Some friends have advised me — Stop watching Netflix. You become unproductive.

Yes, oh so evil, Netflix! You have become the major temptress in this insane life of mine.

I have succumb to the temptation, and willingly allow myself to be seduced. But hear me out first, before you judge. I need it!

Aside from the fact that I need a break from running a business and raising a child, I get to learn a lot of secrets to running a business by watching shows on Netflix (by the way, this isn’t a sponsored post… just to put it out there!)

So today, especially when you want to finally start that business that you have always wanted to start, watch Netflix shows. Or if you’re like me, trying to survive the cut-throat and challenging world of entrepreneurship where only the ones with hard core GRIT survive, just give in to the temptation. It won’t hurt.

I’m sharing a list of my favorite shows with quotes or lines that I love, because each one taught me a lesson. Each one also either inspired me emotionally or urged me to write strategies and plans.

Umbrella Academy

Line: One of the lines exchanged in the show was between Number 5 and Vanya:

Number Five: I’ve decided you’re the only one I can trust.

Vanya: Why me?

Number 5: Because you’re ordinary. Because you’ll listen.

Lesson: Sincerely listen and be your own unique self.

As confident as I may seem, there are a lot of times when I feel sincerely out of place. I’ve suffered having Impostor Syndrome a lot of times. I always feel like I’m not good enough or that I shouldn’t be chosen for a lot of things.

But rather than focusing on what you can or can’t do, I have decided a long time ago to shift the focus from me to other people. How do you do that? Just listen. Intentionally listen and just be there for the other person. You’ll discover a lot about the other person (and a lot about you, too) in the process of the conversation.

Also, it will always be a breath of fresh air when you do YOU. You don’t have to like the same things other people like. You don’t have to do what people who inspire you in social media do. Do your own thing. Be your own self. We need a world with people with different talents and strengths. It’s good to have a life where you want to be better and always strive for excellence, but it has to be your own path. You have to steer your own ship towards where you want it to go.

Stranger Things

Line: One of the lines of Dustin Henderson (Stranger Things, Season 2)

I am on a curiosity voyage, and I need my paddles to travel. These books are my paddles. I need my paddles.

Lesson: Read books. It will guide you in this journey.

There are a lot of hurdles in life that you have to overcome. There were numerous times when we would get stuck looking for the right answer to a business decision that we need to make.

Oftentimes, the secrets to running a business are just in front of you stored in books. Authors write books because it’s a way to pass on their experiences to a massive following. Most of them write, because they feel that it’s their obligation and purpose to help others learn from mistakes made in the past.

I’ve always admired authors, and the work that they have. When you think of books as “secrets and keys to unlock the mysteries of life”, wouldn’t you want to read more?

House of Cards

Line: One of the amazing lines of Frank Underwood

History is earned. You win the day, and then you win the day after, and you do the same thing every day until you’re dead. And you’re remembered not for the winning, but because you never lost!

Lesson: Success takes time. Perseverance and grit is what will make you survive and eventually, succeed.

Ever since we started our business, a lot of people trusted us BUT, a lot of people also thought that we would or will eventually fail. This will be the same journey for you when you decide to embark on this entrepreneurship journey. I guarantee you.

When you hear these things from other people, you’ll sometimes wonder “Yeah, he’s/she’s right! What the F am I doing with my life when I can opt to live comfortably. I’m not dumb. I work smart and hard. I have my family’s lives at stake here for crying out loud! Wake up <insert your name here>

This I tell you, if you want to make a difference and if you want to feel that sense of fulfilment and purpose (in any thing that you’re doing — not just in business, but in employment or in being a professional, etc.), don’t expect it to come in a day, or in a month, or in a year.

I’ve noticed that the reason why people quit their jobs is that they think that they will find fulfilment in a month or in a year or even three years.

What I’ve learned is that it takes decades, hell, even a lifetime to possibly get to that point where you feel that you’ve made a difference. And the bigger the difference, the longer the time it takes.

This is why I love this line. People won’t remember the little wins that you’ve had for your company — the press write-ups and all. What they will remember is that you continuously fought and that you never gave up.

And changing direction, doesn’t mean giving up. It just means your pivoting and learning from the experiences that you’ve had. Changing direction just means changing direction, so don’t feel bad about it. In my opinion, it’s not equivalent to quitting. I’d liken it to growing.

Altered Carbon

Line: From Quellcrist Falconer

First thing you’ll learn is that nothing is what it seems. Ignore your assumptions. Don’t trust anything. What you see, what you hear, what people tell you, what you think you remember.

