Business Life Lessons Life Updates Passive Income Story

10 years after I quit my job. Here’s what I learned.

Today, I am celebrating my 10th year out of the corporate world. It’s been 10 years since I left my job. There were many questions in my mind at that time. Can I make it? Can I really live without a job? Who are you to think you can do it?

So many emotions; mixed emotions. Happy to venture into a new world; but somehow anxious whether I had what it takes to really make it.

I remember when I filed my resignation, I was asked by my manager why I wanted to resign. After all, I had a relatively successful IT career so far. My work as a contractor for one of the biggest U.S. credit card companies in the world has been great. The pay was good. The people are great. What more can I ask for?

Have you ever found yourself asking “is this all there is to life?” After making money, then what? Are you supposed to live life in quiet desperation? Are you supposed to drown yourself in misery? Just taking all the stress in, day in and day out and say to yourself, “it’s part of the job.” 

There were also moments when I felt, I was being bullied (“figuratively”) into working so hard to the detriment of my life outside of work. You have to work on weekends, or early morning shift to support the project. You sacrifice time with your family, even getting calls in the middle of a gathering just to get on the call and resolve a high priority issue. I console myself saying, it is going to be just this one time that I have to do this. But when one project is completed, another one comes along to replace it immediately. The reality sinks in. This is never going to end.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my job. I loved working on tech problems. They are like puzzles that tickles my brain. It is like watching a mystery or thriller movie where you are the detective who solves the mystery.

It started when I read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It’s as if a new world opened up in front of me; an exciting world full of possibilities. I was excited to find out what it was like out there. The book opened up my eyes with lots of possibilities. Is passive income true? Can you really earn while not working? Can you really become an entrepreneur?

Whenever I think about “why” I quit my job, I go back to the restlessness I felt asking those questions. While still working, I have already dipped my hands on several opportunities. I was delighted to see that some of those opportunities are already growing.

So when my manager asked me, why did I resign? I answered, “because I have a business on the side that is growing. At this point in time, I can no longer perform both of my tasks as an employee and as a business owner at the same time. If I fail to give time and effort to my business, it will die. If I focus all of my time and energy on my business, it would not be fair for me to give a mediocre effort on my job. My choice is to give myself a chance to see how far my business can grow.”

I have nothing but gratefulness for my time in the corporate world. It taught me a lot about working on a big team. It taught me about processes and structures and making things happen. As a team leader, I’ve learned to work with people. I also learned to manage a small team of developers, and help them fulfill their potential. It also gave me the confidence to venture out into the world of the unknown, for once upon a time, this world of working in a big corporation, was also unknown to me.  

So on this day 10 years ago, I left the corporate world. 

Is it possible for an employee to shift to become an entrepreneur?

Yes, it’s possible. I am a living proof that it can be done. Well, at least I can say, it’s possible to survive 10 years without having a job. Of course, there are also many people who were not able to make it to 10 years…and that’s ok. Nobody says you have to make it. We each have our own journey to take and live with the choices we make. 

I’ve seen people who went back to their jobs after some time. That’s perfectly ok. There was a time when I thought about (and tried to) go back to work again in a job. I think it was 2 years after I quit when my savings was getting depleted, and my second son was born. I thought about whether it was just pride why I didn’t want to go back to a job. And if it was, I thought is my pride bigger than my willingness to provide for my kids as a father? Obviously, I was willing to do anything to provide for my family. 

But when I tried to go back, there were things that happened that made me realize I have been doing my business half-heartedly up until that time. I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t giving 100% of my effort (at least not like the effort I’ve put in when I was still working in a job.) So I told myself, “if I am not going back anyway, I might as well make this work.”

So starting that day, I took the business seriously and put in 100% of my efforts into it. I wished I could say it was smooth sailing ever since then, but it was not. There were moments when I would give my best, but still would not be able to reach my goals. There were moments when I got so exhausted from everything, with only a few hours of sleep day in and day out. But I didn’t complain. As they say, “success requires no explanation, failure permits no alibis.” Eventually my efforts paid off and my business started to grow.

Be careful who you listen to.

Until someone is paying your bills for you, then their opinion doesn’t matter.  Many times people have opinions about how you should live your life. You will get them from well meaning parents, to officemates, to friends and others.

Just remember to live your own life. Make your own choices and live with the consequences. After all, we only have one life to live. Nobody is entitled to live your life in your behalf. 

I think this is one of the biggest things you need to overcome if you really want to shift your career to entrepreneurship. Words are cheap. It’s easy to have an opinion. It is harder to do something, and execute it. 

Sometimes, the negativities can come from your own thinking. Your mind play tricks on you by your fears. It can come from subtle thoughts like “who am I to do this? what will other people say? what if I fail? will people laugh at me and say to my face, I told you so?”
I feel more people are hindered by their own thoughts than any other obstacle. When you are able to win the battle within, the battle outside takes care of itself.

Financial literacy is important.

One of the biggest reasons people fail when they try to shift to entrepreneurship is the lack of financial literacy. Financial literacy is actually less of the “know how” and more of the “discipline and delaying gratification.” We are emotional beings. More often than not, we already know what to do. But we lack the discipline to handle our emotions. We give in to the short term rewards that are in front of us.

This is so important that I feel you shouldn’t go into entrepreneurship if you lack the discipline to handle your own money.

The basics are simple. Pay yourself first. A part of what you earn is yours to keep. You should be able to set aside a part of your earnings and live on the rest. This is called savings. As much as possible, don’t get into consumer debt. These are debts that are taking away money from you in the form of interests and they don’t give you any kind of earnings. Growing your money can only happen if you master the first two. It is not the amount that matters, but the habit and discipline that is important. 

Again, I repeat. Don’t go into business, when you can’t handle your own money yet. Practice on your own finances first. Increase your income. Lower your expenses. Save and grow your money. The reason I say this is crucial is because if you are able to manage your own money, you will be able to manage the money of the business as well. They are founded on the same principle. 

The reality of having a business is that it takes time for it to grow, especially if you build it for long term. In get-rich-quick schemes, you may earn a lot of money upfront, but you are actually paying it with something bigger – that is your reputation and character. People will stay away from you. They will no longer trust you. You sometimes even lose confidence in yourself. That’s too big a price to pay for a short term gain.

You want to get into entrepreneurship precisely because you want to earn more money, pay off your debt, etc. Unfortunately, more money will not solve your problem. It will only magnify what you already lacked – that is you lack of financial discipline. It is like putting gas into a fire. After a sudden influx of cash, you go and splurge on shopping for unnecessary things. You live the life of luxury in one day. You live like a one-day millionaire. That’s the reason why you sometimes see lotto winners ending up broke and having more debt a few years after winning the lotto than before they won.

Keep your day-time job. Start side hustles. The more the merrier. The reason is that you never know which one will pan out. After some time, evaluate which can give you the best return for your investment in time, money and energy. Then go all in. Focus and put your 100% effort into it.

God is powerful.

In shifting my career, there were countless challenges along the way. It is a lot like riding a roller coaster. One minute you are so happy because you were able to setup a meeting with a client, then the next moment you get depressed because he changed his mind at the last minute when you are already at the meeting place. You console yourself and move on to the next. Somehow you manage to remain upbeat, only to get depressed again because you lost your phone on your way home. These are the moments nobody speak about. It seems all glamorous and easy. It is not. But these are also the moments when keeping on earns for you the rewards of tomorrow.

So how do you keep on when everything is tough? 

One of the things that helped me get through hard times was remembering that God is powerful. I am saying this not as a religious fanatic, but as a practical man who has experienced the grace of God in my life.

When my eldest son was born, his heart was supposed to be operated on right away. We were supposed to bring him to the Philippine Heart Center the following day, But by the grace and mercy of God, his condition improved overnight and there was no need for the operation anymore. A miracle happened. After a month, we were able to go home. Now, he is 9 years old. Who would have thought? Only God knows His plans for you and me. God is indeed great! All praise and glory to Him.

That experience made me realize that nothing is impossible with God. Today, when I encounter problems, I would console myself by saying, “if God was able to deliver us from that “impossible” challenge back then, how much more will He be able to deliver us in this moment. This is nothing compared to that. God is powerful.” 

My prayer is for you to hold on to that promise in your life. God is with you in all your sorrows and fears. Lift them up to him and watch Him make miracles in your life.

The hardest part of having a business is dealing with people. 

One of the things I love about working in IT is that most of the time you are only working with computers. They are only systems with definite and known outcomes. You know what to expect. You know when it is not working. You know that once you figure it out, you will be able to solve it and it will definitely work. 

