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 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!

I was filling out a survey for Fintech companies in the Philippines, and one of the questions there was how old each founder was. In the tech industry, there are a lot of young founders, so I find questions like these to be awkward. Obviously, there was nothing wrong by them asking that question, since it was a survey and they need data. It was my own mind that was making uncontrollable judgements. haha! It was my own self telling ME that it’s too late to start a business. I’m in my late 30s and I just seem old to be starting these very millennial-ish business.

Because of the voice inside me that was telling me to feel ashamed about my predicament, I decided to write about the PROs why it’s never too late to start a business. It can seem scary to start a business at an old age. But, it does offer a lot of advantages. Take for example Harland Sanders, who started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) at 65 years old and became successful. At an old age, you have a bigger network and gained more experiences and knowledge. You also have more tenacity to make your business venture a success.

A bigger network

At 40s and up, you have already met many people during your professional career. You have already built stronger connections with peers and colleagues. You know who among them are reliable and trustworthy. Tap into their expertise and call them up in case if you need legal, financial, and marketing advice.

A wealth of knowledge and experience

When you’re older, you have gained more experiences and knowledge. You have been through many jobs and experienced failures. These guide you to make better decisions. By this time, you have gained more business acumen and expertise in your craft. Those learnings build you to become more prepared in your business venture.

More tenacity

You are more responsible to handle problems as they arise. You can make a firmer stand on important business decisions. You don’t easily lose heart in the face of problems. You understand that it takes patience and determination to make your business venture a success.

What are the business opportunities for you?

There are a lot of business opportunities for you. All of the things mentioned above make you more likely to succeed even. What really stops you are all of those personal judgements that you make on yourself. No one thinks that! So every day, wake up feeling capable. Each day, tell yourself that you can make things happen.

Believe that it’s not too late to start a business.

This month for me has been knowing more about skincare and the different ingredients that I should look for or watch out for. There is a plethora of products that you can choose from in the market, and the challenge really for retailers now is how do I stand out and what will make me unique and different. Looking at different skin care products from Korea and Japan, you would notice that they make use of quite interesting products like snail, lava, horse oil, orange, grapes, and even “unicorn tears” (I wonder how they got that! haha!). Then I got myself looking at Filipino made products, too (of course!) and one brand caught my attention, and that was My Natural PH. They make use of Seaweed.

I wanted to know more about the whats, hows and whys of My Natural. This is why I interviewed, Marina, one of the co-owners of My Natural PH.

Mommy Ginger and Marina Morada

About The Moradas

Marina is the daughter of Noel Morada, who started the business. Noel is a UP Alumnus and has an MBA in Marketing and Finance. He is a graduate of Business Administration and is a businessman who has been in the seaweeds industry for more than 20 years.

Marina is an IMC Graduate from UA&P (yeeeeah! same school and course as me!). She is also a graduate of Masters of Applied Business Economics. EJ Morada is the younger brother who helps in the business. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University (Business Management).

Interview with Marina of My Natural PH:

Ginger: Hi Marina! It’s great to meet you. Can you tell everyone what My Natural is about and how long have you been in business?

Marina: We’ve been in the seaweeds business for more than 20 years but our personal care line  made out of seaweeds was only launched June this year after 2 years of research and product development.

Mr. Noel Morada with the the country’s seaweed experts

 This new venture is all about providing SAFE, HEALTHY, and EFFECTIVE natural products.  It stems from our belief that having a healthy lifestyle does not stop with developing healthy habits and eating healthy foods but should also include the use of different products for personal  care, home care and air care which are natural and environment friendly. Consumers need such products that will help them sustain a healthy lifestyle. This is the need that we wish to address through MyNatural products.  

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Marina: Our product line generally caters to the health- conscious natural advocates who keep on finding ways on how they could maintain a healthy lifestyle. They have personal preference over natural products knowing its benefits.  

We have 3 brands and each have distinctly identifies the type of consumers to address their needs.

 

Algynatural: For the regular consumer who wish to have the benefits of seaweeds and natural personal care products which they could sustain for their everyday needs.

Ocean Blue: For the ultra- sensitive skin consumers who are looking for natural, safe, and effective solutions that could help them manage skin conditions.

