Ancient Wisdom for Modern Business Success 

In ancient times and in the modern era, the Jewish people have always been famous. One event that we may know well from school history is because of the Holocaust in World War Two. Another well-known or well-reported ‘fact’ is the great myth that Jews are usually very rich and great in business. Is this myth true?

It may well be true that the Jewish people are often financially more savvy and more business educated than many other people. What do they know that others do not? But first, look at the overall representation of this small group.

  • The Jewish population only accounts for 0.2% of the world population.

  • However, more than 10% the richest people in the world are Jewish, according to FORBES 400.

  • more than 10% of CEO’s of the 500 biggest companies are Jewish, according to FORTUNE,

  • almost 30% of Nobel Prize winners are Jewish. 

What do Jewish parents teach their children, that other people do not? 

The source book for this article is  Jewish Wisdom for Business Success. It is written by Rabi Levi Brackman and Sam Jaffe. This is a summary based on the book.

Move Forward, Conquer Your Fear

You have to conquer your fear. Competition is not your true enemy. Your true enemy is your own fear. Playing safe will not always be a suitable option for you. Taking risks are also important in life. You always have to reflect upon your own personality. Are you driven by fears or by facts? Be careful. Do not be directed by your fears. Fear can also make you want to fight. You may want to fight because you are brave, but also because you are fearful of the facts which you are facing in life. Concentrate on moving forward. If you spend your energy on fighting, then you will not move forward and you waste your own valuable time. Fighting is a backward step. Do not blame other people. Do not blame other circumstances. You are the controller of your own life and your own business. At the time you blame others, then you lose control. God will not help you if you do not help yourself. Waive your fear and use risk management tools so that you can measure the risk. Step forward. You will be surprised that when you are taking the steps forward, your fear does not look fearful any longer.

Nobody Can Hinder Your Intention

Motivation is not an asset for success, but it a prerequisite. There is an inner will and outer will. Outer will is required so that you can achieve your inner will. The inner will is your true calling in life. The outer will is the required actions that you have to take in order to achieve your inner will. The outer will must  be in line with your inner will. However, in most cases, our outer will does not in conform to our inner will. Do not count on luck to get success. Find your own inner will, then plan long term, work hard and prepare to sacrifice. You will achieve your goals in the end. Reflect every day whether or not your life is already in line with your inner will. If you are in line with your inner will, then you will perform well in your outer will area. Follow your heart! It is a true recipe for lasting happiness. To find your true calling, you may take notes on the things that make you passionate. Take notes on the things that make you forget the time. If you can find your inner will, then your path to success will be clearer and shorter.

Humility Path

Do not be arrogant. Remember that when you achieve success, many people have helped you. Arrogance can destroy you overnight. Remember that God/Universe/Others gives you success for a purpose. Therefore, you must always remember to focus on the greater purpose in relation to your position or success, not just your own private interest. Open your mind to various ideas and suggestions by other people. Make a decision yourself after you filter all the ideas and suggestions of others. This may not mean that you are controlled by others. The decision is your own personal action. However, do not rely on your own thoughts; this can be disastrous. More brains and many advisers are better than none.

Patriarch Business Model

Marketing is very important in business, as well as credibility, honesty and your belief in the end product. However, there are also other factors that are required for long term success. Do what is right, not only for the popularity or money. Remember always to be a trustworthy person. As an employer and entrepreneur, you must always take care of your employees. You have to maintain their loyalty to you. It is very important. Let other people assist you while you expand your business. You cannot do everything by yourself. However, do not immediately let go of your business to other people. You must oversee your business and take care to look into its details. After you are married, you have to maintain your relationship with your husband or wife. You cannot just let your husband or wife work on the marriage. To have a wonderful and strong marriage, you have to maintain the relationship between the couple. It is also the same in the business. You have to maintain your business as well as maintain the relationship with your employees. Work hard and work smart.  Hard work alone is not enough. Have a system to protect yourself and your business from bad people who wants to manipulate you, sue you or take from you. Adapt your business to current circumstances. Change nowadays is very fast, so it is wise to also move your business fast. If your business does not change by following the current circumstances, then your business will be in trouble. Manage your business from top to bottom. You may surely delegate but you must always oversee the delegation implementation.

Making Sales

Note that you always negotiate with other people. Negotiation skills are very important for every business. If you improve your negotiation skills, then your business will also be improved. Always have a big picture first in your mind. Then, you can manage to change the small things. Most of the time, by changing the small things, you can change the big things that you want. Set your goal beforehand and be flexible to achieve it. You can find many creative ways to get a win/win solution by having your goal and also by giving the best to your counterpart. Trust is very important. It takes time to build trust. Be patient and always try to build trust, appreciation and friendship with the people in your life. Check and recheck all the time. Get the facts and check, and recheck it. Accordingly, you will have a big picture of the intention and goals of your counter party. Do not assume. Just get the facts before you.

