I hope Bro. Bo Sanchez wouldn’t mind reposting this story. I was so moved that I can’t help but to share this to other people. Enjoy.
It all started when my plane to Cebu was delayed by 5 hours.
While my fellow-passengers around were acting like enraged volcanoes spewing lava, cursing the catastrophe that befell upon us—I smiled and closed my eyes. Instantly, I felt peace. I whispered, “Lord, you have a special surprise in store for me.”
And in minutes, I discovered my gift.
That special surprise was Ray, a man who would bless me with his life. He also gave me key business ideas that would double my income.
He greeted me with a firm handshake and a friendly smile. “I watch you on TV,” he said, “and I text my family and friends to watch you.”
Like me, Ray’s flight to Mindanao was delayed for 8 hours. (All the flights that day were delayed. The airport looked like a refugee camp with people sitting on the floor and crowds begging for food from the airline personnel.)
I didn’t know why, but I sensed a connection with the man in front of me.
Later on, I discovered why.
As we found seats and ordered coffee, Ray shared with me the riveting story of his life. I was so swept away by his experience, I forgot all about my coffee.
“I went to Bible School and became a Pastor,” he said. “I pioneered a small church.” But after being a Pastor for 3 years, tragedy struck. His wife lost a baby boy in her pregnancy. The trial caused Ray to think about his family more.
“It’s lonely being a Pastor,” he explained. “The problems of my flock are all my problems. But my problems were only mine! So I asked my people to pastor their pastor too.” Slowly, he delegated his roles to his congregation as he felt a need to focus on his family—especially their financial needs.
His joined corporate life. For 6 years, he worked for a big company as their Regional Manager for the entire Mindanao (Southern region of the Philippines). He was earning P50,000 a month (US$1000+), a big sum during that time. But at the end of the day, he was still broke. In fact, he was in debt to the tune of P1.2 Million (US$26,000+)—including a warrant of arrest.
To survive and feed his children, the former Regional Manager became a Taxi Driver. It was an incredibly humbling experience. But he learned important lessons that would change his life forever.
Rey was now only earning P350 a day—a far cry from what he was earning before. But it was here where he learned how to manage his money.
It was here where he learned how to live within his means.
It was here where he learned how to save.
Ray said, “People like to manage what they don’t have. That’s why they’re poor. By borrowing for stuff they can’t afford. During that year as a Taxi Driver, I learned to manage what I had. And I was actually better off earning P350 a day than earning P50,000 a month! Because now, I learned to manage my money.”
After one year of being a Taxi driver, he borrowed enough money to buy cabs and became a Taxi Operator. But that was only a transitional step to learn how to run a business. His real goal was to be in the “money” business.
Ray wanted to own a bank.
So his first step was to work in a Rural Bank—without asking for a salary. He simply wanted to learn. And 3 years later, when he learned enough, Ray built his own Rural Bank.
Today, his Rural Bank is going strong. So far, after 7 years, the bank has given micro-loans to over a thousand people in his city, providing them with capital for their small businesses. And with 97% repayment efficiency! Because of this, his bank is transforming the lives of the poor. He teaches them the habits of saving, investing, and entrepreneurship.
Ray explained, “I ask people, ‘Do you want to prosper? What do you have? You may not have money. But you have time. Not just time, but time to learn. So use that! Join an insurance company and be an agent. Or join a company and sell their product. The important thing is to learn—and from there, branch out. Don’t get a job to earn money. Get a job to learn! And don’t start a business to earn money. Get into a business to learn! The money will follow.”
He continued, “Some people start a business and want to earn right away. But that’s not wise. Starting a business is like a slingshot. You have to pull back. That means clearing the way. Take time pulling back. Because when it’s time to release, you’ll be surprised that your business will rapidly shoot towards the target.”
Ray is a Serial Entrepreneur. At the back of his calling card is a list of his other businesses: a construction company, a property management company, salons, restaurants—plus a few more.
“I never manage my businesses,” he said, “I pass it on to people who can do a better job. I make them part owners. That’s why I can own many businesses.”
As Ray spoke, it was though I was hearing myself preach.
We both have the same beliefs about money.
We’re both Preachers that address the practical needs of people.
We’re both Serial Entrepreneurs.
And we both are fighting poverty by teaching three things to the Filipino: (1) a practical spirituality, (2) a more positive financial mindset, and (3) financial literacy.
Oh, one last thing: We both love our families.
At the airport, I met Ray’s lovely wife and beautiful daughter with him.
I sensed the happiness in his family. It was refreshing.
That day, my catastrophe turned out to be a rich blessing.
Not only for me, but everyone who’s reading this blog right now.
Talking to Ray made me realize more than ever before that we should never tell ourselves, “I’m stuck where I am. My life will never change.”
Keep dreaming my friend.
God has a wonderful plan for your life.
Pursue it with passion.
May your dreams come true,
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