Archives for February 2016

Design: More Than Meets the Eye

I’ve been intrigued by the concept of having great design. The thing about design is that there is more to it than meets the eye. It requires a deeper understanding of what individuals need and like. For example, for interior designers to create a lovely home for a family, they need to check on the personality of each one and really get to know them. They will need to find that perfect rendition and combination of the style and design that each family member wants and possibly needs.

Nowadays, how a person designs their site and social media accounts also speaks a lot about their personality. You’ll notice that a lot of writers, bloggers, graphic designers, photographers give people an idea about who they are as a person through the work that they create.

I love how we can get to know people by just looking at their blogs or Instagram accounts (not through stalking), but through analyzing how they express themselves through design and images.

For those who are intrigued by design, beautiful things and the story behind it, you might want to attend the following workshops on February 27, 2016.

MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Workshop-Mobile-Photography-Poster-2016-02-25-Rev2

You can sign up here: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/4-corner-story-a-mobile-photography-workshop-with-shiela-catilo

BASIC INTERIOR STYLING

BASIC INTERIOR STYLING

You can sign up here: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/basic-interior-styling-2

See you! 🙂

 

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When the Hum Stops

It’s funny that someway, somehow, life gives you something right at the perfect moment. It is as if for some reason, when you’re about to give up and every thing seems to be hopeless and meaningless, the world gives you something — something that inspires you and nudges and pushes you back right on track. That something may be a call from a friend, a kiss from a loved one, a passage from the Bible, a story form a stranger that you just met, a hug, and that something ultimately makes you feel alive and whole again.

That something for me was this Ted Talks video from my idol Shonda Rhimes. For those who don’t know her, Shonda Rhimes is the “titan” behind all of my favorite shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal. I suggest that you watch her in this talk from TED.

I woke up, feeling better than I did last night. Last night, I had tummy cramps every so often and each cramp left a trace of pain that would build up and build up and build up. I found out I had GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). And the funny thing about having it is that I was not surprised it happened. When I work, I lose track of time. I forget to eat, but surprisingly, I don’t forget to to drink coffee. I think of coffee as food and as something that keeps me going and it keeps me sharp. This is actually how I live and I’m not proud of it. I know that this kind of lifestyle isn’t healthy and I know i’m just waiting for attacks of pain, just like this one.

“When I’m hard at work, when I’m deep in it, there is no other feeling. For me, my work is at all times building a nation out of thin air. It is manning the troops. It is painting a canvas. It is hitting every high note. It is running a marathon. It is being Beyoncé. And it is all of those things at the same time. I love working. It is creative and mechanical and exhausting and exhilarating and hilarious and disturbing and clinical and maternal and cruel and judicious, and what makes it all so good is the hum. There is some kind of shift inside me when the work gets good. A hum begins in my brain, and it grows and it grows and that hum sounds like the open road, and I could drive it forever. And a lot of people, when I try to explain the hum, they assume that I’m talking about the writing, that my writing brings me joy. And don’t get me wrong, it does. But the hum — it wasn’t until I started making television that I started working, working and making and building and creating and collaborating, that I discovered this thing, this buzz, this rush, this hum. The hum is more than writing. The hum is action and activity. The hum is a drug. The hum is music. The hum is light and air. The hum is God’s whisper right in my ear. And when you have a hum like that, you can’t help but strive for greatness. That feeling, you can’t help but strive for greatness at any cost. That’s called the hum. Or, maybe it’s called being a workaholic.” – Shonda Rhimes

Going back to that something that comes at the perfect moment, when you least expect it, it happened just about 30 minutes ago. I’m here lying on my bed, because this stupid pain on my tummy keeps bothering me. I know i’m sleepy so I try to watch a a few movies on Netflix, but nothing catches my attention. I decide to open TED instead to watch videos (wooohoo! This is my idea of fun!) and the one that catches my attention is obviously this video of Shonda Rhimes, my ultimate idol (yes, I know, I’ve said that). I have admired her for the longest time and when I saw the title of her talk, “My year of saying yes to everything”, I wanted to watch it immediately. I thought she was going to talk about how saying yes to everything gave her this successful career and status that she has, but it was about saying “yes” to playing with her child for 15 minutes.

