I fell upon an interesting parable in the Bible that I wish to share with you. Of course, I am aware that this isn’t the Religious section of my blog, but what I intend to impart is related to entrepreneurship, and it came from the MASTER himself.
The subjects in this parable, which you will find in the Bible book of Matthew Chapter 25 from verses 14 to 30, capture just the kind of audience that I target in my ENTREPRENEURSHIP SERIES, you just have to replace “servants” with “workers” or “employees”, because at the time (back in time), servants were more or less, the “employees” of the day.
Before you go reminding me that the parable is symbolic of heavenly things or such that is associated with salvation and not primarily about the physical, you should know that I intend to pick the physical part of the story for now, while my BIBLE STORY series will deal with the spiritual aspect when we get there.
YAHSHUA told his disciples this parable, and as it is very relevant spiritually, so it is as relevant physically, materially or if you like, even monetarily. It is a tale about a “….Man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” (Verse 14). HE goes on to say, “…unto one he gave FIVE talents, to another TWO, and to another ONE;” (verse 15a).
Like those servants in that part of scripture, we all come endowed with some TALENT or the other, whether we discover that, or someone does for us, or we don’t even find it/them is another matter entirely. Another is to know that one has the talent and not put it to use, talk more GOOD USE! Many times we are wont to stray from our talent to do other things for many reasons, ranging from what our parents want, peer pressure (I remember a friend of mine that became a science student when it was time to choose sides because it was what I opted for), available space for another course of study after failing to meet the cut-off mark for a desired course of study, or the profitability of adventuring into a career associated with the talent. Some find their way back, like many doctors I know who are doing everything else but that which they spent an average of six years studying in medical school for, while others continue in a path that has been chosen for them by fate, design, happenstance and the likes, which sometimes might be very lucrative while suppressing their talent.
Anyways, back to the matter at hand, this man/master gave the talents as apportioned above, “…to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” (Verse 15b). Some people refer to Talent as GIFT, and need I stress anymore that we all aren’t equally gifted, even in the same area, field, occupation etc (the fingers are not equal thingy?).
We are then told that, “…he that had received the FIVE talents went and traded with the same and made them other five talents.” (Verse 16). So did the one to whom TWO talents was given, for he made another two, but the one who was given just ONE talent, “…went and digged in the earth, and hid his master’s money.” (Verse 18). And this is the crux of the matter. Banks are a good place to keep/hide your money, just like the servant that dug up soil and hid his master’s money therein, but except you have a large sum in a fixed/time deposit account, it will yield very little for you. Money works very little in storage, but yields abundantly when worked to produce its kind, and please don’t misunderstand me to mean that I am asking you not to save your money.
The dream of every employee should be to own his business, somewhere along the line, but I am even advocating that one doesn’t even have to leave his job (if s/he has one)/paid employment to become an entrepreneur, and if one retires “mandatorily” as is usually the case, that business may just be the thing to fall back on. The activity one undertakes at the time of retirement, at ones pace do add a bit to longevity, than simply sitting around waiting for the next pension cheque to come in, occupying large parts of the day with thoughts of what could’ve been.
I have outlined the ways in which part of the money earned during ones’ active years can be put to good and productive use in some of the businesses I have highlighted in my past engagements in the series, without even having to borrow from anybody or even the bank, by starting small. There is no amount too small to invest, the mistake many of us make is to await the BIG BREAK that hardly ever comes. See how the servants with Five and Two “talents” made something off the bit they were allocated, while the one allocated just a talent, probably felt the little he had couldn’t be invested.
Lets see how things pan out in this parable, and what lessons can be learned. The master soon returned and was full of praises for the servants who had “traded” with the talents they had been given saying to both of them- “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy master.” (Verse 21 and 23).
To the servant whom he gave a talent to, he had nothing but harsh words, describing him as, “…wicked and slothful servant, …thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” (Verses 26b to 27). Showing that the master wouldn’t even mind had he invested in the STOCK MARKET/EXCHANGE, even dealing in foreign exchange, if he found trading and investing in a business a tad tedious, as long as e got the money working. I do have plans to do a missive or two on investing in the stock market (where I had my fingers burnt in the last crash), though I am for now focussing on showcasing investment potentials and opportunities that exist physically while cautiously treading the stock market angle, the experience of which I will avail you soon.
In his fury, the master ordered that the talent with the erring servant be collected and given to “…him which hath ten talents.” Instructive are the words of the master after the whole episode in stating that, “FOR UNTO EVERY ONE THAT HATH SHALL BE GIVEN, AND HE SHALL HAVE ABUNDANCE: BUT FROM HIM THAT HATH NOT SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY EVEN THAT WHICH HE HATH.” (Verse 29)
Need I say more, therein lies the secret behind “the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer”. Find that thing (your talent) to do now, invest in it, start it small if you may (and stop waiting for that big financial break to start something), nurture it with every bit of you, till it blesses you. It is in how you have mastered small responsibilities that you will stand better position to master bigger responsibilities when that opportunity finds you. Let he that hath an ear, hear.
The Word Of Yahweh, 2000 Edition.