Why You Should Be A Business Mentor

When you started your business, there would have been challenges and issues that you had to face, and you probably faced them alone. Getting over those hurdles took time and could have cost you dearly if you hadn’t successfully navigated your way through. If you had had a mentor right at the start of your business, everything would have been a lot simpler to deal with. The challenges would still have been there, but you would have known which way to step to deal with them. 

Now that you are more established, is it time you became that mentor for a younger generation of entrepreneurs? There are many reasons why you should. 

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Strengthen Your Learning 

Over the years, you will have learned many important lessons. You know what to do and what not to do now, and that’s a hugely positive thing for your business. If you now choose to pass on that information to someone else, not only are you helping them to succeed as you have, but you will also be strengthening your own learning. That means that you will be even more able and confident to deal with anything that comes your way. 

Helping others is another way of helping yourself, and there is no better way to clarify ideas and think about challenges than by dealing with those someone else has to meet. 

Reinforce Your Customer Service Model 

If you have hit upon a great way to help your customers and offer exceptional customer service, you can teach this system to someone else, reinforcing your own model in their business. Why is this a good idea? It’s because customer service is of paramount importance when it comes to running a business; without good customer service, no matter what else you do, you will never reach the heights of business success that you would otherwise do. Therefore, if you can teach a new business owner just one thing, let it be that customer service is important and how to do it right. 

Learn New Things 

Although you may think of mentoring as teaching someone else everything you know about business, sometimes it can work the other way around; sometimes you can learn new things that will benefit you as an individual and your business. 

By talking ideas through with someone else, you will often see a different side to the idea, either positive or negative, that can have an impact on what you are doing, or how you are going to implement your new plans. You might find out more about the best live chat software for business that you hadn’t realized existed, but that would make a big difference in your business. Or you could start to look at artificial intelligence because your mentee likes the idea of using it. 

Leave A Legacy 

Being a mentor is about ensuring that someone else has as much success – if not more so – as you did in your business. It’s a way of leaving a lasting legacy, especially if your mentee then goes on to become a mentor themselves, passing on information to the next generation. This kind of business immortality is exciting and something that many people want. 

Movie Nights with the LUMOS RAY Projector

Last year, we got to fix our room. We had the cabinets in the master’s bedroom taken out for more space and for decluttering. We were left with an empty blank wall. Being used to seeing a lot of things in the room, we were contemplating if we should place shelves, or decorate the wall, or add a TV so that we can watch our favorite shows.

We didn’t have any TV in the room, and we used to just watch from our laptops or iPads. We then had this idea of buying a mini projector. We tried one mini projector, but the quality wasn’t really that good. The room needed to be really dark, plus the shows on Netflix were pixelated when using this cheap projector.

Ginger Arboleda with her LUMOS RAY projector

We then came across the LUMOS RAY projector which costs either Php 8999 for the LUMOS RAY and Php 11,999 for the RAY Smart. We were pleasantly surprised with how the LUMOS RAY Projector worked. Okay, you probably are thinking why not just buy a TV with this price. What we love about this projector is that we can bring it anywhere we go. 

Before the pandemic, we used to travel a lot. Now with things easing up, I’m sure that we’ll be able to travel again, so we’ll be bringing the LUMOS RAY projector with us.

If you are a family who loves watching movies and shows, this projector is for you.

Video Clarity

This small device can project an impressive 100 inch screen. Just to share with you, the distance from our projector to the wall now is around 100 inches (2.5 meters). To give you an idea, a 3 meter distance can project the 100 inch screen.

It really can show whatever show you’re watching clearly at 720p HD clear resolution (1080p Blu-Ray Support). It has a Bright 3,000 Lumens making the colors more vivid in darkness (not grainy or washed out). Other projectors are just at 1000 Lumens.

As you can see, we shot the images above at around 4:00 pm in the afternoon, when it was still bright and sunny outside. We had no problem watching, and the video projected was clear.

Plug and Play

To use the device, just plug it in and turn it on. It has a built-in Netflix and Youtube app. Do take note to simply press ‘cancel’  when Netflix asks for an upgrade as the inbuilt version works best with the projector.

The user interface was simple and easy to use, that even our 9 year old understood how to use the device.

Screen Mirroring

You can also open a file, app or video via your mobile device and have it projected. Just open the Air Screen app on the LUMOS RAY and connect via Wi-Fi to mirror your file in your mobile device. Other people use it to play mobile games, use Spotify, or even join Zoom calls over a huge screen while lying in bed.

