An emphyteusis is a type of contract in real estate between a buyer and a seller (an emphyteuta and a real owner respectively). It is a kind of lease, but also gives the emphyteuta rights that resemble those of an owner. You can think of it as a property sale transaction for a predetermined period of time.

In any case, as an emphyteuta you won’t be able to resell the property to somebody else. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to refinance through a bank. It really depends on the country or jurisdiction in which the emphyteusis was signed.

An emphyteusis may also be inherited and/or renewed for another term by your descendants. The maximum allowed length of an emphyteusis can be anywhere from 50 to 99 years. In Kenya, it is up to 999 years.

Generally, you don’t have to spend so much time studying the countries that offer such a contract to conclude that there is a tendency, or preference, among countries that had been colonized by either France or Great Britain to offer the emphyteusis as an option to foreign investors who are interested in establishing their enterprises in the said country.

The ruling class in those countries (such as Madagascar, Kenya, Tunisia) have chosen not to challenge the strong labor unions and other groups defending the sovereignty of their land—and the call for exclusive ownership of land to citizens—and instead opted for offering the emphyteusis as a viable option that still does not give up the sovereignty of the property indefinitely.

That doesn’t mean that emphyteusis isn’t facing national resistance by various groups or political leaders in these countries. In fact, many NGOs and associations in Africa are working towards land reform, calling for the protection of land from foreign investors —lest they bring their highly valued foreign currencies, and buy the whole country!

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List of Tom Perrotta’s Novels (In Chronological Order)

  1. The Wishbones (1997): Amazon | Bookshop
  2. Election (1998): Amazon | Bookshop
  3. Joe College (2000): Amazon | Bookshop
  4. Little Children (2004): Amazon | Bookshop
  5. The Abstinence Teacher (2007): Amazon | Bookshop | Audiobook from Kobo
  6. The Leftovers (2011): Amazon | Bookshop | Audiobook from Kobo
  7. Mrs. Fletcher (2017): Amazon | Bookshop | Audiobook from Kobo

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Before Sunrise By Mikhail Zoshchenko (Novel Review)

By Mikhail Zoshchenko, translated by Gary Kern
Ardis, $40, January 1974, 978-0882330617

Mikhail Zoshchenko’s Before Sunrise. This is a novel that is unique in both form and content. It combines elements of autobiography, memoirs, fiction, and meta-fiction. Zoshchenko’s protagonist speaks in the first person and in the present tense. He wanted to know why depression and anxiety chased him all his life, and in his mission to decipher the underlying causes, he finds himself studying scientists like Pavlov and Freud, and applying—with caution—their theories and recent discoveries to end the misery that shadowed over the first three decades of his time under the sun.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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The 4 Hour Workweek Mindset

Notes taken while reading THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK. I do not endorse the content of the books I summarize. I share these notes for pure educational purposes.

The new rich are unique in their thinking and behavior. They consciously pursue a life full of options. The are able to do so because the design their lifestyles—and set their goals—based on certain values and life-philosophies they believe in.

Consuming and accumulating possessions isn’t the main goal of the 4-hour workweek lifestyle. But one should be able to get what he/she desires (At least on paper).

Purposeful pursuit of material wealth using clearly-defined goals, deadlines, and roadmaps.

Be the owner (neither the boss nor the employee).

More quantity (assets, options, etc..), but not at the expense of the quality of your life.

Make sure your work towards frequent cash inflows instead of fantasizing about about a remote big payday in the distant future.

Make the freedom multiplier work for you by carefully controlling your 4Ws: what you do, when, where, and with whom you do it.

Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good a cook you are.

The 4-Hour Workweek

Interest and energy are both cyclical and moody. Full retirement is the worst case scenario. Instead, aim for frequent and cyclical mini-retirement plans.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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The Bottom Billion By Paul Collier

By Paul Collier
Oxford University Press, 224 pp., $15, August 2008, 9780195373387

Amazon, Bookshop

Ask any ‘third worlder’—including me—and chances are, he/she will tell you how dirty and poor his/her country is, and how it is likely to remain that way in the foreseeable future. Why are some nations poor? Why these nations stay dirty and undeveloped despite our globalized reality? And why are they likely to stay poor, unless something is done? And, if we want to do something, what should we do about it? This post is about all of these questions—a summary and a review written while reading Paul Collier’s Book: The Bottom Billion.


Paul Collier developed a notion he named the “conflict trap”. His aim is to show how some economic conditions prompt civil war, and how the resulting conflict often becomes a trap—one that is hard to escape.
Four different traps are behind the horrible situation people are living within the bottom billion:

  1. The Conflict Trap
  2. The Natural Resources Trap
  3. The Trap of Being Landlocked
  4. The Trap of Bad Governance in a Small Country

Globalization to the Rescue?

Even during the golden decade—between the end of the cold war and 9/11—these countries still suffered, and captured nothing of what the rest of the world has been going through. In fact, income during this same decade fell by 5%.

That’s why the later countries escape the traps, and begin to take the right track, the harder it is for them to catch up, because the global market is now much more tough for new participants than it was in the 1980s.

The Struggle for the Bottom Billion

The author isn’t trying to offer a one and only explanation for the failures of certain nations to catch up with the Global development train—of beginning to reduce poverty for the first time in history since the 1980s. He acknowledges the diversity of the situation within the bottom billion.

The left could learn that maybe some instruments they’d been avoiding to use—like military interventions—are sometimes effective, or even the only viable option to improve or change the situation.
And, the right can learn that “global growth” doesn’t always bring relief to the Bottom Billion.

