18 women entrepreneurs and their inspiring words
As the new year gets into full swing, many Filipinos have resolutions that go far beyond just losing pounds or saving money: they want to finally start that business they have been meaning to pursue.
But this is easier said than done. The would-be entrepreneur has to go through the laborious process of registering his or her business; conducting market research; finding the right co-founders; hiring the right employees; perfecting the product or service; and so on and so forth.
The tasks involved in launching a business are not uniquely difficult but completing them, more often than not, requires motivation: You need to grit it out.
But when the going gets tough, what better way to motivate yourself than to hear wisdom from the very people who have been in your shoes?
With this idea in mind, I spoke to some of the top women entrepreneurs in the country today. Though they all hail from a variety of fields, they are all united in wanting to share the lessons they have learned as they strike it on their own:
Eilene Ramirez, owner of Tino Suits
"Dreams would start small and simple, but with vision and hard work, it will seed in the dreams of people around you. Have the passion and courage to follow your vision. When faced with difficulties, do not be disrupted. Do not hide. Do not wait. Do not hesitate. Just continue and respond to opportunities. Shine and be contagious."
Jaclyn Abergas, market girl of Jertie’s Kitchen
“Be clear on the advocacy behind your business. It’s going to be one heck of an experience filled with adventures and trials. Having a clear advocacy right from the start will keep you going, especially when the times get tough.”
Karen Bordador, president of Sister Secrets
“Stop celebrating past achievements. What matters is what you make of here and now. Always outdo yourself and compete with your latest successes. Don’t leave it to tomorrow either. The magic you create in the now is what will keep you moving forward. Amaze yourself today!”
Aisa Mijeno, co-founder and chief executive officer of SALt
"Go out and experience the world. There will be more real eureka moments when you are out there. And once you find that important eureka, do not be afraid to grow it into a business. You will be surprised that there are people who need your innovation."
Ann Marigondon, co-founder and chief financial officer of Hiraya Technology Solutions, Inc (R-TAP)
“Two things to carry: humility and sincerity. Ask if you do not know; ask even if you think you know. Talking and acting genuinely attract good partners.”
Jacqueline Van Den Ende, managing director of Lamudi Philippines
“If you make a mistake say, 'How interesting.' Every time I mess up, which is often enough, I say this to myself. Because exactly from your mistakes you can learn the most. It helps me to look on the bright side of life and business and to reflect on what I did wrong and how to avoid it in the future.”
Jonha Revesencio, rebel wizard (digital marketer) at RebelMouse
“Don't be afraid to open up your mind to new ideas. The sure way to have the best idea is to have a lot of ideas. Best way to succeed is to learn from your many failures, or that of others.”
Leni Ebrada, chief financial officer and head energy analyst of Wattsmart
“Listen and learn as much as you can and as fast as you can. And be honest with yourself, and your partners.”
Mica Tan, president and chief financial officer of MFT Group of Companies
"I never finished college. The school of hard knocks is my university, I am a student of every person I meet – the world is my campus!"
Rossana Ladaga Llenado, owner of Ahead Education
“2015 is going to be a very hopeful and exciting year with the influx of investments, our country's financial rating, K to 12 schooling in place, ASEAN economic integration, and the Philippines hitting 100 million of mostly young and able population. We should be ready for opportunities by improving ourselves and our companies. Education is key.”
On taking risks
Beatrice Tesoro, founder and chief executive officer of Certified Positive
“There’s always a huge risk involved for a slim chance of success. I’d rather try and take the risk rather than having no chance at all.”
Sabina Lopez-Vergara, director of marketing and public relations of Satoshi Citadel Industries
"Take that chance and don’t miss that opportunity. You don’t always have to be the tough guy, but when you feel strongly about something, make that idea happen.”
“Was already a mother and wife when I became an entrepreneur. It’s a constant battle about prioritization. Work consumes you physically, emotionally, financially. You just have to deal with what is urgent on a daily basis, while keeping an eye on the target …. Difficult, but overall, fulfilling.”
Valenice Balace, founder and CEO of Peekawoo
"The first years will be hard so it’s important to create a work habit. Make sure you accomplish something every week, if not every day. It pushes your company further from where it was a week ago. Do this every week until you feel bad about not doing anything for a day. This makes it difficult for me to rest – I feel so guilty for not doing anything."
On being passionate
April Margaret Cuenca, chief executive officer of FlipTrip
“The hardest part is when the excitement dies down. This is why passion is the difference between those who try and those who succeed.”
Zos Santos, chief strategy officer of VMoney
Rappler Business columnist Ezra Ferraz is also the chief content officer at ZipMatch, a tech company backed by Ideaspace Foundation, Hatchd Digital, IMJ Investment Partners, and 500 Startups. He brings you Philippine business leaders, their insights, and their secrets via Executive Edge. Connect with him on Twitter: @EzraFerraz