The Negosyante in Me (My Entrepreneurial Side)

I love being an entrepreneur. I have been selling products and services ever since I was a kid. In this post, I want to make a list of the products and services I have sold so far and the things I learned in my entrepreneurial journey.🙂

1. Service: Pulling uban (white hair) from my lola/lolo/papa – This wasn’t originally on my list but well, I earned money from it (even when I was just 5 years old) so I guess I can consider it as one of the earliest services I sold.😉 GAIN

2. Product: Ice candy – I loved ice candy so much when I was a kid and during the summer, when almost all kids in the neighborhood are looking for a yummy ice candy, I thought of making my own: kalamansi (or orange juice) and chocolate (milo) flavors. I sold it for 1 peso each. GAIN

3. Product: Nata de Coco – My family (aunt and uncle) ventured into this nata de coco juice when I was in high school. Every Sunday when I go back to the Pisay dormitory, I would bring packs of the Nata de Coco juice and put them in the dorm’s refrigerator. At first, I would “tambay” (hang out) beside the ref so I could monitor who gets the nata from the refrigerator but I soon got tired so I just left a note instructing my customers to be honest and put their payment on top of the refrigerator. I had 5 pesos for every pack (40 pieces) of nata juice that I am able to sell. GAIN

4. Product: Champorado – When I was in college at MSU-IIT, my lola used to give me tabliya (chocolate made from cacao). During the rainy days, I thought of making champorado. Since the landlady was charging me a high price for using my rice cooker to cook the champorado – according to her, it takes a long time to cook – I asked my dorm mates if they want to buy champorado from me. I was surprised to know that they were more than willing to buy the champorado from me for 5 pesos per cup! I made a lot of money from that because they loved my champorado since it was made from delicious tabliya made by my lola.🙂 GAIN

5. Product: Cellphone casing – Do you remember the 5110 and 3210 models from Nokia? When I was in college, they were the most common cellphone models and people kept on changing the casing and keypad of their units. When I went home in Davao, I found beautiful designs at Lots for Less so I bought around 10 or more designs. Unfortunately, I really wasn’t able to sell them because most of them didn’t fit the cellphones. This was the first time that I realized how difficult it is to sell products like these. LOSS

6. Product: Mary Kay – When I was already working at MSU-GSC and had extra allowance from my CHED scholarship, I ventured into direct selling/networking. My good friend and successful entrepreneur, Ate Leny, showed me the products and I was really interested in the products. I wasn’t very excited to sell them because they were very expensive and I had doubts if the people I know would be willing to buy a lip gloss that costs 550. It was my first time to sell and network aggresively, going out of my way to ask for referrals, really visit and give demos on how to use the product, and join business seminars/trainings. I had a hard time with this venture because I had to allow my customers to pay me in installment and sometimes it’s hard for me to follow up and ask them to pay. However, I learned so much from this and I also met a lot of people. GAIN

7. Service: Encoding/Printing – My ex-boardmates and their friends were looking for cheap encoding and printing services so I thought of offering this to them. The cheap ink refill for printers allowed me to make a lot of profit from this venture. GAIN

8. Product: Sari-sari store and Carinderia – When my cousin Gerly, went to GenSan to look for work, she lost all her work documents so I agreed to open a mini sari-sari store and carinderia for her. It was really hard work and I learned how to haggle for prices from her. We were doing well in the business but had to stop because she finally landed a job in a tuna company. GAIN

9. Service: Part-time instructor – When I had a hard time paying for my brother’s tuition (nursing), I had to look for extra income. I worked as a part-time instructor at ACLC-Gensan for 10 straight hours during Saturdays. It paid well but I felt that I was pushing myself too far (working for 10 straight hours on Saturdays is not easy) and I felt I no longer had a life so I quit. Eventually, after a year of resting from doing part-time work outside of MSU, I got an offer from Stratford College and since I needed the extra income, I sold my services again. GAIN

10. Service: ODesk (Virtual Assistant) – When I moved to BQ(Bachelor’s Quarter), I had a neighbor who allowed me to use their WiFi connection for only 200 pesos per month. Also, I had so much extra time so I looked for an online job at ODesk. I learned so many things from this: software/tools for online collaboration and speaking to and working with a non-Filipino (British & American) employer whom I’ve never met in person.

All in all, I can say that I sell IT-related services best. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of hard work and determination. I made this list because I am currently looking for ways to earn more income because of the needs of my family and because I want to create jobs for those who are in need. According to Brian Tracy, “The most important factor in achieving great financial success is not the money. It is the kind of person you have to become to earn that money and then hold on to it.”

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