How To Earn A Million Before 30: 5 Secrets for Early Success


Hazel “Ace” Gapuz is a lot of things. She’s an ADMU graduate, a UP-D MBA holder, and a Breakout Serendra Hall of Fame-r to name a few. But that’s not why you need to listen to her on October 18, 2016. You need to listen up because she’s living the dream, and she wants to share how she achieved it with you.

From being a seasoned traveler, a personal finance guru, and a multi-hyphenate #lifegoals, all at the tender age of 2x, Ace is the living embodiment of an “empowered millennial.” And that’s why she’s one of the chosen speakers at SUCCESS: Ignite-Empower-Flourish, alongside Eric Cruz and Francis Kong. I’m immensely proud to know her better though as my boss at Blogapalooza, and as my first mentor outside of college – (while I’m actually still in college).

Ms. Ace, as we #BlogaFam interns like to call her, is a testament to how hard work combined with shrewd thinking can take you places you never dreamed of. She’s always dropping golden nuggets of wisdom on us #BlogaFam. She inspired us to become excellent students with a mind that believes that dream jobs won’t exist until you create them yourself.  We believed in her so much as she herself is a living proof of it.

Her “extinct” resume shows her working her way up in business development at Boardwalk to becoming PR Manager at GrabTaxi, to now having a multitude of jobs that fill her Instagram with #worklifegoals shots. Namely, being a co-owner of a Maginhawa restaurant, to managing director of Blogapalooza, to running a podcast called Wise Cash for The Global Filipino Investors.

Oh, and her resume is “extinct” (as exaggeratedly described)  because she doesn’t need one anymore, thanks to her 5 Secrets for Early Success.

Her network, influence, and skills keep her running full steam ahead, with the numerous projects and plans she has on her plate. But every time we meet, she never fails to give us perspective-changing advice that changes how we #BlogaFam live.

I don’t know what she’s up to all the time, but I do know that I have the immense honor to introduce to you both my favorite mentor and my favorite 5 nuggets of wisdom she’s shared with us #BlogaFam over the past year.

These 5 Secrets for Early Success helped me gain new skills and experiences (those that have not even crossed my mind before I met her).  And I know she’ll tell you much more on
October 18, 2016 at the AFP Theater.   Until then, here are the 5 Secrets you need to know starting right now.

5. Invest in your biggest asset : YOU

Ms. Ace always tells us college kids that our competitive advantage comes from being young and eager to learn. We’re at that age where we’re not set in our ways yet, so we need to be constantly moving forward; where we’re moving to isn’t as important because we can shift gears anytime. That’s the beauty of youth, as she says. We just need to be constantly growing, instead of stalling wherever we currently are.

She advocates taking classes in anything that interests you that you think can help you grow. You need to invest money, time, and energy in something you believe in for an exponential growth stream to open up. Ms. Ace herself took a class in stocks and brokerage which she leveraged into becoming a financial advocate through her podcast, Wise Cash. She took her investment, repackaged it, and sold it to her audience in a fresh way.

Who would even think of doing that?

4. Learn from everyone you meet

When you’re starting out in any business, you need to network, network, network to get a foothold. You need to find mentors in the industry, people who you want to learn from and who are willing to dedicate time and energy to your growth journey. These are people who make you think about things in new ways, therefore, making you into a better version of you in the long run.

But Ms. Ace also warns that you can’t be a leech, someone who just keeps taking in information and never giving back. You need to keep the cycle of info going, by mentoring someone back. That’s also why Ms. Ace decided to get college students to round out the #BlogaFam. She always tells us that you can learn something from everyone you meet, and having us young blood around keeps her sharp since our thinking is light years away from what her peers are thinking.

Everyone has an expertise to offer.

3. Be mindful of what you say yes to

Ms. Ace believes in the power of thoughts. What you dedicate your waking moments to is what will come to you. Even if you’re thinking “I don’t want this bad thing to happen”, because you’re thinking about it, the bad thing is probably going to happen. You need to focus your thoughts onto what you’re aiming for, and really give 100% of your actions to it. There’s no other way to achieve.

With that comes knowing when to say no to amazing opportunities. Not all opportunities that come knocking are good for you. Some are not going to be growth experience; some are just not knocking at the right time. And that’s ok. There will be other opportunities to say yes to wholeheartedly.

Ms. Ace shares with us interns the business proposals and happenings at Blogapalooza, and takes the time to explain why she says no to certain things. Those chats are revelatory. It keeps us grounded and focused on working towards the overall goal, instead of trying to chase every single one that pops up.

You don’t have to say yes to everything. If anything, saying no is more powerful.

2. Pay yourself kindly

Ms. Ace takes working vacations, where she goes and closes business deals abroad, while seeing the sights that interest her. She knows how to play hard while working hard, and she inculcates that value into us kids. Our #BlogaFam meetings are usually at various Breakout Philippines’ rooms to both build group dynamic and also for us to chill out together in a competitive, kind-of-scary environment.

She always drills into us the following,

“Never undervalue your work. And most definitely, never undervalue your time. It’s the one thing you can never get back. Know how much you’re worth and pay yourself in the form of things you enjoy.”   This also applies to the work we decide to take on. We don’t take work that we feel we wouldn’t be happy with or that wouldn’t help us grow. Doing so is not valuing our limited resources right?

1. There is no right time, except now

It’s the most cliche of them all, but it’s also the truest. There will be no signs telling you today is the day to take the leap. There will never be a perfect time to change your life completely. There will always be something holding you back. You just need to make the leap with eyes wide open and arms outstretched. Don’t take an idiotic leap and expect to land cushily. Take a calculated leap of faith, without looking back or trying to get back onto the ledge.

Ms. Ace doesn’t believe in set destinies, but she believes in luck favoring the bold. And after so much exposure to her, I believe in it too. Thanks to Ms. Ace, I decided to start a blog (about interning, no less) which spurred this move into content writing and to a million other opportunities I’m facing now. And which is why you’re currently reading this article by me.

I didn’t think I was ready to do writing outside my blog, but Ms. Ace believed in me, and pushed me off of the ledge like all great mother birds do. And now that this article is done, I think she’s right. The best time for any of us to go out and do something scary (like write for an amazing event on a different medium than I’m accustomed to) is right now.

Find out more, and probably better, nuggets of wisdom on October 18, 2016 at the
SUCCESS: Ignite-Empower-Flourish event to be held at AFP Theater. For more details, go to  or 


For event reservation, contact Princess or Patricia at +639156559480!

Get a chance to hear and be inspired by Ace Gapuz!

written by Justine Lara T. Chua