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8 Simple Tips for

Young

John Rodica
Founder of TEAMDOLLARS
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

John Rodica

Philippine Copyright 2013

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,


except for brief quotations, without the prior permission of the
publisher.

Edited by Vicente Miguel Gargaritano

Cover Design and Layout by Donna Cerzo-Capacete


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction 4

Simple Tip # 1: Get Real 9

Simple Tip # 2: Believe in Yourself 25

Simple Tip #3: Follow Your Heart 35

Simple Tip # 4: Build a Dream Team 51

Simple Tip # 5: Connection = Rewards 69

Simple Tip # 6: Positive In, Negative Out 79

Simple Tip # 7: Trust in Him 93

Simple Tip # 8: Give Back 99


4 Introduction

INTRODUCTION

While indulging myself with a cup of Okinawa milk tea


and browsing through my Instagram news feed the other day, I
encountered an interesting quote-pic, posted by a friend:

Success is getting what you want, while happiness is wanting


what you get.

Most people spend their whole lifetime trying to reach


the pinnacle of success on their chosen field, only to find out
that it wasnt what they truly wanted. Happiness varies but youd
easily recognize a face filled with self-fulfillment once you see
one. It is those who truly live a life of significance, who find this
deep sense of joy in their hearts.

Allow this book to be your foundation. Let it be your guide


to prosper with purpose. It wont be filled with mind boggling
theorem nor secrets to life type of advice. Instead of killing you
with boredom from a 5,000 page book, I live by the golden rule
of K-I-S-S (Keep it Short & Simple). My intention was to make a
straightforward easy read book of 100+ pages. Something you
can finish in one sitting or a day no doubt. Contrary to the swift
finish of this book, Id like for it to have that lifetime positive mark
on you.

To the person who bought this book his or herself,


Congratulations! To the person who just managed to get a hold of
this book, its a sign that its time to prosper and congratulations
as well! Either way, you have stumbled upon something worth
treasuring!
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 5

Better yet, pair up in couples, or round up the book club,


business society, or possibly begin a revolutionary youth org.
Share the experiences and insights learned, and start reading
as a team! Once youre done reading this book, do spread the
love, and pass it on to special souls who would appreciate it as we
would do.

My ultimate goal is that youd be blessed with at least 1 or


2 light bulb moments, ideas that will propel your business to the
next level or finally get you secured about starting one. It could
be a one liner or a couple simple quotes that can mean an entire
world of difference, making your reading time and experience
with this book worth it!

You may have noticed that the language is pretty casual


right from the intro. I want you to feel comfortable as if youre
just hanging out with a new friend reaching out to your heart,
because this book was made for YOU.

Well, the title may have said its for Young Entrepreneurs.
Due to the fact that this young entrepreneur wants his voice to
be heard, but surely even at your 50s or 70s, youd still be able to
relate, because we are all young entrepreneurs at heart after all.
Wink ;-)

My friends know that Im the type of person, who likes


going to the bookstore in search of precious gems. I know, I know.
O-M-G (Oh-My-God) thats like, sooooo nerdy! But yeah, thats
just me.

Even if I just happen to pass by a bookstore with no plans


of buying; out of nowhere, a book will catch my peripheral vision
6 Introduction

and as weird as this may sound, I would hear and feel as if its
talking to me. The type that calls out, pick me, pick me! Its
somewhat similar to the female and shoe or female and bag
relationship. Yeah, it is serendipitous. Another Oh-Em moment, I
know.

I feel like a Big Little Kid inside a candy store every time I
step into a bookstore. And I get so giddy, especially when I finally
find that one yummy piece of candy (read: book) to take home
and savor.

With countless books read on the side, I finally long for a


book that would understand the same roller coaster drama of my
youth and entrepreneurship. But sadly, the bookstores I did visit
didnt have many of that. A lot of the shelves filled with wisdom,
as evidenced by those books I found written by cool grandpas,
with gray haired authors on the cover. Sure, there are also a
bunch of billionaire success stories of younger businessmen who
struck gold, telling you to do this and that left and right. Inspiring,
I know. But Im no billionaire right now; Im just a simple, aspiring,
young one, with BIG dreams. Just like you.