People, on the other hand, are one of the most complicated beings in the face of the planet. One moment you thought you knew how to deal with them; the next moment you are dumbfounded, for you did not expect that reaction from them. How many times have you uttered the words, “I did not expect that he will do something like that”?

You cannot put them into a box. They are people. They are unpredictable. Just like you…and me. We are all imperfect; and that’s what make us beautiful. You never know what surprise you are going to get.

If only I could master working with people, my life would be great. But unfortunately, most of my business “failures”were due to me not being able to handle people the right way. There were times I lost my temper, and that led to a major misunderstanding…a misunderstanding that because of my pride, I failed to resolve in a timely manner…and eventually led to falling out. The business suffered as a result. 

Of course, it is easier to see now looking back, but when it is happening it is harder to see. You make the best decision you know based on what you know and how you feel. Sometimes though, how you feel at that moment (i.e. “pride and frustration”) can derail any kind of “knowledge” you thought you learned. These things you can’t read in books. You can only experience it to know how to handle it the right way when it comes.

The people around you will define you.

Be careful who you surround yourself with. As the saying goes, “birds of a feather, flock together.” I remember asking myself, why is it that most people in my team are IT professionals. Then I realized, I attract the people that I am. When I had 2 kids, the people who joined my team were also parents with 2 kids. It’s spooky!

People around you can lift you up, or bring you down. That’s why you need to be careful who you spend your most time with. There’s this exercise I ask whenever I give personal finance seminars. You list the names of the 5 people you spend your most time with. For example, if you’re working, who do you hangout with in the office? Your boss. Your peers. Your friends. Your enemies. Then try to average out their earnings. Most likely the number you will get is around the same number as your own salary.

What’s the point? People like to hang out with people who are similar to them. You rarely see a big boss or CEO hanging out with the new hires, mid-level managers, etc. Who does he hang out with? Other CEOs or his VPs or other friends. 

So if you want to upgrade your income, you need to learn to spend your time with people who have higher income than you. I am not telling you be a “sipsip” or be close to them for the sake of being friends with them. I am just telling you, allow yourself to be around people who are better than you. I am telling you it is going to be uncomfortable. I think that’s why there’s a thing called imposter syndrome. That feeling you get whenever you feel “unqualified” or overachieving something, is going to manifest its ugly face when you start something new. Just keep on. Soon, when you are able to adjust into your new reality, it will be gone.

Enjoy the journey. 

Tomorrow is not promised. I think that’s also the same thing that the Pandemic has taught us. While you are here, spend time with your loved ones. Tell them how much you love them. Use those plates that are gathering dusts in your cabinet. 

The 10 years has passed by quickly. When I was in the middle of it, I thought it was going to last forever…or at least for a very long time. But I think the life of something is not up to us. We can push, we can crawl, we can fight all we want. But when life teaches us, the best thing to do is embrace it and enjoy. For that’s what we are here for. To learn and enjoy. To live life and love it. Never forgetting the fact, that some of our best laid plans pales in comparison to the plans of the God up above who is looking out for us. 

I think somewhere in the bible says “look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” They don’t have to worry about what to eat. How much more precious are you than them? 

Even imperfect you are as a father, you know how to give bread instead of a stone. How much more is your father in heaven going to give you something when you ask for it in prayer. 

You may be going through a lot these days. Pray and take heart for God is with you. This too shall pass.

Share your stories.

We are more alike than we think we are. We all want to earn enough income to provide a comfortable living for our family. We want to spend time with our family. We want to payoff our debts to remove the stress of calling creditors.

That’s why I think, sharing our stories is important. By sharing my stories, my hope is that you will know that you are not alone. And if good things happened to me, then it can also happen to you. 

When you look back to all the things you’ve gone through, you will remember fondly the good times. One of the funniest moments I’ve had in the last 10 years was when me and my friends went through the “walking dead theme park” together…even though you’re scared to death, you go along with your friends. Only to find out they are scared too just like you. You end up shouting and pushing the zombies out of your way, scrambling your way straight out to the exit bursting with laughter. You know the saying “HAGALPAK na tawa”? I wish you experience something like that in your life. We all need that. Especially during these times.

You will remember the days when you thought it was impossible, but through working together, days and nights of hard work and sleepless nights, finally success was achieved.

But the sweetest success I’ve had are the victories I’ve shared with other people. When people say celebrate with you and shout “Gold na kami!” That is one of the best feelings in the world. To have people with you celebrating the victory like it is their own. I must admit, I like that better than just me enjoying by myself, because, nothing is done alone. There are countless selfless souls working with you, cheering you on, and helping you one way or another in the road to victory.

There is more to life than earning money, having a job, or building a business. 

At the end of the day, we are more than our jobs. We are more than our businesses. We are more than how we earn money. We are fathers. We are brothers. We are sisters. We are friends, foes, family. 

The minute you realize that you brought nothing into this world and you will bring nothing of it when you die, it makes you wonder, what is all the point? Why put money in a pedestal at the expense of losing your family, or friends? Why get so frustrated by the outcome of a lost business or a job? 

Life goes through cycles. Up and down and up again. and down again. and up. Sometimes, you seem to have a midas touch, every thing you touch becomes successful with little effort. Other times, it seems like you are going against the flowing river. All your hardwork and efforts are going nowhere. 

In my life, I have encountered both. I have experienced having plenty, or at least enough to provide and have a little more to enjoy. I have also experienced financial struggles and being in debt where banks keep on calling me to pay them up. But through it all God has been merciful and gracious that He has delivered me time and time again.

My encouragement to you is that, if you are going through rough times, know that it will end. Good times will come. And if you are having a great time right now, enjoy the moment and always remember to be kind to the people who may need help. Know that challenges will also come and now is the perfect time to prepare. Challenges and calamities expose our weaknesses and areas for improvement. It is not meant to defeat us, but to sculpt our character to what God wants us to be. So take heart. Everything happens for you, not against you. 

Look into the future with hope. The past 10 years has passed for all of us. They say you should save time. The reality is that time will pass anyway whether you decide to spend it or not. The only choice you have is how you will spend it.

Will you spend it regretting about the past? Or being grateful for the lessons you learned along the way.

Will you focus on the negativity and despair? Or will you spend it on getting better?

The choice is up to you.

As for me, I choose to see the brighter side of life. I want to enjoy each moment. In the future, I wish to do more travelling. I wish to have more colorful experiences; stories to tell; adventures to go to.

How about you? What’s your choice? What are you most excited about for the next 10 years of your life? 

Life Lessons

20 Lessons I Learned in 2020

Today is December 31, 2020. It’s almost midnight. This year 2020 is about to come to an end.

This has been a roller coaster ride kind-of-a-year. The COVID19 Pandemic happened. Lockdown started in March. It got extended. Again. and again. Now the year is ending and we are still on General Community Quarantine in the Philippines.

Many people lost their jobs. Many people struggled financially. Many people lost their loved ones. Many people have suffered and continue to suffer.

Of course, there are also blessings to be thankful for. The phrase “health is wealth” holds a deeper meaning these days. Being able to celebrate New Year’s eve with your loved ones is a blessing in itself. It means you survived the challenges of 2020.

This year gave me a lot of lessons to remember. I want to share them with you.

Lesson #1 – Cashflow is very important.

Having an emergency fund is great. But what’s even better than emergency fund? It’s having a cashflow that puts money into your pocket. That means having income that is greater than your expenses.

What happens when you suddenly lose your job? Your income stops. Your cashflow suddenly turns to negative.

In 2018, I learned this the hard way. I had a lot of liabilities that was eating up the profits from my business. So when the business suddenly turned sour, the income from the business was no longer enough to sustain the outflow of cash needed to pay for these liabilities.

I had to turn to credit cards. The problem turned worse. Not until I gave up some of the liabilities I had at that time that I was able to breathe. It was a painful decision. But I knew it was the right thing to do.

The only thing getting in the way was my PRIDE. I was afraid of what other people will say. I cared too much about what other people think. When I let it all go, it was as if a HUGE burden was suddenly got lifted from my life. I was able to breathe again. I was still not yet ouf of the woods, but what helped me was the thought that at least we are on a positive cashflow territory. Even if I was till in debt, even if the business still has not picked up, one day all these challenges will come to an end.

If cash is king in a crisis. I think cashflow is queen. You don’t get extra cash unless you control where the cash is flowing. Whether cash flows out of your pocket or into your pocket dictates whether you will survive the crisis or not.

Lesson #2 – You don’t need a lot to survive.

When the lockdown started, it was hard to get out of the house. You are only permitted to shop for essential items. You stayed in the house. You minimized socializing with other people.

That also meant forgoing a lot of things that you were accustomed to spending on before.

