How Being a “Patel” Made Me Somewhat Successful


While watching The Real Housewives of Orange County yesterday, I was shocked to find out that 4 out of the 6 housewives were broke. I couldn’t find their salaries, but if The Real Housewives of NYC are getting paid $30,000 an episode, the ones in Orange County must be making more.

Even if you account for the recession, there is no reason why these housewives should have financial troubles. The only conclusion I could come to is that they are spending all of their incomes, similarly to 78% of athletes who go broke.

I don’t want to be judgmental because these are their lives, and they can live them however they want. What did occur to me, however, is that if they were a “Patel”, they would have never found themselves in this situation.

There are several reasons why many Patels do well, but the main one is we are cheap.

The primary reason I am somewhat successful, I believe, is because of what my parents taught me when I was growing up. They didn’t groom me into being a businessman, but they taught me what their parents taught them.

Here are some of the things I learned  that helped me as I got older:

Get more for your money

Every time I went to Subway to get my mom a sandwich, I would ask her what she wanted on it. My reason for this was because I knew she didn’t like everything they put on a sandwich such as mustard. But she insisted on getting every condiment they had as long as it didn’t cost extra. It didn’t matter if she liked the items or not. She made sure she got her money’s worth.

You could say my mom’s logic is somewhat flawed, and I would agree. Nonetheless, the experience taught me that you should always try to get more for your money.

You don’t always need to upgrade

One time I convinced my parents to let me rent a movie. When I got to the video store, I saw some Bubblicious Bubble Gum and bought some.

When I returned home, my parents noticed I had the gum in addition to the movie and let me have it for wasting money. I tried to explain that the gum didn’t even cost me a dollar, but they didn’t care. My parents explained that we had gum at home, and even if it wasn’t the same kind, I should have chewed that first instead of buying more.

The point they were trying to make is that gum is gum. No matter what brand you buy, it’ll taste sweet; you can blow bubbles with it; and it usually makes your breath smell nice.

The next time you think about getting something new like a faster computer, ask yourself if you really need it. If your old computer works, does roughly the same thing, and is fast enough, why would you spend money on a new one?

Sometimes you have to lose money to teach someone a lesson

What’s a dollar here or there, right? One time I bought the wrong type of milk at the grocery store. I bought a gallon of the Alta Dena brand and ended up spending about a dollar more than I would for another brand. My parents got so mad that they drove back to the store and returned it for the cheaper milk.

If you take into account the 30 minutes it took them to exchange the milk and the money they wasted driving to the store, they probably didn’t save anything. In fact, I think they even lost money. But if they hadn’t done this, I may not have learned a valuable lesion. It is easier to save money than it is to make it.

Your employees are going to make mistakes. You could yell at them and hope they don’t make the same errors repeatedly, but it might wiser to teach them a lesson. Even if it costs you money, chances are they won’t make that mistake again.

Don’t forget about the holding cost

The other day, I bought $163 worth of groceries on Amazon Fresh. You might be wondering how could I, as a single guy, spend $163 on groceries, right?

On Amazon, if you buy things like soup, cereal, or chicken nuggets in bulk, you can sometimes get 50% off.

So, I ordered 12 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, 8 boxes of chicken nuggets, 12 boxes of burger patties, a 12-pack of yogurt, 6 packs of soup, and everything else I normally need for the week.

I was so happy I got a box of cereal for $2.50 that I called my mom to tell her. Instead of patting me on the back, she yelled at me. She said she could buy the same box of cereal for around the same price, if not less.

But she didn’t get mad because of how much I paid. She was angry because I ordered 12 instead of 1. She explained that by ordering too much food, I was tying up my money on things that I wouldn’t be using any time soon (holding cost). She also said that I could have used that money to potentially make more by investing it in other business ventures or the stock market.

Buyer’s remorse can be costly

By the time I entered high school, I was used to my parents’ way of being, and I started to become cheap too.

One year, when my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told them I wanted a $100 pair of sneakers.

Fortunately, my parents could afford them, and without saying anything, they bought them for me. After getting them, I ended up having buyer’s remorse, and within a few days I had my parents return and replace them with a $60 pair instead.

When I returned the shoes, instead of praising me, my parents explained that buyer’s remorse can be costly. I was able to return the pair of shoes to Foot Locker, but not all stores/companies would have allowed that.

Before you buy something for yourself or your business, make sure you need it. Too many times companies make bad business decisions, waste millions of dollars, and sadly aren’t able to turn back the clock.

You can be too greedy

During the dotcom boom, my parents made a fortune in the stock market. At its peak, my parents were pulling in about $10,000 a day in profit.

The good times ended up lasting for a while, and my parents were pulling money out of the market slowly.

The sad part is that they didn’t pull enough out before the market crashed. The  saddest part is that my parents lost all of their gains and put even more money into the market.

The lesson I learned is that what goes up must come down. There will be times in your life when your business will be booming, and you will be living the good life.

But keep in mind that what goes up, must come down. In other words, when things are going well, don’t wait for the peak before you get out. There is nothing wrong with selling your business early or making some money compared to no money at all.

