Last week, I got a body massage that I’ll never forget.
I was massaged by “Ate Guy” (Not her real name).
I call her “Ate Guy” because though she looks like a woman, I have a suspicion she’s really a guy. In fact, she has the strength of 10 guys in her little female body. But I’m getting ahead of my story.
One of my friends recommended Ate Guy to me, praising her skill to the highest heavens. My friend said, “Ate Guy’s singular mission in life is to remove your lamig (cold). She’s obsessed. She goes berserk when she finds lamig in your body. She’ll not stop massaging you until the lamig is pulverized under her fingers.”
With that glowing description, my wife and I contracted her services.
By the way, let me educate my non-Filipino readers. Lamig means cold, but it means more than that. Sometimes, it’s also called hangin or air. When Asians get sick, we say we have lamig or hangin in our bodies. It doesn’t jive with modern medicine, but this belief has lived on for centuries. In fact, it’s not uncommon that when you get massaged using this traditional method, you dighay and diglo at lot. Translation: Dighay is burp. Diglo is butt burp.
On the agreed time, Ate Guy came to our house.
The Torment Begins
I studied Ate Guy.
She was 4’11. Mid-thirties. Bordering on thin. Girlish ponytail.
Pretty harmless, I thought to myself.
My wife placed a mattress on the floor of our living room and lay down. She wanted to go first. As Ate Guy started massaging her, I sat a few feet away, writing on my computer. I looked on Marowe’s face: She was so relaxed. She appeared half-asleep. I got excited. I wanted to relax and sleep too.
After two hours, my wife stood up and said, “That was great! Bo, it’s your turn.” Oh goody. I lay down and got ready to relax too.
Ate Guy knelt beside me and held my face.
Ahhhh. Pure bliss.
At least, for the first two seconds.
After that, it was pure torture.
Pure, unadulterated, CIA, KGB, Mafia, Yakuza, Al Qaeda torture.
During her massage, I reached levels of pain I thought never existed in human experience.
Her little thumbs were like Jack Hammers. Like a Sumo Wrestler was massaging me.
As I lay on the mattress being massacred, I mean, being massaged by Ate Guy, I wondered if I offended my friend who recommended her to me—that this was his way of revenge.
In the entire 2 hours, I groaned aray, aray, aray (ouch) the whole time.
Actually, I didn’t want to groan. I wanted to scream, ARAAAAAAAAY! But my neighbors may think someone was being raped.
My wife came up to me and with a sly smile asked, “Do you like it, Bo?”
I whispered to her, “I feel I’m being run over by a train again and again.”
She laughed. I added, “Please call the US Embassy. Tell the Ambassador I have the perfect person to send to their captured Terrorists. Just 2 hours of Ate Guy and they’ll confess where Osama Bin Laden is hiding.”
Ate Guy Was Rich
After two hours of excruciating agony, it dawned on me that I had to pay Ate Guy for almost killing me. We live in a crazy world, I tell you.
My wife asked her how much we owed her.
Ate Guy said, “P250 an hour.”
Two hours for her and two hours for me. So we paid a thousand bucks for 4 hours of torment.
I wondered. How much does this little woman earn a month?
I asked her, “Ate Guy, how many prisoners, I mean, customers do you massage everyday?” She answered, “An average of 4 to 5 a day.” I learned that she massages every single day. No day offs.
“Isn’t that tiring?” I asked her. “That’s 10 hours a day.”
“I like it that way,” she said, “If I don’t massage anyone, my body looks for it.”
Aha! I knew it. She was a closet masochist.
“Do you advertise your services?”
“No. My customers just recommend me to others.”
“I’ll recommend you to others too,” I said. I started thinking of all the people who owed me money. “But you mean to tell me every single day of your week is full?”
“Yes,” she said. “Because I’ve got mga suki (regular customers). Some even want me to massage them three times a week.”
“Three times a week?” I almost fell off my chair. These people need to see a psychiatrist.
That was when it all hit me: Ate Guy told me she was a former house helper who earned P3000 a month. Today, she takes home P50,000 to P60,000 a month. Much more than many managers I know.
No doubt about it.
Ate Guy is a Superstar.
Be A Niche Superstar
How much do other masseuses earn? More or less P10,000 a month.
