Be Fair in Your Business Deals

Be Fair With Your Business DealsPeople hate to be reminded, especially smart people. But I will take this chance of reminding entrepreneurs to be fair with your business deals. This is needed today more than ever.

But like I said in my other blog posts, I’m neither a priest nor a pastor. Just see me as an ordinary entrepreneur just like you. An ordinary entrepreneur who just renewed my relationship with the Lord.

After the renewal experience, I decided to use my talent in blogging to share hope and inspire others for good. I became more of a Bible reader, reading it more than other references I have on my shelf.

If you’re a Muslim who accidentally landed here, excuse us…

Although the message is universal, my primary purpose of blogging is to serve the Christian Entrepreneurs niche…

To keep the faith alive.

Throughout this website, you can see me encouraging people to read the Bible or make reference to the Holy Book. And in the topic of being fair with your business deals, I will again refer to the Bible as our guide.

Why Listen To The Bible?


Do we need to discuss in detail the proofs that will convince you the Bible is the word of God?

Listen to the Bible

Countless proofs they existed, real-life applications, and coherence of the message, these are enough for us to conclude the credibility of the Bible. In my opinion, only the person who has a stone heart, who continuously refuse to accept God, is the only one who won’t be convinced.

I even encountered Muslims recognizing some characters in the Bible including Abraham and Jesus Christ. The only thing is that, we regarded Christ as our Lord while they just see Him as a prophet. But this shows that the Bible is a significant material that should not be neglected.

In fact, we ought to examine it further, moreover use it as a guide in our business dealings.

According to 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)…

[Verse 16] All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [Verse 17] so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, you see, we should listen to Bible lest we will miss what God wants for us.

My Encounter With A Loan Shark


While we readers of the Bible are so prudent in applying the lessons taught us, there are people out there who profess they’re Christians but through their lives, they don’t practice being a Christian.

What does it take to be a Christian?

A Christian follows the teachings of Christ. He follows the Bible for he knows it is the word of God, and he follows it at all times, not only on Saturdays or Sundays but all days.

Unfortunately, the compassion demonstrated by Christ seems to be forgotten. In our daily quest for material success, some people succumb to greed and love of money.

Greed of Money

Not so long ago, I encountered a businessman who lends money to borrowers with their car registration papers as collateral. Car won’t be impounded, the owner still got to use the car.

The rate seems to be okay, at 2.5% per month add-on interest, but the deductions in cash proceeds are outrages.

  • Processing fee for the creation of deed of sale
  • Land Transportation Office fee for bribing an LTO official for expedite process
  • Forced selling of comprehensive insurance amounting to 30% of the vehicle’s appraised value
  • Loanable about is only 40% of the appraised value based on the prevailing market price of the 2nd hand vehicle
  • And outrageous brokers’ fees.

I remember seeing a client came in for maternity needs of his wife, after being explained to how the agreement works, for that approved loan of Php100,000, he only got Php65,000.

If he’s not able to repay the loan in time (with only 2 months grace period), they will be taking his car with a bully sheriff.

In the company’s advertisements, it says, “CAR LOAN – Fast Cash Without Taking Your Car”.

After the borrower has defaulted, the lenders will change tune, “Here we come. We’re taking your car!”

I was a loan broker of the Chinese businessman for about 6 months. Realizing it’s not for me, I ceased dealing with him.

Fast Cash Release, No Docs Required


Another encounter I had with usury was when we formed a small financing corporation with four other investors. Bombay

We were so impressed by how immigrants from India are growing their money in the Philippines.

In 3-4 months, the money is being doubled by lending them to small mom-and-pop stores in the countryside.

Since capital is scarce, small business owners who are tight in cash are tempted to borrow money. They’re making the process of getting cash so easy but to the price of the interest rate.

Analysts say that the interest rate struggling business owners pay these Indian lenders are actually beyond 20% per month.

Let’s say you are given $100. You will be charged an add-on interest of $20 for a 45-days term. $3 will be collected from you daily by a motorized collector.

