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Work hard… but work smart – Antonio Aguirre Jr.

Antonio Aguirre Jr. – the CEO of Sole Slam Industries Inc. – started doing online one-on-one coaching earlier this year, around January. But he now makes a living from this, while affecting people’s lives.

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Antonio Aguirre Jr. – the CEO of Sole Slam Industries Inc. – started doing online one-on-one coaching earlier this year, around January. But then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and “it was difficult to do my… coaching in person,” he recalled.

This didn’t discourage him, though, since “I had to find a way to do it online, and this opened new doors for me.”

Coaching is a good biz move, he said.

“Since I only needed my laptop or my phone, and a stable internet connection, I didn’t really need to spend on anything at all to do it. I basically created my own curriculum/program that I teach all of my students, depending on their needs,” Antonio said.

“My father always told me, ‘Stop chasing money, let money chase you.’ You’d be surprised what that kind of mindset will bring to you.”

Looking back, “I never realized… that I could teach. I thought that I needed to have some sort of degree or educational attainment to teach something that I knew by heart that works, which I did.”

As a little backstory, Antonio created a brand called Sole Slam Industries Inc. in 2011, and with its success even sans spending a single peso for advertising, “many companies reached out to me for me to teach them how social media marketing and branding works. From there, my expertise just continued to grow as a consultant for major companies and also for other types of businesses.”

It must have been around 2015 when Antonio first did a public speaking gig for a prominent university. “It was at that moment that I knew that I could teach what I knew that actually works, and people started paying attention to what I did and how I did it. From public speaking events, keynote speeches, private engagements for companies and webinars, I continued to teach branding, social media and marketing.”

Antonio added: “I think being engaged in a lot of public speaking engagements and getting paid for it got my interest going. I figured that if I am not great at 98% of the things in the world, the 2% which I’m good at, is something that I can become great and become an expert, which I found out is a huge commodity for a certain niche that they would actually pay for, just to be able to pick your brain.”

Antonio said he never thought this would be a line of biz he’d be in. “I graduated from DLSU-College of Saint Benilde with a degree of BSBA-Computer Applications. It is completely not aligned to what I do now at all.”

“I think time management is really important here when you actually adhere to schedule, because I value the time I spend with my students as much as they value the time they spend with me every time we meet online.”

Also, “I’m a true example of an introvert. Growing up in school, facing a huge crowd or being on stage frightened me so much, I would freeze. But when I did my first public speaking engagement back in 2015, talking about Digital Marketing, I could talk and talk for over an hour without any fear or hesitation,” he said.

Now, apart from coaching/teaching, “I, together with my wife Kristina, run a few businesses together, mostly in retail fashion, essential supplies, F&B, online trade, to name a few. I also am a consultant for various companies now, but due to the pandemic, the opportunities to grow have been a lot harder like most people now.”

The change in the market is – obviously – a challenge.

“Honestly, just finding more time to coach more people one-on-one every day (is a challenge),” he said. “I teach about 12-15 people a week for about 30-45 minutes a day, and even if I wanted to take in more people a month, I value my personal time and time with my family more than ever, so I try to limit the time I spend online.”

For Antonio, “I think time management is really important here when you actually adhere to schedule, because I value the time I spend with my students as much as they value the time they spend with me every time we meet online.”

This is a profitable venture, Antonio said.

“As long as you have a certain knowledge in something that’s of value to anybody, you will find your target market guaranteed. This is part of the value that I teach my students who are enrolled in my classes,” he said.

“If making money primarily is your primary intent, you will not be happy doing it. But if you do something you’re passionate about, and you’re motivated and dedicated to it every single day consistently, the money will follow you.”

He admits that “this has been existing in other parts of the world, particularly in the US, but not really in our country yet, so I consider myself as a trailblazer in this type of service that I provide.” This is an edge for him. “The massive value I bring for the cost that they spend is well worth it. Most of my students have learned from my business strategies and have applied it to their own businesses to grow it way better and faster than they used to.

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Antonio give?

“I believe in working hard, but I also believe in working smart. I think what’s important is, whenever you’re trying to start a business, begin with the end in mind with what your intentions are really. If making money primarily is your primary intent, you will not be happy doing it. But if you do something you’re passionate about, and you’re motivated and dedicated to it every single day consistently, the money will follow you,” Antonio said. “My father always told me, ‘Stop chasing money, let money chase you.’ You’d be surprised what that kind of mindset will bring to you.”

Wanna get in touch with Antonio Aguirre Jr.? Head to antonioaguirrejr.com, email antonio@soleslam.com, send iMessage/text to +639989941104, DM Instagram account @AntonioAguirre.Jr or FB.

BizWiz

Make time and go for it – Rankin Cailles

Like many, Rankin Cailles’ work was affected by Covid-19. This led to him opening By Chef Kin, an online bakery. He now says: “I say go for it even if you have a hectic schedule. It’s a continuous learning process.”

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By Chef Kin – an online bakery – was opened in May 2020, with a startup capital of approximately P100,000.

“I am a chef at an airline catering company,” said Rankin Cailles, who was ” used to (being) in the kitchen most of the time.” But then the lockdowns came, and “I was not used to being idle.” Itching to do something, “that’s when I started to bake breads and pastries at home.”

