Business Lessons that I Learned from my Mom

My mom was a stay at home mom. She was very hands-on when it came to raising me and my sister, Kinney. Even if she just worked just for a little while and then focused her life on raising us and taking care of dad, I learned a lot of lessons from her that I applied and continuously follow in running a business.

She was never really an entrepreneur but she was a really tough mom — tougher than any competitor in the market that we would probably encounter. Haha! She was also hard to please. This was probably the reason why I’m one tough cookie. Nothing really gets me down.

They say if you want to move forward and be a better person, you need to take a look at your beginning. If you want to be a better business owner, I invite you to think about some of the business lessons that you learned from your mom.

Business Lessons that I Learned from my Mom

The first of the many business lessons that I learned from my mom is to always be punctual. My mom was very strict and would get mad if we were a few minutes late to anything. When she’d pick us up from school, she would always be there early, and would expect us to be at the meeting spot right after the bell rang.

This is probably the reason why I expect my team to be on time when they commit to something. This is my number one pet peeve. I hate it when people are late.

When I am personally late to an engagement or to a meeting, I feel super embarrassed. I always feel the need to be at least 15 minutes early. This is the reason why I stress out EJ and Zeeka (haha!) whenever I hurry them up to go somewhere. I have a running timer in my head that I can’t let go of.

The reason why we should always be punctual, especially when it comes to work, is that I believe that it is a sign of respect for the other person. It’s showing that you value their time as much as you value yours. I think my team can attest that this is something that I always mention.

The next business lesson that I learned from my mom is that the only thing that stops us from doing the best work that we can is ourselves. Our mind stops us from achieving what we think is impossible.

My mom was a tiger mom, and she would probably say that she was glad to have pressured us when we were young! haha! She had always expected me to have good grades, to study the minute I would get home, and to have a long list of extra-curricular activities.

And that I did.

Looking back, what I realize now is that it’s not about the good grades or being editor in chief in the school paper or running for a position in the student council. It was really about having the heart, the focus and the tenacity to go after the life that you want.

Some people lose interest with a business idea that they have just conceptualized a few days back. They forget about it and move on with their lives. Others lose focus when they try to establish a business. And when things get too technical, tricky, and challenging, they give up.

You, see, when I was young, I could never just give up on something. My mom would always say “ginusto mo yan eh… tapos ngayon ka susuko” (That’s what you wanted, right? Why are you now giving up.)

The last of the many business lessons that I learned from my mom is to take pride in what I do.

Do things that will make you proud. If you really want to be successful, it has be because you’ve passed on value to others. You’ve helped them become the better people. HOW you achieved your goals are more important than the goal itself.

Here are other entrepreneurship lessons from other moms all over the world.

https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/entrepreneurship-lessons-from-moms/

My mom and I had a really challenging relationship while I was growing up. I know that if she’ll get to read this, she’ll probably laugh and stress the fact that she was right to have made decisions along the way. Haha!

I acknowledge that part of who I am today is because I was raised by her. So thanks, mom. Advance Happy Mother’s Day!

How about you? What business lessons have you learned from your mom? I’d love to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Sustaining a Business in Times of Crisis

With the world slowly shutting down, it’s hard to see that there could be a light at the end of the lockdown tunnel. With COVID-19 making its way across the globe, people are suffering, and businesses are dropping like flies. The rate of small business closures in their first year is usually 50%, but with this virus, small companies cannot sustain themselves.

Before you panic that your business may fail, let’s take a breath and remember that you are not working from home: you are at your house trying to maintain your business during a massive crisis. You may be in the middle of a time of uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to flop.

If you stay informed and you stay busy, there is a good chance you can come out of the other side of this crisis relatively unscathed. So, let’s take a look at a few of the ways that you can keep your business steady through quarantine.

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Accept It

It’s not easy to accept that the future you have so carefully mapped out for your business is at risk. You can’t deny what’s going on, though. If you bury your head in the sand and try to continue with business as usual, you’re going to struggle. You need to accept what’s happening and get organized so that you can react appropriately to what’s going on around you. Choosing to accept it isn’t weak; it’s how you organize yourself better. Use Templafy and get a document out to clients and employees about how life will be in your business going forward. People need to be in the know, and that’s up to you!

