I was invited by the UP Alliance of Economics and Management Students to give a talk on the subject of 'Entrepreneurship'. Among the speakers were Ms. Janina Saspa (a young entrepreneur) and bestselling author, Mr. Chinkee Tan.

We had an awesome time interacting with the students. That's why I thought I'd share the key points of what I talked about to you.

Here are the 8 Lessons That I've Learned as an Entrepreneur:

1. Entrepreneurship is fun. 
I didn't dream to become an entrepreneur. I grew up thinking it was something only serious people do.

I was surprised to find out later on that it's really fun to be an entrepreneur. It has changed the way I view "work."

It's fun to help your customers. It's fun to provide jobs. It's fun to be able to use your creativity. It's fun to watch your competitors panic when you've come up with something different.

2. You're never too young to start a business. 
I was only 18 when I started my first business. It was a tiny video shop (Remember VHS tapes?) in one corner. I've learned a lot by running that small business. It has played a big part on how I became an entrepreneur.

3. It's not just business, it's personal. 
Did you know that Yahoo offered Mark Zuckerburg to buy Facebook for $1 Billion last 2008? Why didn't he sell?

Here's my guess... For Mark Zuckerburg, it's not just business, it's personal.

Putting up a business requires some (if not, a lot of) money. Not only that, it also takes a lot of time and effort to build a business. (you'll come up with creative ideas you wouldn't have thought of if it wasn't your business)

When you consider all of these, "Business isn't just business." It's personal.

4. Dream Big.
As an entrepreneur, you will realize that the 'opportunities' are limitless. The possibilities are endless.

But you shouldn't grab every opportunity that goes your way. Here's how to find out what to pursue – 7 Steps to a Simple Business Plan.

5. Start Small.
The danger with "dreaming big" is the assumption that you need to "start big" as well. This is why only a few people become entrepreneurs. Throughout history, you will find out that many successful entrepreneurs started small.

Did you know that Steve Jobs started Apple in his own garage? While Michael Dell (15th richest man in America) started assembling and selling computers in his college dorm room?

6. It's not just about you or your product, it's about your customers. Change is happening fast. There are products or services that will become outdated. (Like my VHS tapes rental) Businesses will come and go.

At the end of the day, it's not just about you or your product, it's about your customers. You only have a business as long as you have customers who are willing to pay you.

An entrepreneur should always be in tune with what people 'will' want or need.

7. Think differently.
The best time to do "marketing" is not after launching your product, it's before creating it. You can't compete just by reacting to what your competitors are doing. Instead of just competing with price or with more features, find a way to be interesting.

8. Entrepreneurs can contribute to positive change. 
By creating jobs, by supporting community projects or causes, or by other means, as an entrepreneur, I'm given the chance to give back to my community.

Entrepreneurship is not just about making money, it's also about making a contribution.

I'll be giving a talk on Entrepreneurship or "Starting a Business" this August 3, Saturday in Ortigas. If you want to put up or grow your business, this will be an interesting learning session for you.

By the way, the first 30 to register will get a free START SOMETHING Book! 

To register, go to: www.startlearningph.com or email startlearningph@gmail.com


YOUnique Book – Learn How to Succeed with Others

After reading several chapters of Jayson Lo's new book, YOUnique, I took the liberty to post an excerpt and a good take away.

Jayson writes …

Even though man can live alone, eat alone or survive alone, he was created to function in a community. Human beings are designed to be with other human beings. We are meant to be together with other people.
I like to think that "different" isn't spelled "B-A-D." I spell it, "G-O-O-D." Someone can be different and not be wrong. If everyone were like one person, then this planet would be a whole lot depressing to live in because we would do the same stuff again and again.

Jayson continues and takes it further…

When you look for team members, make sure you pick people who are different from you.

I couldn't agree more. Don't look for duplicates, or people who will think like you. It's good to be with people who sees the world differently. Not only will you find their insights valuable, but they will also most likely complement the work that you do.

The challenge is for YOU to know how to work with them and that's what Jayson answers in his book, YOUnique. 

Here's your chance to hear Jayson Lo talk about the four YOUnique personalities. Attend the YOUnique Conference on July 27, Friday. See the event details here. See you there.



Häagen-Dazs is closing shop in the Philippines. They used to have a branch here in Alabang Town Center. I may have bought once or twice, but I can't really remember when. I can't deny though, it's always a treat when your friends bring Haagen Dazs to parties. (Mas masarap 'pag libre!)

