Business

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s business tips and advice for momtrepreneurs. She shares valuable knowledge on topics like branding, marketing and consumer insight.

In business or even in marketing, you cannot do away with the word “objective”. What is your objective? I have become immune to that sentence. I do know of some people who are allergic to that word though. Come to think of it, it really sounds intimidating. I don’t want to use that word in this post. I’ll simply use the word “Reason”. I think that’s a lighter and more practical word to use.

Setting goals or objectives can be too intimidating for some especially when asked even before starting a business. At least with reason, it’s a word that we cannot do without since we use this human capacity for making conscious decisions, analysis or justifying actions based on existing information. Like for example, I made this conscious decision to inhale this packet of peanut butter cookies even though I may have gained more than expected during the holidays.

What diet???

What diet???

But seriously, before starting a business, you really need to state a reason for doing so. Objectives and goals can come after. What is your reason for planning to put up your own business? Is it for the financial gain that comes with it? Is it because you want to pursue your passion and life-long dream?

I read this article of Jeff Haden entitled, One Test Every Entrepreneur Must Take. If you answered “yes” to both questions I raised above, what Jeff says will be a disappointment for you. He says that “Sadly, these two options tend to be mutually exclusive–unless what you love to do is grow a business”.

He continues to explain that there will come a point in time when your business will have to expand and grow to give you the financial gains that you expect. If your business is something that you love doing “hands-ons”, then eventually, you will have to let go and watch it grow from a distance where you may not be able to do the things that you are passionate about.

I actually agree with him. I personally believe that at some point in time, I will have to learn how to delegate and be busy with strategy and direction for my business. Right now, I am enjoying doing everything for Manila Workshops — meeting new people, developing plans for partners, making each learning experience worthwhile and building relationships with suppliers, attendees, and partners.

How about you? Have you thought of your reasons for starting or coming up with your own business? If you want to choose both, you can pretty much do so by determining where line intersects between the income that you will be content with and with the satisfaction that you get from doing things in our business that you love. As a momtrepreneur, this is key. If you and your husband plan to make this business of yours the primary source of income in the future, then you may have to choose financial gain in the long run. If you think that this is just so as to augment or to help in adding to the household budget, then maybe, your reason is to do the things that you are passionate about.

What’s your reason?

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

I am in the process of reviewing and ‘re-reading’ some of the books that I have read before. I am not much of a reader, to tell you honestly. The books that I love reading are those that give tips for entrepreneurs, personal finance management books, entrepreneur/start-up guides and branding books.

My collection in my IPAD :)

My collection in my IPAD 🙂

One of the books that I am reading now is Stephen M. Pollan’s Die Broke released in 1997. And in the first few pages of the book, specifically in page 23, he discusses the change of attitude towards work based on socioeconomic patterns. He suggests that we adopt what he calls the Mercantile Ethic.

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Most of us are defined by our work. I remember the time when I was still working for a corporation as an employee. I would obviously be proud that I was a product manager in one of the stable banks in the Philippines. In each seminar or event that I would go to (even if it wasn’t related to work), I would introduce myself as a banker. And in my day-to-day job, I would think of what’s best for the company even if it meant going home really late at night or sacrificing weekends just to finish a presentation or even skipping meals just to meet deadlines.

Now, what Stephen Pollan says is that in this day and age, their is no such thing as corporate loyalty. This is a reality that we all have to face. He suggests that we try ‘quitting in our minds’ today. What does quitting in our minds today mean? We need to start thinking of ourselves, too. This is one of the tips for entrepreneurs that I believe in.

Why did I bring this up? A lot of people ask me, how did you make the jump from the corporate world to become a momtrepreneur. It wasn’t an overnight thing, believe me. You don’t just wake up and resign and then viola! You start your own business. It will take a lot of thinking, self-control, decision making, analysis, reflection, self motivation and will power.

In January 2012, I already probably (in Pollan’s terms) quit in my mind. I knew that I wanted to have a baby already, so I was taking steps to start my own business and create extra income — income that would eventually take the place of my monthly pay. I was ‘intentionally’ steering towards that direction of being a work-at-home-mom. Being a workaholic, it wasn’t easy. I was still working late and working during weekends, but time management was a strength of mine. What I did was I created a schedule that would allow me to work on the things that I wanted to do in the future while still working for my employer. I was still doing a great job at work, mind you, but I was INTENTIONALLY thinking of my own bottom-line, too. Do your job exceptionally well during work hours and then go home and do what you love.

Weekends and evenings should be all about you. No working… stop yourself! And there are no such thing as dues to be paid to your company for providing you pay and benefits. This was one thing I had to learn. I’m a nice gal and at the back of my mind, I always think that I have dues to pay to other people for things that I should actually be expecting and getting. Your pay is the ‘pay’ment for the job that you do well. You don’t owe your employer anything, in fact, for those days that you needed to work more than the required time, they should have paid you more. I know it’s easy to say, but difficult to absorb.

Changing your attitude towards work will definitely be the first step if you are still working and thinking of becoming a work-at-home-mom or a momtrepreneur. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it can be done.

I know of a lot of women who want to start their own businesses, but really don’t know where to start and what to do. At my previous office, I can name at least a dozen women in my circle who would love to escape from the corporate environment and start their own ‘thing’. But how do you start — really start?

