Filet Mignon's Money Wisdom

I like cooking at home, not only it is healthier than dining out, I enjoy the creative part of figuring out what to eat with my family, the shopping experience for the fresh ingredients, the joy of preparing, conditioning, seasoning, cooking, and the fun of presenting the main and side dishes before placing it onto the dining table.

Cooking is truly an elegant art by itself.

One day, while I was preparing dinner for my family, my daughter came to me and asked: “Dad, could you tell me how the bankers make their money?”

I asked, “Why?”.

My daughter briefed me the context, “My classmate Bella told me her Dad just bought her a yacht as her birthday present. And her Dad is a banker”.

I said, “Kid, having a yacht as a birthday present is cool, but that doesn’t necessarily buy happiness.

She said, “Dad, you haven’t answered my question.”

I said, “Okay okay, there are many ways for bankers to make dough, but simply put, they all involved taking someone else’s money and adding value to it.”

My Daughter looked puzzled and said, “I don’t get it.”

Out of the blue, I asked her to grab a few pieces of Filet Mignon from the fridge and put it onto the kitchen table.

“Here you go, could you explain to me how the bankers make their money now?”, my daughter was running out of patience.

I said, “look at both of your hands, didn’t they get greasy?”.

She said, “yeah, so?”.

“Imagine you are the little banker, the fridge is the bank, the filet mignon is the money, and by taking it out of the fridge and put it onto the plate with pepper and salts on it, you just added some value to the money that was sitting in the bank. And look, you are now rewarded with a pair of greasy hands! Got it?”

My daughter laughed, “I am hungry, can I get to eat the filet now?”

This analogy is stupid but simple enough to drive the point across. In fact, the message behind this story captures the essence of any successful business ventures. By adding value to the raw materials, we can turn something with limited intrinsic value into a finished product in which people are willing to pay a high premium for.

To put things into perspective, we need to ask ourselves a few questions:

1. What is the finished product we would like to create?
2. Who will shell out their hard earned cash to buy this finished product?
3. What ingredients are needed to create such a product?
4. What is the secret recipe to put together the product?
5. How to get the finished product to the targeted buyers?
6. After taking out all the costs involved, are we making enough dough to justify our love, work, and passion?

By thinking out loud and answering those questions with full honesty, we should be on the right track to build a profitable business.

Remember though, money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but knowing how to use this green ingredient at the right place and the right time, it certainly adds wonder to our recipe of happiness.


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