This week we will teach the first area of the Business Models Canvass (BMC) which is about Sales & Marketing.
In helping business succeed in the New Normal. We will teach you how to plan your business using the Business Model Canvass Framework.
Just as how it is very important in having a plan when going to war, this is as important when starting a business. In this video, we will start the webinar on how to create business plan.
We take a break this week to remind everyone not to forget the body.
I would like to add in this article a movie about the effects of Social Media in today’s society, the Netflix Feature – The Social Dilemma.
Everybody is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot was forced to start a business to replace their income lost. As part of SMEpinoy’s advocacy to help MSMEs succeed in the New Normal we are offering Negosyo Pantry, a free webinar on how to manage your business during the pandemic. Please feel free to watch and share. Thank you and Be Safe!
This is a continuation of https://smepinoy.com/my-plan-or-gods-plan/.
When I was doing my vocation discernment, one of the seminaries I did my search in was the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary (HASS) in Guadalupe. We stayed there for one night and the next day we were interviewed. The priest asked me just one question, how did you sleep? I even excitedly told him I slept soundly. Interview over, he said I am through and I may go home.
I keep sharing this as an anecdote without me knowing why, until today. When ever God wants to talk to me, he wakes me up around 5am then all His inspiration pours into me. Pours because I get a high, my heart palpitates and the inspiration just keeps coming. I feel His presence, when the high subsides I reach out to have a casual conversation with Him. I think this was the answer the priest was looking for, I only was able to connect the two today.
Today after so many years of having this early morning divine inspiration, I have linked it to how God inspired the apostles to write the Bible. So, this is how He did it. His message to me is to write another series of articles every Wednesday (Yuppeace day) about Spiritual Insights, which I am starting now. At first I complained, how can I do that? It takes me a day to write and edit my Monday article Business Insights how can I add another day in writing an article? How can I fit it into my schedule? I have no time?!? He just said to trust Him and gave me several examples, I now have several articles for the next weeks.
We always try to catch the online mass of Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB during the lockdown. His sermon this Sunday was from the Gospel about the Parable of Talents and he focused on “Malasakit” and “Tiwala”. I could not connect the Parable of Talents to “Malasakit”, and again until today I realized God gave me a talent during the pandemic and He is asking me to have “Malasakit” and I just need to just Trust Him. Writing for me is a struggle, I am not adept in the English Grammar. I have to read and re-read my article dozens of times just to spot and correct grammatical errors, but I am sure there are still some that slips. But in this Covid-19 pandemic he gave me this gift to write. I was able to start “Business Insights” and people are reading it, they tell me. I did not know I can write something and people will read it, no one has corrected any grammatical errors so far. He is now asking me to use this gift of talent to spread His word. Thus I am now writing this article every Wednesday. Lord, I surrender it all to you.
How do I know it is God talking to me? Did it pass the 3 tests? Goodness Test – definitely, I do not see how my writing about God can harm anyone. Time Test – Yes, because of my stubbornness it took a month before I understood His message and I am still in Step 4. Humility Test – writing is not my best talent, I am still ashamed someone will come to me with a list of my grammatical errors. I also still doubt how long I can write this article every Wednesday, I just surrender. In conclusion: Yes, it is God’s will.
Just to correct a wrong notion, doing a Vocation Discernment does not mean you are only discerning to be a priest, Married life and Single Blessedness are also vocations. But that is a topic for another article.
(Footnote: Today, Nov. 17, we celebrate the 7th Death Anniversary of a dear friend Bernard Macalintal (+) who is now my angel in heaven. Bernard and I did the search-in at HASS together, he was accepted and was still discerning until he decided to continue his vocation in heaven.)
The last time we talked about the devil, but a priest told me that the war between good and evil is real. Daily the devil and God is in a constant war for souls. God is not an absentee god, He is just being covered by our own plans, like what you can see in this video.
