Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Pseudo Farmers, Monks, and Warriors


Look around you. You must know rich and successful people whose wealth or career positions are not "earned" by them. 

Its the ususal. They got there through their parents, siblings, children, in-laws, or lovers.  And some say paper qualifications too...

When we complain about our bosses and managers, we are talking about these "farmers" right?

Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you complained about the warriors in your company for being indecisive, no clue where they going, or  don't have a vision to lead the team?

Envy and jealous maybe. 

But not the reasons you complaining about "mediocre" bosses and managers right?


I used to work for the stingiest person I've known. Yet, he is also one of the richest man in the world. He is so rich he no need to list any of his stable of companies.

Now that's being true to his character! 

If his companies make so much money, why "share" future profits and dividends with strangers and freeloaders you don't know through an IPO!?

He got to where he is by building up one of the biggest home furnishings empire out there.

I'll let you decide whether its through earn more or save more. Wink.


Its a bit too easy or simplistic to assume someone is a warrior just because they do well in their corporate careers or brave enough to jump into the sea of entrepreneurship.

This is like chosing someone in his 40s that's already financially stable and with established career or business as a marriage partner. That's like buying blue-chip companies. How difficult is that?

The challenge is having the guts to marry that 20 something dirt poor idiot with nothing but a dream who may or may not turn out to be that fabled 10 bagger warrior in the future! 

Look at our childhood friends, classmates, NS comrades, and working colleagues. We know it intuitively.

There are some who think, act, and talk differently from the rest of us. Years later, when we hear they have become captains of their industries, or have built their own successful companies, we are not surprised right?

Yup, that's the yardstick by how we tell.

Now look into the mirror.

And compare with "self-professed" warriors out there.

I don't listen to what people say (any idiot can do it); I listen to what they do.


  1. Smol,

    I am lost... Self-awareness again???

    Dream, can be small? Big and succeed Confirm warrior, small and succeed mean monk?? Or that farmer...

    Today suddenly feel emo getting off my car, I ask myself this exact question. What the hell is my dream anyway. Granted, I no longer young.

    The best teacher, interesting and effextive and at the same time a good husband, son and father, and if possible lead the teachers to share the vision of every pupil can be taught.

    Then I get off the office, and ask again, what the hell kind of dream is that?

    Dream small cannot?


    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I'll put a cup of coffee on your tab ;)

      How farcical it is when a corporate person quits or got fired from a job, finds it hard to return to his/her old position, now decides to:

      1) Become an entrepreneur overnight. Magically he/she is now a "warrior"? Really?

      2) Swallow pride and take a job beneath qualification/experience. Sure, why not? Let's twist the bayonet and patronise, "Eh you! Farmer. Yah, you!"

      You people are cold! Where is the love?

      3) Stay at home and sponge on significant other for a while. Well, its for better or worse right? Since no income, must cut expenses and watch spending.

      So now this person is a "monk"? How convenient!

      Aren't we the SAME person still no matter what decision or path we've chosen?

      Are Top Salespersons Born or Trained?

      In your profession, you should be aware there are those who become teachers mid-career not because teaching is their passion or love...

      They have failed in their businesses or corporate careers. Teaching is just a safe and stable job to them - nothing more, nothing less.

      They just put in the bare minimum effort; got time they focus on their own finanical freedom to escape ;)

      These teachers are probably happier at work than you! They have found their opium ;)

      There are no small or big dreams.

      Its whether you have a dream or not?

      If no, go find one!

      If yes, are you working towards it or are you avoiding, suppressing, dismissing it?


    2. Hi SI,

      You have a noble enough dream and you live it. Nothing compares! Who is to say his/her dreams are more worthy than yours? Or worse, you entertain that voice in your head that tells you otherwise. :)

    3. How about those who took 40 to 50% pay cut to join teaching? Not passion then what?

      School Teachers and Investment "Gurus" teaching passion???

    4. CW,

      Anyone can say they took pay cuts to do what they love ;)

      The trick is to verify WHY they do what they did:

      1) Took pay cut to be a teacher because they can't get any other jobs otherwise?

      2) Turned down better paying offers to take this lower paying teaching job because they are doing it to achieve; not to escape?

      If only it were so easy to "read" people!

      That's why we say, "Road long we know strength of horse; time long we know a person's heart." Wink.

      Quitting when we are ahead is different from quitting.

  2. Hi SMOL,

    Too chor lor liao lah. Got warrior but no knight? What about barbarian? What about the Spellsword who treads both paths?

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Hey, you can roleplay or cosplay into any characters you like!

      We have a cosplay community in Singapore. Spotted some of them taking the MRT with full regalia on!

      Now they are brave!

      Then it occured to me... They are wearing "masks"!!!

      Of course not afraid of other people's stares lor!


      Before we sleep, after taking off the makeups, we revert to who we really are.

  3. Hi SMOL,

    The power is in the wielding not the sword.

    But then, if no sword what can one wield?

    Can't blame the folks who hanker after feathers.