After watching the video, I cried. I kept on saying “Damn, you Shonda! You’re just amazing! I hate you” over and over again. I hated her because she hit me right on the mark. I hated her because she made me feel better; I felt like someone understood how I was feeling.

The honest truth is that I love working. I love working, and at times I think I’m wonderful, noble, admirable, impressive, but sometimes, I think i’m irresponsible, unreasonable, pathetic and pitiful. My life has become unbalanced. This annoying pain in my tummy makes that evident. I don’t know how to go out on dates anymore with my husband, as I constantly need to check my phone. I don’t know how to play with my daughter, as I constantly think of the next business strategy that I need to map out while building lego blocks. Planning my daughter’s birthday party has become an event with a matching keynote presentation that I planned to present to her teachers. Things that can be turned into a business excite me now over things that I used to love, like new restaurant finds, new flavors of ice cream, a new dress, etc.

Then there came a time during the past few months when the hum stopped for me. I was overworked, depressed all of the time, tired, frustrated, angry a lot of times. And now I know that it was because, I lost that inspiration — I couldn’t hear that “hum”.  I was so focused in working my ass off that I forgot to “play”.

I have forgotten how it is to live and appreciate the seemingly mundane things in life. I have set aside going out on dates with the husband, playing with my daughter, going out on night outs with my friends, watching movies, going on ME-time shopping sprees, etc. I have forgotten that these simple things but are really important and it’s what makes living fun and life worth living.

So, thank you, Shonda Rhimes, for showing me that working is okay, for as long as I inject “play” time. Thank you for reminding me that work hum becomes more meaningful if mixed with play hum and love hum.  Thank you for singing out load to make me hear that hum again.

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All about Coding and What Stops us from Learning New Things

As you may have heard, I am part of three teams / companies that are creating mobile applications. Oh, I am not a techie person, and my I don’t have any IT experience, except blogging (if you even consider basic HTML commands as valid IT experience). What I know though is that technology is and will continue to change industries and lives of people. I believe in that and that is the reason why I want to be part of this industry — to make disruptive changes.

For one of the tech companies that I am involved in, from the time we started, we didn’t have any tech partner. It has been a source of lots of problems. The major concern is that we have been delayed with our launch because of this, but fortunately, we found a new partner / provider that can help us develop an upgraded version of the app.

Having this problem has made me and my friend (also with a marketing background) think about learning programming and coding. We are both ladies, who have no experience in programming (oh except the time in HS where we had basic programming and we would copy our classmate’s work), and the only reason why we want to learn how to code is to know more about it. We know that we can’t be experts and it may even take time before we can develop our own application, but having the knowledge of how it’s done can help us explain better what we want to our partners and providers.

Right now, I’m learning Python, since this is what my husband (who by the way is an excellent programmer) said I should start with.

Python.001

I’m 39% done, but I must say that this has made me realize a lot of things. It made me think of what stops us from learning new things. One of the things that I realized is that it takes a certain passion and patience to continue on and to learn. There are so many distractions and it takes someone with a certain level of persistence to finish courses and even to finish a chosen book.

A tip that I have gotten from this experience is find that single reason why you want to learn. It may be to improve your business, to improve your career, to impress others, to impress a loved one — any thing. This will be enough motivation for you to keep on learning. My personal motivation is because a lot of the things that I am doing now requires at least a basic understanding of coding or programming. This is why I am being a patient student and I’m trying to learn everything I can.

What will motivate you to learn? Find that motivation and embrace learning!