Knowing of many my age and status were also searching


for a book as such, 8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs was
born. Out of that simple idea that there was a need for aspiring
young entrepreneurs to read a book with a voice like their own.
Made tailor-fit for the Gen-Y market, this was built for a legacy
meant to inspire generations to come.

Pretty ambitious for a stranger-kid like me to take on


such a project. But, I dont mind. Its worth the endless hours
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 7

and sleepless nights dedicated to finally completing this. As long


as the young and young at hearts who may have once felt like a
nobody can suddenly feel like a somebody, after journeying
through my personal stories.

Are you ready to DREAM BIG?

May this book symbolize new hope for you. New


beginnings. A fresh start to take on your dreams.

Again, this was written for you and about you, my friend.

Let us dream BIG dreams together.

I believe in YOU.

John Rodica

*Founder of TEAM DOLLARS

P.S. Best if you read through these 8 Simple Tips, with a smile. :)
8 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 9

SIMPLE TIP #1:


GET REAL!

So, after breezing through the introduction stuff (or you


may have probably skipped them like any normal kid in this fast-
paced world would do), youre probably wondering whats up
next.

Well, tip number 1 may not impress you much if you were
looking for extremely supercalifragilistic, theoretical, mega-Earth
shattering, revolutionary concepts, since it really doesnt get any
simpler than these two words: GET REAL!

Huh? Thats it?!?

::nods:: Yeah, thats basically it. ::smiles::


10 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

As the title suggests, the tips youd discover as you flip


through the pages are plainly, SIMPLE. I dont want to disappoint
you, so Im starting it properly by setting expectations, with a tiny
confession from me:

I, John Rodica, do not claim to be an expert or a master-


guru in any of the topics youre about to read. In fact, Id simply be
genuine, by sharing mini-stories for a great majority of this book.
Im an ordinary guy, with extraordinary dreams, just like you.

You may find it ridiculously cRaaaZy, but I just want to


be an open book to my dear readers. I will be opening my heart
to you, the young entrepreneurs who will be instrumental in
shaping and leading the direction of this generation.

This is gonna be based on real life experiences and some


insights Ive learned from my great mentors. Wisdom Ive read
from literally hundreds of books, some picked up from seminars
and talks by motivational speakers, combined with values Ive
acquired from family and loved ones. I wont even be claiming
that these are original concepts, but I can promise you that its
gonna be as genuine as it gets.

It certainly wont be the typical, meaty informational type


of thing. As youve probably noticed, Im even typing it with a
familiar, conversational tone, not caring much about grammar or
other formalities, because I actually want you to be comfortable
while reading it.

Plus, boring you by being ooh-so-formal would defeat the


purpose of this simple book, right?
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 11

Without sounding overdramatic, I want you to know that


this book you are holding on to is very personal and special to
me, and I hope youd value it. After learning from these pages,
I encourage you to share your thoughts and insights with your
peers, or better yet, read it as a cell group, kinda like a bookclub,
so you can bond, reflect, and learn together in a pretty fun way.

Enough with the uber-extended intros. Gotta go direct to


the point now, coz time is gold, right? LOL.

I seriously believe that time is more precious than gold.

Time is LIFE! Time is eve-ry-thing. So, here we go! Mini-


topic number 1 begins with a magic formula. I couldnt sleep the
other night and some kinda lightbulb idea popped into my head
(yeah, Im weird like that) to bring you this worthy of a Facebook
status, coolness formula.

Ready?

You sure?

Im not too convinced.

Are you reaaaally sure?.....

Okay, buddy. I believe ya.

Fine, turn to the next page to discover how A + A = B.


12 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

ATTITUDE + AUTHENTICITY
= BRANDING
I told ya it was cool! Like, totally.