Lesson: Question everything to get to the answer.

I think one of the gifts that I have is that I have “hunches” when it comes to business, and they turn out to be right. When it comes to assessing people though, I’m pretty bad at it. I tend to see the good in people and always see the positive. So being in business has really taught me to question and ask for more information, before making decisions.

Quells quote here may be an exaggeration, but it teaches is that we need to be more inquisitive. Maybe most people and things are still authentic and remain true to their form. With technology, social media, and all of these changes, authentic appearances and true intentions are hidden in “noise” and in filters.

So if you’re in business, you have to practice looking for, hearing and seeing what your customers truly want and need.

So, see… You can learn a lot from watching shows on Netflix. The next time your spouse or friend brings this up, just say that Netflix is your TED Talks.

Ginger

P.S. Do you like the secrets to running a business that I have shared? Do you like this article? Would you like a part two? 😃 Comment on the section below!

Mid March 2019, my team (Taxumo) was introduced to the GrabPay team of Grab. We were introduced by Ms. Diane Eustaquio, the Executive Director of Ideaspace. As some of you may know, we were part of Batch 4 of this incubator/accelerator program, and it has helped us a lot in our start-up journey.

I remember the first time we met with the GrabPay (Grab Philippines) team. They really and sincerely wanted to help with the mission of making it easier for every one to pay taxes. After the first meeting, everyone in each of the teams were committed to make this happen.

Since April was a busy season for us, we agreed to start integrations by May 2019. Integrations only took us a month and for marketing, our go-to-market strategies were laid out after.

We’ve actively started promoting our partnership this month (July 2019).

How will this partnership benefit me?

You can get huge savings when it comes to paying your taxes, particularly on the Taxumo processing fees.

For one, when you pay your taxes using GrabPay Credits for the months of July and August 2019, you get Php 100 OFF on Taxumo Processing Fees.

All you need to do are the following:

Step 1: Key in your income and expense receipts in Taxumo then view your Tax Dues Cards to check on the amount of taxes that you need to pay

Step 2: Choose GrabPay as the payment option and click on payment. It will immediately confirm if you have enough balance in your Grab App (GrabPay Credits) so be sure that you have enough GrabPay credits.

Notice that you will automatically have Php 100 OFF.

The second benefit is that you can get more Taxumo Xennies (usually 1 Xenny is equivalent to 1 Peso). Taxumo Xennies can be used to pay Taxumo Processing fees and to upgrade your Taxumo Plans.

You can now purchase Taxumo Xennies using GrabPay Credits. The best deal that you can get is paying Php 250 for 550 Xennies!

So if you really want to upgrade your Taxumo account and have access to our books of accounts view (if you don’t know how to fill out those manual ledgers) or if you want to get around 50%+ off on Taxumo Processing fees, now it the time to STOCK UP ON XENNIES!

Personally, my dream really for these kinds of integrations with partners, is to have a country where you can pay taxes anytime, anywhere. A country where tax payers pay their duties while commuting, while waiting for the next episode on Netflix, while standing in line in the recently opened ShakeShack… basically, anywhere!

We also welcome new ideas that you may have. If you have an idea that you think will work well for Taxumo, message us at customercare@taxumo.com!

Hear ye, hear ye! Taxumo has a new and improved dashboard that offers so much more than just tax filing. It now has some form of analytics (cool charts and all!) that shows you your income and expenses and what your top expenses are as a business.

The Dashboard

For long time users, you may be surprised to see that the first thing you see is the dashboard and not the “CASHFLOW” tab. If you want to ADD an Income or an Expense Entry, feel free to click on the Cashflow tab on the left side or one of the Cards in the Dashboard.

Settings Tab

We changed how we called the tab for setting up your account from “COMPANY” to “SETTINGS”. When you first created your Taxumo account, this is what you were filling out. Feel free to visit this page again as we have simplified the fields the best way we can. We have some guides that you can click on; those are the little question marks seen at the side of each field.

Tax Dues Tab

Tax dues are now in the tax due tab and are grouped per tax type. We also have a reminder on actionable steps that you need to take. For late filings, we have also highlighted them just in case you have missed them.

If you want to view your past filings, click on the Past Filings tab. If you accidentally marked a tax card as paid, you can go to the Hidden Filings tab and unhide it.

Payment Channels

We have fixed our payment checkout page. We have heard your requests for us to add more payment channels! We are proud to say that in the coming months, you will see more and more payment options — options that will make it easier for you to file and pay your taxes anytime, anywhere!