Why does Ate Guy earn five times more? Because she stands out.
She’s dominated her niche: The niche of torture camouflaging as massage.
Other massagers try to please everybody. They’re average. They’re typical. They’re all alike. They’re forgettable.
Not Ate Guy.
You either like her or hate her.
Fortunately, there are enough insane people in this world who like her to make her a Superstar. My wife is one of them. She invited her back. I’ve already noted the date of her return—and I’ve arranged to be as far as possible from my house on that day.
You too need to find a way to become a Superstar.
But first, let me describe how problems create the phenomenon called Superstars.
Why Problems Create Scarcity,
And Scarcity Create Superstars
When I taught this message yesterday, I placed a number of ladders on stage. I told the audience that life offers many ladders to climb. And that ladders represent opportunities for growth.
A Superstar is a person who’s able to climb to the top of a ladder.
Do you have problems in your work or business? Each problem is like a step on the ladder. Each problem is an invitation to become a Superstar. Superstars are Superstars because they can solve problems.
That’s why I say problems are wonderful. Without problems, there will be no Superstars. (I wish to thank the brilliant Seth Godin for these insights.)
Example? Imagine that you and I can pick diamonds in our backyards.
Would you and I be wealthy? Of course not. In fact, women will stop wearing diamonds, period. Why? Diamonds are Superstars precisely because they’re scarce. If they’re no longer scarce, why bother?
Diamonds are scarce because of the problem of getting them. You have to build underground tunnels and excavate them from beneath the earth.
Think now of the many problems of becoming a great singer, a great artist, a great chef, a great businessman, a great priest, a great father, and a great mother.
Problems create scarcity. And scarcity creates Superstars.
Here are the reasons why you need to be a Superstar…
The Rewards Of Superstars
People go to Superstars.
People watch Superstar movies.
People read Superstar books.
People eat in Superstar restaurants.
Let me ask you: When you see an empty restaurant, with two waiters sleeping on the tables, would you go there? Not likely. Something in your brain says, “The food there must be awful.”
But when you see a restaurant filled with people, with a long waiting line outside, you’ll say, “My gosh, I better try that restaurant.”
Before you think that this article is just about money, let me also say that Superstars are more emotionally fulfilled. They feel they’ve found their place in the world. They feel they’ve found their mission in life.
And Superstars can serve God with more impact.
Do you want to become a Superstar?
Superstars Have Skill And Spirit
To become a Superstar, you need Skill and Spirit.
For example, Ate Guy studied for 6 months in a technical school. Not satisfied with that, she enrolled again in another school for 2 months on specialized massage. But her most important education is the years of massaging almost 60 hours a week—year after year after year.
But what made her develop her Skill? Spirit.
When you really think about it, Superstars are a little bit crazy.
Superstars are obsessed!
At the end of the day, it’s Spirit. Passion. Fire. Love. In Japanese, they call this Otaku.
For example, Ate Guy hates lamig with an almost neurotic obsession.
Once, Ate Guy had a patient whose lamig was stubborn. She ended up massaging this man for 4 hours straight—free of charge—until she got rid of his lamig. I pity the man. Probably became a paraplegic.
But no wonder Ate Guy is a Superstar. Only people with spirit do those crazy things.
Let me give you an example from my life.
These past 5 days, I had 14 meetings. But despite that hectic schedule, I was still able to write 8 long articles. How did I do it? There’s only one answer: I’m crazy. I love writing. I love crafting words.
How much do I love writing?
Others get high on drugs. I get a high choosing the right adjective for a sentence. I’m nuts!
Why Do People Not Become Superstars?
I’ve met people who aren’t Superstars even when they could have been.
They could have been Superstars in their businesses.
They could have been Superstars in their careers.
They could have been Superstars in their service for God.
But they’re not.
I see three reasons.
1. Wrong Theology
Some people think that God wants them to remain small.
God wants them to remain insignificant.
God wants them to remain humble (a distorted definition).
Their religion tells them, “Don’t stand out. Don’t create waves. Just follow. Just obey. Just be quiet.”
Please. Throw that rubbish way.
Go ahead. Stand out! Create waves. Be the best that you can be!
Use the core gifts that God gave you and develop them to the hilt.
Because your God will be proud.
