On Bonding and Special Announcement on S&R Members Treat

My little one and I are in Singapore today. Apart from “working” in the morning yesterday, we had around 2 hours free time to go around the mall. I love spending time with Zeeka. Her wit amazes me. She doesn’t talk much most of the time, but when she talks, it surprises me that she can already comprehend a lot of things. Sometimes, I am amazed, too, at how huge her view of the world is already. The simple things that we don’t see, she notices.

zeeka-and-mommy-ginger

My husband and I have been feeling guilty these past couple of months, since we have been busy with our business. We haven’t spent as much time as we want with her. So this month, starting with this trip, we have decided to bring her to most of our work engagements out of town or out of the country.

I am thankful though, that we have little, simple moments that we share together with each other. We have blocked off moments where we all need to be present. One example is our monthly grocery shopping at S&R. We have been consistent in making this our “bonding” moment.

Here are some videos from our store visits from the past:

Speaking of S&R Membership Club, here is great news for the members! S&R Members will get five whole days of big value and even bigger savings, with Buy 1 Take 1 deals and price reductions of up to 50% off on lots and lots of S&R picks – from grocery staples like fresh produce, yummy baked goodies, and imported treats, to various gift items, housewares, towels and linens, and even select appliances.

members-treat-flyer

S&R currently has 12 branches: BGC (Taguig City), Aseana (Pasay City), Congressional (Quezon City), Alabang (Muntinlupa City), Shaw (Mandaluyong City), Cebu, Pampanga, Imus (Cavite), Nuvali (Laguna), Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao.

Aside from low prices matched with a world-class shopping experience, another awesome perk for S&R members is POWER FUEL SAVERS, a partnership with Unioil, the pioneer of high-quality clean fuels in the country. Only on the dates of the S&R Members’ Treat from March 29, 2017 until April 02, 2017, fuel savings will get even bigger at Php 4.00 off per liter of gasoline or Php 3.00 off per liter of diesel at any of the 50 participating Unioil branches.

So will you make your S&R grocery shopping day your “bonding” day, too? 🙂 See you on March 29 then!

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Will Screws Screw You Over?

Discussions in the digital world about taxing robots have been brought up after Bill Gates suggested that idea. He said, “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.

set-of-crosshead-screwdriver-extension-heads-bits-picjumbo-com

will screws screw you over?

Most of us are scared that with new technology (i.e. cars and trucks which drive themselves, when robots assemble gadgets, when robot lawyers defend people with parking tickets, etc.), we will be displaced from our work and livelihood. We will not have anything to do. We will be stripped from things that we have built and things that make us whole (well, at least from our perspective). And sad to say, we equate our worth and built that connection with the work that we do or with the career that we have. We often equate self-worth with our actual jobs and professions.

Hardly do we encounter people who dig deeper into what their life is all about. I’ve seen movies and TV series where successful businessmen allot time for meditation, from Axelrod in the series Billions to Gavin Belson in Silicon Valley. This was also an advice that I got from one of my mentors way back when I was a product manager. Meditation or looking inward makes us see things clearly and makes us focus on what is essential. I guess with the demands of daily life and the responsibilities that we need to do, we lose precious time to think about what we are really meant to do.

When we ask someone about what he or she does, we often tell them our position or designation. I’m the CEO of Manila Workshops or i’m the COO of Taxumo. Related to my previous point, telling them what they can absorb quickly and what we can explain in a concise way, makes sense in the fast-paced world that we live in. We hardly hear people say that they are great moms or great husbands. We also don’t say that we are helping increase the GDP of our country or we are promoting world peace and stopping world hunger. This is obviously something that we don’t share on the onset, because the other person will think that we’re some kind of a psycho or running for office (or both… haha!).  It’s okay not to be blunt about what our mission in life is. We just need to be clear on what our value is. If we are clear on what we can contribute, then there is nothing to be afraid of. And let me tell you this, all of us can contribute something.

