No time for your own entrepreneurial venture?

I have been in that shoes before.

If you don’t allocate time and effort, it will never happen.  Looking back from the day I jumped into a solopreneur in 2010,  my motivation was running. I wanted to become an athlete, I wanted to have time for my marathon goals, pursue yoga training and become a triathlete. I wanted to end the night-shifts as an hotelier and felt compelled I could do much more.

Sometimes, all you need is a spark to make you get out of the box you’re in. Did I ever become an athlete? a marathon runner, yes. Became a certified kids yoga instructor,  and still working on becoming a triathlete.

Being a solopreneur can also be overwhelming, in fact, it is overwhelming.  You’d have to find the time to fit everything: making money, developing a product, refining your skills and continuously marketing yourself to gain more clients.

It’s like going through an MBA program on steroids. 

In every corporate job I’ve endeavored to be in, I took it as an opportunity to learn.  I was always observing my peers, questioning my bosses, and volunteering to do more than what I am tasked to do; often times, I may have gone beyond what’s in my job description but that’s how we grow. If we settle, you’ll get stuck from just being where you are. Curiosity has always been roaring and I wasn’t afraid of asking, trying and failing.

If you’re stuck in a rut with that 9-5pm job, maybe you’d have to change that mindset and consider it as a free learning ground; and you get paid for the service rendered. Treat it as if it were your business, and you’ll be able to gain critical decision-making skills along the way.  Once you’re equipped, apply it to your next endeavor and pursue.

There were times I felt like a real mess when I was in my corporate job, especially when I experienced handling three (3) departments because all the heads resigned and I was the newbie who had no choice but to keep the business running. I had to learn the ropes on the fly, make use of the available resources and consulted every person I can.  Despite the overwhelmed tasks, it was also the gig I am most grateful for.

Leave complaints out of your way. Every hardship is an opportunity to grow.

It was a vicious spiral and I didn’t know how to get out of the rut. Throughout those periods when I used to work for other people, I realized I wanted to work with people and not just solely be enslaved by a daily routine.  I wanted to hit my goals so badly, I had finally found the thing I knew I was meant to do which will fulfill my being, fuel my drive, and enrich my interests. 

Once I managed to shift as I was headed for burnout, it all changed.

Here are  few practices I still use to this day, I hope this also finds to help you towards working on your entrepreneurial venture:

1.  FOCUS 

If you’re currently at your 9-5pm job, focus on your tasks and prioritize. Jumping back and forth between tasks not only make you feel inefficient, you’ll also feel burned out. Anxiety is the last thing we’d want to go through every day when deadlines approach.

2.  NOTE IT

Call me old school but I’m still the girl who carries pen and paper. If an idea pops in, don’t rely on ‘just remembering’ as trust me, you will never get to remember it completely. Write down tasks before you start and end your day. These reminders will help you go through your week and make you manage your schedule.

3. SCHEDULE 

As you take note of reminders, tasks, and ideas. You should have your calendar and notepad as your productivity best friend. Break it down into actionable tasks and manageable chunks, schedule the activities accordingly in order for you to set appointments and analyze which is best for face to face meetings, emails or conference calls.

Transfer your calendar notes on your mobile phone’s google calendar and send out client scheduling system for everything in order for you to set through the commitment.

4.  TOP 3 TASKS

Nothing in the workforce aren’t rush nor important. Every delivery is a priority, however, given the tight deadlines, it’s best to manage deliverables according to its weight. Even if you think you can manage and do everything in a day; given the uncontrollable circumstances, it’ll be impossible to accomplish everything.

Focus on the top 3 priorities especially those with dependencies.  Pressuring yourself to have everything done in a day not only will burn you out, it’ll also put a whole lot of unnecessary stress on your sleeves.

5. ALIGN DELIVERABLES

That also includes commitments.  Clarity would make the work easier and efficient. If you work with a team, being on the same page makes a whole lot of difference. Seek for their thoughts and make sure you’re all on the same track.

6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Just like all other engagements, you’d have to also put yourself first. You only have yourself to depend to and there’s only one YOU.  Taking good care of yourself not only will it help you physically, it will also give you the breather you need. You’ll be kinder with your peers, efficient and productive.

If you can’t afford the gym, you can always resort to YOUTUBE videos, do jumping jacks and squats, and log-in a 3mins burpee. Monitor your mileage and walk.

