Business and money

By Enid Westerlund. 13 November 2022, 4:00PM

All businesses small and big have been affected by COVID-19. While borders remain open, are we really giving the support to our local businesses? Most small to medium businesses have been hanging on by a thread especially those who lean on the overseas market with the mighty dollar to survive. Even some major players have not been immune to the events of the last few years.

While it’s easy to admire celebrities and expensive brands from afar, how are we helping our local economy? what are we doing every day to help local businesses thrive? A minimum number of weekly sales for many simply to keep the cash power on amongst fierce competition and cheap Chinese products is a challenge every week.

Business creating and success in Samoa is not for the faint hearted. With a small population and even smaller markets, we don’t have overnight stock, online millionaires like developed countries. Then there is unjustified animosity towards people with money? Do we have rich people in Samoa? I’m talking about a great deal of wealth.

First, we have to understand what wealth really is. Is it just about money? It is not a zero-sum game. Wealth is created, and is potentially infinite. When businesses become successful, and people earn more money, it is not subtracting wealth from anyone else. Unless you’re dealing with fraud, theft, or lobbying the government for special privileges, corruption, real wealth can only be created by improving the lives of others. Think of simple yet innovative products that have gone viral, selling thousands a day online. Think of services like uber, amazon, Facebook that have changed markets with a press of a button.

When a company succeeds, ideally everyone should benefit. Getting a raise, having a better working environment or simply treating yourself to a nice break with family are all nice bonuses. Something many people cannot afford these days. Petrol and a long drive to the beach are luxuries. People are struggling to make ends meet at the lower end, struggling to pay loans at the middle and stressing about business at the other end.

Wealth is material abundance and it can only be created through improving the quality of life of others. We don’t have billionaires in Samoa, do we? If you are, please show yourself, so we can all congratulate you on being extra wealthy as we can claim you as our cousin, aunt, uncle or nephew while secretly telling people that you are a selfish individual that refuses to share your wealth with the rest of the family.

Remember that humans behind every brand and every major corporation. There are people who’ve spent their lives trying to build and succeed in that business. Usually they are part of a family who work and struggle together. We just see the successful side and the end result but we are not seeing the whole story.

Some of the most successful business owners wake up hours before 9am and sleep later than the rest of us every day. It is how they get more hours in the day and that’s how they’ve built their business from the ground up. Every business owner I’ve worked with started with an idea and started small. I have not worked with one yet that inherited a million dollars from their father or grandfather.

I agree, that not everyone is given the best start in life but everyone has opportunities to better themselves. We make choices every day to do something about our current situation. Those who succeed are not sitting back rocking their chairs, watching us from the top of the hill. Unless they’ve built massive generational wealth, business owners are still sitting in their offices, walking among their buildings, making sure that the systems work.

While we enjoy another peaceful Sunday Samoa remember that those who desire to get rich quick fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. Hard work always pays off. Money is not the problem. It is when we are slaves to it. Money is an amazing servant but a destructive master.

By Enid Westerlund. 13 November 2022, 4:00PM
Samoa Observer

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