Arrogance diminishes wisdom

When I was in high school, I got lucky. My business was booming, and I was making six figures. That may not seem like a lot of money to you, but at the time, it was a ton of money for me.

At one point I thought I was so smart and cool that I started becoming arrogant. When my mom noticed my attitude, she told me that I acted like I was “high in the sky.” She was right.

I became so arrogant that I stopped listening to other people, and when you stop listening to  people, you tend to stop learning.

No matter how well you are doing, never become arrogant. If you stop learning, you may stop earning.


As a Patel, I have learned a lot. Many of the things  I learned helped me in my business. I hope what I have shared will help you too.

I am not trying to say Patels are great and that people with different surnames aren’t successful. That’s why I am inviting you to share some of the things you learned as a kid that helped you as you got older.

Every surname has its own story, and it would be great if you shared yours.

P.S. If you want help growing your brand and business click here.


  1. I can’t believe the cheapest groceries are on Amazon Fresh…but still a great post!

    • Well, they aren’t the cheapest, but sometimes you can get them for a good deal…but then again, you also got to buy it in bulk

  2. Neil, I love this article. Just like you, I had similar experiences when growing up in India. When we moved to the US, I had the same experiences with my parents, when we went back to return things we bought we didn’t need etc. Honestly, at that time, I hated doing it, but I like how you view it with a different perspective. I guess if we look at things in the right way, there’s lessons to be learned everywhere!

  3. Malcolm Gladwell essentially uses the concepts in this article as the foundation for his book Outliers. People are a product of how we are born and what we learn as a child. If we learn that saving is a virtue, it will stay with us as we grow older. If we learn that our financial decisions seem to make no impact on our wealth, we spend foolishly even when our wealth shrinks to nothing.

    The question I think is how can an entrepreneur (or just someone with an entrepreneurial spirit) recognize the values she has ingrained in her character, and exploit the beneficial ones while mitigating the hurtful ones to adapt to changing realities?

    • well anyone can recognize the value so long as they OPEN THEIR EYES. Everyone right now pretty much has the opportunity to make it big… not just big, but HUGE. It’s about going out there and taking action, not just planning and preparing for the right time. Now is the time.

  4. Love the article. As for the question, what did I learn as a kid that helps me now? A few things come to mind.

    1. Be kind to others: I got picked on a lot as a kid. Mostly, because I was overweight (read kid in Stand By Me). This taught me to be compassionate with different people and to treat all people with respect.

    2. Working hard is only half of it: I can remember as clear as yesterday the time I was trying to build a fort. I had the nails, the boards. I spent countless hours trying to make it stay up but it would always fall down. I had the desire but not the skill to make it work.

  5. Moderation, Moderation, Moderation. That is what I have learned from being alive for 25 yrs.

    When times are good don’t be consumed by jubilation, just the same, when times are rough, don’t be consumed by depression.

    Ups and downs are a part of life, navigating them is what separates the winners from the losers.

  6. I think you could throw a great party. Who doesn’t love Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds?

  7. I leaned that “take the money and run” is not always the best practice. Even if a business deal looks legitimate on the surface have your lawyers or a trusted third party review the details before you get locked in to a bad situation.

  8. “Arrogance diminishes wisdom” – Well this is something that I need to get more. Hopefully as I progress I have a better understanding on this…

  9. This article made me laugh, some of them typical of being patel! My mum was and her thinking is quite similar to that described in your article -always trying to get vaLue for money. Perhaps because historically they’d struggled in the past…

  10. I learned a lot of things while I was a kid, especially the money matters, as I came from typical Vaniya (baniya) family. But all those things helped me a lot when I went to UK for further studies.

    I literally understood the value of money as I had to convert Indian rupees to great briton pounds.

    Indian culture rocks…

    • Lol… yah, as the money diminishes, you really start to look at it from another perspective. For most people, it motivates them to getting it back.

  11. Blissful Weddings :

    There are two points here, “what goes up, must come down” and “Arrogance diminishes wisdom”, that we all know too well but still forget about them when we needed. That’s because success is a poison to our minds.

    By the way, I happen to have a boss that I respect so much. He’s a Patel, too! But he was moved back to the State by the company (the too-big-to-fail company). He’s a pain to other people but I like his drive and dedication.

    • It’s like anything out there, you can’t expect to be ahead of the pack all the time… it’s just not realistic. Prepare yourself or prepare to fail.

  12. One piece of wisdom I got from R. Kiyosaki: “Getting rich is not about how much money you make. It’s about how much you keep.”

    It fits perfectly with what you’re saying 🙂

    • Robert knows exactly what to do as far as building WEALTH and not just riches… Wealth is called life time success, instead of just having a good year or two.

  13. SAT Study Guide :

    Sounds as though your parents had their heads screwed on right! They may have made mistakes themselves, but they were trying to instill the right thought process in you as you grew up. Sure mine did too – just can’t quite remember it!

