Beggar Story Taught Me About Value and Cash Flow
It’s a bit of an eye opener being in a country like the Philippines. It’s a country where maybe 90 per cent of the population is poor or destitute, and only 10 per cent are rich or middle class.
Contrast this with the situation in my own country, Australia. There, the situation is reversed with only about 10 per cent being classified as poor.
The causes of poverty are many and varied, but one thing we do know is that there is a reasonable percentage of the poor in the Philippines who are basically destitiute. No home, no money, no future.
I’ve seen plenty of people sleeping rough in Manila. And they don’t always sleep in the back streets or parks either (ain’t many of them in Manila). I’ve seen young mothers sleeping on the sidewalk of busy streets with their baby on their arm.
A week ago I saw a teenager sleeping (or was he dead?) in the gutter. People just walked around him as if it was normal – nothing to worry about.
Some of these people resort to begging for money and food. And you have to give it to the filippinos – they sure do know how to hussle for a buck (or peso).
Which brings me to the point of this story. Recently I saw a beggar without legs. In fact this guy seemed to be in the same spot 24/7. The mind boggles when thinking how he relieves himself when nature calls!
After seeing this guy day after day my companion took pity on him, so she went to a restaurant and bought some food, then took it back to him. Guess what happened?
He turned her down! Aparently he didn’t like spaghetti and garlic bread! Besides all he wanted was money, money, money.
Now I could be flippant here and say something like ‘beggars cant be choosers’ but this guy clearly had very clear views about what charity he would accept, and on what basis. In short he had ‘attitude’.
Not All Beggars Are What They Appear
But it does appear that not all beggars are what they seem. In a recent article in the Guardian the writer made the point that some beggars are not destitute. They have homes to go to like everyone else.
What intrigues me about begging is the mindset of the beggar. When there are so many options to generate income why do they do it? To me it’s interesting that they seek largesse from others without giving anything in return. If they have the chutzpah to ask for money, why don’t they do what street vendors do and offer a commission paying product in return for money?
A Beggar Story to Gladen the Heart
Contrast the above story with my next one. A couple of months ago I was in Los Angeles with my son. We had not long arrived from Australia and were using LA as a stopover whilst we waited for our flight the next morning to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. (We were going to Cabo to attend the Titanium Mastermind event being run my Matt Lloyd and his team.)
As we hadn’t eaten for hours we were hungry so decided to go to a Mexican restaurant in Brentwood, relatlively close to our hotel. After the meal we started walking back to the hotel. Along the way we spotted a 7-11 store and decided we needed to buy a few things. As we approached the store a tall black man out the front asked us for some money. We declined, but I was struck by his response ‘ no problem sir, hope you have a pleasant night’.
After buying some items in the store I waited outside for Damien (who was still inside – he’s always late!). At this point the black beggar had struck up a conversation with a white older guy who had just parked his gleaming new BMW bike at the front of the store. After a bit of banter between the two about which bike is best etc etc, I joined in. Before long we were all having a chuckle as we debated the relative merits of Beemers, Harleys and Hondas.
After the biker went into the store I pulled out my wallet and immediately went over to the beggar and gave him some money. He was surprised at the size of my donation, and I just responded ‘you deserve it – you’ve made my night’
See the difference a good attitude can make to our results? The first guy had attitude, all he wanted was money and gave us no reason to oblige. The second guy got me laughing and made me feel good.
Lessons For Network Marketers
You don’t have to be a network marketer to gain from this lesson……..
Some home business marketers and network marketers adopt some of the thinking of street beggars. They have poor mental posture and often appear needy rather than worthy.
I’ve even seen some desperate reps virtually beg their prospect to sign up ’cause they need the money.
Being clear about your value proposition is mandatory. You must put your prospect’s interest first by helping them solve a problem that only your product or opportunity can provide. Unless you are looking for charity people are not going to hand over their hard earned dollars unless they see a mighty good reason to do so.
Sometimes it seems that their goal is to extract money from people without any thought of the value they must provide in return. Perception is everything and if potential customers think all you’re after is their money, they’ll run a mile.
Some reps also go into pitch mode just like the beggars. Gimme gimme gimme. You’ve seen them on Facebook for instance. They have no interest in you and your needs and wants. All they want is to extract dollars without any thought about your welfare, right?
The Wrap Up
So what did I learn from the beggar experience? A few things:
- Some beggars are more needy than others
- Some beggars are not destitute – they go home each night just like everyone else
- For some, begging is simply their day job
- It may be better to give your money to charities who will distribute to those they know who really are needy.
- If you’re in business, you should NEVER beg for anything
- Offer value and money is more likely to flow back to you
- Maintain your posture at all times
- If you must beg, do it with a great attitude
- Make customers feel good and they’ll gladly part with their money
More marketing lessons HERE