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:
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 There are products or services that will become outdated.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!