The problem matters. And it matters even more to voters and decision makers in the developed world. Because, if they keep ignoring what’s happening within the Bottom Billion, soon enough, the ramifications will land themselves clear in the west—think mass immigration, terrorism, etc..

Paul Collier intended this book to be an enjoyable read through keeping “clear of footnotes and the rest of the usual grim apparatus of professional scholarship,” as he declared from the start.

Nor that this book is a chewing gum for the mind—if you have an attention for details, then all you have to do is to take a look at the book’s ending section and you will find what amuses your tastes and your erudite cravings.

Paul Collier

Paul Collier is a professor at Oxford. He had directed the World Bank’s research department. He’d also taught at Harvard.

Paul Collier’s previous books include Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places, and Greed is Dead: Politics after Individualism.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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Organizing Recorded Information

We have an innate need for organization. We need to organize our lives. We need to get out stuff together. We need to organize our rooms, and our kitchens.

School tries to arm us with such a capacity from an early age too. Write heading in a specific color. Write paragraphs in a different one. Leave a certain margin. Allocate a notebook for each subject, and never use a notebook for all of them (I have to admit that I used to do this).

On an individual level, we are different, and just as some of us are obsessed with order and long for strict organization, others despise such dependence on systems and see them as mere constructs that further complicate matters rather than simply them.

The reality is that by “just living,” we—our activities—are generating data on a minute-to-minute basis. That data needs to be processed, organized, and stored. We then can use that our archives/historical records to make inferences, or to help researchers better understand and solve the challenges of their fields by making the access to the information resources they need most easy and time-efficient.

Here comes the field of organizing recorded information. The International According to the Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)1, end-users of the information benefit from the organization process by being able to accomplish the following five tasks more efficiently:

  1. Find: look for entities that match tight and specific criteria
  2. Identify: verify that the entities sought is the same as the one found
  3. Select: ensuring of retaining only resources that match the user’s need
  4. Obtain: make the resource sought accessible
  5. Explore: make possible the discovery of new resources and entities

We should differentiate between the terms “recorded information” and “information resource.”

The first refers to any form of factual knowledge about something or someone.2 The second is an identifiable and describable unit of information; an instance of recorded information.3

Information resources often have some common attributes, such as title, creator, date, ISBN, etc..

Archivists and collection specialists use these attributes to help them organize these resources collectively, and according to a specific criteria.

These attributes are called metadata, which is just a fancy name for “data that provides information about other data.” 4

There are generally four steps we should follow if we want to organize recorded information:

  1. Identify every information resource available at our disposal
  2. Closely examine the contents of each resource
  3. Collectively organize these resources into separate collections
  4. Work out a list of every information resource prepared according to some standard guideline for citation

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Dining in The Dark by Bryan Miller (Book Review)

“Dining in the Dark: A Famed
Restaurant Critic’s Struggle with and Triumph Over Depression”By Bryan Miller
Skyhorse, September 2021, 9781510760394, Hardcover, 216 pages, $22.99 USD, $32.00 CAD, Biography & Autobiography/Personal Memoirs
Amazon || Bookshop || Barnes&Noble

How can one graduate from Columbia, have a good start as a journalist at the Journal Inquirer, get hired as a restaurant critic by the New York Times, have a lovely french sweetheart as his bride, and then lose it all?

Bryan Miller was hit by depression. “The black bear,” as he chose to name it, emptied his bank account, ruined his career—as one of the most celebrated restaurant critics of his generation—and took his home from him, “a seven-bedroom farmhouse on five lush acres,” as well as “a good number of friends.”

Bryan Miller reviewed restaurants for more than a decade at the astonishing frequency of “five to six nights a week in the company of one or two couples,” appearing on TV almost every week, while writing magazine features and giving speeches for culinary events. He dined out more than 5100 times during his career.

By his own admission, he had “what was widely considered the best job in food journalism,” a position most people would only dream about; tasting food and giving their opinions on fancy NYC restaurants for a living.

Although Miller admits that his depression had begun in 1982, the first sign he’d felt was one morning in November 1983, when he woke up to work on some reviews, but all he really wanted is go back to bed and continue sleeping (he’d mistaken it for fatigue back then, a common assumption among unaware depressives).

For a young Miller, with goals and career ambitions, taking the first step to counter-attack his depression was to simply admit the malady—something he equated with acknowledging that he’d joined the ranks of the defeated— and visit a doctor. He took some time, but he did it in the end. The doctor first prescribed him Nardil—a Monoamine Oxidose Inhibitor (MAO)—a classic old staple for treating depression that gave Miller “the most relief,” but made him depressed “at certain levels.”

Miller was prescribed 90mg of Nardil, a drug that he described as a “real party pooper,” due to its effect—at such high dosages—on one’s libido, sex life, and overall energy levels.

Nevertheless, Bryan and his first wife Anne were on a roll during the early 1980s—fully aware back then, that they were living their best years—and still, they sensed that “big things were on the horizon,” and as a result, their early marriage years were so sweet and adventurous—with countless visits to the best restaurants New York, Morocco, and Europe had to offer—from Marrakesh to Salamanca.

But his affairs were as unpredictable as his life outcomes, and his depression soon worsened, affecting his life—at home and at work—making him go on a path that ultimately left him jobless, penniless, and alone. Even his writing, which could had been a form of escapism, turned into a dreadful task he avoided when he wasn’t in the mood.

When depressed, Miller took up to two days to write a review. But when he felt health and motivated, it took him 1/12th of that (four hours) to get the job done; He wrote up to 4000 words when he wasn’t “suicidally ill.”

He called what one experiences during his/her childhood as “indelible tattoos,” events that shape our attitude towards the world and how we act in the world “at no matter what age.” His father died when Bryan was three at the age of twenty five.

