Business is in my blood!This month, we focus on Business. Business is in my blood and came naturally from my mother, known in our village and nearby towns for her innovation, style and success in buying, peddling and marketing whatever she could get.
The story of my life is perhaps the best way to express the key role that business plays in my day to day decisions today. From a very young age, I was given the responsibility to mind the store in our house, while my mother did her business dealings in the village marketplace. In this way, I learned as a boy about inventory, sales, collecting money, giving correct change and a profound appreciation for money in the cash box. Through direct experience, I received the tools, attitudes, and skills to operate a business, simply because it was expected of me, by my mother who taught by example.
As I reflect on these early beginnings in entrepreneurship, I am still in awe and gratitude for being so blessed and to realize clearly that my motivation to inspire our youth now to choose a business career stems from these boyhood lessons and successes.
For many families in the Philippines, the children were raised by their mother, while the fathers went to America to work, sending home some of their earnings and returning to visit their families, then going back to their jobs for another period of time. Often the father’s visit would be followed by the birth of another child, a cycle that would repeat until the family could all immigrate to America.
I share a common story with other Filipinos. One significant difference is the primary role of business throughout my life. The confidence gained through my experiences as an entrepreneur gives me a strong foundation for the beliefs and values that continue to guide me.
Here are some of my thoughts, as found in my autobiography entitled Filipino Boy-American Dream, from the section titled Tante’s Guide to Happiness and Financial Independence:
• Do things that are extraordinary and nearly impossible.
• Do what you do well that people enthusiastically refer others to you.
• Build your reputation for honesty, integrity, quality and superb service.
• Strive to accomplish more with less time, money and energy.
• Take calculated risks to get ahead.
• Know that you are equal to everyone and everyone is equal to you.
• Forgive and love everyone.
• Learn something new every day.
• Carry a crisp $100 bill with you at all times.
• Constantly escalate your goals.
The Fil-Am Voice salutes all of Maui’s Filipino entrepreneurs and we encourage our youth to consider a career in business.