One summer day when biking, skating and tumbang preso were major past times for me and my sister, we would roam around Cataluna street which is very near the vicinity of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Sampaloc, Manila. I was just 10 years old at that time and my aunt asked me if I wanted to ride the bike with her. My aunt that time was a college student taking up nursing and I was just a willing niece who loves to play instead of sleep in the afternoon. (Sorry mom, we hate siesta that time) So, there I was sitting behind her back as she was pedaling going to UST but as the bike strolled around the streets, my right leg got caught inside the spokes of the bike. I nearly shouted because it was very painful BUT I did not. Normally, as a kid, you would heller out at the top of your lungs but I was so ashamed, so timid or embarrassed (to say the least) to complain or even to tell her. The wounds are now getting very very painful and blood are now gushing out but I never said a word. I never complained. I never asked her to stop. After what seems to me like a long and winding tribulation- she stopped pedaling. Hay salamat….to my relief. And when she asked me to climb down the bike she was shocked that I have blood all over my feet and she panicked and told me….”Ohhh Eunice, what happened? Why didn’t you tell me?”. I was just crying and crying and all I could tell her was “nahihiya po ako eh”….(I am just so ashamed to tell you) but I never knew why I was like that until I was an adult.
Fast forward to my future, late 1990’s, I was 28 years old at the time (got a hint on my age?) and just got accepted to work in a big time share company at that time in Makati. During those times, timesharing was unknown in the world of vacations, travel and leisure here in the Philippines. One of our British sales directors told us during a brief meeting that one of the main reasons why people don’t sell, don’t earn money to the highest possible degree that they could have- is that they think lowly of themselves. I had the mentality that if I was getting paid- I was bought at a price. That is, if I am getting paid, my soul one way or the other is being bought, or I view myself less holy and less Godly. From then on, I realized that when someone buys from me and gives us money for payment or gives me financial blessing, that person is not just buying from me- I am giving that person a solution to a problem. I realized that I should not think that being given money is dirty, deameaning and lowly otherwise working will be dirty too. When someone even asks me before how much they owe me for the work I have done, I would tell them "bahala ka na". It's up to you. That is what my “lizard” brain (as the brilliant Seth Godin calls it) has imbedded in its system. I thought I was never worthy of being heard or being listened to. Or being paid for my services. Or being consulted. I thought I was unworthy of having money. That having money is somewhat dirty and unbecoming of a true Christian. I was wrong. I was really really wrong. At work, I continued to enjoy and spoke enthusiastically with all my clients and by God’s grace, I ended up as the second top sales person for the year. I was stunned because I never considered myself as a salesperson much more being able to sell. Hey! I had a medical background not a marketing one. But it happened because every time I work, I always see to it that I am always doing something that I love, I love to go to work and hate my days off and I love being with people, advising people if this is the right product for them or not, I always see people as a family not as a buyer or someone whom I can extract money from. Heck! I even love my bosses! Even if there are times when people are tough, they loosen up because they knew and they can feel that my concern is genuine and I will not give them something they will not use and benefit from. I saw myself as a solution provider. That was the start of my journey towards money and how I view it today.
Dear Fried, I hope you would start to see yourself as a receiver and a giver too, when we start receiving and earning money, it is time to give more to others. Do not wait until you become a millionnaire. Teach your brain to give with whatever you can afford. Because when you give money, money comes back to you in two-fold, three-fold and four-fold. Do not ask what someone can give to you but what you could give first. Blessings come from many directions and it comes not only as a monetary gift but through our health, our relationships and our feelings (peace of mind, joy, delight, etc.). Generally, people who are in business or in a profession (except the drug lords and other illegal trades, etc.)- are providing something that the world needs and if you think you are not- then it’s time to move on to something else. Today, I hope you will see yourself from both perspectives: a solution provider and as a giver- because you really are.