MyNatureland: For every homemaker that wishes to keep every corner of her home naturally fresh and clean without using harmful chemicals.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Marina: Being in the seaweeds industry for several years, we have attended International conferences and exhibits and learned the benefits of seaweeds for skin care and other personal care needs. These are evidenced by numerous scientific studies, presentations and research papers by experts in the fields. More than this is our ardent desire to promote sustainable healthy lifestyle through products that help consumers take care of themselves as well as the environment. Last of course is our determination to provide more livelihood and continuously build self-sustaining and sustainable communities.

Before embarking on this business though, to be viable we asked ourselves 3 basic questions:

– Is there a market for the product?
– Do we have the resources ( capital, human, raw materials, etc.) to be in this business?
– Do we have the competitive advantage?

Ginger:  Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Marina: Oh A lot. Putting up a business is always a challenge. But as an entrepreneur, you got to have the grit. You have to be tough – psychologically,  physically, and emotionally, you have to have  the capacity to find solutions to complex problems,  the ability to see the opportunities and potentials of future products to fulfill human needs, the steadfastness to pursue your dreams and strong faith in yourself and God of course.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business?

Marina: Getting the right product that will address the need of the market. This is the product development stage where you really spend a lot of time, resources and human talent to be able to get a perfect product as much as possible. Then you have the challenge of getting your product to the market. Identifying the right market and communicating to them. How is your product relevant to your market?  What are the right channels to reach your market?  What marketing mix shall you use…  Then you have the logistics side of it so that products get to the customer in a seamless and faster way.  Finding customer expectation and fulfilling them is huge challenge for entrepreneurs. Getting the needed resources is likewise a challenge. 

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Start-up Founder/Entrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

  1. The passion to succeed no matter what the odds (grit)
  2. Eagerness to learn to keep up with the changing times.
  3. Perseverance / Hardwork

Ginger: Do you have any unforgettable moments or  lessons that you learned as an Start-up Founder/Entrepreneur?

Marina: Think ahead. As an entrepreneur you should always be forward looking. Your decision today may no longer be applicable tomorrow so you should be always have plan B and C.

Learning is a continuous process.

There is an opportunity that lies for every problem. You just have to identify it.

Of course, never give up!

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Start-up Founders/Entrepreneurs?

Marina: Equip yourself with the right tools and mindset before starting a business. Learn from the mistakes of others. Always put your customers first (know and understand your market ) they are the lifeblood of any business. Never stop learning.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Marina: Everyone has the opportunity but only few succeed. The general ratio they say is 1:10; that means only 1 out of ten succeeds. Being an entrepreneur is a conscious decision that you make to achieve a higher purpose ( change lives, create positive impact, etc) . It’s a commitment you should be willing to make to yourself and to your stakeholders (partners, consumers, investors, suppliers, etc).

Ginger: What is your belief about raising capital? What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Marina: Generally the source of initial capital are personal savings then additional capital from relatives and friends. The formal channels of raising capital like banks, venture capital and other financial intermediaries or institutions and eventually the equity market, come in only in the growth stage  of the business. So raising capital during the start up stage of the business is always challenge.

Ginger: How do you market your products?

Marina: Right now our products can be purchased online through our own website and other online shopping sites like Beauty MNL.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Marina: On line marketing tools and apps. ( Facebook, Instagram, e- store). Automation of the accounting, financial, inventory and customer base.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Marina, for spending time with me! I learned a lot about seaweeds, its benefits and of course, a lot about starting a business!

Contact information about your business:

Website:  www.mynatural.company
Email address: sales@mynatural.company
Mobile Number: 0917 132 1977 OR 0920 977 1977
Facebook Page : MyNaturalPH
Instagram account: @MyNaturalPH

For today, I interviewed a fellow blogger. I love interviewing bloggers that focus on technology and business, because, obviously, these are two things that I love, too! Today, I’ll be interviewing Sherwin Ramos-Yeo of Techglimpse.

Sherwin Ramos-Yeo is the founder of Techglimpse. With his passion on technology, he decided to gather all his research into one repository (the current site). He studied in De La Salle University with a degree in BS-Information Communication Technology Management. Sherwin started his career as an IT professional then shifted his focus to digital marketing, focusing now on eCommerce. Through this, he has learned a lot through his different projects, including the ins and outs of using technology for marketing. He also took up several certification courses to strengthen his skills.

Outside the “digital” world, he also joins billiard tournaments and plays the guitar. He is the eldest among the 3 siblings.

Techglimpse’s Story

Ginger: What is your brand or business, Sherwin?  Please tell the readers what is it about and how long have you been in business?

