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.

An Interview with Momtrepreneur Laddale Borreo-Sy, M.D., General Manager of Luli

Momtrepreneur Dra. Laddale has been thinking of setting up an online all-natural baby shop for the longest time. Why this advocacy? This thought started when their first born contacted Skin Asthma/Eczema. She tells us more about her business idea in this interview. It was just last August 2012 when she took the leap and decided to give it a go. Basically, Luli is really just a baby in the industry, according to doctora, but even if the are fairly new, she continues to say that they have “been so blessed to have a roster of loyal clientele already and we are so thankful for that”.

Dra. Laddale and Family

Dra. Laddale and Family

Dra. Laddale and Daughter

At the Babypalooza Bazaar: her first ever bazaar!

At the Babypalooza Bazaar: her first ever bazaar!

 

Here is my interview with Mommy/Doctora Laddale.

Ginger: Hi Doc! Can you tell us more about your business?

Laddale: Luli is a little online shop showcasing all natural, mostly organic, multi-purpose, and locally handmade, reasonably priced products that your family and mother earth will surely love. What we carry are our favorite all-natural brands — BIODEGRADABLE AND SAFER ALTERNATIVES from the usual commercial products lingering everywhere, jam packed with harmful and unnecessary chemicals!

We carry a variety of products from Economical Cloth Diapers, Fabulous Nursing and Baby-wearing gears, Lovingly Handmade Soaps, Messy-no-more Green Cleaning Solutions, Safe and Natural Bath and Body Products, Wonderful Wooden Toys, Amazing Stain Removers (yep, still all-natural) to Marvelous Malunggay Products! And of course, since my husband and I have little princesses, we incorporated well-made “kikay” items to accessorize our babies with to make them look cuter 🙂

Dra. Laddales favorite bath buddies! By Nature Handmade Soap

Dra. Laddales favorite bath buddies! By Nature Handmade Soap

Ginger: Where did the name Luli come from?
Laddale: For our store name, we initially thought of lili&lulu, from our daughters’ nicknames, Lily and Lulu. We found it too long though, so we settled for Luli, which was easier to remember.

Ginger: What makes your store different from other online stores?
Laddale: What is unique is that we try as much as we can to be transparent, honest and generous with product information. If applicable and amenable to our suppliers, we include manufacturing dates, best before dates, expiration dates, prices per given volume/weight, dimensions, product container, etc. of the products we carry. We try our best to give you a visual feel of our product line. In so doing, we believe, that you will get the best of what you are looking for.

We also are strong advocates of REDUCE, REUSE, REUSE, REUSE, and RECYCLE. We try as much as we can to be resourceful and eco-friendly as possible with our packaging. So don’t expect fancy pansy wrappings and colorful, brand new boxes on our shipments. What’s more important is that the product inside and packaging outside are safe for you, and safe for the environment 🙂

Messy-No-More Green Cleaning Solutions from Messy Bessy

Messy-No-More Green Cleaning Solutions from Messy Bessy

Have a warm, aromatic, and healthy cup of all-natural Moringa Tea infused with Pandan

Have a warm, aromatic, and healthy cup of all-natural Moringa Tea infused with Pandan

Ginger: Who is your market?
Laddale: Luli caters to like minded individuals who believe in the benefits of natural, organic and earth-friendly products. Families who share our advocacy of natural parenting would also find our store a one-stop shop for their needs as well.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Laddale: Everything started when Liliane, our first daughter was diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis (Skin Asthma/Eczema). After exhausting commercial medications to provide relief of her itching and dry skin, we started researching for more worry-free and hopefully more effective and economical remedies to soothe her symptoms. Our search for these alternative drived our thirst for everything natural and organic. And because these products delivered their function very well (so far no flare-ups of her itch-scratch cycle since we started her on naturals), we decided why not share this wonderful advocacy that is natural parenting to fellow Filipinos. Hence, Luli.

But the number 1 reason for our pursuance of this venture is our decision to provide the best care and guidance to our precious little girls, especially in the crucial first 3 years of their lives. We believe that this can only be accomplished well if parents will be very hands-on at home. And since I temporarily postponed my hospital training, I still wanted to help provide for our family, so we decided that we open a small online store. To be honest, income isn’t much in this business. But the happiness brought about by being a Work-At-Home Mom is enough to fuel start-up of this business. And income is income, no matter how minimal.

