Career & Finance / Fulfillment

Do You Want to Prosper? Serve!

I got this crazy list from a friend.

Its title?

The 9 Ways To Pretend You’re Busy At Work.

Here are 6 of them…

1. Always walk with 3 folders in your hands, even if the folders are empty. People with folders in their hands look like people going to meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they’re doing nothing. And people with a newspaper in their hands look like they’re going to the toilet.

2. Always leave your entire cubicle messy.  Build huge piles of folders on your desk. Build stacks of books on the floor, even if you never read them.   People around you will think you’re overworked.

3. Always look harassed. This will give your bosses the impression that you’re really stressed out because of work.

4. Send important emails to your boss at wee hours of the morning. Set your alarm clock at 2 AM, send the email, and go back to sleep. Your boss will be so convinced you’re such a hard worker.

5. Sigh loudly when many other people are around. Give the impression that you’re under extreme pressure.

6. In your conversations, say technical words even if you don’t understand them. For example, if an officemate complains that the internet is slow, say, “It’s because of nanotechnology and the 2nd Law of Physics.” You can speak gibberish, and you’ll still sound impressive.

It got me thinking: This list was made by a genius. Why not use this genius to make work thrilling, fantastic, and excellent?

Which brings me to my message today.

Some people think that spiritual people should be poor.

I beg to disagree. I believe that spiritual people can be the most prosperous people in the world.

Why? Because spiritual people love to serve.

You see, there are two kinds of prosperity.

Happy prosperity and sad prosperity.

You can become rich by stealing and lying to people. But that’s the path to sad prosperity.

Do you want happy prosperity?

I believe the only path to happy prosperity is through service.

So yes, I believe you can prosper.

You can be rich.

Let me teach you how.

Do You Believe You’ll Prosper? 

Last week, I talked about “Belief”. I said that if you want to prosper, you need to believe that you can prosper. But what is faith without works? The Bible says it’s dead. So if you want to prosper, you need to express your faith through action.

And for me, action is service.

My big message for you today: Increase your income by increasing your service. Because when you serve, you get rewarded. When you serve, you get paid. Guaranteed. That’s a law written in every atom of God’s universe. When you give, you receive. When you plant, you harvest.

Many times, you don’t get rewarded right away. Many times, the person you served won’t even reward you. That’s okay. Keep serving anyway.  And God’s universe will see to it that you get rewarded in some other way.

“Hey, I’m Serving A Lot; Why Am I Not Wealthy?”

I can hear your objection now.

“But Bo, I’ve been serving all my life! I’m still not rich.”

I know what you mean.

When I look back at my life, I experienced the same thing too. I started serving God at age 12. I preached, sang in the choir, played the guitar for them, organized events, washed dishes, mopped floors, cleaned toilets,… You name it, I did it.

Okay, I didn’t do everything. I didn’t join the kitchen ministry and the dance ministry. Kitchen, because I didn’t want anyone to die of food poisoning. Dance, because I didn’t want anyone to die laughing.

But for 20 years—from age 12 to 32—I was poor.


Why I Wasn’t Rich

For 20 years, I wasn’t rich despite the fact that I was serving people like crazy.

Why? Two reasons.

First, because I didn’t want to become rich.

Second, because I didn’t know how to become rich.

That’s why I talked about “Belief” last week and why I’m talking about “Service” today. Because I subconsciously believed that God preferred me to be poor, I rejected wealth.

Let me just give you three examples…

·        I Had No Investments

I was receiving a small allowance as a missionary. But I never thought of saving 10% or 20% for my future. Because if I did that, I felt I wasn’t trusting God enough.

·        I Thought Businesses Were All Bad

Through those 20 years of being poor, I got to know a lot of businesspersons. They became my close friends. But not once did I ask them to teach me how to create a sideline or another income stream for myself.

·        I Didn’t Like Charging For My Services

There came a point in my life that big companies asked me to give talks for their employees. But when they asked me for my speakers’ fee, I told them, “Oh, I don’t charge. I speak for free.” I felt “awkward” and “icky” just imagining myself telling these companies I charge for my services. (In hindsight, it was also my pride that prevented me from charging. I wanted people to think I was holy.) And so for years, I would speak to these large and rich corporations, events held in 5-star hotels, where everyone got paid. The emcee got paid. The events coordinator got paid. The audio guy got paid. The waiters got paid.  Except the keynote speaker!

