Time is something which is very valuable. In fact, since we all have only a finite amount of time, it is probably the most valuable thing that we “own”. I mean, if you want to talk about money or other “things” we can always get more of those things. Our time, though, is fixed, it will run out at some point, and we don’t even know when that will be. It might happen later today, it might be next year or a few decades from now, but it will run out, you can be certain of that.
Because our time is so valuable, we have to make a decision on how to best allocate our time. There are a number of things that we must choose between:
- Spending time with family & friends
Sure, there are other things, but those 4 choices above cover most things that might be choices in our lives.
If the only thing we care about is earning more money, then we might allocate almost all of our time to #3, working, or some kind of pursuit that makes us more money. If we allocate all of our time to playing, soon we will run out of money and be forced to switch to #3. We need a balance.
An e-mail with questions
The other day, I received an e-mail from somebody that I did not know. He was a young guy, 25 years old. I will call him Jim, although that is not his real name. Jim is a Missionary, that is a noble thing if he is out helping people know about something that he really believes in. This young man told me that he had a strong desire to move to the Philippines. He is from, and currently living in the United States. I am an American, like him, but have been living in the Philippines for many years, I am in my 15th year of living in the Philippines at this time. Most of you know that I have written many books about how to move to the Philippines and live here.
This young man had one really big concern about moving here, though. He could not figure out how to earn a living here and pay his bills. Many people had already told him that it is nearly impossible for a foreigner to earn money while living in the Philippines, so he was quite concerned about this. He needed money in order to do the things he wanted to do in life, but how could he get it?
During my life in the Philippines, I have learned how to make money here. I am not trying to toot my own horn or brag, but I feel I have gotten to the point where I am pretty good at doing it too. In fact, I have written a number of books about how to earn money if you live in the Philippines, and I have sold many copies of those books.
My reply to Jim
I wrote back to Jim and I told him about myself (I was not sure how much he knew about me, he just found me on Google+). I told him that I had learned through experience how to earn money here and that in fact, I found it rather easy to do, not difficult like most expats here will tell you. I offered Jim some encouragement, and I also gave him a link where he could find my book. I explained to him that the answers that he was seeking were available in my book and that I really thought it would help him out.
Jim wrote back to me again after a few days. He said that I had not answered his questions. He went on to say that he had no intention to buy a book and that I should just answer his questions via e-mail for free. He was a bit hard headed and impolite about it, to be honest.
I wrote back to Jim and told him this:
Thank you for writing back. I am sorry that you did not appreciate my e-mail and my answer to you. I was only doing my very best to help you.
On an average day, I get about 800 e-mails from people asking the same types of questions that you are asking. At least 100 people every day ask me how they can make money in the Philippines. Yes, I can answer by e-mail, but it is not free. My time has a cost. If I spend hours online answering for you, that is time away from my family. If I do it for the hundreds of people who ask the same question, I would have to spend 24 hours per day online. That is why I wrote the books, so that I could offer people a way to get the information they are looking for, and for me to still be able to see my wife and kids and spend time with them. My book, 49 Ways to Make a Living is full of the answers you are asking for. It is only $39, which is cheap for the information provided. If you are unwilling to spend $39, then it just occurs to me that you don’t really value my time.
It is always my policy that if somebody buys my book and then they need further assistance, I am happy to answer their questions for free. I am happy to offer them my additional time to make sure that they succeed in what they want to accomplish. But, they also have to show a willingness to help themselves, not just rely on free advice. Things in life have a cost. My time costs me, and those who want my time should be willing to compensate me for the time that I share with them.
If you prefer free, I have a website that is 100% free for you. It has over 4,000 articles about living in the Philippines. I also have another free website about how to earn a living. You can read those articles 100% for free without needing my one-on-one time.
For information about living in the Philippines, check here:
Live in the Philippines Web Magazine
For information on how to earn a living check here:
Ways to Make a Living
Good luck to you, Jim. I only wish you the best.
Well, within an hour or two I got another response from Jim. This response I will quote, here it is:
I don’t think you understand the American culture and you shouldn’t even be living in the Philippines. I really want to move to the Philippines to share the Love of Jesus and transform that country. So I’m sorry their is nothing wrong with asking questions where I don’t have to pay for them. It’s sad how you steal other peoples money for a stupid book that probably doesn’t even help. I have a lot of other connections in that country anyways where they would be a better help to me than you. I even have a lot of friends in the gov.t of the PHL that I can talk to as well. Get out now and live your own selfish life.
