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.
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.
As a small business owner, we need quality work but at the same time, something that would be affordable while building our business. We also value relationships. We want to work with suppliers and entities who get us and who we see have the same vision and values as ours. In Manila Workshops, we have been creating workshops for aspiring and current business owners and freelancers. For our events, we need photographers and videographers that we can partner with. We were lucky enough to have met When Worlds Collide!
Today, I am very honored to feature Julianne Caparos and her soon-to-be-husband Timothy Fernandez from When Worlds Collide!
The Story of Julianne Caparos of When Worlds Collide
Most of my childhood years was spent in Dubai then at the age of 13 my family and I then moved to Botswana, Africa, then moved back to the Philippines to study and eventually work. Since I was young, my dad loved taking photos using his SLR (film camera), and I’ve always loved art. Because of that, I got interested in photography and wanted to pursue it, initially as a hobby and not as a business.
Then back in 2014 when I was still working at Smart, I met Tim and he wasn’t the type of person who was into photography. But when we became a couple, he supported me and my hobby in photography. I was that girl who would take photos before eating and taking photos of every corner when travelling. On our first date we went to the Mind Museum, because Tim liked museums and I wanted to take photos inside (haha!). At one point we thought of creating a blog but that drained us out; it wasn’t fun for us. Then eventually, families and friends would ask us to cover their birthday events until the point we got our very first Client.
Julianne and Timothy of When Worlds Collide
When Worlds Collide is actually our sideline business, for now we both still have full time day jobs. Hopefully in 2 years time, I can do it full time already.
Interview with Julianne of When Worlds Collide:
Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?
Julianne: When Worlds Collide is a photography business. It actually started out as a blog because we thought it was a way to do what we love, which is photography but we realized we didn’t enjoy the writing part of blogging lol! More on capturing that moment already says a lot for Tim and I. Then my best friend decided to tag me along with one of her photoshoot gigs and that’s when we realized how much we enjoyed it and that was just last September 2016.
Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?
Julianne: Our target market would be young families who just started raising kids. We chose this market, specifically for me, is because I love kids and their every reaction is just priceless. These days everyone is pretty much tech savvy and thanks to technology we can treasure every moment that we have through digital photographs and that’s one of our main goals, to provide a photo keepsakes for our clients.
Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Julianne: Well, it just started out as a hobby but after that push we got last year, we decided to give it a try with a couple more photoshoot gigs and see how it would go and so far it turns out to be great.
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?
Julianne: A lot! lol! It was fun but at the same time difficult. Difficult in terms of handling different clients and their expectations. The biggest obstacle probably was getting people to trust our services at the beginning, which I guess is normal for all.
Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?
Julianne: Greatest challenge with our type of business is competing with others in the same business. Other than that meeting the budget of various clients.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?
Julianne: “Courage” to start your business, “patience” especially with Clients, along the way you’ll learn how to handle different situations and “passion” because without it, I feel a business would never succeed.
Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder
Julianne: The very first shoot I did and got paid, that was definitely an unforgettable moment. The biggest lesson I learned? bargaining our rates with Clients. At first it was difficult to say “nope our rates are fixed” thinking that we wouldn’t get any clients that way, but I had to be firm and along the way we lost Clients because we didn’t meet their budget. However, we also did gain a new base of Clients who trusts our services so far.
Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?
Julianne: Our advice to other aspiring Entrepreneurs is to make that first leap, you’ll never if your dream business will work if you don’t take action. As to Entrepreneurs who are just starting out just like Tim and I, don’t give up, you will get a lot of praises at the same time unsatisfied Clients but you’ll learn on how to improve and become more successful.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Julianne: I think everyone can but not everyone should become entrepreneurs. You need to love what you do and not feel like it’s a routine or pushing yourself just to make ends meet.
Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?
Julianne: In a photography business, your main investment are your gears. We started just last September 2016 but we started buying our gadgets as early as 2014, all from the money we make from working at our 9-5 day jobs and and sometimes from our parents who are ever supportive.
Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?
Julianne: Through Facebook groups, word of mouth and at times through xdeals with other Entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Our long term plan is actually to have an office space already, probably a studio but for now my goal is to further enhance my skills in this business.
Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?
Julianne: Facebook and our website to promote and communicate with our Clients. Lightroom, After Effects and wetransfer/dropbox for editing and transferring of files.
Ginger: Thank you so much, Julianne, and of course to Tim, too! Thank you for supporting Manila Workshops and I hope you continue to inspire and grow your business!
I am an avid fan of Shark Tank. I love watching Start-up pitch their ideas, even if some are super unprepared. I love seeing the different ideas that people have. Man, there are a lot of unique and creative ideas. I love taking note of the judges questions and I am always amazed at how good they are with numbers. I think Shark Tank is the only show that I watch where I have my notebook by my side to actually take down notes. You may laugh at me (haha!) but I do learn a lot from this show.