No more eating out. No more going to the movies. No more coffee with friends at Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. No more entertaining yourselves in Timezone or videoke.

At first, I thought it will be hard. But I realized I can actually live even without all these things. A lot of things in my life were actually just clutter. When push comes to shove, you can actually forego all of them.

Lesson #3 – Fix the broken instead of buying a new one.



The crisis forced me to think in survival mode. That means having a mindset of fixing instead of buying. If something gets broken, you fix it. Don’t buy a new one.

Because I had a lot of time in my hands, I was mostly staying at home with the boys. I focused on fixing a lot of things that were broken. I fixed the kitchen. I fixed the cabinet. For other things that I could not do, I asked the maintenance guy to fix it for me. I just paid him accordingly.

Of course, it’s not always practical to fix stuffs. For example when our washing machine broke down for the 2nd time, I decided to just buy a new one. When our air conditioning broke down, I also bought a new one. Why? It’s because it is more expensive to have it repaired than buying a new one.

Lesson #4 – You can do it yourself.

When our house helper resigned in the middle of the year, I decided to do the house chores. I was surprised, I could actually enjoy washing dishes. I liked creating a system to make it more efficient. I also got to enjoy cooking new recipes by watching youtube videos. It’s been fun.

When school started and most people were forced into online schooling, my wife and I decided to homeschool our 2 boys. It is a challenging but also very rewarding experience.

You can do a lot of things yourself. You will be surprised how much you can do when you are forced to do it to survive.

Lesson #5 – You don’t need a lot of clothes.

At the start of the pandemic, I was trying to clean up the house. I even went Marie-Kondo style of folding clothes. In the end, after going through all the clothes I have, I realized one thing. I was only using maybe 3% of my clothes the whole time. Most days, I was just wearing shorts and shirt.

Occassionally, when I get out of the house to do some errands, I would wear my rubber shoes and put on some pants. But that only happens once a week.

Where’s my coat? Long sleeves? Neck tie? Formal shoes? There in the closet, gathering dusts. I haven’t worn them for almost a year.

Of course, that may not always be the case for most people. But if you’re always staying in the house, you don’t need much clothing.

One of the things that I realized is that it might be even more economical to buy the same shirt or wardrobe. Same size. Same style. Same color. Wear that everyday. I think that’s why Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are doing that. It’s to get over the decision fatigue. But also it saves you a lot of time, money and energy.

Lesson #6 – You don’t need a car when you are mostly staying at home.

During the lockdown, the price of gasoline went down. I wanted to get out. Go somewhere. But the inconvenience of needing to request for travel permits and all was enough hassle to prevent me from going out at all.

I was using the car only once or twice a month. Only for short distances.
What’s the use of having inexpensive gasoline when you can’t even use your car to drive?

Lesson #7 – Focus on the important things.

When you are in survival mode, you are forced to retain only the essential things in your life.

This was huge for me.

What’s more important? Get out of the house and possibly get infected? Or just stay at home with your family. There’s no amount of additional income that can justify the risk you put your family into.

Of course, this was during the first few months of the lockdown when there’s not much we know about the virus.

I realized what are the most important things for me. Family. My kids. My wife. My parents. My in-laws.
Finances. A way to have the cash flowing into my life and sustain my family’s needs. Your relationship with God.

Lesson # 8 – You have everything that you need.

When you focus on what’s missing, you tend to miss the important blessings that are right in front of your eyes.

When I was going through financial difficulties, one of the things that helped me get through was the thought that I am still blessed because I have my kids and wife with me. They bring me joy. Their mere presence is a delight to my eyes. Even though financially I was struggling, I still had everything else working in my life. When you are going through difficulty, there’s a tendency to focus on what’s missing. When in reality, that may only be 5% of your life. The rest of the 95% are all blessings.

Lesson #9 – Nothing is permanent. Even crisis.

One of the things I learned over the years is that nothing is permanent. Everything comes and goes. That goes for friendships, money and life in general. Some people you are meant to meet for only awhile. Some stay with you for a long time. But their memories stay with you forever.

That’s true also for business. It goes through cycles of ups and downs. One moment you are on top of the world. The next moment, you are at the bottom and struggling. And then surprisingly, problems get resolved and once again business is booming.

If you’re struggling right now, know that it will not be forever. One day, your struggles will end. Your business goes up. You’ll finally get the rewards you’ve been looking for all this time.

If business is great, then know also that it will not last. Challenges will come. That’s guaranteed. What you do with your blessings today will determine whether you will survive when challenges come again.

I was fortunate to have experienced financial struggles way before the pandemic. Because of that, I had to let go of things in order to survive. Surprisingly, when the pandemic hit this year, even without my active involvement, problems seemed to resolve by themselves. I could only attribute that to the grace of God. It is indeed a blessing from up above that when the pandemic happened, my business did not only survive but thrived. Thank You Lord!

Lesson #10 – When crisis hit, it reveals your weaknesses

One of the things that I learned when I was financially struggling a few years ago was that it revealed a lot of my weaknesses. When everything is great, it is often hard to identify areas where you can improve. But when everything is going wrong, there’s a lot of blame to go around. You blame other people. You blame the circumstances. You blame yourself for the wrong decisions.

When I had the chance to step back and see everything for what they are, it revealed a lot of things that I am not proud of. Weak leadership skills. Pride. Ego. Selfishness. I felt like a headless chicken running around, not knowing what to do. When this happens, you forget what you were doing, and why you were doing things in the first place. The harder part is sometimes, you are so hard on youself it takes time for you to forgive youself. But eventually, by the grace of God, pick up the pieces and lift everything to God. You learn the lesson and move on.

Lesson #11 – Rediscover the joy within you

When you hit rock bottom, it is sometimes hard to motivate yourself to do anything. It’s like being exhausted from a long long travel. You don’t have the energy to even be angry at yourself or anyone else.

One of my mentors often say, you take it one day at a time. Take the first step. Do things you enjoy. If you’re not sure if you enjoy it, do it anyway. Go back to your childhood. When you were a kid, what did you like to do? Play computer games. Permit yourself to be young again. Be excited not because you need to sell something, but be truly excited like a child who just got his favorite toy on Christmas day.

You can’t fake it. You either feel joy or you don’t feel anything at all. If that’ the case, do the next thing that comes to your mind. If you’re bored playing that game. Stop. Play another game. Or do something else. Go outside. Take a walk. Yes, you can. You don’t have to take on the responsibility of being the mature one for everyone around you. You can be happy. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to feel joy.

Lesson #12 – Money is just a tool, just like your gadgets.

One of the things I am grateful for this year was that I was able to focus on myself and my family. My business was able to support us throughout the year.

When I started this journey, I dreamed of a day where money is still coming in whether I am working or not. For at least a year, I can say that dream has come true for me. That’s only been made possible by the grace of God. Of course, it required hardwork and help from a lot of people to set it up. I am grateful for all of them.

It’s been more than 9 years since I last held a job. I remember the day when I finally had nothing to do. I was so happy. But I felt so exhausted as well. I got sick for 2 weeks. It’s as if all the sleepless nights and exhaustion for 9 years of working in the corporate world finally caught up with me.

After that I felt really great. I enjoyed every minute of not having to go to work. But eventually, I got tired of not having to do anything. It’s a huge problem. I realize now why a lot of successful people would consider using illegal drugs, or do harmful stuffs and hurt themselves. Not that I condone it. I don’t. I am simply saying, when you get to a point where you are no longer working for money, you have to dig deeper to discover your reason to work.

Work is good for you. Believe it or not, boredom is worse. Not having to do anything is like a curse. Yes, you are provided financially. But your mind, body and spirit long for something greater where you can express your truest self.

The good news is that when you no longer have to work just to survive, you have the chance to do things for a BIGGER reason. You start to wonder your purpose in life. You start to find the real reasons you are here. And that is an exciting journey of discovery in itself.

Lesson #13 – Be in the moment.

One of the greatest blessings I received this year is that I was able to spend a lot of time teaching my two kids. Because of the pandemic, my wife and I decided to homeschool my 2 boys. Because my wife was working, I was the one teaching them most of the time.

At the start, it was a mixture of excitement and fear. Will I be able to teach them well. Can I really do it? Now, we’re almost done with the 3rd quarter and everything is going smoothly. There were moments when they cried because I got angry when they could not understand what I am teaching. It made me feel really guilty and ashamed afterwards. I wasn’t able to control myself. While they are learning to be homeschooled, I also needed to learn to become not only a parent but a teacher who is patient and loving.

