Serve to earn


Service is the tree that produces money

  • David J. Schwartz


In response to articles in my Newspaper columns, I receive a lot of letters from readers who want to know how they can become millionaires – usually in a few years! Many of them have little tangible means of income or anything they can do to ‘draw down’ the income that the Infinite Intelligence called Nature has so much prepared for them.


The truth of the matter is that many people want to be rich and affluent but are still in the woods as to how to go about it.

Service, the starting point: A personal experience

Age-old wisdom has endlessly acknowledged that the basis of money is the meeting of one or several needs through the provision of a good or service that people are willing and able to pay for at a profit to the commodity provider.

A number of years ago, things were particularly rough for me and by extension, for the family that depended on me because I had lost my job and could not get a replacement in good time. So I frequently entered into brainstorming sessions with my wife during this valley period that lasted for roughly six years about what we could do to keep body and soul together while I kept searching for a ‘proper’ job.

Some relief at last

The brainstorming sessions finally produced a couple of ventures including running a security outfit and learning the rudiments of estate agency from an estate agent friend in the hope of finally setting up an estate agency.

As much as the ventures did bring in some money, their proceeds were far from being enough to meet the needs of our then family of four and I often bemoaned my problems to my friend who was obviously doing better than I was.

I will never forget what this friend told me by way of advice one particular day after another of our several discussions on just how I would break from the stranglehold of poverty.

He told me, “Lanre, I think what you really need to do is to find a way of tapping into the society’s flow of income by offering a product or service that will return you money.”

Though it was difficult for me to immediately put his advice into operation to solve my problem then, the benefit of hindsight has proved him right and his advice highly effective.

First things first

Now let us analyse these two statements:

– ‘I want to become a rich man’

– ‘I want to become an authority in this field’.

My argument is that the second statement should be the predecessor, and the basis of the first.

Service is the tree that produces money. Serve first and then you can justifiably expect to earn. You serve by providing or adding value to people’s lives; by meeting a need afresh or meeting it differently. You may even join the bandwagon initially by offering the same service and meeting the same needs that others are meeting to earn money. Then with diligence and the passage of time, you will definitely discover new ways to offer the service better and in a unique way that will stand you out.

The pertinent thing is to start to offer a service now and offer it in both an acceptable quantity and quality to more than justify the buyer’s release of his funds to you. Do this consistently and the world will beat a path to your ‘doorstep’ for that very service, even if you are located in the remotest part of the country.

Tapping from a wholesome experience

The American steel giant, Charles M. Schwab once said, “Make it your business to render more and better service than that for which you are paid, and lo! Before you realize what has happened, you will find that the world is willingly paying you for more than you do!”

In like manner, a Slovakian proverb posits, “He who wishes to possess must first give.” In other words, you must be ready and willing to first give of yourself: your time, your energy, your resources and your intellect in the provision of need satisfaction for other beings if you are to receive and possess honourably and adequately.

You must be ready to serve in order to earn. You may then plan to save and invest of your earnings on a journey towards achieving your millionaire dream. Service is indeed the starting point.

Serve before trying to ‘collect’

                                               –  Sidney Newton Bremer


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