With regard to the interest rate, that’s a lot higher than what banks and lending companies charge! Banks would usually charge 1% per month, compare that with these usurious lenders charging 20% or more.

Here in the Philippines, we call this “5-6”. Your Php5,000 (equivalent of $100) becomes Php6,000 in 40 days.

We initially consider entering that money-market business, but then after so much deliberation, we aborted the plan. We put the money in a different business.

What About Your Online Business?


I’m not saying you’re involved in a scammy business, but just in case you stumble upon a business opportunity being offered online, I hope you will be reminded of God’s message with regard to justice.

In Micah 6:8 (NIV)…

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

How do you know if a business opportunity is not compliant with this lesson?

Let your conscience guide you. If there’s a protest at the back of your mind whispering you do not pursue the business, then don’t do it. Most of us were raised under a moral law, we were taught not to take advantage of others.

So, what makes figuring out a scheme hard?

I remember, I ditched out a touted legit MLM opportunity for that reason. Scholarly leaders are defending the program in online forums as a legit opportunity and yet, if you go out and make a survey, you will discover a lot of people crying and bleeding.

I don’t want to be an agent of spreading frustrations anymore, so I stopped.

Some business opportunities, online and offline, they can argue they’re legit. They post long explanations saying they’re legit. But in the long run, you will see countless bodies scattered along the road as if the business is involved in a “hit-and-run” rampage.

Bodies on the road

I think the best way to judge a business if it’s good or not is by seeing the long term results on people.

Are there enough people complaining they lost money?

Conclusion


Who am I to point to you what’s right and wrong in business? But maybe I’m an instrument being used by God.

Whatever your business is, whether you’re in an offline traditional type of business, an MLM business, or an online affiliate marketing business, the lesson about being fair in your business deals applies.

Keep in mind the message in Micah 6:8, be compassionate with others especially the needy, and you will be blessed.

Til next,

Gomer Magtibay Blog Signature

PS: Wanna share your thoughts online like I did here? Start a blog. Click here.

32 Comments

  1. Jack Taylor

    Hey Gomer, what a great post about being fair in your business deals. I agree 100% with everything you said. After all, I do like to sleep at night and I don’t want to have to look over my shoulder either. If you believe in God like I do, I think that people that have faith do their very best to do the right thing. What a great post and great advice!

    God Bless you and your family Gomer,

    Jack

    • Gomer

      You’re welcome, and thanks too, for reading and commenting.

      Exactly. That’s what we call “business with peace of mind”. You can sleep well at night, you can feel relaxed inside a church, and you will not be ashamed speaking to God in prayer!

  2. Henry

    Hi Gomer. This is a great way of using your talent to help others. When somebody is being just…

    1. He’s obeying God.

    2. He’s also being helpful to others.

    3. But what most people don’t realize is that at the end of the day, they’re doing a favor to themselves.

    There is nothing that ruins us more than being unfair with those around us. You can gain instant gratification, but the the interest rates for defrauding are too high (the law of sowing and reaping).

    • Gomer

      Yes, the law of sowing and reaping.

      Let me share to you a short story…

      A friend who was a notorious money-lender here in our place died two years ago in a tragic car accident… 

      They were riding a motorcycle in a funeral parade, were about to enter a cemetery gate that’s situated near a highway when suddenly a huge trailer truck ran loose from the highway it crossed to the other side of the broad highway, passed through the other lanes and hit the couple. Both of them died instantly. 

      One week before the incident, they were squeezing a borrower who by health problem has defaulted in payments. Exasperated, the borrower blurted out that it will boomerang to them. Just one week have passed, they died in that vehicular accident.

      I’m not scaring anyone, but sometimes, supernatural hands are moving for justice. So, beware.

  3. Pentrental

    Fair business and fair trade are great mottos to go by and I’m glad you made awareness to that here. This is a very positive message and it’s nice to see that you’ve chosen to use your talent to inspire and uplift others. The Bible is unlike any other book I’ve read or probably will read. I agree that we should let conscience be our guide and perhaps conscience is our connection to God. I appreciate your post and I’m looking forward to reading more of them, thank you and God bless.