So I remained poor.

How poor?

I remember that day when I was applying for a visa…

My Net Worth In My Pocket

I was 25 years old.

In the application form, it asked for my net worth.

I asked someone beside me, “What does net worth mean?”

He said, “Your assets. Do you own a house?”

I told him, “Nope.”

“Do you have a car?”

“Yes and No.”

“Yes and No?” he asked, “What brand? What model?”

“I don’t know what brand or model,” I said.

I shook my head. “It’s an old jeep. The one you assemble in the backyard. Model? 1943. Probably World War II.”

The guy looked at me with pity. “If you were to sell it now, how much will be your price?”


“P1500? That’s all you’re asking for your jeep?”

“Actually, that’s what I’m willing to pay anyone who’s willing to take my jeep out of my hands. It conks out every other day. Because even now, I’m praying for its future owner. For patience amidst tribulations.”

He sighed, “Do you have money in the bank?”

“Uh, no.”



He looked at me in disbelief. “So your net worth is in your wallet?”

“I guess so,” I smiled.

I thanked him and went back to answering my application form. I opened my wallet, counted my money, and wrote the answer on my application form.

Obviously, my visa application was denied that day.

The Turning Point

But when I was 32 years old, I decided to become rich.

And like a giant dam that broke open, financial blessings entered my life.

Why? Because I was already serving.  All I needed to add was belief.

Through the years, I discovered that service was the path to happy prosperity.

For 20 years, my problem was that I didn’t like to be financially rewarded. But the moment I cleared that out of my mind, I began to receive the financial rewards.

Let me repeat my big message today: Increase your income by increasing your service.

Which brings me to the next question.

How To Increase Your Service

       How do you increase your service?

There are only three ways: Increase the (1) Scale, (2) Satisfaction, and (3) Spirit of your service.

Here they are…

1. Increase The Scale

       Henry Sy is the richest man in the Philippines.

In 2009, according to Forbes Asia, Henry Sy was worth $3.8 billion. Not bad for someone who came to the country as a 12-year old kid owning nothing but the clothes on his back.

Why is the guy so rich?

Here’s one reason: Everyday, 2.5 million people walk into his 43 malls. 2.5 million people who buy stuff, eat meals, watch movies, drink coffee, or simply sit around in benches.

He’s rich because he’s serving 2.5 million people everyday.

Let me ask you: How many people are you serving?

       Five people? Fifty people? Five hundred people?

Now you know why you’re earning what you’re earning.

This is what I mean by the scale of your service.

Let me give you another example.

I run a small school. I serve 150+ students.

My friend runs a big school. She serves 9000+ students.

So guess who earns more?

Sometimes, I speak to companies. Because my ministry work has multiplied tenfold, I usually can only give one corporate talk a month.

My friend Francis Kong, a fantastic business speaker, gives 2 to 3 corporate talks per day.

So guess who earns more?

If you want to increase your income, increase the scale of your service. Increase the number of people you serve.

Hey, if you’re employed, this principle is applicable too. The more responsibilities you have in your job, the more people you serve. The higher you go up the company ladder.   And the bigger your salary becomes.

Increase your income by increasing the scale of your service. So ask yourself now: How can you serve more people?

But serving more people isn’t enough…

2. Increase The Satisfaction

       I have a barber named BenchFrom the moment I walk through the door, Bench makes me feel like a king. He greets me and makes me feel right at home. After the really nice haircut, he gives me a free shoulder massage that brings me to heaven. He also gives me a hot towel for my face.

Because I feel so satisfied, my tip is bigger than what I pay for the haircut.

More importantly, the next time I want a haircut, I look for him. By increasing my satisfaction, he has no problems retaining me as his customer.

If you want to become rich, you need to increase not only the quantity (scale), but also the quality (satisfaction) of your service.

Both are indelibly connected.

Let me give you another example.

My nephew Marco is a gifted photographer. He’s so good, Playboy was hiring him to work for them fulltime. He turned down the high paying job (Thank God) and put up his own studio, Shmile. It’s unique because it’s a mobile studio. He can go to your home, set up his lights, props, and backdrop, and start shooting world-class photos. (Check him out at

His little business is booming.

Why? Quality. People just love the creativity he puts in his photos.

In “Scale”, you ask, “How many customers do you serve?” In “Satisfaction”, you ask, “How many customers are happy with your service?”