Eventually I learned to take things in stride. I focused instead on enjoying these moments with them. You see my boys are now 8 and 7 years old. I am blessed to have seen all their firsts since the day they were born. I remember the moment I saw them when they came out of their mother’s womb in the operating room. I remember their first walk, their first words, their first time riding a bike, and many many more.

Often times, when I see the “on this day” memories on Facebook and show them a picture or two when they were 2 or 3 years old I’d ask them whether they remember it or not. They say they don’t remember. That’s why I am thankful I got to take those pictures. I want to treasure all those moments with them.

I realize I will not be always by their side all their lives. Now, I am blessed to help them build the foundation for their future. Not only financially, but more to build their character up so they will be able to go through life according to God’s will. That’s a great blessing I will always treasure forever.

Lesson #14 – Don’t take yourself and life too seriously.

There’s this activity in my Psych 101 class back in College. First, me and my classmates formed a circle. next, each of us wrote his name on a paper. We passed around the papers clockwise. Every time a new paper gets to you, you have to write down the first impression you have on that person.

Serious. Intelligent. Silent. Those are the words that they wrote for me. I agree with them. I am like that indeed.

Perhaps growing up independent trained me to take life seriously. I don’t know if it’s because I was the eldest in the family. Or perhaps that’s just the way I learned to live life growing up. You learn that every thing takes hard work.

But over time it takes a toll on you. Being serious is hard. Being able to laugh at yourself. That’s a virtue in itself. I feel like it’s a gift you should give yourself. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t laugh at other people’s jokes.

Expect that life will not always go your way. You go through a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Your emotions swing form one end to another. So if you take life too seriously, you rob yourself of the joy of living. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Nobody gets out alive anyway. We will all going to die. Might as well enjoy every minute of it while you’re still alive.

Lesson #15 – Eat healthy

During the pandemic, I tried doing intermittent fasting. I was able to lose a few pounds. Initially I thought I could not go without food for 16 hours. But eventually my body adjusted. I would eat my first meal during lunch. Then eat my dinner before 8pm. I felt better physically.

But eventually I got discouraged by the stagnant weight after months of doing intermittent fasting. One meal missed. Then two. Eventually I lost track. and my weight went back up again.

In the middle of December I underwent a 5-day RESET program. I ate 3 meals of Nutrimeal with fruits and veggies as snacks. I lost 8 pounds in 5 days. Now, I am in the middle of the phase 2 of the weight loss program called TRANSFORM phase. But the following days, my weight again stagnated. But I am hopeful because I feel better physically. I am eating more vergetables and fruits and limiting my intake of rice and carbohydrates.

Will I be able to keep it up? I don’t know but so far so good. What’s important is that I am making a decision to eat healthy. How about you? Is this part of your new year’s resolution too?

Lesson #16 – Be patient

This year, I had to discipline myself mentally. Often times, I feel like I am wasting time. I felt miserable doing nothing. I craved doing something with my hands. That’s why I did DIY projects at home. I fixed the kitchen cabinet. I fixed the fan. I re-arranged the funitures, not once but twice. I did Konmarie method with my clothes. I learned to cook by watching youtube videos. It was fun.

Sometimes I catch myself focusing on what’s missing. What I don’t have. What I cannot do. It gets frustrating. Mentally it was a struggle. I have to remind myself constantly to enjoy every moment. Focus on what you have.

Be patient. Stay still. When it’s time to move, you will know.

Lesson #17 – During crisis, cash is king

During crisis, cash is king. That’s why people who suddenly lose their jobs are caught in a dillemma, especially if they have no savings. Cashflow stops. Suddenly they cannot make ends meet. They resort to loans. They use up their credit cards. They get deeper into debts.

If on the other hand, you saved up when times were good, now you have extra cash to tide you over. It’s like having not only an emergency fund, but a calamity fund. One of the trainers told me he calls this as “peace of mind fund,” because it gives you peace of mind.

That’s why I always remind myself to be prudent with my cash. Not to be wasteful.

The good news is, you don’t need a lot to survive. Food to eat. Shelter. Clothers. Water. You can let go of a lot of things.

That’s why people try to sell of their material belongings.

But I feel this is only half of the equation. Selling stuffs can only do so much. You still have to find a way to earn. Starting a side hustle. Making stuffs and selling them online. Build a business. Opportunities are everywhere if you are ready.

We are all dealt with opportunities. But what prevents some people to take advantage of them is that they don’t have the cash to avail of the opportunity in front of them. But not having money is the easiest thing to solve for someone who is resourceful. More failures are due to lack of initiative rather than lack of money.

Lesson #18 – Start with what you have.

One of the ways to survive a pandemic is to start with what you have. List down all the things you see in your house that you are not using. List down all the skills you know how to do. List down all the people you know. You have everything you have to get moving in the right direction. It might not directly give you what you desire right away, but it will bring you a step closer to where you want to be, financially secure and a comfortable life for you and your family. So take that first step. You have everything you need.

Lesson #19 – Crisis is a wakeup call

They say you will encounter 2 crisis in your lifetime. I feel like I have reached my quota. The crisis of 2008 was a wake up call for me. When the bank I was working for was letting go of their employees one by one, I realized that there’s no such things as job security.

That’s why I decided to build a business on the side. That’s the reason why I felt the need to take control of my own financial life. Fortunately, that seemingly simple decision more than 10 years ago paved the way for me to survive this crisis of 2020. I will be forever thankful for that decision.

But that’s all in the past. It’s time to prepare for the upcoming economic boom. Will it happen in 2021? I don’t know. All I know is that it will come. Because nothing is permanent. Even crisis. Eventually, things will get better. Now, I’m preparing for that…as well as the next crisis by learning from the lessons of this year.

Lesson #20 – Be grateful

This year I learned that I am only a steward of the blessings I have in my life. I am blessed that the God up above gave me a chance to experience all the things that happened in 2020. I am grateful for the experience to be a father and spend time with my 2 boys not only as their teacher but also their playmate.

There were a lot of things to be thankful for. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family. My wife worked from home. My kids were home schooled. I got to cook for them and take care of them. We are all healthy. We have everything we need. We have a God who provides and protects. So this year 2020, I want to lift all the good and bad, the blessings and challenges to God almighty.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope this simple list will help you in one way or another. Perhaps to remind you that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. My only wish for you and your family is for God to be with you in 2021 and beyond. Happy New Year!

Life Lessons

Why Continuous Learning Is Important?

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to do a 2-day workshop for the leaders of our organization. During our Q&A session, I was asked about what habit has helped me create the results that I have.

The question was quite a surprise. It took me a few seconds to come up with an answer.

I thought about all the skills I have built over the years.

I thought about all the daily routines in my personal life as well as in my business.

Obviously there were so many changes over the years, both good and bad. So right away, I couldn’t pinpoint a single item that could have made the biggest impact.

Then the answer came to me.

I am a LEARNER by heart. I am always CURIOUS on how things work.

I am excited to figure things out. I geek out whenever I learn something new. It gives me a glimpse on how the world works. The moment of discovery is always fascinating. That’s why I can be perfectly fine being alone with my own thoughts.

The habit of CONTINUOUSLY LEARNING has created the biggest impact in my life.

Sometimes that means simply keeping quiet. Paying attention to what other people say and do, observing and learning at the same time.

Reading books. Attending seminars. Going through online courses. Doing things. Failing. Adjusting. Giving it another try. Succeeding. Repeating.

So why should you invest time in continuously learning?

It’s because your income can only grow to the extent that you do.
If you want your income to stop growing, you simply stop learning anything new.

Sometimes, you also need to update what you know.
What you used to know no longer work. You get frustrated, not realizing that it is you who need to change.

The most dangerous idea is in thinking you already know everything.

In my years of mentoring individuals in building their businesses, one things always comes up.

They often get frustrated for not getting the results they desire inspite of attending all the trainings. The thing is, you dont get better by training, you get better by actually applying the training. You get better by doing and failing. You get better by getting feedback and correcting.

Unfortunately, not acting is only half the equation. When you stop looking for answers because you think you already know everything, a new problem you didn’t expect will blindside you.

The danger is not found in the things you already know. It is in those things you don’t know.

Remember this. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Until someone points it out to you, you will be held back without realizing it. That’s why a mentor is crucial to recognizing your blind spots. But no one can help you if you already decided that you don’t need any help to begin with.

It starts slowly. You miss a day or two of training. Then a week, which turns into a month. Suddenly what used to be familiar seems vaguely what you used to know. Then one day it struck you. You already lost it. You don’t know how to get back.

You stoppped going to seminars. You stopped listening from your mentors. You stopped reading books. You stopped thinking for ways to improve.