Sleek and portable

As mentioned, what we love about the LUMOS RAY is that you can just grab it and go! I love how it looks — it’s very sleek and compact. It also has a built-in Dolby Audio so sound is good. But if you’d like to use your own speaker, you can attach it and plug it into your LUMOS RAY.

The LUMOS RAY is again priced at only ₱8,999 and the RAY Smart at ₱11,999 with 1-year local warranty. You can purchase these devices directly from LUMOS Projector via their website at https://www.lumosprojector.ph/MommyGinger. You can order from anywhere in the Philippines, Malaysia or Singapore.

Overall, we’d highly recommend getting this for your bedroom, living room or home theater. We love the experience, and now that we seldom go to movie houses, this is a great option for movie nights with the kids at home!

How to Get Some Cash Back for the Money You Have Spent?

There are several ways to earn credit card points. There are bonus points that you can earn for every dollar you spend, which is beneficial if you shop a lot on your card. You can also use credit card rewards to travel more. You can earn extra points by making certain purchases. If you spend a lot at a restaurant, you can earn an extra three points for every dollar you spend. This way, you can get some cashback for the money you’ve spent.

Convert Your Points to Merchandise:

Some credit cards allow you to convert your points to merchandise or other benefits. These items typically do not have a 1:1 value, though, so you may have to spend more than you would usually on other items. In addition to this, you may also be able to donate your points to a charity. You should be aware that the value of credit card points is low, so it is more efficient to get cashback instead. If you want to use your points for charitable purposes, make sure to check out the expiration date of your freedom flex credit card.

Some credit card issuers let you couple up to two cards with one another, which allows you to transfer your points to another card with the same issuer. By doing this, you’ll be able to earn more points per dollar. Additionally, some offer bonuses for adding an authorized user to your account. These users are responsible for making purchases and will count towards the rewards pool. Always make sure to include trusted people to your authorized users.

Different Reward Programs:

Most credit cards come with different reward programs. Some are more geared towards travel and groceries, while others are more focused on dining, entertainment, and car hire. Other cards offer cashback and bonus points. Be sure to research which ones you prefer before applying for a card. It’s worth it to look into how you can use your points. After all, you’ll be earning them in the first place. So now that you know how to earn credit card points, you’re ready to shop.

Check the Terms and Conditions:

While it’s possible to earn credit card points without using a credit card, you have to choose a card that allows you to earn points. Most rewards cards let you earn points on everyday spending, while others give you more if you make larger purchases. You should check the terms and conditions of each card to decide which one is best for you. If the card offers a higher amount, go for it. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to redeem them for a variety of rewards.

There are Many Ways to Earn Credit Card Points:

The easiest way to earn them is to sign up for a rewards program. It’s best to find a card that offers rewards that are valuable to you and will help you achieve your goals. This is also a great way to get free travel and gift cards. There are countless ways to earn credit card points. However, you can also earn points simply by using your credit card.

There are a number of ways to earn credit card points. The most common way to earn credit card points is to use a rewards credit card. Most rewards credit cards allow you to collect points by making purchases of various types. Some of these cards allow you to redeem these points at a fixed amount, while others limit you to a specific number of dollars. These programs are often free, so you’ll never have to pay for them.

5 Ways to Make Filipino Rice Farmers More Competitive

Thanks to support from the Philippine government, NGOs, credit providers, and other key groups, Filipino rice farmers are more competitive than ever. With increasing access to credit, technical support, and rice farming equipment, Philippines’ local rice farmers have consistently achieved record-high rice outputs in the past few years. 

There is no question that, despite their dwindling numbers and increasing median age, Filipino rice farmers are now more productive than they have ever been. However, despite a record output exceeding 20 million metric tons of palay in 2021, the Philippines is likely to keep importing rice from Vietnam, Thailand, and India to meet local market demands. 

This is especially notable as the annual demand for rice is only at approximately 14 million metric tons of palay. What this means is that the domestically grown rice may not be meeting specific market needs for price and quality, which comes down to factors such as production scale and access to resources.

Fortunately, the recent performance of Filipino farmers shows that they have what it takes to not only secure our nation’s food security but also to be competitive in the domestic market. There is no reason to believe that the Philippines may not become a net exporter of rice as well. 

Below are some key solutions identified by the Department of Agriculture and other 

policymakers for improving the competitiveness of our rice farmers:

1.) Mechanization

Mechanization has long been identified as a crucial component of agricultural competitiveness. The use of machinery is key to reducing labor inputs and waste, thus achieving the kinds of efficiency typical of farms in industrialized rice-producing countries.