It all starts with looking for business ideas. But then again, you might ask, how do I find THE business idea? Well, based on my own experiences and some experiences of other momtrepreneurs, here are ways and tips that you can do or follow to look for business ideas:

1. Know yourself and write down your skills and hobbies.
Prepare a list of the things that you are good at. Write it down. It can be that you have a nice singing voice or you give out outstanding presentations. It can be that you write well or have a knack for writing creative stories. It can be that you love and appreciate food, love shopping or even love creating little trinkets. If you do not know what you are good at, try to listen to what others tell you that your strengths are.

Now, why am I asking you to do this. In starting your own business, it should you be something that you like doing, something that is of interest to you or something that you have the passion for. Now, if you are thinking of starting a business that you don’t really like, but you want to start it just because everyone’s doing it, then there are lesser chances for success. I believe that even if you hire a person to do the ‘dirty work’, for the first few years of the business, the ‘business owner’ will still be the main driver. How can you motivate a team, when you yourself are not motivated enough to get up in the morning and face your newly established business?

2. Read Books & Magazines. Surf the Net.
Ideas come from everywhere. I, personally, do this. I read magazines (hehe… don’t really like books unless these are the motivating one for personal finance. I love those books! They make me feel rich instantly :P) and I surf a lot. With every article that I read, I know that I won’t be able to use them right away, but somehow, at some point in time, I get a bright idea based on that article that I want to turn into a business. If you ask me now, I have tons of these businesses in the list in my mind, which I only get to execute one by one. So read up, people!

3. Break the ‘Cycle’
This, I am serious about. I’ve met a lot of people who are still working and really want to start their own businesses, but give me the reason that they are so busy with work. Their daily schedule is: Wake up at 6:00 am. Feed the baby. Get ready for work. Drive to work. Work. Have lunch break with people from work. Call home to check on the baby. Work. Have an afternoon break with again people at work. Work. Drive home. Feed the baby. Eat. Try to squeeze in work again. Sleep. And the cycle continues.

How about breaking that cycle and try having lunch with other people aside from workmates at least twice a month. Try having lunch with a high school friend or college friend whom you have never seen and catch up. You can also take fitness classes in the evening and meet new friends. How about a cooking class? This will probably just take 1 hour anyway. Why not drop work when you get home and watch the news instead? If you are in that hypnotic cycle, try to break free! It will boost creativity and it will also widen your network. Which leads me to…

4. Widen your contact list.
I love talking to people. You can ask my family and friends and they will tell you that I am a walking directory of people. I love, love, love getting to know people and asking them about what they do and what they are busy with. I love doing that since I also love helping them connect with others, who I think would be helpful to them in the endeavor that they are doing or I, personally, may be able to help them. Talking to people and having them talk to you about what they like, what they want to do, what they are good at, etc. can sometimes trigger that light bulb for an idea of the business that you are looking for.

5. Keep an open mind and think of a solution to a need.
Sometimes, we think that everything has been done before. There is no other business that is left to create and launch. Well, you are wrong. I believe that as long as people want specific solutions to their needs, there will always be new ideas — new businesses that take off and fly. So, keep your ears on the ground. Listen to what people are clamoring for. Write down all of these needs and one day, you will come up with a solution. A solution that will be your own ‘business idea’.

Would you have other tips for business idea creation? Let us know. Please share your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Last December, I wrote my Life List and you can see it in one of the tabs in this blog. One of my goals in life is to have my own mommy blog. I never thought of starting one yet during the past years, because obviously, I wasn’t a mom yet. Now that I am 7 months pregnant, technically, I’m already a mom to this little girl inside my tummy, so I thought of already launching MommyGinger.com.

There are four main tabs in MommyGinger.com. We have Business, Family, Reviews and Momtrepreneurs. Just like any blog, no matter how clearly I specify each topic to be separate from the other, I know that there will always be an overlap. The entries will be stories about my life as a mom and as a momtrepreneur, and just like life, everything is intertwined. But, just for purposes being organized, the categories are there for me…:

Family: to share stories about my loving husband, EJ and my soon-to-be-born daughter, Zeeka.

Business: to share tips on Business and Marketing. It has always been a dream of mine to mentor momtrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses. This is a forte of mine. I graduated with an MA in Communications Major in Intergrated Marketing Communications. I have had experience in advertising, the food industry, banking (sales, product management and product development) and even delved into being a social entrepreneur for a year. I have my own business now called Manila Workshops and have been a professional blogger for almost 5 years.

Reviews: to share product reviews and feedback on different things — things that my family and I would use.

Momtrepreneurs: to share inspirational stories of these multitasking super moms who have their own businesses and who are the main drivers of these businesses. I have been blessed to meet, talk and email these women!

As you can see, the focus is really on empowering momtrepreneurs and giving them a voice through my blog, Mommy Ginger. It is really about discussing the realities of mixing mommy-hood with being a momtrepreneur. It aims to feature the momtrepreneur in all of us 🙂

I hope that you follow me in my journey as I share fascinating stories about my mommy-hood, share business and marketing tips for momtrepreneurs like me and share inspiring stories of other momtrepreneurs! Feel free to comment and share ideas with me! I’d love to hear from you and would love to get to know you all!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger