Siri Singh Sahib Lecture January 26, 1985
From “Beads of Truth”
The biggest business man on this planet and for this planet is God Himself. He managed to have spring, summer, winter, fall: to create and re-create. The three faculties of God “Ik sansaaree, ik bhandhaaree, ik laa-e deebaan,” to grow, to give birth, to maintain, sustain and to destroy.
Sometimes you feel very afraid when someone dies. But destroying is a part of business also. If you are in the fruit business, you can’t keep the rotten fruit on the shelf. You have to destroy it, you may like it or not. Sometimes you have to pay for destroying, as we pay for disposing of a physical body. It costs about three thousand dollars to dispose of a human body. But if you sell it, it’ll give you about eleven hundred dollars. You have to make a choice about what you want to do.
We are so commotional and emotional in business that we don’t care what is loss and what is gained. All we care about is what we are talking about. And one very disturbing thing in our business is that we think only for today’s profit and loss. But normally when we do business in the business sense, we take care of what is called “business for good will.” We create a business and we create good will. Businesses cannot profit the next minute after they open. Most businesses start showing a profit in maybe two years, ten years, or six years.
We take money either on loan from a bank or from relatives or friends and we put it together. It’s called “pool money.” Likewise, our life prana is a pool money of our “samskaras” from our previous lives.
We have “x” amount of prana, that’s the pool money. Some people are lucky to have good rich parents. Some are unfortunate and have poor parents. Some people have good environments, some have bad environments. Sometimes in the middle of life, environments freak out. There are always ups and downs in nature. There are ups and downs in business. As God is the business man, and the proprietor, and the president of this planet earth, so is mother nature the extension of it . . . the creativity of it.
The value is that you are honorable in your life. But you do not concentrate to become a specialist. You want to become a professional. Professionalism is not enough. I have seen so many doctors, so many attorneys, when they get in the prime of their lives and their career, they freak out. They cannot handle their personal life. They fall apart. You have not to overdo things, not to under do things. You have to aim at one thing. Don’t become rich. Don’t become happy. Don’t become an expert. Become a specialist. Specialize in your trade of life. Richness will come to you, security will come to you, happiness will come to you. When President Reagan was sick, who operated on him? A special doctor. It is the specialty which is the aim to be achieved. Business is a creative sense. And the key to richness is to be specialized in that which you want to achieve.
When I see you, I see you poor. When I see your aura, I see you rich. The greatest problem in your business life is you don’t know how saintly you are, how powerful you are. You do not value your own values. That’s the greatest problem you have. Just understand one thing: I have not created you. Your parents have not created you. It is the Will of God which has created you. It is the Will of God which will sustain you and it is the Will of God which will take you away. Are you going to leave behind good will and business, or only business? That’s the only decision you have to make.
We are a young community, a young nation. We started with no capital and now have all the capital. This is how it works. Capital is the creative sense of a persona and with the creative proposal you can get any capital. You all say, “Who will give the money?” Take the proposal, make it viable, make it perfect, go to the bank, banker will love to talk to you. Bank will look at it, “Who are you?” First he might think you are Arabian. Then he’ll go through all that and then he’ll find out you are a Khalsa, and then he’ll say, “Well, I don’t think I have a loan for you.” You’ll be rejected outright. That is your victory. Remember this: when senses are not willing to accommodate concessions, the person who can freak out anybody in sensory situations is always victorious. It’s a law. Exploit as much as possible. When I stand out, the moment the other person starts thinking, “Who is he?” I have already won. Further is a matter of negotiation. When you freak out the senses of accommodation of rational and logic in any person, you have already won because the best defense is logic, reason and timing. And when reason and logic is already gone, timing is already on your side.
Baba Singh ordered flowers to be sent to somebody. The florist didn’t deliver them on the day they were supposed to. The party to whom they were sent called the florist who said, “Our delivery truck is out. Sometime it will reach you.” They called and told me. I called the lady in the florist shop and said, “I had the flowers sent and they have not been delivered. She said, “What is the name?” I gave the name, address, everything. And I said, “Look, if within the hour the flowers are not delivered, I am going to call the Better Business Bureau, I am going to talk to the Flower Shop Association of America and I am going to sue you.” She said, “Sir, sir. We are going to deliver . . .” I said, “That’s what I want. I want to hear they are to be delivered.” And she called up those people and said, “Please don’t leave home. I am sending the flowers. I am sorry.” It is called effectiveness in business.
