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Poke the Box: Compounding Goodwill

Let’s Start with Safal Niveshak
Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak in the last week…

Book Worm
Stephen King’s book On Writing had been lying in my anti-library for quite sometime. Every time I would go near my bookshelf, the book seemed to catch my attention, as if asking, “Dude, are you ever going to read me?”. When I couldn’t tolerate its stare for many weeks I finally picked it up.

Let me share some ideas from the book which I found intriguing.

King writes –

“…books are uniquely portable magic. I usually listen to one in the car (always unabridged; I think abridged audiobooks are the pits), and carry another where I go. You just never know when you’ll want an escape hatch: mile-long lines at tollbooth plazas..airport boarding lounges. At such times I find a book vital.”

All great writers are voracious readers. For them reading comes first and writing is more of a byproduct of reading so much. It’s a myth that good writers spend all their time writing. They spend as much time, if not more, reading as they spend for writing.

So read, read, read and it will show up in your writing.

Another interesting insight that I found in King’s book is that an engaging piece of writing, especially a work of fiction, leaves quite a lot of room for reader’s imagination to fill in the details. For example, while describing a room, you may not give all the finer details about it, like the colour of ceiling or the size of the windows. Let the reader fill in those details and make the story his own creation.

You may be interested in reading and writing non-fiction but don’t forget – to effectively communicate your ideas, you have to be a great story teller. So learning the art of writing fiction cannot be ignored completely.

King’s book is a must read for every aspiring writer. And if you have a blog – you are a writer. If you don’t have a blog, then start one. Your tribe is waiting for you buddy!

Stimulate Your Mind
Here’s some amazing content we have read in recent times…

Poke of the Week – Compounding Goodwill


Einstein said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder.” If you understand the basics of compounding, you would tend to agree with Einstein’s statement. There is immense power in compounding. A small amount of money left for compounding for a very long time, even at a modest rate, can turn into a staggering sum.

But what most people miss is that the real beauty of compounding lies not in wealth creation, but in another, more important area of life too. It’s called goodwill that you create in this world.

In his book, Education of a Value Investor, Guy Spier writes about Mohnish Pabrai …

“…over the past ten years, I’ve repeatedly observed how he looks to see what he can do for others, not the other way round…By acting this way, I could see that Mohnish created an incredible network of people who wish him well and would love to find ways to help him and thank him for his kindness. This is the extraordinarily powerful effect of compounding goodwill by being a giver, not a taker. And as he has taught me, the paradox is that you end up receiving infinitely more in life by giving than by taking.”

Here is an excerpt from a recent post of Jana Vembunarayanan –

“In the month of March, I was very lucky to attend the talk given by Mohnish Pabrai and Guy Spier at Stanford Business school. T​he core theme of the talk was centered around the concept of giving without expecting anything in return. Guy drew a chart on the board which I redraw below with my own annotations.


He told us to be a giver without expecting anything in turn. In the first few years one won’t see much happening to their goodwill account. But as years progress, goodwill snowballs and starts to grow exponentially. Buffett’s goodwill account is at its peak and still growing at alarming rates.”

True gifts bring people closer together. An unconditional gift, one given with nothing expected in return, can change everything. It creates conversations and spread ideas. It opens doors and creates forward motion.

So what value are you adding to the world? What is it that you’re giving out without any expectation of returns?

As with all matters of compounding, the sooner you start the longer runway you’ll get.

Start today!

To write better, read more.

Goodwill is more important than money…go compound it.

Be kind to others, and to yourself.

Keep poking.

Stay happy, stay blessed.

With respect,
Vishal & Anshul
Chief Pokers – Poke the Box

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About the Author

Anshul Khare worked for 12+ years as a Software Architect. He is an avid learner in various disciplines like psychology, philosophy, and spirituality with special interests in human behaviour and value investing. You can connect with Anshul on Twitter.


  1. Very good topic on compounding, Vishal ji,

    Just like in money compounding matters…people can’t wait for long to get result.
    Same happens in reputation compounding also, i knew friends since college days….(its 13 yrs since l passed out) somewhere good and honest but that thing didn’t make much difference to us and we didn’t value them as a special person.

    But now being in the real world outside college and after reading buffet, indian literature and biographies of good Indian leaders across all strata I came to know what is the real value of that guy.
    Vishal ji in our day to day affair also we give less weightage to honest / good people and treat them as a “run of mill” type people. Acutally that shouldn’t be the case. This is a rare quality in modern times and in line with what buffet says, ”honesty is expensive don’t expect it from cheap people”, we should honor it and treat the individual who possess them as special one.

    In our hold marriage system also, if somebody is in search of the spouse generally our elders wish and see to it that we marry in family with high reputation and not money. But now a days moral standards are getting low and we are giving money first priority over the reputation and suffer its consequences.
    Not only in marriage but actually in all our day to day affairs we get short term benefit (money, some favor etc) but over a long term we bear its adverse consequence (eg. Betray, & other stuff coming on crime serials based on real life….etc)
    Good topic.
    God bless.


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