Thursday, November 14, 2013

To Make Something Weak You Must First Make It Strong As the Chinese Proverb Goes

We've all seen how people have won the lottery, come into huge amounts of money, and looked as if their financial freedom had finally been assured, and that nothing could ever knock them off their pedestal again. And yet, within a few years they are either dead or broke. Do you ever wonder why that is? Well, I'd like to refer to an old Chinese proverb which goes something like this; "to make something weak you must first make it strong." Okay so let's talk a little bit about this concept.

What if you have something that is weak but was once strong, but retreated back to its weaker state. That is to say what if that thing which you are making strong was once weak before, became strong, and then became weak again and then you went to make it strong once more? In that case that something may have already learned its lesson, and by making it strong it will stay strong. Why do I bring this up you ask? Well, I've seen many startups come into lots of venture capital money and have an incredible burn rate, and then implode.

However, if those entrepreneurs make a second run at it in another start up, generally they succeed. You see, they learn from their past mistakes. Likewise, they say that the first million dollars which you make is the hardest to keep. It's usually after going from limited funds to millionaire status, and back again that you understand how it all works, and it's much easier to keep your proceeds the second time. Does that mean that all lottery winners to actually remain strong need to win the lottery twice? Well, that doesn't happen very often, but the answer would be yes.

So is it possible to be struck by lightning twice? Yes it is, but like I said it doesn't happen very often. It seems that the Chinese proverb makes a lot of sense from observation, in many different human endeavors, however where I think it does not work is when you make something which is currently weak very strong which has already been through the school of hard knocks. In that case all you've done is taken strength of character and given it a second chance.

In that case, I believe the Chinese proverb would be a false positive. In fact I think it fails the test completely. Interestingly enough as I study Chinese Proverbs there are always exceptions to the rule, even if there is a very high probability they are correct. But since they all have exceptions, I thought you should know, and give you such an example here today. Please consider all this and think on it.

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