When you look back what replaced all this? It’s the “busy-ness” that you think you have. It’s in those times you endlessly scrolled on newsfeeds of your Facebook and Instagram. It’s in the countless hours you spent watching videos upon videos on Youtube. It’s never ending.

That’s why it’s important to push yourself out of bed and get up. It’s important to show up even when you don’t feel like it. It’s in those moments of decisions your destiny is shaped.

One step at a time. That’s what my mentor always say.

Progress doesn’t have to be big. It just needs to be progress
So be patient when you are still far away from where you want to be.

Celebrate every milestone however tiny you think it might be.

There are 100+ books in my library, most of which I bought after graduating. But I bought only one book at a time. I didn’t read them all at once. I just let my curiousity lead me to which book I should read next, one book at a time.

I have attended seminars of Francis Kong, Anthony Pangilinan, Bo Sanchez and many more. Looking back it seems so many, but I just attended one at a time. I didn’t even plan to attend so many. I simply enjoyed learning from other people and let them lead me to a wonderful place of continuous learning.

In my business I have had the opportunity to extend the same, as I get asked to share my experiences by being a speaker to schools and events. In turn, I also learn from doing the things I am most afraid of. I get to learn from the audience and of myself even more.

Speaking of seminars, last night’s event with Mr. Francis Kong was a blast! I met a few readers from this blog during the event. It turned out they were also a fan of Sir Francis. Here’s something I learned last night. Sir Francis shared the difference of a businessman and an entrepreneur.

A businessman…
– is up to make a profit
– is self-reliant
– is competitive
– prefers strict conformance
– prefers a singular approach to decision making
– an opportunity satisfier with minimal risk
– most pre-occupied with profit factor
– profit oriented

An entrepreneur, on the other hand…
– is up to satisfy a need
– relies on network
– is collaborative
– prefers empowerment
– prefers team-oriented decision making
– an opportunity finder
– driven by strong motivation to excel
– looks for long term profit
– service oriented

I am not an expert in word semantics but I feel the point is made very clear. If you are not going to adapt to the changes in the business landscape, soon you will be out of business.

Today, there’s a great risk for businesses to fail if they are not able to adapt quickly. When that happens, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs.

That’s why it’s important to keep on learning. Changes are happening faster and faster. Today, your job can suddenly become obsolete. You can get replaced by robots or A.I. In the Philippines, a lot of BPO employees are at risk of being replaced by A.I. Think of Alexa, the “smart” assistant you always wanted to have.

With great risk comes great opportunity. Whenever a disruption happens in the marketplace, there is also an opportunity to serve in a new way. Today, anyone with a mobile phone can be in business in just a few seconds. You can see the rise of “influencers.” They are the masters of creating a following in social media, Youtubers and Instagram influencers.

So why should you keep on learning?

I don’t know about you but I think it is the only way to live. If you stop learning, you start dying.

You need to be ready for the changes that are up ahead. Continuously learning gives you the advantage to see the opportunities. It helps you see prepare. It helps you position yourself for the future to succeed!

P.S. This Saturday, I will be attending the Truly Rich Club’ Wealth Conference 2019 (WealthCon). If you are going, I’d like to meet you. See you there! 🙂

P.P.S. If you’d like to join the next Francis Kong seminar titled “Developing Entrepreneurial Mindset” on Aug 6, you can simply hit reply to this email or message me on my Facebook Page so I can send you the details.

Life Lessons

Why Your Habits Determine Your Financial Destiny

My mentor recently gave me a book to read. Atomic Habits by James Clear.

According to the book, your financial situation is a result of your habits about money.
Rich people simply have better money habits than the poor or middle class.

The past few months, I’ve had one of the most challenging period when it comes to finances.
When I looked back, it is all because of my money habits.

Over the last 8 years, my business has allowed me to earn passive/residual income.
This income has allowed me to support my family and have the freedom to spend time with them.

This is one thing I would always be thankful for, for having built a business
that would allow me the freedom to spend time with my kids.

However, one thing I didn’t know then was the idea that “passive does not mean permanent.”

In any kind of business, changes would eventually happen. Ready or not.
In my case, I wasn’t ready. It didn’t happen abruptly. But I still could not adopt to the changes fast enough to put a stop to the bleeding in my finances.

In the end, I had to make some major sacrifices just to keep the boat afloat.

Thankfully, the changes allowed me a little breathing room, for the meantime.
I am not out of the woods yet, but I feel fortunate to have gone through it.

The experience allowed me to re-examine how I view money as part of my life.

In the world of business, there’s often the idea to focus on marketing “the lifestyle.”

Is it effective? Yes, sometimes. But not always.

I realized that people, of course, are attracted to a certain lifestyle.
We all desire to look good in pictures, to have a lot of friends,
to travel to beautiful places, to own the most luxurious cars or houses.

There is nothing wrong with that.

However, when you identify your self-concept or your value too closely
to this social status, you tend to succumb to the pressures of living up to this lifestyle.

We all know that there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Success is rarely easy nor simple.

There’s the unglamorous part where you are hustling day in and day out, stressed out
in just keeping up with the lifestyle that is supposed to free you up.
But now it has become a cage.

You feel so restricted. You are now posting for likes or engagement, rather than
share what you really value and who you really are.

For sometime, I tried to de-activate my Facebook account.
I wanted to see what happens.

At first, it was really hard to do. A few days after, I re-activated it again because
I wanted to upload a picture or video.

Eventually, I managed to de-activate it completely with one exception.
I had to keep my messenger active.

Maybe it’s the fear of missing out. I don’t know.

After a month, I realized I didn’t miss much. Of course I still went back and activated it.
I had to post pictures of important family events, just to update family and friends.

Staying up to date with social media has increasingly made little sense for me.

This is one habit. that I would hope to find a balance on. I am still trying. I am afraid the only logical step would be to completely get out. We’ll see.

Recently, I had a chance to facilitate cashflow 101 boargames.
I was surprised to see that many people still haven’t played the game yet.

Here are some of the things I observed.

People are naturally risk-averse. They would buy a few shares of stocks here and there.
Just keep them and not do anything with them. They would pass on opportunities after opportunities.

After an hour of playing, they are still nowhere near the goal of getting out of the rat race.

They could not see the opportunity right in front of their eyes.
Maybe it’s just that. We see what we are trained to see.

At the start, the players are so happy whenever they receive their monthly paycheck.
In the game, there’s always this gradual shift on what the players focus on.
At the start it is all about the paycheck. But as the game goes on, they would rather get an opportunity card than a paycheck. Because they know, a paycheck would only get you so far.

The real key to getting out of the rat race is in taking advantage of the opportunities you are dealt with.

Just like in real life, having this shift in mindset and habits takes a really long time.
In my case, it has been years since I am out of the corporate world but I still find myself clinging to the allure of security.

Your habits can also change. In the same way that your weight can fluctuate with every fad diet that comes along, so too are your finances if you succumb to every fad about money.

But the fundamentals about money habits is still the same.

Make as much money as you can.
Spend less than what you earn.
Protect your money and make it grow.
While keeping a healthy perspective in life that there’s more to life than money.

Money is only a magnifier of the things you value in your life.

When you use that money to grow your relationships with your family, your love within your family will grow.

When you use that to keep a healthy lifestyle, then you will have a healthy mind and body to grow.

When you use that money to bless other people through tithes and fund ministries, then your spiritual life will grow.

It’s a lifelong process to build a habit. The only way to replace a bad habit is to create a new one. The good news is that you can start a new habit anytime. The best moment to start one is now.








Life Lessons Uncategorized

Why The People Closest To You Can Make You Rich or Poor

They say, you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.

At the top of your head, who are these 5 people in your life? Your colleagues? Friends? Family? Make a guess as to how much they are earning. Compute the average. More often than not, the number will be roughly the same amount as your monthly income.

Still can’t believe it? Observe the groups of people in your office. Who do they eat lunch with? In most cases, the managers eat lunch together with their fellow managers. The team leaders, with other team leaders. The entry level staff with their peers as well.

You spend your time with the people you are most comfortable with. The people who earn the same amount flock to each other like magnets aligned on the same sides. People who have a BIG disparity in income more often than not, repel like magnets on opposite sides.

Still not convinced? Are you familiar with the saying, tell me who your fiends are and I’ll tell you who you are?

I rest my case.

This is biologically wired within us.

Have you ever seen a baby smile whenever someone smiles at him? Or is it the other way around? Perhaps the baby smiled first? 🙂

The baby doesn’t speak any language, but both baby and the adult mimic each other. It’s like magic.

The answer lies in the mirror neurons embedded on our skin cells. It’s subconscious.
We are made to subconsciously copy or mimic what we see.

Have you seen couples, over the long term start to seem look-alike?
Behaviours in money tend to be similar as well.