Manage Failure

Admit your failure. Do not be ashamed or fearful because you have failed. The longer you disguise your failure, the worse it will make your business. Failure is normal thing in a business. If you do not fail, then you will not be improved. Do not blame other people when you fail. Blame yourself. However, do not get drowned in failure. Get up and learn from it. You have to regularly check your financial condition of your business. Check whether there is a leakage in your business. You must know it immediately, fix it, and learn from it so that it will not happen again in the future. Throw away the word “failure” from your dictionary. Every difficulty in business must be seen as an opening key to greater success.

Spiritual Entrepreneurship

Focus on your main role, to make and earn money. Remember to give tithing, 10% of your income to make the world a better place and become more spiritual. This approach is very good because it will attract more energy from the universe to bring more success as its payment. Try to build your credibility. This involves prayer/meditation/reflection, giving and helping other people. The more credible you are, the more the energy will be attracted to you and the greater will be your success. By giving donation to people, you will continuously repay to the community. This action will bring peace inside you. In everything you do, there is always an opportunity to give and to receive. Whenever you receive, you have to give also.

Positive Thinking

Thinking positive is the identity of a successful person. By being a positive person, you will attract positive situation into your life. Positive words and positive thinking will attract positive things into your life. However, be aware that positive thinking and positive words are not enough. You also have to act positively. Remember that working hard and working smart are the prerequisite for success. Use the power of intention to visualise the project or new business that you are planning and attracting towards you. At the same time, make sure you speak positively to attract and to get the things that you desire. Remember to be always careful of your spoken words. Positive wordings will attract positive situations to you and vice versa. Be grateful. Be always thankful to God/Universe/Spirit, be thankful to your employees, your family and your business partners. Do not be doubtful. If you are in doubt, you will hinder the positive power and situation into your life. Recognise your negative thought and feelings and then throw them away.

Way of the Wise

Be rational. Use your head. Do not use your emotional feeling too much. You must balance your rationale and your feeling. When you use your feeling too much, it may result in a difficult situation. Analyse everything based on facts, not emotion. However, you cannot also use your rationale only and disregard emotion. Everything in life also involves an emotional relationship. Accordingly, what important is to balance between reason and emotion. If you can balance both reason and emotion, you will be successful.

Famous Jewish people who have used their cultural teachings in business and life:

  • Sergey Brin, Founder of Google (co-Founder Larry Page has a Jewish grandmother)
  • Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve
  • Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • David Axelrod, Senior White House Adviser
  • Elena Kagan, US Supreme Court 
  • Ehud Barak, Defense Minister
  • Irwin Cotler, Canadian MP
  • Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg media, Mayor of New York
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice
  • Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder (co-founder Dustin Moskovitz is also Jewish)
  • Esthee Lauder, founder of Estée Lauder brand of companies
  • Larry Ellison, Oracle founder (reportedly 6th richest man in the world)
  • Steven Spielberg, multi-award-winning Filmmaker
  • Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal
  • Joseph Lieberman, US Senator
  • Shari Arison, owner of Bank of Hapoalim (reported as richest woman in the Middle East)
  • Gill Marcus, Bank Governor, South Africa (first female bank governor)
  • Bob Dylan, Musician
  • Albert Einstein, Scientist
  • Roman Abramovitch, owner of Chelsea Football Club
  • Sacha Baron Cohen, Comedian, creator of “Borat” & “Bruno”
  • Lucian Freud, Artist (grandson of Sigmund Freud, first living artist to sell painting for over $35 M)
  • In Hollywood: Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Ben Stiller, Harrison Ford, Adam Sandler, William Shatner, Natalie Portman, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Scarlett Johansson, Goldie Hawn, Dustin Hoffman, Mila Kunis, Paula Abdul, Adrien Brody, Pink (P!nk), Sarah Jessca Parker, Shia Lebeouf, Seth Green, Sarah Michelle Geller, Amanda Bynes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Seth Rogen, Winona Ryder, Matthew Broderick, Jeff Goldblum, David Schwimmer, Howard Stern, Daniel Radcliffe, Ashley Tisdale, Adam Levine, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many many more… 

You don’t have to be Jewish to learn lessons in business and in life, just as you don’t need to be a Middle-Eastern merchant to learn from “The Richest man in Babylon”.

What could you possibly learn, if you ignored the source and simply embraced the wisdom?

Source: Jewish Wisdom for Business Success – Eddy Leks

About 24hourwealthcoach

Jeremy Britton is a left-brained business coach who is occasionally in his right mind. He works 24 hours a week, has written a few books on wealth, health and business and is considered a thought leader in several arenas. Find him on the beach, on Facebook or
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