I: Jesus, my man, what do you have for us today?
J: I’m glad to see you’re loosening up a bit. I’m just here during Holy Week to throw out a little bone for those of you into the whole worship thing. While you’re all running around preparing for Good Friday and Easter, I’d like to reprise my last outing here.
I: The cookie one?
J: Yeah, the cookie one. It seems that a few of you business types needed a change of vocabulary to get the cookie theme. So I’m gonna hit from a different angle.
Let pretend that cookies are capital. I’m talking in economic terms now. Cookies are capital. I give you a cookie. What are you going to do with it?
I: Um, eat it or share it?
J: Yes, but more to the point, you’re going to use the cookie for something. The purpose of a cookie is easy to divine. You are going to use the cookie for some purpose for which it was intended. If it was a gift, you will say thank you and probably enjoy it. You probably wouldn’t reply, ‘What the hell are you giving me this cookie for? I didn’t ask for it. What am I supposed to do with it?’ That’s just silly, right?
I: I guess. That would be pretty stupid. I mean, cookies are tasty.
J: Exactly what I’m saying! Now what if you’re on a diet? Do you have the right to get upset if I give you a cookie?
I: No, I think good manners would dictate that you would find something to do with the cookie if you weren’t going to eat it.
J: If you are a thoughtful person, you would show good manners. A gift is a gift. You’re just not allowed to complain about gifts.
So anyway, I hand you some capital. I give you some money. What are you going to do with it? Bury it? Hide it? Preserve it in some way? Make it last as long as possible? If you know anything about money, you know it’s more valuable right now than it is in the future. That’s why people pay interest rates to get it right now. An interest rate represents the present value of future money.
People with a purpose for the dough will pay through the nose to get it right now so they can put it to good use and hopefully earn more than what they paid for it.
Now, say I just hand it to you. I give you a non-taxable lump sum on the order of a couple million smackers. What do you do with it?
I: Gosh, that’s such an improbable event, I’d not thought about it.
J: Not many people have, but I’ll tell you what; they should. Capital is like your life. If you don’t know what you’d do with it immediately, then you don’t know what you’re doing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then you’d better drop EVERYTHING and figure it out pretty damn quick. Your investors are getting antsy ’cause you’re wasting the capital. You’re wasting the cookie. It’s getting moldy, and your capital is losing value to inflation.
Your life is a big pile of capital that needs to be used RIGHT NOW. It’s most valuable RIGHT NOW. It can only make a difference RIGHT NOW.
Notice a pattern?
I don’t think anyone would curse me for giving them a pile of capital. Why do you think they get upset that they have a life? I know life is hard sometimes. I really do know. Yet, to have it is a blessing. It is a grace bestowed for which you didn’t ask. You don’t deserve it. Whether you deserve the cookie, capital, or your life is irrelevant, totally and completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that you’ve got something that few have, that few have the opportunity to use. There is a whole lot of life in the universe just busting to come out and live. Not everyone has the opportunity you have right now.
So, Mr. Business Guy, what is it gonna be? Are you going to offend your biggest investor, ME? Do you want put the capital to good use, or are you going to sit on it and fret. Capital is not to be preserved, just as cookies are not to be kept under glass, and your life not lived in quiet seclusion far from danger.
Now get busy, Time is Money. I don’t want to have to fire you. *wink*