Advent Thoughts On a Hospital Couch

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My wife has been in labor in the delivery room for the past 8 hours. We are eagerly expecting our fourth child. I can hear Typhoon Ruby's din just outside the window almost seamlessly combine with the whir of the air-conditioning unit. I write this helplessly alone on a leather couch at St. Luke's hospital, waiting for the signal to come in and hold my wife's hand as she goes through the final birth stages. But not yet. I sit here, sleep-deprived, waiting and praying. It is Advent after all, I muse. Yesterday, here in the hospital, I had a call with my business partner Paolo regarding my startup baby, STORM. As big as 2014 has been for us, the call greatly suggests that 2015 will … [Read more...]

Release Your Inner Kraken: The Folly of Hidden Talents

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For as far as I can remember, I've always loved writing. I enjoyed paragraph writing in grade school. There was always a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I felt a paragraph was complete, when I felt every word I used was the right one. It was simultaneously art and science for me. This love for word construction continued throughout my high school and college stints. Writing assignments wouldn't feel like homework. I would volunteer for writing tasks across my different subjects, projects, and the clubs I belonged to. In my first year after graduation, I taught english for a year in my alma mater and loved every minute of it. Then I went corporate. Suddenly, my love … [Read more...]

Why You Should Consider Staying The Course

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The following is a guest post from Dino Alcoseba, newly-minted head honcho at the HR startup I've known Dino for five years now and I've seen him develop since coming in as a fresh graduate working for STORM in 2008. Here, he shares about staying the course. I can remember the events Dino describes below (that YM Conversation!), and its a bit jarring to hear what exactly he felt.  Considering the state of young employee turnover not only in startups, but for the entire industry, I think what Dino writes here is pretty important to consider.  - Peter  5 years ago, I was stuck with a dilemma... I just finished packing 8,000 letters to employees for one of Storm’s clients. … [Read more...]

I Forgot I Was On Vocation!


The past few months have been some of the most rewarding for me as an entrepreneur. At the start of 2013, we made a crucial decision to split STORM Consulting, my startup baby, into two, distinct, laser-focused firms: STORM Rewards was going to focus on flexible benefits. I was going to lead the efforts as its CEO. STRATA was going to focus on HR competency frameworks. The big difference here was that I really wanted to source an independent management team to lead Strata - I didn't want to be involved in the day-to-day operations. In hindsight, it proved to be a very pivotal decision. (yep, focus is everything) Armed with a new business model which allowed it to offer Flexible … [Read more...]

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


(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


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

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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


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


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!

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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...]