    Interesting point about the holding cost of buying in bulk – that one dawned on me recently as well! I didn’t tend to buy bulk to save money, more from a point of view of trying to save time having to go back for the same items all the time – bottles of wine, teabags, coffee etc.

    Only recently I sussed that A) I still had to return for the more perishable items anyway so why not run a standard shop each week and B) I was tying up money I could be better spending somewhere else!

    Another enjoyable post Neil – keep ’em coming 🙂

    • Glad you got my point… and yes, there’s no point in saving an extra 50 cents to have your money tied up for a while… Cash is king in this type of market.

  14. John Bardos - JetSetCitizen :

    Great Subway story!

    I am like that as well. I really hate spending money and I always get moneys worth on the free stuff.

    It is good to be cheap. Spending beyond your means is for fools and bankers.

    • Free stuff and free things is all we want to do. For examples, you can download software, things, E-book by free online and paid online. So we must smart to manage our money well.

    • Yes, it’s a mentality or mindset that one should develop in efforts to create wealth.

      • Unfortunately the cheapness tap has been taken too far – to the border of criminal behavior viz. Indians buying things at Costco and returning it after six months. Shameless people. Lived in East Africa and watched the Gujarati’s from the comfort of their Mercedes cars haggling with the poor African women living a hardscrabble life, bartering down to the lowest possible shilling without any regard for the woman’s basic survival. Then they have the arrogance to criticize the Africans for having nothing, failing to see their own role in it!

  15. haha.. great post Neil. I am proud of the Patel community now 🙂
    On a serious note.. your article points us to a dangerous trend coming up at many places where people have become too consumerist and tend to spend beyond their means. Living within your means and planning your finances is not being cheap. Its the right thing to do.

    • You shouldn’t live within your means, you should live well below your means. That will be the only way you can build wealth.

  16. Many of my classmates in school always wondered by Indians and Asians are so smart. I explain to them that they’re really not much smarter than everybody else they just work harder because they are children of immigrants. Immigrants work so hard because they feel they have to prove themselves worthy of being an American citizen and obtaining the American dream. And that work ethic is passed down to their children. With my parents and other immigrant parents there was no other choice. They didn’t have anything to fall back on. It was either work your ass off and earn a good living or go back to your home country where wages and living conditions are poor. No parents to stay with or ask for money when times are tough. It’s actually the other way around, parents of immigrants expect their children to send money back to the family in the homeland. I’m also proud to be a child of immigrant parents who made it from scratch.

    • It’s because most Americans are just too lazy, compared to someone who comes from another country to start a life here. People living here have it too good and then take things for granted.

      • People who were born in a wealthy country have no idea what it means to be living thinking about what you are going to eat the next day. People from under developed countries will always know how to spend their money wisely. People from these countries are not necessary smarter but they are wiser.

        • It’s interesting how that works… people usually don’t think about that kind of stuff, but it’s actually the reality of how a person’s mindset really works.

          • People who faced harsh times will always think about that. People that lived a happy life and didn’t go through tough times won’t think that way until they will actually be in that kind of situation.

      • I think its a bit disrespectful to call most Americans lazy. All immigrants would do anything do have the same opportunities Americans have. But I know and see many immigrants that work TOO much. They work 24/7 in the family restaurants, gas stations, stores and dont employ anyone outside the family. They spend open till close working, even on holidays. They leave no time for themselves to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

        • Not all Americans are lazy, but there are good amount who are… I wasn’t trying to generalize, I just meant it in in the sense on how hard immigrants try compared to people who are living here. Americans are more likely to take their lifestyles for granted compared to people who decide to migrate over.

      • 行花市 :

        actually americans arent lazy, and many of them have 2 jobs. if you want to see lazy, go to europe. asians are competitive because life is more competitive there. asian americans are even more competitive because only the top of society get visas to the u.s. people often forget that the usa is one of the hardest countries to get a visa.

        • Having 2 jobs is a result of being lazy for a long period of time. US is the hardest country to get a visa because of the opportunity and freedom. People take advantage of that and become lazy or complacent.

  17. What a great article. While it seems that my parents were the same. It sure beats that school of hard knocks. Thank God our parents try to set us up for success. Great comments also.

    • You know that there are so many people out there that take their parents for granted. I appreciate what my parents taught me as it’s what brought me to where I am today.

  18. Can you write a book? i guarantee it will be #1 on amazon

  19. Italian Leather Jackets :

    There is a reason why they put gums, sweets and chocolates at the counter. They are meant to be impulse buys. Thats how lots of stores gain extra revenues.

    Btw, great money saving tips.

  20. Neil -I believe that moderation is key.
    You don’t have to be a cheapskate and count every penny.
    What you preach here is another end of the extreme – scrimping and saving every cent.

    • It’s a mindset. Being froogle will only help you build wealth, not hold you back. The idea is to live below your means.

  21. Same movie yet another reffernce to your name “Patel” 🙂

  22. Rakesh waghela :

    Neil Bhai !

    Kem Cho ?

    I remember one slogan of TimesOfIndia !
    “Patel Inside Intel Outside” 😛

    But I must say Patel Community has come long way to reach what they are today in any part of the world !

