It was quite late in my life when I realized that succeeding in business involves actually learning about how successful people actually did it. Yes, we may already know everything we need to know about what product or service we’d like to offer to the world but without a similar grasp on how to get started on business, how to fund it, how to structure it or how to make it grow, we are essentially trying to reinvent the wheel – aimlessly trying to rediscover something that are already being taught by business mentors all over the world. Come to think of it, I can’t even begin to compute the amount of money I’ve lost or the opportunity cost I’ve incurred all because I have forgotten to apply a completely basic business principle like how to find funding for my business idea, how to structure an investment agreement, how to create a doable profit forecast, etc.
To put it simply – When we take math classes, we become good at math. When we take science courses, we learn how the world actually works. When we learn a foreign language, we become good at conversing with people from other parts of the world. Which brings me to a very obvious question: Why then, do we expect to succeed in business without actually taking the time to learn how other successful business owners did it? We always assume that all it takes to grow a business from the ground up is common sense and hard work. Nothing could be further from the truth. We could spend a whole lifetime walking without getting anywhere if we don’t have a map.
19 Touchstones Seminar: Last year, I attended the 19 Touchstones Seminar of Coach Ed with a friend who was planning to open a series of carenderias here in Naga City. One of the “Touchstones” discussed there was the need for focus when doing business and this triggered an idea in my friend’s mind that maybe he can focus on Kinalas as his main dish; he later on opened Kitchen Everywhere – which was instantly a hit with locals. He is now looking to expand his business by several more branches.
In my case, the idea that impacted me the most at the seminar was the one about hesitation being a dangerous thing in business. I was essentially living a hermit’s life working online as a consultant before I embarked on building our Naga City Guide fanpage and I had a lot of second thoughts regarding my business plan, how I would actually get to meeting business owners in the city, how I would actually get clients, etc. If I had listened to the voices in my head saying that the project was much too big and ambitious for a 2 year time period I would still be on the planning stage at this point.
Practical MBA: from the 19 Touchstones Seminar, I moved on to attend the monthly Practical MBA sessions conducted by Coach Ed at The Avenue Plaza Hotel. Now this series of seminars has a lot of practical tips for business owners regarding how to shape company culture, how to manage people, etc.
The great thing about these monthly PMBA seminars is the realization that to bring a business to the next level involves setting a direction to the things business owners almost always take for granted. Like having a system for customer feedback and how to respond to it, directing change in company culture, etc.
Open Secrets: The Open Secrets seminar will be my 3rd Seminar under Coach Ed and I’m very much looking forward to it since I have read the book and know that this particular seminar hits home when it comes to what entrepreneurs and business owners are going or have gone through. You’ll learn a lot if you’re a newbie in business and if you have already succeeded, you’ll learn the format on mentoring other young entrepreneurs that will come under your tutelage.
I think it’s called Open Secrets because of the fact that these things are the things we already know at some level and yet for some reason, we haven’t quite connected the dots yet. These are “Secrets” that lay out in the open and yet requires a shift in mindset in order to be seen – much like the Dragon Scroll in Kung Fu Panda. Based on what I’ve read, I promise you this seminar will be jam-packed with useful information and insights about how to start and grow a business. 😀
The Open Secrets seminar will be on June 29, 2012, 6pm at the Avenue Plaza Hotel. You can find more details here: http://www.nagacityguide.com/naga-city-events/open-secrets-seminar/
It is a great time to be a Nagueno entrepreneur, student or professional! I hope to see you at the event! ^_^