By Ernest D. Chu
[Editor's Note: Ernest Chu, a leading corporate finance expert, visionary, and strategic advisor to some of Amer ica’s best run companies, has created more than $1 billion in market value for his clients. Of equal importance to his business activities, Ernie currently serves as assistant pastor at Religious Science Ft. Lauderdale, the largest Religious Science church in the Southeast. His website is www.SoulCurrency.org.
The following article is based on his newly-released book, "Soul Currency: Investing Your Inner Wealth for Fulfillment & Abundance." It is followed by an extended conversation with Ernie, which we recommend you read].
As a Wall St. investment banking executive for many years, I discovered the power of invested capital to create companies, build new industries like biotechnology and the Internet industry, and create billions in stock market value. But as a business and life coach, and spiritual teacher, I realized that the greatest resources are the inner wealth that lies within us – our spiritual or inner qualities such as insight, intuition, vision etc. Learning how to awaken and invest this tremendous inner wealth will enable you reach your goals, increase your incom e, and find deep personal fulfillment.
We have all heard Russell Conroy’s story of “Acres of Diamonds” of the South Asian farmer who sold his rather rocky farmland to go elsewhere to make his fortune. This seemingly poor quality farmland later turned out to be the Galconda diamond mine, one of the richest ever discovered to that point. How many of us judge ourselves as not being special enough, not being smart enough, or not knowing the right people or having what it takes? Each of us is sitting on our own acres of diamonds and we can choose lament the cards that were dealt to us or recognize that not only are we diamonds in the rough, but indeed most of us are sitting on a huge treasure trove of inner assets that can be directly correlated to the material world.
Share With the World What is Uniquely Yours:
Each of us has many choices of how we create income. Most of us spend the majority of our waking time in work related activities. If you look at work as simply an activity that generates a paycheck, then ultim ately you will have to find meaning in other parts of your life. Do what you enjoy, but if you helping people, you don’t necessarily have to work in a not for profit company. Recognize that it is what you bring to your work, rather than solely the work itself that is a major part of that experience. When you begin to value yourself and what you have to offer, you will ultimately to share with the world what is uniquely yours.
When British author, JK Rowling created the Harry Potter series of books, she wrote her first book having to rely on what little savings she had and some public assistance. But her most valuable investment was her great imagination, her ability to paint pictures with words, and to envision a fantasy world of muggles, wizards, and dragons. Many of Rowling’s friends and neighbors certainly had some doubts as to whether she ever would make any money as a writer. Yet, within ten years, Rowling’s unique Harry Potter brand, encompassing seve ral books, movies etc. was worth several billion dollars, a return on investment that dwarfed even the returns on investment by the early shareholders of Microsoft.
Come from Strengths
When I was growing up, I was ashamed of the fact that I looked different and was shorter than my classmates. What I would have given to have been 6 foot tall with blonde hair and blue eye, rather than being 5’ 6” and Chinese American. But when I went to Wall St.,one of the hottest fund managers at the time was Gerald Tsai, a Chinese American who had been born in Shanghai. I discovered not only that it was okay to be Chinese, but that there were quite a few advantages. I could walk into a crowded room, and while I might have some difficulty remembering everyone, most everyone would remember me. I had inherited a solid work ethic and part of my gifts was my ability to tak e in what might be an overwhelming amount of information and be able not only to sort it out, but to glean insights from it.
Steve Jobs, the founder of three great companies, Apple Computer and Pixar Studios, had the gift of being able to blend creativity with precision, and insight with imagination. Apple, which competed against giants like HP, Toshiba, Sony and IBM, not only gained a substantial market share, but build generations of loyal Apple users. It was the collective investment of the founding group in both Apple and Pixar that created the inspiration for the products, the impetus for their funding, and in innovation leaders in their own industries.
Invest Your Soul Currency
When you use your inner assets, direct them with intention, and focus, you only need to add the source energy of love to harness the essence o f source energy – spiritual capital. The feeling of love, which is the soul’s real currency, is more than a feeling of well-being, but it is creative, connective and transformative. When you invest your spiritual capital, the return on investment is not just simply monetary, but it opens up other possibilities.
My good friend and mentor, the late Jay Wells always looked for opportunities to help people. He made friends easily, because he was interested in others, qualities which helped him become a successful businessman. One day, Wells found himself hospitalized for a routine procedure. When he was recovering he started talking to some of the nurses and other patients, asked why there weren’t any TV’s in the hospital. He was told that there was one in the doctor’s lounges and that TV’s were a luxury that the hospital couldn’t afford. He began by offering to donate a few televisions to the hospital, and eventually this led to formation of Wells National S ervices, a public company that became the leader in installing and renting bedside televisions to hospital patients.