#TeamTaxumo is honored to partner with GrabPay! When you file and pay via GrabPay Credits starting July 1, 2019 (until August 31, 2019), you will get a Php 100 off on Taxumo’s processing fees.

Xennies! Get or Earn Taxumo Credits!

We have introduced Xennies! Xennies are Taxumo’s Credits that can be used to pay for your Taxumo Processing fees. There are two ways to get hold of Xennies.

One is to share your own referral code to your friends and family. To set your referral code, click on your name at the top portion of Taxumo’s screen. Click “My Account” and it will direct you to your Xennies Transaction History page. You can earn 100 Xennies for every friend or family that successfully files a form via Taxumo.

Another way to get Xennies is to purchase Xenny Packs. These are available for sale inside the Taxumo Platform. 1 Xenny = 1 Peso. We have a promo running now with GrabPay. Get 10% to 100+% credits when you purchase using GrabPay.

So there you have it folks! These are the changes in the system. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to email customercare@taxumo.com 🙂

Here is a video that you can watch!

Admittedly, I had a childhood where I didn’t worry (or at least my parents didn’t make me worry) about a lot of things. For that, I am grateful. Contrary to what people might be thinking, I wasn’t a spoiled brat. If I wanted something, I had to find a way to get it (especially since my mom was against a lot of things I wanted to do… hehe! Peace, mom!). 

I really believe that it’s not the amount of money that makes a person innovative or inventive. I believe though that money may give the person more capacity for failure after trying out things, but I don’t not think that money automatically makes you creative and inventive. 

In raising and educating your kids, there will always be that struggle of choosing consumerism versus creation. When do “I” as a parent buy stuff for my child and when do I ask them to look for a way to create the solution. When do I give them the answer and when do I let them find the answer on their own?

In raising Zeeka, we follow these two simple things or two steps. One, we give her the foundation of having a good education. Every child will eventually need to learn and absorb the basics in their own time, like read, spell, subtract, add, observe, control movement, etc.  Then second, after learning the foundation, we help her utilise these learnings in life. No matter where the child learns the foundation (whether in school from a teacher, at home from the parent. etc.), I believe that the role of the parents is to encourage them to use these learning and skills.

Lyrics that we wrote!

This is a sample of how we do it. Once, she wanted to memorise the song Chillin’ like a Villain (from the Descendants). We wanted to teach her that songs comes from words, and when she knows how to spell and write words, she can create her own songs! What we did is that we wrote the lyrics of the song and she had to read it then sing it! With that, she understood the importance of spelling and writing. 

Please visit https://www.facebook.com/makerfairemanila for more info!

Also, another thing that we do is we expose her to different people and different situations. Today, we will be bringing her to the Manila Mini Maker Faire. From June 22 (Saturday) to June 23 (Sunday), the Manila Mini Maker Faire (MMMF) will be at The Mind Museum. 

The Manila Mini Maker Faire will have over 150 makers from all over the country and from neighbouring countries in Asia. For this year, most of the projects that will be highlighted are environmentally sustainable projects. Aside from the projects, their will be workshops on Bokashi mud ball making, robotics, paper engineering, 3D design, eco art organic painting, etc. 

If you want to bring your family, please check out http://manila.makerfaire.com

How about you? How do you teach your kids to be inventors and innovators? Hope you can share with us how you do it, too!

A flying carpet. An evil sorcerer. A magic lamp. A diamond in the rough. And a quest to win the heart of a princess. All of these sound exciting.

This is the reason why I think Aladdin is one of the best Disney movies of all time. And I was so excited when I heard the news that Disney is doing a live-version of the film. 

I didn’t let the chance pass when Globe invited me, my husband and my daughter Zeeka to watch it. The movie didn’t disappoint. 

Stepping Into A Wondrous Experience with Disney and Globe 

Zeeka and I got to experience what it was like on Agrabah through “A Wondrous Place” at the premiere of Disney’s Aladdin last May 25th at the SM Aura. 

We got to walk in an Agrabah-themed marketplace and enjoyed magical activities together. There was a magic carpet you can ride and take pictures on.. You can also win gold coins in fun games and activities that you can exchange for movie tickets. 

Zeeka had fun playing kinetic sand and making her own crystal necklace. 

I also had awesome freebies from Globe. I got my own Abu shirt and a purple blanket to keep me warm while watching. 

Rediscovering Aladdin’s Magical World 

I knew Disney was preparing something special for Aladdin fans. And I was pleasantly surprised with the twists they added to the movie’s live-version. 

