Doing What You Love is Just Half of the Equation: A Lesson on Entrepreneurship

I just came back from a successful speaking engagement at the recently-concluded ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Challenge, held at the National University of Malaysia from March 30-April 8, 2017. The 10-day event brought together about 50 representatives from 14 colleges and universities all over the ASEAN to compete for RM 22,000 start up funding for their innovative business idea.

Main poster of ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Challenge 2017Main poster of ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Challenge 2017

It was such an honor and a pleasure for me to be invited as the main speaker for the event, to be recognized as a highly-sought after Filipino motivational speaker and a prime mover of Youth Entrepreneurship. I was given an opportunity to do not only a motivational talk, but also a workshop on how to start what I call a “passion-driven business.”

I am very passionate about teaching young people to shift their paradigm from doing business for money to doing business for meaning. That is the heart of what I advocate and promote in my organization Negosyo Kabataan, and my training program Youth Entrepreneurship Academy, which I created to support my good friend, Senator Bam Aquino’s Youth Entrepreneurship Act (R.A. 10679).

My talk at the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Challenge in MalaysiaMy talk at the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Challenge in Malaysia

I truly believe that passion is the key ingredient to entrepreneurial success. Passion breeds a person’s faith, persistence, resilience, eye for opportunity, vision, and all the other qualities that makes an entrepreneur thrive. Passion gives you that excitement to wake up each morning to work on your business. Passion is the force inside you that’s more powerful than your fear of the unknown, self-doubt, or lack of resources.

Some of my youth entrepreneurship talks in 2017Some of my youth entrepreneurship talks in 2017

Speaking about passion-driven business takes me back to my own journey more than a decade ago when I started my own. Armed only with my self-belief and enough money to pay one month’s office rent, I started Creativoices Productions in 2005, which has now become the leading voiceover services company online. Looking back, I know that my passion for the art of voice acting enabled me to overcome all the odds and take my company to where it is today.

I am thankful that my passion-driven business and entrepreneurial journey has also been recognized by Go Negosyo, and awarded me as the “Most Inspiring Bataeno Microentrepreneur” in 2009, and has since then become one of their Angelpreneurs.

Receiving my GoNegosyo Award in 2009Receiving my GoNegosyo Award in 2009

The idea of “do what you love and the money will follow” isn’t really anything new. We’ve read it, seen it and heard it many times. In fact, there are several people who have indeed followed their passion and started their business, but ended up closing it down several months later because they can no longer sustain it. This is why I believe that doing what you love is just half of the equation. In order to succeed in your passion-driven business, here’s the most important lesson you need to learn:

You must aim for GREATNESS, not just for happiness.

It’s fun to watch TV or do karaoke… but how does that add value to you and to the people around you? It is worth repeating that you should be in a business that you enjoy, but you also have to remember that a product or a service is created to solve a problem and to improve lives. Ask yourself, “What does the world need that my passion and skills can provide?”

Recording at Creativoices with my passion-driven studentsRecording at Creativoices with my passion-driven students

My vision is to make the Philippines the center of voiceover excellence in Asia. I know I would not be able to realize that vision by becoming just another recording studio or provider of voiceover talents. So instead, I opened a voice acting SCHOOL under my company–the Philippine Center for Voice Acting. Many years ago, the voice acting industry seems to have been monopolized and reserved for those who are already in it. My vision allowed me to recognize how much potential Filipinos have in the voiceover industry. So instead of just banking on the experts, I created my school to produce experts! In essence, I have turned my passion for voice acting into something that is not only profitable, but more importantly, has become something that revolutionized the industry I am in…and THAT makes me happy.

I always say, not all happy people are great, but all great people are happy.

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