Joel Roberts, one of this country’s top media coaches, is another example of investing soul currency. For more than 15 years Roberts was the feisty, sarcastic, and often deliberately controversial drive time radio host of one of the top rated stations in the country – Los Angeles based KABC. A music afficionado, Roberts found himself at a concert standing near one of the huge speakers when it accidentally blew out, causing him to lose his most of his hearing in one ear and more than 60% in the other. From the top of his profes sion, he suddenly was unemployed. Or so he thought. Today Roberts is one of world’s top message and media coaches. He helps authors, executives, salesmen, lawyers, publicists etc. apply some of the same skills he used on the air such as having a hard hitting message, holding listener interest, and learning how to use news he adlines to build a hook.
Living from Flow
Soul currency investing is so much more powerful than the limiting aspects of simply investing the symbols which represent money. Soul currency enables us to live from possibility rather than investing from fear and risk. From an open heart, we are able to share and to put ourselves in the flow of not only material prosperity, but the deep fulfillment and inevitable right action that love always produces. The message we receive is one of greater connection, not only to others around and the collective good, but a deeper inner connection to Spirit that brings us fulfillment and a sense greater purpose.
Based on the book Soul Currency. Copyright 2008 by Ernest D. Chu. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.
A Talk With Ernest D. Chu, author of Soul Currency
How did you personally end up one million dollars in debt and how did you honorably get rid of that debt in little more than a year?
I was a substantial, but minority shareholder in an early stage company that failed because of undisclosed information about the founder and CEO. I had more than one million in debt from two mortgages, credit card and bank debt and personal guarantees on company obligations and vehicles.
With no job, virtually destitute, I turned to prayer, and found Religious Science in Morristown, New Jersey where I enrolled in a year-long class. I learned affirmative prayer, that I had the power to change my circumstances by changing my thinking, and that by opening to the power of love, I could also open to flow and abundance. It was important that I found my own inner spiritual center.
My situation virtually began to change “on a dime.” I was introduced to a new technology company in Florida, and became their advisor and catalyst for going public, which raised more than $10 million. From being virtually destitute and almost homeless, within weeks I became a highly paid and valued advisor who was given over 121,000 options on the company’s stock prior to going public. When the company went public approximately a year after I began assisting them, the company’s stock soared and my options were well over a million dollars.
With significant cash in hand, I was able to pay off and resolve my debts within 18 months without ever having to declare bankruptcy – an alternative that most people in my circumstances would likely have opted for. Subsequently I took two other companies public.
What is “Adventureprise”?
Adventureprise as I have defined in the book is “the adventure of life and the enterprise of the soul.” It is the out-picturing of creating a solid business enterprise around what you enjoy, and to envision your dream. The adventure of life emerges as “the dream begins to dream you.”
What is the difference between an entrepreneur and adventurepreneur?
An entrepreneur often sees themselves as working for themselves to create and grow a business. Often entrepreneurs see themselves as creating something from just an idea or inspiration, such as a product or service. An adventurepreneur is a spiritual entrepreneur who understands that their partner is Spirit, and that they use the co-creative laws of the Universe wi th their intention, attention and vast inner wealth. They know how to invest this inner wealth which becomes the most powerful form of capital there is.
What are spiritual assets, and can a person possibly put a monetary value on them?
Spiritual assets are what often people call “God given gifts”, but they more than that. To make them easier to understand, I have categorized them as Intuition and Guidance as Spiritual Assets, Creativity as a Spiritual Asset, Higher Personality Traits (ie. optimism, focus, persistence, honesty, courage etc.), and Cultivated Skills and Knowledge as Spiritual Assets.
I have chosen to call them assets rather than gifts or blessings, because the word assets is more suggestive of the enormous value they have. So how can we put a monetary value on these? Since these assets have the potential to create a broad “richness” of life including creating income opportunities, there is a present value to every asset including intangible assets
There are plenty of examples of how we value intangible assets. We value patents, software design, trademarked names or designs, the value of a customer relationship, etc. I believe every asset has an intrinsic value, but the value increases as the asset is used. An asset may have the potential to be almost unlimited in value, but unless it is used its value as potential is limited.
Don’t forget, that the value of anything is a matter of agreement. Real estate today is a perfect example of how this agreement can change. Commodities such as oil and gas are other examples. The value of software design expertise is more highly valued than it was 25 years ago. The value of George Carlin’s humor (spiritual asset) has gone up greatly since he died.
What is it and how exactly does one calculate spiritual capital?
Spiritual capital is the source of all capital in our material world, since the world has been created by Spirit. From spiritual capital flows financial capital, intellectual and social capital, and human capital. Capital is the way we energize our assets and apply, direct or invest them. We tend to be most familiar with financial capital, but recognize that well before someone invests money into a company through its securities, or into a project or start a business, they have invested thought, intention and focus. They have applied their imagination, ability to envision outcomes and other spiritual assets. Before the first share of stock is purchased, or project manager is hired, or new company lease is signed, you or collectively with others have invested your spiritual capital.