Sherwin: My blog started as a tech blog, but it focuses on innovations like AR/VR, tablets, mobile apps, etc. I have always been fascinated with technology, and how it affects our life. I had a shift in career, now focusing on digital marketing. I’m not a marketer. I graduated as an IT professional. Digital marketing lead me to see “creativity” and on how technology can be used as a marketing tool. Since then I started to do consulting from watch brands, restaurants, etc.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Sherwin: My target market would be the the SME’s who don’t understand how they can leverage on digital platforms for their business. And my other market are people who are tech savvy, since I feature tech innovations.  When I started with the blog, it contained most of my research and findings. Later on, I saw the line between innovations in technology and digital marketing has become blurry.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Sherwin: Everybody is into tech/digital nowadays, whether you are just an individual who most likely from time to time try to be updated with the latest gadgets and technology. Now the challenge for the entrepreneurs is how they can maximize this changing lifestyle. Small entrepreneurs can’t afford big ad agency to help their business, so this is where I come in. My aim is to focus on the SME’s or those organizations that are in the stage of “exploring” digital as one of their channels. Big agencies tend to amplify a digital campaign, what I can offer is lay down the basic foundation of your digital strategy. From building your social presence, to understanding how the data you collected can be maximized.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Sherwin: As much as I want everyone to be an entrepreneurs, not all are fit to be one and has the mindset to go into entrepreneurship.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Sherwin: I’ve met with different clients, I tried to solve their problems. Even though all my solutions were good and all of them were theoretically correct but not all didn’t meet the right objective which mostly is creating additional revenue. Clients hire you because mainly they want to increase revenue, and be able to justify their ROI. I started with focusing the whole strategy for the client while the client wanted instant change.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Sherwin: Always continue learning. I have always been insecure with my skills. I’m not a marketing graduate and I’m just your average IT student in school.  Competing with others who graduated cum laude, masteral degrees, marketing graduates, I was thinking of how can I stay competitive compared to others? I started reading about digital marketing everyday before anything else, I open my favorite websites to keep me updated on what’s happening. Since I’m not a marketing graduate but doing actually marketing strategies, I took up a diploma course on marketing to at least gain my foundation on basic marketing principles. As of today, I already have more than 10 certifications from marketing, digital marketing, operations, excel, etc.

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder

Sherwin: It is definitely getting that first client. When I started my blog I didn’t have the intention to earn from it, all I wanted was to have my own website. I then tried adding a section on my website offering my services, then eventually someone emailed me. After my first pitch/meeting with the client, it was a success, she actually made a follow up meeting inviting the rest of the team to discuss my plans for the company. It was then that I realized that I can actually be good at this, this is something that not all is knowledgeable with.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Sherwin: Being an entrepreneur is not about having your own office, flexible schedule, or generating more income. It always goes back to doing what you love. It may sound cliche, but really when tough times come, the only thing that will get you moving is doing what you love. For me, the exciting part of being an entrepreneur is the challenge. The challenge of solving problems of your clients, seeing satisfied clients and thanking you on how you have contributed to their business.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Sherwin: For now I’m using up my personal money for my expenses, since it is still minimal. What I usually do is use my earnings from the business to expand the business. In this way I can always improve what I can offer to my clients.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Sherwin: Since my website is a blog, I usually write content that is made for my audience and potential customers. This is to establish my skill and knowledge in the field. Currently I have no plans yet of expanding the services since I still handle the business on my own.  For now, the focus is on digital marketing + eCommerce, I feel that this will be the next shift in digital.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Sherwin: First important thing is to put your files on the cloud. Whether that’s dropbox, google drive (which i recommend), etc, It is always important that you have access and control towards your files. You may never know when you would need them. Website is another must have for any entrepreneur. You can start creating your own website for free, or invest with a freelancer which will cost you around Php 10,000. A website is your online business card, it will showcase what you have to offer and provide information to your potential customers.

Ginger: Thank you for spending your valuable time, Sherwin, in answering our questions for my readers. For those who want to contact Sherwin, I have placed different ways on how you can get in touch with him.

Talk to you soon! 

Contact information:
Website: www.techglimpse.ph
Email address: sherwin.yeo@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0917-5328482
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/techglimpseph
Twitter account: https://twitter.com/techglimpseph
Linkedin account: https://ph.linkedin.com/in/sherwinyeo