So, lets break it down by tackling that first A. Theres no


other word much more perfect to begin this book with, other
than A for ATTITUDE.

You may have heard of the saying, Attitude determines


your altitude.

And its just so true.

All I know is that, if I want to soar high and reach my goals


in life, I must begin with the right attitude.

To get the most out of this book, I want you to read it with
an open mind and an open heart. Because thats the attitude of a
champion.

I also urge you to Empty Your Cup. Sounds like a big


methapor, but it simply means leaving it all at the door before
entering this journey of self-discovery. Kinda like the Karate Kid
ritual before Master Miyagi decided to coach him.

Accept that we are all a work-in-process. I want you to be


like a sponge while reading this book. But in order to absorb, you
must be willing to gently let go.
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 13

If a cup is full, anything that is poured into it will simply


overflow. Get it?

Tough as it may sound, it could mean setting aside your


pride for a bit. It may require unloading all your pre-conceived
notions or accumulated ideas from your current, stellar profession
or background, and simply enjoy the process of learning.

I also feel that Im learning and re-learning tidbits about


myself as I write and share my heart, because writing requires me
to reflect and it helps me improve. Thats why Im grateful that I
have you as an audience and a friend in this process.

Yes, I am asking trespass or permission from you, to allow


me to share my experiences. Some may seem odd, but thats the
beauty of it.

I was always charmed by the message of this popular


shampoo commercial here in the Philippines, modeled by KC
Concepcion (daughter of the megastar Sharon Cuneta whom my
dad was equally charmed with when he was just a teenager.) :-)

She was asked, How do you stay so young?

And KC replied: Well, Age is just a Number. And YOUNG


is an ATTITUDE.

Think about it. Whether youre 15, or in your early


twenTeens, or if youre turning 84 years-young next month,
its your attitude in life that will carry you through. I live with
an Attitude of Gratitude, and I am always thankful for this
overwhelming blessing, called Life.
14 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

Hey, I know of a 13 year old kid (an ex-neighbor) back


in America, who looks like shes already 39 filled with wrinkles
caused by stress, due to a negative attitude. Then, theres my
Tita*1 Evalita who just celebrated her 60th birthday last October,
and shes still got that undeniable aura and glow, as if she just
turned sweet 16.

Wanna know her secret?

Say it with me: Positive Attitude.

Because no amount of botox treatment or magic collagen


skin booster drinks would unlock the keys to the ever elusive
Fountain of Youth.

The secret is out and its all about positive attitude. Thats
your wonder drug right there.

Filipinos are very much known to be one of the happiest


people in the entire universe! Imagine, despite all the typhoons,
earthquakes, ouchie-HOT weather, insane traffic, flying ipis*2, and
God knows what other outrageous stuff we have to endure, we
never fail to have a positive attitude.

There was even a global survey done on Worlds Happiest


Countries, and of course, the Philippines was ranked way up
there!

*1: Filipino term for Auntie

*2: Cockroaches
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 15

Weve got the spirit! Throw anything at us and wed still


maintain a cheerful, friendly, hospitable, and happy disposition in
life! And dont forget, GENUINE. Because, we are a nation that is
as real as it gets so theres no need for fake smiles here. A great
majority of the population is below the poverty line, but our smile
remains priceless. I guess thats why the Department of Tourism
tagline says, Its More Fun in the Philippines!

Now, onto the next big word of this magic formula #1:
AUTHENTICITY.

Do you own a luxury bag, watch, or one of those pair of


shoes that can feed an entire village in Africa for 14 years?

Or did you settle for the pirated and extremely affordable


version instead?

Well, it doesnt really matter if your Prada is for-real or


simply a class-A version from Greenhills, the super bazaar of the
Philippines. What matters more is whether you can pull it off. As
if youve got the swag moves like Jagger. Meaning, projek kung
projek*3

Those are just material stuff anyways. But now, lets talk
about what truly matters. Being your original self.