Why is this important?

If you want to upgrade your income, realizing this can put you on the fast track. You will invest more time learning how to develop yourself so your mindset, thoughts, behaviour and skills align with those of the people who are earning more than you.

I am not saying let go of your friends. I am not even saying you make friends only with people who are richer than you. Or even imply to judge people based on how much money they make and use that to determine whether to be friends with them or not. Far from it.

My only suggestion is for you to be conscious of who you spend your most time with. We all have 24 hours in a day. It is up to us to make use of those hours to improve our situation in life. This is the greatest equalizer of all. Rich or poor both have the same number of hours. It’s a matter of utilizing our resources to the fullest within those 24 hours.

Don’t waste your time spending it with cynics. Don’t associate yourself with negative people, people who drown your energy, people who always complain and make excuses but do nothing to improve their situation. If you spend your time with them, sooner or later, you will become just like them.

Instead, invest your time developing yourself. Do yourself a favor and find someone who has achieved the results that you like. If you can, take that person to lunch. Ask him questions. Observe not only his answers, but how he answers them.

The power of a mastermind group

Want something better? Find a group of people who has the results you like. Spend time with them. If it’s not possible yet, start by reading their books. Attend their seminars. Observe them. How they act. How they think. How they behave. Be with them.

It’s going to be awkward at first. You may feel out of place. You may start to think you are way over your head. Just stay. Take a deep breath. Know that you are ok. It will come, sooner than you realize.

Always remember, you are who you are because of the books you’ve read, the places you went to and the people you met. Of the three, what carries the most influence are the people you spend the most time with.

If you want to accelerate your path to financial success, as what Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich, you need to form a mastermind group. He devotes a whole chapter just talking about it. This tells you how important having a mastermind group to a person’s success is.

No one is an island they say. In the same way that nobody can claim to be a self-made man. There is no such thing. Our success is a result of our own efforts plus the help provided to us by the people we encountered along the way.

Once you realize that the universe is ready to serve what you want most in life, you will undrestand that everything you ever wanted is possible. It is reachable. You just have to decide to make it happen.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said,

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Life Lessons

The #1 Reason Why People Don’t Become Rich

Over the years of coaching a lot of would be entrepreneurs, I realized one thing that I think is the #1 reason why people don’t become rich. Most people think that to become rich all you have to do is earn more income. But only a couple of months after getting a promotion, or getting a bonus, however, most people still end up living day to day. They are no better off than before they got promoted.

Here is the brutal truth. More money won’t make you rich, if your problem is you don’t know how to handle your money.

The scary part of having more money is that it reveals how good or bad you are in managing your money. Money has a way of magnifying things. If you are having problem handing little money, more money will only compound your problem.

Have you read stories of people who were once broke and then suddenly won the lottery? After a few years, they end up more broke and more in debt than before they won the lottery. Strange isn’t it?

If you have plans of starting your own business, the #1 skill you need to learn is how to manage your money. I won’t recommend you do investing when you are heavily in debt. If you are in that situation, the first thing you need to do is to get yourself out of debt. After that, you have to be able to set aside money for emergency situations. After which, you can then move on to setting aside money for increasing your investment portfolio.

Earlier this month, I have had the privilege of learning from one of the Philippines’ sought-after financial coach, a registered financial planner and author of the book ‘No Non-sense Personal Finance’, Randell Tiongson as part of our team’s 3-day retreat.

Over the years, I have had the chance to share the same principles in my team through my financial literacy talks. I feel strongly that more people should learn these things so that they are better equipped in handling their own money. I know how it feels to be in debt. I know how it feels to not being able to save up for emergencies. I know how it is to get confused in the myriad of advise on investments. That’s why, it has become my mission to guide people starting in their business how to manage their money well so they won’t fall deeper into debts, hoping that one day, they will reap the harvest of their hard work just like what happened to me and the leaders in my organization.

Basics of Financial Literacy

Depending on where you are currently in your finances, here are some things you can use as your guide in your own financial journey.

  1. Get out of debt. This is a huge topic all-together. Some people use credit card as if the bank gave them a bonus.  They act as as if the credit limit given is money they actually own. Worse, some use this as their “emergency fund.” Always remember that the rule of the game in the world of money is, “who is indebted to whom?”. As the saying goes, “the debtor is the slave of the lender.” When you really think about it, this description is quite accurate. Have you observed how people who have debts behave on social situations? Their self-esteem takes a hit. They feel ashamed not being able to pay off their debts. Something deep inside them starts to feel inferior. It is more than the money that is eating away inside of them. It is their soul. It is their confidence and self-worth. With this, it is imperative then that you get out of debt as soon as you can. This is specially true for retail debts like credit cards or personal loans. If you own several credit cards, your goal is to pay-off one card at a time and only pay the minimum on the others. The sooner you can pay-off one credit card, the sooner it will be for you to gain back your confidence and momentum. That’s what people call “snow-ball” effect, that after paying off one card, soon the habit you formed will allow you to carry it on in paying the next card, and so on, and so forth. You can apply the same technique in paying off personal loans from other people.
  2. Save for emergencies. Most people have only one source of income, their job or their business. In the event that this stream of income suddenly stops, they get into financial trouble. One must be able to prepare for this event. Financial experts recommend having at least 6 months worth of expenses. The reason for this is because it normally takes around 6 months to be able to replace your stream of income, either by finding another job or setting up another business. Have you tried saving for emergencies, only to experience an “emergency” a few months after and at the end of the year you are still no better of than when you started? Still no emergency fund saved. The trick that I discovered in saving off for emergency fund, is to make it very convenient and hassle-free to deposit money into your fund, and very inconvenient to withdraw money from it. In my days as an employee, we had this savings and loans association where they automatically deduct a percentage of your salary into your savings account. I never saw the money. In fact, it never reaches my ATM account. To withdraw, I would have to fill out several papers and I only have a 30-minute window on specific days to be able to do it. The extra hassle is enough for me to just leave the money out there. I’ve applied the same thing in my business. Once money comes in, I automatically transfer them to my different accounts including the one for emergencies. My mentor described the emergency fund as “peace of mind” fund, because it’s supposed to give you peace of mind.
  3. Grow your money. Once you are able to save for emergencies, that’s when you will have the confidence to venture out and explore other options to grow your money even more. We all know that you will not earn a lot when you leave your money in the bank. In fact, you are actually losing money if you take into account inflation. Inflation is when the price of goods rises every year. This is around 3% to 4% on the average. Savings accounts on the other hands rarely give more than 1% interest. You are on the losing end. The only reason you leave your money in the bank is for liquidity reasons. Because you can withdraw them anytime because of emergencies. If you want to grow your money, you are better of putting your money in investments. There are several ways you can invest. Personally, I have tried investing in real-estate, retail treasury bonds, stocks, insurance, and business. Each one is not better than the other, it depends on your particular goal at the moment. Obviously, if you ask a real-estate agent, he will say investing in real-estate is the best. If you ask a stock broker, he will say you should invest in stocks. If you ask a businessman, he will say you should invest in a business. For an ordinary employee like me before, it is quite confusing to receive different advice from different people, but one thing that has helped guide me in my journey, whether to listen to a particular advice or not is this, “every time you buy into someone else’s opinion, you are also buying into his lifestyle.” Ask if the person giving out the advice is personally investing on his or her own recommendation. If not, better to turn around and ask someone else. If yes, then get to know the person’s values and character, as well as the lifestyle that he has. Is he living the lifestyle that you dream about in the future? If yes, then listen to him. If not, you might be better of doing business with someone else, you share the same values with, and someone living the lifestyle that you want to be in the future.

These are just basic tips for you to get started in your financial journey. It has been more than a decade since I applied these same principles in my finances, and it has carried me well enough for me to be able to quit my 9-year IT career in 2011 and live the life of my dreams. I can honestly say, yes it is possible. It is not easy, but it is not to0 hard either. There are people willing to help you along the way. All you have to do is to make your own decision to take the leap of faith and follow the small voice within you yearning to have your own freedom. There is greatness within you. Unleash it this 2017. Cheers to your success!

Life Lessons

The Price of Your Dreams


If you are like me, you have already realized by now that relying on your paycheck alone won’t give you the desires of your dreams. Want proof? Let’s say you are a young family with 2 kids. You and your wife both have a stable job with a promising career. You have BIG DREAMS for you and your family.

In the real world, here’s what’s that look like:

1) HOUSE & LOT (P5M) – You want to have a HOUSE & LOT. What do you say is a reasonable amount for a house and lot? P5Million? P10Million? more? Of course some would argue that they can live in a simple house, preferably in the province…or just outside of metro manla. The thing with having a home away from your work place is you would need to increase your spending for transportation.

