The Importance of Inspiring

I was surprised to find out that a lot of people read my column last week entitled “Gone So Soon”. For those who have not read it yet, I wrote about a friend who inspired me in a different way. His story reminds us of how short our journey on earth is, and that we need to find our purpose in this journey and fulfill it the best we can.

I started the Go Negosyo advocacy together with many other entrepreneurs. From where we started, Go Negosyo has come a long way. In a way, not everything we do is planned. It just happens. Even on my column, I don’t plan what to write weeks before. Ideas just come (even sometimes during three hours before deadline).

We did not expect the overwhelming success on the women negosyo event last March 2. It inspired me even more to see the purpose of our advocacy. I saw the thousands of women entrepreneurs, and even those aspiring entrepreneurs. I listened to their stories and their struggles in life and how they wanted to change it. People asked me to autograph books they bought. I listened to the remarks they make as I sign the books. They start hoping that “sana, one day, I will also be in this book”. Witnessing all these gives me the bliss, as I also see other entrepreneurs sign books. I know that many people really want to be inspired. What we do in Go Negosyo strengthens their faith, which gives them more hope. This advocacy is not a one man show. The success of Go Negosyo starts from all those who have helped me put all these together, and from all entrepreneurs who have join the cause.

I am now in Facebook and Multiply. My kids jokingly said that their dad is in Facebook. People are also wondering, “What is Joey doing in Facebook?”. It’s basically to connect more with entrepreneurs who are already part of this advocacy and with those who would also want to be part of it.

As parents, this is the month when we are quite anxious to know if our children passed in school and if they will move on to the next grade or if they will be able to graduate. Some children are gifted to be bright, while others are gifted in a different way. Some children may not make it to the next grade at a certain point, or some might not graduate. I for one will never forget when I failed grade three in La Salle. In fact, I know of one entrepreneur and his name is Ricky Razon. He did not graduate in La Salle. But, if you look at his level of success today and what he has done for the company he inherited called ITCSI, you will see how he has reached far greater heights than his father.

For as long as a child realizes his mistake, failure is a good thing at times. Failures in life are what actually inspire us to do even much better. It gives us greater passion to excel even more. However, this is not true to all. It only happens to those who are able to take failure as a learning experience and not fall into a depression. It is true to those who are pushed to have greater passion and inspiration to succeed because of failure. I hope to share this message as I address two universities this coming week.

Let me share with you first a feedback from someone who has a negative view on our advocacy.

“i had a chance to leaf through your gonegosyo book. what is your contribution to this book? all of those entrepreneurs started and developed their businesses long before you delved into this entrepreneurship campaign.  you merely got their stories on how they did it. big deal. and your notes on supposed ‘lessons learned’ are far too elementary and are hardly insightful.

do you really think you are championing the entrepreneurship wave of this country with this gonegosyo campaign of yours?  don’t you think people with funds (or are credit worthy as far as banks are concerned) would really go into business with or without your advocacy?” 

But, let me also share with you responses from two people who wrote to us. Maybe their messages would answer the other person’s doubt.

“When I hear stories of Filipino women & men alike, striving and reaching their goals in business, I get inspired to hang on and do the best I can for all the families relying on me.

My family owns a catering business, and since my parents have moved on, the business has been passed on to me. The business is good, we have 20 regular employees and 60 on-call waiters & kitchen helpers who gets to work at least 3 days a week.

But handling a business is really hard, specially at this time, it takes a lot of patience, perseverance & innovation (to get ahead of the competition), work even continues during sleep.  Sometimes I plan to just leave everything, migrate somewhere and find a 9 to 5 job, hoping to find peace of mind in a foreign land. Don’t get me wrong I like the catering business, its just sometimes maybe I need a break.

Now, when I read the articles I realize “my business is something bigger than me” and I get a renewed spirit. Thank you for all your help. You may not realize how much strength you are giving to alot of people. And thank you for not giving up on the ‘Filipino’.  There’s hope for our children.” – Joy L. Cruz

“I am busy working in Phil. Veterans Bank, Iloilo City Branch. I am sending my samples of my business – goat’s milk barquillos which I make in my house. I tried my luck in this business when I read about your small business entrepreneur ideas. Thank God it click as I make my formula the best as I can so I can compete with the best food product that are sold here in Iloilo City.

I thank God for your encouragement for people who needs mor income like me. — Emy Q. Castro Almeida”

Their stories strengthen our advocacy to keep on doing what we do best – to teach and inspire people to also be an inspiration to others.

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We have a next round of book signing with the inspiring women entreps in the latest Go Negosyo Book on March 31 at 6pm at the newest National Bookstore branch in Glorietta 5. The book signing is an opportunity for networking and mentorship that also highlights the occasion when PLDT renews its partnership with Go Negosyo for the year 2009. PLDT shares its passion in promoting and empowering entrepreneurs through its SME Nation led by the innovative team of Eric Alberto and Kat Abelarde.