At one point, amidst his collapsing career and health, he discovered he’d got a tumor and had to get rid of it, a process that eventually made one of his ears “decorative,” and deaf.

Everything kept falling apart. His mother married again, a cardiologist named Lucian, “the iron man for his robust health and imperturbable nature,” who helped him “medically and otherwise, on many occasions.” Then, his mother got dementia which broke his heart as he watched her deteriorating condition.

But he tried! He tried teaching writing at the Culinary Institute of America, and after just two lecture, the dean told him that he should “improve his meager pedagogical skills at another institution.”
Then, he tried freelance book editing and was fired by clients. He hit a point when his net worth was $16.10. He “laughed, and taped,” the bank statement to the wall.

At the end of the book, Bryan declares: “I am reacquainted with life.”

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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Marijuana Hater’s Guide to Making a Billion Dollars from Hemp by Matthew Harmon (Book Review)

Marijuana Hater’s Guide to Making a Billion Dollars from Hemp: The Next Disruptive Industry
By Matthew Harmon
Farmbridge California, 181pp, Paperback, $19.99, April 20th 2021, 978-1735674704

Amazon || Bookshop || Kobo

In Cryptocurrencies, those who had gotten in early, took huge risks in an unknown medium of exchange and with zero guarantees of returns, have been reaping most of the profits since bitcoin has become the new cool thing. Cannabis is not different. At the time of writing this article, China is on the top of the Leaders Board of the global Industrial Hemp market—the world’s largest producer and exporter “producing over half of the world’s supply,”1—which isn’t a strange thing at all considering that the world’s first paper was produced in China (circa 150 BC) using hemp. The origins of cannabis though are still unknown, and are the subject of an ongoing debate (while the general consensus assigns the plant’s historical roots to Asia).

As the world prepares for a Cannabis revolution, few know the difference between Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana.
Cannabis is the plant. Hemp and Marijuana are both produced from the Cannabis plant—although their cultivation, setup, and processing are different. The plant is said to be dioecious: it is either a male plant or a female plant. We know that there are three species of Cannabis: Cannabis sativa L., Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis indica.

Indica hast the highest amount of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol: one out of the 113 total cannabinoids found in the plant; it is a psychoactive agent that “affects brain function and causes alterations in perception, mood, and cognition,” making us feel ‘high‘).

SativaL., which was discovered by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnarus in 1753, is usually the perfect species for producing Hemp. And ruderalis is characterized by its high CBD concentration; CBD: Cannabidiol, another one of the 113 Cannabinoids found in the plant, believed to be the one that “gives the plant its medicinal properties.”

While industrial hemp can grow in as little as 100 days, it usually takes 4 to 6 months from seed to harvest. A typical hemp field is highly dense with near-unlimited scalability—one acre of a hemp field have hundreds of thousands of plants—and reaching up to 16 feet high.

“You can’t get high on industrial hemp, even if you were able to ingest an entire field of the stuff,” because it contains a negligible amount of THC and a significant amount of CBD. Policy makers set a limit on how much THC industrial hemp can legally have: no more than 0.3% “on a draw weight basis.”

Marijuana crop takes anywhere between 60 and 90 days to grow within indoor environment, and demands a humid atmosphere “for proper development,” whereas grown outdoor, the plant requires even more care and attention to details. The farmer must prevent the male plants from cross-pollinating its female counterparts “because pollination inhibits a female plant from producing high concentrations of THC. And, of course, it’s the THC that makes a good crop for recreational use.”

Often, at about the sixth week of growth, the farmer checks the gender of the plant, and depending on his goals—industrial hemp, marijuana, or high CBD crop for the pharmaceutical industry—he/she may choose to keep a uni-sex Cannabis field.

When we talk about a hemp industrial revolution, we are talking about the possible number of products, tools, resources, and technologies that we can derive from the Cannabis plant—a number limited only by our entrepreneurial imaginations and governmental hurdles.

Speaking about governments and hurdles, the campaign against Cannabis isn’t new, dating back to the last decade of the 19th century. Led by the Progressive Movement who were great fans of prohibition, the campaign succeeded in pushing forward and enacting four Acts in the span of 9 years: the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906), the Poison Act (1907), the Trowns-Boylan Act (1914), and the Harrison Narcotics Act (1914), leading to the establishment of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in 1930.

Harry J. Aslinger ran a campaign, starting in the 1930s, creating a confusion among people around the effects of the plant on mental and physical health. This confusion was made even worse by some farmers who used the word ‘hemp’ as a camouflage to “avoid the stigma of what they were really growing.”

By 1931, Marijuana was outlawed by 29 US states. While Aslinger enjoyed a long career as the Commissioner of the FBN, lasting 32 years in office, and working during the terms of five US presidents: Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy.

In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act came to require “every person who sold any Hemp, Cannabis, or Marijuana products to register with the IRS and pay a special occupational tax, as well as requiring written transfer forms.”

Then came WWII, and the US government started a campaign to promote the production of hemp. War Hemp Industries (WHI) was launched, along with private partners. WHI—along with USDA—encouraged farmers to grow hemp as part of the Hemp for Victory Program (they’d even released a movie: Hemp for Victory [1942]).

As soon as WWII had elapsed, Harry Aslinger started lobbying worldwide against Cannabis, resulting in the 1961 UN’s adoption of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, “a treaty that prohibited the production and trade of specific drugs including Cannabis.”

Article.28, Section.2 of the Convention mentions that it “shall not apply to the cultivation of the cannabis plant exclusively for industrial purposes (fiber and seed) or horticultural purposes.”