    • lol… The Indian community has in general done real well within the last few years.

      • I agree; they are everywhere. Bollywood’s movies are watched by everyone nowadays; ayurveda, yoga, mehndi and turmeric are not ‘strange and foreign’ anymore and there’s very few who haven’t watched ‘slum dog millionaire’. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Dil Se’s “Chaiya Chaiya” song in Clive Owen’s “Inside Man”. The Indian community got here by hard work, embracing the new yet clinging to their old customs and culture, and never, ever giving up. The parents helped a lot 🙂

        Great post Neil and thank you for sharing how your upbringing influenced you work ethics.

        • This is true, Indians are coming up in several of today’s biggest industries. The movie industry has helped Indians grow drastically.

          • The one thing that keeps me coming back to this site is this. Aside from the valuable content that you offer Neil, you always have time to answer each and every one of the comments on each and every post. Speaks volumes about the type of person that you are. I’ll be coming back often. Keep up the great work and keep being you.

            • Well David, since you take the time to write me a comment, I think it only makes sense for me to do the same. I look forward to you seeing my future posts.

  23. Firstly I am quite shocked you being a Gujarati consume chicken?

    • There are a lot Indians who eat meat 😉

      • Well Indians eat but I thought Gujaratis are strict about it. All my Gujarati friends never touch chicken and non-veg :p

        • No necessarily… it all depends on the family’s religious beliefs. There are fare shares of people who do and people who don’t.

          • 行花市 :

            indians are insanely diverse. i have met indians from south africa, mauritius, uganda, fiji, guyana, dubai. they cover all corners of the globe. there was an indian who once joked with me that even on the moon you will find an indian.

  24. Your note on being told off by your mother for buying too many groceries reminded me of a visit I paid to my sister’s home some years ago. My sister proudly showed me that she had stocked up on dozens of canned food. When I asked why she had done that, she explained that she had bought everything at today’s prices – much cheaper than later buying the same things at tomorrow’s prices, she said.

    Made sense at the time, I thought.

    • haha, sometimes it makes sense at the time… usually, you just have to think it through before you make the decision.

  25. My father always use to wonder why peoples buy expensive cars instead of creating businesses with the money, and at the time, I use to think, hey Dad, I’ll really appreciated sitting in that car rather than here.
    now I’m a bootrapper, I understand what my dad meant at the time, when I walk around to shop, I always think, wow 120 $ for these shoes, I could outsource a small plugin for the money, I don’t really need the shoes.

    (beta comment)

    • lol, that makes sense to me. I agree with you… instead of wasting money on shoes, you can use it on things to help your business grow. $120 can go a long way.

  26. I absolutely agree with you Neil. All the things you listed there are a necessity if you want to not find yourself in the situation of being broke. When I buy something I always think what is most suited for me and what offers me the bang for the buck. I don’t feel like buying something more expensive if I already something that works perfect for me and I keep some money at hand in the case an opportunity to make some more appears.

    • Exactly, what’s the point in getting something just a tad bit better… to be with the times? Unless you blogging for a site like or something, staying up to date with the newest electronics is not necessary.

      • Many people want the latest technological gadgets just for the bragging rights. If their neighbor has a 120 cm TV they will by one with 130cm display just to say they are better. I hate this kind of things.

        • That’s just the way the world works… people want whatever’s bigger better and faster… waste of money MOST of the time.

  27. Video Production Cambridge :

    Such a sad story here! Truly an amazing insight to another person’s life. I have personally never encounter these problems at all.

    I had an interesting read when I saw your thoughts on the milk incident. Never knew it was like that 🙂

    Yes I agree. We learn from our mistakes in the past and of course, try not to make the same mistake over again.

    • Yeah, it’s interesting when you hear about how someone was raised to be… when or if you’re a parent, you’ll have the same type of impact on your kids. Hence the importance of raising your parents the right way.

  28. Anand Srinivasan :

    Neil..great post…

    But as someone had pointed above, we need to ensure that we are frugal and not necessarily a cheapstake..The reason being frugal entrepreneurs might save money to invest on something valuable and thus make money..But cheapstakes might forget to invest the money saved thus not earning the ROI the saved money deserves..

  29. Yet again, that was a mindblowing post Neil. Was really entertaining to read through and discover how your parents taught you to save money and the consequent moral behind their logic. The tips you give are absolutely top class. Indeed parents help us out in every step of our lives, showing us the right path to follow and afterwards it’s becomes our decision to become the person whom we want to be….

  30. Mauritius Resto :

    Every part is best in this post but, You don’t always need to upgrade has caught my mind. Why feel the need to buy another car when you have a car which lets you do the same things as will the new car most probably let you do? I actually have the mindset of not changing things until they reach a point where they can’t deliver (PC, TV Sets, Car, Shoes, etc). Yes you save money when you do this. Thanks for this top notch post Neil.

    • People upgrade for the wrong reasons…. to show off their friends or because they’re just being stubborn… It’s a waste of money most of the time.