Help increase your milk supply with 500mg of Malunggay capsule with added bonus of Vitamin C!

Help increase your milk supply with 500mg of Malunggay capsule with added bonus of Vitamin C!

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Laddale: Being a business nincompoop, probably is the number 1 challenge for me. Those 9 cumulative years I spent in becoming a licensed physician obviously didn’t have any business 101s. But with guidance and support from my family and fellow momtrepreneurs, and of course with God’s blessings, I am, so far, coping with these challenges. Also, we don’t have any help at home and I do most of the cooking, household chores and business operations. We are still in the process of mastering time management, but we’re slowly getting there.

Ginger: What do you think are the three traits that a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Laddale: Actually, you only need just 1 — PASSION. Passion drives everything in this business. When you are genuinely passionate in what you do, faith, hardwork, patience, trustworthiness and good client relations, becomes automatic.

 

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Laddale: I’m very honored to be asked of this question. We are still new in the business but being asked for advice to fellow Momtrepreneurs and those planning to venture in this business is very humbling. To my fellow WAHMs, just keep your passion torch burning and continue to innovate, create, inspire and impart knowledge and skills to our fellowmen. To our would be Momtrepreneurs or those thinking on getting into being WAHMs, GO FOR IT! Don’t overthink! Remember we are women, blessed with powerful instincts. If you feel that this is good for you and your family, just do what research you can, and then go for it! We may feel doubtful or timid at times but these are just normal feelings for mothers thinking of leaving work to stay and work at home. But of course none of these will be possible without blessings from our Almighty, so prayers really are very important. We should continue to learn, strive hard and pray to be able to sustain.

Ginger: Thank you, Dr. Laddale, for your time! We are looking forward to interview you again in the future. Wishing you continuous success in your business.

Luli Contact Information:
a. Website/Multiply site: http://www.lulibaby.multiply.com
b. Email address: liliandlulustore@gmail.com
c. Mobile Number: 09176305082
d. Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/lulihappyearthbaby
e. Twitter account: http:www.twitter.com/luli_happybaby

During the start of the year, it has always become a habit of mine to reflect and to contemplate. If there’s one thing that I like doing, I love contemplating, creating goals and thinking of ways on how to achieve them. I know that some of us do this, but some may also consider it very tedious and time consuming. I’d like to share how me and my husband do our goal planning or goal setting. We have done this since the time we got married in December 2009. I, personally, have done it since 2007.

Okay, for this year, we have already actually made our plans last December. We agree on a set schedule and we really sit on it. I have learned from a previous female boss that once you really block of something in your calendar, it helps you stick to this schedule. I know that their are things that may come in the way of the schedule that may delay and even cancel it, but all you need to do is reschedule. Both of you and even all your children should stick by this ‘agreed’ goal setting meeting.

Now that you have gathered everyone, ask each member of the family to share what they want for the themselves, the family and for other people in the future. To make it fun for the kids, they can cut out pictures from magazines or draw something that will answer all of these questions. This time of reflection will lead you to knowing your family’s vision/mission. Since right now, it’s just me and my husband, we discussed it and we found out our vision for our family. The vision of our family is to be “A family that will spread knowledge through various media to help people grow and achieve their goals in life.

We realized that both of us have this gift of spreading knowledge using our skills. EJ is a great presenter and communicator. In the future, he really wants to try it out as a motivational or attitudinal speaker. I am great at events coordination so my business, Manila Workshops, for me, will be the medium that I will use to help spread knowledge. Both of us are bloggers and this year, we intend to carry out this vision by writing more educational and informative articles that would be beneficial for our readers. So that’s our vision? Do you have your own family vision/mission already?

Momtrepreneur Goal Setting

Now going back to the goal setting activity, once you have your vision/mission, you now can create goals. What we do in our home is divide the goals into categories. In my list, we have divided our goals into seven sub-categories. These are:
– Goals related to the baby (since this is a major change in our lives in 2013)
– Spiritual Goals
– Financial Goals
– Fitness and Health Goals
– Career Goals
– Mental Goals
– New things and experiences

I also have columns on who will be the main driver of a particular goal. The driver will be the one encouraging the other family members to work on the goal. I also have another column for duration. I have a set deadline for each of the goal.