2) CAR (P1M) – Let’s say, since you want a comfortable ride for the whole family, you want to buy a decent car. That will, be around P1Million, not including parking, toll, gas, maintenance, insurance, and more.

3) TRAVEL (P2M) – You also want to travel and bring your whole family to a beach vacation in Boracay or overseas at least once a year, so let’s say you want to do it for at least 10 years, that will amount to P200,000 x 10 = P2Million pesos.

4) SAVINGS (P5M) – Of course, for any emergencies you want to have the peace of mind of having SAVINGS…say P5Million. If you want more, you can always add more for you. 🙂

Total all of the figures above and you will get the PRICE of your DREAMS. In this example, that is going to be P13Million. That’s only for a decent living with basic expenses. Certainly not at a luxurious level yet.

The #1 reason most people don’t achieve their dreams is because they don’t know how much the price is. If you are still reading up to this moment, you are way ahead than most people because now you know HOW MUCH IS YOUR DREAM.

Now, the next question you will have is HOW WILL YOU CREATE THE P13Million?!!!

Would you let me give you some ideas you can consider?

1) You could become a celebrity. Become an endorser for a commercial in TV. 🙂 We all agree that celebrities earn a lot from endorsements. P13Million will be a piece of cake if you are a sought-after celebrity like Piolo Pascual, Sarah Geronimo or the like. But not everyone is cut out for the intrigues in showbiz. That’s why I didn’t even try. I want a peaceful life. Hehe 🙂

2) You could marry someone rich. For some people that’s their basic strategy in becoming rich in life. Obviously, there’s a lot of pros and cons to that. But, living with someone for the sake of money may not be the best use of your life. You only have one life to live.

3) You could become a famous athlete like Manny Pacquiao or a basketball start like James Yap. Did you know the minimum wage of a basketball player in the professional leagues is around P50,000/month and the maximum is around P425,000/month. Not bad! But we all know the life of an athlete is plagued with a lot of risks. What if you injure yourself, what if you get cut, etc etc. Not to mention that you would need to start at a young age to train just to be able to compete.

4) You could become a businessman. Did you know majority of millionaires are entrepreneurs? But we all know the world of business is not for everyone. 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years. Of those that survive, only 1 out of 10 make it after 10 years.

5) You could do nothing and stay where you are. In most cases, as an employee you would have to rely on your paycheck to earn the P13Million.

Now let’s take a closer look.  Let’s say for example that you are able to save up at P10,000 a month from your job. In 1 year, you would have saved P120,000..after 10 years, that’s P1.2M, after 20 years, P2.4M…and by the time you reach the retirement age of 60 (after 40 years of working), you would have saved a total of P4.8Million pesos. Let me give you a moment to digest the last figure one more time. P4.8Million after 40 years of working. All your life, you did as you were told. Never made any scene. Stuck to your job and worked…so hard, only to get this in return. P4.8Million in 40 years.

Here are some things that you will soon realize.

1) The P4.8Million you saved is nowhere near the P13Million you need to buy your DREAMS. In fact, it’s not even enough to buy your DREAM HOUSE OF P5Million. Even if let’s say you are able to save the additional P200,000 to reach the P5Million price, do you really think the price of the house is going to still be the same after 40 years? The answer is definitely not. There is such a thing called inflation.

2) Some people would argue that the P10,000 can increase after some time since you can get promoted. At first glance, you would think that makes sense. In real life, it doesn’t happen that way. After a promotion, an upgrade in lifestyle would soon follow. What used to suffice is no longer appealing. Of course, a manager or a doctor would have to look the part of a successful or a newly promoted professional. Buy new clothes, new gadgets, and eat out at new more expensive restaurants that would align with their new image or lifestyle. This is what some people call as keeping up with the Joneses. So even if the salary increases, the expenses increase as well. Nothing is still saved up.

3) Everyone who have been working for at least 5 years already know this. It is NOT ENOUGH. In fact, when you ask an employee, what they will do after retirement, almost all will say they will put up a business. Surprisingly, famous athletes go into business after their playing days are over as well. Even celebrities go into business just the same. Everyone know relying on your paycheck is NOT ENOUGH, and adding income by starting a BUSINESS is one of the most feasible options you can have. Why? Anyone can enter a business. Today, anyone with a mobile phone can do business. With the power of the internet, this has become possible.

Why then are people still not starting a business?

Lack of capital. I don’t have money to start a business.

Lack of knowledge. My father was an employee. My mother was an employee. Everyone I know is an employee. Who will mentor me to start a business?

Lack of resourcefulness. What if I fail? What if I lose money? What if it doesn’t work?

Fear of what other people will say. What will other people think of me? What if everyone will ridicule me? What if I become an embarrassment to my clan?

There are so many reasons why starting a business is not feasible for you. But always remember, you only need one reason why you can make it a success.

So what if you don’t have money? Can you borrow capital from someone who trusts you? It’s not a question of having resources…but of having RESOURCEFULNESS.

So what if you fail? At least you tried. Those that do not fail are not doing anything at all.

So what if you don’t know how? You can always ask. Google. Act. Fail. Succeed. Learn. Repeat.

So what if people will ridicule you? They do not own the DREAMS in YOUR HEART. You alone will look in the mirror at the end of the day and say, you made it.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My journey has been like that for the last decade. After realizing I need to make some changes, I simply closed my eyes and got started. I started a business part-time, struggled to get it off the ground. I failed many times. Got rejected. Discouraged. Got up again. Licked my wounded ego. Moved on. Eventually, I was able to quit my 9-year IT career to grow my business full-time. Now it’s been more than 5 years since I quit. Never have I felt more free to DREAM and pursue the things I want in life. The next 5 years is going to be very exciting. The DREAM is still alive. 🙂 I hope you find the courage within you to pursue your dreams as well. There’s help on the other side when you decide to make a change in your life. 🙂 Cheers to your success!!!


P.S. In my next article, I will share you the one thing you need to know before you start your own business.  If you don’t learn this, starting a business will get you further in debt instead of earn you additional income.

P.P.S. I’m expanding my business and currently looking for partners. Only 4 slots left. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Life Lessons

Your Journey To Your First $100

This post was inspired by Fritz’ How To Turn Your P50K to P1Million in less than a year. While it’s certainly possible to earn your first million in less than a year, more often than not, those who are able to achieve the feat have had years or decades of preparation. It only seems like the success was overnight, but just like what the Pokemon Go creator said, it took 20 years to create an overnight success. 🙂

The vast majority of people who are exploring for ways to earn apart from their jobs are just starting out, clueless to the options out there, afraid to try and fail. I know, because I was once in a similar situation.

Growing up I was always a busy kid. I worked hard earning extra money, taking care of pigs, chickens, planting vegetables on our backyard, going with my mom and dad to harvest tobacco leaves as well as cleaning our neighbour’s house for a fee.  My idea of earning an income was tied to having a job. Around 2003, I read the famous book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. For the first time I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship and the possibility to earn not just once from you hard work, but multiple times. I was surprised to learn about the concept of LEVERAGE and RESIDUAL INCOME.

That kicked-off my journey towards searching for ways to earn extra income apart from my job. I have tried to setup businesses after that but it was all a one-man show. At the end of each business, all I had to show for were BIG eyebags from lack of sleep, bruised ego and empty wallet. That’s when I realized, if I was every going to make it I’d better learn how to build a TEAM. As they say, business is a TEAM sport. Teamwork is very important.

After working abroad for more than 2 years, I finally came back to the Philippines for good. It was at this time that I was able to save enough money to be able to invest in different things. I dived into stocks investing, real-estate investing, bonds, insurance, mutual funds and other paper assets. While everything was fine with me, part of me was still AFRAID. I knew deep down that in reality I really didn’t have CONTROL over how my investments would turn out. I longed to be able to learn how to BUILD A BUSINESS that I can CONTROL. This is important for me because when I was abroad I witnessed how a recession can turn a seemingly comfortable life upside down. There were tense moments where every day a few of my colleagues were being let go. Every day I was worrying whether today is going to be my turn. Fortunately, I was able to wither the storm as they would say. I was not let go, but that experience taught me a great lesson on being prepared. People say, if cars have spare tires, why not you? Aren’t you more valuable than the car?

Over the years, I have read hundreds of books and videos online or from the bookstores. If you see me at the mall I only visit two stores – the bookstore and the sports store. 🙂 When I came back, I attended lots of seminars from Bo Sanchez and other experts in business and marketing. That’s when I tried to make a goal to earn my first $100 through this blog. It took me around 1 year and 6 months to do it. I’m not sure if anyone is still using Google Adsense, but it was a fun time to be learning about internet marketing then. I was able to cash out the $100 and I was so happy. That proved to me that it was really possible to earn online.

