Following a very long and busy week during the APEC Summit, my family and I, along with our employees in Mobile Optima (my startup company) set out a weekend escapade away from the Metro.
November 20. We were all set for a long drive to Batangas for our overnight camp by the beach. Everyone was feeling giddy with this trip (my wife and I even bought new tent for us and the kids!). Personally, it was indeed everything I could ask for, after that very hectic week full of meetings (and not to mention, crazy traffic). And of course, it was also a perfect time to bond with my employees and enjoy the rest of the day without having to think about work.
But you know, as an entrepreneur, I just can’t keep myself from relating things to business. Even as simple as being pricked by a sea urchin, makes me think that things around us can be a lesson we can incorporate to our business. Well perhaps this is what they call hugot. 🙂
So let me share to you my top four “hugots” from the trip:
Hugot 1: Building a tent
After long hours of driving, we finally reached our destination in Calatagan Batangas. The very first thing we did was to put up our tents. My kids were undeniably excited about it, and so am I. The feeling of excitement that I felt was similar to when I started my first business. That excitement took over me that I didn’t realize the fact that the tent we have was new and I still haven’t familiarized myself on how to put it up. In the same way, I didn’t recognize things I needed to know first about running a boutique business.
I was actually struggling while putting up our tent. Good thing I got some help from my little boy, Justin and eventually we were able to build it up. 🙂
Just like building the tent, I struggled in starting a business. It wasn’t just a walk in the park success for me. There was no manual that I can just follow (unlike for tents). I needed help (even just a little), and I needed to learn from the mistakes I did. And you know, when you finally see what you’ve built, the sense of fulfillment will certainly wipe off all those troubles you had to endure.
Hugot 2: Small tent vs. Big tent
Another thing I realize about building a tent is that, the struggle varies. Small tent is easier to put up than the bigger one. Those who have smaller tents were able to build it up effortlessly, while it took six of the guys to put up the bigger tent for almost an hour! Although they have the manual, it still wasn’t as easy as putting up the smaller one.
It’s just like starting a business; when you start small, the fewer struggles you experience. You can even put it up alone (or with a minimal help). But for the bigger tent, they needed more people to build it. Just like in business, if you want to build an empire, you need partners to make it happen. You will need more resources (or if it’s for the tent, you need more hands).
Hugot 3: Keeping the fire burning
Later that night, we gathered around the bonfire we made. We enjoyed playing some games, shared laughter, and chatted over a can of beer. Then, I noticed that one of companions would add some wood to keep the fire burning, every now and then. And an epiphany just hit me.
The flame reminded me of that burning desire I had years ago – that desire to start my own business. Likewise, the woods reminded me of the things that fueled me to pursue entrepreneurship; and those reasons motivated me to leave the corporate world and become an entrepreneur.
The first reason I had in mind, is the thought that I will never get rich if I remain as an employee. Later on, I realized I wanted to control my time and have financial freedom – and it can only be possible if I become an entrepreneur. And yes, those reasons led me to be where I am now.
Now you might be thinking what drives me to continue this journey as entrepreneur. Well, it’s actually the sense of fulfillment from giving jobs to people. It’s a feeling that I can never put into words. But just like the bonfire analogy, that sense of fulfillment is the reason why my passion in business keeps burning.
Hugot 4: Knowing the Battlefield
The following day, we prepped up for our next adventure – island hopping. Although it wasn’t exactly the island hopping that we thought of, I guess we all still had a lot of fun. And I, on the other hand, got another insight.
While we were sailing to the next island, we noticed the water had different shades of blue. The bangkero told us that the color actually indicates how deep or shallow an area is. When we reached our destination, the bangkero directed us to walk on the opposite side of the drop off. He warned us of the sea urchins scattered around the area. Then another thought hit me. In business, you will need a mentor to guide you about the battlefield you are going into; the same way we needed the bangkero to guide us during the trip.
Anyway, too much of all these “hugots” (but hey, these were some things to ponder on). This trip has fed my soul with more insights, about life and business. It made me realize that we can actually learn from almost everything around us, and incorporate what we’ve them to our business and even in our lives. ∞