  31. Chris Peterson :

    Really I learned a lot of things while I was a student, mainly the money issues, as I came from typical middle class family. But all those things helped me a lot when I went to USA for further studies.
    I accurately understood the value of money as I had to convert Indian rupees to dollar

  32. Neil,
    Your posts are always so inspiring!
    I think I may have to start following you more often to learn a lot more. I know I am very wasteful with my spending and could learn to curb my habbits to help with my success!

    Great Post!


    • Unlike others who are posting information on the internet, Neil is doing it from his own experiences and this is something what helps people. You have to be careful to who you are listening to because many people are giving advices while they have no idea what they are talking about.

    • Thanks Darin, I appreciate the praise. Start paying more attention to what you’re spending your money on and then slowly cut out some of things that aren’t necessary for you to have.

  33. What my parents taught me since I am a kid is honestly, be kind to other people, not greedy and to be a useful person in future. I am agree what you said that above.

    • Education received from our parents is what really build our personality for the future. All of your actions are reflected in the way you were raised.

      • Parents do have a lot of knowledge that many of us tend to under estimate. We just have to focus and pay close attention to it… and actually use the advice!!

      • 行花市 :

        i got an uncle who is the cheapest bastard you will ever meet. he is the kind of guy who will take the bus for 3hrs to save $5, instead of taking the train for 1hr. he is also the kind of guy who will dig through other peoples rubish, and use it to furnish his rental properties. his son on the other hand is completely different. he is unemployed, and has a USD$300/month gym membership. has 2 mobile phones, both have 10 megapixel cameras. one of them is the new sony satio. he just got rid of his iphone because its not new enough for him. spends USD$500/night on prostitutes.

    • That’s fantastic advice that your parents gave you Kevin, just be sure to always stay committed to it.

  34. The Classic Carol :

    I learned to seek out quality. A careful investment of a little more upfront money, can result in accessing better quality and extending the use of your cash.

    Psst: you wrote, “I stopped listening to what others where telling me.”
    Should be: I stopped listening to what others WERE telling me.

    • Quality is important, but in these days quality is not what it used to be. Nothing is built to last these days, so there are not big differences between a cheap product and a more expensive one, except the name which is what we are paying for these days.

      • You always have to growing and becoming stronger no matter what. You’ll have challenges and obstacles arise throughout your life, you’ll just have to push yourself to move past them.

    • Thanks for that Carol, I’ll get it taken care of 😉 Quality is much more important than anything else.

  35. Online Profits :

    What my parents taught me is kind of the opposite to your experience… They taught me to believe in and FOCUS on abundance. And that If you concentrate on lack or restriction, you simply amplify this in your experience.
    Instead of shrinking your lifestyle fit your budget, (Restriction)… work to increase the budget to provide the lifestyle you really deserve… (Expansion…)
    Works for me! 🙂

    • Well I never said you should shrink you focus and not “think big”, you should just be froogle with how you spend you money on your path toward success.

  36. Hey Neil,
    I have recently stumbled on your website and love it. I’m a 24 year old first-generation Egyptian kid who’s devoted this time in his life to mentor and teach Middle School and High School students. It’s been a blast, but I know this time period won’t last forever. So, I am slowly beginning my trek for ‘what’s next,’ and much of what I want to do entails seeing needs and meeting them in creative ways–which could lead to starting some sort of business and/or organization.

    I had a similar upbringing as you with my middle eastern parents. I loved it and hated it at times.
    Here’s one (of the many) things that came to mind while reading your post:

    People aren’t paper plates:
    Driven people can really suck at relationships. We pursue people who can get us to the next step, and once they’ve done that, they simply go into our address books until we need them next. My mother was the best at really building relationships. She invited people over for dinner, heard their stories, encouraged and empowered them to pursue their goals, and then she would invite them into her’s. She earned several new clients, several new friends, and made people feel like a million bucks. I’m NOT saying to try to get everyone to like you, we all know that won’t happen–just remember they are PEOPLE…not paper plates.

    • Hey Victor, I’m glad you came across Quicksprout. It is a love/hate relationship… you hate it at first, but when you start to see your bank account grow, you begin to love it 😉

    • 行花市 :

      some of the flashiest people i know are middle eastern. i dont think there is a real stereotypical middle easterner though. i think egypt would be quite different from dubai and bahrain. i see quite a few middle easterners at the trendy shops, and i definitely see them driving alot of feraris and lamborginis. the most interesting thing about it is that they got arab licence plates. i always wondered how they do that. i heard somewhere that they get their cars shipped overseas to get them serviced.

      • I think you’d be over generalizing with that comment. Middle easterner aren’t atomically rich and drive flashy cars.

  37. marcus@how to make money online :

    It is my opinion people go broke because they do not assign the proper value on their money. Does who put in the most effort to succeed are usually better suited to handle their success.

    • People are stupid with their money and that’s the main reason why the majority of people are in so much debt right now.

  38. lung cancer survival rate :

    Take some risk and invest into those with some risk business, just don’t hold back your money and it will depreciate.