 

 

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Search for that thing that you Love Doing

When I was young, not to brag, I never had a hard time looking for love. My family and friends would say that I was the “ligawin” type. Although, I am a bit naive and dense when it comes to knowing though if a person likes me. It may be that or probably the fact that when I set my eyes on someone, he becomes my whole world. Anyway, this isn’t about my love story with EJ, but it’s a story about searching — searching though for the thing that you love doing.

I wasn’t that lucky though in searching for that one thing that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I was younger, I used to admire my friends who landed their first job / business and loved immediately and wholeheartedly. Until now, most of them are still in that same company, doing the same profession, and still managing their businesses. During those years, I was pretty envious. They were so successful already, earning probably millions of pesos and I was stuck with the feeling that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

I kept on searching and kept having an open mind. I have gone through a lot of businesses and side jobs, and believe me, when I say a lot — I mean A LOT!

Then the time came when I was creating events for Manila Workshops as a side business. I wanted to set up events so that I could use it as a tool to look for the business that I would eventually start. After a few runs, I realized that this (creating events) was the thing that I loved doing and it was there all along. It was right under my nose and I failed to notice it!

Fast forward to today, 3 years after, we are incorporating the business (from being a sole proprietorship). Also, I just came from Davao to conduct an onboarding session for my team there. I still couldn’t believe that I expanded the company from just me and my husband doing all the legwork for Manila Workshops to a team of 30 people now, helping out cascade the vision of Manila Workshops to our countrymen here in the Philippines.

Keep on searching

Looking back, there are so many things that I have learned and that I am grateful for, which I hope will help you also.

1) Never just settle. Settling is having that feeling that you know that one thing isn’t right for you, but you just “go with the flow” since it’s comfortable. It has to be something that makes you incessantly and ridiculously happy.

2) Love and believe in yourself. You deserve more than this comme ci-comme ca life. Believe that you got what it takes. All you need is to love yourself enough!

3) In searching, listen to the voice within. Listen to what other people say, consider what they say, but follow your heart. You know what’s best for you. You know what will make you happy. You know what will make you sleep well at night.

And the last thing that I learned is that the search for that thing that you love doing may seem like forever, but be patient. Be positive that you will find it. It may come early or late in life, but at least you get or will get to experience doing that thing that will make your heart leap every single day!

Loving and caring for you,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. Happy Valentines Day! 🙂

PPS. Please support the EUREKA Collection of @flufflypwets FPx Ginger which inspires children to go for what they want to be! Click on the image below to purchase this diaper or shirt!

Fluffypwets

 

 

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Creating Beautiful Pictures on Instagram

One of the effective ways to get advertisers for your blog is to show them how high the engagement is for your posts in social media are. My engagement in Facebook is high, but I still need to work on Instagram. Increasing followers on Instagram is so hard since you need to have amazing photos. Especially  for entrepreneurs with products that are highly visual (like food, crafts, and other pretty stuff), you need to take amazing photos.

Admittedly, I need help with mobile photography and I know a lot of bloggers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, etc. need help with this also. It was just recently, from my team Memory Crafters, that I got to learn the term “flat lays”. Haha! I didn’t even know what it was for the longest time and I never bothered to ask.

There are a lot of things that we need to learn about Mobile Photography, particularly taking photos for Instagram, and a learning about it will make branding and business sense.

A-4-CORNER-STORY-1-724x1024

 

Join us this coming Saturday and do bring your loved one as we learn about this amazing world of Mobile Photography! We will learn it from none other than my friend and very talented photographer, Sheila Catilo. In this event, Sheila will teach the basics of Mobile photography and her unique ways on how you can express and tell your story through your photos. Get to know her exceptional styles, tips and tricks and experiences in the industry.