No copyright infringement intended, but Katy Perrys


Fireworks song nailed it: Youre original, cannot be replaced.

And, OH. I love the chorus, too.:

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine


16 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

Just own the night like the 4th of July...

Cause baby, youre a firework

Come on, show em what youre worth

Make em go, oh

As you shoot across the sky

Baby, youre a firework

Come on, let your colors burst.....

I know that the universe will be a much more colorful and


interesting place if you just let your genuine self shine bright like
a diamond! Noticed how I love that word, GENUINE? Coz Ive
repeated it on this chapter alone like, 14 times already? No, only
like, four. But, yeah.

Throw away the inhibitions and just GET REAL!

It begins with acceptance, knowing your own capabilities


and talents, without putting on a mask to hide it. #YOLO: You
only live once, so I wouldnt want you to get an asthma attack or
something, coz its hard to breathe under a multiple layer mask,
you know?

*3: Projecting an it look, the X-factor attitude.


8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 17

My respect and admiration shot way up for Anne Curtis,


a celebrity goddess, when she let the reporters in on her secret
to cramming up the Araneta Coliseum with her Annebisyosa
concert, knowing whole-heartedly that she cant belt it out as
well as Charice or even Jessica Sanchez, my American Idol.

On her pre-concert interview, Anne admitted: I know Im


not a singer, but Im a performer!

And she did just that, performed her heart out,


entertaining her audience of over 10,000 men and women who
watched as her concert made history. Oh-wow, right?

Now I can also admit that.... I also love singing! But the
problem is, singing does not love me. So, Im just sticking to my
silly, favorite Pinoy past-time (also known as a hobby that makes
time go fast, making it fast-time): the videoke night moments
with my pals.

Although... I once had a dream of being a boyband


superstar back in the days of NSync and Backstreet Boys. Ooops!
That may have been T-M-I (too-much-info) already. Err. Now, you
know why I have the utmost respect and admiration for people
who CAN sing.

It saddens me to see people still in the dark about their


true personality or even those searching for an identity- just to
belong. Or simply those who are still hiding in the closet, fearing
other peoples opinions.

I learned early in life that if I wanted others to accept me


for who I truly am, I must be able to accept my true self first.
18 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

Ive been labeled weird several times, but I dont mind. Im


comfortable with my own skin. I dont mind appearing vulnerable,
a trait that others may consider a disadvantage but I believe its
actually an asset. It takes courage, but I am who I am. What you
see, is what you get.

And hey, even Dr. Seuss got some wisdom to share on this
topic: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who
mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

Having clarity of who you really are will make your life
that much, more wonderful. Pretending to be something youre
not takes the fun out of life. Theres no sense in living a lie just
to fit in. You are unique and original and thats what makes you
amazing!

Love yourself, because God loves you just the way you
are.

Once you learn to simply let go, youd be amazed by the


outpour of blessings and opportunities that will shower your way.
And this leads us to the ultimate solution to our magic formula,
one of my favorite words in the universe of business and life:
BRANDING.

Okay, heres another secret that Id spill. Growing up in


Chicago, I used to dread P.E. (Physical Education), knowing that I
did not have any athletic bone in my entire body.

I was overweight. Sorry, I meant obese. Yes, the American


doctor who conducted my grrr, required (hate this word)
physical exam declared me as obese at 13 years old and 191 lbs.
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 19

She also wrote on her report that I was not physically fit to engage
in any sports.

And that really sucks coz if youre not active in sports


during your elementary or high school years, youre considered
an outcast. Especially in an American school. O-M-G, its so like
the movies, I swear! With the white cool kids alienating the
unpopular ones, like me.

I practically had no self-esteem, way worse than suffering


from a mere low self-esteem.

Food became my best friend, so I went on a see-food


diet. You know, the type where everything I see, I eat.

Feeling helpless, my weight ballooned to 230 lbs.

