|June 01 2011 | written by: admin|
Many successful people say how grateful they are to the start their parents gave them in life. David Bussau seems an unlikely person to profess that kind of sentiment, yet he is publicly and sincerely thankful for his lot. At the age of eight David and his younger brother were sent by their mother to live in an orphanage. He never saw the rest of his family again. Far from feeling angry and bitter at this abandonment though, David took the best he could from his experiences and used them to propel him forward.
The “Economics of Enough”
He followed his long-instilled work ethic and desire for financial independence, and by 35 he was a multi-millionaire, owning a string of construction companies in Sydney. Eventually though he came to the point of thinking how much is enough? “When I’ve got all I ever need to live on, why am I spending so much time away from my family making more?”
Riches to Rags
He tells the story of a man he met whose wife was expecting their fourth child. The family were tenant farmers who owed money to the landowner in order to live there between the harvest seasons. Their two oldest children, aged seven and eight, were mortgaged to the landowner, and spent their days working in a carpet factory to pay off their family’s debt. The baby, when old enough, would do the same. David lent the family $100 to buy a sewing machine which they could use to make products to sell. They would then pay back both David’s loan and the landowner’s debt completely.
Now, 35 years later, Opportunity International lends out approximately $1 billion annually in small loans like these.
The “Theology of Work”
David Bussau was awarded the Senior Australian of the Year award in 2008 for his work with micro-enterprise and development.