Emotional Labor

One of the things that I think robots will not be able to do is emotional labor. Earlier today, I was listening to a podcast about this certain topic. Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfil the emotional requirements of a job. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_labor). This is something that I think robots will have a hard time doing. Even when some robots or algorithms can actually read sentiments and analyze how people react, it will still be humans who will be able to determine and execute the best possible reaction to a particular sentiment. Managing emotions is complex, since there are a lot of factors to consider and it’s normally different from one individual to the other. This is just one of the things that makes humans valuable.

Change in Perspective

Robots are not our enemies. We have to view new technology as something that will help make our work easier, so that we can concentrate on things that we enjoy. We can focus on things that we love. We can focus on building relationships. We can focus more on self-development and loving life.

I don’t think these screws will screw us over. I think what will screw with us is our own perception of who we are. If we feel that we will not be of any value 10 years or 20 years from now, then we’re screwed.

 

 

 

 

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Why YOU is More Important

Life is complicated. That’s a reality that each one of us needs to accept. My life is not perfect, and it may seem to be, but under the scrutinizing eyes of of someone more mature, they may be able pick out a lot of flaws and imperfections. No matter how much we strive to make our lives perfect, it will never be.

internet-tea-time

So, do we just throw in the towel, and live life miserably. No! Of course, not. What makes life exciting and worth living is practically that. We go through life wanting to live it to the fullest (may be not perfect). Each and every breath leads us to things that are new, ideas that haven’t been uncovered, decisions we make that surprise even ourselves.

I was talking to a company last week that mentioned their goal (it was a really great goal), which was to help people achieve success. It truly is wonderful to see a company that aims to achieve that. It was refreshing to see a company go beyond products and services, and to have its main motivation to make it a point that me, their consumer, achieves success. But it got me thinking, do we really know what our own definition of success is.

For the businesses that we create, it may be easier to define. Having a sustainable, profitable business may be it. And to add to that, some of us may even add a higher purpose to what our business is all about. But this is for our business. What about us? We often attach ourselves too much to the business that we have (it’s really hard to separate and some may even say that it’s not really a business but a passion, so it will never be separated), but is the business’ success your own definition of success?

I personally see businesses as a tool to get you to your own definition of success — a means to an end. Some may see traveling the world as their own “end”; being a simple nomad and an advocate of discovery. Others may see living a simple life with no worries surrounded by loved ones as their ultimate dream. Others see that their ultimate “end” is having no end to what they are currently doing, since it’s their passion. It’s something to think about. What is your end? What is your definition of success?

Never forget that what ultimately matters is your own success. Success for me when you are happy with yourself, your choices and how you lived your life. When you are contented with your life, you are successful. You cannot compare your own success with other people, because we all live different lives. You cannot let competition drive you. You have to be your own worst enemy and your own best friend. Motivation will come from no one els, but you.

This is the reason why YOU is the most important thing in this world. Look inside and you’ll find clarity.

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Why We Should Love Even when It Hurts — Sometimes.

Happy February, everyone! My next favorite month to December, and oh, October (since that’s my birth month), is February. I love February, because during this month, you can clearly see the honest-to-goodness feelings of people. A lot of extreme emotions this month will come into play. There will be a lot of love, lust (yup, just had to say that…haha!), pain, loneliness (love even when it hurts), finding new love, longing for past loves, and a whole lot more!

We have all expressed and felt all of these different emotions. When we were young and care-free, we couldn’t care less. We would love whoever we want to love and we would break-up with whoever we want to break-up with. Most of us didn’t see the “bigger picture”. We didn’t see who it was that we were hurting, because of our actions. We often didn’t see the repercussions of  the great love that we wanted to express. And love to us when we were young, was confined into that realm of romantic love.

blog-topic-love

But now that we are all #adulting, we see different kinds of love. We see that love isn’t just about the love that you have for one special human being, whom you consider your soulmate. Love can mean love for one’s self. Love can mean loving your parents. Love can mean loving your sibling, relatives, a son, a daughter. Love can mean loving a friend, a business partner, a mentor, a co-worker. Love can also mean loving someone whom you have lost, or literally someone who is no longer with us.

Understanding love isn’t confined to the people to whom it is given. How it is given, when it is given, in what form it is given are interesting to see and look at, too. There are some people who find love and are lucky to have found them. There are some who give love, and feel great pain when they lose it. But we should love even when it hurts.