I was branded as the kid who cannot play. I was so


UNWELL.

You name it- basketball, soccer, football, nothing! I was


always the last choice every time the P.E. teacher would line us
up and the team captains were given the privilege to handpick
whom they wanted on their team.

Sounds awkward but 8 out of 10 times, it was me who


came as the last choice- the unwanted one. Did I mention, the
really unwanted one? Well, I cant blame them coz I know they
were just increasing their chances of winning the game by not
picking a loser. Hmm.

Then the other 2 out of 10 times, the unwanted and


unathletic crown went to my kind, really smart, Indian friend, Saad
20 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

Mansuri. (Hi, Saad!) Yes, if youre reading this, youre probably


laughing at how sad it really was for us back then. At least I got
excellent grades and grew up with no pimples, or else it may have
been much sadder.

Branding is probably one of the most prized possessions of


any enterprise. Just look at how big corporations spend gazillions
of dollars on preserving an immaculate perception, building up
their brand. Image is everything!

Besides, we all know that first impressions stick! They


dont just last, they stick!

As an entrepreneur, youre not only selling your products.


You are selling yourself. Most importantly, you are selling your
brand. So, make sure that you have a brand that is desirable.

Fortunately for me, being branded as the unwell kid


didnt have to stick through the times. Since then, I vowed to live
a healthy lifestyle and have been working really hard to achieve
overall wellness. It began that one glorious day in January that I
told myself: I commit to be fit. I will take control of my own destiny.

Now, my booming business is in the field of health


and wellness. My brand shifted from the unwanted to now
becoming one of the most in-demand Young Entrepreneurs in
my industry.

Suddenly, its not so sad anymore.

All because, I did not let my past hurts, false self-worth,


and judgments define the direction of my future.
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 21

I learned to reach deep inside to find my true calling, so


that I can be more authentic.

Equipped with a positive attitude + being real to myself


and to the world, I was able to develop this strong brand that is
uniquely my own.

Now, I urge you to identify the brand that you want to


be associated with. Do you want to be known as the Eco-Friendly
Businesswoman or the Handsome Billionaire with a Heart for
Philanthropy?

DARE to be Bold and Different. Express your individuality.

Don't worry too much about what that stranger on the


other end of the room may say.

Who cares? You don't know him. And chances are, you
won't even see each other tomorrow. Or the next day. Or never
at all! So, chillax.

You cannot please everyone anyway, no matter how hard


you try. So stop being too hard on yourself, freaking out like a
controlled robot 24/7 whenever you get opposing views from the
public. Gotta take it easy.

In your life, you call the shots. Stay in command by being


true to your identity.

Take your pick. And make sure you Live it out Loud!

Some think that all you gotta care about is how to


maximize profits in your business.
22 Simple Tip #1: Get Real!

If there were job descriptions on what you should


be busy doing as a young entrepreneur, then I believe that it
ultimately boils down to 5 simple matters. Now is the time to grab
a highlighter (green, blue, purple or your fave color of the week)
and immortalize these thoughts:

1. PROTECT your Brand.

2. INCREASE its VALUE way... way... way... UP!

3. PROMOTE your VISION globally, following a S-Y-S-T-


E-M together with a T-E-A-M.

4. Encourage your TARGET MARKET to spread awareness


by making sure that they:

a. SHARE their experiences.

b. LIKE you, like your mission, and like helping you


reach it.

c. FOLLOW you all the way to the top.

5. Create a lasting difference in the lives of others and


set the stage to make this world a better place to live
in for the future generations.

I sincerely feel that the last one is probably the most


important, thats why I just had to italicize it, so you wont miss
out on discovering what could possibly be your life-purpose.

Note that when I talk about value, Im referring to your


overall industry worth and the value that you bring to your
audience, one that should be a niche captive market.
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 23

By now, youd know that Im into these formulas and


acronyms so as an added trivia, S-Y-S-T-E-M stands for Save Your
Self Time, Energy, & Money.

