Diminishing Returns

Friendship, business partner, business school, first job,

Straight out of high school, a close friend and I realised we were very introverted, and we needed to look for a fun job that would boost our confidence.


We took a job selling merchandise for an Auckland company. You would either sell books, or toys. Selling books meant you left the order form behind at a business reception desk, and you returned the following week with the books and to collect the money.


Selling toys required you to carry a big bag of whatever toys the company was promoting at the time at the recommended price points. Selling books would make sense for two introverts. There is hardly any selling involved. But we reminded ourselves that we were on a mission from God – we needed a ‘confidence boost’. So, we signed up to sell toys. The idea of getting paid immediately was highly appealing.


We didn’t understand anything about business, but there were two principles we came to learn very quickly: market saturation and diminishing returns.


Auckland is a big city, but we realised there were only certain areas we could go. Given the total number of other salespeople in the company, at some point, we would reach saturation point. Inventory turnover was slow due to the company’s high minimum order quantity. We decided to venture outside Auckland, inflate the prices to cover travel cost and make an extra profit. But soon enough, others were filling up their fuel tanks and heading out of town too.


The second thing we realised; we will very soon get bored doing this job. As far as our mission goes, we were making good money. This meant that we were getting better at talking to people, and we were better at deflecting the verbal abuse we received. At times we were able turn a ‘no’ into a sale, simply by making people smile. This became the challenge – how many noes we’d turn into yeses.


Diminishing returns – a classic economic theory says that at a particular point, your return on investment will decrease.


Soon enough, we peaked our time with the company and eventually, we quit. But we learned so much, made good money, and we fulfilled our mission. Our confidence was as high as we could ever imagine.


Whilst pondering on this article when I look at PK, and all the other ministries including churches who operate on the generosity of fellow believers, I am in awe of the awesomeness of our Heavenly Father.


I am thankful that His Kingdom is not bound by the limitations of our economic domain. But we know that He provides through other people.


I am incredibly thankful for the generosity of so many faithful people towards PK. For what has been given to PK over these past weeks during our $9 per month initiative and beyond, I want to say thank you on behalf of the team at PK.


When God created Adam and Eve in His own image, He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply”. (Genesis 1:27-28)


I pray for the abundance of God to be upon you.


In His richest blessings,

Frank Po Ching

Watch this short video on How to Unlock your Unique Potential – Frank Po Ching (1m 10s)