Around this same month in 2011, I finally felt how is it like to wake up in the morning without alarm clock. It’s been more than 4 years since I last held a job, and I am loving every minute of it. 🙂
I worked 9 years of my life as an IT consultant. Yes, the pay was great. I was passionate about what I do. I worked hard. It is in line with my core strengths having graduated as a computer engineer. I loved my job so much I was always thinking of ways on how to work better, smarter. I spend my time coming to the office on weekends. In a year, I only have 1 week vacation. I was a workaholic to say the least.
But what I couldn’t bear was the realization that every day goes by I find myself losing my freedom bit by bit. It’s not the money that mattered most to me, but the freedom to choose what you want to do with your life, what you want to spend most of your time with.
That’s when I got the entrepreneurial bug. That’s the one idea that when it gets to your head and your mind expands to the possibility that there’s another way to achieve your dreams, you can never go back to doing the same thing ever again.
I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad and it changed my life forever. It was the first time I became aware how the world of money works. I knew how to work hard and thought it was the only way to make money. But the book opened up my mind and explained to me in simple ways how you can make money through other means like business.
I realized, this is a fascinating world to dive into and learn from. I cannot go on doing the same thing over and over again. It’s true what they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It may appear through a mentor or an opportunity that you finally recognize for the first time even though it’s in front of you for so long. It’s as if you were given a brand new eyes to see the world. I grabbed opportunities left and right to learn as much as I can. I bought and read books, hundreds of them. It’s funny how I bought books only after graduating from college but back when I was in school I hate buying much less reading books. Now, I even search for specific titles I want to learn from.
Then after books, I gradually attended seminars in money and investing. Eventually, I tried to dip into everything, trying out real-estate investing, stocks investing, setting up businesses. Some failed, Some broke even. Some did earn a few bucks. But I learned from all those experiences. Some of the lessons were painful. But it thought me more than what hundred books can give. It’s true, real-world experiences make the biggest teacher.
Eventually the itch of braving this new world of entrepreneurship keep popping on my mind. I had a comfortable life. I had no kids yet at that time. My wife and I were earning well. I had what most people would hope for in a career. But sometimes, the spirit leads you to expereinces that makes your life more meaningful, exciting and colorful, only if you suspend your disbelief long enough and try it out.
I did it in 2011 and the rest, as they say, is history.
It’s been more than four years since I ventured into business by becoming an independent business owner of USANA Health Sciences, a 23-year old NYSE-listed, US-based company operating in 19 (going 20) countries.
It was a lot of struggle at the start, but thanks to my team XTRM 1-11, an organization of professionals who provide TRAINING and SUPPORT system for people like me who wanted to transition from a life of employment to a life of entrepreneurship. With the team’s help and lots of trainings, my wife and I eventually learned and got a taste of success, and found out what is it like to lead a group and mentor other people become successful as well.
I have had a chance to be given all-expense paid trips for 2 to international countries through Star Cruises via Sanya China, Halong Bay Vietnam and Hong Kong, as well as through Royal Carribean Cruise via Tianjin China, Busan and Soeul Korea. We have been awarded Top 7 Growth Awardee in the Philippines and Top 23 Growth Awardee in the Pacific Region, competing with other countries like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. We were able to buy our own family car, a brand new chevrolet trailblazer. Got a 10-year multiple entry US visa. Had a chance to share our success story here and abroad…and many many more blessings and unforgettable experiences.
But more importantly for me, I’ve had the priviledge to directly or indirectly help other people who trusted me become successful in business as well. One had become a 3-million peso achiever and another a 2-million peso achiever. A lot of people earned an extra income part-time in US dollars while not having to leave their families just to work abroad. Some even had a chance to go back to the Philippines and be home for good.
I wish I could say it was easy, but it is not. But it is also not hard either. I’ve had people come in and in just 1 year work so hard in their business, create a result that is 2x or 4x that of those who have been doing the business already for 4 years. It is never too late to decide to change your life for the better.
