By Nikka Sarthou
Being your own boss, controlling your time, and owning a business–it’s easy to see why many people want to go into entrepreneurship rather than being employed. We collected nuggets of advice and a list of must-do’s for aspiring entrepreneurs.
1. Love what you do
“You need to love what you do, or sell, or offer,” according to Chit Juan, Co-Owner of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle. Early in her childhood, she showed signs of entrepreneurship but only formally started a company after college. She founded a small café outside campus and went into other businesses involving things she liked such as coffee, music, and health, among others. She has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years already. She shares the secret to her success, “Do not get into business for money alone. Yes, you must be financially profitable to be sustainable. But you must also think of your environmental and social impact.”
2. Have a positive mindset
For RJ Ledesma, Co-Founder of Mercato Centrale Philippines, television/events host and book author, it is important to, “Always have a positive mindset into things. Never see failure as failure but an opportunity to learn. Learn the best practices—what works for you and what doesn’t.” Along with other partners, he operates the Mercato Centrale group of weekend markets seen all over the metro. Although they have closed down some market locations, he doesn’t view it as a disappointment but as a learning experience. They have since opened other market concepts and have expanded to out-of-town locations.
3. Create a novel concept
When considering a start-up business, it is important to think of a new idea. Anton Diaz, Founder of OurAwesomePlanet.com, one of the top blogs in the Philippines, believes that, “The concept should be innovative, unique, and/or an improvement of an existing idea. It needs to be exciting to entice people to try and to convert people to become regular customers.” His blog posts about his food and travel adventures have become popular through of word-of-mouth and have gained him an impressive following in the industry. This foodie-entrepreneur also believes, “You should be able to execute and try the concept as fast as you can, and fail as fast so that you can refine into a winning concept. It is important to learn from failures fast and execute the improved ideas faster.”
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4. Be accountable for your actions
Aside from business basics, entrepreneurs should understand the meaning of accountability. “Learn to embrace the responsibility of and appreciate the effects of your decisions; it is, after all, your company and not any one else’s,” shares Danella Yujuico Yaptinchay, a businesswoman who wears a lot of hats. She is currently the Managing Director of Full Suite, Inc. and Maestro (Publisher) of Homegrown Media www.homegrown.ph. Full Suite, Inc. is actually a business that services start-ups and entrepreneurs. Danella joined the company in 2009 and saw the potential of its business model when she met a lot of entrepreneurs from various industries and realized that everyone needs help in one form or another.
Maintain good relationships
Vince Golangco, Founder of WhenInManila.com, a popular online magazine with a community of over 200 contributors, knows that, “Business is all about relationships.” He actually got into the business by accident. He simply loved to write so he started a blog and things happened one step at a time from there. He slowly incorporated the things he learned from business books and turned his blog into an award-winning one. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to have good, trusting relationships with people. You will never succeed on your own.”
Have the heart to persevere
As a young girl, Cris Barancik would sell stickers and stationeries to her friends. In high school, she would supply cakes to her uncle’s coffee shop, and would even organize bazaars during the holidays. Although it didn’t attract a lot of shoppers, she continued to be an on and off entrepreneur for 25 years. “You must have that goal in mind in spite of difficulties and obstacles—there will be many—and not get easily discouraged,” Cris swears by this. “One must welcome challenges and see it as opportunities to learn and improve. If things don’t pan out the way you had hoped, there is always a way around it.” She is currently the Managing Partner of Strategic Vantage Advertising, a below-the-line marketing company that has been around since 2004. For her, “Failure does not define you. It just gives you an opportunity to learn and be better the next time around.”