WORKSHOP OUTLINE
I. Introduction

II. Mobile phone basics
A. Exposure
B. Focus
C. Functions
D. Strengths and weaknesses

III. More than just a picture
A. Defining your objective
B. Identifying your subject
C. Finding your style
D. Knowing your audience

IV. Telling your story
A. Finding your light
B. Rules of composition that work
C. The importance of timing
D. A sense of context
E. Captioning

V. Editing before you click
A. Cleaning up the frame
B. Styling your shot

VI. Choosing photography apps and accessories
VII. Editing and sharing your photos
VIII. Loading up on inspiration
IX. Practice makes perfect (SHOOT PROPER)
X. Constructive critique session

About Sheila 🙂

1653399_10152009709701406_1875042325_nSheila first fell in love with photography when she got a Canon Pixma for her 9th birthday. Back then, they were inseparable. By the time she was in high school, she volunteered to be their school paper’s photojournalist using her uncle’s old SLR to take pictures and join contests, saving her allowance to buy film, develop the photos she took and share them with her family and friends. It didn’t really occur to her that she would eventually do it for a living, but to her, being a photographer now is like ending up with her childhood sweetheart.

She is happily married to her best friend and co-photographer, Jorem Catilo and full-time mom to 3 little girls who she cannot stop shooting. Her Instagram account is evidence to this fact. Check it out through www.instagram.com/sheilacatilo/.

Please do join us on February 27 (It was moved from Feb. 13). Sign up here: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/4-corner-story-a-mobile-photography-workshop-with-shiela-catilo

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Having that Millionaire Mindset

A few years ago, I was someone who thought differently in terms a lot of things. One of those things was money. I had a change in mindset, somewhere along the way, about money, and it has help me a lot and terms of reaching for my goals. There was a time (seemed like a long time ago) when I thought that a lot of the speakers who talked about mindset when it came to money were all just talking bullshit. But after changing my mindset, everything was clearer. I realized that these speakers knew what they were talking about.

Image of pink piggy bank surrounded by stacks of dollar bills

Image of pink piggy bank surrounded by stacks of dollar bills

What was the change in mindset?

#1 Being a billionaire or millionaire shouldn’t be your end goal

I forget how I actually changed how I viewed money, or when exactly that change wash was. But, what I remember, is thinking that money should be a means to an end. It shouldn’t be the end goal, or the be all of everything. The thing that I noticed about people, is that they put so much weight into earning a lot of money and then they set their end goal to be millionaires or a billionaires. Being a millionaire, billionaire, a unicorn, etc. has been something that people aspire to be and I’ve noticed that if they set it as their end goal, they put so much pressure on themselves to achieve these.

When I was in my early 20s, I wanted to be a millionaire when I reached 30. I placed so much weight on the peso value that I forgot to focus on what is more essential. The more essential aspect is to look for that something that I love doing. I focused so much on my paycheck that I got burned out fast. And obviously, when I reached 30 and I wasn’t a millionaire, I was clearly disappointed.

So going back, a few years back, I just suddenly woke up with the thought of money as a means to an end. I focused on doing what I was supposed to do and I started doing the things that I loved doing. And guess what? Money just came in. This is actually related to my next point…


#2 You and your time is valuable but don’t ever think and calculate things.

In my talks, I would always tell people that they need to charge for their time and effort. This is true, but also, do not spend too much time calculating your worth and how much you should get paid for the things that you do, because you will end up losing a lot of opportunities or a lot of time.

I’ll tell you that the secret to the financial success that I have is knowing that some of the things that you know won’t pay financially, but it has “strategic” value. What do I mean?

What I have noticed that most of us are wired to think of financial rewards for jobs, careers, businesses, or anything that requires us to put in some effort. We then equate our efforts and place a price tag. That may be the reason why a lot of people go to VTRs for commercials, because they think that being “discovered” requires such menial effort with a pay that’s exorbitantly high and ridiculous. But you know what, what you don’t see is that you still put out tons of effort. Oftentimes, those who get picked for commercials are those with experience, those with amazing portfolios, those who spend to maintain good complexion, those who spend for transportation cost going to all those VTRs, and those who undergo acting or voice lessons. When you look at it this way, they still put a lot of effort into it.