In 1965, Activist and Clinical psychologist Timothy Leary was arrested (in Texas) possessing Marijuana. Dr. Leary figured that the Marihuana Tax Act—the ground for arresting him—was unconstitutional to begin with and had gone to challenge it in the Supreme Court. He argued that the Marihuana Tax Act “required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment.”
Leary was right. He won the case prompting the establishment to replace the old with the new (a new Act): the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) which went into effect in 1971.

Marijuana was one of these drugs that had been so demonized in my mind that I couldn’t understand why so many people were trying to legalize it.

In 1972, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (also known as the Shafer Commission) produced a report concluding that not even a “single human fatality in the US proven to have solely resulted from the use of Marijuana.” President Nixon rejected the report even though he was the one who had carefully selected the members of the Shafer Commission. The War on Drugs continued.

Just like there were people like Aslinger who lobbied to kill the hemp industry, there were others who were pushing back against their interests and agendas. In 1989, a group of entrepreneurs founded the Business Alliance of Commerce in Hemp. Two years later, the Hemp Council was created to started organizing rallies and events that promoted Hemp products

By 1996, over 300 companies in the US were manufacturing a wide range of hemp products—everything from luggage and soap to paper and toys to seed grain and surfboards.

The potential commercial products that can be made out of the Cannabis plant are near-unlimited; from face wash, shampoo, and soap to a nontoxic hemp bio-plastic biodegradable within six months.

The author, Matthew Harmon, has been researching Cannabis for more than a decade. Born into a religious family and growing up within a conservative 1980s political atmosphere, he used to believe that marijuana is as dangerous as Cocaine and Alcohol.
Nowadays, Harmon is betting that it “will be legal,” with no ambiguity between the state and federal level, “in the next seven years.”

The book reads like an extensive course on the history of the plant, its commercial and medicinal potential, and its future. It is an invaluable resource for every entrepreneur that has ever thought of stepping into the hemp industry. Those who know nothing about Cannabis, and those who’ve been investing in it for years will both enjoy this book.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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The Accounting Recording/Bookkeeping Process Explained in 5 Minutes

This is part of a financial literacy blog series, check out the first part.

What an Account is, and How it Helps the Recording Process

For companies and financial institutions with large daily volumes of business transactions, the recording process is a very crucial part of keeping track of the company’s financial data. Problems arise all the time, an example of these problems is mistakes that occur while recording(remember the woman from Dallas who woke up one day, opened her personal bank account on her smartphone to find $37million deposited by mistake?)

Here is the video for you in case you don’t know about it:

And that’s why, these companies need to record their transactions in simple, practical, and inexpensive way. Thus, to keep track of their transaction data, companies follow certain procedures and keep certain records.

The Account:

An account is an individual accounting record of increases and decreases in a specific asset, liability, or equity item.

Financial Accounting: IFRS 4th Edition

And so each company has an account separate for each item. So items that belong under assets like Cash, Accounts Receivables, Equipment, etc.. have their own account. Also, item that belong under liabilities, like Accounts Payable, Notes Payable, Wages Payable have their own accounts, and so on.

An account’s most basic form has three parts:

  • a title
  • a debit side (on the left)
  • a credit side (on the right)
a T-account used for simplify things for learners

=> This is also known as a T-account (because of its form where illustrated obviously).

Definition of Debits & Credits:

Debit and Credit are commonly abbreviated as Dr. and Cr. respectively.

However, be careful Debit and Credit should not be interpreted as either Increase nor Decrease. You only should understand them as to what side of the Account they affect.

Debit: describes entries made into the left side of the account.
Credit: describes entries made into the right side of the account.

=> Hence, come the terms Debiting and Crediting an account.
=> After comparing the totals of each side, the account will either show a Debit Balance or a Credit Balance.

Double-entry bookkeeping system requires that for each transaction, the debit amount must be equal to the credit amount.

Benefits/Pros of the The Double-entry system(claimed to be invented by many including, but not limited to the Koreans during the time of the Goryeo Dynasty but first used in Europe by Italian Florentine merchant Amatino Manucci):
Increases Accuracy
Reduces Errors and Facilitate their detection
Generally more efficient

Debit & Credit Entries Effects on Assets:
=> Debits: Increase Assets
=> Credits: Decrease Assets

Debit & Credit Entries Effects on Liabilities:
=> Debits: Decrease Liabilities
=> Credits: Increase Liabilities

And if you are wondering why the above effects are opposite, it will be beyond easy to understand why once you remember the basic accounting equation we’ve covered in part I of this series. Assets=Liabilities+Equity.

=>Hence whatever effects Debits have on assets, then they must have exactly the opposite of that on Liabilities.

=> Most of the time, Assets should have debit balances, and liabilities should have credit balances.

Effects of Debit/Credit entries on Equity Accounts (Share Capital—ordinary, Retained Earnings, Dividends, Revenues & Expenses):
Effects on Share Capital—Ordinary:
=> Debits Decrease it
=> Credits Increase it
Retained Earnings:
=> Debits Decrease it
=> Credits Increase it
=> Debits Increase it
=> Credits Decrease it
=> Debits Decrease it
=> Credits Increase it
=> Debits Increase it
=> Credits Decrease it

Now, of course, you may saying to yourself ‘Do I have to remember each Account’s specifics when it comes to Debits and Credits?’

Of course not! In fact, you only have to remember one account’s effects and understand well The Basic Accounting Equation, and you are good to go; You will be able to figure out how each of the accounts is affected by Debiting or
Crediting & its normal balance by simply looking at The Basic Accounting Equation.