Oh boy… what can I say?
Jim is a missionary, but he doesn’t sound like a very nice guy. If he wanted to install a new carpet in his house but didn’t know how to do it, would he go to a carpet installer and demand free training so that he could do it himself? It would seem so. Doesn’t the carpet installer have a right to earn a living too? Jim says he wants to learn how to make money… so that means he is going to charge for some product or service in order to make that money. Why is he not willing to do it for free, or give his product for free to others? 🙂
Well, I understand that Jim is just a young fellow, and I suppose he doesn’t yet understand the way the world works. I do wish him the best, and I hope he succeeds on his journey.
One thing that is important to remember, though, Jim. When you only seek things that are free, often the product/item that you receive is worth exactly what you paid for it. Always keep that in mind.
Della L. Vank Tyrrell
wow wow wow. There is so much i could say regarding that young man you refer to as Jim. You showed so much more tact and diplomacy in your response to him. I am quite appalled to put it mildly. His issues and i say issues are many and it is an embarrassment to legitimate missionaries to have someone like him “claim” to be one and want to come to any country with an attitude such as he displays. He speaks of showing “love” to the people. Please stay home, get a job and support yourself. It sounds as if he is a self proclaimed person without the accountability or backing of a legit. church or foundation and that spells trouble. Sorry Bob, this hit a nerve. I love Filippino’s and hate it when people like this would come to such a sweet people and use them for their own selfish purposes. Just stay home please. Bob your time is valuable and worth $$$. You are more than generous with the aid you give in your posts and articles. Thankyou for your generosity.
Thank you Della. You know, a lot of the things you say were also in my mind as well. For one thing, a legitimate Missionary usually has financial backing from a Church and/or a group of supporters and such. Jim doesn’t seem to have any such thing. Anyway, he is young and still has many things to learn. After that last e-mail I chose to not even reply to him again, I don’t think any reply would really have impact, it would only serve to make him angry.
Della L. Vank Tyrrell
You have shown wisdom in how you dealt with him. There are qualifications one must meet in many areas including character and integrity before one could even think of becoming a missionary. That aside, this person speaks of showing the “love of Jesus” and then proceeds to speak to you in terms that are nothing like the Jesus he purports to represent. That has nothing to do with youth. No legit. group would ever send him anywhere: that is why i said he is self proclaimed and that is very dangerous. A person like this does by far more harm than good. So on you go, tell us how to make money in the Philippines haha
I think you handled that matter very graciously. I might have been tempted to remind Jim that he must first have the love of Jesus before he can share it, and that if he wants to transform a country, he ought to start with himself.
Hi Dave – Ha ha.. I really did have a temptation to respond to Jim in a different way than I did. Usually, though, I try to let me feelings of anger pass before replying in a situation like this. If I do that, I am able to respond in a more level headed way, and it is a better representation of myself, as well as making me feel better. 🙂
Actually, my whole site is full of ideas on how to make money – anywhere in the world – and with a little creative thought it is not that hard to do. 🙂 Anyway, I hope Jim sees the right path and ends up moving in the right direction.
Let’s just hope this sort of “missionary” doesn’t make it to the Philippines. Actually, speaking as a missionary myself, he probably has applied to several mission organizations, but was not accepted, due to obvious character issues… now he is trying to go it on his own. I wonder why? He sounds like the ugly American stereotype who is going to ‘fix that country,’ only in the name of god… I thought your reply was very gracious, and comparatively loving! 🙂
Thanks, Luanne, for your thoughts on this. I hope your trip is going well for you and Ed.
First of all, you demonstrated excellent restraint. I want to touch on a comment you made to Jim. You had stated you are willing to answer questions for free after an individual purchases a book because you want to see them succeed.
I want to convey to Jim that I found that statement to be very accurate. I’ve purchased services from you and not only have you helped me without additional cost – your wife assisted, as well.
I’m now living in the Philippines and enjoying myself. One thing that does rankle me is some folks hiding behind the cloth.
I’d like for Jim to step out from behind it so I can see what he’s REALLY all about. Sorry! I’m not as good as you in being politically correct.
Keep on doin’ what you’ve been doin’. There are many people who appreciate you – I’m one of them!
Thanks, Bill, I appreciate your support.
Always Bob! Always!!