How do I know? I’m a Dad of 2 boys.
When I see my kids show their Superstar qualities, I get giddy with joy. My heart palpitates. My chest expands. I feel delirious.
Here’s my Theology: You owe it to your Maker to become a Superstar.
Because when you become a Superstar, you’re praising the One who made you.
Here’s the second reason…
2. Wrong Psychology
Some people believe they deserve to be small.
Some people believe they deserve to be failures.
Perhaps because their parents treated them as dirt and not as stars.
Or some other past trauma.
Friend, be aware of this inner programming and reboot!
Get a new internal software!
You deserve to be a Superstar because you already are one.
You’re made in His image.
God created Superstars. Get used to it!
Finally, the third reason.
3. Wrong Strategy
People fail to become Superstars because they climb the wrong ladder.
Let me shock you: If a ladder will not make you a Superstar, quit.
If you have no hope of reaching the top of that ladder, get off that ladder.
Why? Because you’ll always be mediocre. You’ll always be average. And in business, average is death. In jobs, average means you’ll be the first one to be retrenched. Even in relationships, average is risky. To be good enough is not enough.
You’ve got to be remarkable. You’ve got to be phenomenal.
Choose a ladder where you have Spirit and Skill to make you a Superstar.
This is just what Rex Robillos did.
Climb The Right Ladder
My friend Rex owns Buns and Pizza—a fast-food chain of restaurants. Rex already knew he couldn’t fight Jollibee. Why climb this ladder where the chance of success was almost zero? Why not climb another ladder where the chances of success is bigger?
Here’s what Rex did: He made Buns and Pizza the Superstar in secondary towns where there was no Jollibee. In these smaller, more far-flung towns, Buns and Pizza was king. It’s usually the only air-conditioned fast-food restaurant in the area. This is where the children of the Mayor hangout. He dominated this niche. After only 5 years, Buns and Pizza now operates 139 branches in the Philippines.
If you’re average, it’s time to quit.
Be A Superstar In One Thing
Years ago, I was climbing the wrong ladder.
Because of this, earning money was like pulling teeth out of the mouth of the universe. I had to struggle for every peso I earned. It was as though money didn’t like me—so I had to drag it with me by force.
My food businesses—which I was so excited at the start—were collapsing.
My hotdog stand, my ice cream store, and squid ball kiosk were all drowning in red ink. Money was flowing out from my hand like water from a broken faucet.
During those dark days, I wondered if I made a mistake in becoming an entrepreneur. I began to doubt my desire to become wealthy. Was this really from God? Perhaps this was God telling me to stop. Perhaps I should have just remained a preacher and kept begging for money whenever I needed it.
But in those agonizing moments, I went deep into my heart and listened.
There was chaos outside, like a signal 8 hurricane.
But in my heart, I found peace.
Somehow, I knew I was doing the right thing.
I was simply climbing the wrong ladder.
That no matter what I did, I’ll always be average in the food business.
Because I didn’t have Spirit and Skill in the food business.
Instead, my passion and gifts were in communication—speaking and writing.
So I closed all my food stores.
Today, my businesses are doing so well because they revolve around communication.
Live To The Max
Friends, the world needs Superstars.
You owe it to the universe to become one.
No one benefits if you play small.
You only live once.
So go full throttle.
Live to the max!
May your dreams come true,
PS. Want more practical strategies for growing in abundance? Each week, I send out to my TrulyRich Club members my WealthStrategies Letter. Plus my audio and video talks each month! Plus many more surprises. To join my TrulyRich Club, log on at www.TrulyRichClub.com now.
PS2. Are You A Leader? My friends Mike Joseph Jr. (my spiritual mentor) and Arun Gogna, Founder of Creative House, will be giving Leadership For Growth Biblical Principles for Leaders concerned about community development. Topics: Spiritual Power, Strategies for Evangelization, Support Structures and Systems, Socialization & Service, and Enabling Leadership. Date: June 20, 2009 Saturday; 8am to 5pm; Venue: Lay Force, San Carlos Seminary, Guadalupe Makati; The Seminar Fee is P695.00 only per person. Register now and avail of a 5+1 discount. For Reservations and Inquiries, contact: Noel or Mara at 4018238 or (0915) 4493600 / (0928)2109765.
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