Despite my protests, my wife (Josie) tried to go into business for herself twice between the date we arrived in the Philippines in 2006 and sometime in 2011, the last time she was in the Philippines (I’ve only been gone since last year). The first time was raising chickens and the second time was a partnership with the person who owned the Indian Mango grove up the hill from us. When I was talking to Josie about both instances later on, I used the title phrase a couple of times. It should come as no surprise that I’ve been smacked almost as many times as I’ve opened my mouth for the last year or so.
The Business of Raising Chickens
Josie bought a hundred chicks, the feed and the stuff you add to water for vitamins. Then she let one of her brothers take care of them. They only needed 45 days to mature. I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on because I knew things weren’t going to work out for her. I knew her brothers and sisters.
Perhaps it was because she did this during the hottest months of the year or perhaps something else was going on, but by the time 45 days had passed, less than half of the chickens were still living (all White Leghorn hens). Some had undoubtedly been eaten by siblings too lazy to buy their own food at the market (they all had money back then, so a lack of it was no excuse) and some died from the heat.
Needless to say, Josie didn’t make any money from her first foray into trying to do so. Everyone in the compound ended up eating the survivors.
The Business of Growing Mangoes
The woman at the top of the hill owns a lot of property, most of it covered with Indian Mango trees. A good harvest could make someone a lot of money. Josie paid to have all the trees sprayed with something, I don’t remember what it was called, and it was supposed to be done twice. Well, the guy who was supposed to do it only sprayed once.
Then a typhoon moved into the area. Most of the flowering buds that would eventually turn into mangoes were stripped from the trees by the rain and the wind. When the mangoes were supposed to be mature, less than a 10th of the trees yielded anything worth harvesting. Josie lost money on that deal.
No More Monkey Business
Josie has pitched business ideas to me several times since then. The only reason she’s even interested in doing anything like that is because when we return to the Philippines, she won’t have her own income to rely on anymore. She still has nine years to go before she can draw social security.
I told her I’d support any business idea that was worth pursuing if certain conditions were met. The first condition was that none of her siblings, cousins or any of their children could be involved. Family is family and business is business, if you know what I mean. I won’t even bother talking about the rest of the conditions. She has a business idea that I support, if it works out, but the husband of a sibling will be involved, not a sibling. That business idea, however, is the subject of a post I’ll have to write after I find out if the idea pans out or not.
I don’t need a business because I’m not in the business of losing money, if you’ll pardon the expression. My pension is more than enough for just the two of us and in nine years, both of us will get other pensions if we live long enough and those pensions still exist.