Fueling Your Business With Your Goals

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Fueling Your Business With Your Goals

Fueling Your Business With Your Goals With JM Dela Rama

Sean: All right. Hello. Hello. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, all of you leaders tuning in entrepreneurs tuning in, welcome back to the Leadership Stack live podcast. We have as our guest, welcome back, Ms. JM Dela Rama.

JM: Hello! Hi and good evening Sean and everyone who is listening in right now. Thank you for having me again.

Sean: No problem. It’s a pleasure always to have you. And we have a couple of questions already that have come in from the discord channel and we’re posting it here now.

So the first one is from Erika. Trying to start a business can be stressful. How did you deal with the challenge?

Wow. That’s a very big question. Actually, up to today, there are lots of challenges. And it’s not just problems you have to fix in your industry or with your clients or your business. It’s also problems that you have to fix with your people. Sometimes the biggest problem would be your people’s problems. Yeah, so a lot of problems, especially with people.

I think during the early days, my biggest problems were with my own team. And that’s because as a leader, I’m not yet that good. Well, I was actually a pretty bad leader, to be honest. Now looking back, I realized that, I would say, I was really a horrible leader. I wasn’t there. I was absent.

You see, it’s not enough for you to be a great leader. It’s not enough. It’s not enough that you’re the one putting in the sales, you’re the one making money and paying them. It’s not enough that you pay them right. It’s not enough that you paid them on time. It’s not enough that you pay them their benefits. It’s not enough that you have great relationships with your clients and that you make everything more stable. It’s not enough.

With your people, there has to be more. More of you. More of your time. They want to know who you are. They want to talk with you. You know, human beings are selfish beings. The moment we are born in the world, we start crying because we think we need something. We need the touch and care of our mom. We need milk. We need to be cleaned. We need to feel better. We’ve been like that since we were still a baby. Right?

All of us, we’re selfish beings. And that is the same with people. So if you hire the wrong people, they’re immature, they’re selfish, they’re going to want and demand a lot more of you. That was a really big challenge for me when I was starting out because they keep on hiring the wrong people. Because my hiring strategy was, if I need the position filled up, then I’ll immediately hire whoever wants to fill that position. That’s a really bad strategy. It’s a really, really bad hiring strategy.

I dealt with that years after. I learned this the hard way. And I made tons of mistakes about it. So now we’ve prolonged our hiring process. You’ve probably heard me say this a couple of times if you’ve been tuning in the Leadership Stack podcast for a while now, we have a six step hiring process and everyone has to go through that. Now pre-pandemic, they would go in the office and leave, in the office and leave and they’ll pay for their own commute. Six steps, six times they will do that. So it’s pretty extensive, but we also have a much better team because of it. A way better team because of it.

So those are some of the challenges, but in my opinion, you shouldn’t be worrying too much about the challenges and stressfulness of external factors such as the economy or external competition. Don’t think about that first. Don’t worry about it first. What you need to think about is your own house. Is your own house in order? Is it in chaos? Is it in rebellion? Is everything smooth sailing? Is everything stable? That’s what you need to fix and focus on in the beginning.

JM: So just a question that you can ask yourself, Erika, what are the things that are causing you stress and what are your goals in starting your business? So you need to be able to connect that to in order for you to deal with that challenge as well. So I just want to add that, Sean. Something that you can really think about

Sean: Good stuff. Yeah, thanks for adding that. From Erika. I have hit some speed bumps on my journey to starting a business and I’m starting to feel discouraged. How can I keep pushing forward?

Get mentors. That’s the best thing. I mean, when I’m stuck in a rut, I actually ask mentors because they’ve been there, you know. These are people who have also struggled with the things that you are struggling with, or have failed where you’re struggling with, and they got up and they learn from it.

Mentors are good because they evaluate their failures. They evaluate their experiences. If they didn’t, they’d still be failures and they’re not going to mentor you. And make sure to choose your mentors well. Make sure that they are mentors with no agendas, that they really have a helping spirit. There are people who just want to help. They have a helping spirit. Make sure that they are those kinds of people so that you can ask them for time and ask them questions.

And also respect them. Respect their time. When you ask them for one hour, stick to one hour. And make sure you prepare your questions before the mentorship session. Don’t go into the mentorship session and say, “I’m here. I want to learn from you.” Mentorship is not like that where you sit on the teacher’s feet and get enlightened. Mentorship is about asking questions to people who have gone the way. So prepare your questions ahead.