Read The Information

The more you know, the better off you will be. Check with the government as to what initiatives are being put in place for your business. Several grants are being offered to small businesses right now (from different entities). I saw one from Facebook the other day. You could be in line for a cash injection to keep your business moving forward. Unless you stay up to date with the information out there, you’re not going to know.

Speak To Your Landlord

A big blow to sustaining a business in times of crisis is paying off the rent for an office space. Your commercial premises may be closed right now, and all your staff is working from home. So, if you are paying rent to a commercial landlord, speak to them about the situation. There are policies in place to have payments deferred until later, and businesses are protected from eviction in these circumstances. Again, though, check with your government!

Plan Ahead

You know that this situation isn’t going to go away immediately, so speak to your finance team and your Co-Founders about what to do going forward. You should have a plan in place for furloughing employees so that they can feed their families. You also need to work out your immediate contingency plan for lost business. Plans will keep you in control and prevent heavy business losses.

Sustaining a business in times of crisis can be tough. Quarantine has positives, though; you can still work on your automation and productivity strategies. Make the most of working and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Check out Taxumo’s #ATimeForHope campaign. Visit http://taxumo.com and talk to us about it!

Short and Long Term Effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine to SMEs

I joined a webinar recently to talk about COVID19, the impact that we all think it has on SMEs, professionals and freelancers. I was asked the question: What do you think the short and long term effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) are to SMEs.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this so that MSMEs and start-up founders like me can reflect and plan accordingly. If you want to add to the list, please feel free to comment on the comment section below.

Short Term effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine on Businesses

These are what I personally think the short term effects of this quarantine period are:

Feel a huge impact on their Cash Flow. Most of the businesses, no matter the size, are living from paycheck to paycheck. This is where we will feel the full effect of not saving up for a rainy day (Yes, as a business, we should also have an emergency fund or plan to maintain business operations and pay our commitments).

For our personal finances, we always talk about emergency funds and having enough to sustain us when unforeseen events happen. This should also be the case for SMEs. But since not a lot of businesses have extra funds for an unforeseen event like this, businesses lack funds to pay their people, they don’t get to have enough funds for the bills that they have, etc. This will result to layoffs, penalties and interests for unpaid bills or taxes, not having enough funds to pay for offices, machines, equipments, etc. Some of these companies will then have to declare bankruptcy.

Some companies will panic because they are not ready for a “work-from-home” scenario. For the longest time, our minds have been set a certain way by policies and directives about working that have been passed on from generation to generation. We think that people are more productive when they come and stay in the office from 8-5 or 9-6. There are no policies on working remotely. No policies set on which tools to use, when to use these tool, how to best use them, etc. During quarantine, most of the business owners will scramble to set up a system that will work for them “temporarily”. 

It will affect people emotionally and psychologically. This isolation will get to some people. And with the news about COVID 19 and this community quarantine, it will definitely foster low moral, scare, lack of motivation due to lack of freedom (freedom that we are so used to). For business owners, some will be depressed because of the uncertainty of their businesses, thus, possibly leading to making the wrong business decision. 

Long Term effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine on Businesses

The only thing constant in this world is change. So as humans, I think that we will obviously “adapt” to whatever our environment throws at us, thrive and survive. With this, we will be gunning for the “normalization” of things. We will look for ways to bring out the new “normal”.

That being said:

  • Businesses will be keen on visiting policies and creating new policies for situations like these. They will probably create new policies for working at home, dealing with Pandemic like this, etc.
  • Most companies will see that having their Employees “Work-from-Home” is actually possible. I feel that a lot of business owners will see after a while that given this kind of environment, there are some people and job functions that can really be done from home and are even more productive this way. They will also see that there are people and jobs, too, where an office setting is more beneficial. Business owners will be more open to having a more results based environment and see the value for certain types of jobs and personalities. They’ll probably be more open to hiring independent contractors and freelancers who work well in these types of environment.
  • Shifts in business models of some businesses. Business owners will see that there may be a few things that they need to tweak in term of how they generate revenues. For examples, a company that used to do things mostly offline, will think of diversifying and looking at other sources of revenue. 
  • Rise of the new creators and inventors. When unforeseen situations like this happen, they become “seen” and people get to experience a different set of challenges and pain points. Some of us go the extra mile and create solutions for the things that we experience now and for the things that we wish we had at this point in time.

What can we do to battle the negative effects and stay sane?

