Jessica had a simple happy life, fulfilled in her job as a high school teacher. She loved her students and was blessed with many close friends. She was ‘poor and happy’.
She married a textile tycoon who suddenly died of heart attack from too many business meetings. She became filthy rich in the blink of an eye, an instant lady tycoon. Learning the ropes of the textile business, she doubled her wealth and became ‘rich and sad’ instead of ‘poor and happy’. She became cranky and lost her friends. She missed her students. She developed ulcers and insomnia at such an early age. She never enjoyed her wealth. She decided to do something to get out of her rut.
eastwind journals, May 16, 2022 (archives tr249)
By Bernie V. Lopez, email@example.com
Share by sending this blog link – https://eastwindjournals.com/2022/05/16/lessons-from-a-lady-tycoon/
Realizing she did not want to die like her husband, she dropped everything, got a trusted cousin as CEO to run the business. Now, she had time for friends again. She toured the world three times, trying to squander her wealth away, but failed. She could spend only so much.
On her fourth world tour, she stayed in a cheap inn instead of a five-star hotel in Manila. Outside the inn, she met a peanut vendor, Lucy, an 28-year-old unwed mother with eight children. She had stage 4 cancer of the ovary, and could no longer work. Moved to tears, Jessica spent two million pesos of surgeries and chemotherapy for a year to restore Lucy back to health. She stopped her world tours instantly.
Jessica bought the inn where she stayed, and converted it into an orphanage for homeless kids whom she and Lucy picked up on the streets. At that time, there were 95,000 homeless street kids in Metro-Manila. She appointed Lucy as the orphanage manager. Then, she got a fantastic idea of converting the orphanage to include a textile factory run by Lucy and her 126 orphans. She hired foreign experts to train the kids. In no time, the first ‘textile orphanage’ was born.
The income soared and Jessica got busy multiplying the loaves and fish in other places like Jakarta, Phnom Phen, and Hanoi. Now she learned how to ‘squander’ her wealth, until she had 18 branches all over Southeast Asia. Everywhere she went, the textile-orphanages blossomed. Jessica exclusively handled global marketing for the 18 branches. This was how she became rich and happy.
She put up a foundation which built homes for the homeless across Third World countries. She named them Mi Casa Nuestra Casa (my home, our home). Other tycoons gave to her foundation which grew twenty-fold. She squirmed, not having mastered how to squander yet. She just kept getting richer.
She was featured in Fortune magazine as the youngest woman philanthropist. Interviewed on television, this was how the Q&A went –
Q. Your husband Henry was considered the greatest textile tycoon of all times. But you beat him by making your net-worth three-fold.
A. Henry had one big mistake. He was too greedy, just like the pioneer tycoons — Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie. Wealth became an addiction. It was no longer the money. It was greed for greed’s sake. They were all trying to buy each other out. When Carnegie started giving his wealth away, Rockefeller and Vanderbilt envied him and followed. The new obsession was no longer wealth but image, legacy. How childishly pathetic. Bloated egos competing for the limelight.
Q. Madam, is tripling your net worth your greatest legacy then?
A. I don’t care about legacy.
Q. Then what do you think your greatest success is?
A. I don’t care about success. The greatest thing I have done is to give homes to the homeless. That is my absolute happiness. And let me tell you a small secret.
Q. Yes, m’am.
A. The more I gave, the more I received from the Lord. I spent $120 billion for 50 shelters, half from donations of $60 billion from other tycoons. With the money, I built another 32 textile-orphanages, which are earning millions a year. I get a 10% commission, which I plow back into the foundation.
Q. M’am. Right now, your worth $128.8 billion, in between Bill Gates at $135.6 billion and Warren Buffet at $124.8
A. Is that so? Wow. Just yesterday, I put up a new foundation.
Q. Tell us about it.
A. Its smaller. But it’s dedicated to building healing centers in slum areas.
Q. So from homes for the homeless to health clinics for the poor, that is your legacy.
A. As I said, I don’t believe in legacy. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. It’s funny how the Lord gives me back ten-fold of what I give. I got one problem though. The Lord keeps giving and I can’t keep up.
Q. What is your advice to the emergin tycoons of today?A. Simple. When you make your pile, don’t get addicted to it. That is your downfall. Greed lessens the worth of your empire and of your soul. Start spreading your empire around and pile points in heaven. Believe me, once you start giving your empire away, it grows until it drowns you in the love you give to others. That is extreme happiness.
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AUTHOR’S BOOK – Wings and Wanderlust – Discovering Your Inner Self. At age 26, the author hitchhiked 25,000 kilometers in Europe and North Africa for three straight years. In this book of his wild adventures, he learned deep insights that changed him totally, which he wants to share with readers. It also a guidebook on how to plan your own adventure.
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Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.