Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Step Closer

Two weeks ago I purchased another unit, and it pushed me a little bit closer to my target number ten (10). Some years back I entertained the idea of reaching that goal by 2010, and with the continuous growth with my small enterprise, I am well on target.

Last week I was about to acquire another unit, but the price was a bit higher so I negotiated for a lower price. The deal seem to succeed at first, but it did not feel through for some reason. The reason why I would like to lower the price is the fact that ROI would be around 2 years, and it would put additional burden to my financial budget.

If I invest something at higher value, the risk is higher thus the emotional stress is also higher. The opportunity will of course be locked in my favor, but I can't afford the emotional burden. So if the the price is not lowered at my stipulated amount I am not buying. The opportunity cost is just not enough of a consideration.

The components that were factored in where; opportunity cost, emotional stress, financial overstrech, ROI.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals for 2009

1. Inspite of the expected slowdown in the national and international economy, I am still upbeat that the slowdown will simply be a slowdown. If you are moving at 100 km per hour, then a 90 km per hour is a slow down, but it is still not slow.

I have a small business which is my bread and butter, and I have set my annual growth goal at 150%. The goal was actually set two years ago, and my projection is that the financial meltdown in the west will not affect my local enterprise, because the small rock are usually not wavered by the strongest storm.

2. I also have a new baby, which is my entry into the real estate business, and my goal for this year is to build another 8 room building.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Manny Pacquiao Lesson

The last time I posted something here was Nov 24. What I was really into should be something that is worth my while. Well, it made the filipinos happy, and somehow proud.

I'm a pinoy, and just like every pinoy, I was swept into the Pacman frenzy. That was it.

To somehow justify my sidetrip to Pacland, which I do ever since I saw him fight as a thin 16 year old, I tried to extract some valuable lesson from it.

What made Pacman a success?

1. Preparation.

It is now an open ingredient to his success. His Preparation. JMM is the only boxer so far who has given Pacquiao the most difficult opposition. It is because JMM trains as hard, or even harder than Manny.
Against Dela Hoya, he prepared hard and long. There are three aspects of that preparation.
a. Physical training or conditioning.
b. Study of the opponent.
c. Strategizing

This is no different in a business setting. An entrepreneur would need all the mental and physical conditioning before going into the ardous task of doing business. I can not imagine a sickly person succeeding in business. The stress and the physical exhaustion would eventually take its toll to a weak and unprepared body.
And successful entrepreneurs are also living their physical and mental conditioning. Which means, the training does not end when the business begins, rather it became a continuous, life long conditioning process.

Study of the opponent. One of Pacquiao's trainor, Bubuy Fernandez revealed how he would break Dela Hoya's taped fights into segments-in seconds- to study the speed of his punches, his tendencies, his weaknesses, and his strengths. It is like hearing Sun Tzu giving advice to the Pacman to study your opponent. In modern day that would sound like SWOT analysis. Is this not something that is very close the discipline of business entrepreneurs?
If an aspiring entrepreneur would do similar preparation, he/she would be increasing his/her chances of success a hundred times.

And how the team was able to device a plan that would negate the advantages of Dela Hoya, and how they were able to incoporate into the plan the strengths of Manny-his speed- that Oscar would never have the chance to offset. Does it sound like devising a strategy along ones decisive advantage? Perhaps to counter Dundee's appearance in Dela Hoya's camp as a consultant, Roach could have secretely hired the services of Michael Porter in strategizing for the fight.

The most important ingredient of that masterful victory is the manner by which Manny was able to EXECUTE the plan near to perfection.

For budding entrepreneurs always remember that fight. They have a PLAN, and Manny exucuted it to the core. He stayed focus on it until vicotry was their's. Fight analyst would praise Pazquio's maturity on that aspect. He was in complete control of his inner instincts which to attack and attack fiercely specially when the enemy is hurt.

There are other intangible there like his determination, his confidence, his patience, but I think the above mentioned factors are the KEY INDICATORS, that entrepreneurs must always remember.

Monday, November 24, 2008

APEC Leaders Rejects Protectionism

APEC leaders said no to protectionism. I heard George Bush Jr. on the television echoing thesame line. They said, no matter how hard the effect of this financial crisis be, the government should resist the protectionist policy.

