Online Tax Preparation with a Heart

Never in million years would I have guessed that I would be a TECH STARTUP company co-founder AND focus on online tax preparation. When I was little, I never liked math. One of the reasons why I chose marketing was I assumed it had a few subjects where I had to compute or use a calculator. When I graduated and helped my dad handle the family business, I would be so bored looking at excel spreadsheets that showed profit and loss statements.

I think I only got to love numbers when I joined a bank. Of course, in the beginning, I forced myself to look at spreadsheets and reports containing mostly numbers — all kinds of numbers and computations. Plus, I had to force myself to understand banking language like ADB, MBR, TPR, NPV, TITF, JA, CASA, FLOATS, etc. But, for anyone who knows me, I am a competitive person. I loved the challenge. So when I started understanding number, I found that I loved it and it was “actually” useful! haha! My almost 7 years of service in that bank was the best years of my life. I learned a lot and challenged myself A LOT!

When 2012 came, I went away to seek the life that I wanted, which was to become an entrepreneur. I would watch videos of Marie Forleo, Tyra Banks, Oprah and other influential women on the internet. I really admired each one of them and how they got to where they were. I saw the millions and millions of people whom they have helped. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to see how I could directly help others with a business. This dream was the foundation of Manila Workshops. When I started, it was a challenge getting our name out there. It was even more challenging to manage the “business” side of everything — from sustaining profits, controlling costs and most of all, dealing and paying taxes! I really hated that part.

I would always get stressed it if taxes was the topic. I wished for the longest time that someone would create anything like an online tax preparation system or whatever to make it easier for me. And so, with someone did notice and create a rudimentary system for me. This someone was my husband and my saviour. With this very rough local automation at home, we were able to expand the business of 3 directors to 20 directors.

The TAXUMO Story

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And this is where our Taxumo story begins. We wanted to share this process and system with other small business owners, freelancers and professionals. We created a deck of the idea that we had, and started to pitch it to different people and in different competitions. This is where we started, because it seemed that others were doing this as well. With this, we were chosen as one of the 100 startups in Asia for the Echelon e27 Summit. During this time, we were already slowly developing the product. I was talking to different possible partners and was building alliances. EJ was developing algorithm, framework and the other stuff that we had to have before developing the software.

The next chapter of our story started when we were chosen as top 25 for the Ideaspace incubation program. We got some funds to build the prototype. With the money, we hired a freelance developer who would build the working prototype for us (A big shout out to Barry! Thank you! He developed our MVP and was really good, but had to let go of the project because we didn’t have enough funds to pay him.). This is the typical challenge of a startup. If you’re going through a financial turmoil, this is normal. We were bootstrapping as bootstrapping can be. Then, we were chosen as one of the top 10 startups for the Ideaspace Acceleration program. This came in at the right time. We used the funds to speed up development. A competent team is helping us develop the new system now (shoutout to Spectres Solutions! Wooohoo!)

During this time also, we invited people to be co-founders with us. Why and how did we decide on that? Well, we knew that we needed competent people to join our team to handle different aspects of the business. We knew that we needed an accounting and taxation expert, so we invited Mark. We knew that we needed to be covered legally, so we invited Atty. Kevin. And finally, after a few months of personally handling operations and marketing, the four of us decided to invite Evan, a marketing and advertising expert, and a freelancing advocate. So that’s how our team came to be.

Today is a really important day for us — it’s Ideaspace’s Demo Day. This is where we show the world the months of hard work that we have put into our startup (thanks Charz Medoza for the great design work, our new logo and the new UI/UX that everyone should watch out for!) But forget about us, because this is the time when we share the benefits of Taxumo for all of the Philippine self employed individuals — small businesses, freelancers and professionals. You can now concentrate on starting and building your business. This is the time to REFOCUS on what matters. Refocus on your passion!


 

We know that the reason that you started this business is that you want to make a difference. You long for time to use words or photographs to tell a story. You wanted to see the smiles as your customers run their fingers on that dress that you so painstakingly created. Hearing the conversations of people after a workshop session that they are now inspired to take action makes your heart skip a beat. Seeing an email of gratitude from a US client for great VA work done makes you feel that you can conquer the world. Giving business or life coaching advice to hundreds of people on stage or even through a one on one session makes you elated. All of these things make you remember that it was passion and a sense of purpose that made you decide to start your own business or pursue this profession. This is how we feel. This is how we all should feel about our business.

So join the tribe and worry less about taxes! Pursue your passion. Leave all the taxation worries and sign up for Taxumo (http://taxumo.com). It’s should all be about YOU this 2017!

P.S. Thank you to all of our mentors (Ms. Diane, Sir Manny, Prim, Phil, Gabe, Paul, Edmond, Jojy, Jojo, Jay) and to all of those who helped us make this happen! We love you all! #TeamTaxumo

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Raising Multi-Talented Kids

Growing up as a kid, I learned one thing about every person that I ever had the chance of meeting — every single one has a skill or potential that may be the same or different from what I have. When we were in grade school, I went into business with my sister. We sold pastries and in that business, we defined each one’s roles. She was the one in charge of baking the products. I was in charge of marketing.

Effectively selling to people and influencing them to buy into an idea or product were talents that I had identified early on in my life. Although, when I reached my mid-twenties, I went through a period in my life where I was lost. I didn’t know what to pursue. I got to identify and see so many talents that I felt like I was all over the place. I wanted to do a lot of things. A lot of people said that I needed to focus. I felt like this was a ‘disease’ that I needed to be cured of.

