People hate to be reminded, especially smart people. But I will take this chance of reminding entrepreneurs to be fair in 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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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