    • Gomer

      Thanks for coming back to my site, reading my post, and leaving a comment.

      Yes, there’s no other book like the Bible. It’s complete, and the lessons being taught is fair and justice. It’s a good source of inspiration as well as reminders for us busy entrepreneurs. 

  4. Dominic

    Hi Gomer

    Good article on the morals of business, I agree that business deals should be a win-win for both parties involved. You would think in a case where one party loses out to the other that eventually, people would stop taking up the businesses offer but that doesn’t seem to always happen.

    I think that the real problem is financial literacy. If the individuals that are being taken advantage of had a better understanding of the likely outcome of the deal far fewer people would be taking up the offer and eventually, the business would go broke.

    It’s a shame that you pulled out of your money-market business, perhaps you could have brought some morality to an otherwise murky business.

    Anyway just my 2 cents worth, good luck with your future business endeavors.

    • Gomer

      I appreciate the comment on money-market pull-out. For start-up entrepreneurs who are to grow their money, wouldn’t it be great to put your money in a kind of business where there’s a solid product or service being produced? Just think what will be this world look like if most of the businesses are into money-market, who will produce the goods that we need? By anyway, just my idealistic point of view. We are free to choose whatever we like to go into.

  5. Paul

    Dear Gomer,

    Thanks for the motivating and inspiring post.

    You are correct… We are called believers but many times we don’t believe in the word of GOD, we are called Christians and there is no CHRIST within us. By birth or coming from the christian family background will not make anyone Christian those who follow CHRIST are the real Christians.

    After reading your post I am determined to INVEST more time in bible reading.

    I am really shocked at the interest rate of more than 20% I can’t digest it.

    Micah 6:8 is one of my favorite verse, in my regional language it was translated beautifully like… All GOD expects from you is… Just to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God, expect this he expects nothing from you.

    Thanks a lot for the great insights!

    GOD Bless!

    Paul

    • Gomer

      You’re welcome. And thanks, too, Paul.

      My uncle is a pastor of our denomination. From him, I heard the word “applied Christianity”. Applying the lessons taught in the Bible in our day-to-day living. 

      Unfortunately, a lot of people failed to do that. Becoming kind only during weekends, during church days!

      Be should always be fair and just with our dealings, at all times. Like I said if we regard God as the real owner of our businesses, there’s no reason for us to be greedy. There’s no reason for taking advantage of others especially the needy.

  6. John Greg

    Hi, 

    Thanks for the reminder and yes, I do agree with the principle that your raise. Sometimes entrepreneurs jacked up their prices just because they can but this kind of business model is only for short-term or only works when people are desperate. 

    In my own situation, I try to be fair with by business deals by always keeping in mind that if I want to be a leader in what I do, then I need to be a servant first. That means I do not focus on profits, instead, I focus more on helping other people and adding value in their lives. 

    The examples that you gave are small business but this is also true for multi-national companies. We have seen many big names who went bankrupt because they prioritize over people. Again, like what I’ve said, people can probably get away from doing shady or unfair deals but their business potential is severely limited and most likely, they wouldn’t last. 

    Regards, 

    JG

    • Gomer

      Yes, cause and effect, businesses that exploit people don’t last. 

      I remember I was once involved in an online marketing company the sold online training at inflated prices. In the sales page that we have back then, the creators of the program tried justifying the prices and they defended that it was actually a bargain because the value one can get is so much higher than the amount being charged. But it was only according to them, as along the way we got so many criticisms from dissatisfied customers. In the end, the company closed and the founder got hooked into drugs. Only then it was revealed to us his true character.

  7. MissusB

    Loan sharks are everywhere. Some would even go to the extent of harassing those who owe them money. As a devout Catholic, we are taught to help people in need but not to take advantage of their situation. According to Psalm 112:5, ” It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; he will maintain his cause in judgement.” Now, I don’t interpret Bible verses but it’s clear to me that we can lend only to help others and not do business out of it. It’s like sucking out everything from someone who has nothing especially if it come with a very high interest. 