It really depends on you and your family on how you want to create the sub categories or even how to lay them out or how to document them. I use an excel spreadsheet, but for some families, they use manila paper. Others use a plain sheet of white paper. For us, it has been like this for the past 3 years. I still have the file from three years ago. What changed is that we just added the goals related to the baby this year 🙂

To cast this is stone, I print out the paper and have me and EJ sign the paper. We then do a monthly review of our goals just to see that we are on track.

How about you, mommy? What do you do to set goals for the year? Do you have any activity that you and your family go through for goal setting and planning? How do you do it? I’d love to hear how you do it at your home, momtrepreneur?

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

When you hire a yaya, there are really certain things that you wish they knew. I’m sure, you do not have a manual, which you use to train your house helper. But, since it’s your duty, you go through the daily routine of guiding them each and every step of the way (especially if they are new). Have you wanted to take training them out of your minds? Do have them attend this workshop.

The Manila Workshops Team would like to invite you to send your yaya, maid, ‘ate’, household help, ‘manang’, etc. to attend the first workshop of our House Helper Series, Ok Ka, Yaya Ko! Workshop. This workshop will be held at the Valle Verde 5 Cabana on February 2, 2013. It will be a whole day workshop, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, which includes sessions and interactive activities on First Aid, Child Care, Self-Development and Etiquette.

Okay ka, Yaya Ko Poster Final
The training will include the following topics:
Mahalin ang Sarili: teaching them about self worth and manners and etiquette, from Personal Hygiene (head to toe), – Handwashing to Personality Development (honesty, loyalty), answering the phone, how to treat guests, Home Safety, etc.
Responsibilities/Housework: teaching them on how to clean different parts of the house, how to dispose of garbage, laundry, ironing, etc. and also how to prepare food, teach them about food safety and allergic reactions and even healthier Alternatives
Caring For The Elderly: teaching them on how to check vital signs, proper body mechanics, sleeping and exercise
“KID”-centered: teaching them developmental stages, baby care (cleaning, bathing, feeding) and school (homework, bantay sa school, iwas chismis, baon), Social Opportunities, Hygiene, First Aid, etc.
Iwas Stress sa Yaya: teaching them on ho to cope with stress

 

The complete outline of the seminar will be as follows:

I. Mahalin ang Sarili
1. Self worth (Self-worth to better working attitude, love yourself, love what you do)
– Bago humarap sa tao
– Personal Hygiene (head to toe)
– Handwashing!
– Pag-alaga sa sarili
– Self-Breast Exam

2. Manners and Etiquette
– Guidelines of a good house helper
– Personality Development (honesty, loyalty)
– Responsibilidad sa Bahay
– Pagsagot sa telepono, bisita sa pinto, etc.
– Home Safety

II. Responsibilities/Housework
1. Cleaning
– Mga Kwarto
– Banyo
– Kusina
– Basura
– Labas ng Bahay
– Laundry
– Ironing

2. Food Concerns
– Preparation
– Baon ng alaga
– Safety, allergic reactions
– Healthier Alternatives

III. Caring For The Elderly
– Vital Signs
– Safety
– Proper Body Mechanics
– Sleeping
– Exercise

IV. “KID”-centered
– Developmental Stages
– Baby Care (cleaning, bathing, feeding)
– School (homework, bantay sa school, iwas chismis, baon)
– Social Opportunities
– Learning from each other
– Hygiene
– First Aid
– Emergency Situations
– Preventing Accidents
– Common Childhood diseases/distinguishing

V. Iwas Stress sa Yaya
– Problema na hinaharap
– Paano mag “cope”

Sign up now! All you have to do is fill out the form below and Manila Workshops will contact you via email in 1-2 days for the payment instructions.

For Inquiries, please contact:

Manila Workshops
via Email: ManilaWorkshops@gmail.com
via Mobile: +63917-8555990
via Phone: +632-8698324

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