WINning in Entrepreneurship Seminar Turns Dreamers Into Doers!
When in Manila, anyone can be an entrepreneur. You don’t have to look very far. Stuck in traffic? It is common to see Manong Juan selling candies, peanuts, bananas, toys, cigarettes, feather dusters, or hangers in the streets. Hungry? Surely you will pass by a food stall, a food truck, or Aling Nena’s local karinderia. Go online? See numerous tags on Facebook or Instagram from different online stores owned by youngsters and adults alike.
Kidding aside, among individuals who want to become businessmen or those who actually try it out, how many are really able to WIN the game? Opening a shop or a sari-sari store is just the start; sustaining the business is another thing. It takes more than just guts or interest.
At the WINning in Entrepreneurship: Grow and Expand Your Business seminar, organized by Vertical Parallel and held last January 28 and Feb 8 in the Richmond Hotel Ortigas, speaker Paulo Tibig (popularly known as The Entrep Champ) shared his wisdom, that of which he acquired through years of experience in the business world. Mr. Tibig, now CEO of Vcargo Worldwide, has been given several awards as an outstanding entrepreneur and mentor. Currently, he is also a Go Negosyo Angelpreneur. Notably, Mr. Tibig did not have it all in the beginning. Coming from a humble background (he grew up in Bataan, became a working student in Manila and got jobs as a messenger, utility man, etc.), all of his accomplishments were fruits of his hard work and unfailing perseverance.
Unlike the usual business seminars, this 2-day seminar had a homey feel to it. It welcomed individuals from various backgrounds. Aside from WIM photographer Charlie and I (who are both bankers by profession), the roster of participants were composed of a TV producer, a systems engineer, an NGO worker, a travel agency owner, and a logistics company business development director. Despite the differences, we were all there for the same reason: we were dreamers, wanting to run our own businesses.
WINning in Entrepreneurship Seminar
Even though not all of us had backgrounds in accounting, business, or finance, Mr. Tibig treated us without bias. He communicated business concepts that everyone could understand. The environment was anything but uptight; the speaker had the initiative to know each one of us better, to see where we were coming from, and to hear out our thoughts, ideas, and queries. It did not take too long before everyone loosened up and conversed with one another. All throughout the workshop, Mr. Tibig exuded genuine humility that made him easy to talk to, like a big brother you can comfortably consult with.
The seminar tested how much one wanted to make his or her dream a reality. Aside from enumerating the reasons and opportunity costs in going into business, every participant was given the end goal of presenting a business idea or plan. While the endeavor was not imposed, it made the participants reflect if they were really up for it. It is easy to say that we dream of having this and that, but to actually do something about it takes a tremendous amount of courage and effort. One thing I learned from this seminar is that turning a dream into reality should be grounded on practicality – to see what you have right now, what measures you are willing to take, and what you can do to reach your goal.
Answering these questions may not come easy. It may require you days and days of brainstorming. I myself went through various thought processes to come up with my business plan. Honing my idea did not end there, though. After presenting, with the help of Mr. Tibig and my fellow participants, we realized how my idea could still be further expanded and improved.
Amidst the challenge, it was comforting to find a community that would guide me towards where I want to be. The small group somehow became my anchor. Although the process of having a sustainable business of my own is not easy, and the road may be long, I realized that it can be done and I am not alone.
At the end of the workshop, I saw something that I rarely see nowadays: a spark in each and every one of us. On Day 1, we entered the room simply because we wanted businesses of our own. Come Day 2, as the WINning in Entrepreurship seminar came to a close, we weren’t just people with certain needs and wants; we grew into full-pledged believers of our dreams. After exchanging numbers and wishing everyone all the best, we went on our separate ways, equipped with the right amount of knowledge and passion.
When In Manila, believe that you have the power to invest in your dreams. Take it from those who’ve made it to the top.
To learn more about Vertical Parallel and their roster of events, visit their Facebook page:
Get to know more about The Entrep Champ Paulo Tibig:
Photographs by Charlie Ledesma