The Basic Steps in The Recording Process:

There are 3 steps in the recording process:

  1. Each Transaction Gets Analyzed
  2. Transaction Gets Entered into THE JOURNAL
  3. That Transaction Entry into THE JOURNAL Gets further Transferred into THE LEDGER

What is a Ledger in Bookkeeping:

If you could think of the General Journal as a way to keep track of business transactions, then, the General Ledger is keeping track of all the accounts.

=>Journal: keeps tracks of events happening (business events=business transactions)
=>Ledger: keeps track of ‘state’ of accounts(increases, decreases, balance, etc..)

And, hence a Ledger is the set of all accounts maintained a company. The most common being the General Ledger.

a three-column account in the Ledger

The standard form of recording the state of an account within the Ledger is also known as the three-column form of account (it has three columns allocated for money: debits, credit, and balance)

What is a Journal in the Recording Process:

The Journal (aka the book of original entry) is a series of business transactions recorded in a chronological order, using the Double-Entry System. The whole process is also known as Journalizing.

Pros/Benefits of Jounalizing/Keeping a Journal:
It clearly portrays the effect of each business transaction
Its chronological nature helps the business identify certain trends, find errors easily, and keeping a historical record hustle-free

There are two kind of journal entries:
Simple Entries: involves two accounts only; one for debit, and the other for credit.
Compound Entries: usually a business transaction that involves more than two accounts

A good example of a compound entry is when your business buys new equipment to improve overall operations(lower cost, faster delivery, etc..) and when you don’t pay the full sum in cash. Let’s assume you got billed £79,000 British Pounds for the new line of equipment. And, you pay £30,000 in cash, and the remaining £49,000 on credit.
=>Then, this business transaction will be ‘journalized’ as a compound entry.

Usually, the Journal has columns for account title, explanations, references, dates, and two columns one for Debit and the other for Credit.

The General Journal in Recording/Bookkeeping

Within the account title and explanation section, the name of the account to be debited is written first and then beneath it, and a little bit indented, the name of the account to be credited.

Then, each corresponding Debit and Credit amount are recorded in their respective columns.

The Ref column is initially left empty, till the entries are transferred to the Ledger; At that time, it will be assigned a Reference number.

What is Posting in Bookkeeping?

Posting is simply the process of transferring the journal entries into the corresponding affected accounts in the Ledger.

The Trial Balance & Its Purposes:

This is a list that is usually prepared at the end of an accounting period. It lists all of the accounts and their balances at any given moment t. This is obviously directly fetched from the ledger. In fact, The Trial Balance lists all the accounts in that same order in which they appear within The Ledger.

Some FAQs:

  • Do Companies Report All of Equity Accounts in The Same Financial Report?
    => No.
    => Companies report Revenues and Expenses (as well as net them out to determine the resulting Net Income or Net Loss) in The Income Statement.
    => They report Share Capital—Ordinary & Retained Earnings in The Statement of Financial Position.
    => Then, they report Dividends (as well as Retained Earnings again in details) in The Retained Earnings Statement.
  • Do Companies only use one type of Journal?
    => No. They use a variety of Journals during the recording process. However, almost every company keeps the simplest and most basic form of a Journal aka The General Journal.
  • What is a Chart of Accounts?
    => This is simply a list of all of the Ledger’s accounts with their names and corresponding unique identifying number. And generally (this differs from one company to another) there is an allocated range or interval for recognizing specific types of accounts. Example: Asset accounts numbers between 101-199.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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Alex Becker’s 10 Pillars of Wealth (Book Summary & Review)

That’s why I had to write this book: to set the record straight about online businesses and generating wealth in general.

Alex Becker

PS: This is a long post for focused and curious minds only. So if you are a caffeine addict, grab a cup of coffee (like these clean bulletproof bean from Mlama, Tanzania), and follow through this post about WEALTH.

Pillar: an upright shaft that supports an overhead structure. (Merriam-Webster’s Online Thesaurus)

Oh Pillars! And the first thing that came to mind is a picture of these beautiful Greek temples. Good old style marble Greek Pillars. But in Alex Becker’s book, there are Pillars too, but pillars of wealth, and they count up to 10. These are your Core Beliefs, your basic yet essential weapons on your way to wealth.

This book is about grounding new beliefs in our heads, while eliminating old poisonous and limiting ones that we usually inherit from our environments. It turns out there is a way to win in life (at least financially) and there is a way that gets us there. Once we figure out the road, once we start making ‘a little bit of money’ we can’t help but want to make even more.

The reason why so many people get rich and others stay poor, is that those who have gotten rich came to a very low or bad point in life AND consequently they decided there is no way they are going to stay that way, they reached rock bottom and they know how things look, feel, and smell down there so they decided to promise themselves that no matter what they will escape serfdom, they said to themselves ‘By god I am gonna be financially independent’.

You have to reject the idea that to become rich you need to e special, a marketing genius, or lucky. The author warns us from the start, that is the number one prerequisite before plunging into the rest of the book.

I like how Alex compares the difficulty of getting rich to that of improving at video games, though I don’t pay video games, I could get his point, which is summarized in 3 parts:

  1. Believe you can get great at something.
  2. Then play the ‘game’ over and over again
  3. Don’t give up until 1 is accomplished

==>Break the limiting beliefs.

About Alex Becker

The most woke empty house billionaire business guy, also known as Alex Becker.

  • He completed his four years term with the Air Force.
  • He started looking for way to generate income online.
  • He stumbled upon SEO.
  • Alex started building websites, ranking them really good on Google, and started to make an income. At one point he got so good at SEO, within few months, that he was offered a job at a marketing agency; he took it.

I began to work on my own business every second I got so I could grow it enough that I could quit my marketing agency job. When I got home from my job, I worked. While my friends were playing video games at night, I worked. While everyone I knew was at the pool drinking on the weekend, I worked.
Then, two months later, I was generating over $20,000 a month from my business, not including my job’s paycheck. At that point, I quit my job and never looked back.

