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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Are Your Compelling Reasons for Going Into Business?

What Are Your Compelling Reasons for Going Into Business?
By Dean Pax Lapid

Is it Frustration with job? Is it Family pressure? Is it Fame and Fortune? Or is it Freedom?

Are these the RIGHT COMPELLING REASONS for going into business? Maybe the answer is yes, or maybe the answer is no. Let me share with you some of the situations that I have encountered through the years of teaching entrepreneurship, and why wannabes want to go into business:

•* “I’ve been on this routine job for the past 20 years – boring na! Maybe it’s time to go into a business venture para mas exciting.” 

•* “By golly! Every morning I’m in this rut with a hard to please boss – how frustrating! What business can I go into to escape this hellish place and devilish boss?”

•* “Anak, you have been to two big schools for the past seven years already. Hindi mo hilig mag-aral, mag-negosyo ka na lang.”

•* Wow, his business is doing well. I have observed how profitable his business is. I can copy his business and get lots of money.”

•* “I recently attended this seminar in the mall. The speaker promised that if I get his franchise, I can earn minimum of P30,000 per month. Madali na, mayaman pa.”

• *“I want FREEDOM. I’ll be my own boss with my own time to do whatever I want. I can set up a business and let my people do the work while I enjoy my FREEDOM anytime I want to.”

•* “Sikat pala ang maging entrepreneur. You get featured in magazines and get interviewed by media!”

Here’s a BIG SECRET! One of the most important factors for success (whether business or any personal endeavor) is to understand clearly your reasons for doing what you are doing.

If a person has a very strong reason to achieve a certain dream or goal, then that person will find the resources to achieve that goal. There’s a very big difference between WANTING to be an entrepreneur and COMMITTING to be an entrepreneur.

You need to be very clear about your reasons to be in business. There is nothing wrong with the money part but it has to be more than money... IT NEEDS TO BE something more personal… something more enduring. If it is personal and emotional, then you will have the achievement motivation to make it happen and even tide you over if the going gets rough (you will definitely encounter hurdles as you set up and run your business however small it may be.)

Let me tell you a story.
Long time ago (the Dean likes fairy tales), Basilisa, a pretty lass from Paco, married Benjamin, a young handsome guy from Pampanga. He was a marketing undergraduate and part-time hog dealer. 

Initially their parents did not accede to the marriage because both of them were still young and have not finished school. Eventually, the young hearts prevailed over the advice of their parents.

A big family blossomed in a small apartment row along Arlegui St. (Manila) near MalacaƱang. Basilisa was giving birth to a child almost every year. The young family life though was comfortable as Benjamin was working double-time to meet the family needs. They even had holiday trips to Angat Dam, Tagaytay or Baguio every summer. Benjamin was busy with his sidelines while Basilisa was nurturing six wonderful children.

Then a big crisis arrived during the Holy Week of 1968. Suddenly the world slammed on Basilisa like a big rock when Benjamin was diagnosed with stage four cancer and was given several months to live. Out of shock, Basilisa lost her voice for several weeks. 

Then on July 5, 1968, Benjamin succumbed to liver cancer and died leaving Basilisa with six children, P5,000 in his bank account and an uncertain future for the education and daily living of the kids Roberto, aged 12; Paquito,11; Lourdes, 10; Carmen, 8; Martin, 4; and Celine, 2.

Basilisa was in a big dilemma. No one could offer her a job since she did not have a college degree. After getting married she never went back to college, only finishing one semester since she got pregnant every year and took all her time caring for the kids since. There was an offer of a part-time sales lady near Carriedo but the meager labor wage wasn’t even enough to sustain the daily needs of a growing family, more so the education expense.

She had no choice but to pursue a small meat retailing business, building it from the part-time hog trading business of Benjamin. She teamed up with her mother (Aling Julia), got her Ninang to supply her with meat carcass every morning at Quiapo with a promise to pay by the end of the day. (She did not have the capital, only a character to be trusted.)

Eventually, she prospered the business, was able to send all her children all the way through college (four graduated from UP with degrees in BS Business Admin, BS Mechanical Engineering, BS Biology and BS Food Service, another from La Salle with BS LiaCom and another from St. Paul with BS Marketing). Basilisa now lives comfortably in New Manila in a family compound. 

She actually celebrated her 80th birthday last April 2012 and is planning to have a grand family reunion via a cruise to Vancouver and Alaska this September with her children and grandchildren.

This is a very real story, which I know for a fact since that amazing lady named Basilisa is my beloved mother (fondly known as Nena), while that handsome guy from Pampanga named Benjamin was my Tatay, who died when I was barely 11 years old as I was coming into Grade 5. My mother (Basilisa) had COMPELLING REASONS going into business – CRISIS + FAMILY SURVIVAL + FAMILY FUTURE! (it is personal, emotional and financial)

My compelling reasons for going into business:
1. I wanted to preserve the family business that my mother (Basilisa) started when we were still young. I wanted to make sure that her efforts were not put to waste and that her customers at Quiapo extended to the next generation. 

She makes the best sirloin tapa and longganisa in the Quinta market that even the MalacaƱang (up to the Marcos regime) kitchen prefers to make it a breakfast fare amongst the First Family and their palace guests.

2. I wanted to create businesses every year that can employ at least 10 people, paying them with higher than market wages and offering a family culture environment. When I’m 75 years of age, I want to see that I have employed 500 employees. So far, I have already done more than 100—I have 20 years to fulfill this!

3. I wanted to use my businesses as models for the younger generation to see—so that they may be confident to venture into their own business and not be afraid to take a leap of faith out of their comfort zone. When I’m 75 years old – I hope to see at least 1,000 businesses inspired from my teachings and mentoring. That’s 50 businesses every year. So far, I have mentored close to 200 students with their own successful ventures.

4. I wanted to prosper young IT professionals, paying them good salaries so that they may opt not to go abroad. I wanted to offer an environment with work-life balance, at the same time prospering their IT skills that can help make a better business for local and international clients.

5. I have always prayed that God will use my businesses as his ‘supply depot’ to bring my employees closer to Him. This is my own way to bring glory to our God thru my struggles, successes and significance as I go about fulfilling my purpose with the time, talent and treasures of entrepreneurship that He has given me.

A Final Advice: Find Your Passion and Compelling Reasons
What triggers a jump into business from most of the success stories that I have seen and heard emanates from his/her innate passion for one’s talent or skills. An enormous passion for something within YOU makes it already half a battle won – meaning you will fight it out and make it successful in spite of the odds. Remember, even your friends and family will discourage you from bringing your passion into a business. Your compelling reasons will push you to move forward in spite of all the negative comments from your loved ones.

Finally, I always say that “business is many things, the least of which is the balance sheet”. The soul of business is a curious blend of passion, desires, gratifications mixed together with sacrifices and personal contributions far beyond material rewards. May God always prosper you as you find your compelling reasons to do your endeavours! God is always good!

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