    It’s good that we have people like you in the community to remind us what it means to do good business with values. Integrity and honesty must always be observed in dealing with other people. no amount of money can par with a clean conscience.

    Thanks again, Gomer for sharing blogs that are worth reading. 

    • Gomer

      That’s a good message. No amount of money can par with a clean conscience!

      I will take note of that verse that you shared, from Psalms 112:5. When you have excess money and someone who’s in need (genuinely) comes to you for help, then lend. But don’t see it as an opportunity to exploit with high interest. Just lend to help.

      It is for this reason that we are striving to succeed. To be a channel of God’s help to others. We’ve been helped many times, wouldn’t it be great to pay it forward?

  8. Mathessa40

    I was born and raised in Philippines. And I know that most people are relying to fast cash. Its easy doesnt need paper work. Different here in the US to get house or a car we need to get approved to get it, always need to have a good credit score. But the secret is hard work, everything we need, we get it. Thank you for making this website.

    • Gomer

      Since most people here are not qualified for a bank loan application, the resort to borrowing capital from usurious money lenders. In the end, they pay more through high-interest rates, and oftentimes, force selling of Indian goods on an installment basis. If only the banks would lower their qualifications or standards, ordinary people may have a better choice. It’s one of the many business challenges here in the Philippines.

  9. Stuart

    What an enlightening post, love the way that you have used references to the Bible to emphasise a point, as a society we do seem to be moving away from attending Church, this does not mean that we are moving away from God.

    You highlight what I must call loan sharks, yes we must be aware of such people as we must the scammers that try to fool you into parting with your hard earned cash.

    So being ethical in your internet business is essential.  Once again enjoyable to read.

    • Gomer

      Even the Israelites during the Bible times, they forgot about the lessons taught by God and moved away from Him. But the good news is, they returned back and repented. It’s the same with us, we forget and we repent. There’s always a chance for us to straighten our path.

      I have seen several friends got involved in scammy opportunities but deep inside I know these people are good by nature. Maybe because of their weak human nature, they got tempted. But the good thing is, I’m sure God is always waiting for them to return to the fold and become good again.

      I appreciate that you appreciate my blog post here, my reminder for our fellow entrepreneurs to be fair with our business deals. Let us not forget that we exist not just to exist. We exist to make a difference.

  10. Twack Romero

    Hi Gomer, after reading one of your other posts I promised myself I would come back and read some more. 

    I think one of the issues, certainly with the money lending, is that they are taking advantage of an already desperate situation. 

    For the person borrowing it is the most important thing to them. They are not concerned about how much interest they are paying. This method is almost disguised. 20% becomes immaterial when you’re only looking to pay back small installments, be that over a longer period of time, sometimes. 

    The more legitimate companies are no different from the whole ‘Payday’ loan scenario. Short term borrowing at huge APR% rates. There will always be those who are unscrupulous in their dealing practices. 

    Hopefully, your posts will reach some and help them change their ways.

    • Gomer

      That’s the exact description of it. Thanks for pointing out!

      “Taking advantage of an already desperate situation”

      It happens not only in the financing business but also in any other business. I remember I was once so desperate that I gambled a certain amount of money (I borrowed) in an online income opportunity. Bills were piling up and I looked for an easy way to make big money online. I was foolish not to think that there’s no guarantee I will be able to recover what I have invested because I’m not that good yet in marketing. The person who invited me to join doesn’t care about my desperate situation, he’s only after the commission he can get. When the time comes that the money I have invested needs to be repaid, regret sets in. The person, instead of feeling sorry about what had happened to me, blamed me saying I didn’t exert enough effort to recruit others!

  11. Adyns68

    Hi Gomer

    I have enjoyed reading your presentation. Because, you have talked about everything that we know is right but we do not apply, in our daily life and our business. It’s as if for any bad dealings we do, all we need to do, is say ”it’s business”. And that excuses everything bad we do in business. 

