The Rise of the Free Agent Era and 5 Strategies to Survive It, Part 2

iknowkungfu

(This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part one can be found here.) 3) Build Free Agent Skills So what sort of skills are highly useful in this free-agent era? Skills which maximize your ability to be independent - skills which can allow you to be highly mobile and flexible. Here are three really strategic ones you can work on: a) Learn How To Learn Real Fast Two common realities of the free agent era: there's always something new to learn, and you have to learn it fast. If you learn things fast, then you can work in vuitually any condition and won't be a victim of obsolescense. Adapt and live. So don't get married to a skill set (especially technical ones, which … [Read more...]

The Compass, The Anchor, and The Propeller

comanchller

When we moved into our new office, we were in a momentary quandary about what to do with a good-sized room that was right smack in the middle of the layout. We could turn it into another meeting room - you could never have enough of those. Or perhaps a designated interview room? Incubate a startup idea (or two)? (such a temptation!) Then, it hit Pao and I at the same time - we just HAVE to turn it into a prayer room. It's obviously not the bottom line-friendly alternative, but knowing our history, it just made too much sense to put a prayer room in the middle of the office. This was our little way of honoring the God who has been so faithful to us and our journey. Prayer … [Read more...]

Fathers and Sons

father son

Exactly 6 years ago, I was in Cardinal Santos hospital feeling an overwhelming mixture of happiness, fear, and  excitement. You see, for the first time, I was holding my son in my arms. And there was something else I was feeling. As I beheld my son, I felt an unmistakable tug of the heart. It was the first time we met face-to-face, but never did I feel such an intense feeling of love for another person. He was mine.  Then I had a quick realization. I quickly looked for my dad. Finding him, I gave him a hug and said, "happy birthday!" It was also his birthday after all. I then extended the hug a bit. You see, it was also the first time in my life I realized … [Read more...]

The Absolutely Crucial Art of Defending Your Dream Time

defending

Do you want to know what's truly important to you? There's really no need for further philosophical / existential analysis. Here's a surefire way to know. Take a look at your calendar for the past month. Take a look at the number of hours you spend on certain tasks. Where you spend your time will show you an objective view as to what you truly find important. Do you spend countless hours working overtime? How much time do you spend with your family? Do you spend a lot of time pampering yourself? Video games? TV? Your calendar says a whole lot about you.  In our community, we are encouraged to "defend our prayer time." That we should spend 15-30 minutes, at a specific … [Read more...]

Don’t Slip Into The Entrepreneur Entitlement Trap

entitlement

It was one of my most painful learning experiences as an entrepreneur. Around 3 years ago I was invited to be an investor/co-founder in a mobile startup. We were four people. The resumes of my co-founders were dazzling - Ivy League degrees, corporate stalwarts, multiple successful ventures. I signed up immediately. I also proceeded to make the most sizeable investment I've ever made (not my usual fare as a passionate proponent of bootstrapping and  minimum seeding) We met once a week. On Skype. There was no one fulltime among the founders. The company was everyone's second or even third priority. The deadlines were soft, chewy, and unaccounted for. We were burning money … [Read more...]

On the New Storm Office, the Infamous Orange Chair, and Why You Can Do It!

Steel restaurant chair

STORM transferred to its newest office a few weeks ago. I love it! It's brightly lit, incredibly functional, spaceous, and comfortable to work in. There are no "manager" rooms. There are whiteboards and wallboards everywhere, and multiple spaces for different kinds of meetings. Pictures below! Looking closely, you would also see rather peculiar items in the office: Like this old restaurant-style chair... And of course, our infamous "orange chair." These "artifacts" belonged to the very first Storm office - the one-bedroom condo where I lived.  The bedroom became my house - everything else was transformed into the office. (how I wish my … [Read more...]

Forget Your Career And Pursue Your Vocation

discernment

My So-called Career Development For the most part of my adult life, I thought I knew what I had wanted to do. I wanted to pursue a career in HR. I wanted to make money. I wanted to make my resume as impressive as I could possible make it. And so I tried my very best to achieve these. I knew they would make me happy. At particular points, I would find myself dissatisfied with certain facets. So, I just decided on changing some things along the way. Not enough money? Join a better-paying firm. Resume not impressive enough? Get an advanced degree. Still not happy? Party and go out with friends. In my fourth company, Chikka, I became extremely confused. I was doing … [Read more...]

The Sounding Board: Be Heard for A Change

Sounding Board

Sharing information about your startup with other groups can be scary. You've put sweat and tears into building your business and sometimes you'd rather not share because others might just tear it down. It takes a lot of trust and confidence to bare your heart and soul to any individual or group. It's understandable, but you have to get passed that apprehension. Seeking advice and counsel is crucial to the success of your business. As proverbs says, "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). The message is clear: seek counsel from a group to prevent the fall. Now the challenge in seeking counsel is finding a group … [Read more...]

He Gives and Takes Away

open-hands

Around three months ago, I got a call from my wife Pauline. She was frantic. She was crying. "I don't know what to do." She was pregnant with what would be our fourth child. She was pregnant only after a few months of giving birth to our third child. With all the strength I could muster, I talked to her as calmly as I could, saying I would be home soon and we could sort it out. On the way back home though, it hit me. Hard. I thought and worried about escalating tuition fees multiplied by a larger factor, an ever-expanding household, how we won't be fitting in our current family car anymore, and my ability to be a loving father to four children. I was worried also for my … [Read more...]

On Power, Spiritual Leaders, Achieving the Impossible, and Other Random Motivational Thoughts

impossible1

This is my third attempt at writing a blogpost today. Currently, I’m experiencing that same feeling that I get when I’m being moved to write. The experience in which the spirit takes over and I am provoked to let go of inhibition because I’m being called to send a message. I’m not sure what I’m being called to say, but here it goes: Money will not give you power. Respect and humility in your work will go a long way Leaders are spiritual. Something greater than their idea of self is at work. If we accept the call, then we must lead unafraid of what the world thinks If we are trying to change things in the world, something in it apparently isn’t working Never … [Read more...]

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