Nov 27, 2009

Call of the entrepreneur: A review

Most of the societies in the world haven’t looked upon the entrepreneurs with the respect and support they deserve. The negative connotations of greedy, vicious, selfish, apathetic to others benefit seems to be attached with entrepreneurs everywhere. Nepalese society too isn’t very kind to entrepreneurs and businessmen. The same negative labels plague Nepalese entrepreneurs as well although if we look at our history Nepal had once been a prosperous country. And the main reason behind it was the environment where tradesmen and entrepreneurs flourished. Nepal, being the trade route between India and Tibet in the earlier centuries, enjoyed an immense benefit of trade between them. Along with the trade prospered our art, our culture and our living standards. But with the political turmoil began the downfall of this once prosperous country which reached the worst point in the autocratic Rana Regime I believe. The hostile attitude towards them continues even today in a democratic Nepal. No wonder Nepal is still one of the poorest countries in the world despite of having tons of natural resources.

Call of the entrepreneur is a documentary about three entrepreneurs, a merchant banker, a failing dairy farmer, a refugee from Communist China. One risked his savings. One risked his farm. One risked his life. Why are their stories important and what’s there relevance to our society? Because how a nation views its entrepreneurs and businessmen… as greedy or altruistic… as virtuous or vicious… matters immensely! It is one of the factors that determine whether a country prospers or not?

The Plot: The entrepreneurs in the documentary are Brad Morgan, Frank Hanna, and Jimmy Lai. Morgan, a dairy farmer from Evart, Michigan discusses his journey from a struggling dairy farmer to the owner and operator of a million-dollar dairy and Compost Company. Hanna, a merchant banker in New York City, explains how financial engineering not only makes credit more widely available to entrepreneurs today but also played a crucial role in the discovery of America. Lai talks about his childhood in Communist China and his move at twelve years old to Hong Kong where, he founded Giordano, a retail outlet, and later Next Media.
The documentary also contains information from experts in the field of economics, including Rev. Robert Sirico, founder and President of the Acton Institute, Dr. Samuel Gregg, Dr. Jay Richards, George Gilder, and Michael Novak.

A highly recommended documentary to those interested in having a greater understanding of the entrepreneurship, its importance in the prosperity of a nation.

Running Time: About 60 Minutes!

Nov 15, 2009

Rich is a Religion by Mark Stevens: A review

Though almost put off by the title of the book, (I hope you have known me to be an atheist) its tagline “Breaking the timeless code to wealth” induced me to skim through the book at least. I presumed it to be another book about get-rich-quick-schemes that preach you to death but was pleasantly surprised to find it a bit different. The book focuses on shifting your attitude towards money rather than telling you how to earn money. Though lying in the similar patterns of teachings of Robert T. Kiyosaki, Mark Stevens here does a decent job of presenting the code and breaking it.

Like Kiyosaki, the author advices you to invest in appreciable assets and not depend on monthly paychecks to run your life. He also suggests not owning things that own you by making you work and earn just to maintain them. It’s desirable to save and invest your earnings in things that appreciate or things that generate you wealth. The author goes on saying that material possessions don’t make wealth and has done a good job of proving his points by providing examples of many millionaires and billionaires as well as failures. Examples include Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, Norman Mailer, Bill Gates, Bill Simon, author’s own father and his neighbor. The stories are well illustrated and enjoyable.

According to Stevens, the basic tenets of Rich is a religion is the need to respect money and handle it with discipline and a sense of fiduciary control avoiding the view of money of just something to spend and impress others. He recommends eschewing the undue risk towards a person’s home, family and livelihood and learning the techniques of smart management i.e. “making money while you sleep”.

Overall, an enjoyable and worthwhile read (175 pages) that helps you shift your paradigm regarding money and wealth. The author doesn’t promise to make you rich but the principles expressed are universal and make sense which will help you at least live better financially.

Nov 3, 2009

The height of a mountain

Don't inquire
why the mist rises
above the clouds
and yet melts into the sun?
Finding you in my eyes
had melted me!

Don't ask
why the rocks trample
the hills
and yet crumble into the sea
Your touch
had crumbled something inside me!

Ask me
If it was all worth the pain
Dragging along the ridges
in a wild wet rain?
Was there anything
to be gained?

"In your love I have attained
The height of a mountain!"