The popular story of a person who works hard, day in and day out but never gets ahead has been told more than a thousand times, especially today in the Information Age.

We all know that many people could relate with such story. But have you ever wondered why? Well, although people have the natural tendency to get lazy, I don’t see this as the main reason.

Taho
Image by Jesed Francis Moreno of Film Guerilla (http://www.filmguerilla.com/)

Certainly, you and I would agree that Filipinos are inherently “masipag” and “matyaga”. Look at the typical jeepney driver or the laborer in a construction site. Are they not “masipag” and “matyaga”? And how about Mr./Ms. Employee who works 10 to 12 hours a day who wakes up very early in the morning and goes home late? Do any of them get ahead with what they do? Or will they ever get ahead?

Yes. I know it’s sad. It actually breaks my heart whenever I see parents who go overseas; leaving their families behind, hoping for a better future. And I commend those people. But in my opinion, it is a very unnecessary sacrifice.

I believe that the formula: “Kapag may tyaga, may nilaga” is no longer sufficient.

Let me share to you a story I read from one of Robert Kiyosaki’s best-seller. Here it goes:

“Once upon a time there was this village which had no water unless it rained.

To address the problem, the village leaders decided to put out to bid the contract to have daily water supply.

Two people took on the task and the leaders awarded the contract to both of them. To have a little competition would keep prices low and ensure a backup supply of water.

The first of the two people, Ed, immediately bought two buckets and began running back and forth toward the lake which was a mile away.

He began making money very well as he labored morning to night hauling water from the lake with his two buckets. He would put them into the large tank the village had built.

Each morning he had to get up before the rest of the village to make sure there was enough water for them. It was hard work, but he was very happy to be making money.

The second winning contractor, Bill, disappeared for a while which made Ed very happy since he had no competition. Ed was making all the money.

Instead of buying two buckets to compete with Ed, Bill wrote a plan, created a corporation, found four investors, employed a president to do the work, and returned months later with a construction crew.

Within a year his team had built a large volume stainless steel pipeline, which connected the village to the lake.

At the grand opening celebration, Bill announced that he could supply the village with water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ed could only deliver water on the weekdays. He did not work on weekends.

Then Bill also announced that he would charge 75% less than Ed did for this higher quality and more reliable source of water. The village cheered and ran immediately for the faucet at the end of Bill’s pipeline.

In order to compete, Ed lowered his rates by 75%, bought two more buckets, added covers to his buckets, and began hauling four buckets each trip. Then he hired his two sons to give him a hand for the night shift and on weekends.

Eventually Ed had employees and union problems. The union was demanding better wages and benefits, and wanted its members to only haul one bucket at a time.

Bill, on the other hand, realized that if this village needed water, then other villages must need water too. He went off to sell his high speed, high volume, and low cost, clean water delivery system to villages throughout the world. He only makes a penny per bucket of water delivered, but he delivers billions of buckets of water, and all that money pours into his bank account. Bill had developed a pipeline to deliver money to himself as well as water to the villages.

Bill lived happily ever after, and Ed worked hard for the rest of his life and had financial problems forever after. The end.”

Now, if you find yourself in this hole, it is not smart to continue digging.

It is my sincere hope that you got something new today. See you around.

Warmly,

Miguel

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