  39. Epic post . Please post more articles like these . Personal experiences are worth a lot more than your other generic observations. (not that I don’t like them)

    • Hey Saif, glad you enjoyed it… you’re right, the message from experiences can make a better point than just generic observations.

  40. Ashish Kothari :

    I have heard a lot of Patel-Success stories. And not being a Gujju always wondered what their secret-recipe would be. Thanks for sharing your story Neil – I’m sure there must be more! And Congratulations being a part of those stories.

    That said, what works for one may not work for another person, another community or country. However, we all can learn from others knowledge and mistakes, and reduce our failure-rates. And this is only possible when we have open and healthy dialogue. I enjoyed your post and probably would remember and practice few of them.

    • The Patel analogy was just there to show you that being cheap really helps as far as building wealth in your life, compared to spending everything you earn. Be smart with your money and you’ll notice yourself with huge results.

  41. Great freaking post. I love the Glengarry Glen Ross clip!

    I’m a bootstrapper and I’ve been keeping my expenses low, but I totally feel guilty about how I’ve been spending my money now. (This is a good thing.)

    • Don’t feel guilty about it… just go with it. Good for you for being tight with what you got… it’ll help you in the long run.

  42. The word “cheap” gives a wrong sense of the term especially to non-Indians , it would be better if you called it “practical” I guess . Great post .

  43. Work at Home Money :


    Your parents taught you well. It is important to realize that there are things that money can buy that give you pleasure and it worth the additional cost.

    For example I may spent $60 on sneakers but if I spend $100 and enjoy the $100 pair more and truly derive pleasure from them, then it is worth the additional cost.

    I have always believed in buying the best I can afford and enjoying it for many years.

    In addition it is important to focus on what truly matters. Make wise spending decisions but if you lose money in a venture you have to accept it and move on and not kick yourself.

    Great post Neil and your mom sounds like a super smart woman!

    • More often than not… people end up buying things out of convenience which usually isn’t worth it because too many decisions are made out of spontaneity. Also, if you’re trying to be tight with money because you need it for other purposes, then you should be as careful as possible.

  44. jsut as happy and proud :

    Hello Neil:

    I feel sorry for you that you never tested that different brand of milk.
    -that you never spent whole heartedly to enjoy the other type of joy and experience.
    -And that bubble gum + those young days…yummy
    -And that constant underminding others and constant bargaining.
    -And that constant lieing and manipulating others to get most and give least.
    May be that might have added financial wealth, but gone in a minute!!!

    What goes around, comes around.

    Do you know how many Indians are cheating American Goverment and Honest American citizens? Do you know several Dunkin D, 7-11, gas station owners, and motel owners
    do not pay tax, get financial help. And then call themselves smart!! I urge all readers to pay them with charge card so that they can enjoy sharing their tax obligations just like others.

    I too am an Indian. My parents tought me to respact and trust others. Live honest life. If I can not afford, walk away. I do not need to buy all in sight. And I am not doing so bad by not undermining others!

    • There may or may not be people in these stories doing things that are right or wrong…. what you may mistake these people from doing is finding any possible loop hole to save some money. Something any business owner would do.

  45. Entertaining read Neil and while I don’t necessarily agree with the methods your parents used; I do understand that they did teach you the meaning of the word value. However, what is considered value to one person might not be viewed as having the same value to the next. That’s apparent by your Amazon shopping spree. That’s a lot of cereal!

    But that’s what makes each of us unique. We each have our own idea of what value means. Parents however tend to forget that their children are people with minds of their own, and in a way I envy what your parents tried to teach you because my parents didn’t teach me anything about the value of money.

    Being a parent now though, I am committed to passing along knowledge to my daughter that was never passed along to me. But I’m remembering to do it in a way where she understands the lesson and doesn’t think I’m just harping on her.

    I believe the greatest gift you can receive isn’t just love, it’s knowledge as well. Wrap your knowledge in love and you can’t give anyone anything better!

    • Well you need to understand that every parent, parents their kids differently. You may agree with some things while disagree with others. The thing about my parents is that even though they were strict with their money, it allowed me to be as financially prosperous as I am today…. The advice I’ve been given also allows me to continue growing each and every year.

  46. I feel that lessons which every men learnt themselves from our surrondings make men richer, successful, and honest. The one who learns from every single happenings around him becomes much successful and his successful is sure-fire. So instead reading books, working 9-5 jobs, watching movies and enjoying parties, man should spent his time on valuable thoughts. I remember, the thoughts of man when he is alone determines how he is going to be and also who is he. Patel I push myself one more step in learning things. I am full time online guy running some new blogs and i am sure that i will be in great position with in 1 year. Not sure 🙂 might be tomorrow. Because i am not doing things especially in online career, as others do. I am not trying continuously any online money making opportunity as others do. I learn and move on to next. Because making money is not my aim. I want to build big organization behind me in coming years. Up to that i need this type of motivational posts from you more.