7. CHANGE THAT MINDSET

If you keep on telling yourself “I have no time” and “will never find the time’, well, as you said, it’s never going to happen. You will physically and emotionally feel stressed, overwhelmed and anxious throughout all tasks laid on you. You are what you think.

Shifting that “never” mindset to reversing the belief, will completely change the way you feel and take action. Procrastination and unfocused action typically happen when you pour the negativity and take too much advantage of your free spirit.

As they say, your thoughts do create your reality. This has been proven numerous times from both scientific and spiritual perspective.  Your choice.

8. FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION 

Never the problem. There is no such thing as problems, there are only but challenges.

Troubleshooting, management, and critical strategic thinking can never be referred to textbooks but there may be rules to follow. You already have the solution in you, it’s how you face it which makes a difference.

Give yourself the space to get creative and avoid being reactive.

Pause and look inwards, and the solution will come. Get into the habit of putting your entrepreneurial capabilities hat on rather telling yourself that you have no power over the situation. You may not need to do it alone, consult.

9. ASK

There’s nothing wrong in asking for a helping hand or someone’s thoughts when you think you’re stuck in a rut or just can’t seem to get off a situation. It’s a people-centric business,  if you need support, by all means, lift the phone and schedule the meeting. Get it.

10.  BE RATIONALLY IMPATIENT AND DELEGATE

Have that sense of urgency but have patience. It’s okay to be impatient when there are goals you’d have to achieve and have set a deadline.  However, sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, consider the in-betweens.

Don’t feel left behind, just so long you’re committing time to your goals and working on milestones you’ve set – this shows how committed you are to your success.

Delegate if you must, one can’t-do everything alone.

What is your end goal? be clear and make it happen.  You’re on your own journey, on your own path. This is your true self, your own timeline. Don’t compare yourself to someone who has already started their chapter 1 long time ago. Being frustrated and overwhelmed is normal but being hard on yourself won’t’ make you a better entrepreneur.

 

Give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished, where you’ve been, what you’ve gone through. This is your journey.  You have time. Don’t give up, you are limitless.



PayPal Strengthens Support for Freelancers and MSMEs Through Launch of Business App and Freelancer Community Program

Photo by: Kassy Pajarillo

The digital payments leader PayPal announced today the launch of the PayPal Business App and the PayPal Freelancer Community Program to enable merchants and freelancers to advance in the Philippines’ increasingly mobile and digital economic environment.

Freelancers make up a significant portion in the Philippines, with the local Department of Information and Communication Technology pegging the number of freelancers at about 1.5 million. The country has become a hotbed for freelance work because of its enormous talent pool, technology-savvy demographic, and an upbeat business community.

Leveraging the three-point strategic framework set by ASEAN, PayPal’s new offerings will help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) scale up their businesses and services through increasing their access to the 3Ms: Money, Markets and Mentorship.

PayPal helps its Filipino merchant subscribers gain access to a wide network of 210 million active users from more than 200 markets around the world. The new business app and the freelancer program is PayPal’s answer to help achieve the goals for Money and Mentoring, respectively.

“PayPal has always been supportive of freelancers and MSMEs in Southeast Asia, ensuring that our customers get the best tools to move and manage their money seamlessly as they take charge of their cross-border businesses. The launch of the PayPal Business App is testament to that,” said Rahul Shinghal, General Manager, PayPal Southeast Asia. “As the ASEAN integration spotlights entrepreneurs, we are doing our own part in empowering the community by providing new services and programs that could accelerate their opportunities in line with ASEAN’s Money, Markets and Mentorship framework.”

PayPal Business App and PayPal.Me for Business

The PayPal Business App is a mobile application that offers merchants an easy way to manage their PayPal transactions wherever business takes them. Launched first in the Philippines amongst other Asian countries, the PayPal Business App allows merchants to review transactions, check balances in all currencies, send customized invoice to clients, track unpaid accounts and streamline their communications with clients at any time and place. It is the perfect business tool for busy freelancers, allowing them to check and make their transactions while on the go.

Interested users can simply download the app in the Android and Apple stores and sign up through their existing PayPal Business accounts.

Freelancers and MSMEs who are conducting their businesses on the go can also choose to use PayPal.Me for Business to get paid online. PayPal.Me for Business is a personalized unique link that sellers and freelancers can send to their customers. The link is instant and can be sent from any device on any platforms including text message, e-mail, instant messenger and social media platforms.