After 12 years of operation, Häagen-Dazs probably decided to cut their losses. They found Manila to be a "challenging business environment", according to a company statement.

Too pricey? Maybe. Or maybe it's not really about the price. For the same amount of money, you'll see people copiously buy a Frappuccino in Starbucks or a Smoothie in Jamba Juice; and these businesses are doing remarkably well! (Sometimes, the competition is not necessarily the same product)

Recently, RFM launched Magnum, a premium ice cream. It was interesting enough to create a buzz, an impression, or to get the early adopters curious. Even though it's twice the price of (my favorite) Cornetto Java, that didn't stop Magnum from becoming a bestseller. 

What do people really want? 

Yes, they want something new, but they want more than that... they want something interesting. Interesting enough to tweet. Interesting enough for your friends to debate on Facebook. Interesting enough for them to 'forget the price' and to give it a try. 

With Magnum, RFM has increased its profits by 40% (240M) for the first 5 months of 2012.  [source]

The Sorbetero Ice Cream is a novelty. It has become a part of our culture. The mere sound of the Mamang Sortbero's bell brings back childhood memories. It compels you to tell your side of the story. 

For 'The Novelty', it's not so much about the commercial success or how big the business is. It's about making that meaningful connection. (Side note: Remember Hap Chan in Malate when it was still a novelty?)

The Takeaway: For your business, pick one or two ...
1. Keep it fresh.
2. Keep it interesting.
3. Keep it a novelty.

* * *

Get P50 off when you buy a PRODUCTIVE PINOY book online. Free delivery nationwide via LBC. To order, simply click HERE.



1. Do something epic.

Whether the result is an epic fail or an epic win, those who are willing to take risks are the ones that will realize their full "potential." They become unforgettable by maximizing their talents or abilities to benefit others. 

Put out your best work. Go for an epic win. 

2. Make other people feel good about themselves.
An insecure leader will make the people around him... insecure.

An unforgettable leader will do the opposite, he makes himself relatable. Through his work, he makes the people around him feel good about themselves. 

3. Inspire laughter.
Laughter is the same in any language. Regardless of where you're from, laughter connects people. Unforgettable leaders know that people should laugh more often than needed. Progress almost always happens when it's interesting and fun!

Thank you Dolphy, the King of Comedy, (a.k.a Mang Kevin Cosme) for modeling the above three. 

* * *

Get P50 off when you buy a PRODUCTIVE PINOY book online. Free delivery nationwide via LBC. To order, simply click HERE.



After one success after another, failing the next one can be a good reminder.

1. You're not Superman. 
You're probably multi-talented. But hey, we all have our limits. The sooner you find out where your boundary lines lie, the earlier you can focus on the work where you can excel or contribute well.

2. There's still so much to learn. 
The problem with success is that it tricks you into thinking that you already know everything. "Been there, done that. Now, I can also do that" is an expressway to failure. Guard your heart, remain humble.

3. Success or Failure isn't final. 
A failed attempt is just what it is, a failed attempt. You can leave it behind as long as you don't quit. Don't get stuck, move on or try again.

Now, when you succeed again...remember #1 and #2.

* * *

Get P50 off when you buy a PRODUCTIVE PINOY book online. Free delivery nationwide via LBC. To order, simply click HERE.


Generosity, Prosperity, Chicken & Egg

I ordered two blended drinks from the counter. One for me and one for my son. We sat down and started doing our work. (I was working on something and my son was doing his school work)

We waited for our drinks and noticed that it was taking a bit longer than the usual. So, I stood up and politely asked the crew if the orders were ready. They told me they'll make sure to deliver it to my table as soon as it's ready.

After a few minutes, the drinks came along with two donuts.

Me: "I didn't order donuts."

Crew: "I'm sorry sir, your drink came in longer than the usual, the blender malfunctioned a bit. The donuts are for you. Thank you, sir, for waiting."

Me: "Ohhh… Thanks!"

I wasn't complaining. I wasn't even disappointed in any way. And yet, they gave me something to make up for this 'slight delay'. A simple "I'm sorry for keeping you waiting" would've been enough, but they chose to 'delight' me instead.

The typical service business would say, "Ok lang yan, di naman sila nag complain, sabihin mo pasensya na" but Krispy Kreme built generosity into their culture.  

The Takeaway for Businesses – Service excellence should be dictated by YOU (the service provider) and not just by your customers. You don't need to wait for a complaint to do something nice for the customer.