Secrets to Building A Sustainable Profitable Business- A Summary of Jewish Wisdom For Business Success

Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD
10 Min Read

Last month, June, our book review comprehensively summarized the top lessons from Steven Silbiger’s The Jewish Phenomenon. We were exposed to life-changing keys to creating trans-generational sustainable wealth. This month we build on the lessons of personal finance learnt, by taking a dive into another compendium of ageless Jewish wisdom, not just on personal finance but building relevant, profitable, and sustainable businesses.

The Bonus Starter: a less than 300-word summary of The Jewish Phenomenon:

Before we go on today’s content, let me give you a bonus to lay the foundation;

True wealth lies in portable knowledge and skills. Seek to continuously expand your expertise and mental capabilities. Adapt to the changing tides by learning skills aligned with emerging opportunities.

Build a strong community that supports each other. Help those within your circle to thrive through mentorship, opportunities, and sometimes financing. In return, gain support during difficult seasons.

Develop strengths as both a professional and entrepreneur. Pursue a career utilizing your best talents while building independent ventures on the side.

Hone communication abilities to articulate ideas persuasively. Engage in debates and dialogues that exercise verbal confidence. Build the capacity to rally support around your vision.

Balance spending on priorities with prudent savings and investment. Be selectively extravagant on items that deeply matter or accelerate key objectives. Remain frugal on non-essentials.

Unleash creative talents down unique, independent paths. Absorb knowledge widely then piece together novel solutions. Be comfortable standing apart from the crowd. Prepare for next waves rising on the horizon ahead of the curve.

Maintain drive by needing to showcase your abilities in the face of adversity. Let criticism and difficult circumstances catalyze your efforts. Persevere out of a desire to overcome challenges.

If certain groups can achieve this level of accomplishment starting with profound disadvantages, what heights could you reach with the right mindset and strategic approach? Chart your course now by focusing on these principles.

Top Ten Leassons From Jewish Wisdom For Business Success

Now, here are the top ten lessons from the Book, Jewish Wisdom for Business Success by Rabbi Levi Brackman and Sam Jaffe;

Competition is not your real enemy—fear is.

Fear has killed far more dreams than competition ever will. Most people procrastinate taking action either to start or build/expand their business ideas just because of the fear of losing and being ridiculed. Choosing to follow the path of safety will cost you opportunities that will often be far greater than the potential losses you might incur by a riskier path. To grow in business avoid giving into the four faces of fear-self-sabotage, fight, retreat, and learned helplessness. As Moses told the Israelites; “Do not fear. Stand firm and see the salvation which God will bring today” (Exodus 144: 13-14)

We all tend to indulge in self-sabotage

Failure can sometimes seem a welcome relief from the pain of staying in the game. It is understandable that every business venture has its ebb and flow. The challenging times and the good times. Sometimes things get so tough that it feels like the only option is to give up and throw in the towel. Always fight that urge. Self-sabotage is just another form of servitude. And be aware that suicide is the ultimate self-sabotage. Stand firm and persevere!

Fighting battles takes energy that is often better spent being productive.

Fighting in this context speaks to constantly looking back and spending energy on past events instead of focusing on the way forward. Sometimes it is necessary to fight, only if that fight is in the forward direction. Turning back to fight an enemy behind you when the same effort could have taken you several more steps ahead of the enemy is often counter-productive. Remember that fighting is a backward motion. Concentrate on going forward instead.

Fear makes the unknown seem more ominous than it really is.

Sticking with strategies of the past can often hurt a business. Times and seasons are constantly changing and carry along new trends, technologies, and opportunities. For any business to strive and stand the test of time, it must be versatile and adaptable to growing trends. Eg. In the field of marketing and sales, we have moved from the era of door-to-door sales, newspapers, and general hard print advertisement to an era of online marketing powered by the internet and several social media platforms. The world is always changing—manage for today and tomorrow instead of yesterday.

 A good businessperson never surrenders his or her business to fate.

We cannot deny the fact that the growth and sales of businesses are constantly affected by general market conditions. However, in the midst of these, mostly unpredictable market forces, several businesses strive and continue to grow, whilst others get stagnated and eventually collapse. What separates the fledging from the dying is the ability to take responsibility and control how one’s business reacts to these market forces. The moment that you start blaming unseen forces (the market, currency traders, Chinese imports . . .) is the moment that you relinquish control. Remember E + R = O! (Explained in my article here)

Eliminate fear from all decision-making.

In my article on how to become a success, I mentioned that every human action is emotionally motivated. Fear happens to be one of the greatest and most influential emotions. However, as a business owner, you must learn to apply rational thinking to tame and control your emotions to your advantage.  Use risk analysis to quantify danger instead of reacting to generalized fears. Miracles occur only after you face your fear and move forward, but face them strategically, not just blindly head-on.

Don’t wait for luck to bring you the job of your dreams.

You will find it through self-awareness, long-term strategic planning, hard work, and sacrifice. Success is not a free gift enchanted by the gentle wave of the fairy Godmother’s wand. It doesn’t come by chance but through conscious strategic consistent actions.  If you know what you want, then prepare to sacrifice and work hard to reach that goal. In the end, you will.

No one likes to be around a Gas Ruach (an arrogant person whose self-love is based on inflated or nonexistent foundations.)

Building a business often requires effective and efficient teamwork. Do not allow a sense of inflated self-worth and competence lead to you to step on and disregard the people you should be working with to build your business. Most importantly, you must be coachable, corrigible, and humble so that those ahead of you can guide you to success. Finding a mentor, a financial backer, a partner, or even a supplier will be hard for a Gas Rauch.

Closely related to the Gas Ruach is a Ba’al ga’ava (A person who is appropriately aware of his/her talent, but is blinded by pride that he fails to recognize the talents of others.) such a person will struggle to build a sustainable business, as he is always thinking individualistically and fails to appreciate the worth of others.  Do not allow your talents or abilities to get the better of you. Always remember that they are gifts from Above that are meant to be used fairly—never use them to control others. Always serve the interests of the greater goal, not your own self-interests.

Marketing is very important in any business.

It is your credibility, sincerity, and belief in the product being sold. Bear in mind, however, that other ingredients are needed for sustained, long-term success. Build your credibility by standing for what is right because it is right and not just what you stand to gain; command authority by showing adequate knowledge and an exemplary attitude towards your customers and team members. Be sincere and honest in your claims about your product or service. Above all, you must first believe in what you are offering.  

Written By Dr Josiah Nang-Bayi


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Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD is a medical doctor by profession, an author, a financial literacy and digital assets enthusiast, an entrepreneur and a growing philanthropist.
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