I am seeing this, too, in my daughter. She is such a great kid with so many talents. I see that she loves singing and dancing. I also see that she has a sense of fashion and she has innate talent for mixing and matching outfits (and not to mention posing!).

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She loves shopping!

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She went straight to the rack of Great Kids!

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She searched for the perfect outfit and chose this!

Great Kids 1

I was worried, because I felt that I had to make her choose and encourage her to stick to that ONE talent. It was just until recently that I realized that this was something that we didn’t have to be ashamed of. While each may be gifted with a unique skill or two, there are also those who are “different”, not because they are highly skilled in one aspect, but because they have a skill set that is unique to them, as formed through a diverse range of interests they themselves developed with constant exposure to different things, and this is something not easily copied by others—the multipotentialites.

By definition, multipotentialites are people who live a life of diverse interests or creative pursuits. Oftentimes, people who are so-called multipotentialites hold many different jobs and careers and have tried many activities throughout their lifetime starting from their adulthood, simply because these things appeal to their curiosity and they find out that they are good at these, too.

A multipotentialite could be a person who is into painting, then later on turned into a writer, and then even later, pursued another unrelated interest. Or, this person may be a musician who turned computer programmer, and then later on, pursued a different job altogether.

When we were young, we were asked by adults what we wanted to become when we grew up. We then would only say just one profession — doctor, accountant, lawyer, etc. For the rather imaginative kids, they would blurt out an engineer-doctor, or a runner-writer-chef. I noticed that oftentimes, when kids would say a bunch of stuff like these, the adults would tell them to just choose one. But, really? Why should they just choose one path? Did anyone or anything limit us to just have one passion? Just one true calling? Multipotentialites are those children and adults who have no “one true calling.” These are people who have so many passions.

Raising a Multipotentialite

The multipotentialites, nor their parents, would not be aware that they may be a multipotentialite in the early stages in their lives. If you find that your child has a strong interest in one thing, then after a few months or a year, wants to switch to another hobby (this cycle of may go on and on), chances are the child is a multipotentialite. I, am a multipotentialite, and I know a lot of friends who are, too. I think my daughter is a multi-potentialite, too!

Regardless of this title or discovery, what we, parents can do is not to overthink. Let’s just support them and expose them to as many fields of interest as possible, and give them the freedom to switch interests and explore early on in their lives. Over time, your child will be independent enough to make choices for himself/herself. If they reach a point when they, too, realize that they have so many talents, we, as parents, will be there to back them up, because now we know better.

P.S. Thanks, Great Kids for allowing us to shoot in your store! 🙂

Great Kids

Great Kids offers fresh, fun and pretty apparel for young girls aged 2-10 yrs old and capsule collections of Infant Girls, Mommy & Me & maternity apparel.

GreatKids is available in

Pois Belly & Kids BOUTIQUES:
– TriNoma: Ground Floor near Activity Center
– SM Megamall: Level 5 The Atrium
– Shangri-la Plaza: Level 4 Main Bldg
– Alabang Town Center: Level 2 Expansion Bldg
– SM Mall Of Asia: Ground Floor in front of Kids Universe
– SM City Cebu: Level 2, Main Mall
– SM City Iloilo: Upper Ground Floor
– SM Lanang Premier Davao: Level 2
– Ayala Center Cebu: Level 3

The SM Stores:
– BF Paranaque
– Cubao
– Cebu
– Davao
– Iloilo
– Makati
– Mall Of Asia
– Manila
– Marikina
– Megamall
– North EDSA
– Pampanga

http://www.zalora.com.ph/catalog/great-kids/

 

 

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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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Mompreneur Passion & Planning

I have interviewed quite a number of mompreneurs and a lot of them mentioned passion as one of the things that you will need to have is your want to start your own business.  I do agree with them when they mention that mompreneur passion to be one of the necessary requirements before starting your own business. For me though, this isn’t enough.

Passion is an emotion. When you look it up in the dictionary or in wikipedia, it is defined as a strong (positive) feeling for something or someone. I believe that you cannot start a business with merely having a feeling that that makes you want to get up and do something. I had the same feeling about businesses before that I just wanted to do. At one time, I was really passionate about being a freelance makeup artist. I attended classes for it. I knew I also had the skill and the artistic talent. I bought a lot of make up. I bought my own kit. I spent probably almost Php 75,000 from all the make up that I bought and the classes that I took. Was passion there? Yes, there was definitely passion there!

But, after a year of offering my freelance make up services, it died down. Why? Because I lacked planning. I just jumped the gun and offered my service. I didn’t study the market. I was too excited to start.

Planning is crucial in creating a business. With planning, you utilize not only the heart but also your mind. I remember my strategy when it came to creating new products for the corporation that I worked for before. I use it now for my business and for when I mentor mompreneurs. I create three plans. I create a full blown business plan, a financial plan or analysis and a marketing plan (which I normally just do in PowerPoint).

These are the three plans that I suggest that you create, too, before jumping into any business. Why create these plans? It will help and steer you into the right direction for your business. By going through the whole business plan, it will help you check on the feasibility of your business (to see if it’s not only your needs you are answering). It will help you see the potential market or customers for your business (to see if ‘passion’ actually addresses concerns and needs of a substantial amount of individuals). And lastly, it will help you see if this ‘passion’ is something that you can sustain financially (of course, all of us want to continuously do what we are passionate about).

In the next business tips that I will be sharing for mompreneurs, it will be on how to create effective business plans, financial analysis and marketing plans that are simple enough for us, mompreneurs.

What are your thoughts on passion and planning? I’d love to hear them!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

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