3 Things I’ve Learned From Running a Small Business in the Last 4 Years

In college, I had this dream of putting up my own business. I didn’t have an idea of what kind of business I was going to start, but the image in my head involved corner offices on the top floor of a building. My business would give me flexibility, allowing me to set my own schedule and travel.

I only saw the glamour. Was I completely wrong.

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Musings of a (Former) Teacher

As a teacher, I am not paid to be your friend. I am paid to teach, to guide, to encourage. If we become  friends despite my methods, which you may, at times, find severe, then, well and good. I count that as a blessing and I consider that a compliment. If we don’t, then that’s OK, too. But I sincerely hope, for your sake, that you remember and imbibe what I taught you, because while I do not put all my effort into trying to be friends with you, I do give my best in teaching, guiding and encouraging you so that you may hopefully reach your full potential.

 
There is nothing for a teacher to gain in what you may think as making life difficult for you. Don’t get me wrong, we do take it personally. We make it our personal goal to help you be a better person. But we are not sadists; we find no joy in seeing you suffer. Sometimes, however, it brings far greater good to have you learn things the hard way than see you not learn anything at all.

Why isn’t common sense and common decency so common anymore?

Sometimes the terms “common sense” and “common decency” baffle me.

While I do understand why they exist and why they should exist, what is perplexing to me is that it isn’t as “common” as I thought they were. You’d think that something as simple as compassion or good sense or prudence or enterprise (the Filipino term diskarte comes to mind) should be so common place that you need not even explain why things should be or are the way they are.

It turns out that it isn’t; some things aren’t as “common” as we were taught they were.

Is it ignorance? Weren’t they taught properly? Didn’t their parents or mentors counsel them? Is it a matter of not being taught? Or is it a matter of not imbibing what they were taught?

Is it selfishness? Would they rather inconvenience other people than do the right thing so that they’d get what they want?

Is it laziness?

And as a teacher, I find this very depressing. You can mentor your wards to the best of your ability. You can lead by example, guide them, even cajole them until you’re blue. But nothing will matter until they accept what is true and good. I guess a mentor’s greatest tragedy is the realization that you cannot teach everyone. A friend once said, “You cannot save everyone.” You can only choose your battles, pick the ones worth saving and do the best that you can.

Of Complaints and Paninirang Puri

PR Failure

Is this how one should respond when somebody complains about your service, sue them for libel?

Perhaps there’s much to learn on how businesses, particularly those who have much to lose from negative press, respond to consumer complaints expressed through social media. Chicboy will do well in heeding Erik Qualman’s advice:

Don’t come across as defensive – In the event someone uses a social media venue to question your product and/or service, negatively comment, etc. don’t launch into attack mode. Try and get to the bottom of why the customer is upset, how you can resolve the problem, and how you can learn from and avoid such a situation in the future.

You can read the full article here.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

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Don’t you think that asking a question is the best way to begin a conversation?

If you’re out on a first date, don’t you engage him or her by asking a question? If you don’t know what to do or what to say, don’t you ask a question? If you’re lost in the street, don’t you ask for directions?

If you want to understand other people, don’t you ask them what they think or feel? If you want to satisfy your curiosity, don’t you ask a question? If you want to solve problems and get to the bottom of things, don’t you always ask questions first?

Don’t you think that people learn better by asking questions?

If you want people around you to shut up and listen and think, shouldn’t you ask them questions? If you want something done, don’t you ask and smile and say please?

If we ought to ask, why are we sometimes afraid to do so?

We cannot afford to get bored.

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The average Filipino life span is 65 years. We spend a third of that sleeping, and about another third doing our daily rituals (eating, grooming, etc.).

We are left with a third to do everything else–to spend time with family and friends, to try out new things, to party, to entertain ourselves, to make friends, to exercise, to read, to write, to plan out our lives, to love, to express our love, to start a family, to dance, to laugh. We only have a third of our lives–that’s 22 years, 264 months, 8,035 days, 192,840 hours–to spend pursuing our passion and making the most out of ourselves.

We only have a third of our lives to truly live. Dare we get bored even for just a minute?