Three Pieces of Advice: Retold

Three Pieces of AdviceA young man named James and his friend who lived in a small town decided to start a small livestock business. They were both enthusiastic and hard-working, but they have very little funds to make it a good business.

They also realized that if they grow their business, they can help their community by providing jobs and other source of livelihood.

So one day, James made the following proposal to his friend:

“I will leave our farming business for a while. I will look for a job and other opportunities in order to make more money that we can use to expand our small business. I will send all my earnings regularly while you manage the business so we may have a comfortable life that we deserve. We shall grow our business so we may also help those who are in need. I do not know how long will this take, I only ask one thing, please wait for me, and while I am away, do not betray my trust, because I trust that you will be a good business partner to me.”

His friend agreed, so James left. He traveled many days until he found a rich businessman who was in need of someone to help him on his business. He offered his services. When James was accepted, he discuss his terms with his boss:

“Sir, we have our own little farm back in my town. For you have offered me free food and lodging, I do not want to receive my salary. I ask you to send it to my friend instead. The day I decide to go, please give me my separation pay and I will go my way. ”

They agreed on that. So, James worked for ten years without holiday and off days.

After 10 years of working tirelessly, he came to his rich boss and said:

“Sir, I am returning home. I am confident our small business is now bigger and ready for expansion.”

The boss replied: “All right, after all, I made a deal with you and I will stick to it. However, before you go I want to offer you something new: I will give you all your money from your separation pay and send you away; or I will give you three pieces of advice and send you away. If I give you money, you lose the three pieces of advice. If I give you the three pieces of advice, you lose your separation pay. Now, go to your room and think about your answer.”
He thought for two days. Then he went to the boss and told him: “I want the 3 pieces of advice.”

The boss stressed again, “If I give you the three pieces of advice, I will not give you the money”, and the man replied: “I want the 3 pieces of advice.”

The boss then told him:
1: Never take shortcuts in your life, shorter and unknown paths can cost your life.
2: Never be too curious, for curiosity towards evil can be deadly.
3: Never make decisions in moments of anger or pain, because when you repent, it could be too late.
After giving these 3 pieces of advice, the boss said to him: “You're my best employee. Although you wanted my 3 advice, I'm still giving you your one month salary as your travel allowance.”

Never take shortcuts in life
At the first day of his travel, he met an agent who greeted him and asked: “Where are you going?”

He replied: “To a distant place which is about 10 days away if I continue walking.” The agent said to him: “Oh man, this path is too long! Why make it hard for yourself to walk when you can drive a car? I know a way where you can earn 20 times more in just 2 days! You won't have to do anything but wait for your earnings!”

James agreed to know more about the opportunity the agent was saying. He was about to give his only money when he remembered the first piece of advice. He immediately turned his back from the man and said he's not interested. Then, he returned and followed the long path.

Days later he learned that the offer was a pyramiding scam and the agent was nowhere to be found.

Never be too curious
After a few more days of travel, he found an inn by the roadside, where he could rest. He paid for a room and after taking a bath he lay down to sleep. During the night he woke up as he heard some people screaming.  He rose to his feet and went to the window to check what was happening. He saw a group of men yelling to a group of people as if they were preaching! “Buy! Buy! Buy” were the only words loud enough that he could here.


He became more curious. But as he was opening the door, he remembered the second piece of advice.  So he returned, lay down again and slept.

At dawn, after breakfast, the owner of the inn asked him if he had not heard the screaming at night.  He affirmed that he heard. Then, the host said:

“Were you not curious to see what happened?”
And he replied: “No, I was not.”

“You are one of the few not enticed to buy shares and sell too soon because of regret and fear! My neighbors are quite crazy. They usually hype people to buy shares of a certain company. When people buy shares and they saw that the price is climbing, they sell their shares for profit and those who where hyped were left with regret!”

The man continued his long journey, eager to arrive soon.

Never make decisions in moments of anger or pain
After many days and nights walking, he was very tired, but he finally saw their farm from far away. It was night, but there were a lot of people! He heard some people shouting but was not clear as to what they were saying.

When he saw that scene, his heart was filled with hatred and bitterness. “What happened to our business?”, he asked himself. “People look enraged! What were they protesting?” He thought of killing his farmer friend mercilessly for not taking care of their business and keeping his word.

However, he took a deep breath and he remembered the third piece of advice. Then he stopped, reflected and decided to sleep outside that night. He slept in the midst of the bushes, determined to make a decision the next day.
At dawn, he was calmer and thought: “I will not kill my friend and business partner. I am going back to my boss and ask him to take me back. But before I go, I want to tell my friend that I have always trusted him.”

He went to the farm entrance and almost forgot his anger when he saw all the changes since he last stepped on it ten years ago. He was in awe.

When his friend recognized him, he cried and embraced him warmly. He tried to push him away, but he was not able. Then, with tears in his eyes he told him: “I trusted you but you betrayed me. What did you do to our farm?”

He was shocked, so he replied: “How did I betray you? I have never betrayed your trust. I waited patiently for you for ten good years.”

Then he asked: “How about the mad people outside last night who were shouting? Weren't they protesting something?”

His friend replied: “Oh man, those people were not protesting! Those were our farmers and they were rejoicing! We just forged a partnership with one of the biggest  company in the Philippines! Bounty Fresh will now outsource the majority of their livestock needs from us!”

Hearing that, James asked for forgiveness. He hugged his friend.  Then he told them all the things he had experienced while away.

Meanwhile, while his friend  was preparing some coffee and bread for them to eat together, one of their staff handed a check to him.

James' eyes grew large as he saw the figure, one million pesos only. Written above it was a name where the check came from: Bounty Fresh Food, Inc. Along with the check was a note:

“Those 3 pieces of advice were merely a bonus. So here's your money for working 10 years for my company. By the way, I'm looking forward to a meaningful partnership with you and your partner.”

Your ex-Boss,
Tennyson G. Chen
CEO, Bounty Fresh Food, Inc.

PisoandBeyond Would you have followed those three pieces of advice too? Receive cool updates like this when you subscribe to PisoandBeyond!


  1. Good to read. :)

  2. Glenda NuguidDecember 10, 2017

    nice way to twist this classic story into something that would inspire investors just as it would reading the original one.. Thumbs up!


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