The formula then for spiritual capital I defined in the book as Spiritual Capital (SC) equals Focus (F) plus Intentionality (I) plus Spiritual Assets (SA) multiplied (and intensified) by Love (L). We show this as SC+ (F+I+SA)L .
Why do spiritual people have so much trouble creating prosperity?
I have been a spiritual searcher for 40 years, with 10 years as a practicing minister. Its been my experience that a high percentage of the people who call themselves spiritual seek spirituality because they have issues of self worth, deserving and not feeling good enough. This means they have severe to moderate issues of being able to receive abundance – the spiritual birthright of everyone. Instead they focus on the feel good activity of giving. They associate giving with spirituality, not recognizing that being able to receive is also spiritual. Eventually because they have issues about receiving, they run out of things to give.
Most people equate truly being spiritual is to be poor. Without getting into a Biblical theological discussion, its clear to me that the message really is about being aware of the richness of Spirit within, and thus all around us. The temptations of the world have led the mystics of all religions to seek solitude, and it is true that the busyness of everyday living distracts us from awareness of our inner light. People who have belief to be spiritual is to be poor will most likely be doing this to avoid having to deal with their issues about self worth and receiving.
A third cause I’ve noticed among spiritual seekers is that they often rationalize that they are being punished by being poor for something they did. Still another reason, is “bad karma.”There are a myriad of other childhood messages that we might gotten that prevent us from opening to deserve prosperity such as “money is dirty”, “money doesn’t grow on trees,” or “you have to struggle to make money”.
Finally, most people, if given the choice of being rich or being loved, would after some thought opt for being loved. They still see Spirit outside of themselves rather than within. The soul’s currency is love, and it is this currency that create fulfillment, love and abundance.
Why are seemingly unspiritual people so prosperous?
Answer: There is only One creator. Everything and everyone is spiritual, only our language describing and judging people is divisive. Each soul has its own spiritual journey, and no one can know what another’s journey is. Some extreme examples are the Apostle Paul, or the great King Ashoka or St. Ignatius of Loyola, who all would at one time in their life be described as unspiritual.
Is Donald Trump spiritual? Yes, but some people would describe him otherwise. It is the language of the “Cultural Creatives” that judges people as overtly spiritual or not, similar to the way the language of the Evangelicals judges everyone unlike them as being condemned for all eternity. Donald Trump does not have receiving issues. When he sees a good deal, he doesn’t ask, “why me?” He knows he deserves it.
You talk about fear and negative beliefs as counterfeit currency. What do you mean by that and how does one get over the inner critic?
Answer: Fear and its resulting spawn of negativity are counterfeits of Spirit’s source energy: love. Our culture is based upon opposites (ie. light and dark, good and evil etc.), but fortunately most of the opposites are counterfeits designed to show us what’s real. Since our counterfeit beliefs are also passed along as energy, this is very similar to passing counterfeit currency where there is a Federal law against it.
Counterfeit currency has the power to undermine the economic system, counterfeit beliefs have the power to keep us separate from Spirit. Counterfeit beliefs block our prosperity, and most importantly my block us from fully receiving and feeling loved (ie. “nobody likes or loves me” etc.)
Our inner critic is the very same one which says “you don’t deserve love or prosperity” or “you aren’t good or worthy enough.” The inner critic is usually the wounded child within each of us. There are three ways to tame the inner critic:
- Become more aware of how when your inner critic is running your life. You will see that the inner critic is driven by fear (ie. fear of unknown, fear of success, fear of love etc.)
- Imagine a committee or “dream team” made up of people who support and encourage you. Now replace your inner critic with the dream team until you have totally phased out the inner critic
- Focus on “healing the inner child” by seeking help and doing inner child workshops.
In more than 35 years as an investment banker, corporate executive and entrepreneur, Ernie Chu has become a widely recognized expert on financing emerging growth companies. He has created more than $1.5 billion in market value for his clients. As an abundance coach, he has evaluated thousands of business proposals and advised hundreds of emerging companies, serving as leader and business coach to nine early stage companies, with five of those companies becoming public companies. In his new book, Soul Currency: Investing Your Inner Wealth for Fulfillment & Abundance, Chu identifies the spiritual equivalent of business success and redefines financial value, such as currency, into the organic aliveness of Spirit.
Soul Currency: Investing Your Inner Wealth for Fulfillment and Abundance
By Ernest D. Chu
October 2008 · Business/Personal Growth · Hardcover
$22.95 · 272 pages · ISBN: 978-1-57731-624-4