Go Negosyo, the Bestseller

Yes, the Go Negosyo Book of 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories is the number one bestseller for the non-fiction category in National Bookstore. This book is a compilation of 50 inspiring stories of the country’s top entrepreneurs. We launched this book last February 2007 and it has indeed inspired so many people to think of putting their own business. As I travel to other countries, I do meet people who have purchased and read the book. Many people ask me why I decided to come out with this book. I think it is because I wanted to counter-act the crab mentality of many Filipinos. It would be nice to feel good for people who have done well and get them to share their stories and hopefully inspire more Filipinos.

In a way, the Philippines seems to be in a cycle of misery. How many good years do we have before we again face the downside? Over the past 20 years, the good years were quite short. Now that we have started to see the good years come, we see the problems of sub prime affecting many of the big nations of the world and the fear of recession that may creep into the Asian economies.

And now we have another reality show unfolding, the Lozada story. While this issue remains a question, what is important is to remain focused on the economy of the country. We should continue to hope for the kind of growth we experience in 2007 to happen in 2008. Our answer to the biggest problem of the country which is poverty lies in a growing economy. We should focus on having investors and tourists coming to the Philippines to invest and to enjoy the country and spend their dollars here. Our entrepreneurs should continue to expand their business therefore creating more jobs and creating more entrepreneurs so more jobs can be created. I am still confident that things will improve towards the end of the year and hopefully in 2010 we will have one of the most exciting Presidential elections ever.

This is why I felt after coming out with a bestseller, I had to come out with another book. I thought that since many Filipinos idolize celebrities, the best way to encourage Filipinos to think negosyo is to show them that these celebrities are into businesses themselves. Hopefully thru this, they will be encouraged to think negosyo and embark on it that will create more employment opportunities for Filipinos.

Let me share with you excerpts of the foreword of the book on Go Negosyo, Joey Concepcion’s Inspiring Stories of Celebrity Entrepreneurs:

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Go Negosyo–Sagot sa Kahirapan.

I have always believed that adopting an optimistic and entrepreneurial mindset will drive this nation away from poverty. It is not just the aptitude and skills, but more importantly the right kind of attitude which will help Filipinos move up in life…

This book is part of Go Negosyo’s nationwide communication campaign to promote an optimistic and entrepreneurial spirit among Filipinos. As with the previous Go Negosyo book, it hopes to inspire Filipinos to develop an entrepreneurial mindset as the way out of poverty and to succeed in life. With the right kind of attitude and proper mentoring, they too can be the next Henry Sy of SM, Dr. Roland Hortaleza of Splash, Johnlu Koa of French Baker, Nanay Coring of National Bookstore, Ben Chan of Bench, Cecilio Pedro of Hapee, Ronald Pineda of Folded and Hung, Richard Lee of Hyundai, Ricardo Po of Century Canning or Vicky Belo of Belo Medical Clinic.

While the entrepreneurs in the first book are stars in their own right, I decided to feature a different set of individuals who I think is closer to the hearts of many Filipinos – the celebrities. Pinoys consider these celebrities their idols and feel a close affinity towards them as these celebrities hold constant presence in the people’s everyday lives. They are seen everywhere whether in print, TV, radio, billboards and the big screen. Who does not know Dingdong Dantes as the dashing Sergio in Marimar, or Judy Ann Santos in Ysabella? They are indeed a part of every Filipino household. If we really want to capture the hearts and minds of the Filipinos, then we must get the help of these celebrities.

Initially, we wanted to produce a communication campaign with a series of print advertisements leading into a book compilation of featured celebrity entrepreneurs. We also wanted to invite them to join our Go Negosyo caravans as their presence will truly inspire the thousands of attendees in each of our caravans. So in working on this book project, I asked Jun de Leon to help us with the photography, as this book had to project very inspiring situations showing the celebrities with their negosyos so as to motivate the reader. As we made the list of celebrities who have a negosyo, we were amazed to see that quite a number of them had one. Aside from the celebrities of the entertainment industry, we also decided to include a couple of popular entrepreneurs in the fashion industry who are also considered celebrities in their respective fields. It was interesting to know that many celebrities nowadays have a high level of maturity in terms of handling their finances. They are wiser now as to where they should invest their money. They are fully aware of the large turn-over rate of the industry they belong to, which pushes them to become more pro-active in building a more secure future for themselves and their family.

Upon hearing their stories, I was surprised to know that some of these celebrities also came from very humble beginnings. As breadwinners of their families, they entered the glamorous world of show business not just with the dream of becoming famous someday but also to provide a steady source of income for their family. Just like the stories of other entrepreneurs, they used their God-given talents and maintained a good attitude to overcome obstacles and succeed in life…

This book carries some similarities from our previous Go Negosyo book which features the country’s top entrepreneurial icons. It veers away from the typical stories of how business empires are made but instead focuses on the human aspect of the story which in my opinion is what makes it inspiring. I also asked Entrepreneurs School of Asia founder Vivienne Tan to do this time the Lessons Learned. In the first book, it was entrep guru Andy Ferreria, but this time I wanted something different. Vivienne is the daughter of Lucio Tan, but she decided to start her own business rather than join her father’s empire. As co-founder of the school, she talks from an entrepreneur’s viewpoint for example, what values make quite a number of Filipino Chinese families successful.

While the entrepreneurs featured in this book have become known for the roles they played in show business or related industries, they certainly have proven that they have the passion and creativity to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. They have taken a new and more challenging role as negosyantes which have led them to the road to success…

I hope those who will read this book will get inspired by the stories of these celebrity entrepreneurs whom everyone had come to know and love. May you be inspired to reach for your star, become masters of your own destiny and fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams. Even if you decide not to become an entrepreneur, I do hope you develop an optimistic and entrepreneurial attitude and use it as a leverage to move up in life.

Let’s Go Negosyo!

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Again, I would like to thank everyone who made this book possible especially to the celebrity entrepreneurs who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in this project: Marvin Agustin, Ogie Alcasid, Drew Arellano, Stylists: Millet Arzaga, Noel Manapat, Chechel Joson and Luis Espiritu, Paolo Bediones, Joey Benin, Tintin Bersola, Sara Black, Pilita Corales, Dingdong Dantes, Abigail De Leon, Tweetie De Leon, Monsour Del Rosario, Michael De Mesa, Ces Drilon, Cristalle Henares and Vicki Belo, Directors: Quark Henares, JA and Ning Tadena, Jenny and Jessie Pastor and Lia Martinez, Jeffrey Hidalgo, Arnel Ignacio, Joyce Jimenez, Rajo Laurel, Maricel Laxa and Anthony Pangilinan, Kuh Ledesma, Angel Locsin, Jolina Magdangal, Albert Martinez, Eric Matti, Aubrey Miles, Ara Mina, Cesar Montano, DonDon Monteverde, Vina Morales, Aga Muhlach, Tina Maristela Ocampo, Happy Ongpauco and Allana Montelibano, Diether Ocampo, Dominic Ochoa, Keren Pascual, Patrice Ramos –Diaz, Jericho Rosales, Fanny Serrano, Judy Ann Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Regine Tolentino, Joel Torre, Bea Valdes, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Gary Valenciano, Sari Yap and Tim Yap.

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[This new book will be available in all leading bookstores by next week.]