When I officially launched my advertising network platform on June 30th of this year, I received nothing but astounding support from my family, my personal friends, and my business colleagues. You see, I started on entrepreneurship in 2009. I came from a middle-class family and during my younger years, all I remember was that both of my parents were managing my grandparent’s bakery business. It was the first bakery within our neighborhood. Since childhood, my body had already accustomed itself to waking up early in the morning. So every weekend, after waking up, I would excitingly fix my bed and head straight to our store to assist Mama and Papa. I would accept and prepare orders of our suki. Sometimes, I would go along with my dad in delivering pandesal house-to-house to our patrons. These simple joys I will always remember.
However in 1997, brought about by competition and economics of inflation, the family business failed and money matters had become one of the factors that led the then first year high school student teenager experienced what a broken family was. Frankly, all I could ever care about that time was how to survive my schooling and not lose my academic scholarship. Being the eldest among the siblings, I pretty much learned what rough times were at a young age. I also learned how valuable Patience was and to work on things slowly but surely. That time, I simply wanted to finish high school. So I did.
Going to college was another story though. I was fortunate to receive another scholarship but, coming from an environment where almost everything you did when you were younger was dictated by people around you, I messed up my college studies big time. Why? Because the freedom I had was overwhelming to the point that I lost control of my priorities. No professors to tell you what and what not to do as they really would care less because you are already a young adult and expected to come up with your own sane decisions. You could choose to miss classes just because you wanted to or because your classmates or college friends would invite you for a drinking session. I enjoyed my freedom to the extent that I suffered horribly from the consequences of having one.
I dropped out of college and one year after, I applied for another scholarship from the same school. Thankfully, I got accepted and became one of the student assistants at the college library. From being a stowaway, transitioning back to yet another disciplined setting became quite a challenge at first. But God has always been kind to me and our College Librarian that time was patient enough in dealing with students like me, yung mga nagbabagong buhay. Then eventually, she became more like a mother-figure to me and to the other student assistants of my batch in the library, who also became my best of friends up to this day. Unfortunately, after a year and a half as a student assistant and being a pasaway that I was, I did one wrong thing and I was out of the scholarship program despite our college librarian defending me in the best ways she could from the school administrator. Oh, well…
At the age of 20, I found myself working at one of the pioneering contact centers in the Philippines. More than a decade ago, using English as my secondary language was a struggle. When I was around my co-employees conversing in English fluently, nakaka-intimidate na nakaka-challenge. Magpapatalo ba ako? Of course not! The first call center company I worked for molded me to become a good English communicator and a hardcore sales person for one of the leading computer manufacturers in the US. 13 months after, I got bored and wanted to try something new. I ended up working for a US financial institution, which greatly taught me how to give satisfactory customer service to their clients. Yet again, I got bored so I quit the job and moved on.
Having learned some basic Psychology in my college years (my last major, actually), I knew there was something in my mind that needed addressing and resolving. I couldn’t seem to enjoy being in a contained environment. I disliked routines. As much as I am grateful to the industry that taught me self-confidence, sales skills, and customer relations, I still felt like the BPO* industry was a dead-end career for me. I didn’t enjoy corporate politics and I didn’t like the thought that I was working in that industry because I didn’t have any other choice.
When I was a child, I had a huge thirst for knowledge and discovery. I enjoyed playing with small, battery-operated motors from my toy cars. I loved experimenting on my father’s two-way radio to be able to communicate with different people from faraway places. I always woke up with enthusiasm to learn how other things work. I would find soldering electric wires a fun thing to do. I wanted to create and improve things around me. I would enjoy being alone and just spent the whole day in my mini-workshop at home and bring my ideas come to life. I just… I just had the passion to build things.
So after a total of 26 months working in the BPO, I decided to get out of the corporate world and figured out what I wanted to do with my life. In 2009, I had a turning point and went on to become an entrepreneur. Back then, I knew nothing about becoming a businessman. All I remember was that when I was also a child, I created a sort of small office in our house and imagined that I was the boss of my own company. In reality, this small office had become my study area and a place where I could write down ideas and plans of my next creations – ala Dexter’s Laboratory.
Some visual recollection of my childhood memories may not be completely clear but the feelings from those are present up to this very day. For someone whose parents failed in the field of entrepreneurship, things were hard for me as I began my first business seven years ago. My parents didn’t teach me anything about managing a startup. I went bankrupt in 2013 and lost almost all material things I invested in the past 4 years. I didn’t have any savings when this happened and I was left virtually with nothing. Fast-forward to 2016, I have established my second company from scratch. Almost a month after launching my new project, it has started to pickup clients. A great start indeed!
It is true that entrepreneurship is hard as it is rewarding. I cannot emphasize enough that if there’s a slightest chance today that you see yourself becoming an entrepreneur someday, you consider going for it as early and as soon as possible. Fail hard, fail fast.
I know there are a lot of you who wanted to start your business but are afraid to do so. Today, I’m creating a new section in my blog called “Business 365”. This will be my business journal, which I will share the failures I had in my journey towards entrepreneurship and the lessons I gained from it. And yes, I also intend to share with you stories about any progress of my new company. If you are an entrepreneur or currently considering being one, let’s connect! Subscribe to my Mailing List so I can easily update you of my new posts. Let’s exchange ideas and help each other out. Cheers to our success and to improving our country together!