It’s my dad’s birthday today, so I thought I’d write something about him since I love writing about the lessons I’ve learned from my life experiences.
If I think about my dad, I don’t remember him as a hands-on father but I’m not saying he’s bad at all. I remembered him as a very hard-working man and a good provider to his family. We call him Daddy Anen.
I guess it’s a typical Filipino family where the father is busy working to provide for the whole family. He’s a Civil Engineer by profession; he graduated in Cebu Institute of Technology in 1970’s I guess, I’m just guessing based on his age. I remembered some of his stories as a child; he ‘s the third of the nine siblings. A real big family so he was a working student in their relatives gasoline station, I thought he said he is a car wash boy and he looked after a lot of cars. I could not remember the details, but I’m sure he did a lot of adventure and crazy stuff. Having five daughters, he did not openly share his stories with us. After he had graduated from university, he started his own poultry business in Pagadian City; that’s how she met my mom when she consulted her to help his poultry business. My is an Agriculturist Major in Animal Husbandry, and she used to have a program on the radio to help the community. My Mommy Edna shared to us how they’ve met and how she fell in love with my dad, the same thing as I remembered him- not sweet or romantic- but hard working.
For as long as I remembered, my dad was never an employee. He’s always been a business man all his life, and I admire him for that. He’s really good at making money. When I was in my elementary, I must confess that `I used to pinch few bills from his pocket. As a kid, it’s very tempting when you see bundles of bills lying around so I pinched few hundreds, I’m sure my sister pinched more because I’ve noticed she’s got more money than me.
Shift Into An Entrepreneur Mindset
For as long as I remembered, my dad was never an employee. He’s always been a business man all his life and I admire him for that. He’s really good at making money. When I was in my elementary, I must confess that `I used to pinch few bills from his pocket. As a kid, it’s very tempting when you see bundles of bills lying around, so I pinched few hundreds, I’m sure my sister pinched more because I’ve noticed she’s got more money than me. He tells us that if you’re into business, you define your income based on how hard you work.
Failure is our stepping stones to SUCCESS
My dad was into a lot of businesses for the last 30 years, he succeeded and failed so many times, but he always had the courage to get up and start all over again. From his poultry business, to fishing and aquarium business, fishpond, Lechon manok, and restaurant, Minola Oil Supplier to Orthodontics supplier making dentures and braces, roofing material supplier and construction business.
When I was 12 years old, he used to be in a fishing business exporting high-quality Tuna in Japan.He traveled around Asia and met a lot of connections in business. It was a very lucrative business, and their transactions were millions but their business operations were badly affected when the airline company stopped operating in our city. He ended up with a lot of debts, and our family property was foreclosed by the bank.
That was one of the darkest time in our lives I guess, everything seems so great, we grew up abundantly, and I get what I need, and I want as a child, then it changed, we lost everything. I did not get what’s happening until one morning, a lady came to our house trying to collect money, my dad owed her something, so she decided to get whatever she can from our house, our encyclopedia books and even the pig from our backyard. It makes me laugh when I think about it now, but at that time, it was traumatic. My dad and my mom tried to solve the mess the best way they could. They both decided to leave our city to and went to Cagayan de Oro start all over again. They left us with our grandparents so we can continue studying. My parents tried all sort of things just to survive and continue to support us. Then slowly, my dad started to use his real passion as a Civil Engineer and went into Construction Business and he did well. He builds subdivision, private houses and buildings until now. He’s able to send us to university and spend for our education and supported us in our career.
It’s Best To Be A Giver than A Receiver
This is how my dad does his business. My dad loves to dine out and drink in good hotels and restaurants, and he loves to pay all the bill. I used to go with him when I was young, and I can order anything on the menu. I still recall that he pays thousands even up to ten of thousands in a restaurant for a night out.
He even pays for the other table’s bill when he will see a friend in a restaurant. He used to spend a lot of his money dining out and drinking. My mum get so annoyed when she hears stories about this- there’s a hotel in our city where my dad used to go dancing- all the dance instructors will sit on a long table and will order anything, and it’s all charge to my dad, so the waiter used to call my dad – the millionaire. We call him the one day millionaire. 🙂
He loves good food and spends a lot on this- he blames my mom for this- because she can’t cook well and don’t prepare good meals at home for all the family to enjoy together. My passion for cooking started when my dad gave me a reward- bought me a gallon of ice cream when I tried to cook something- I think it’s sauteed chayote- I can’t even remember now. My dad’s favorite is fresh sashimi- and I got that from him. He got this very sharp sashimi knife at home and he will buy the freshest tuna and octopus to prepare sashimi for his special guest with some good wine. When he buys something, he buys in bulk- even with fruits- like a whole carton of apples, oranges, lanzones, and mangosteen. On our recent travel to Davao- he’s still does the same- he bought a dozen of Durian fruit, 30pcs of Dark Chocolates in Malagos, and 20kgs worth of Tuna of frozen tuna in General Santos.