For decades, however, the country has faced extreme challenges in mechanizing farms. These range from the difficult terrain in many rice-growing areas, supply and logistics issues related to the acquisition and servicing of farm equipment, and the lack of credit mechanisms. Many farms could not also justify the upfront cost of machinery acquisition, as these often require a certain scale of operations to rationalize.

Recently, however, private businesses and government bodies such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute have developed affordable and localized rice farming equipment. Unlike previous generations of farm equipment, many of these new devices are designed to operate in the context of most Philippine rice farming operations, making them a more attractive investment.

2.) Sustainable Credit

Many rice farmers only receive incomes when they have a successful harvest. Most rice farming areas can only support 2-3 croppings a year, which can leave farmers in a precarious financial situation in between harvest periods. 

Even when their finances are fairly stable, rice farmers may find it difficult to increase the productivity of their farm if they are not able to secure credit to pay for inputs such as good quality seed, fertilizer, equipment, and labor. Ultimately, the lack of ready, sustainable credit options may leave farmers unable to improve the efficiency of their operations, leading to a higher production cost per ton of palay. 

Thankfully, there are now many more good credit options for local rice farmers compared to previous generations. Both government and private financial institutions are stepping up their efforts to make workable financial options available to those that need them. This ensures that farms remain competitive and the farmers themselves are not trapped in a cycle of unpayable debt.

3.) Technical Support

Local rice production has improved significantly in large part thanks to the adoption of modern farming practices. The Department of Agriculture, PhilRice, and various agricultural colleges have collectively helped rice farmers implement sustainable production-boosting practices that work in the various contexts of local farms. 

However, there remains room for improvement. The highly mechanized farms of tomorrow will require that farmers are familiarized with different modern technologies, from crop-spraying drones and laser-guided land leveling tools to testing equipment and agricultural satellite imaging.

Even without these cutting-edge tools, modest investments in technical support still have the potential to improve competitiveness. Teaching farmers the proper use of fertilizers and pest management solutions, for instance, can have an immediate impact on the efficiency and productivity of many local rice farms.

4.) High-yield, Location-appropriate Rice Varieties 

Many of the recent gains in rice production is down to the adoption of high-yield rice varieties developed by PhilRice and other research centers. While the improvements in yields are encouraging, things could still be better.

For instance, Filipino farmers today often select rice varieties primarily on yield potential. However, this is not the only factor to consider, as the pest resistance and the marketability or “eating quality” of a rice variety can also determine the profitability and competitiveness of a crop. 

The sole focus on yield has sometimes led to higher than normal losses from pests as well as low farmgate prices. Thus, some farms that are already using high-yield varieties could stand to become more competitive by switching to a comparatively less bountiful variety that is more in demand and suffers far fewer losses to local pests.

5.) Buy Locally Produced Rice

For many Filipinos, rice is far more than just a carbohydrate. Rather, it is central to the many different cultures in the country. As such, the price and demand for rice are subject to political factors outside of its economic and nutritional value. This often leads to the creation of policies that heavily favor cheaper imports so that rice remains affordable for poorer Filipinos. 

Unfortunately, cheaper imports from countries with large competitive advantages can severely undercut disadvantaged local producers, often forcing them out of business.

The job of balancing the needs of less-advantaged Filipinos and farmers struggling to compete is not easy. However, the growing number of middle-class Filipinos and local businesses can make a real difference simply by choosing to buy locally produced rice.

By choosing to buy local rice, ordinary Filipinos can help farmers not just stay in business but also develop their capacity to efficiently produce better rice at a lower cost. This can help them bring profitable yet low-priced and high-quality rice to the market, hopefully reducing the demand for imports even further.

Filipino Farmers Are Up to the Challenge

The production successes of the past few years show that, despite the odds, Filipino farmers are up to the task of producing enough rice for our needs. Now the question is how willing other Filipinos are to support them and help them compete domestically. With mechanization, sustainable lines of credit, technical assistance, better rice varieties, and a better-educated market willing to buy according to their values, anything’s possible.

How I Dropped my Credit Card Debt to ZERO

Recently, I shared how I dropped my credit card debt of Php 700,000 to Zero.

If you haven’t seen the video, here is the video and the transcript. Hope you get something from this and learn from my experience.

How I dropped my credit card debt to Zero

[GINGER]: Hey everyone! I’m Ginger and I’m EJ and we’re here to bring another finance video from Team Arbo (say together). Haha! I think we should always do this intro! Haha! Anyways, we’re content creators and startup business owners who love sharing our experiences on personal finance, investing, business and parenthood. If you like our videos, please subscribe, share this video, click on the notification bell and leave a comment so that we can get to know each one of our, our dear viewers.