    • Well I wouldn’t suggest something “instead of” when it comes too books. I think most people actually spend too much time as it is watching TV and not reading books. People should dedicate more time learning and growing. Good for you on being aware of what you have going on and moving forward quicker. Short term money isn’t the answer, it’s all about long term wealth.

  47. You eat a lot of cold cereal Neil.

  48. What a great article. While it seems that my parents were the same. It sure beats that school of hard knocks. Thank God our parents try to set us up for success. Great comments also.

  49. The saying Sometimes you have to lose money to teach someone a lesson may not work in all cases. If you think to teach your employees a lesson, you run the risk they leave you alone and its who will be taught a lesson. So be careful as all people are not the same. They might retaliate.

  50. Jay Jalodomisa :

    Hey Neil,

    My best friend growing up was a Patel, his parents owned a local Dry Cleaners, and he sort of described his parents how you described yourself.

    Thrifty, frugal, cheap, whatever you want to call it – it works.

    Proof: 99% of Americans are straight broke, I wonder why?

    Jay Jalodomisa

    • Very true… people just need to learn the art of living below their means. Saving a few bucks here and there can go a long way towards building wealth.

  51. revizyon ile organize matbaacılık brnckvvtmllttrhaberi :

    I love cereal Mike:) It’s the perfect snack and super simple to make. :):)

  52. Sağlık haberleri :

    Great post Neil. I am proud of the Patel community now 😛

  53. Textbook Rental :

    Another good book on this is “Millionaire Mind” by T harv ecker. He describes how Lotto winners and athleets often go broke because they never got the mindset of a millionaire the let the money go as fast as it came and never learned to be a money mannager.

    • Money management is the demise of most people who become too rich too fast. It’s a shame, but you should always look into getting financial help when you’re in that situation.

  54. Nice post. Still I believe the Shah is a better community 🙂

  55. One piece of wisdom I got from R. Kiyosaki: “Getting rich is not about how much money you make. It’s about how much you keep.”

    It fits perfectly with what you’re saying

  56. What a great article. While it seems that my parents were the same. It sure beats that school of hard knocks. Thank God our parents try to set us up for success. Great comments also.

  57. People have the stereotype that all patels are cheap, but in reality we are not all cheap. we just use our money wisely and are always saving that for rainy days. I can share the same experience as neil, I think when deciding to purchase some thing you should always try to save money but if the higher quality item is going to last you longer or perform more efficiently you should purchase it. For example i paint motorcycles and cars as a side business now. I can get a decent spray gun for around $250 that will give me the somewhat the same results as the higher end one. But i choose to purchase the $600 german made one because it has less over spray so i dont need to use up that much paint when painting. When paint coast around $80-125 a quart, it is much better for me to purchase the more expensive paint gun because in the long run i will save material cost.

  58. portable defibrillator :

    I learned to seek out quality. A careful investment of a little more upfront money, can result in accessing better quality and extending the use of your cash.

    • What’s important with investments is doing the research necessary to make the right decision. Not every move will be right, but at least do the research you need.

  59. sell textbooks :

    This is a great post. My parents did the same thing. I had a gas card and he would get so mad if I bought a soda at the gas station because it was almost half the price of a twelve pack ,and if I was going to drink that just I better go to the grocery store where it’s cheaper. Your parents raised you well!

  60. i totally believe that one of the reasons for someone to have economic succes is not having a “rich” mentality, i was speaking to a girlfriend about this, most people with many money that we know have frankly ridiculous needs, so they end up in financial truble

  61. no, of course not but in my experience , if some person comes from a rich family , not always but very often they wont be very concious with money, as i said , its not a general rule but i have seen it a lot

  62. hahaha omg Korean parents are EXACTLY the same.

  63. Well I really appreciate and follow too this VALUE FOR MONEY ATTITUDE well its really common in the MARWARIS and Gujarati I bet you are a Gujarati right? well but this is the only reason that we survived it the recession although it’s over here.

    Well Neil you know I am a becoming a big follower of you man your posts are just awesome and I try to make and learn all these and follow it you know on your time’s not wasted at all you learn great things…..

  64. Great stories. Your stories are somehow related to mine but yours are more brutal. LOL. It’s fun reading your post. I agree mostly in buyer’s remorse. I did that a lot and I could not return back most of the items and most of them are expensive ones. I regret buying them.

    You’ve helped me so much through this blog. Thank you, Neil.

  65. Hi Neil

    The greatest Patels I have met in my lifetime are Cricket players, Hockey players, Doctors and Dairy owners and from my knowledge, they came to be successful because of the sheer hard and smart work.
    Your parents certainly are on my wave length. I have taught my children many money skills such as budgeting. I have taught my daughter since she was a little girl about the importance of money. She is always aware of bargains and the importance between needs and wants.

    She is married now and practices what I have preached to her.

    Your parents have taught you well Neil. I have also been in many situations your parents have taught you. I am aware of every dollar that comes out of my pocket. There have been many times when I have been to a movie or show or some type of entertainment and as soon as I see the price I turn around and go home.