Check out this side-by-side comparison of the trailers. 

First of all, the casting was on point! Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott were perfect for the roles. One would think Mena was the inspiration for the drawing of Disney’s Aladdin. And Naomi had the beauty and elegance fit for royalty. 

But it was Will Smith’s Genie that made it extraordinary. 

There was some criticism about him playing the Genie at first, but watching the film made absolute sense. 

Of course, Robin William’s Genie still tops the bill. But Will gave the Genie a much-needed glow-up and he made it his own. 

He was fun and hilarious, and you can tell that he knew how to work the crowd. See for yourself here: 

I also love that Jasmine wasn’t portrayed as a weak and helpless princess who cries at the smallest inconvenience. She was strong, opinionated, and she knew what she was capable of. 

Jasmine was bound by the words of people around her. Her overprotective father kept her hidden behind the walls of the palace. Jafar emphasized her lack of experience and her being a woman, which meant that she was just an eyepiece. 

In the end, she proved that she didn’t need anyone to save her. 

Aladdin was also funny, awkward, and charming at the same time. Zeeka had so much fun watching him and the Genie dance inside the cave. And the jam scene was also hilarious.

Mena’s parkour skills upped the ante, and it made Aladdin stand out even more. Mena was able to show Aladdin’s vulnerability, especially when he was conflicted about setting the Genie free or fulfilling his lifelong wish. 

The movie was everything I imagined it would be, and I’m really glad I got to see it happen in my lifetime. 

3 Life Lessons We Learned from Disney’s Aladdin 

Let me share with you three life lessons we learned while watching Aladdin. Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me while watching the film. 

You’ve got to be confident about what you have to offer

Genie

Throughout the film, you can see how Jasmine and Aladdin had doubts about themselves and what they can do. 

Aladdin wasn’t a prince but he definitely had the wits and the heart of one. And although she was a princess, Jasmine was limited because of who she was.  

The rules of the land dictated that she needed to marry a prince for the good of the kingdom. On the other hand, Aladdin was always told that he amounted to nothing.

But you know what made these two click? Both of them decided to believe in themselves and what they had to offer. Because of that, they got to take control of their lives and change the lives of others too. 

Sometimes we fall into this trap and we think that we are not enough. 

We’re not good enough as parents. We’re not expert enough to land that deal we’ve always wanted. We’re not ready to take on that huge project. 

We get scared of failure when in fact it’s a part of the process. We think too much of what others would think about us. We talk harshly about ourselves and forget the things we’ve already achieved. 

Truth is, we all have the potential to be great. The problem is, we often get in our heads too much. 

Mindset is everything. That’s why we need to change our scripts when we talk to ourselves. 

We need to be more encouraging, more patient, and kinder to ourselves. We need to be more grateful for what we have. 

And yes, we need to be more confident with what we have to offer. 

Sometimes you just have to take a risk

Aladdin

There are two kinds of people in the world. 

One are those who would stay in the balcony and sleep the whole night. The other would be those who’d hop on a magic carpet ride. 

The first ones would probably think of how dangerous the ride would be. No helmets, no seatbelts, and the chances of falling to your death is more than 95%. But the second ones are those who would be like, hey, you don’t see a magic carpet all the time right? 

Sure, you can choose to be comfortable and safe. But wouldn’t it be lifechanging to see the world from a different perspective? 

Everything in life is uncertain, and sometimes even the best-laid plans fail. But that’s the fun of it all. Your biggest mistakes can also be your best blessing. It’s all a matter of perspective. 

Sometimes the best things in life lie just beyond the safety line. And all you need to do is take a leap of faith to get it. 

I made you look like a prince on the outside, but I didn’t change anything on the inside. Prince Ali got you to the door, but Aladdin has to open it.

Genie

Most of us go out of our way to impress other people. And most of the time we end up becoming more miserable because of this. 

Just like Aladdin, we often think we need to be rich or powerful to be accepted. But in the end, it was his true self that made the princess fall for him.

So the biggest lesson here is to be yourself. The right people will love and accept you for who you are. And your truth will always be enough to them. 

Disney did a great job of bringing this classic tale up to date. The actors were great, the execution was spectacular, and the magic was kept alive. 

Even if I’ve already watched Aladdin a hundred times, Disney was still able to pull a lot of surprises. It was still as magical as ever, and I’m glad I got to share the experience with my little girl. 

Did you get to watch it? How was your experience? Share it with us below.