But what I want you to understand that sometimes, you can do things without thinking of monetary rewards, but more of doing it because it is in line with the strategy that you want to implement or because it is in sync with achieving your ultimate goal. An example is that not all the workshops that we created earned. Some of these we pushed through with because we wanted to check on the feedback of the market. Also, sometimes, I offer discounts for being featured or advertised in my blog because I really believe in the product or the advertiser’s mission or goal. So there, not all of your efforts need to have monetary compensation.

#3 I decided to achieve “clarity” — I tracked my expenses and income to have a clear understanding on what was happening

There was a point in my life where I felt I wasn’t in control of my own funds. I didn’t know where I was spending. I wasn’t looking at the debt being accumulated in my credit card, etc. I felt so heavy — it was probably because I was burdened  by this concern. I know that I was losing control. I needed to do something.

If you are feeling this way, I think it is best that you decide to track everything already. Tracking every expense and income will give you clarity as to what is happening to your finances. you will achieve financial freedom faster, too, since you can strategize well now.

These are the three things that I believe that you need to think of to have that millionaire mindset. I definitely needed to adjust and practice thinking this way, but it really did me good. I hope that it will work for you, too!

Love,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. Check out these financial workshops that may help you!

Millionaire Mind Intensive

Basic Accounting and Taxation Workshop

Wealth Planning 101 (with Estate Planning)

Stock Smarts

 

 

 

 

 

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GLAD to have Met you

I’m looking around the house and I can’t believe how messy it has gotten. I decided to drop some tasks that I needed to do and I fixed some things in the house. I was so happy when I got this package from GLAD, a brand that has always been part of our home.

Glad has numerous wraps and bags products. This brand has been committed to educating moms like you and me on proper food protection and on eliminating food wastage with proper storage. Glad tells us that we can make the most of the food we buy and we don’t have to waste money if we just know how to store food safely.

GLAD

 

Just like any  household, we oftentimes use GLAD products to store food. My personal favorite are the Glad Freezer and Storage Zipper Bags. I use it for chips, biscuits and cookies packages that we have opened.

GLAD 2

But for storing anything in the refrigerator, I am glad that I can trust Glad Cling Wrap. Now, Cling Wrap is  made to be 1.5 times tighter so that food that is stored is guaranteed to keep its freshness. It is also made of 100% crystal clear polyethylene and is BPA-Free.

What impressed me with this recent loot is their product called Press ‘n Seal. This product is a multipurpose sealing wrap that is BPA-Free and leak-proof. I tried following the picture in the box and tried to seal my daughter’s glass and I found out that it really works. Press ‘n Seal really clings on to the glass and provides an airtight seal that can be used not only on drinking glasses, but even on wood, paper, plastic, glass, ceramic and metal surfaces. It uses a technology called Griptex that is why Glad Press ‘n Seal is 10x tighter than regular wraps. It is activated when pressure is applied and is best used on dry surfaces. It is also microwave-safe, but should not be used conventional or convection ovens, stove tops or toaster ovens.

Okay, aside from storing food, we also use Glad to fix tokens in our board games, store pens and office supplies, pack a doomsday prepper’s kit for my daughter (haha!) and other things. There are so many uses for these products!

You can visit Glad’s site at www.glad.com.ph

Glad® ClingWrap is available in these sizes and suggested prices:

ClingWrap Catering Wrap (33cmx300m) for P594

Cling Wrap (30cmx30.5m) for Php 89.40

Cling Wrap refill (30cmx20m) for Php 53.60

Cling Wrap mini (20cmx20m) for Php 55

Glad® ClingWrap is available at major supermarkets nationwide at SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Shopwise, Rustans, South Supermarket, Robinsons Supermarket, Waltermart, Landmark Supermarket, Cash & Carry, Unimart, Makati Supermarket, Hi-Top Supermarket, Cherry Supermarket, Puregold, Metro Gaisano, and Pioneer Center.