    Even when I’m buying something at the shop. For example my wife and I went to have a look at a computer table in the staionary warehouse and looked at the prices, $50 here and $60.00 there. I eventually said to my wife, we might as well retain the none we have or keep the small table a friend gave us for free. It is small but it was free.

    I can honestly say, I have often thought twice before I buy anything. I can vouch for buyers remorse.

    Thanks again Neil


  66. Hahah, this is great! Had many similar experiences in my childhood too =p

  67. I hope your parents haven’t read this article :P.. However, you shared some nice experiences with us and i would like to share mine. First off, i am not that kind of person who thinks before spending onto anything. Even i have got a few people who work for me and some of them don’t even fit in their job roles but i still pay them and love to get along with them. That’s what i learned from my parents to help anyone who is in need whatever the circumstances are. They used to ask me a lot where did i spent my pocket money and i was always annoyed by such interrogations. But now, i am independent and happy to spend my money wherever i can.

    Lesson i learned from it; always listen to others but do whatever you feel is right for you. Don’t let anyone influence your decisions whoever he/she is.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with the lessons you have learned. Hopefully these lessons you have shared will be helpful to others.

  68. “Bahu Saras”, Awesome article and insight. Being Gujju even I am brought up with the same culture at India. This made me think that our roots are so strong and this thing we must learn and teach to our next generation.

  69. Hey Neil thanks a lot for sharing your personal experiences, it was really great and I too learnt many good things from this wonderful article which from now on-wards I am going to implement in my life, that would help me in getting successful.


  70. Mahesh Makvana :

    Thanks for a nice post over here 🙂

    Patels are successful in almost all the businesses they do. I belong to Baladia (Gujarat-India), the village where 90% of population is of Patels. They just believe in doing hard work and praying to god, they believe doing things themselves rather than depending on others. That’s why the village I live in has almost all the facilities, thanks to the Patels.

    Most of the Patels have immigrated to countries like USA and UK, still, they do love their motherland and send-in the donations to develop the village.

    I’m sure all the Patels would be proud of you, as you’ve got awesome success in Internet Marketing Business.

    I’ve a dream to visit USA once a time, if it comes true, we’ll be sharing the drinks together 🙂

    Thanks once again for such a great article and keep inspiring us with your articles.


  71. Yes! Patels are the Gujarati people who are most successful in our race, its also accepted fact by people and experienced also by me being Gujarati. Well explained facts here..! Great!

  72. These are the facts which are truly related to Patels and somewhat to Gujarati’s also, We GUJU rocks !

  73. Jessica Trellio :

    I am proud of the Patel community now
    On a serious note.. your article points us to a dangerous trend coming up at many places where people have become too consumerist and tend to spend beyond their means

  74. Karthikh Venkat :

    Well explained facts here..! Great!

  75. Only a cheap mercenary Patel would find logic or merit in this article. What a crappy life to live when all that matters in life is money – and that too cents , Not even an amount of any consequence Feel sorry for you . You are just brainwashing your self to believe what your parents taught you is of any value. They are as cheap as you and this is your way of justifying your cheapness. Yikes!!

    • Hey Nandita, thanks for sharing how you feel. You make some good points, but I am happy with my life and what I learned. It may not work for everyone, but it worked well for me.

  76. Nandita is exactly right.Patel’s are the cheapest & rudest people on earth.I had one manager who was a Patel…..thinks he is the smartest….outright cheap & rude.Surprisingly he works in a professional job….he should go back to opening a indian grocery store or managing a dirty motel or owning a gas station….what the heck is Patel doing a Desk job.Each & every Patel I met are this way…I swear.Mr Neil is now trying to make this post a business(only in his dreams,typical Patel thinking,cheap…)……try opening a Dunkin Donuts or Subway…which are mostly managed by Patels…not people from other parts of India(North & south Indian people are very professional,respectful,live a good life.

    • Gov, sorry you feel that way. You should definitely not bring this type of mentality into any business setting. Stereotypes like these can land you in some big trouble.

  77. India, the world’s toilet

  78. Neil, no doubt there is wisdom in your article and some good aspects associated with your surname. Your article, however, only tells half of the story. It leaves another sickening half part of it. Patel’s are shrewd businessmen and with their shrewdness, they have taken small hotel/motel industry to a next level, but it only downward pretty close to slums and ghettos of India. Their motels stink, are filthy as hell and are mostly manned by rude people that barely speak English but spew profanity like cannons. Many of them have been prosecuted for tax fraud, loan fraud, money laundering, insurance fraud, underpaying employees, building code violations, etc. Many motel Patel’s face class action lawsuit and immigration violation. Not judging all Ptels per se, but pointing out some dangerously dark aspects of a group of people who could do much good to the American society. While they own and operate American slum hotels, they brag about mahals they built for themselves in India. Patels reportedly have the worst record of giving to US charities or non profit organizatioss. I know a Patel who sweats blood when it comes to donating $25 for local police program while he spends thousands of dollars on alcohol each year. Why, just why all of the above?

    • I don’t know why some people do those things, I guess it’s just bad habits they’ve picked up and haven’t let go. It definitely doesn’t apply to all…

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