    Metaphors are meant to test the power of our imagination mah!


    1. Endrene,

      You and the butterfly can see through my "bawu" easily.

      I better wear double, no, triple underwears next time we have coffee!

      Its a lot of fun to poke at the financial escape community; they have the talent to turn everything into dollars and cents perspective!


  4. Whichever roles we chose, there will be a path to success. Farmers have farmers' dreams for success, monks have monks' dreams, warrior have warriors' dreams.

    Different paths, different dreams. No right, no wrong. 开心就好。

    1. Rainbow girl,

      Success is "relative" as you have succintly pointed out (your dream not my dream); it needs the affirmation of others though.

      We can't climb to the rooftop and ownself declare ownself to the whole world we are a "success" right? (OK can, but people may think we have mental issues...)

      Happiness (开心) on the other hand we ownself can feel and know without the affirmation of others ;)

    2. What about quiet success? When we have earned the first pot of gold, there is actually no need to dress lavishly nor shout on the rooftop, unless we have an agenda for doing so.

    3. Rainbow girl,

      Listen to yourself.

      You have asked a question and then answered it yourself ;)

      If no need let others know about your "success", does it matter whether its "loud" or "quiet"?

      See? When we think "success", its natural to have a benchmark right?

      You think why women are attracted to men with fancy cars?

      And why men are drawn towards women who spent a lot on their bodies?

      I know.

      I'm crass.


  5. If U can be "always true to yourself", U will be at ease day or night.

    We are all different.

    1. temperament,

      Trust a man of the cross to understand what say me ;)

      Its a lot harder than it looks...

      I'm a man-whore so its easier for me to say what others like to hear:

      "Yes daddy! Whatever you want!"

      "How high you want me to jump?"

      "Your one so big!"

      But I hate myself when I go to bed.

      Straight talkers like you?

      How to win friends and influence others? Work sure kenna condemn one also...

      Bet you sleep better though ;)

    2. Hi Jared and temperament,

      I think temperament summed it up in one sentence "be true to yourself". Not easy. When making important life decisions, I try to make sure I am doing it for the right, real reasons on the ground. I observe a tendency to rationalize and invent "unreal" reasons to make myself feel good in order to justify my decision. I don't think I am alone.

      In your earlier comment, you mention the over-emphasis on saving money is kiasu and kiasi masquerading as "financial prudence". When I just started out work, I was well-known for being frugal. I think I was one of those Hakkas who gave Hakkas a bad reputation for being overly frugal back then. Looking back, I think much of this frugality was masquerading. It sounds better to be financial prudent than admit that one is a risk-averse, play-safe type of 胆小鬼. Today, I admit I am a conservative 胆小鬼 and accept the price to pay when I see peers becoming more successful because they dared to take risks when younger. They deserve it.


      Last year, a good friend asked me whether a trading course is worth going. He told me the trainer talked about his passion to help people reach financial freedom. I asked him how much is the course. It was a 4-digit figure and the course lasts for a few days. Are these trainers inventing reasons to make themselves feel good about themselves? If the trainer was really sincere about helping people, why doesn't he start a blog like you and share his knowledge free of charge? Why charge 4-digit figures for a short course which cost more than an MBA on an hourly basis, yet is not recognized by the market? The trainers are either outright lying salesmen or have somehow deceived themselves that they are really out to help people. The best salesmen are those who believe in their own lies. Haha. A young trader who is honest with himself will admit ... "I don't have enough capital to trade the market full-time at the moment. I need to build up my capital first but hate my job too much to continue in it. So, I'm quitting my full-time job and and will build up my capital through teaching instead of trading." Perfectly legitimate reason. Be true to yourself.

    3. hyom hyom,

      Well, your "confession" shows you are no longer afraid to look into the mirror and acknowledge the real you look back ;)

      You are already ahead over others in this respect:

      I've Never Been To Me

    4. hyom hyom,

      I'll do a coconut by breaking up my comment for the first time.

      I don't want to mix something tender above with crass here below...

      Those who are willing to pay more than a thosand dollars for workshops that lasts a few days are "flawed" from the get go - they can't determine "value".

      If they annualised the fees they have paid, as you have astutely highlighted, they are paying more than our local fulltime universities courses!?

      Or like those newbie property "investors", who are overpaying on a per square feet basis, on a new property launch over those existing developments nearby that are only a few years older ;)

      They have more "trust" on promises based on mockups and drawings over real existing properties they can see and touch?

      As former snake-oil, I love such customers!

      The inspiration for my post is I've worked with WARRIORS who have tried and failed a few times being their own bosses.

      They temporarily came back to corporate world to rebuild their capital and lick their wounds. But from the fire in their eyes, they have not given up!

      Its such a privilege and honour to work with these business associates. I've learnt so much from them.

      To let pseudo monks and warriors and call my mentors "farmers", I have to speak up.

    5. Another way of putting it is if you have not done anything wrong, in the middle of the night, someone knock at your door, U won't be shocked.