My dad always tells us that he’s happier to be the one who’s giving that the one who’s always waiting to receive or get something. And it makes sense, when you can give, it means you got more. I truly admire him for his generous heart, though sometimes we see this as his weakness as some people tend to take advantage of him. I grew up surrounded by my generous parents, and I’m so grateful that I developed this generous heart as well though I now know my limits and I give in a different way- giving through growing people that come along with this saying- Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime
I’ve been blessed to get the chance to work abroad and earn good money, but every time I go home and treat my family and cousins, I always leave my words of wisdom- it’s great to go out and get a treat from a family but aim to work hard so one day, you’ll be the one giving and paying for the whole restaurant bill- it means you’re more blessed.
Family Business Should Have A Strong Foundation of Honesty and Respect
Many people say that it’s never good to do business with your family because it can ruin your relationship. When my dad started his business, he trusted his sister and brother to work with him in the business, and I don’t know exactly the real story behind it but when their business got bankrupt, they end up blaming each other of what they did wrong, so I thought, it’s probably really not good to do business with family. And yes it’s probably true, I’ve heard so many failed family businesses. But at the same time, I’ve also seen very successful family business. And the key to a successful business is a strong foundation of honesty and respect. My sisters and I have started our company, and we’ve worked hard to develop a strong foundation of good values in our company. We still end up arguing and fighting with each other; our first live board meeting was very chaotic and full of emotions. One of my sister walked out, thank God she came back and listened. We’re in a working progress to make sure we will not make the same mistakes in the past.
Teamwork, Clear and Healthy Cash Flow and Proper Business Administration
My dad is a one man show. He did not have a proper secretary or did not set up a proper office administration for his construction business. He hired my sister as the administrator when he started 5 D’s Construction and General Merchandise 14 years ago, and I remembered he got so mad at her, he felt like my sister mismanaged it badly so he decided he’ll do it his way. He has an office just in our house with lots of papers, receipts, building plans and who knows what are those. He hires other contractors and bookkeeper whenever he needs them. I guess my mom helps him in some of his paperwork. I don’t think my likes papers and receipts- he has a system in his mind that he cannot duplicate. I’ve seen him getting angry and frustrated when things are not done the way he wants them to be but I wanna tell him, nobody can read his mind. And this is a big lesson we’ve learned from our dad. If you want a company to grow and duplicate, there has to be a proper organizational system. Work with a great team and hire the smart people to help your business build a great and efficient system . Make sure everything is properly done without shortcuts.
Invest A Small Portion of Your Income to Create Passive Income for the Future and Leave a Legacy
My dad is very good at making money. He has a great way of making money, but he’s also very good at spending it. I’m not really sure if he has invested for his old age financially. He’ll be in his 60’s soon and he’s still working hard. I don’t think my dad and my mom are ready to retire independently. Most parents think that their investments are their children. If that’s the case, my parents did well because they brought up responsible and loving children. I don’t blame them, 90% of Filipinos are like them.
Bro. Bo Sanchez shared a story about his friend who retired a few years ago. He used to be a Vice President of a very good company and he retired with millions when he was 65. But when he stopped working, he realized that his retirement money was not enough for him to live for the next 20 -30 years so, his millions were gone before he knew it and ended up relying on his children for food and his medicines.One day, he overheard his daughter complaining to her brother and she can’t afford to pay for his father’s expenses for their and asked her brother if he can move to his place. Hearing that broke his heart, it hurt him so bad. He can’t believe he will end up this away. He realized he did not prepare for his retirement well enough when he earned good money.
This story is an eye opener for many parents. I guess it’s part of our Filipino culture as well and it’s great that we’re slowly getting aware of these things. I’m happy that I’m a member of the Truly Rich Club with a mission to help good people become rich and be well prepared for their retirement. Living in New Zealand also opened my mind to these things. Like my husband’s parents and well prepared for their retirement and enjoying it and even still, aim to leave something for their children while 90% of Filipino parents are expecting their children to look after them- like it’s time for repayment.
My sisters and I are working hard so we can support our parents in their old age so we can look after them well and show them our love. But we want to change this in our generation. We want to change the old ways of doing things. We want to make our children millionaires before they’re 20.
I want to say thank you to my parents, especially to my dad since I’m writing this blog for him. Thank you for your love, for being a good provider, for the lessons who taught us through your life experiences. Thank you for you continued support to us until now. We love you so much. I wish and pray that God will give us more time spend together and create more beautiful memories. Life is short. Let’s forgive and move forward.