(Business Mentor Notes: Caren Kate Cu is a licensed engineer turned entrepreneur. She is currently the owner of The Purple Maiden, a weight management and spa center; Purchase Manager or NMCCC, their family business and a Speaker and Trainer for iLearn Philippines.
She founded The Happyness Project, a Non-government Volunteer organization focusing on feeding malnourished children in the country. She is also a Board of Director of JCI International - Perlas Pasay, a community service and leadership organization and Toastmasters International - El Presidente, a public speaking and leadership organization.
Aside from doing business, Kate is into reading as many books as she can, writing on her blog or online magazines, cooking a new recipe, doing photography and travelling.)
It’s nearing the first quarter of the year, how are you doing with your 2016 goals so far? For those of you who have already started, congratulations! Just keep going. For those who are quite delayed, the best time to start is now. I am excited for you. For some of you who are not yet sure if you want to start, what’s stopping you?
The world is full for artists, geniuses and gifted people whom the world never get to meet because these people never really fulfil their own potential. We are all born capable of doing something amazing. We are meant to be extraordinary. You are designed to be great. So, why aren’t you being one yet?
Fear is tricky you know? It makes you imagine 95% of the things that will never happen. It is our mind’s way of keeping us safe. I mean, it is understandable to be afraid on top of a 40-storey building so that you will not think about jumping. It is also needed to be afraid of fire so that you’ll never get burned. The thing is most of us get scared of the things that are unlikely to happen. For instance, how would you know if the customer you’re about to call will say no? What if he said yes? But then, you decided not to call him because it’s scary. What if the girl of your dreams like you back and you ever get to ask her? Nobody likes to be rejected, but what if you won’t be? What if a raise can actually be given to you if you only have the courage to ask your boss? What if being an entrepreneur is something you’ll be very good at?
My dear millenials, this is an amazing time when youthfulness is an advantage and risk-taking and creativity sets the pace for entrepreneurship and the arts. We are in the verge of something that can actually change how we view the world, if we have not yet changed it. For the not-so millenials, this is an amazing time when experience is a gift and the willingness to unlearn, learn and relearn is the new weapon. This is the time for all of us to finally roll up our sleeves and start working towards our life-long dreams.
It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be worth it. I had a lot of failures and mistakes along the way. I got so many bruises, lost a lot of money and cried a river of tears. Met a lot of people, failed in some businesses and fell hard with my face on the floor but these helped me grew stronger and wiser along the years. Picked up lessons along the way and here, allow me to share the five of the best advice I have ever received:
Make as many mistakes a possible. Celebrate if you have problems because it means that you are still alive. Take risks. The most beautiful diamonds underwent the toughest pressure. Be grateful for breakdowns because it means you are taking on something big and you are just waiting for your expansion and growth to accommodate that big dream. Successful people make mistakes because they try to do more. Unsuccessful people never try anything so they never make mistakes. Worse, they only try the things that they know they can handle. If you keep doing that, how will you grow? Mistakes make life an adventure, no mistakes make it boring and predictable.
Never ever quit. Most people don’t even start because of fear of failure. There’s something worse, people start and they never finish. One failure and they are out of the door. Michael Jordan didn’t pass the audition for his high school basketball team. Now, he is known to be one of the greatest basketball player of all time. Walt Disney was fired because they said he lacked creativity and imagination. He created the most creative company we know now. Albert Einstein was a slow learner and never spoke until he was four. He changed the world with is theory of relativity. Oprah Winfrey was fired and told that she is not fit for television. Now she is worth billions of dollars. Don’t quit.
Be open-minded. Focus on the goal but be open to new how’s. Life is not meant to be lived the same way as our parents have lived it. Explore other possibilities. Focus on the goal, not the process. Not everything you now is the only answer. Be open to other ways. Old-age thinking is, as you know, already old. Never be limited with your field of study or background. I am a licensed engineer but I never allowed it to stop me from exploring other possibilities. Read. Listen to audios. Attend seminars. Say yes to opportunities. You never know what you’ll discover.
Delay your gratification. Let me make this clear, delayed gratification does not mean that you are not allowed to have some fun, it just means that you learn to prioritize. Everyone is busy anyway. It is not true that we don’t have time, it is just not a priority. Make your dreams a priority and delay all others so that when you finally succeed, you have all the time in the world to do the things that you love to do. And through it all, have fun and enjoy the journey.
Have a heart for contribution. Success without heart is never going to last. Success grows the more we help people and the more we do things that can touch, move and inspire other people. Join causes. Volunteer. Better yet, choose to do something that can push you to be a force for good. You can help change the world in your own simple way. Find your voice and speak up. There is no lack of good people in the world, but we do not have enough people willing to speak and stand for something. Success is empty if we are not contributing. Choose your contribution. Help feed malnourished children. Join in saving the planet. Fight for better education. It’s all up to you.
Life is an amazing adventure. It is fulfilling and it is gratifying but don’t take my word for it. Stop watching from the stands and run to the court with me. Let’s play this game of life. We may not always win, but the losses will help us grow and learn. Game on, have fun and I’ll see you in all the beaches of the world.