Friday, December 16, 2011

Make up Your Mind!

As I've said in my previous blog, I didn't grow up in a business environment. My mom is an educator and my dad was in the police. The closest that I had as a mentor in business were my bosses. Unfortunately, I only saw them when they have made their wealth. When I asked them to mentor me, they just told me things that I already read in books.

To say the least, I was very frustrated and lost.

When I decided to be my own boss, I put-up an IT consulting company. I thought that because I had programmers and my experience in an online job portal, clients would be easy to find. How wrong was I! I didn't realize that there were so many IT companies. And some of these so-called companies were being run or owned by students. Why did I say 'so-called'? Because they were operating underground. Not properly registered but are getting clients. Clients go to them because of their affordability and flexibility they offered. Clearly, I wasn't going to be earning so much money from this business. I had to research again.

When i was still a TV Host.
It was during this period that I became a TV host and met a lot of interesting people. They opened me up to so many possibilities and opportunities. One of the hosts even asked me to become a speaker. I readily accepted.

I learned so much from my colleagues as well as my hosts. They advised me to get into a business which has not been tapped yet. A business that is still in infancy. I was at a lost. What kind of business will I get in to? It seemed that all the businesses that I was looking at were either filled with competitors or will not work here at that time.

But opportunity came in an unexpected event. I had my car cleaned in one of those mobile car washes you find inside the parking lots of malls. I asked them to clean my car and even gave them a tip just to be sure that they will clean it properly.

Lo and behold! When I got back, there was a puddle around my car. I had to tiptoe to make sure that my feet won't be wet! There were watermarks in areas not properly wiped. I say very disappointed to say the least.

I told this to my partner and she got very interested. I didn't realize that she was taking notes about my experience. When I told her that I want to offer the public a mobile car wash that they will be able to smile and say 'wow!' when they see their newly cleaned cars she did some research.

My partner and I.
When I got home, she asked me to go to this website: and told me what they were offering. I researched about the company and eventually contacted their Managing Director. And the rest they say is history.

Here are some the things I learned.

1. Opportunity knocks at times you least expect. People want to have their own businesses. However, when they think of they have or can offer, it seems that every thing has already been invented or every service has been done. It's not the case. Open your eyes and free your mind. Opportunities are out there.

2. Never be afraid to ask. When I emailed the Managing Director the multinational company I wasn't expecting that he would email me back. But he did, and he even to the Philippines to meet with me and talk to me. As what the good book says, 'Ask and you shall receive."

3. Don't be afraid to become a leader. We were the pioneer in the waterless car cleaning system in the Philippines. We had to do our research. We had our sleepless nights. There were times when we were scrambling to look for funds to pay our car clean technicians. Those were our difficult and exciting times.

We were able to get through because of perseverance and courage. We have now been featured in several media outlets. We have been the official car cleaning service provider for Toyota Philippines. It was all worth it.

4. Have a good support system. My partner and I supported each other during those hard and trying times. There were times when we snapped back at each other when the pressure was great. But we never lost sight of our goals, of where we wanted to do. At the end of day, we made up and promised each other that tomorrow will be a better day...

And it usually is...