What I Learned This Week from Five Talents Friends

This week my wife, Lynn, and I spent a wonderful week with Five Talents friends in Texas, just out-running the snow in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas.

  Savings groups members record contributions during a recent meeting I attended in Thika, Kenya.

Savings groups members record contributions during a recent meeting I attended in Thika, Kenya.

We enjoyed sharing stories of Five Talents entrepreneurs around the world who are making a difference in the lives of their families and others where they start new businesses. But we also learned a lot from these devoted and generous friends.

One couple told us about how they openly discuss their finances with their children. They could afford to buy $200 Nike shoes if they decided to. They could spend a lot more on vacations, rather than travelling back each year to a favorite family camping area. But they discussed with their two boys how that money could be used for all kinds of things. So, not surprisingly, part of what they do is support new entrepreneurs around the world though Five Talents.

Several people expressed surprise that these entrepreneurs had borrowed the money to start businesses from their peers in their savings groups, not from donors in the US and the UK.

Several successful business people talked of how much they liked the fact that the entrepreneurs had to make a “Shark Tank” pitch of their business plans to convince their peers why they should believe in their new ventures.

I listened to friends talk about what gives them the most meaning in their lives, how we spend our time and resources, and how we make a difference with the time we are given.

In the end, I learned more about how we are all similar, figuring out how to get something out of our lives by giving to others. It felt good. I learned a lot.