Y2K or the Millenium year: 2000. It was the year of the Lovebug virus that started in the Philippines and spread throughout the whole world. Also the year of the world’s toughest cellphone: The Nokia 3310. Music was ruled by Eminem, Britney Spears and N’Sync – Discmans were the ‘in’ thing to use to listen to these ‘jams.’ CD’s were the main thing. CD’s were expensive that time, I think it was around P250-P300, and that time, a Kid my age would get P50/day allowance.
I was a Grade 6 student in Lourdes School of Quezon City that time. As a young 12 year old boy, I was a self-declared cool kid because I had a discman. In school, I would “burn” CDs for classmates. I can recall how I would print an “order form” with 11 slots where my customer will write his (exclusive for boys school) list of songs, I would photocopy it and always bring a couple of copies with me in school. So there it was, my very first business – Burning illegally downloaded music into Audio CDs.
I remember going to this store where I would buy blank CD-R’s for P8.00 each and a paper sleeve for P1.00 each. The internet connection (to illegally download songs) and the CD burner came in free, thanks to my parents.
So my cost was P9, and I was selling it for P50. That’s around 550% mark-up!
Business was really good… Until most of my schoolmates had their own CD burners at home. 😦
Despite that sad phase, I knew that I could make money on my own at that age, and that felt good. I was on to my next business.
A year after my the CD Burning business, our village bazaar was operate since it was nearing the Christmas season. That time, the “rice-in-a-box” business was starting to bloom. I wanted to be part of the village bazaar, and so I started doing my homework.
So I asked my (6th grade then) cousin Vincent Pajarillaga to be my business partner. I knew he was a better cook because when we were much younger kids, he would cook our Grandmother’s gold fish in a tansan (soft drink bottle’s cover.) He later on graduated with honors – as a chef. 😉
So we both went to SM North Edsa to “observe” and “study” how the Rice-in-a-box business works. I remember how I would write down in my school notebook the things they were using. Kitchen utensils, the black flat thingy fryer, rice, their menu – we copied everything.
After sourcing everything we need from our Grandmother’s kitchen and fridge, we were off to open our Rice-in-a-box business.
Our parents of course were very supportive with our new business, Angel’s Rice-in-a-box
Why name it Angel’s Rice-in-a-box?
Because that time, both of us were in love with Angel.
2 different people, both named Angel, that is.
(we are both hoping that they are not reading this. awkwaaaard)
I can’t remember how much our costs were because most of them were free
(Thanks to our Grandmother.)
I also can’t remember how much did we sell our Rice-in-a-box. I remember our menu though.
Choices were HAM / BACON / HOTDOG and our bestseller: HAMBADOG.
(HAMBADOG: ham-bacon-hotdog combined – just in case you didn’t get it. Teehee.)
Business was really good. We sold a lot of these rice-in-a-boxes.
Family, friends, neighbours and random people bought from us.
I remember one discussion I had with my cousin, we were planning to put the same business in other village bazaars like Corinthian Gardens and the Cuenca Bazaar in Ayala, Alabang. Of course it never materialized.
We both grew up in a family business that our Grandfather started – A Medical Supplies store in Avenida, Manila.
Business is in my veins that’s why I was inclined to do business in my younger years.
I believe that the way my parents raised me was to become and Entrepreneur.
Aware of it or not, they definitely did a good job. I am very thankful to them for that.
I have a cousin who started his first business at age 5. He sold Bangus.
At 5 years old, He would hand out flyers to their visitors at home. He went around in his three-wheel bicycle and delivered them to his grandmother’s house. He would save enough money to buy his own toys!
Do you have a son/daughter? Here are some stuff that can help your kid become a kidpreneur!
1. Don’t pay them a fixed amount to do household chores.
– If you do this, you hardwire you son/daughter’s brain to be an employee.
– I suggest that you allow them to create a product, or encourage them to sell. Business is always about selling.
During summer, my parents would pay me P200 to wash all our clothes (Including my sister’s!) – it happened only a couple of times though, Things were better when my dad started giving me commissions whenever I sold an item in our Medical Supplies store.
2. Help them learn from failures
-Influence your kid’s heart to try, fail, learn and try again.This is an important and essential skill for entrepreneurs.
-Support their success, but help them REDIRECT their failures into seeing new opportunities .
I was a bad student in grade school and high school. I failed a lot of times. There was a time when I got 68 in Filipino, I needed 75 to pass. Awful, right? But my parents never gave up on me. They never stopped believing in me. They pushed me to study and pass high school. I graduated Top4 of my section. 🙂
3. Allow them to make decisions
– Another skill an Entrepreneur needs to possess is good decision making, especially under pressure. Allow your kid to decide on small matters. This will reflect on the kid when he grows up.
When I was a kid, I remember my parents would allow me to choose my medicine: SYRUP or CAPSULE? Even my clothes, my shoes, if I wanted to go with them to different places, etc. I remember feeling good everytime my parents would give me the power to decide.
4. Teach them to challenge the Status Quo
– Kids are often taught to follow rules, without question. Parents would say, “because I said so!” I really believe that ‘blind obedience’ is a tradition that hinders entrepreneurship.
– I’d suggest teaching your children to challenge the status quo in a positive way. Teach them to be rationale. Ask questions like, “What do you think?” or “If you have the power to change anything, what are you going to change about this and that” also the most important question: WHY?
-Teach them to save money.
-Don’t give them all the toys/gadgets they want. Make them work and earn for it.
-Help them sell their old toys/clothes in a garage sale or online. Show them the money made and spend it on something for them. (Make them set the price!)
– Never force them to be top A students. Appreciate them. Believe in them.
-Ask them to walk around your house/grand parents house and find anything that needs to be fixed. Pay them for every time they find something. Pay extra if they think of a solution on how to fix it the problem.
For Comments/Questions/Tips & Advice/Mentoring – Anything about business, marketing, sales or kahit pa love life. Harhar.
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