T-E-A-M means Together Everyone Achieves More.

...or Miracles.

...or Millions of cash. Yeah, mmmm... Money! However


you wanna look at it. Id be getting more into the details of team
building on chapter 4.

And hey, when I say promote, do it full throttle!

Notice that Im still promoting my twitter @johnrodica


even on the back cover of this book? Ive gone hardcore, baby.

You should, too.

But before you proceed on doing that, make sure you


dont miss out on this (shucks!) MAJOR-major relevant tip that
Id be discussing on the next chapter. All youve gotta do now is
flip the page over.

Game?

Im ready when youre ready...


24 Simple Tip #2: Believe in Yourself
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 25

SIMPLE TIP #2:


BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Typing away at this, I suddenly stop and stare at


Theodore Roosevelts quote Believe and youre half way
there. inscribed infront of me.

Oh, yes, that timeless quote is actually framed and I


made sure its on a visible part of my desk, so that it would be
one of the first things that I see every single morning. Thanks to
my extremely gorgeous, little sister, Jonemie, for buying that gem
for me. (Fine, I insisted that she buy it as a present for me when
we saw it at Walmart last year).

Its my constant reminder on the power of SELF-BELIEF.


26 Simple Tip #2: Believe in Yourself

Because if you dont believe in yourself, how do you


expect others to believe in you?

You can try to convince yourself and others to believe


in your products, your marketing plan, your company, and your
yadda-yadda... But if you do not have a strong sense of belief in
yourself, then it would be totally pointless to continue on your
venture.

The keyword there is, pointless.

There are product demos to cater to your audience who


still think that to see is to believe. True, it may keep them in
awe, or at least curious enough to check out your products.

But as an entrepreneur, your prime conviction should be:


Believe and you will see.

Each successful businessman is a great visionary. All


share the trait of believing in things that are not yet tangible and
doing whatever it takes to simply make it happen. Having full faith
means taking that first step, even if you do not yet see the whole
staircase.

The worst thing you can possibly do is to believe your


doubts, leading you to doubt your beliefs.

When you firmly believe that your idea is THE ONE, then
you must be unstoppable. Relentless. Pour your heart and soul
into it, and then you will see the rewards.

Gandhi was simply brilliant when he summed it up in just


30 words:
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 27

Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi

Normally, would-be entrepreneurs get stuck with their


ideas, overanalyzing tiny little details, leading them to, umm,
youve guessed it: n-o-t-h-i-n-g. Their over-analysis led them to
paralysis. Sad, but true for some.

Then there are those who are doubtless that their BIG
IDEA is destined to be the NEXT BIG THING. But something keeps
holding them back. It may just be procrastination, but if we dig
deeper than they are willing to admit, theres a feeling of FEAR
inside of them.

I would know, because I had this same exact feeling,


leading me to postpone the launch of this book not just for months,
but for years! I was still in college (really way, way back) when my
closest friends and even siblings would get sick of hearing my blah
blahs about how I dream of being an international, Best-Selling
Author someday.

Yeah... someday.
28 Simple Tip #2: Believe in Yourself

And so the days, weeks, and months went by and I found


myself in la-la land saying the same old excuse whenever they
would follow up and ask me about the book: Oh, Im working on
it. Just wait, soon, out at the bookstores everywhere.

I was stucked to that someday factor, until I realized


that its actually been years since I made a declaration that I
planned on writing a book afterall.

How lame.

Coz that was just a lie. Truth is, I procrastinated big time
and never really got started. Yeah, I was jotting down notes here
and there, but theres no spark or burning desire for me to finish
the little stuff that Ive started. I was all talk, but really no action.

Then, I started doubting myself. I wondered whether


my time to shine would ever really come. I felt like a total loser,
dreaming of writing a book dedicated to young entrepreneurs
and still dreaming about it after so many years.

The opposite of self-belief is not doubt. Its called self-


sabotage.

And it may turn out to be the worst enemy you can


possibly imagine.