For more information, please visit their Instagram account: @gladkitchen or their facebook account: facebook.com/GladKitchen

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Tell Me What I NEED to Hear: Marketing and Relationships

Marketing is so complicated. It’s just like courting the girl of your dreams or flirting with Mr. Right. Since it’s the month of love, I’ll oftentimes relate business to relationships. I have loved studying and practicing marketing all my life and yet, even with all the knowledge that I have, I still make mistakes.

You might say, “Arrrrgh, really, Ginger. How can we trust anything you say, now that you have admitted to failing?” Being the perfectionist that I am, I actually hate failing, but a friend recently reminded me again that it’s okay to fail. We, honestly, learn new things (and I’m not saying this as a scapegoat for my failures. It’s really true that you get to learn.) from stumbles, roadblocks and challenges. So, today, I have done some retrospection and have recalled the times when I have failed in marketing, and I will share with you the reasons why I failed.

MARKETING & RELATIONSHIPS

Reasons why I failed in some Marketing Strategies? (Hope you really read these!)

#1 I identified and tapped the wrong market / audience

What is prevalent when you talk to business owners is that they want to sell their product to everyone. Well, this marketing disease has been there for ages, so this no-no strategy is not new. For those though who have identified a market for their product or brand, we fail in marketing because we have identified the wrong market.

Why do we fall into this trap? Well, just like relationships, some of us just jump the gun and ask someone to be our other half without truly knowing him / her. We make conclusions and we expect that person to be Mr. or Ms. Right just because we have spent days with him / her, bashing in the rays of sweetness, daydreaming about a perfect life together. In business, we oftentimes, make conclusions, too. We, especially if we are a part of that market, think that our needs are similar to everyone in our circle. The likelihood of this is greater, but not always correct. We cannot generalize or assume this to be true. Another thing is that the market that we have identified may be too small for business or brand longevity. When you segment the market, be sure that the market you have identified can sustain your business.

What you can do?
Validate your assumptions by talking to other representatives of the market that you have identified and look at the size of the market.

#2 We started with “Execution” when the “Strategy” wasn’t in Place yet

Have you ever just blurted out something to a loved one, without really thinking about the words, and you probably did this because you were so emotional and wanted to tell him / her how you felt? Then, soon after, you realize the big mess that you got yourself into and regret it for the rest of your life.

Well, in marketing, a lot of times, we also make the same big mistake. We get so excited with producing a video, a marketing collateral, a super nice poster, etc. just because that “brilliant” idea for execution hits us without even thinking about the overall strategy for our product and brand. Also, sometimes, we just execute because everyone’s doing the same thing, even if the campaign is not really aligned with our brand.

What you can do?
Start with developing the strategy and the plan first!

#3 We are so full of ourselves and our idea that we fail to listen and tell our market what they need to hear

In relationships, most of the time, we feel like we have been giving our all, but we actually fail to listen and tell our partners what they NEED to hear. We keep on giving unsolicited advice. We keep on nagging. Bottomline is, we fail to listen. A simple “It will be okay. Everything will be fine” or just a kiss or a hug may be all that he / she needs.

In marketing, we sometimes make the mistake of bombarding our potential customers with messages that they don’t really want to hear. We tell them so many things that they end up running away overwhelmed or uninterested.

What you can do?
We need to learn how to listen and say only things that matter.

There are other marketing lessons that I have learned. I may need to share it with you on another day. How about you? Want to share with us what marketing lessons you have learned?

Have a happy love month!

XOXO,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. Here are some marketing courses that you might want to enroll in 🙂

How To Launch Your Business Bonus: Go Online, Offline, Or Both

Raket Remedies: Business Acceleration Formula (Webinar)

Market Your Business Like A Boss!

WordPress Blogging Basics

Email Marketing Session

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