With my mentors, usually I have 20 questions. I’m just being safe, but usually with 5 or 10 questions, the one hour has gone. It has flown by. But I prepare a set of 20 questions just in case there’s still time I want to squeeze that in because I want to learn from this person, you know. So that’s how I do. And I feel encouraged after that because I realize it’s not so bad where I am. It’s actually worse what they’ve gone through because of technology or the advent of, you know, having mentors like this person or that person.

So get mentors. That’s one of the ways that I have been able to do it. And I found it very encouraging, very enlightening. I mean, I’m not going to be where I am today without my mentors. That’s how important they are to me. How about you, JM?

JM: Besides getting mentors it’s important for you also to get a group that can encourage you. I hope I can pronounce it right. Inklings. Have you heard about C.S. Lewis? And then the other authors also, they have this group called The Inklings. So they meet every week for a certain day. And then at a certain, I think that’s a cafe in the UK and then, they will just meet, and discuss the books that they’re writing about.

And so it’s very important for you to have those people who can give you support and feedback when it comes to the challenges that you’re facing. And also to give you encouragement whenever you need it, whenever you feel stuck, or whenever you feel, I like your words earlier, you’re paralyzed, Sean. And I know a lot of people are dealing with that also nowadays. So that’s my encouragement for you to get a group as well, besides having a mentor, which is very important.

And with that, I want to ask you something, Sean.

Sean: Yes. Go ahead.

JM: Where do you get the right mentor especially when it comes to your business?

Sean: It depends first on what you want to grow in. So for example, I got a mentor, I’m going to name him because he’s such an amazing mentor to me. Recently, I have Sir Joey, the CEO and president of Santé Barley. It’s an MLM company here in the Philippines and actually one of the biggest Filipino founded MLM companies. And I love the stuff that I’m learning from him. It’s amazing.

So I actually learned from him how he started the business because he sources the barley grass from New Zealand. It’s no joke. I mean, how was he able to establish that? How was he able to find a guy there that he can trust? How was he able to register the business there? How was he able to build this huge MLM company right now? So I asked him so many questions. I learned from him. All the way about opening a branch in Nigeria. Imagine that.

And I want SEO Hacker also to someday be able to branch out to other parts of the world. I wanted to learn that from him. How do you trust people from this country, that country? How do you install someone that you can trust there? If you need to pay for their livelihood, maybe send a Pinoy that you trust to that country to live there, to run the show there, how did you do it?

I also learned about how he was able to craft his performance bonus for his people, because I wanted to have a performance bonus as well in SEO Hacker.  It’s going to be really good. I’m actually very excited to launch the first performance bonus of SEO Hacker and that’s going to be a huge reward for my people in terms of actually knowing that the company actually cares and rewards them monetarily for their extra mile efforts.So I’ve learned a lot of these things. And these are the things that I specifically want to learn in my business. So I actually asked him, because he’s figured it out. He’s there.

So it actually depends on what you want to learn. I have my spiritual mentor, Pastor Joby Soriano. He’s the senior pastor of CCF Alabang and I learned a lot from him. He’s gone the way. He’s a brilliant businessman as well. And he became a pastor. He has an amazing story, not mine to tell, but I’ve learned tons in my spiritual walk from him.

So when you have identified a certain mentor that you want to learn from, again, make sure you’re respectful of their time and prepare your questions ahead. When I mentor my people in the office, there’s just three things I asked from them. Number one, if we’re already in our second or third sessions or succeeding sessions, what did we talk about last time? Number two, what did you do about it? And lastly, ask me more questions. That’s it. That’s the entire hour.

Those three things we discuss take up the entire hour when I mentor them. That’s how I mentor people. Those three things are my rules. And if you don’t have them, if you don’t remember what we talked about last time, if you didn’t apply them, let’s just be friends. We don’t need to be a mentor-mentee relationship. I can be your friend. No problem. But if you don’t respect the stuff I’m teaching you, then let’s not have a mentor-mentee relationship. This is what I tell my people. And that also, I hope that adds value to you in realizing just how important a mentor’s time is.

JM: Love it. Thank you, Sean.

Sean: No problem. Hey, that’s a good question.

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