Once a young friend of mine visited me to ask for some advice. He said that he was working in a barbershop but had just lost his job. His boss had to sell the barbershop to settle his debt. Consequently, all his employees were dismissed. However, the young man said that he was lucky to have had some experience working in it and learnt some practical skills in doing hairstyling along the way. He had even developed his own techniques. He thought that he was pretty good at them now for his regular customers were always satisfied with his service. So far he had not received any complaints from them. Now he told me that he wanted to run his own barbershop, but having not enough money to start the business, he had no idea of how to make his dreams a reality.
I could see the point. Asking for a loan from a bank was very much impossibel for a man like him. No bank would be willing enoughh to lend him some money. He was not qualified for it. So I did not discuss the possibility.
I know a great number of my fellow citizens have amazing talents and exceptional skills, but only few know how to make use of them to make money. Some of them are even ridiculously shy to make their talents and skills known to public. They are worried that others might accuse them of showing off - another inappropriate behaviour. How are people supposed to know about your talents and skills when you keep them in the dark? How can people buy your services when no one knows they exist?
I asked the young man if he kept records of his regular customers, and he said yes. I then suggested that he start informing them about the condition and tell them to contact him if they need his service. He would readily come to them. I also advised him to put up a sign in fron of his house and to give away flyers to let other people know about his new service business. If possible, he could always invite his rich friends to invest their money and to be his partenrs.
As for expansion, I suggested that he teach his unique techniques to his friends, and when ready, he should open a branch in another neighbourhood and employ his students. His eyes looked brighter. He thanked me heartily and left.
A few months later, I heard that this young man's barbershop has had five branches in different neighbourhoods. Needless to say, his life is getting better and better. Following his footsteps, another will-be millionaire has just started his own business that sells indigenous dishes.