Why? Because…

Love helps you understand yourself more.

When you get to experience truly loving someone, it inspires you to go beyond what you are usually capable of. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself.

Love makes you stronger.

You know that ultimately, everything will be okay. You have gone lengths to express and give love. Even if unreciprocated, you know that at least on your end, you have shown how valuable the other person is. You know that you’re not on the losing end.

Love fuels everything, even if it’s not explicitly mentioned or seen.

The decisions that we make, as we normally say, is for someone else’s good or for your own good. That decision is fueled by love for others or love for yourself. Love is the flame that lights the world on fire.

There are more reasons why you should love even when it hurts. Hope you can share your thoughts on this!

I end this article with a quote:

Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become.

– Johnny Weir

This month is about all forms and types of love. Keep on loving!

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Short but Sweet… I Love You!

I Love You

Hello, world! I love you!

Happy love month, you guys! I’m sorry I haven’t been regularly updating my blog these past weeks. Things have been crazy. How crazy?

Well, let me first start with my business. Manila Workshops has been really active since the beginning of this year. It seems that corporations are now looking for workshops like ours. I’ve been receiving a couple of emails asking for proposals for workshops to be conducted and ran in their place of work. To that I say! SURE! No problem! Just email me.

We have some exciting workshops coming up this year, too, and it’s with the support of one of the biggest tech (or social brands…or probably both. haha!) Can’t divulge that yet, but it’s pretty exciting. I’m sure MSMEs, freelancers, and even employees of different companies would want to attend these upcoming, cool workshops!

My event directors are so busy these days! I love that they are so active in our messenger. We have this internal incentive where I will be giving out a fitness wearable to the winner. But the more exciting thing is that we will be running internal workshops for ourselves. Yup, we will have a Manila Workshops team learning session every month. This month, EJ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/eugenearboleda)  will conduct a How to Test if your Workshop will Fly session. Next month, I am arranging a Human Centered Design workshop with the one and only (and definitely one of the best in design, Edmond Gozo – https://www.linkedin.com/in/edmondgozo). I don’t pay these speaker so the least I can do it give them a shoutout here! Thanks for the support!

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And then there’s Taxumo! We had a pretty busy month also for Taxumo. The number of sign-ups is growing and hopefully, the number of users, too, for this coming February 20 tax deadline. Don’t forget that the deadline of Taxumo is February 15, so please try out the system already.

Hmmm, well, we have had some interesting meetings with different VCs. We are raising our seed round and have been meeting some interesting VCs. We have upcoming meetings with other people also. But enough about VCs! We have made amazing progress and we will already be servicing VAT clients any time soon! Woohooo!

If you have time, please do meet us at Commune on February 11, from 1-4 pm. We are holding this mixer for business owners, freelancers and professionals. Please do drop by and say “Hi!”. This mixer is in cooperation with Payoneer and FullSuite.

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Hmm, what else! Oh, thank you to those who consistently read my blog. I have interesting topics lined up for you in the coming weeks. By the way, the topic for this month is (can you guess what it is? hint: it’s in the box above!)… LOVE. Yup, it’s love.

I can’t wait to start writing, because I have a lot to say about this topic. 😀

So, those are my personal updates. I’m sorry I haven’t been updating my blog, but I am battling to keep my eyes open now just for me to drop this note. I love you, my dear readers, and I haven’t forgotten you!

XOXO,

Mommy Ginger

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2017 Goals and Plans

Before ending the year, I received a Viber message from my friend Rey. He was asking tips on how to plan for 2017. Like Rey, my main concern is that I have so many things on my mind and so many things I want to do. Creating plans makes me more focused and helps me achieve things faster and more efficiently. I thought I shared in my blog before how I plan things, but apparently, I can’t seem to find it. I may have thought I shared it, but ended up no writing it! haha! So you see how planning helps me! I miss and forget a lot of things.

goals-and-plans-2017

 

So my post for today is to share with you how we, as a couple, plan. You can try it out; it may or may not work for you. For us, we have been doing this for the past four years. It has been pretty helpful.

