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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Book Delivery in Vientiane, Laos

Book Delivery is bringing more than books to Vientiane, Laos; it is also igniting the startup culture in the city. I recently caught up with Kingsada Sengsavang, one of the founders, and asked about their journey in building Book Delivery.

 

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I remember 2 years ago you had mentioned that you wanted to create a business. Can you start off by letting us know, what is Book Delivery and what are the services that Book Delivery provides?

Book Delivery, one of the most notable startups based in Vientiane, Laos, sells and delivers books, magazines and newspapers online. Having a hard time [finding] where to buy books (they are expensive), customers can order them on our platform and we deliver them right in front of their doorsteps. 

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Financial Gaps = Knowledge and Emotional Gaps?

“Life is too short to be spending it in tax denial.”

~Liz Davidson (Chapter 5 of What Your Financial Advisor Isn’t Telling You)

Being in the financial business has given me plenty of insight into people’s behaviors and attitude when it comes to personal finance. It’s fascinating to see how people respond whenever the topic of money comes up. Some people are able to casually talk about it, but more often, people avoid discussing money matters even though we acknowledge that money matters. One of the most sincere, thoughtful, and helpful books that I’ve read on financial planning is Liz Davidson’s What Your Financial Advisor Isn’t Telling You. Much of what Davidson says in her book is similar to the financial ‘lessons’ that I share with people. However, a teacher can only teach so much; the learner has to be willing to learn and take action in order to change his/her financial situation.
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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Giver and Receiver: A cyclical relationship

The-5-Laws of Stratospheric Success

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann is a fun and helpful read, especially during times when we think about how we might improve our work and ourselves. Although we have heard it said that we should strive for a ‘win-win’ situation (meaning there is a tangible benefit for all who are involved), we have to wonder if at times this pattern of thinking becomes another manifestation of our own selfishness. On one level, win-win seems closer to being a matcher, someone who “keeps an even balance of give and take.” (see Adam Grant’s description)

A genuine giver, on the other hand, is someone who is not really looking for a win-win situation; rather he/she gives for the sake of giving, adding value to people’s lives, and spreading goodness throughout the world. It does not matter if he/she receives anything in return. As Wharton professor Adam Grant found out, givers tend to be more successful in the long run.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Financial Education in the Era of SDGs

Wealth formula-FLM_Social_Media_Infograpics-01There is a general consensus that financial education is necessary. The global financial crises during 2000-01 and 2007-08 pushed the international community to better educate the population on how to manage their finances. Several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to promote a robust economy while narrowing the socioeconomic gaps within and across the nations. While April is considered as Financial Literacy Month in the U.S., financial education is a lifelong process. After all, the economic landscape is always changing.

The long-term effects of having a financially illiterate population may prove to be more damaging than the recent economic recession if there are no interventions in place. Hastings, Madrian, and Skimmyhorn (2012) highlighted an array of financial mistakes that people have made and continue to make, such as irresponsible credit card usage, inadequate diversification of assets, and failure to refinance fixed rate mortgages during a time of declining interest rates. Individually, these mistakes are already costly; collectively, they create a complex web of economic problems.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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Purpose and Calling

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Purpose is indispensable. When we apply for college, grants or jobs, we typically submit a statement of purpose or talk about our reason for applying during an interview. When we continue a particular activity, we normally have a reason for doing so. Purpose in those scenarios is easily identifiable; however, when we are asked about our ultimate ‘why,’ many of us have trouble articulating our response. As Os Guinness says, “the trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with and too little to live for. Some feel they have time but not enough money; others feel they have money but not enough time. But for most of us, in the midst of material plenty, we have spiritual poverty” (2003, p. 4). Abundance, material wealth, and accessible pleasures have generated a hunger for meaning.

“What is my purpose for living?” I assume many of us have asked a variation of this question at some point in our lives. We seem to have a feeling that we are meant to do more with our lives, but we do not always know what path to choose. We seek to identify and understand our ‘calling.’ Continue reading “Purpose and Calling”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

A Short Note on Financial Literacy and Financial Health

When we hear the word ‘health,’ I assume we think about our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. We sometimes forget to take care of our financial health, even though finances affect all aspects of our lives. In our family business, we help families and individuals consider options for education planning, retirement planning, and long-term care. Most importantly (and this is my favorite part), we can provide financial education.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.