This is business. Business is not what you do. Business which does not carry effectiveness, does not carry itself. Take this line and write it down on your forehead. And hang a billboard on your home. And put it on the roof, so that at night you can read it. Business is business. And business is to keep busy. And to keep busy for profit. No business is done for emotion, to please your wife or to seek your girlfriend and go in the back of the room and make love. That’s corruption. Business house is an altar, which has to be pure, sanctified, honest. People must trust you. You are the Sikhs of the Guru. If you give a word, live for it. If you can’t, die for it. We die before we fall. Remember that.
One law of business is, your words should be as good as gold. That’s called “good will.” That is the principle of every successful businessman. Whenever you bring emotions into business, commotions into business, feelings into business, you lose business. Business is meant for profit, and profit is meant to make further profit. And when there is a lot of profit then comes the third law of Nanak: share. Then establish other businesses and let your brother work in it. You will make more business. And more profit. Then one day you can sit in the Bahamas and do snorkeling or sailing or whatever and somebody shall be working and shall be grateful.
The entire management has to have complete harmony. All three coordinates: to produce, to sell and to manage, must be in one unison, harmony and in complete control. And what is that control? One who works for you is you. The brick in the basement is responsible for the penthouse. Bricks in the basement are responsible for the penthouse because they are carrying the load. All businesses fail when the foundation is cracked and what is the foundation of business? Profit. Business has not purpose other than profit.
If you profit is based on a project which is honest, which has the good will and your word is that of gold, you have all that you need.
We have Akal Security businesses, right? People say, “If you send a Sikh Guard, we are willing to pay you $8.00 an hour. If you send a non-Sikh guard, $6.00 an hour.” We say “We cannot discriminate. This is Akal Security. We are all one.” “No, then if it is all one, send me the Sikh guard.” We can’t explain it to you.” “Sikh guards are weird to.” “That’s all right. A weird Sikh guard is better than the other guard.” So there’s a problem. Why? There’s one thing called reputation and reputation doesn’t happen in a day. It has centuries behind it. What is our reputation? Our honesty is, “When things are down and darkest, we walk tallest.” That is our honesty. Either you obey what is written on your forehead, or you write what you want on your forehead. You decide it. I want you to understand one thing. There is only one business which I am in. And I want you to join me in that business. Sit and be you so everything should come to you. Going after things is chasing after darkness. It will take away your health from you, it will make you go crazy and it’s not worthwhile. Let you be you. Listen to me. God couldn’t create better than you. If He could have, He would have.
There are a lot of children. There are a lot of parents who can’t afford to educate their children and we don’t want our future generations to be totally under-educated under any circumstances. We want to work for our children. We want to work and we want to have money. Any money which shall come shall be used for tomorrow. I have done it; I want you to follow it. You know I can look in your eyes and I can tell you, “I have earned, I have given, and I feel grateful.” And so you should, too. Because we are the remnants of those 20 million who laid down their lives and died in silence so we can be today sitting here and talking. We didn’t come out of the air. The sacrifice which America made is much more. The toll we have paid is too heavy. And we have to prove that this country is free and it is the home of the brave, and we are establishing that.
We have a technical sense of making money. And we believe that money can be made honestly in this country. The problem is only how to keep making it. So do not go for short term things. And how many people have read my book on OPI–OPM–“Business Cycle of Success?” Get those two, three books and read them. Learn the basic essence and let us start doing further. We are not only teaching you how to do business, we are teaching you how to be excellent in business. God is nothing but business. He has three divisions: creating, organizing and destroying. So please understand, okay? Do you follow that? And when you are in trouble, do not sit home and feel depressed. What is the number? (213) 277-3102. This is the number. You will be helped. We are on our way to be successful in business and we should be on our way to create business.