In my mind, the end goal really of the start-ups joining the show is either to raise capital (which is pretty normal) or to gain enough publicity to build traction. And for the rest of us watching the show, it’s really for our entertainment and education. Anything that I could learn from, I love!
Imagine my delight when I was invited to the Final Pitch press conference. I didn’t get to go (because I had to focus this week on Taxumo, but I decided to share it anyway. The Final Pitch is something like Shark Tank. The show will challenge entrepreneur contestants in every way — from exploring funding options, refining their business plans, and marketing their products and services. The show is set to air on History Channel this May, 2017
“The Final Pitch aims to help entrepreneurs find success by connecting them to investors who can finance them, and to mentors who can fine-tune their businesses—reducing risk factors and boosting growth potential and sustainability,” shares the creator and host of The Final Pitch, John Aguilar.
The show will make entrepreneurs go through a series of challenges that will test their creativity, motivation and character. At the same time, they will learn the secrets behind the success of their potential investors, who are also tasked to handpick the top finalists to proceed on the show.
L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata
For Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, founder of a well-loved global food brand and one of the investors on ‘The Final Pitch’, his picks for the show would be based on whether or not he can see them as future business partners. “I’m looking for people who deserve a break, as I believe in the person more than the business,” he shares.
Other investors include the multi-awarded Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong; self-made billionaire and the youngest chairman of a publicly-listed company in the PSE, Joseph Calata; and lastly, 25-year old millennial CEO of the angel investing group MFT Group of Companies, Mica Tan.
In addition to the potential funding from the investors, contestants will receive business coaching from an esteemed lineup of mentors, who are composed of well-known business experts and inclusive business champions, namely Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, Mon Lopez; former President of MicroVentures, Inc., Senator Bam Aquino; Chairman of Start Up Village, Prof. Jay Bernardo and; President of the Ateneo Center for Entrepreneurship-Masters In Entrepreneurship (ACE-ME), Dr. Andy J. Ferreira, among others.
I think this is a good initiative, because (1) Filipinos need to see that there are a lot of opportunities out there — opportunities to solve problems, opportunities to innovate and opportunities to make a difference; (2) We need to stir up the start-up ecosystem in the Philippines and having more publicity for the entire industry is good (in that way, we, startups won’t have to explain what we actually do, especially to our friends and parents. haha!); and lastly, (3) We need to strive to be better than we are and let go of that “okay na ako” attitude. We, Filipinos, are very talented individuals and it’s such a waste to see people full of potential not maximize their talents and skills.
So there, these are the reasons why I, personally think, that we need shows and other activities like this. Will we join this competition and represent Taxumo? Maybe. We will have to think about it! haha!
But for those who are ready to join, here are some details:
To join The Final Pitch, applicants will be required to fill up and submit an online entry form to The Final Pitch via its official website www.TheFinalPitch.ph Deadline for submission of entries is until March 17, 2017. Investors interested in becoming a part of the show or investing in the entrepreneurs behind the scenes may also get in touch with The Final Pitch through through its website.
*The Final Pitch’ is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc., the company behind the longest-running real estate and construction TV show Philippine Realty TV. For more info and for sponsorship and partnership inquiries, visit www.TheFinalPitch.phor call 0917-8136674.
Goodluck to all my readers who want to join! Message me so that we can all watch you!
What do you think makes a startup succeed? Is it the brilliance of their idea? Is it the team and their skills/personality mix? Is it the constant inflow of Investors and funds? Is it proper timing?
With this, I am sharing this video from TED. Listen to this interesting talk of Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab.
The reason why I brought this up is because a lot of us are scared to tell others about our amazing startup or business idea. We are afraid of being copied. We do everything in our power to protect our idea, and when competitors enter the arena, we become overly sensitive about the issue. The fact of the matter is, what you have is just an idea. You and probably 50 other people all around the world may be thinking of the same idea (probably even simultaneously!).
My opinion is that the startup team who defines, listens and understands the market well wins. The team who is open to tweak their idea based on what the customers want (tweak features, processes or event the timing) succeeds and has nothing to worry about. Now, where do you start validating the idea.
First of all, thoroughly think through everything — all possible scenarios that you can think of. Create a presentation so that you can also visually see your “thoughts”. Then look for people who can help you think through all of these things.
I am a believer of mastermind sessions. Mastermind sessions are mini meet-ups where like minded individuals come together to discuss certain topics. This month, our startup, Taxumo, is teaming up with Solopreneur PH and Horsepower.ph for Solopreneur PH’s end of month Show and Tell Session. This session will be on August 31, 6:30 PM at BlastAsia, Inc. in Ortigas!