Employees, Think Like Entrepreneurs

Are you an employee?

The Bible says, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” (Psalms 22:29) If you raise the quality of your service, kings will seek after you—and pay you well.

If you’re an employee, satisfy both your external and internal customers. External customers are people who buy your end products. Internal customers are other departments who depend on your output.

Friend, it’s very possible that your boss won’t appreciate you. It’s very possible that your company won’t recognize you. Don’t worry. Serve with excellence anyway. Because one day, you’ll be rewarded. You’ll be appreciated by someone else! One day, others will hear about you and hire you on the spot.

And God will reward you for all the years you served.

Serve your boss the way you serve God. Yes, even if you think your boss is the brother-in-law of the devil. (Just kidding.)

And your promotion will come from God.

I repeat: When you increase the satisfaction of your service, your income increases too. So ask yourself now: How can I make my customers happy?

Finally, the extra magic in the pudding…

3. Increase The Spirit Of Your Service

       By spirit, I mean love.

This is the magic ingredient behind real success.

I believe a real business is about loving customers. This is the best business strategy in the world.

Imagine two salesmen selling the same product and quality. One is someone you don’t know and the other is someone you know. Who will you buy from?

Second scenario: Two salesmen selling the same product and quality. One is someone you know and the other is someone you like. Who will you buy from?

Third scenario. Two salesmen selling the same product and quality. One is someone you like and the other is someone you love. Who will you buy from?

The answers are obvious.

Bottomline, business is about relationships.

Sometimes, when the scale (quantity) and satisfaction (quality) are lacking, the spirit (love) of your service can make up for your weaknesses.

In “Scale”, you ask, “How many customers do you serve?” In “Satisfaction”, you ask, “How many customers are happy with your service?” In “Spirit”, you ask, “How many customers have become your friends?”

How I Got Rich

My formula for getting rich is simple: Serve first and the money will follow.

From age 12 to 32, I was serving without much pay. But in reality, I actually earned two things more valuable than money. I developed (1) my talents and (2) my network of trust.

And that’s what happens to you when you serve unselfishly.

I repeat: When you serve, you get rewarded. Everytime!

30-Years Of Service

Developed My Talents

Let me give you one example.

For years, I was running 9 non-profit organizations. Only one of them was paying me a salary. So I led 8 of them without pay.

But I was paid in another way. I learned the skill of delegation, working with people, and empowering my leaders.

Today, using the exact same skill, I run 12 small businesses—all of them earning money for me while I sleep.

I wouldn’t be able to do this if I didn’t learn to lead many organizations in my ministry.

Another thing…

30-Years of Service

Developed My Network Of Trust

Robert Kiyosaki said, “Poor people go to work, Rich people build networks.”

But let me add: They must be networks of trust. Facebook users, having 2834 friends in Facebook is useless if these people don’t really trust you.

I’ve been serving God for 30 years now.

Honestly, I never realized I was building a network of trust.

I was just loving people.

11 years ago, when I started in business, I had no money.

One day, my favorite mother-in-law called me up and said, “Bo, I heard you’re going to business. I have P1M sitting in the bank. You can borrow it if you want.” That’s why she’s my favorite mother-in-law.

Soon, the Uncle of my wife called me up.

He said, “Bo, I have P1M here. I’m earning peanuts from the bank. I was wondering if I could invest it with you.”

Instantly, I had money to start my small businesses.

A year later, he invested P2.5M more.

I want to believe these wonderful people are lending me money because of my charm and irresistible good looks. But that’s not true. They’re lending me money because they trust me. Through the years, I’ve earned that trust.

I don’t search for the money. Money searches for me.

Keep Serving, Rewards Will Follow


When I was 32 years old, I decided to become rich.

That one decision changed everything.

The moment I decided, it was easy.

Friend, may I ask a question?

Have you already decided to become rich?

From my experience, there’s a difference between wishing to be rich and deciding to be rich. Everyone I know wishes to be rich. Very few have decided to be rich.

Wishing is simply hoping.

Deciding is committing to be rich. If you want to be rich, you’ve got to commit yourself to become rich using God’s way of becoming rich.

How? Serve others and the money will follow.

Be the best in your job.

Be the best in your business.

Love your customers.

Serve them with all your heart.

One day, a river of blessing will flow into your life.


May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

About the Contributor

Bo Sanchez is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, the “preacher in blue jeans”.

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