Question: When one is not in management or a decision-making position in business but has a valuable service to offer, how can the person obtain profits from that business?
Answer: Negotiate. Any valuable thing has no price until negotiated. Prepare your values, or your service value, or your thought values and add a finder’s fee and future impact of waiting, plus your own personality price, plus all that profit in relationship to business, multiply by three and put the cost. As simple as that. Next.
Question: You once mentioned that it takes $10 to maintain the grace of $1. Is this applicable to business?
Answer: The backing, the good will, and your real value should be $10 if you really want to enjoy $1. It’s true. It’s an internationally known fact. You value things in a temporary sphere. Temporary sphere does not pay at all. It is just now. So your continuity needs another $9 to back it up.
Question: What is the legitimate role of credit, borrowing power, to grow and run a business?
Answer: That we have told you. OPI-OPM. Other People’s Intelligence and Other People’s Money. Sit on it and you are the richest man. Fools work. Wise people manage.
Question: Please speak on the concept of honesty in business. What is the balance between naive open-ness and heart centered honesty?
Answer: Use heart centered honesty when you want to surely get it. And naive open-ness when you want to lose.
Question: When growth dictates expansion and hiring of additional staff, how does one take the first step?
Answer: Just remember, when you hire somebody you must understand that you are already in a position of management. Failure in management is a drag which you cannot recompensate. Don’t hire and forget to manage. That’s the greatest mistake in every business that people have done. Managing is to compute. Don’t let the deadline date make you dead. That is called management. Deliver 24 hours in advance of the deadline. That’s one test of the management. Understand, if you deliver 24 hours before the deadline, you may not be rewarded, but you’ll always get business and you’ll always have a lot of thanks.
Question: How do the different temperaments relate to business success? What much each balance? What are the weaknesses to avoid, and what is the best combination?
Answer: Temperament and moods are for the swimming pool. They are not for business. Business is a calculated game for profit and one mistake can pull the rug under your feet. Emotions, feelings, and moods have no place with business. Business is to calculate and to re-calculate and to take a calculated risk. When you are in a mood and you want to express your mood, feelings, or emotions, please jump in a swimming pool and find out how strong you are. Let the water beat you and let you beat the water, but in business be calm, sober, contained.
Question: The Guru often tells us not to be attached to riches. How does relate to prosperity?
Answer: We printed from Siri Guru Granth the Teachings of the Guru on business. We took the exact quotes so that you all can have them. Guru says don’t be attached to riches but he never said don’t be rich. Having money and giving it away is saintliness. Poverty is a curse. Have and then don’t have. That is Tiag. Got it? What is the use of that wolf who has lost his teeth, who has become vegetarian? Make money and distribute it. Give for good causes. Glorify the Guru. Let everybody know in the world that Sikhs are the giver, Sikhs are the ones, Sikhs are men and women of their word, Sikhs are men and women of character, Sikhs are men and women of commitment. Sikhs know what grace is. Sikhs shall die but shall never cheat.
Question: How much do we just open up to allow the Guru to work though us, and how much do we have to take command in the situation?
Answer: Put Guru in your heart and take command of your head, and calculate perfectly. Eighteen hours a day is not a work at all; and day is not at work at all; and one minute a day is not a work at all. It is the intelligence which is the reward. Not the commotional nonsense. Work intelligently and consciously. You shall never fail.
Question: When a married couple are both earning good money, what is the fair way to share household Dharmic expenses?
Answer: 100% Sharing is 100%. I know there are certain men who say, “Well, I’ll pay 20% of the child’s milk and you pay 60%.” I have never understood that. Insecurities are insecurities in every form and shape. And the only thing that insecurity will give you is ulcers. There’s no need of any insecurity whatsoever. We don’t have to be insecure about anything..
Question: What should our attitude be as Sikhs when some members of our family go bankrupt and other members are rich due to the economy?
Answer: Those who go bankrupt, it means bank is corrupt. Their bank is corrupt somewhere. And we are willing to educate people and help them to come through. And you don’t have to do foolish things. So you should be every time consciously aware what is going on so you can match up. Call us if you want help, and let us work it out together.