My second attempt was in creating my first ebook Rich Money Habits – 8 Ways to Shift Your Money Habits and Be Rich. That ebook was sold for around $9.95 and all the orders combined after a few  months amounted to $605, of which the first $100 was earned in its first week after launch. The experience taught me a lot of things. Today, I have stopped selling the ebook and decided to GIVE IT AWAY INSTEAD FOR FREE! Simply visit my website at and enter your email to download your free copy.

In 2011, one of my friends in real-estate shared me another opportunity that would multiply my earnings from $100 a week to $1000 or more in a week. She became my business mentor. She has been featured in Kerygma magazine as a former SM saleslady turned Millionaire missionary. Her inspiring rags-to-riches story has been featured twice in a TV show Asenso Pinoy shown in Studio 23. Through her mentoring, my results eventually improved…and the rest as they say is history.

results with annotation

It initially started out as a part time thing, until it surpassed my one week income from my job after 6 months. That’s when I decided to give it more time and quit my 9-year IT career to earn full-time US dollar income to support my family. In the last 5 years, my wife and I had the best times of our lives: We were able to buy our first car, a Chevrolet Cruze, and another family car, a brand-new Chevrolet Trailblazer. We also got our 2-bedroom condominum unit in a Resort Style Residential Development by DMCI properties. My wife and I experienced all-expense paid Asian Cruise travel twice: the first one to Hong Kong, Sanya China and Vietnam via Star Cruises, and another one, a 7 days 6 nights unforgettable experience via Royal Caribbean Cruise to China and Korea. There are other travels to El Nido Palawan, to Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Beijing China, and many many more.


In the process of building our business, I have had a chance to mentor other people to achieve the same results as well. Some of them are Engineers, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), IT professionals, and more. Most of them have also been working in the corporate world, but eventually realized that it is not enough. You can learn more about them and their stories here.

In the end, this is simply my story and other stories of people who were just looking to earn an extra $100. Life had offered so much more for those who were willing to learn, be coachable, work hard, and dream big for their families.


Here’s my good news for you. I am currently expanding and building my 6th business center…and in the middle of building a 10-man team. There are only 10 slots available. Bad news is, 4 slots have already been taken. There are only 6 slots left. I receive 15 – 20 inquiries in a day so it’s possible all 6 slots can be taken by end of this week. If you would like to work with me, and allow me to help you earn your first $100 this week, simply go to my website now at and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS listed to take the first step. I’m very excited to be working with you and make your initial $100 goal come true. Cheers!

Life Lessons

5 Common Fears you need to Conquer in Starting a Business

This article is a featured guest post from Louren of I have come to know Louren’s work and realised that we share a lot of things in common; one of which is to share to our readers the value of starting a business! Today, he is going to share the 5 Common Fears you Need to Conquer in Starting a Business. Read on and enjoy!

It has been a common topic of conversation for people in the corporate world to talk about what business are they going to put up for their retirement. Many people get excited when they talk about these things especially the idea of having a money that works for you. Exciting as it may seem, still, not all people are exerting efforts to actually put their business ideas to life. Why? That’s what we’ll be talking about in this post.

5 Common Fears you need to Conquer in Starting a Business

One of the major reasons that holds people back to start running their own businesses is the Fear. In this article, we’ll talk about the fears people have and the things we can do in order to overcome them.

A lot of people perceive fear as something bad or negative, well, not really. Fear is a natural thing not just in us humans but in animals as well. It is a way to protect ourselves from dangers. Without fear, we will do dangerous things without any caution at all. So basically, fear, in its nature is good. In starting a business, there are fears that you are going to encounter but you need to overcome these fears in order to progress.

1. Fear of taking risks. In many business, there is always risk involved. Whatever business you are in, whether it be as simple as selling ice candy or franchising, joining network marketing, or any other investment schemes, there’s always risk involved.

You might ask “So what can I do now”?

Since we cannot really eliminate the risk involved in any business, what we can do is to manage the risk. There are actions you can take in order to minimize the risk in your business. You can do some research and feasibility studies then create your short-term and long-term plans. Don’t just dive into things you don’t even know how to handle. There’s a big chance of failing in the business if you’re not able to create any plans. Just like what many other successful people say, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Another good thing you can do to lessen the risk is to do partnerships with other people or search for investors who are willing to fund your business. You can also protect your business from unexpected accidents, loss, or damages by applying for an insurance program.

2. Fear of not being good enough.A lot of people oftentimes don’t take actions because they think they’re not good enough yet. A lot of them wanted to have the perfect plan, perfect tools, perfect people, and perfect everything before they will actually dive into the real thing. To tell you honestly, it doesn’t work that way. There are a lot of people who wanted to start their businesses get stuck in that kind of mindset. Most of them end up doing nothing so beware.

You don’t need to strive for perfection, aim for improvement! You might start with little knowledge at first but as you keep on running your business, your skills get better, your strategies get finer and you’ll learn many things along the way. Again, don’t waste your time perfecting your plans.

Just create a plan you can execute immediately and from there, you’ll be able to develop the skills you need in running the business. Just test fastfail fastadjust fast.

3. Fear of failing in the business.I hate how this fear has been planted in people’s minds because I strongly believe it’s so wrong to fear failure. Many people think that when you fail, it’s the end of the story, you’re a loser, and you can’t do anything about it. Wrong, wrong, WRONG!

I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 things that do not work.” – Thomas Edison

Repeat reading this and put this into your mind: Through failures, we learn. Failure is a vital part in the process of achieving our goals. Failure should not be feared, it should be understood. You need to understand why you fail and find resolutions for your next attempt. Failure is needed for continuous progress and without it, we cannot enjoy the best of the technologies we’re enjoying right now.

You gotta love failure. Period.

4. Not knowing where to start. People get scared because they do not know where to start. This shouldn’t be a big problem. You need to take care to not just simply imitate somebody else’s business who’s already out there and get lost along the way. If you’re just starting out on your business, focus on your strengths. List down the things you’re good at and assess which one can become your business.

You can also search and list down the businesses that you think you’ll be able to love for long term and do some elimination process. Once you’ve picked one, from there, start doing your research and planning then execute.

5. Fear of being different and being rejected. One of the things people fear about is getting rejected by their friends and even their families. Since most of the people are accustomed to go to school and do employment, the idea of running a business seemed to be disregarded.

One of the greatest hindrances in pursuing your business are your parents. They cannot easily grasp the ideas and opportunities businesses can give compared to staying in corporate world. My sister and I took the courage to not listen to our parents to pursue what we want. Our parents want us to stay in the companies because what they want is “stable income”. Good thing, just less than a year, we’re able to earn more than what we had from our previous jobs.

So that’s it. I hope through this article, I’m able to help you conquering your fears in starting your business. If you find this helpful, share it to your friends, co-workers, and loved ones!

About the author:
Louren is the founder and the publisher of PowerPinoys where he writes about finance, entrepreneurship, business, and other topics related. He is a web developer who focuses on real estate and e-commerce websites.

Life Lessons

What is a SIMPLE and COMFORTABLE Life?

A few days ago, I came across this recent NEDA survey saying that most Filipinos want a simple and comfortable life. What was curious for me is that in the survey, they tried to put a specific amount to what is SIMPLE & COMFORTABLE. Would you like to find out what’s the amount too? Here’s the answer: for a family of four, this means having a monthly gross income of ₱120,000 and enough money for day-to-day needs. You can go to to watch the video and learn the rest of the survey.

simple and comfortable life


While thinking about it, I remembered another survey a few months back about the HIGHEST PAYING JOBS in the Philippines.  I think it was in a Jobstreet survey where they indicated that IT people had the highest paying jobs in the Philippines. Their monthly salaries ranged from P38,000 to P86,550.

It does not take a mathematician to figure out that the P86,550 income from the HIGHEST PAYING job, CANNOT cover the P120,000 needed for someone to live a SIMPLE & COMFORTABLE life.

One thing is definitely clear from the numbers: everyone needs additional income apart from their jobs to provide a simple and comfortable lifestyle for their families.

I’m curious what part-time opportunities have you tried so far to add on to your income from your job? How did it go? What did you learn? I’d like to get to know your stories and experiences. Feel free to email them to me, or comment below. Who knows you may even be featured in my future posts in this blog.

Here’s the good news. In my next post, I will be sharing you some ideas I picked up from my good friend Fritz @ Ready To Be Rich on the ways on how you can add another stream of income on top of your job. Watch out for it. Cheers!