“If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.” – Luke 11:36

The student feedback at the two guest lectures which I was invited to give to MBA and MSc. Finance students at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad over the past 10 days, was a source of great stimulation.

They responded positively to the logical, memorable and succinct description of the 5M start-up business construct “Model – Management – Mindset – Mentoring – Money” as well as to the hypothesis that the “shepherding as collateral” concept “mitigates the risk of business failure and hence secures the financial investment”.

Reflecting on this dialogue with the students as a source of material to compose this column, divine inspiration led to my weekly column of January 12, 2004 entitled “Holistic Business Capital” and I decided to repeat some of the content of that column since it is still very relevant to our challenges in 2015, 11 years later.

“As we embark on a new year, each and every one of us should take an inventory of the holistic capital available to us in the developing of our businesses and ensure that all parts are well-lubricated and working well. If any specific component is missing then we are well advised to rectify the situation since ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’.

“Human capital is our most important asset and should be developed to the fullest. It is, therefore, incumbent on the public and private sectors to work together to ensure that opportunities exist for us all to move rapidly towards our potential.

“Intellectual capital, which is to be found in the form of intellectual property or knowledge, has to be managed in an effective way to take advantage of the opportunities created by the information technology and telecommunications revolutions which we are privileged to experience.

“Physical capital, in the form of equipment and machines, helps us to improve our productivity and enhance our competitiveness. In emerging nations, such as the Caribbean, physical capital is usually imported because of our small economies.

“Natural capital consists of land, mining, marine, energy and water resources but these have not been fully exploited.

“The management of our Financial capital leaves something to be desired because we have not mastered the art of matching financial instruments to meet the needs of our development. (As Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, the author of The Mystery of Capital (2000) has said, ‘Capitalism has lost its way in developing countries.’)

“As we traverse the globe, one recognizes the diversity of Cultural capital that exists as we move from one region to another. If we were to evolve towards cultural partnerships, the synergy of interaction could probably make a lasting impact on our economies.

“Social capital is the newest form of capital that is being developed, and according to Robert Pullman, refers to features of social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit. The Latin American community is also beginning to awaken to the massive latent potential of social capital. International experience suggests that nations with more social capital enjoy stronger economies and greater democratic maturity. This fact is evidence of the imperative necessity to create conditions that foster the basic components of social capital, such as a cooperative community, interpersonal trust and a broad social conscience.

“The final type of capital is Spiritual capital which is, probably because of our treatment of spiritual matters, not immediately recognized as an important component of business capital but, of course, it is the greatest of them all. The general definition of Spiritual capital is the capacity for love. Relative to the economic aspect of human life, the definition of spiritual capital is of a more restricted nature: spiritual capital is an illumination unto man about the possibilities and trends of such modification of the human environment that will allow us to make the economic activity of man more productive, and his life – more decent (Kandalintsev 1997). To effect this let us then continually draw on the Mind of the Universe.”

The foundation planks for the 5M business construct are the inventor, innovator, entrepreneur, shepherd as a life coach (mindset stimulator), shepherd as a business mentor and investor who provides the money. The corporate governance, marketing, operations, human resource development and investment finance functions of a business are all managed by people. Hence the conclusion that our people are our most important asset and should be developed to their fullest potential.

Each of us has a life. We have a mind, a body and a soul which we must nourish so as to achieve the fullest potential which will then in turn boost governance, sales, human productivity, creative investment and profitability on the journey to sustainable development.

Each of us has a responsibility to continually train our minds through the many new ways that are available in the Information Age. We are, therefore we can, therefore we will.

Each of us has a responsibility to maintain a healthy body by practising preventive health, balanced nutrition, regular exercise, aim to stay on the high road of stress free living, and weave a web of all encompassing love.

We must all affirm our abundance in our careers, finances, spirituality, relationships, health and personal philosophies as spiritual beings mastering an earthly experience.

Remember that each Life stands under a beam of Light which draws its energy from an infinite pool of Love.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His columns may be found at and

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