2 Unexpectedly negative things people say about entrepreneurship

In the past, we’ve discussed inner soundtracks, and how the negative dialog we repeat to ourselves can be destructive. Throughout the course of reading and responding to your emails over the years, I find that many of you have entrepreneurial attempts or aspirations that are silenced by your own negative inner soundtrack.

I love the spirit of entrepreneurship. I especially love it when I see fellow Filipinos driven to build SOMETHING in the world – whether it’s a large corporation or a small corner carinderia (may paborito ako na malapit sa amin – they have great customer service, and even if they have a cheaper competitor less than 3 meters away, people still flock to them).

Anyway, got distracted. Sorry.

The point is that entrepreneurship – being innovative and building something for yourself and others - can accomplish great things if done right. And I’m not even talking about the money. I’m talking about using entrepreneurship as a way of solving other people’s problems, making their lives better, and transforming yourself in the process. My approach to business is all about legacy – not for the sake of one’s own vanity – but to create lasting change in anything, be it myself, my readers, and maybe even the world. Something passed on. Something that lasts.

So imagine how much it ANNOYS me when people tell themselves (and others) destructive, irrational, and morale-lowering “soundtracks” about business. Here are my top 2 annoyances:

1) “Follow your passion.”

Otherwise known as “Do what you love and the money will follow.” This is meant to be a positive statement, but when taken out of context it can be negative. I’m going to start out by saying there is nothing wrong with doing what you truly enjoy – but to expect this:

What You Love/Enjoy = What You Do For a Living

Well, it’s an equation that leads to dissatisfaction and cynicism.

Continue reading “2 Unexpectedly negative things people say about entrepreneurship”

The Final Call (An Update on Our Online Freelancing Training Program)

Hello again Frugal Pinoy readers! I hope you’re all having a great weekend.

Personally, I “work” during the weekend. That’s the time I spend making stuff for FrugalPinoy and my other projects that have nothing to do with my regular client work.

Anyway…

Last week I sent out an email asking if there were any aspiring online freelancers out there who would be interested in a complimentary “Pinoy’s Guide to Online Freelancing” (codenamed “Pinoy 500″) that I’m thinking about making.

I didn’t want to make this thing if none of you (or if way too few of you) were interested , so I made an interest list to see how many of you would want this. (If it would be worth the 10+ hours of work, as well as the few thousand pesos I’m going to spend on making this free thing.)

Well… enough people joined.

So I’m going to start making this free kit. If you joined the list, you’ll get it on March 5, which is 3 weeks from now. (In fact, I’ve already started shooting the first lesson on video.)

The Final Call

Starting tomorrow, only people in the the “Pinoy500″ interest list will receive insider information about the program. Plus, only the people in the list will receive the FREE training program.

(Some people who come to FrugalPinoy and who subscribe to the FrugalPinoy mailing list are only here for personal finance advice – so I want to be considerate of them and make sure they don’t get bombarded with information they don’t want or need.)

So if you want to get the free training program coming out on March 5, and all the good stuff I’ve got coming your way, I highly suggest you join the “Pinoy500 Online Freelancing List by clicking here.

That’s it for now.

I’m off to get back to work.

But be assured that if you sign up for the interest list above, I’ll be hooking you up with lots of great information…

…and if you’re NOT potentially interested in being an online freelancer, (and aren’t on the list), then starting next week you’ll be receiving the usual personal finance tips. And the emails about the training program will die down.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

At your service,

Celine Roque of FrugalPinoy.com

HOW TO: Build savings easily with an Automatic Savings Plan

[Note: This article is called "How to Build Savings Easily With an Automatic Savings Plan", but it could just as well be called "The First Thing You Should Do if You Want to Bulk Up Your Savings". I know that I have a lot of saving and frugality tips here, but if you are to try just one, I suggest you start with this, as it will have the greatest impact.]

When we first tell ourselves that we should start saving more money, what’s our initial strategy?

“I’ll try harder.”

Some variations:

  • “Basta kailangan ko na magtipid/mag-sacrifice.”
  • “Konting disiplina lang yan.”
  • “Kailangan ko lang ng willpower, dude/pare/bro/mommy.”

These intentions are noble, certainly, but self-discipline and willpower alone cannot help you reach your savings goals. As we’ve discussed before, willpower is limited and exhaustible.

First of all, willpower fatigues us. It takes a lot of physical energy to maintain full willpower all the time.

Also, while it seems easy to do something like “try harder” or “magbabaon na lang ako ng pagkain araw-araw” or “magje-jeep na lang ako instead of taxi”, remember that changes like these, no matter how small, are things you have to do every. Single. Day. For the rest of your life! True, these small changes seem easy now, as you’re reading this. but what about when you’re stressed? Tired? Depressed? Hungry? What if the weather is bad? What if after seeing some photos of Batanes online, you were so moved that you had the impulse to buy a plane ticket headed there?

Willpower works on a good, rational day – but it’s not enough when it comes to the daily changes and the inherent instability in our lives.

Finally, you have other things in your life to focus on – it’s not all about money. There’s your family, friends, and your own personal goals. With all these things fighting for your time and attention, you don’t need the extra stress of manually managing your savings and expenses every day.

