The Sounding Board: Be Heard for A Change

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...]

Entrepreneurs Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous, or "AA" for short, has been around for almost 100 years now, and has helped millions of people across the globe become sober, its sheer longevity attesting to its effectiveness. Of course, as we've seen in countless movies, they are famous for their meetings. We can all easily picture that group in that circle. Hi I'm ________, and I'm an alcoholic. AA has since inspired hundreds of other similar organizations, with each organization addressing other chronic problems, sufferers, and addictions - from anger management, cancer patients, gambling, and so on. It's simple, really. I won't belabor the point - the support group works.  So why not a support group … [Read more...]

To Be or Not To be: 5 Reasons Why I think I need an MBA

I loved college. I loved going to lecture and being inspired by the professors. I loved studying at the library, and I even loved taking naps at the library in between classes. I loved attending professor’s office hours to gain new knowledge and perspective. And most of all, I loved being engaged in a vibrant community of like-minded folks composed of young individuals who were hoping to do something in their own special way. I loved the idea of college so much that I aspired to be a professor. That’s what brought to me to the Philippines in the summer of 2010. The plan was that after graduation, I would go to the Philippines to take a one-month Tagalog class to “enhance” my knowledge of … [Read more...]

He Gives and Takes Away

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

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...]

Embracing The Fear Monster

I remember asking myself a lot of questions before I was able to push "publish" and publicly launch the very first entry in Juan Great Leap. What would they say? What if they say, "Sino ba itong feeling na ito!?" What if they laugh at me?  What if they ignore me?  It took me a couple of weeks in between finishing my first post and  actually publishing it. You know how I did it? After a long day at work, the thought of publishing it crossed my mind. Before giving myself any chance to over-analyze, I forced myself to just push publish. And that was that. After that, I then started wrestling with the fear of posting it on my social media sites. ("Bahala na" works wonders, by the … [Read more...]

Sales Tips: How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

I'm not a salesman, but I've sold many things. At the age of 11, I sold cellphones at my uncle's telecom store in Makati. When I worked for GK CSI, I sold everything from kamoteng kahoy, talong, and chicharon (no relation to Lapid's :) ). For my first full-time job in the States, I sold consumer banking products. I was exposed to the world of cold calls and sales scripts. My personality wasn't cut out for a "sales" job. Back then, pitching  for me was like pulling teeth. However, a job in sales taught me many things. It taught me how to use assumptive language, and never to make assumptions about a person based on his/her appearance. I also learned how to pitch the sale to ALL … [Read more...]

6 Crucial Lessons From The Rise Of THE Startup Nation, Part 3 of 3

(This is the third of a 3-part post which talks about the tremendous lessons we can apply from closely looking at how the preeminent Startup Nation - Israel - attained tremendous economic success through the deliberate development of startups. Previous posts: part 1, part 2) 5) We Need To Just Ship It, Ship It Good In 2006, in the height of the Lebanon War, missiles began to rain down on northern Israel. Understandably, the world's most famous investor, Warren Buffet, was worried. The first company he ever bought outside the US - Iscar - had its plant and R&D labs in the north of the country and was a primary target. Eitan Wertheimer, the chairman of Iscar, called his boss and … [Read more...]

“The Original Game of Perfection”

The Original Game of Perfection is a board game in which you have 60 seconds to fit all 25 shapes into their proper place. If the player does not complete the puzzle within the time allotted, the board pops up in the player's face and all the pieces scatter. I played Perfection for the first time last night, after seeing my 5 year-old nephew play the game. The simple concept of fitting shapes into their proper place seemed really easy. My nephew completed 15 pieces the first round. I completed 9 pieces. I had a harder time than expected. A concept that seemed so easy wasn't in reality. The lurking variable? Time. Being timed made all the difference. The idea of time … [Read more...]

6 Crucial Lessons From The Rise Of THE Startup Nation, Part 2 of 3

(This is the second of a two-part post regarding the tremendous lessons we can apply from closely looking at how the preeminent Startup Nation developed. Part 1 can be found here.) 4. We Need To Have More Filipino Argonauts In Greek mythology, the Argonauts  were sailors and adventurers who travelled with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece. In her book The New Argonauts, AnnaLee Saxenian writes, "The New Argonauts are foreign-born, technically skilled entrepreneurs who travel back and forth between Silicon Valley and their home countries." This "argonaut" concept of people coming back and forth from centers of global innovation, like Silicon Valley is a key component of … [Read more...]