I wanted to release the book during my teenage years,


so it would be such a perfect match, a book written by somebody
really young, to be read by kids his age. But it never materialized.

So, I told myself that I would just gain experience first in


the business world, so I can have the conviction about the topics
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 29

Id be sharing. Which led me to procrastinate even more, always


making it a New Years resolution to finish my book, but never
really sat down to do it.

I woke up one day, already grown a baldspot now only in


my mid-20s, and the brutal realization hit me. I was filled with
F-E-A-R the whole time. Thats actually an acronym for False-
Expectations-Appearing-Real.

I wanted to be successful, yet I was afraid about its perks.


To be rich and famous? Hey, thats every kid and their mothers
wildest dream! But crazy fears such as having people laugh at my
writing, being overexposed with over the top responsibilities,
overfatigued from traveling too much, also being ridiculed for
shyness during public speaking for book tours, or even fears
as odd as being followed by paparazzis, kinda like how those
celebrities on TV lost their privacy and eventually gone insane?
Very silly thoughts, I know.

In other words, I wanted success but I was fearful of the


responsibilities and expectations that I must live up to, plus all
other consequences that I may have to face.

I warned you that this book is gonna be as real as it gets,


and this means opening up my heart. I hope Im not boring you
with the details yet. But my point is, I want you to learn from my
experience.

If youre fortunate enough, reading this at a very young


age, then congratulations! You have your whole life ahead of you,
so I urge you to DREAM BIG, and commit to fulfilling your dreams,
and stick with your desired timeline.
30 Simple Tip #2: Believe in Yourself

But you know what else Ive realized? Maybe waiting


for my book to materialize was not so bad after all. After going
through so many revisions, title changes, concept brainstorming,
and doubting myself whether to push through with it or not, I
discovered that everything happens for a reason. All those
experiences led me to where I am now. They all had a purpose.

God crafted an intricate design for our lives, making sure


that there is a season and time for everything.

It seems now would be the BEST time to publish this book.


Ive noticed that when I finally made a wholehearted decision to
say YES to completing this huge and long overdue dream project
of mine, the pieces of the puzzle started coming together.

The resources, creativity, and connections I needed to


launch an ambitious masterpiece are here, and they arrived not
too early, not too late, but in Gods perfect time. Now that Im in
the right frame of mind, my self-belief solid and in place, equipped
with genuine experiences to share, I feel more confident that this
really is the right and only time for turning a DREAM this BIG into
reality.

I encourage you to take control of your destiny. Believe in


yourself. Because I believe in you.

Equipped with self-belief, its normal that youd still have


fears. But of what? Well, the most common fear that would-be
entrepreneurs share is the fear of:
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 31

FAILURE
According to Truman Capote: Failure is the condiment
that gives success its flavor.

Condiment is like your favorite banana catsup or soysauce


with calamansi, right?

I remember back when I first arrived in America, I


struggled because I didnt know how to speak much English.

Yeah, it sounds so weird hearing it now from an author


writing this future, international best selling book. Its funny coz
some of my friends here in the Philippines would even come up
to me nowadays, asking me to help them speak English, brushing
up on the accent, slang, and every thang.

I hate to burst the bubble, but theyve always thought


that this kid who grew up in Chicago would be the all around
English Master. Who would have thought that communication
was actually one of my biggest insecurities growing up?

I could vividly remember my experience in 5th grade,


science class of Mrs. Koegler. She went all out discussing the
mechanics for our Science Fair Project. And I also went all out
trying to comprehend. But I couldnt help but be totally clueless,
coz many of the terms sounded so alien, like it came from planet
Jupiter or something. It appeared so complicated, since we had to
compose our own question, methods of procedure, conclusion,
and so on. Plus, doing the actual experiment itself, to be exhibited
in front of the whole school and be judged during an awards night.
32 Simple Tip #2: Believe in Yourself

What got me stuck and held me back from even getting


started was this one BIG word that I have never heard before, and
in turn- never really understood! So, help me, Lord.