Cailles said that his family inspires him; ditto great chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Dominique Ansel and Gordon Ramsey.

But looking back now, “honestly, I was focused on being an employee for quite sometime,” said Cailles, who graduated from Enderun Colleges with a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospital Management major in Culinary Arts. But then “I had the time to bake and create new products.”

Here’s the thing, though: work re-started already for Cailles.

And so, he said, “right now, my biggest challenge is time. Since work resumed, I usually bake when I get home.” His wife – who also looks after their kid – helps out, along with her brother who is also studying culinary.

Rankin Cailles with his wife
The sous chef of Rankin Cailles

Cailles said that “in our less than a year operation, I can say it’s a profitable venture.” In fact, “yes, we already reached ROI; but we’re planning to purchase new equipment for efficiency.”

This is why – he stressed – going into business should be considered by people.

“I say go for it even if you have a hectic schedule. Make time because I learned a lot from starting By Chef Kin,” Cailles said. “It’s a continuous learning process for me.”

Interested to try the offerings of By Chef Kin? Head to FB: https://www.facebook.com/bychefkin or IG: https://www.instagram.com/bychefkin/.

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Explore things aligned to your passion – Lloyd Jeremy Matias

“Find your passion. Try exploring things aligned to your passion. Seek for business opportunities that is linked to that passion because nothing beats the feeling of doing what you really love and gaining something from it than doing things just for the sake of money,” said Lloyd Jeremy Matias of Mad Pastry PH.

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Mad Pastry PH – a small and local food brand located at Santa Rosa City, Laguna – was started in the last quarter of 2020, with initial capital of around PhP70,000 to PhP100,000 to cover the equipment, baking tools, kitchen renovation and packaging materials.

It may just be new (since the business started selling on December 10), but Lloyd Jeremy Matias can say in hindsight that “during this time of pandemic, I discovered a lot of things about myself, and that includes the talent of baking. At first, it was just a hobby – baking cookies and brownies – and then sharing them only to my family and friends.” 

Lloyd is a graduate of Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering, which is really not aligned with baking; and “I came from a typical Filipino family, raised by parents who always inspires us to study, do well in school in order to find good paying jobs and the thought of business was really not taught,” he said. So “I was afraid to take risks.”

But then “there were a lot of positive feedbacks about my cookies.” It helped that his sister started giving out cookies – without Lloyd knowing of this – and these random people like what they got.

“I realized (that) maybe I should start trying online business, since it is trending nowadays. That is my trigger point on why I started this business,” Lloyd said.

Choosing this industry in particular, he added, was easy. “Food is essential and everyone loves food,” Lloyd said.

It’s only been weeks since the business started, so ROI has yet to be attained.

But “I am really hoping that this will be profitable. The reception of people is really overwhelming and I hope this continues since we will also continue improving our products and services,” Lloyd said.

So far, the only challenge for Lloyd is time. 

“I didn’t quite expect the number of orders coming our way on our first week of selling. We are overwhelmed by the acceptance of our customers and we do not have the right system and the right approach yet,” he said. “But of course, with extra brain and extra hands, nothing is impossible. I will commend my family for really helping me overcome… challenges.”

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Lloyd give?

“Find your passion. Try exploring things aligned to your passion. Seek for business opportunities that is linked to that passion because nothing beats the feeling of doing what you really love and gaining something from it than doing things just for the sake of money,” Lloyd said. “Do whatever makes you happy.”

For more information or to order from Mad Pastry PH, head to Facebook or Instagram @madpastryph; call/text 09338649797; or email madpastry.ph@gmail.com.

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Love and be confident about your products – Marianne Rose Valera

Marianne Rose Valera established Yuna’s in 2019; and the biz has been growing. “Focus on something that you are passionate about when starting a business,” she said. “You’ve got to love and be confident about your products.”

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Yuna’s was started around October 2019, with an initial capital of around PhP2,000, and only with baked mac and Korean chicken wings in the menu, recalled Marianne Rose Valera. 

But it was a field she was bound to enter. 

Marianne Rose noted that online businesses have been trending, and “I’ve been wanting to have a business but can’t think of a product to sell… until I got the idea of selling comfort foods.”

It helps, of course, that “aside from cooking, I love feeding people. I grew up cooking with my mom (who) taught me the basics of cooking. And I am a housewife with a two year old daughter. I am a nurse by profession but chose to be a hands-on mom, putting aside my career for a moment. I thought of using my extra time on this food business,” she said.

Now, her family inspires her to do good. “In this time of crisis, I thought I’m still lucky having this business. My husband works abroad but due to the pandemic, work has been temporarily halted leaving him with no salary for three months. This business helped us through financially.”

There remain challenges.

For instance, “I am running my business alone. Prep work and cooking are tiring especially if you work alone,” she said. 

Also, “I have a two-year-old daughter who’s being looked after by my older sister if I have to cook or go to the grocery store to get supplies.”

All the same, “it is just a matter of time management.”

But yes, Marianne Rose already reached ROI; and she said this is a “profitable venture.”

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Marianne Rose give?

“Focus on something that you are passionate about when starting a business,” she said. “You’ve got to love and be confident about your products.”

Wanna grab the offerings of Yuna’s? Head to Yuna’s Facebook page.

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