    6. I read some of the monk, farmer, warrior articles in the financial blogging community. This monk and farmer discussion got me a bit confused. Monk was described to have strong capacity for suffering. Yet, many monks scrimp and save to escape from the life of a farmer because they cannot bear the suffering borne by farmers. If that is the case, shouldn't farmers be celebrated for having even higher capacity for suffering than monks?

      I try to see things as they are. I fit closest to the monk category and I honestly cannot find good reasons to be proud of it, much as I would love to. I am more of a monk, yet as a parent, I hope to see my children become successful farmers or warriors. What a hypocrite!

    7. May be these bloggers are confused over suffering from job stress and sacrificing those wants to save more money.

      Too much job stress can potentially lead to health issue. In this case; farmers are suffering more than monks who are just sacrificing.

    8. Hi Createwealth8888,

      Yes, the farmers are suffering more. That is why the monks want to escape from being farmers. I take a deep bow to all the long-suffering farmers out there so that people like me and you can enjoy the food they grow and smell the roses.

    9. hyom hyom and CW,

      It's a bit like using an art movement like Minimalism, confusing it with unclutter, and then inferring the quality of frugalism into it!?

      Its the same awkwardness as in coming up with our own definitions of "net worth" - excusable if we are newbie bei kambing or practitioner of voodoo technical analysis; not if we are using fundamental analysis as in value investing!

      That's why I use the word "pseudo" ;)

      Anyone who knows a bit of Buddhism would know monks are in it precisely to ESCAPE suffering!!!


      I prefer the Earn more or Save more simplicity. Its about competence, craftsmanship, and discipline. Less open to "interpretations" ;)

      So what if you are warrior who is bold but fail in everything you touch?

      Who will admit they are "farmer"?

      Notice farmer is always used as a "derogatory label" we pin on others; never on ourselves ;)

      Just like who will be honest enough to admit they are misers and it was never about financial prudence?

      hyom hyom, you pass already :)

  6. Why i never pay for any investment course?

  7. Is it because i think am too smart?

    Never in my life as i know i am not academic inclined.

    1. temperament,

      I am glad I can learn from reading!

      Can learn and understand at my own pace ;)

      I don't do well with class lectures. My mind drifts...

      If its a pretty teacher, I'll admire her... (I think I have issues...)

      Once armed with book theory, I'll let crash got sound practical lessons take over.

      That's where real learning starts!

      I've noticed a lot of my colleagues don't read AFTER they left school. Many don't keep up their professional reading at all...

      If lazy or reading is not your preferred learning style, no choice lor! Must pay others to do the reading and summarise everything in a nutshell for you!

      These students and gurus must be geniuses! Others spend 3-4 years to get business finance degrees or CFAs credentials, they just need 1-2 days to cover the "same" syllabus on fundamental analysis ;)

      Bullet points will do!?

      If its technical analysis, that's another story. Its teaching voodoo. So 1-2 days already plenty enough!


  8. Hi Smol,

    In the corporate world, there are instances of upgrading the skillsets such as taking the certificate, Master, PHD. This is often pushed down by the top management on the workers. I often refrain from taking such course because I know that I will not be able to cope with work and studies at the same time in my current age. This could be done when I were younger in which I completed the part-time degree with work about more than a decade. However, this is not the case anymore as I am not interested in such style. I believe that this is my preference of leisurely lifestyle in which I do not want to be bothered with the pressure which are derived from the examinations and work performance on both fronts. I yearn to be a humble peasant with simple lifestyle and bargaining power to do things of my liking on my own terms and conditions. I guess that this is my true self and I prefer to be making the decision in accordance to fit my style.


    1. Ben,

      Your own feet, only you would know best what shoes fit you the best ;)

    2. Smol,

      Feet is one factor. All the five senses will also play a part on the preference of the options. One will definitely know what he/she wants right from the beginning. It's the matter of seeking approval or agreement of other which is a stumbling block for one who opt for such recognition.


    3. Ben,

      Now that's profound and intellectually stimulating ;)

    4. Smol,

      It's the cultivation of Zen. I believe U will have gained more insights over these years of overseas "hard knocks".


    5. Ben,

      That's the advantage of crash got sound and eating more salt than rice...

      But I would rather give everything up to be young all over again!

      I rather side with youths than with old fogeys.

      I don't want to grow up :)

      Don't know what cannot be done is such a liberating feeling!

    6. Smol,

      I can understand your feeling on the option to be young again. You know that this is a irreversible process. I suggest to you to look forward instead. Make yourself feel young. Take the approach in making yourself happy instead. I feel that this is the right way to do so. Focus on the circle of influence instead of circle of concern. The circle of influence is the area in which one can take action to change the prevailing circumstance. I feel that there is no point on focusing on the circle of concern in which one has no control on.

      My two cents worth of views.


    7. Ben,

      You are not quoting Steven Covey's 7 habits of highly effective people "right"; but we get the drift ;)


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