  • With $6,000 in his retirement account, he went all in with his online business.
  • He built an SEO business from scratch called ‘Source Wave’, scaled it, and then sold it.

3 Different Types of Businesses

  • CF:
Cash Flow Businesses

Cash Flow Businesses (CF) are the easiest to start. They require little to no capital.No staff or overhead. You can start a CF business from your bedroom if you want.
These businesses take a lot of time to run and manage, because it is usually a one -man operation; you will be the one providing a service to a client, marketing and promoting your services, and also the one doing the accounting and every other details. And that’s why, scaling this business is often not an option, and a well-defined cap on revenues, income & profits can estimated from the beginning. With all this being said, expect a profit margin up to 90%.

  • High Investment Scalable Businesses (HIS):
High Investment Scalable Businesses

This is the type of business that Venture Capitalists, like Naval Ravikant or Chamath Palihapitiya, are constantly looking for to invest in. These businesses oftentimes ‘explode out of nowhere’ even after years of being stuck or incurring losses.
These businesses are very scalable by their own definition. In a business like this, you need to pay close attention to every little detail: hiring the right people, studying competitors, and doing proper market research, etc…
Lunching a High Investment Scalable business requires some chunk of starting capital however. And that’s why, Alex Becker advises the reader who are still beginners to start with Cash Flow Business and then they can put their into a HIS business, should they want to. This model of businesses is very scalable, and usually can be automated.

  • Long-Term Investment Businesses (LTI):
Long-Term Investment Businesses

This is where you can ‘park’ your money and can expect sometimes as high as 10%-15% ROI per year. Think investing in rental properties or in restaurants. It is relatively safe form of investing (as long as the economy doesn’t collapse) and the businesses you invest your money in are still sell-able.

Decide to Become Wealthy at Any Cost

The longer I live, the more I am certain that the great difference between men—between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the insignificant—is energy, invincible determination—a purpose once fixed, and then—death or victory!

Thomas Fowell Buxton

By god, I am going to get rich! It’s a personal decision, a kind-of an intimate transaction between you and you only, you have your own reasons and motives and no body has the right to ask you about them. Just make them fuel you. Alex Becker, and throughout the book, emphasize the importance of getting to a very low point or extremely bad situation in life where for some people this decision becomes inevitably, and hence becoming wealthy becomes inevitable. (it’s just a matter of time)

Most people never become wealthy. Why? They never decide to get rich. And why? Because, they don’t believe that they can get rich because of X, Y, and Z.

As selfish as it looks on paper, and in life, believing it, seeing it, perceiving the whole thing before it comes to fruition is an indispensable prerequisite to actually getting it.
You may not a be spiritual person, you may not believe in superstitions, and stick only to reason and rationality, even so, you got to have this one belief, a one that has nothing to back it in today’s reality but that you have to have to get to your destination.

Reject Getting Rich Slow

This one from Becker really reminds me of MJ DeMacro’s The Millionaire FastLane. I wouldn’t even be surprised that DeMacro inspired Alex to go on and achieve what he has achieved so far

Don’t be “mildly miserable” like the rest. They are wrong, and that’s why they are the stuck traffic fighter who end up in jobs they hate because it’s ‘secure’.

The slow low risk way to getting wealthy is not risk free at all. In fact, its risks are uncontrollable. You are gambling your future’s outcome on variables outside the scope of your control; things like the economy, the value of the currency you are holding your savings in, the performance of the company you are working for(and whether or not they are going to lay off some employees when the going gets tough).

getting rich slowly requires you to spend 71 percent of your days for the rest of your young life at work.

The big reward at the end of the work tunnel. It’s an illusion! You might day before even get to there.

Get-rich slowly:

  • extreme financial hardships
  • zero control on your financial future
  • spend 71% of your young lifespan on work(5 days out of 7 a week)
  • No chance of getting your dream/fantasy life
  • Constantly living under financial stress (worrying about money all the time)
  • All you your decision are based around money (or the lack of it)

Separate Your Time from Your Income

Everyone have limited time (24 hours a day), so trying to tie your income to your disposable time is a very bad idea and it is literally putting a cap on how much money you will be making from the start. It’s been said over and over again, nobody ever got rich alone. You need other people to help you produce, sell , promote, communicate, and eventually buy from you. This is the reason why many successful business-people are good at dealing with people. And even the ones who are not so good at dealing with people and still went on to be successful, often you will discover that they hired the right employees to take care of that for them.

And so, you are facing two options:
=>Either you spend all your time trying to do everything by yourself, and therefore your income isn’t under your control
=>Or you increase the value of your time and completely separate your time from your income

Instead of spending our time working, we should spend our time creating systems that do the work for us.

  • Clone yourself, either by hiring a super productive team, by building or buying, or subscribing to AI/tech/tools, that will bring your expenses down and profits up. (Examples would be using services like Fiverr Business for outsourcing and hiring across borders, solutions like Tipalti that will take care of your Invoice Management + TAX, VAT, and Global Payments to your clients/suppliers, companies like Ripl for upping your branded content game on social media, or using Yelp for Business to connect to new customers, or Banking easier with Bank Novo, or IncFile for incorporating your LLC or Corporation for as low as $49)
  • Find a process or formula that works, then clone it.
  • It is better to have a business that has a 30% profit margin, but that can be scaled to $10 million a year and then can be sold for tens of millions than to have a one man run business, that will turn into a chaos the minute you get sick and be hospitalized for few weeks.

All you need to be working on right now, is excellent business-planning, automation, and properly cloning yourself through effective hiring, and the next thing you know, is that your time-consuming intense business is turning into a time independent money-making machine.

