it all over again with the same process, I start another small business, then I “Multiple Stream it” until profitable, then add another when ready. I simply keep adding small, profitable businesses over time that accumulate into true wealth. Imagine money coming in from multiple sources — when you wake up, when you are asleep, when you are eating, when you are on vacation. It’s an incredible feeling I assure you.

“The Power of Accumulation”

So going back to the introduction of this article when my wife and I started out in a small condominium, the fact is, you will always accumulate more “stuff” no matter what. So I learned to apply this incredible power into businesses and instead of the awful feeling of Claustrophobia, I achieve something else- “freedom from financial worry”. So now, you too can accumulate more wealth by just following the simple plan that I just outlined for you and of course gaining as much experience in the process. All the best! 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 Seminar” this July 31, 2010. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at To read more of Mark’s interesting and life enriching articles you can go to his blog at

So today, I wanted to share another important lesson in entrepreneurship. It is a lesson rooted deeply in our Filipino culture valuing hard work above everything else, which I believe is correct, but incomplete.

I say this because I once thought that working hard, sacrificing and putting in the effort was the key to success, the harder I worked, the more successful I become. While I do believe in working hard, I believe that it must be combined with working smart.

I often talk to my wife about the great Filipino folk tale of Juan Masipag (the industrious Filipino) and Juan Tamad (the lazy Filipino). When I was a child, my teachers would often tell us that we should emulate Juan Masipag because his trait of being industrious, diligent and hard working will guarantee your success in the future. Then they would say never be like Juan Tamad who would lie down all day long beneath a tree with a fruit hanging over head with his mouth open to catch it when and if it drops. So naturally during my formative years, I would often place more value on diligence, being industrious, and above all, working hard. It was so ingrained in me in fact that I became a “Worka-Maniac” (a workaholic on steroids).

I remember my first job in the early 90’s, I would come to work every single work day at 7AM and not leave the office until 12 Midnight! I had developed a reputation in the company of “Out-working” everyone in sight. My over time pay was through the roof. Hands down, I thought that I was the hardest working man in the company (probably in the Philippines) I had done it, I was the embodiment of Juan Masipag (although slightly more handsome) and I felt that I was accomplishing something found only in myth…until one night. After my usual hard day’s work I go to the 5th floor of the building where I punch out my time card, it was 12 Midnight and I bump into Steve, one of the managers of the company. What he asked me that night was one of the most memorable turning points of my life, he asked: “Mark, you are always here until midnight, I just have to ask, is that dedication, or incompetence?” I was of course stunned because I thought he was going to say: “Mark, you are always here until midnight, I admire you.” After a moment of silence I just said in my gregarious, goofy way: “…Dedication of course!”

Although that was more than 15 years ago, that question of Steve had always stayed with me and to some extent molded me to who I am today. It made me think that working hard may be what we were taught, but too much of it could mean that we are not doing it right.

Now that I’m a little older and wiser I would tell my wife this: “You know, I have to admit that although I’ve always aspired to be like Juan Masipag, I do truly admire Juan Tamad’s cleverness in using the principle of gravity to do the work for him.” And my wife, being the entrepreneur that she is would look at me with a smile and say: “Welcome to entrepreneurship my dear husband, it’s about time you joined me in thinking the same way.”

You see my wife on the other hand is all about getting results without exerting too much effort. Although she is a workaholic herself, she loves finding “short cuts” to tasks so that she needs to only do minimal work.

For example back in college she had a group project of producing and selling caps. All her team mates wanted to sew it themselves, market it themselves, experience it all from A to Z. Her point of view back then: Why? Why do we need to produce it ourselves? Let’s just outsource the producing to real sewers, and then just concentrate on selling the finished goods. (This was at a time when outsourcing was thought of as cheating – my wife was always ahead of her time) After much debate, the team initially agreed to try sewing everything themselves just to abide by the rules but towards the end of the project they got a big order and couldn’t serve it if they had to sew everything themselves, so they decided to outsource the job rather than lose the business, her group mates reluctantly took the “Juan Tamad” way and made not just high grades but better quality products at cheaper costs and good money for that particular order and with very little effort. Years later, some of her team mates upon looking back at that incident admitted that my wife was right. And not just that, now the school itself has changed the rules and have allowed outsourcing for similar projects like these.

This to me is what entrepreneurs should aspire to be and what they should always be doing. An entrepreneur should work hard yes but the entrepreneur should not be focused on just working hard, the entrepreneur should be focused on getting results regardless if you work hard for it or not. Because and remember this, when you become an entrepreneur it is results that put food on the table, not efforts. It is results that get you to the next level, not efforts. It is results that make you successful, not efforts.

And results can be achieved through lots of hard work and diligence, or it can be achieved by thinking of short cuts. If I had a choice back then when I was working hard all the time, if I only knew that there was an easier way to success without having to work very hard, I would have taken it in a heart beat.

And so in business, the realization here is this. You may WORK DILIGENTLY Like Juan Masipag But  if that is all you are doing, your path to success will take longer, if you want to become successful sooner, (and less tired doing so), learn to THINK SHORT CUT like Juan Tamad.

Side bar: I’d like to wish my lovely wife a most beautiful Birthday this February 16. It is because of her that I am and continue to strive to be a better man. To greet her, please leave a comment on this post, I’m sure like me, she will appreciate it.

Author box:

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.  Together with his wife Jhoanna, they have created a “Short-Cut” to creating a full Human Resources Operations Manual called the Instant HR toolkit. To know more about that, please visit or call (632)6874645.  You may email your comments and questions to:

Instant HR Tool Kit!

Think Short Cut! Instant HR Tool Kit!