The Stormtrooper watches passively as Pacman executes his plans for him

Yes, I finally said it. Managing your money can be really, really stressful. Do I record my daily expenses in a spreadsheet? Yes. Do I have a crazy customized planner I designed in Adobe Illustrator just so I can mark my financial progress? Yes. But this is because I AM A CRAZY PERSON. Not everyone is as OC about managing their finances. Just because it comes natural for me doesn’t mean that it’s equally easy and exciting for everyone else.

This is why, instead of changing your personality and habits as a savings strategy, you should create a reliable system that works regardless of your situation and the possible changes that occur in your life.

Create a System NOW, Form Habits LATER

We all think we’re so smart.

Sure, when we’re at our most rational, we can be very very smart.

But, unless you’re a Vulcan, you are not 100% rational all the time.

For example: I follow a very strict diet with minimal grains and no artificial sugar. But a personal tragedy occurred, which stressed me out beyond belief.

I did not follow that diet for 3 weeks.

Did I want to get back to it? Yes. But it’s been hard because I’ve now formed the habit of not following it. Sure, I could try harder every single day – but that’s daily effort. Given my stress levels I would probably be weak during the afternoons and tell myself that I “absolutely need that chocolate bar”.

It became clear that this was something I could not do on my own. I had far too important things in my mind to worry about something like my diet – even if, over the long term, I know in my rational mind that my previously healthy diet would give me more energy and make me feel healthier overall (also, every day I’m off it I get a little “rounder”). But, over the course of the day, I give in to several unhealthy cravings. “Just this one time”, I told myself. “I’ll be back on that healthier diet any day now.”

The day only came when I threw away my illusions of a strong willpower and decided to use a system instead.

My diet worked so well in the past because I spent Sundays preparing my healthy sugar-free desserts for the rest of the week (“cakes” made out of coconut milk, dessicated coconut, eggs, and bananas, and “ice cream” made out of no-sugar gelatin flavored with tea and a layer of sliced fruit). I also made it a point that we never ran out of leafy greens like pechay, repolyo, kangkong, and talbos.

So, all I had to do was revert back to that system. Getting back to my diet was much easier after that.

The same could be said for finances. Let’s say that you hope to save Php 5,000 per month. But, even if you know you can afford it with little sacrifice, you never have enough money left to set aside that Php 5,000. “Di bale, I’ll pay myself first,” you say to yourself.

Three months later, wala pa ring nangyayari sa “I’ll pay myself first”.

Don’t worry – no one’s blaming you. You don’t have to be a gastador or gastadora to not have enough money for savings. Maybe you’re earning just enough for your needs and have little room for “luho”. Maybe you had to give your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/roommate that expensive gift to show your appreciation. Maybe you were too stressed at work and felt like a trip to the beach could really help recharge you. While you could have afforded these things, it’s possible that you felt guilty afterwards because you know that you really, really want to save more money.

This is where automated savings comes in. Fortunately, many local banks now offer this. The idea is simple:

So here’s how to set it up:

  1. Check if the bank that hosts your payroll account has an automatic scheduled deposit/transfer program.
  2. Note the days that your salary/paycheck automatically debits into your payroll account. (Usually on the 15th and/or the 30th.)
  3. Open a savings account in that bank and enroll it into the automatic schedule deposit/transfer program.
  4. Schedule the automatic transfers around 2 to 3 days after your paycheck as arrived (this could be on the 17th or on the 2nd of the following month). You might have to fill up a form for this, whether it’s a paper form or an online form.
  5. You will also have to set the amount for the automatic transfers. If you’re a little nervous about having enough money for the rest of the month, even Php 500 will be enough per transfer.
  6. Watch your savings grow over the months because of this automatic set-up. When you’ve accumulated enough, you can simply withdraw your savings and transfer them for their intended purpose (investments, retirement, etc.)

Notice how this plan is NOT about regular discipline and willpower. You will only have to make a decision when you set this up and when you’re ready to withdraw.

When I first set up my automatic savings system, I didn’t even withdraw the money there for almost a year. I didn’t feel the monthly pressure of trying to save more money, because I knew that just 2 to 3 days after I received my wages, my savings were already taken care of and any money left is for living expenses and guilt-free spending.

Action Task: Create an Automatic Savings System

See if your bank (where your paycheck account is) allows for automated savings, and find out how to set it up. [Note: I am not personally endorsing any bank. I just have their contact information here so that you can easily contact them after reading this and find out if they have this service.]

  • Banco De Oro . (+632) 631-8000 or email at [email protected]
  • BPI. Their automatic savings program is called BPI Direct Save Up, click here to learn more.
  • HSBC. They have a program called Autosaver, click here to learn more.
  • Metrobank. (632) 860-3000. For provincial areas, 1-800-10-860-3000.
  • RCBC. (632) 894-9577, Domestic Toll Free# 1-800-10000-7222
  • Security Bank. (632) 867-6788
  • UCPB. (632) 811-9111
  • Unionbank. 84-186. They don’t offer an “automated savings” service per se, but you can set up regular scheduled transfers to your savings account via their EON account.

Then, set it up to automatically tuck away savings for you 2 to 3 days after you receive your paycheck. Your automatic savings deduction could be Php 500 per month, or it could be P5,000 twice a month – just choose something you can afford but can help you reach your savings goals as well. You can always tweak your system later.

Now that we know we can set up something this easy for savings, is it possible to do this for investments as well?

The answer is a loud “YES!”

Next week, we’re going to tackle just that.

So, do you think an automatic savings plan like this can work for you? Will you set it up this week?

 

Photo by Flickr user jdhancock

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