That crazy BIG word that got me so frustrated and gave


me 2 and a half sleepless nights was...... HYPOTHESIS.

I was like.... hypo what? What in the world did it mean?!?


Whatever it was, I knew that it was a must to find out soon,
because if I didnt, then it wouldve been totally impossible to
even begin the project.::sigh:: Just starting it out made me feel
like a total failure already.

So finally came day 3, and I just couldnt take it any more.


That word was literally driving me nuts and I was tired of being
sleepless because of it. So, in the middle of the class, I gathered the
courage, bravely stood up, and went to Mrs. Koeglers desk, teary-
eyed and obviously very anxious, even shaking in helplessness.

Im so sorry, teacher. Im bad. Sorry, I cant do it. Umm.


Uhh. I dont know how to start. Umm. Im very confused. I
dont know this English word- please HELP ME. Im.... Im.... Im
scared....

And the magic moment happened: I cried. Tears rolled


down my cheeks, faster than any movie director could say, Lights-
Camera-Action.

Yes, in front of Mrs. Koegler, and in front of the entire


5th grade American class, who was bewildered by whether they
should laugh or feel sorry at this poor, Asian kid. That was my
shining moment of humiliation. Bravo.
8 Simple Tips for Young Entrepreneurs 33

And Bravo to Mrs. Koegler, since she handled it so


calmly and was very generous to offer her help. First, she took
me outside the class, so the kids would stop staring at this crying
baby. She tried to comfort me and made it easier by appointing
another Asian kid named Thomas Lee, who was smart, and would
be there to guide me step by step, especially on big words that I
dont understand.

I squeezed out every ounce of juice from my brain and


really focused on making my very first Science Project worthy.
It was about finding out which color of cotton fabric would dry
the fastest. So, I made a hypothesis, prepared the experiment,
decorated my whiteboard exhibit, and prepared for judgment
time.

I dont know what happened. I simply gave it my best.


And surprise, surprise! I came out as the 2nd place winner during
the awards ceremony. I dont know if it was luck, or if the judges
miscalculated or simply felt like giving extra points to this kid who
tried mega-hard to stutter English and communicate his project,
or simply because i was deserving for giving it my all. Id like to
believe its the latter.

Okay, so just 3 weeks after the Science Fair came another


schoolwide competition called the Spelling Bee. Its supposed to
be my favorite subject, so I was excited to give it a shot. I did get
that shot, more like a shutdown. Unfortunately, I was contestant
number 1, having to spell the word EMIT but since my African
American teacher Mrs. Mohammed had this accent that I
misunderstood, I simply spelled it the way I heard it pronounced.
So I went, I-M-I-T and that led for me to being the first casualty
out of the competition. Grrrr...
34 Simple Tip #2: Believe in Yourself

It got me depressed for a couple hours, but I figured, I


could try again next year. Just like that famous Aaliyaah song, If
at first you dont succeed, dust yourself off and try again. I knew
I could make it and I just have to study harder and think more
before I speak.

One year passed and the annual Spelling Bee finally


happened again. This time, I was not gonna let myself be the first to
be shot down. But rather, I came out as 1st place and represented
the entire 6th grade class to the schoolwide competition. Oh, the
sweet taste of victory! I still have those winning ribbons stashed
inside my treasure chest hidden in my closet somewhere, so I
could always look back on how I once failed my way to success.

The great Thomas Edison failed 999 times before


inventing the lightbulb. Michael Jordan had his share of failures
before becoming the Greatest NBA Player of All Time. Even
Angeline Quinto initially got tons of rejections before she became
a hit. They all believed theyd make it someday, so they fought for
their right to succeed, and you should, too.

Success wont happen overnight. It takes pure hard work,


dedication, and guts to really do whatever it takes to make your
dreams happen.

Wherever this journey leads you, please never forget these four
magic words:

I BELIEVE IN YOU.