When I was starting, I had a lot of questions in my mind: it is not my line of work, how can I do this? How can I start a business with little money? I don’t have time. I don’t know how to sell. I don’t know anything about business. I am shy and introverted. I don’t have a lot of friends. I don’t think I can make it. That’s all true. But I have no way of knowing the answers to those questions or doubts, unless I tried. Trying out was the better option for me because I can live with TRYING and FAILING in the end, than REGRETTING and blaming yourself down the road for not even trying.
I wish I could say to you that I know the answers and this is what you should do, but the reality is that I don’t know your circumstances. Only you know that. Only you know why you are working so hard on your job to provide for your family and loved ones. Only you know the feeling you get when you see your paycheck at the end of the month. I knew how I felt. I was always frustrated realizing that almost half of it is taken away in different forms of taxes, 30% when you earn an income and 12% as VAT when you spend…that’s 42% effective taxes that I needed to work hard to earn day in and day out. Only you know how it feels like getting up in the morning at 5AM because you know if you snooze and get a little bit more sleep, that you will have to endure the horendous traffic waiting for you during the morning rush hour.
But only you know also how is it to work hard day in and day out and HOPE that one day it will get better. Yes it will, if you do something about it. As they always say, HOPE is not a business strategy. I’ve learned that true change happens if you accept the brutal facts. When I saw this illustration, I knew then it was the brutal facts. No matter how painful, I knew I had to face the reality and do something about it…because numbers don’t lie.
Our dreams have a price. House and Lot. Car. Travel. Savings. More. Working hard everyday, earning and saving an extra P10,000 every month is simply not enough. After 50 years of working hard, you are only a little more than halfway to your dreams. If only you could be working for another 50 years…but you are already 70 years old by then..you are way past your prime. Can you go back to working on job? Of course not. Unfotunately, these are the brutal facts waiting for most people who are not aware and not willing to learn how money works.
The good news is, there’s still time left to make your dreams happen. Only if you are willing to learn and be coached. Only if you are willing to let go of your excuses. Only of you are disgusted enough to do something about it. Only if you are like me who one day found the courage to take a leap of faith. You don’t have to be great to start, but you definitely need to start to be great! What better day to start changing your life than today? Today, decide to do something your future self will thank you for.
P.S. It’s been months since I last wrote in this blog. I have decided to get back to writing more and sharing more of my experiences here. One reason why I haven’t written more is because there were countless of times that I have hesitated sharing some of the things I’ve experienced with you in the fear that people will not appreciate it, or say negative things about it. But the reality of life is that not everyone will agree with you, and that’s ok. I respect you for it. In fact, I admire you for taking a different viewpoint and taking a stand on it. That’s what makes life so exciting and colorful. But there are also things that I passionately believe in that I feel I need to write about. I am consumed by the calling to share it. That is why I write.
P.P.S. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more stories of people whom I’ve had the priviledge of working with in my business in the hope that their stories will inspire you to create your own success story yourself. I realize that not everyone is cut out to be in business. That’s ok. Everyone needs to find meaning in whatever it is they feel they were meant to do. I wish you well on your endeavor. But for those few people who have read rich dad, poor dad already, went on and tried different things before, and those who are at that stage in their lives where they are looking for a personal mentor and would like to take part in the same training and support system that has allowed me to escape the cubicle nation, this is for you. There’s help out there, if you have the courage to try. Contact me and let’s meet. Perhaps this is going to be a start of a long partnership. I am currently building my 5th business center and I am on the look out for people I can train to become the leader of the new business team I’m building. I can only work with 4 this month and 1 slot is already taken. If you know someone who is exploring a change in career and would like to check it out, please feel free to forward this invitation to them. Contact me and let me help you change your life. I can only work with those who are willing to go to our business office in Makati to meet up with me. If you are overseas, or you cannot make time to meet up with me, I cannot work with you yet. But of course, I’m not someone who discourages a person who is highly motivated to change his life situation and are very much willing to do whatever it takes to make it hapen. 🙂
P.P.P.S. If you feel like this blog or article is not adding value to you anymore, please feel free to unsubscribe or delete it from your inbox. I encourage you to do so. But if you feel you learned something that might be of value to you or those you know, feel free to share it away. God bless you. 🙂
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