Vision Statement

The first thing that we do is we set a Vision Statement for 5 to 8 years ahead. Our chosen year is 2025. The vision statement that you create should be very specific. The one that we created as a couple revolved around living comfortably without having to worry about money. This is our vision statement:

For both of us to retire by age 45 and have passive income per month of at least Php 250,000 without any kind of debt.

We have also computed the amount of money that we need to have by that time to achieve that kind of passive income. Just to give you an idea, a pool of Php 14.5 Million can get you a passive income of Php 50,000 a month. With this, we need at least Php 72 Million worth of investments 9 years from now. Each of us need to earn Php 30+ Million (around Php 4 Million a year). Sounds huge, but we have to dream big, right? (Libreng mangarap!). My idol in this aspect is Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. If he can earn around $1000+ a month, I know I can, too!

Mission

Aside from the vision statement, we also created a family mission. Our mission is:

A family that will spread knowledge through various media to help people grow and achieve their goals in life.

The mission that you come up with should represent what kind of change you want to create in this world. Analyze what talents, tools, etc. that you can offer so that the world becomes a better place. This will be the legacy that you will leave behind.

Define Goals for every aspect of your Life

We split our goals into 7 categories. Here are the categories that we have for this year: Goals related to our Daughter, Spiritual, Financial, Fitness & Health, Career, Mental and Start-up Goals. Of course, for your own goals, you will have to change it, unless we have exactly the same life (Haha! But hey, who knows?!). For each of the category, we listed different goals. Some may contain only one goal, while other categories may contain several.

For each goal, place the corresponding cost/resource/how much would it entail for you to achieve that goal. This way, you will be able to get the total financial value to make your goals a reality for this year.

Once you have that figure, please read this post that I made just last December:

http://mommyginger.com/2016/12/5-tips-investing-money-childs-future.html

It will give you an idea on how I invest that money that I have or the money that I will need to set aside for the future.

I really hope that this helps you plan for 2017. If you want a copy of our template, just click on this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ttFczuGhM2dqDx3WVWlmj89fPJiW2weMrttmqI5JPO8/edit?usp=sharing

Please feel free to spread this and to share it with friends and family! Have an amazing start to 2017! Cheers!

 

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My One Word for 2017: Invest

Happy new year, everyone! I hope you spent the first day of 2017 well. I spent it with people I love, so I would say that it was a day spent well. It’s the second day of January and my this will be my first blog post for the year. Like how I have done it in the past, I always start the year with a blog post sharing my one word for the year. I have been doing this one word exercise since 2015 (Feel – 2015, Simplify – 2016). This year, I have chosen INVEST.

invest

I was looking at the other words that people suggested in http://oneword365.com/ and “invest” was the word I was looking for!


Invest in Myself

This year, I plan to invest more in myself. I successfully simplified my life in 2016, and I plan to redirect more time to taking care of myself. It’s been a while since I had a haircut (I only had one last December because we had to present our startup during demo day). I think I just had a total of 2 visits to the salon last year. Also, I realize that I need to update my wardrobe. I only get to buy new clothes when I really have something important to go to. Plus, I don’t to get to wear them during normal days, since I got used to grabbing a pair of jeans and a shirt. This year, I plan to dress up better than I did last year.

Also, I will spend more time on beauty and fitness. I’m glad to share with you that I finally got to change the battery of my Misfit wearable. I haven’t been using it, because I didn’t take time out to replace the battery. I had my first long run outdoors yesterday, and I got to wear it again. Yesterday, I also signed up for a 10K marathon this coming March. It was really just so that I could push myself. Aside from keeping fit, I will try to fix myself a bit more every day. I have a lot of make-up in my house that I don’t use. It’s such a waste not to use them. I cleaned up my make-up box. I actually threw out a lot of expired stuff already.

Invest in my Daughter’s Future

Last year, we really focused on getting our start-up Taxumo off the ground. Admittedly, we had to let go of some time that we normally would spend with our daughter (after work meetings, etc.). Aside from that, some of the money that we could have saved and could have invested on her education, was spent elsewhere. This year, I plan to set aside more time for her and intentionally, set aside more funds for her future.