[EJ]: Today, we’ll be talking about how Ginger’s credit card bill increased so much and how she dropped her Php 700,000 credit card debt to zero in one year.

[GINGER]: To tell you honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed to share this with you, because I know exactly what I did wrong. And let’s just say, they’re not very good reasons. But I’ll still share what happened so that you can learn from my mistakes. And after each mistake, we’ll also talk about what we did to avoid making those mistakes again.

The first mistake that I made was to mix business expenses with my personal expenses. I knew that these business expenses can be reimbursed by the company anyway, so I just used my card for a lot of them. But, it took me a while to find the time to ask for reimbursement (with the tons of things that I do every day), so instead of being paid right away, my credit card bill, with both personal expenses and business expenses, kept on incurring interest.

[EJ]: To fix that, we made sure that all expenses were charged to the company credit card. If you have a business, you can ask your bank for the requirements to open a company credit card. This will make it easier for everyone in the business since this will also lessen reimbursements, which is usually a manual process. So aside from being easy, your finance team will also be happy!

[GINGER]: The next mistake was ordering too much take out and delivery. Personally, I usually order food either because I feel lazy and I don’t want to prepare anything OR I feel that good food is a reward for a hard day’s work. Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying what you earn, and we believe that food is not the worst way to splurge, BUT, I think I overdid that — and soooo, I always went beyond budget. We would reach Php 30 to 40 thousand pesos for groceries and food delivery, and we just had 3 adults and 1 child that time in this house.

[EJ]: The way we fixed this was to set a groceries & takeout budget for the family. We set our food and grocery budget to Php 20,000 and we consistently monitor our spending every week. The good thing about this is that this is a pretty easy to control expense. If I feel like ordering something, just look at our budget and if we have some left, we order, otherwise, no choice, we cook. 🙂

[GINGER]: The next mistake was not knowing where I stood in terms of my debt right away. I just kept on delaying checking my bills. Honestly, there’s a lot of anxiety involved in doing this especially if you suspect that you spent a bit too much. In the long run though, by avoiding that quick pain I was setting myself up for a bigger shock later. 

[EJ]: In this case, we really just had to bite the bullet. First, we did an audit of Ginger’s credit card bills. We listed down all her credit cards and the interest rate for each – not all credit cards are the same, they had different interest rates. We also looked for loans and searched for ones that offered lower rates than what Ginger had with her credit card. We worked on transferring the balance of Ginger’s high interest credit cards to the lowest interest loan that we found. So instead of paying 24% per year on the credit card debt, we were paying around 18% per year on the loan. Granted, the personal loan wasn’t able to cover all of the debt, so some of it remained on the credit card. For that remaining amount, we looked at her other credit cards – we transferred the remaining amount to the lowest interest credit card.

[GINGER]: By the way, remember to double check if the rate being offered is per annum (that means per year) or per month. 2% per month might sound lower than 13% per year, but if you convert them both to per year – 2% per month is 24% per year!

[EJ]: So with that in place, our next step was to keep up with the payments. There are two ways to pay off debt: the Debt Snowball Method and the Debt Avalanche Method. In both methods, the basic rule is that you must pay the minimum amount due of all your loans & cards – this will make sure you don’t incur any additional penalties and expense. Where they differ is where you put any extra money you have.

With the Debt Snowball Method, you use your extra money to pay the card with the lowest outstanding balance. The idea here is that you set mini-wins for yourself along the way and you get a psychological boost when you see your cards start getting to zero.

With the Debt Avalanche Method, you use your extra money to pay the card with the highest interest rate. This makes sure that you’re cutting the total interest payments you’re paying because you’re getting rid of the high interest rate cards first.

Ginger used the Debt Avalanche Method. 

[GINGER]: Speaking of extra money, the last thing that I did was that I looked for extra income to pay off my debt. Now THAT was really hard. I already had a busy day with my startup and a lot of work in my events management company BUT aside from that, I would still create content for brands and advertisers. We also got into KonMari and discovered that we had so much stuff in brand new condition but were not being used – I sold those on Carousell. Between my influencing gigs and my occasional selling, I had extra money that I used to pay off my debt using the Debt Avalanche Method.

[EJ]: And that’s basically everything we did to pay off Ginger’s credit card debt. Now, It doesn’t mean that we hate credit cards. In fact, you can still use credit cards to your advantage when you know how to use them correctly. We’ll talk about how to use credit cards properly in one of our future videos.

[GINGER]: We hope that you learned a lot today, and we hope that you can finally pay off that credit card debt! If you like this video, please hit that like button, share this video, comment below and hit that notification bell.

[EJ]: This is Team Arbo, hope you have a nice day. See you in our next video!