7 Things We Learned At Our Clubhouse AMA With Filipino Entrepreneurs
Every week, Gen.T is hosting an AMA (ask me anything) Room on audio-only social media app Clubhouse.
In each session we bring together successful entrepreneurs to answer your burning questions. How do you build a winning company culture? What's the secret to successful fundraising? This is our audience's chance to ask these questions and more.
It's also a chance for the Gen.T Leaders of Tomorrow to network as they share the stage for the evening, with conversations often going on for over two hours.
Recently it was the turn of entrepreneurs from the Philippines on the Gen.T List. We were joined by 11 Filipino Gen.T honourees, all of them entrepreneurs across different industries.
- Roland Ros Founder of social media company Kumu.
- Stephanie Sy Founder of data science startup Thinking Machines.
- Rissa Mananquil Trillo Founder of cosmetics brand Happy Skin.
- Mark Ocampo Co-founder of Auro Chocolate.
- Carlo Delantar Head of Circular Economy at Gobi Partners and founding partner at Core Capital
- Rosario Juan Co-founder of NGO Frontline Feeders and coffee brand Commune.
- Anton Del Rosario Athlete and co-owner of Maharlika Manila FC.
- Kenn Costales Founder of performance marketing company Monolith Growth Ventures.
- Patch Dulay Founder of crowdfunding platform The Spark Project.
- Cyndi Fernandez Beltran Founder of events company Moss Manila.
- Lynn Pinugu Co-founder of NGO Mano Amiga and female empowerment platform She Talks Asia.
Here are seven key insights shared on entrepreneurship and leadership.
1/7 Be Forward Thinking
Stop waiting! This opinion was echoed by Mark Ocampo, Rosario Juan and Roland Ros. They said that being fixated on getting back to some sort of "old normal" is not the way to go. Dwelling on the ways things were and standing still will mean that every other entrepreneur may pass you by. All honourees in the Room suggested assimilating to the new normal and life as it is during the pandemic.
2/7 Act Quickly
“Acting quickly is a big part of success,” Mark Ocampo told the group. Take advantage of the time you have and are at now. You need to adapt and roll with the punches. If you don’t act on your plan, someone else will.
See also: Vico Sotto: Philippine Mayor Wins Award From US State Department
3/7 Mental Health Matters
Not taking the time to check in on yourself and your staff’s mental health is a big mistake. Every single honouree in the Room spoke about prioritising mental health and self-care.
Many of them had company-wide initiatives to build mental health awareness into their startup's culture, from hiring a therapist to having company-wide mid-week breaks. Lynn Pinugu suggested having a routine in order to insert more control into your life when so much is out of our control.
4/7 Be Mindful
Stephanie Sy realised that by being so hyper-focused on growth and adapting she was not giving her team enough space and time to absorb all these big changes. By always running and focusing on the end goal, honourees agreed that some had forgotten to be mindful of the moment and the experience. “Be mindful and enjoy the journey. Remember that when too focused on the growth you may not recognise the impact you have on others,” said Roland Ros.
“Befriend the pause,” said Ros Juan, reminding us all to take a moment to have a one-on-one with ourselves and to never forget to slow down once in a while. Carlo Delantar said entrepreneurs have to "manage your burnout".
5/7 Take Care Of Your Employees
“In times of crisis, employees look for leadership. People will look to you," said Patch Dulay. "I think it's really important to lead by example”.
Rissa Mananquil Trillo added to this, emphasising the importance of remaining positive. “How can people believe in tomorrow if the leader has no regard for it? Be optimistic as a leader! Transparency and accountability are vital these days too—don’t keep employees in the dark. I think you need to be honest about the state of the company,” she said.
Roland Ros added that leaders should “communicate the passion they have”. Anton Del Rosario said you need to empower employees and give them the opportunity to shine.
See also: 5 Young Leaders From The Philippines On The Gen.T List 2020
6/7 Social Listening
Listen to the consumer. Rissa Mananquil Trillo brought up the term “social listening”, which refers to monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, which was a touchpoint throughout the evening. Honourees all agreed on the importance of social listening and paying attention to feedback. What does your audience want? What do they need? This can apply to internal feedback too—listen to your team.
7/7 Brand Building
Rosario Juan spoke of the importance of perfecting your branding and really knowing your target market. “Find a design that speaks to the people who want to buy your product,” she said. Stephanie Sy spoke from the perspective of taking control of the narrative in order to help the public understand your brand. “Have a narrative. You have to have a story to tell. Don’t just have a negative response like a negation to somebody’s misconception of your brand. Have an equally compelling or more compelling global story."
Follow Gen.T's Club, Entrepreneurs in Asia, on Clubhouse. Want to join an upcoming Room? Check out our schedule of Clubhouse events.