For Business Owners and Startup Founders: Revisit your business model. Try to look for other ways you can earn. As I mentioned, it’s time to look for new ways of earning, if you aren’t really getting any revenue.

This is also the time do some “cleanups”. Clean up processes. Find ways on how to make processes more efficient. This is the time to quickly work on things that would normally get set aside.

Take care of your people. We are all new to this. As business owners and entrepreneurs, we’ve handled a lot of challenges along the way. From overcoming these things, we’ve become stronger. Let’s step up and be leaders at this time. Make your people feel safe and secure.

For employees: Take care of yourself. Even when in lock down, try to maintain a “balance” with everything that you do. It’s hard to separate working from personal time when both are done in the same environment. Try to set boundaries for each. Take breaks while working. At the same time, strive to be more productive, too, while at home. It’s hard, but you’ll get the hang of it.

To motivate you to work from home, you can (1) go back to your company’s mission and see if you can help achieve the mission that they have. In Taxumo, our mission is really to help people compute, file and pay their taxes anytime and anywhere. We are working doubly hard now to reach more people so that they don’t have to worry about paying taxes during times like these. Our government uses these (our taxes) to fund public hospitals and other initiatives that can help our countrymen in times like these.

Another thing that you can look at to motivate you is (2) look at your own personal goals. Who are you doing this for? Going back to the reason why you’re working can help you out at this time.

Let me share with you a video that I shared with some of my employees and hopefully this will help. It talks about looking for the FLOW.

We’ll all get through this. We must get through this. I still believe in the human spirit and how we can turn situations like this into something beneficial for all of us. Let’s help one another, and probably, after all of this has died down, we’ll all be super humans.

P.S. I read this article that I had written 6 years ago when I was “about” to start working from home: https://mommyginger.com/work-at-home-me.html Just brings back a lot of emotions 🙂

The Secrets to Running a Business Hidden in Netflix Shows

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!

I Promise to Be a Better Freelancer this 2019

I sound so crazy saying that. You might be wondering, who actually promises to be better at one’s profession or one’s job even.

Well, that’s the entire point. Only a few of us commit to be better at what we do.

When creating goals for this year, most of us write down financial goals, weight loss goals, travel goals, etc. Hardly do we take the time out to create action steps on how we might better our freelancing profession, how we run a company or a business or even how we work in the office. We only think about improving our profession, business or career when the going gets tough, when ratings are involved or when we’re trying to get a promotion.

I think this year is the year that we push ourselves into COMMITTING to do better in what we do. Since I’m a freelancer / entrepreneur, I commit to be better at both these things. I have listed down things that I will commit to.

I will commit to seeing my worth.

Last year, I have been scared of losing. I have been scared of losing a lot of deals with clients, losing relationships and losing opportunities. I agreed to some projects that have lowered my worth as a freelancer. This year, I commit to being braver, to seeing my strengths and to valuing myself. I commit to dealing with people who see the value that I can give them. I will constantly remind myself that I am worth every penny, because I deliver great value.

My Team: #TeamTaxumo

I will commit to deliver exceptional work.

I will commit to not only deliver projects ask of me, but deliver exceptional work. I will help my client with their objectives and contribute ideas and more than the scope of work given to me. I will continue to provide more value to brands that I trust and love.

I will commit to tracking my finances better.

I will commit to logging my income and expenses dutifully. I will commit to continuously using frequently-used-apps like PayPal, Taxumo, GCASH and UnionBank Mobile Banking and to use my not-so-frequently used apps like Wally, 52 Weeks and other apps that I have downloaded an paid for. I know that these will help me, but lazy me takes over! Haha! So I will commit to fixing my finances better this 2019.

I will commit to writing, blogging and vlogging more consistently.

I commit to creating better content — content that is from the heart and more purposeful. I promise that I will b/vlog about the things that my readers will be interested in and that they will learn from. I promise to be consistent, too. I will not let the week pass without creating content.

I promise to learn more about “other” things this year.

I usually come across things that I use for my craft, but I know that I need to learn or at least read about other things that are not related to what I do. I commit to read more, listen to people, meet new people and create new relationships with people. I commit to widening my network, since I know that this is how I’ll be able to learn more.

That’s about it. These are the things that I commit to as a freelancer.

How about you? Let’s start an accountability thread. Tell me about what you COMMIT to as a freelancer, entrepreneur, employee, profesional, parent, etc. I’d love to hear about it!