I was in Manila from April 30- May 8 to:
1. Have a meeting with Ms. Ginger Arboleda, CEO of Manila Workshops, to discuss a venture that’s brewing (she’s freakin’ awesome, by the way! Yes, I’m fan-girling. Hihi!);
2. Have some sort of a vacation…? Haha! And it was superb! Business mixed with pleasure, oh yeah!
Then, May 8 came and there was that feeling that I despise— I was torn between wanting to go back to Iloilo and staying in Manila. The reason? My little one, Saehee, is going to spend more time in the capital city upon my parents’ request. I had to go back to Iloilo because my shop’s waiting for me.
I’m both a hands-on mom and a hands-on entrepreneur.
And the thing is, I want to succeed in both areas.
I was one of those little girls who would say, “When I grow up, I want to be like my mommy”; yes, also, literally being a mom. And I wanted it while I’m still young. I fancied ‘growing up’ with my kids. Haha! True enough, God graciously granted my heart’s desire for I brought Saehee into this world when I was 24 years old. Though it wasn’t in a favorable circumstance ’cause I was unmarried and financially not prepared for her arrival. However, having her is still one of the greatest blessings that happened in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Seeing your heart beat outside of your body is just priceless!
In between those moments, I also envisioned myself as a successful business woman (I wasn’t acquainted to the term ‘entrepreneur’ back then). I remember being asked in a beauty pageant that I joined years ago the classic “how do you see yourself 10 years from now?” ; and I clearly remember my answer, “I see myself as a business tycoon and providing jobs to people”. So far, I still have a few years remaining when I started to provide jobs to people. Not yet a tycoon, though, but getting there. Haha!
My goal is to be triumphant in both careers and I know that IT IS POSSIBLE.
Juggling through being a career mom entails good time management, sacrifices and [trying] to focus. A few weeks upon opening the shop, I had very little time spent with Saehee— I am at the shop from 11 AM to 8 PM or 9 PM tops and when I come home I would usually cut short our bonding time because I felt really exhausted and it’s her bed time. It’s a good thing that I managed to make Saehee stay with me at the shop now (since it’s summer vacation) and it’s wonderful that she gets to see (i also explain to her) how we earn the money; she likewise helps out with light work loads and if she gets bored or antsy, we have her books/coloring books/tab to shift her focus. I had to make changes with our arrangement so that there’s going to be a win-win [situation]. If you find yourself in a similar situation that I was, putting a few tweaks on your footing will yield you a favorable result.
Sacrifices. Hmmmmm.. where do I begin? Haha! Anyway, I was talking to my boyfriend before I proceeded writing this blog post and he was telling me that he will go to the cinema after we talk to watch Captain America: Civil War (he’s in Poland); I told him, “Lucky you! There were a few movies passed that I wanted to watch in the cinema but I haven’t seen any of them until now”. Also, I own a thrift shop that sells second-hand clothes from abroad but my closet is in its “loose” stage as of the moment. Haha! I give away unused/unwanted clothing every Christmas to some family members or charity but for this time frame, I wasn’t able to refill because my priority is to make the business work. I have to be extra mindful of my spending since I’m still on the process of figuring out things in this business. And, sleep? What is that?? Haha! Seriously, I’m a self-confessed sleep deprived woman. I resume all my unfinished business after I put Saehee to sleep and that means less [sleep] for this momma.
If I’m in the shop or planning on how to make it forward, I try to be present in the moment. That means, I block myself from worrying about other things not related to the business. If I’m with Saehee, I try to give her as much of my undivided time and attention. I have to be honest that this is still the area that I need huge improvement on. Nevertheless, I do the best that I can to serve its purpose.
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
This is the time that I’m mostly exhausted but I feel happy. I know that I’m finally accomplishing something not just for my family but for my goals, as well. I mingle with people from different walks in life, I (finally!) am learning and imposing how to be smart with money (yey Geline! Haha!), I get to be more creative, I pursue my passion and most importantly, little by little, help people by providing them jobs.
Being a mompreneur (mom + entrepreneur) is challenging, I’ll give you that. But if deep in your being you know that it’s what you’re set to do, give it a shot! Age doesn’t matter. Ray Kroc founded McDonalds when he was 52; Mary Kay Ash started Mary Kay at age 45. Even your status in the society won’t matter— Henry Sy, from a sari-sari store vendor to the “shopping mall king” of Asia; Lucio Tan who owns Philippine Airlines, Fortune 300 Tobacco (among 300 other businesses) are some of my favorites who have rags-to-riches stories.
It all boils down to YOU— what is it that you want? What are your goals? Start from there (we all need to start somewhere, don’t we?) and work your way up.
Tara! Let’s go for our dreams!