PayPal Freelancer Community Program
From selling and upgrading skills, to managing clients and money, the PayPal Freelancer Community Program themed “Take Control of Your Freelance Money” is proactively educating Filipino freelancers to help them grow their business.

PayPal has tapped the country’s top freelance experts to educate and mentor budding freelancers and solopreneurs to expand their reach, better manage their finances, and build strong client relationships. Technology whiz and blogger Abe Olandres, personal branding guru Liz Lanuza, serial entrepreneur Ginger Arboleda, and finance expert Fitz Villafuerte will lead the campaign. Through the program, PayPal will roll out a series of activities freelancers can be a part of:

  • PayPal Philippines Facebook page – PayPal’s first dedicated online space for freelancers to exchange ideas and gain insights from experts.
  • PayPal Summit – the campaign’s kick-off event, hosting freelancers to share best practices and spark dialogue on digital payments, business technology trends and personal branding.
  • Freelancer Learning Workshops – a collaboration with co-working spaces to provide closer interaction with freelancers as they discuss a spectrum of thematic topics on business and client servicing.

“We are establishing our first-ever Freelancer Community Program in the Philippines because it is one of the world’s most dynamic markets for freelancers and solopreneurs,” said Leanne Sheraton, Vice President of Marketing for PayPal Asia Pacific. “PayPal has been enabling Filipino freelancers to get paid easily and provide them with more convenient options to access their funds. We know from our research and insights that freelancers also want opportunities to upskill and be connected, which is why PayPal is expanding beyond offering payment solutions to provide community engagement and business amplification opportunities for our freelancer customers.

The Freelancer Community Program will connect established freelancers with their peers to provide mentorship and the guidance they need to navigate in this environment.”

For more information on the PayPal Business App, visit the page here. Businesses who are keen to set up their own PayPal.Me for Business account can also visit www.paypal.me to find out more. To know more about the PayPal Freelancer Community Program, log on to PayPal’s Philippines Facebook page.

Turn the IGNITION on in the Metro

As a serial entrepreneur there are a handful of task lists one should accomplish beyond creating and developing an idea. Pursuing a business and putting it into legitimacy oftentimes prevents an entrepreneur from pursuing their passion or if not, at least, it may hinder and eat their time, resources and motivation.

If you are part of the generation of entrepreneurs; getting to know IGNITION Venture Studio would come in handy (a necessity!) and scratch those things to do on your task lists. You’ll be able to save not only time and resources, you’d be able to spend time to what matters – Your business.

IGNITION Venture Studio is the metro’s first one-stop shop for entrepreneurs.  Being the digital nomads and self-starters that we are, all you’ve got to do is to walk-in to your space,  situate yourself comfortably and do the work that needs to be done.

With the help of Ignition Venture Studio,  you won’t need to worry on the rest of the business matters. Operate and let the machinery do its magic like clockwork: the tedious back office work, accounting services to ensure your tax is handled within compliance, human resource management, and even law consultations for your contracts and corporate housekeeping.

Isn’t that great? Bid farewell to recruitment, looking for the right person for the job and worrying on how to get your paperwork be handled Day-in, day-out. As a generation who’d want to make things work as fast as we can, calculated risks are all that we need. Ignition Venture Capital can already ensure you of all necessities and help you progress.

Located in the southern section of Metro Manila, the studio is within the proximity of the busy business district Manila and is within the heart of the new lifestyle center, Taguig.

During the interview I met the core of Ignition Innovations,  they sum up the space as a fully integrated market entry platform.

Aside from the typical co-working spaces agreement entrepreneurs always look for, you’d be able to have readily available in-house consultants onboard. Not only will you be able to have all the needed equipment for your conferences and printing of documents, you’d have actual access to the following services:

 

  • Business Registration (incl. Co-Founders Agreement, a.k.a business partner’s pre-nup)
  • Government compliance
  • Corporate Housekeeping
  • Immigration
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Intellectual Property (trademarks)
  • Accounting/Book Keeping and Tax Filings
  • Human Resource Management
  • Tax Planning

The business came about when a group of industry experts thought on combining their practices all in one hub. With the mission to empower entrepreneurs, they stand tall and would want to foster a community of like-minded innovators,  build high end connected work spaces, provide professional business support services, and bridge venture capitalists with disruptive innovators long term.