Invest more time for Travel

2016 reminded me of how much I love to travel. We used to travel a lot, before we were married and during the first few years of marriage! This year, my husband and I intend to go out and see new places. We both love seeing new places and we promised ourselves that we would go out more this year.

Invest in Marriage

2015 and 2016 were rough years for my marriage. I think my husband would agree, when he reads this. I guess it was, because of the changes in our interaction as a couple. It was the first time that we are getting into business together. It was also a time when each one of us wanted to get our own sh*t done. We’re both in our mid-30s, and I guess we both know that it’s now or never. There were a lot of challenges, and we had a lot of disagreements. I believe that we have made it pass the rough part.

I haven’t been the best wife, and it sucks to admit that due to my competitive nature. haha! But this year, I plan to be the best damn wife again in the entire planet. I have seen how, as a couple, we have been effective. We have created things together, and I know that if we stick together, we can make things happen (not just for us but for the people around us).

Invest in New and Old Friendships

Because of work, I haven’t been able to spend much time with friends (yes, I have friends! haha!). I promise to spend more time with you this year!

So, that’s pretty much it! I have to run in a few minutes. How about you? What is your one word for this year?

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Greed vs Dreaming Big

Last month, a friend of mine shared shocking news that one of the people we knew was sent to prison. He apparently stole Php 90 Million from his clients while he was working as a branch manager in a bank. I felt sad because I think (obviously) he knew that the day would come when he would be found out. My friend and I were talking on as to what would make him that greedy? We really had no clue. I knew this person and he was an extrovert. I knew that he had big goals and dreams. Did dreaming big get him to where he is right now?

Then, while watching the newest season of Gilmore Girls, a scenario spoke to me once again (I won’t mention the scene to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen it. It made me think of greed versus dreaming big. Where do you draw the line when you’ll say that a person is being greedy versus that he/she is just aiming high? When do you say that enough is enough?

greed

Don’t Step on Other People while on the Way to the Top

I personally think that there is nothing wrong about aiming high and setting big goals for yourself. But when you step on other people, then it becomes an issue. For example, if you dream about being a famous writer, there is nothing wrong with that. When you spread false stories or news about other people just to be famous, that’s where it becomes greedy. Another example is when you want to be the “boss” in the future. There is nothing wrong with that, but how you get there is what you need to think doubly hard about. If you know that you will hurt someone else in the process, try to rethink your strategy. There may be another way to get to the top.

What Good is Winning if you Lose Yourself

In life, there are a multitude of times that a hard decision is presented where you need to chose between two things. The tricky part is that oftentimes, this is not a black and white or a wrong and right choice. Oftentimes, these choices both seem right or both seem wrong. You can actually argue your way out and justify any of the choices. This is what makes life interesting. And the choices that we make define what we value most in our lives.

At the end of the day, it’s about staying true to your values and principles. These values and principles make up who you are. This was explicitly shown in the Disney – Pixar Movie MOANA. The choices that were presented to her were choices that would define who she was as a person. Both options were good, either to stay in the village and be the obedient daughter or to follow her passion which was to set sail into the ocean. The most important thing is to know and to be true to who you are.

You may hear a voice inside/ And if the voice starts to whisper/ To follow the farthest star/ Moana, that voice inside is/ Who you are”

 

*Moana image from http://www.idiva.com/news-entertainment/moana-the-new-disney-princess/1510085

*Moana image from http://www.idiva.com/news-entertainment/moana-the-new-disney-princess/1510085

What’s Next After you Have Achieved it All?

Have you ever thought of what your life would be like once you have achieved all of your dreams? Yes, you say that you want to be a huge rockstar like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Tyra Banks, etc. Have you ever thought of what your life would be like once you get there? What would you have? Who would you love? Who will be by your side? Will you be amidst your loved ones or will you be a lone wolf in the dessert? Will you still have that respect from other people or will people abhor you (mostly because you stepped on them along the way)?

I know that most of us are creating plans to start the year right. I’m leaving these questions here for you (and me!) to think about as we all plan our way to success. I hope we don’t leave anyone behind.

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