The next day, I heard the US government providing financial aid to CITI GROUP. Why is the US government always in the rescue? Why not allow the market forces do its trick, if the bank falls down hard, so be it. Because the US is not favoring protectionism does it mean that they will remove the farm subsidies that many US farmers are receiving from their government?

The US is saying something and doing some other things. China, Japan, India, and ASEAN should be strong enough to force US to do what they have agreed upon. But this is difficult to achieve because of American hands dipping in almost all economic groupings. I'd love to see an grouping such as the following; EU, US and the North and South American Countries, Asian (China, Japan, Korea, India, and ASEAN countries, the Oil rich countries of the Middle East.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My AIG Temptation

A few months ago, I attended an investment seminar sponsored by an AIG affiliate. That was a few weeks after Bear Stearns hit the headline for their financial troubles.

During the forum I asked the financial consultant who was facilitating the discussion how would the sub prime problem affect the financial status of AIG. In a way I was asking them how strong is the financial standing of their company. The explanation of course were the canned type, where they would narrate where they invested the funds, and how safe it is to invest with them since they are dealing with the top 500 corporation and their BRIC 40.

And even when I mentioned the financial woes of City Group, they insisted that they are not vulnerable. They even ventured into the assumption that granting any problem would occur in the near future, the federal government of America will never allow one of its flagship companies to fall.

I never invested though, not because they never convinced me with their motivational speeches, but because I don't have the money to invest. My gut feel then was whispering that they are agressive in inviting investors because they need new infusions.

With todays woes that befell Lehman and of course AIG, the thought of what if I had the money then, I would perhaps be one of those whose blood pressure will be shooting up. And the lesson learned. The safest way to avoid financial losses is to never have any financial savings at all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Critical Thinking

Justin Menkes in his book EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE opined the importance of critical thinking for corporate leaders. A quote from the book;"...some individuals can understand and navigate complex interpersonal situations but are hopeless when it comes to analyzing a new strategic intiative. Others might have tremendous analytic skills, but when it comes to dealing with other people, they do blundering things at inopportunate moments. Still others are simply blind to their own shortcomings and unable to correct for their own missteps." Based from the hypothesis that a leader have to have the exact mix with regards to; task, people, oneself, Menkes argued that a leader must master all three aspects of leadership to be considered a star leader.

I am just wondering why a CEO should have to master all three when a process could be followed to finetune the decision making of the leader. He even quoted Robert Johnson; "Even the sharpest thinkers need teams of sharp people around them. And these high-performing teams develop over time. It is one of the basic laws of attracting talent: the more talented people you have, the more talented people you can attract. You get the highest level of input in decision making and the best critique of things you should or should not undertake when you are surrounded by such individuals. Once you reach that critical mass of talent, there's literally nothing you can't undertake."

A talented team may offset the weaknesses of the leader. Can it be said that a star leader is not really they key towards success but a team of highly intelligent people?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

War and Business

For the soldiers, their business is war. Every time their is war, they are given the chance to prove themselves, thus a chance for a promotion. So for them it is good to have war. Well, in the first place, what they are here for.

In reality though, the business of war is not coherent with the business environment. In Mindanao where I am based, investment comes a trickle because of the age old conflict between the moros and the government. The businessmans pragmatism dictates that it is never wise to invest in war torn areas. And in the broader spectrum, any conflict, affects the investment potential of any country.

War affects everybody. And my daily, or shall I say, minute by minute, attention to what is happening in my community affects even my blogging. Natural instict dictates that blogging should never come ahead of self preservation. After the MILF attack in Kauswagan and Kolambogan, and other parts of Mindanao, we are at hightened alertness day and night. Afraid of the possible attack from the rebels, I never focus on posting in this blog, which is about business and economics. I must admit though, that I have been posting regularly with my other blog that deals with my political and social aspiration, specially about my Mindanao.

Now that I am posting again, this may mean that things are back to normal again. Amidst this war, of struggles for self determination, of struggles from Manila Centric control, there are business enterprises. Today, it is business as usual.