Take any business idea you have in your mind right now and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can the process be automated?
  • Is generating $500 worth of sales requires the same amount of energy and steps as generating $10,000 if sales?
  • Can the business be scaled, by hiring more staff and/or developing technologies and solutions?
  • Does the business have the potential of significantly rising in value in the next couple of years, and eventually be sold for tens of millions?

The most successful businesses out there, have their owner(s)’ time separated from their revenues & profits.
=> They’ve created a process that works at soling a particular problem process, a process that customers want. They’ve priced the process competitively. And the rest takes care of itself.

Accept That You Must Be Better Than The Rest

  • As egotistic as it might sound, this is one of the most important pillars that Becker presents to us through this book.

By wanting to become wealthy, you are also saying that you want to accept the challenge to be better at making money than 99 percent of the people on this planet.

  • Follow the Belief,Actions, & Results (BLR) System.
  • Embrace the power of accepting the necessity of greatness

Remember that desiring to be wealthy is by its nature desiring to put oneself into the top 1%. If it was much more common to be wealthy in our society, then the logical conclusion is that it doesn’t take more than being average. Unfortunately, this is not the case in real life. In fact, last time I checked one of those Credit Suisse annual reports about Global Wealth Inequality, it was 0.9% of the world’s population who owned more than half of the assets.

It’s Been 100% Your Fault

Blaming your current situation in life on family, friends, teachers, environment or government is a waste of your time.

You need a complete shift in your attitude towards your reality.

Take back your life from your “whys”.

Controlling your future outcomes is up to you as well

Adopting an Abundance Mindset

How you act reflects the type of mindset you have either towards money, or any other endeavor. The belief in abundance is required here. Anything that has to d with scarcity thinking will hold you back. And so if you want to keep going when the going gets tough in business, you should never have a mental limit to how much money you can make.

  • Mr. Never Take Risks (Super Scarcity Mind-Set): “I am going to spend my life working for someone else making him wealthy, save some of what I earn and hopefully I can retire by the age of 65. Starting a business is too risky for me. Entrepreneurship is not my cup of tea”
  • Mr. Watch But Not Do (Extreme Scarcity Mind-Set): “It is simply not possible and it sucks, so why should I bother?!”
  • Mr. Brute Force (High Abundance Mind-Set): “I know it is risky, and sometimes it will suck, but I am going to try anyway, because If I constantly throw Sh*t against the wall, I know that eventually something will stick”
  • Mr. ‘Ladies’ Man (Educated Abundance Mind-Set):
    =>Takes calibrated social risks.
    =>Acknowledges the fact that he will never be liked by everyone.
    =>100% Confident that he will get what he wants eventually & Self-aware.

In wealth, you only need to ‘get laid’ once.

Alex Becker

It’s hard to have an abundance mind-set & beliefs without actually having abundance.

=>That’s why, you have to trick your mind into believing we have abundance in the here and now, thus altering your core beliefs.

Achieving Abundance as a Newcomer of Wealth

**When you have a limited mind-set, you only focus on ways and trick that will help you save money.

By solely focusing on conservation, you will never be able to expand.

Abundance = Progress

Scarcity = Lack of Progress

Instead of directing your energy towards saving extra dollars here and there, so you can SPEND them later, Smart Entrepreneurs focus on putting their money towards their projects, so that every dollar can bring 5, 6 or even 10 dollars.

==> Adopt this 5th pillar into your life immediately.

Focus on ‘What Is’ Instead of ‘What If’

Discover the number one problem that is depraving you of what you want right now.

Learn everything you can about that problem

Work on the problem until it’s fixed

Move to the next problem and repeat from 1 again until it’s fixed.

Don’t try to learn and speculate about the possible things that can go wrong, just focus on the number one obstacle in front of you.

you must stop thinking about it and stop planning it, and just take action.

Alex Becker

Avoid being locked down in “perfection paralysis” land at at costs. Action is your only way to remedy!

=>Master the only immediate problem you have in the here and now.

Hurry up and make mistakes. The most guaranteeing thing you can do to fail is to never try anything.

Mapping Out Actions That Achieve Goals

The fact is big, giant & successful companies take a lot of time to become profitable. Good things often take times(including learning the piano, or learning a new language), and if you are in doubt about this just ask Warren Buffet (e.g. Amazon didn’t reap a profit in 20 years)

Confusing, right? How can popular companies be worth so much money without being profitable? Because they are moving in the direction of global domination and will be massively profitable because of the amount of leverage they are gaining.

Alex Becker

Creating a plan to reach your target is, in many cases, more important than the target itself. They say that each one minute spent planning can save up to ten minutes in execution. And whether that is right or not, one cannot deny the benefits of planning, even if the planning part would differ so much from the executing part later on, something which will inevitably happen from time to time, it is still helpful and relevant thing to do before jumping into uncharted business territories

Traffic fighters often miss this and think about their goal as a “success event”. They are only capable of noticing the event. They can sketch the map, seeing the trees for the forest is practically unimaginable for them

Questions any aspiring businessperson should ask him/herself:

  • How much money will you be making?
  • What will you be known for?
  • How long will it take you?
  • Would would be your ideal customer?
  • What will your product be?
  • How many customers do you need to reach your monetary goal?
  • Who needs to support you to reach your main goal?

You need to completely ‘re-engineer’ how you define your goals.