To gather feedback from the attendees. Most of the attendees are solopreneurs or aspiring solopreneurs with their own businesses. If they are not your market, they can probably introduce you to some people who are. Also, you can ask them about their previous experiences.
To practice your presentation skills. Presenting to possible investors can be intimidating and practicing in-front of friendly faces is good preparation.
To gain friends and possible business partners.
To relax and unwind! We’ve all been working so hard. We deserve a break!
This event is FREE and if you just want to come to listen, feel free to drop by!
Today, in my blog, I’m interviewing a very inspiring lady. I actually talked to her years ago but I didn’t get to ask if she still remembers me. I have seen her products a long time ago. For today, I’ll be interviewing a lady named Vida to tell us more about her brand Vida Lim.
I love being hands-on—in business, but most especially, at home. When my kids wake up, I should be the one by their side. My husband brings them to school and I fetch them. There was never a time that we let our help fetch our kids. I have a lot of help at home but I just give instructions on what needs to be prepared. I make sure to have time to unwind, though. I love music! I sing and sometimes play the piano. I love watching TV series, reading books, and shopping online, even while I’m pumping milk for my youngest. As a born-again Christian, I have devotional everyday. I also have a D-Group; we’ll be meeting again every Monday when school starts for the kids. At the end of the day, I make sure everything I do is to please God.
Interview with Vida Lim Ginger: Hi Vida! Can you tell us more about your brand. What is it about and how long have you been in business?
Vida: My jewelry line, Vida Lim, started as a hobby around 2004. I was working with my dad in the family’s hardware business but I really couldn’t work in an industry that doesn’t have anything to do with art! I studied interior design in college but pursuing it as a career would definitely have to be full-time—meaning less time for the family—so I took a jewelry design course at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. I just tried designing jewelry, creating big, bold, vintage-looking pieces I loved that weren’t available in the market. To my surprise, it did very well! I consigned pieces with stores like Firma and AC+632 around 2010 and eventually launched my website, Facebook page, and Instagram account, where I now sell my collections.
The Vida Lim brand is all about bold, dramatic, and glamorous conversation pieces.
Ginger: Who is your market? Why did you choose this market?
Vida: I cater to a wide market—from yuppies to socialites, from twentysomethings to senior citizens. Perhaps it’s because I have a variety of designs and different price points as well. I have pieces under 3,000 pesos that even those in their 20s can afford, then I have the more expensive, intricate pieces with semi-precious stones.
Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?
Vida: Less expenses. There are risks in spending that are not worth it. There are companies that spend millions to market their products even before they’ve really established the company, and sometimes, the money just goes to waste because the campaign doesn’t work. Start small.
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an entrepreneur? What are these?
Vida: Clients who don’t pay.
Ginger: What?! Really, there are clients who don’t pay!
Vida: Yes, and another would be training the workers on how to achieve the level of quality you want for your products. There must be symmetry, the stones need to be protected—and so they need to follow a certain process. It’s tough when your instructions aren’t followed and the quality suffers, and sometimes the materials get ruined.
Those losses are part of the business, though. To be successful, you have to be patient, hardworking, and creative. You also need PR skills. Plus, you need to have faith so that any obstacle wouldn’t hinder you from achieving success.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think an entrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Vida: An entrepreneur should be hardworking. Being proactive is key in success because if not, the business could be stable, sales may come in, but there may not be significant growth.
There’s also the need for creativity. You do not want your clients to get tired of the products you are offering. You always need to give the clients something different, something to look forward to. That’s why I continue to do my research on different materials and techniques.
Finally, you need to have faith in your business. You need to believe in your product. If you do not believe in your product, how are you going to sell it?
Ginger: Are there any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an entrepreneur?
Vida: It was amazing to see my creations featured in magazines and newspapers for the first time! The first magazine to feature my work was Preview, and for newspapers, I’ll never forget the entire spread about my jewelry line in the Philippine STAR’s YStyle section. I was also thrilled when I first spotted celebrities wearing my pieces.
Ginger: What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?
Vida: You just have to believe in your product, your brand. You should be able to highlight its benefits. If you really believe in your product, you’ll have faith that you will become successful as long as you are hardworking and patient. You also need to be creative, and you need to be good in dealing with clients.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Vida: No. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses, and the qualities and skills required of an entrepreneur may not be among somebody’s strengths. It is important to know what you’re good at and focus on honing those skills—whether in putting up your own business or pursuing another career. Stick to your strengths.
Ginger: Thank you so much Vida for taking time out for this interview. I hope that a lot of people will be inspired after reading this!
To contact Vida or to purchase from Vida Lim, here are the contact details: