October 11, 2018

Entrepreneurship is such an amazing achievement. When you're able to open up your own boutique and successfully grow the company for years, you've truly reached a goal that should be celebrated. If you're in the beginning phases of the company, you might be in a position where you're trying to figure out what to do and how to maintain the process. There are a few things you'll want to remember as you plan for future success. 

1. Prioritize. 

Understand that your to-do list as an entrepreneur will constantly grow. However, you must remain intentional about prioritizing all of your tasks. In fact, it's best to find people who can do some of the work you'd normally do so that you can focus on income-producing activities. This means that you should spend hours cleaning the boutique space. If it takes you five hours to clean the office, that's five hours you could use to produce income. Instead, hire a cleaning service bethesda to take care of it. 

2. Seek mentorship. 

If you don't have a mentor, this shouldn't stop you from doing the work. In fact, it's best to really work hard at achieving your goal and your mentor will find you, in some cases. At the same time, consider people who you look up. These people don't necessarily have to be in your field, but they should've accomplished some of the goals you're looking to achieve. Once you find mentors, be proactive about finding ways to serve them. They're already busy and have people pulling at them from all directions. Find ways to serve them first before asking for anything. 

3. Strategy is key. 

While hard work is its own reward, it's best to work smarter and not harder. If there are ways you can get your products or services in front of new people, explore them. However, see if you can strategically find opportunities that don't involve using more personal energy to make it happen. For example, if you can find someone who's a whiz with Facebook Ads and sales funnels, this will provide you with a new stream of customers that you didn't have to exert personal energy to produce. Remember that you're only one person. Your energy will run out so use it wisely and strategically. 

October 03, 2018

I was never conscious of how I look. I only exert an effort to at least look presentable. I don't have a beauty regimen or religiously take nutritional supplements. I thought I could manage to feel young forever.

They say age is just a number. But when I turned forty, I started noticing changes in my body. Although it's flattering when people tell me I look younger than my age, I wish I could say I also feel younger than my age.

Boracay, September 2008
An old photograph resurfaced on my facebook memories. This was a candid photo taken by my husband a decade ago on my 32nd birthday. I really thought I was fat back then. I guess I was not but I am now. My metabolism is slower. My skin is also showing signs of neglect. 

Is it too late for me to defy aging?

I've been reading about collagen and hyaluron as prime ingredients in beauty products. I am curious with creams and serums that promises a youthful glow. But I believe that in order to have a beautiful skin, you must start from the inside. 

It's my 4th day of taking Premium HyC150 every morning. This powder dietary supplement from Japan has Hyaluron and Collagen plus Ubiquinol. So, how will these key ingredients help me defy aging?

The amount of collagen in our body depletes as we age. At 42, my collagen level is now at 60%. Collagen is responsible for the skin's elasticity, protects our organs, and makes our bones, muscles, and joints healthy.

The most popular benefit of collagen is its ability to reverse skin aging. A study showed that women who take collagen in as short as four weeks will notice an improvement on their skin's elasticity and texture. Collagen can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Hyaluron helps the collagen in providing more moisture for the skin and aids in the lubrication of the bones and joints. 

Ubiquinol boosts energy, enhances immunity, and strengthens the heart.

Better late than never

A change in lifestyle is very important. I no longer stay awake beyond midnight. I try to consume less meat and processed food and include more fruits and vegetables in my diet. It's a struggle for me to give up carbonated drinks right away but I have limited my intake to one glass a day and drink more water. I have also skincare regimen. I am now acknowledging the importance of moisturizer and sunblock. Of course, HyC150 is already a part of my breakfast.

How to take HyC150

Suggested intake is one sachet diluted in 6 to 8 ounces of water. I prefer it mixed with my favorite chocolate drink in the morning. You can also add it to your yogurt or breakfast cereal. A friend of mine adds HyC150 in her black coffee.

For more information,

visit http://hyc150.com/ and follow their facebook account https://www.facebook.com/HyC150/

September 16, 2018

I'm turning 42 in two days. In the past years, I  splurged on my birthday. I usually book a 3-bedroom suite and spend time with the family. Last year, we went on a 5-day vacation in Singapore. I don't mind spending if it means creating memories with the ones I love.

You might be thinking where I am right now. I actually planned a beach getaway or a staycation at my favorite serviced residences in BGC. But today, I am in my home office writing this article. Tonight, we will have a simple family dinner at a nearby mall. 

Am I not excited to celebrate my 42nd birthday? 

I am. I can't wait to be with my family. But an incident a few months ago got me thinking. 

Last Mother's Day, my sister was admitted in the hospital. She had to undergo emergency CS because the doctors could no longer control her blood pressure. 220/180. Her life and the baby's were at risk. Sadly, we gained an angel. The hospital bill was P326,000. I really don't care about the bill. All I want was for my sister to live. Well, it was easy for me to say I don't care about the bill because our parents left us with more than enough for life's unexpected expenses. My dad has bought insurance plans. He prepared not just for his and my mom's retirement. He prepared for me and my siblings too. My mom battled cancer for 8 years and went through chemo twice. My dad got hospitalized twice and we spent P700,000. My parents never burdened us financially. Their insurance were more than enough to cover everything. More than enough that me and my sisters can still live comfortably after they were gone.

I don't believe in insurance. My first job was an investment assistant in a bank and somehow got comfortable in investing my money in time deposits and long-term fixed rate investments. The interest rates are low but I felt like it's fine. I am stubborn at times. I have experienced the convenience of having an insurance but still has not gotten one for myself.

I can say that I'm very conservative when it comes to taking risks to a point where I sometimes don't take any action at all. I came across this quote by John F Kennedy and it really got me thinking. 

What am I really afraid of? Is it the risk of investing in something I am not familiar with? Or the fear of admitting that I have been stubborn all these years?

Reasons Why I Want an Insurance for my Birthday

I must admit that losing my parents made me feel anxious about what will happen to me and my sisters should things go wrong. There are sleepless nights of thinking and worrying about my family's future. Then one day while stuck in traffic I decided, an insurance will give me peace of mind and getting an insurance is the right thing to do.  

I have been checking out the website of Sun Life Financial these past few months trying to learn about their different products. I'm the type who is not comfortable talking to a financial advisor yet until I am equipped with at least basic knowledge about a product, in this case insurance. I'm so glad Sun Life provides online tools that allows me to discover, explore and calculate.

I think I have also found a financial advisor who is a perfect match for me. I have gotten in touch with her and will start asking for advice and guidance in choosing the product that will best suit me.

This is the best birthday gift I could give not just myself but also my loved ones. Life is too fun to waste on worrying. 

August 16, 2018

I'm turning 42 next month and the realization made me feel old. I am not as energetic as I used to be. Also, I noticed that my skin looks dull and old. I am to be blamed for really not taking care of it. I don't have a skincare regimen and whenever I start one, it will only be good for a month before I get lazy.

Are you unconsciously abusing your skin? Here are some of the mistakes I am aware I'm committing and vow to do something about it before it's too late.

My skincare regimen is only washing with soap and water

The best that I could do for my skin is to wash with soap twice a day. I am sometimes so tired I skip washing my face before going to bed. I would wake up in the morning with a very oil face and a zit. A friend gave me a micellar water I find very convenient to use when I'm super lazy.

I don't use moisturizer

I have an oily skin and I always believe that applying moisturizer will make it oilier. I also hate the greasy feel of moisturizers which make me avoid using it. Lately, I noticed how dull and dry my skin looks like. I see fine lines and dry patches.

I don't wear sunscreen protection

Just like the moisturizer, I also don't like the feel of sunscreen on my skin. I also don't use sun protection for my arms and legs. I'm aware that the sun has contributed a lot to the damage of my skin. Sadly, sun damage on the skin cannot be reversed. I'm currently looking for beauty products with higher SPF to protect me from the harmful UV rays. Also, I should be using my umbrella more often.

I'm not living a healthy lifestyle

I'm guilty of sleeping very late at night and having a poor diet. I'm also been sedentary for a year now. While eating healthy is the easiest thing for me to do, going back to doing physical activities and sleeping early has been a struggle. 

Are you taking care of your skin religiously? I have made my first purchase at Althea Korea for some skin care products to give me a good start. I'll be working on the change of lifestyle too and share the progress I am making on the blog.

July 27, 2018

I quit my corporate work in 2008. When I graduated from college in 1997, I told myself that I will only work in an office setup for a decade. I saved all my 16th month bonus pay and was very diligent with my spending to achieve my goal: Quit 8-5 work in 10 years and pursue my passion.

The first few months of my freelance work was very challenging. There were times I almost applied for an office work. I was happy pursuing my passion in writing but my funds were almost depleted. There even came a time when I was financially dependent on my husband. He is generous but I was raised working hard for money. 

Most of my friends are envious of my freelance work. They see my social media posts and they feel like I'm just having fun and enjoying my life. Pursuing your passion doesn't mean you'll instantly get rich. Freelancing is never easy. It requires the same qualities an office worker should have: hardwork, discipline, and dedication.

If you are planning to pursue your passion and do freelance work, you cannot do it halfheartedly. Also, your financial habits can make or break you. Here are some financial habits you should develop.

Financial Habits Every Freelancer Should Have 

Avoid unnecessary spending

Keep in mind that you have limited resources and having a credit card doesn't entitle you to go on a shopping spree. Only spend for the things you will need for your freelance job. I was using my dependable 7-year old HP Pavilion laptop for my writing gig since I don't really need a high-end laptop. I only bought a new Dell laptop last year from the money I earned when the one I was using was beyond repair already.  I paid in cash because I don't want to be dependent on my credit card. I'm still saving up for a new mid-range smartphone. 

Remember: If you don't need it, don't buy it.

Know your worth and get paid for it

I was paid $2 for my first ghostwriting gig in 2008. I was required to submit 25 100-word articles weekly about boutique hotels and restaurants in South Korea. I felt that $50 weekly income was fair enough for a newbie like me. Fast forward to 2018, the highest pay I received for a 300-word article was $140. 

Filipino freelancers are a bit shy when discussing about money. I see freelance writers accepting $2 job for a 500-word article. That was my rate 10 years ago for 100 words. Never let anyone take advantage of you. If you know you are doing a good job, your rate should reflect the amount. You should know the going rate for the job in your niche. 

Save before you spend

Most of us are accustomed to the equation INCOME - EXPENSES = SAVINGS. For a change, try the INCOME - SAVINGS = EXPENSES and see the difference. Every month or every pay you receive for your freelance work, set an specific amount you wish to save. It could be a percentage of your earnings. Make sure that you set a realistic amount. It is okay to start small. 

"Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving." Warren Buffett

Have an emergency fund

Freelancers do not have the perks of those working in the corporate like health card, paid leaves, bonus and retirement plan. The ideal amount of emergency fund is equivalent to a three-month salary. Since freelancers are not paid with fixed amount, determine how much your monthly expenses and multiply it by three. Also, take into consideration the amount you might be needing in case you get sick or hospitalized.

Our family went through some financially challenging situations. My mom fought cancer twice, my dad got hospitalized twice in 2016 that has cost us roughly 500k. Recently my sister was unexpectedly confined for a week and the hospital bill was 320k. Tough! 

Truth: It is very expensive to get sick. Consider having a health protection insurance. I'm actually looking into Sunlife's Sun Maiden for my health protection needs. 

Tip: Be a voluntary PHILHEALTH member. You only need to pay P2,400 annually or P600 quarterly. If you can afford to buy a cellphone load, you definitely can afford to pay for your PHILHEALTH.   

Avoid having a fake blessed life

Are you familiar with the phrase "keeping up with the Jones"? It originated from the early 1900s comic strip where a social climbing family struggled to keep up with their neighbor, The Jones. The idiom became popular and means the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social class. 

People nowadays are so concerned with their facebook feeds and instagrammable life. Looking rich on social media is not the same as being rich. Live a lifestyle you can afford. Instead of focusing on what your  friends are buying and where they are travelling, focus on your goals. 

Aim for financial independence instead of social media likes. 

They say, "follow you passion and the money will come". Yes it will. Eventually. You must love what you do and never stop learning. There will always be someone better than you who will come along. Be financially savvy but maintain your integrity. Work hard to afford to live your life on your own terms.