Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Unemployed Entrepreneur

I am unemployed. My husband is unemployed.  And we enjoy the unemployed life.

We are NOT trying to look for a good paying job.  It was a decision we both made to stay unemployed, a couple of months before we tied the knot.  Ron has been grueling night hours at the BPO industry taking calls shift after shift.  After two visits to the hospital, I knew for a fact that life at the call center will take a toll on him. As for me, I came in terms with myself, accepting that I may be an Engineer, licensed at that, but I am not going to employ forever.  The corporate life offer fame, awards and opportunities in exchange for stress and poor health. So I finally took my retirement at age 29. I'd rather use my time and energy in more important things: my family and my future.

So how do we get by?

After I said goodbye to my career in Manila Water, I have built my first business venture.  This was not at all part of MY plan.  But it was God's way of laying his plans for me.  At the time when I was looking for work at my hometown, opportunity struck my family.  A big grocery is about to close and it was offered to my mother.  She is interested but she does not have the time.  I was the only bum kid at the household, so who else is given the responsibility but me.  Without any knowledge in business, I took the challenge. What I learned in my corporate life, I taught to my people.  We opened the grocery with it half full.  Money was scarce, as I was given a very limited budget.  But I told myself, one day, I will have my grocery full and I could leave it running with little supervision. Months later,  Raji Mart is one big key market player.

Stabilizing Raji Mart, I entered Coke.  Half a year later, I hang up the red shirt. Leaving Coke was a decision, so easy for me to make.  I think, the Lord allowed the opportunity for me to realize that being in the manufacturing setting, or being employed for that matter is not His plan.  I was always tired.  I haven't gone to vacations.  I work 6 days a week.  I spend less time with my family.  Life sucks then.

After I left, I was bumming again.  Raji Mart became a routine. Looking for another venture and joining the Japanese Cake craze was the answer.   It was intended to help with Raji Mart's rent but it became full blast as we took advantage of the public's positive reception and put them in key locations. I thought, why not give the sole Jap Cake distributor some competition.  We made a hit.  Now we operate in 8 locations in Bacolod and Talisay and 3 more locations in Iloilo.  And we are not stopping from expanding.

Opportunities are many.  It is up to us to put our fingers into them and get a hold of them.  Struggles will be everywhere and it will hit you anytime.  But it is up to us if we want to saddle up and hold them with a tight rope.  Fear of failure will never go away.  But with the Lord's grace, a little risk, a prayer and loads of perseverance, we will reach our gold mine.

Being an Entrepreneur is more than a plan, or a choice.  IT is about letting God be your employer, because only He can make you one.

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