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What I did on my holidays


Regular readers of the blog will know that I’ve been away for a couple of weeks – I’ve been visiting friends in Hong Kong. It’s the second time I’ve been there and I really love the place; as well as getting to see old friends (and meet new ones), the city is so full of energy it’s impossible not to enjoy it.

The place is, obviously, full of money; you can tell that from the buildings, from the financial institutions and the incredible designer shops and outlets.  But it is also full of people trying to make money, at all levels.  The parcel delivery man is also juggling a couple of other businesses; the taxi-driver has three or four mobile phones lined up on the dashboard, one for each of his different companies.  Everyone is making money and pretty much everything is available; if you have the money to pay for it, someone will be offering it.

This is not a particularly blinding revelation, I appreciate.  What struck me was the fact that no one sees anything wrong with it.  There’s nothing shameful or embarrassing about it and nor should there be.  We all need money in order to survive – that doesn’t mean that we’re solely motivated by money, merely that that is the way the world works.

I’ve spent a lot of time being embarrassed about money; uncomfortable about being paid and about asking for money in exchange for the service I provide.  I’m not sure where this attitude comes from.  In the UK, we have a strange attitude to money, I think.  We like having it but earning it or accumulating it, striving for it in some way, is seen as somehow grubby and wrong.  We admire old money and talk disdainfully about the nouveau riche, forgetting that all old money was once new.

Regardless of its origin, however, it’s a belief that I’m going to change within myself.  I’m not particularly motivated by money (what motivates me is helping people, as cliched as that sounds) and I don’t think that I ever will be, but that’s not what I’m getting at.  Even the Bible says “the labourer is worthy of his hire” and, although I’m not religious, I’m not above quoting scripture to help me win an argument – even if it is only with myself.

This shyness about money even extends to asking for business and referrals, so in line with my new mindset I have a favour to ask you.  If you like this blog, please pass the link on to a friend or a colleague; if you think that I might be able to help you or someone you know, please get in touch through the website.

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