Wednesday, February 7, 2007

On Being an Entrepreneur

I grew up learning how to be an entrepreneur. When I was a kid my Mom and I started out the first ukay-ukay in our Parish. We'd sell old clothes once a year during our Parish Fiesta. We'd wake up really early in the morning and set-up in the park. By mid-morning we'd be sitting under one of the big acacia trees in the park eating some yummy brownies Tita Cuc baked and sipping Hi-C. No need to pack up coz all the clothes would've been sold.

During that time there were lots of weddings in my family and we'd be busy doing giveaways on weekends. Weddings were a family thing. Everybody helped out. I most certainly enjoyed tying up ribbons and wrapping gifts and listening to the elders plan the wedding. My mom, my Ate and I planned on establishing a wedding coordination business, but they wanted to wait for me to grow up a bit (I was only about 8 years old then). The plan didn't flourish coz my Ate moved to the US, but I eventually got to experience being a wedding coordinator. I've done weddings worth 70K to 1.5M. Will I do it again? Naaah, not for the meantime (but I'm doing one for May!). (That's me in pink playing a J.Lo as wedding coordinator).

Crafting was a big part of my life. My summers were spent learning how to sew, crochet, paint boxes, put things together and eventually I learned how to bead on my own coz the bracelets I'd buy would always fall off. A few years back me and my best friend got into manufacturing and selling bead stuff. Our best seller was our "beaded bra straps". (And the story about the bra straps? I thought clear plastic straps were boring.) Anyway, we had so much fun manufacturing and making new designs, but hated doing the books. As MBA graduates, we knew we had to track our expenses. Accounting stuff was what made us cry in the evenings. Haha.

It was also one problem I had when my Mom and I tried our hand at exporting. The admin side, accounting, staffing, paying off salaries was what bogged us down. Instead of marketing and selling our products, I'd end up spending a lot of time in the bank, checking up on attendance, doing bookkeeping. It was really so not exciting (now you know why I'm in marketing and business development).

Looking back, I guess we could've just assigned these stuff to a Business Process Outsourcing Service provider. I guess I got too busy with the day-to-day. Oh well, at least now I know better.