Beyond being just a one-stop shop with all in-house experts and a co-working space for your everyday business needs, events and meetings in conference rooms;  Ignition also planted a Conceirge Service wherein they could lead you to rightful reputable service providers for the kind of industry you are on and what kind of specialty service you need.  Discussions can be readily available to the following entities for more boutique and specialized services:

  • Law firms
  • Accounting firms
  • Customs Brokers
  • Banks
  • Private Investigation Agencies
  • Real Estate Brokers
  • Security Agencies
  • Events and PR Firms
  • Travel Agencies

What else would you need? There’s no other excuse but to progress.

Meet the brains behind the venture:

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 9.04.22 PM

Photo (L-R)  Juan Paolo Villonco, Atticus King, Tanya Llana & Kassy Pajarillo (Author)

Juan Paolo Villonco (CEO) – is counsel to leading Filipino entrepreneurs and Fund Managers on legal aspects of their business and corporate affairs. He has the distinction of being the first Filipino graduate from Stanford Law School, graduating with Honors in 2014. He is an intra-corporate litigation specialist having practiced law for seven years with the Siguion Reyna Montecillo and Ongsiako Law Firm.

Atticus King – (Director) is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He has successfully invested and exited several start-ups in the health and wellness, publishing, hospitality and food industry.

Mark Tiaoqui (Services Director) – carries 10 years of premium corporate law experience having worked for some of the best and largest Philippine law firms. He began his career with the corporate law department of Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos and eventually joined the Project Development and Finance and Tax groups of Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles.

Margo Flores (Finance Director) – has 14 years of exceptional experience in real estate and finance.  She is an expert in financial planning and equities. She continues to play a role in the growth of one of the up and coming private real estate companies in the CBD and has experience in office development, management, leasing and rehabilitation.

 

IGNITION Venture Studio
Facebook: http://bit.ly/IGNITIONstudioventure
Email: contact@ignition.biz
Number: +63 917 654 4110

 

Start your business with a plan

By Entrepreneur Staff

 

Before undertaking your dream business, closely examine if you are up it. Here’s a guide to help you to do just that.

A would-be entrepreneur often starts with a great idea popping in his brain. He sees the idea very clearly in his mind and feels the urgency of translating the idea into reality. Depending on his passion for the concept, he could even taste the sweet success that his idea would bring.

Then it becomes apparent that he would have to put into motion a series of actions and events that would lead to this success. He could react to this realization in two ways: amuse himself thinking that all he has are mere ideas, or make a decision to act and see his idea not just in his mind, but also in reality. The former is simply a dreamer, and the latter, an entrepreneur.

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit,” says Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels chain. There’s the rub: It’s not how big or small you think your idea is but what you do with it, and how you deal with yourself as you go about turning your idea into your reality.

How do you go about turning your ideas into gold? Do you go out and tell the next person you meet on the street? Do you call your best bud over the phone? Or do you take out a pen and a piece of paper and start writing the heck out of your mind about that grand design in your head? Time’s up!

First things first: Keep in mind that your ideas will turn into dust if you don’t put them into writing.  How come? For the simple reason that writing about it gives it a physical presence—letters in ink on paper. Your idea is now real because it is already taking up space.

Psychologically, this also gives you perspective. But that’s enough space we are going to give to time-space mumbo-jumbo. It’s time to tell you how to put this business idea into writing.

This exercise will give you the opportunity to focus and plan what you need to do to turn these ideas into your dream business. Having a well-written business plan will also allow you to seek and engage investors who could give you that much needed funding to jumpstart you business.

A typical business plan consists of three parts:

1. The Business—Include in this section the following information:
a. Description of the business
b. Market
c. Competition
d. Location of business
e. Management
f. Personnel

2. Financial Data—Among others, this is what you should include in this section:
a. Sources and applications of funding
b. Capital equipment list
c. Breakeven analysis
d. Income projections

3. Supporting Documents:
a. Personal résumés
b. Personal financial requirements and statements
c. Credit reports
d. Letters of reference
e. Job descriptions
f. Letters of intent
g. Copies of leases
h. Contracts
i. Legal documents
j. Other relevant documents

Hopefully, after going through this exercise and organized your thoughts, you would have enough knowledge and information about yourself and the business environment, which you can later use to come up with a complete business plan ready for scrutiny by investors, lenders and venture capitalists.

This article was originally published in the May 2010 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.