Very few of them make their fortunes in a ‘single event’ (it’s not like the lottery)
Even the massive buyouts you hear about them in the news, are the result of hundreds upon hundreds of tiny events leading to the BIG ONE EVENT.
These tiny actions themselves can be further decomposed into daily ‘micro-actions’
The first thing they do is SET GIANT TARGETS
STEP1: Wat is Your Big Goal?
=> This cannot be vague or blurry. It must be clear and quantifiable.
=> You must have a clear end in mind as well as a ‘way’ to get there(e.h. selling real estate, growing avocados, providing a service to stopover travelers, etc..)
Use your imaginary ideal lifestyle and how it looks like in your mind to define exactly how big your goals should be

In this section of the book, Becker introduces a simple exercise: It consists of writing down what you want in specific details. However, he also suggests not including any ‘Grand’ or super Grand desires such as owning mansions, private jets, or sports team, as they will impede and ‘complicate’ the process.

  • Make $500,000 in Sales.

Step2: What Are the five smaller goals you must achieve to reach your bigger goals?
=>List these smaller goals in chronological order

  • Reach a daily output of 200 Cold Calls/day
  • Reach an average daily Sales of 20sales/day
  • Have Access to more contacts to cold call
  • Improve your sales pitch
  • Write 5000 words per day

Sign up for more Affiliate network
==> These will make your bigger target much more manageable. And, it will shift your thinking from “How can I make X amount of dollars?” to “How can produce or make X, and sell Y amount of it in Z years or months?”.
Step3: Break down each the smaller steps into even smaller tasks:
=>Write a Sitemap for Google Crawlers
=>Write at a pace of 1000 words per hour (84 words/5minutes)
=>Apply to more affiliate networks after my first $10,000K check.

Focus Solely on What Gets You Paid

Everything that can be delegated, eliminated or outsourced must be delegated, eliminated or outsourced.

Remember, it’s not always about working 80 to 100 hours a week, driving yourself towards burnout and inevitable health issues. A person who works as little as 10 hours per week but DIRECTS a total of 400 hours per week out of his employees/team will accomplish far more than he will ever do on his own.

The things that you are doing and are contributing little or noting to getting you paid are your income stealers. These are literally stealing from $$$ from your bank account each time you spend time on them and not on your ONE thing; the thing that gets you paid.

They Give Money to People That Get People

One thing you gotta realize is that you will never be able to get rich without other people.

What is money, then? Money is power over other people.

Wealth is power. By trying to get rich, you are in essence trying to gain some form of power over others, so you can buy their labor, time, and products with that power.

You have to become a great influencer on other people’s decisions. You have to persuade and convince them.
==> This is why, if you could learn one thing only, you should be learning how to sell.

  • Don’t just sell products. Instead, provide and sell emotions.
  • Being comfortable with people

Finding Competitive Friends and Suitable Mentors

Birds of a feather, do flock together

Imagine if, right after reading this book, you spent every waking minute working at getting rich like a psycho. Seriously, picture waking up, turning on your computer, working for twenty hours, and stopping only to pee and eat whatever food you own that doesn’t need to be cooked, then passing out from exhaustion and waking up four hours later to do it all over again. Then imagine doing this for months and months without taking breaks or vacations or even weekends off.

Unlike the other ‘mind-set pillars’, this one can and should be applied in real ‘physical’ life.

The best way to trigger the kind of obsessed work ethic is being a part of a community of like-minded people. It will push you to compete in a friendly way.

Look around you right now and try to closely examine your environment. Do they care about money or do they watch Drama on TV? If the answer is the latter, then you are more likely to want to fit in to the group’s ritual, and probably you have little or no motivation at all to do something out of the norm.

Join as many free groups of people you want to be like right now. People already successful at their own businesses, people who have created massive wealth, or currently doing so.
=> Then, keep track of the ‘leaders’ within these groups, and find out where they hang out.
=>Make friends with them, and ask them questions.

The minute you start talking to your circle of friends about opportunities to make money, to kill it, and they respond with disinterest, mockery, and skepticism, then you know you are operating withing a damaging group that is only putting you down.

Start by joining free Facebook groups with people you can relate to what they are doing or had already done what you want to do. Pick up the leaders out of these groups and try to reach them. After successfully reaching them, fear not! ASK THEM QUESTIONS! Also try to build relationships with people above your level, but not that much above your level. Use these groups to keep motivated and continually learn from the best around you.

MENTORS can help you go through the obstacles and hurdles you are going to go through much faster and with less trouble.

a Mentor: Someone who has arrived in your own terms. Someone, who has already accomplished what you are aiming to accomplish.

Look for a mentor who is at a level ‘above you’, but not way too much above your level.
=> Example: If you are not generating any income at the moment, and you shouldn’t be approaching a mentor who is earning $100,000 a month. The line of communication between you won’t be clear and you wouldn’t relate to each other. Instead, you should be focusing on getting a mentor that is generating $3000 to $5000 per month for instance.

AVOID false mentors:

  • There are two types of mentors:
  • Those who make 90% of their income mentoring (think Dan Pena lol)
  • Those who make most of their money from their main business, and mentor on the side

The Final Word

  • Society’s safe route to wealth generation is not that safe
  • Decide you will be rich at any cost
  • Dodge the Slow road to wealth
  • Believe you are better than the competition
  • Take 100% responsibility for all mistakes incurred
  • Delegate, Outsource, Eliminate
  • Clone Yourself, and Operate on Auto-Pilot
  • Break down those giant targets into smaller milestones, and then break down further
  • Focus on the one thing that gets you paid, and resolve to do that only! This is your ONE thing!
  • Hang out with people who have achieved or are achieving what you want, pay for the privilege if necessary! (Like Attending The Rich Dad Summit)
  • Believe that there is out there all the wealth you want to get

If you enjoyed reading this post, you can support my work by buying me a book (one time donation) or by becoming a patron.

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