    But with the little business experirence, I have. I have come to realize that I am very happy earning less money as long as I am fair in my business. Because, I am in peace with God and with my fellow man. As Christian we need to understand that the word of God should lead every aspect of our life, including our business. We need to conduct our business in a manner that will please God.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Gomer

      So long as we are not taking advantage of others, I think God will be pleased. Thank you for your comment.

  12. Adrian Holland

    Thank you for a lovely article, and the gentle push to include Christian values (as you would describe them) in every aspect of our life, including our business ventures. I am sure that many (most) of your readers will have encountered the same or very similar scams and sharks that you have overcome, and your message that this is no excuse to incorporate such sharp techniques in the things that we do should be very well heeded.

    However I feel that you were slightly miss-guided in your comments regarding Muslims, and I for one was very offended in the implication behind your comment. Surely part of being a Christian is the ability to recognize and respect another’s belief system, and not to be so pious as to presume that your own belief is the only correct one. 

    • Gomer

      I’m sorry if I have offended you with some parts of my post here. Like you said, respect to one’s religion is needed, and I truly respect yours, that’s why I have put in there, “Please excuse us”. The reason I have that disclaimer early in the article is, in my previous blog posts here, I received negative comments from Muslims.

  13. Mike

    What a grat article Gomer.  It is nice to know that there are actually many people who strive to do the right thing.  I heard Dave Ramsey talk about a brick being amoral.  It can either be used to build a hospital to help those in need or it can be thrown through a window to cause vandalism and inflict punishment.  The brick doesn’t care because it is just a brick.  What matters is…whose hand the brick is in.  

    The same is true in business as you have so eloquently described.  Hopefully we will all put our talents and business practices to good use; to help others.  It is better for us to light a candle and put it on a candlestick than to hide it under a bushel.  The more of us who can help others succeed in an ethical manner, the more candles we light!

    Great article.  Thanks!

    • Gomer

      You’re welcome.

      Maybe you guys can relate to this quote:

      “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali

  14. FranEllis

    What a refreshing blog! I loved it! You pointed out the most important aspect of conducting any business: Be fair to everyone you deal with, both online and in person. To some, working online means never seeing the customer, thus it is ok to treat them badly.  We know God sees all the time! Great post!

    • Gomer

      Yes. Being online doesn’t mean you can do just anything including the taking advantage of others. Whether you’re offline or online, God sees you. So, be fair with your business deals, online and offline.

  15. Lee

    When I was in my early twenties, I did a number of things I am not proud about today. One instance, I strong armed (used intimidating sales techniques) an elderly woman into joining my MLM, my father was extremely upset with me and I din’t understand why? I made a sale, I made us some money. Looking back now, I completely understand, I don’t remember how much money I made (it wasn’t much) but the thing I think about the most is the regret in the tactic I used. The great thing about Christianity in business is that it really is like looking at a mirror. No sale or amount of money is worth doing something you will grow to regret the rest of your life. 

    • Gomer

      When I re-evaluated why I went to doing business, I got reminded of my initial goals which is to help others and to help the ministry with my excess cash. It’s too easy to get drowned in the money-making process that we tend to forget why we’re here in the first place. Lucky for us, we got the chance to change for the better. Praise God!

  16. Antonio

    Hi Gomer 

    The biggest problem is that the business community and business people put profit before anything else. It is a amazing how many poor country labour force are exploited by large companies, who do not care or value human life. I believe that the soul has been removed from business in search of the mighty buck.

    People and business men forget that it is possible to do business deal honestly, without cheating anybody and paying a  fair price. I think about the Co-Op movement in the UK  in which everybody is a shareholder?

    Why must people be greedy?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    • Gomer

      Yes, I’m also a member of a co-op here in my country and I can say the concept is great. 

      For corporate policies, I think the best way to approach disputes between the companies and the workers is by meeting in the middle where there’s a win-win situation for both parties. If companies become aware of that, fewer people will be exploited. But the question still remains the same: Most know about these principles but why are they choosing to be greedy?

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