Why some segments of society are good at doing business?
Posted on November 2nd, 2022

Sasanka De Silva

Interesting question, and in an ethnically divided society like ours, it is better to find answers and how some, if not all, of their methods, can be adopted by others as well.

One of the most successful business communities in the world for centuries has been the Jews.

What are the secrets of their success?

They are no longer secrets, and a few methods that they practice can be adopted and practised by others as well.

The first and foremost one is honesty in all dealings.

Many would disagree with me when I say this.

I do not want to deal with dissenters, but if honesty was missing in their dealing, they would not have been in business for this long.

Most of the practices are commandments and they follow them diligently.

One is that a father should teach his son how to make an honest living and, further, it goes to say, to teach him how to swim.

It should not be taken literally and what it means is to teach how to navigate in different and difficult conditions to survive.

The next one is to have a very positive relationship with money.

Money is yet another tool to be used for the betterment of oneself and others, and it is not as evil as some belief. 

Never be too shy or proud to ask for help from your community.

If the person standing next to you in prayer would not help, do you think a total stranger would?

The same with giving.

Give back to your community first.

Make it a practice to give to charity.

Muslims recommend 3%, while Jews recommend 10%.

You can’t wipe out all evils by just giving to charity, but even if a few would get help, it is better than doing nothing.

Always aspire to be an owner rather than a worker.

This rings the entrepreneurial bell in most people, and it makes good sense too.

Further, never be envious of another’s success, but rather be happy as you can learn from their experience and incorporate their methods into your business too.

Another important thing is not to neglect your bread and butter.

When success knocks, many get distracted and tend to take their eyes off the ball to pay more attention to other matters and ventures.

Their success formula is to pay 90% of your attention to your bread and butter, 8% to any future projects, and the balance of 2% to your dreams.

Never do to others anything you would not want them to do to you.

In other words, to avoid karmic repercussions.

Their recommendation for wealth is to be segregated and hedged, so if one goes bad for a period, others will provide the necessary cushioning.

The ideal ratio is to have 1/3 of your wealth in cash, 1/3 in inventory, and the other 1/3 in real estate.

They are more risk-takers than others because of their strong belief in God.

If we try hard enough, God will make it happen, is what they believe 

If we do not try hard and are ready to give up, then divine intervention will not come. 

Finally, take a day off from your busy schedule each week to have time for yourself, to pay attention to family and others’ needs, and to be able to come back and resume your day fully charged for the next six days.

I do not think that any of them are non-adoptable practices, and therefore anyone can duplicate their success by simply following those steps.

Disclaimer: The goal of this post is not to elevate or denigrate any group in our society; rather, it is to highlight some simple, doable alternatives for those that struggle.

Sasanka De Silva

Pannipitiya.

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