A lot has happened to me in the last part of 2020 that hibernated “SMEpinoy Business Insights” for months. I had everything planned, including the follow up articles, but God has other plans. I am not alone in asking this question, early March we had the Covid lockdown and just this month Typhoon Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses battered Luzon. A lot of plans are erased or needs to be adjusted. What do we do when we are overwhelmed with problems? I would like to share what I have learned through the years:
1st step is to not struggle and fight, our stubbornness will make us decide to continue with our plans. We have to realize that we are now in one of the crossroads of life where we may need to drop or adjust our plans.
2nd step is to let go and let God, just drop everything and let God take the steering wheel. This is a time to step back and look at what is happening inside and outside. Sounds familiar, that is how you do strategic planning. It is time to self assess and adjust, much like the Agile methodology.
3rd step is do not forget to pray, for atheists you can drop step 3. For theists, our desolation makes it easier for us to be closer to God. I had my closest relationship with God during times of desolation.
The 4th and final step is to slowly restart, by taking baby steps. Revisit your old plans but do not start yet. Starting immediately is not God’s way. Assess your self, you will know it is time when things are clearer. Thread slowly as new opportunities will come your way. If you are going the right direction, things will fall into place. Just be careful on the source of this opportunities, how would you know if it is the right one? I was taught this 3 tests to determine if something is God’s will:
- Time Test : as mentioned earlier, God’s way is not fast. If an opportunity came that requires a quick decision or action then it failed the Time Test.
- Goodness Test : anything that comes from God is good, including its fruits. Anything that is bad or will bear fruit that is bad fails the Goodness Test.
- Humility Test : things that comes from God will make us Humble. If the gift will give us pride or become boastful then it will fail the Humility Test.
It is not God’s Will if even 1 of the 3 tests fail. So, where does God want me to adjust? I am still in step 4 but so far this article is one of my new directions. To sometimes touch on spirituality and God in my articles. I am doing this as a mission to help MSMEs but I have failed to mention God or share my spirituality in my articles. Another change is to relax and smell the flowers more, pray more and exercise more.
Happy New Year! In case you do not know yet, Advent is the start of the Liturgical Calendar. Here is a video to know more about Advent:
It is already cold outside, do you feel the Christmas Spirit? Have you done your Christmas shopping? Are you already preparing for the parties and reunions? Oops you cannot do that. How do you plan to celebrate Christmas 2020?
Since September my kids have been asking me everyday, how many days till Christmas? 109 days, 96 days, and the count goes on, but deep in my heart I am sad that I cannot give them the Christmas they enjoyed in the past. Although I am already warning them that Christmas this year will be different, I am still hoping we can make them happy this coming Christmas. My daughter, in her online class today told her teacher she is sad because she would not be able to visit her family in Laguna. They also want to go out again and see the beautiful Christmas decorations and lights.
But does it mean, we just have to surrender that 2020 maybe your worst Christmas ever or can we celebrate a different kind of Christmas? Maybe this year, I will try to teach my children a different kind of Christmas, as the video below suggests:
Let 2020 be a year of real waiting and reflecting, letting go of all our baggage in our homes and in our minds. A year to reflect what is really important in our hearts. A year that we start doing what we really want to do in our life. Have a blessed Advent.
Why did God allow 2020? I do not mean to open a Pandora’s box or promise that after reading this article you will find the answer to this very controversial question.
I invite you to watch the video below and after, spend a few minutes to personally react before you continue reading:
Is it true that God is an absentee landlord? Is God a prankster? Did God set the rules in opposition? If this is the first time you watched this movie and may have not noticed, Al Pacino was playing the devil. Is the devil a fan of man? the last humanist?
This is what the devil wants us to believe. But unlike what we see in movies where the hero and the villain is clear, the devil wants us to forget he exists. The devil wants us to believe that it is all God while the devil does his work in incognito. I would like to remind people that the war between good and evil, God and the devil is real.
When I was looking for a video for my article, i set aside this one. It may open a can of worms, it is hard to explain and some people may question their faith. But while hearing mass today, God inspired me to use this video. I too must admit, I forgot about the devil until I watched this video. It was all God, God, God, but where is the devil? The devil exists and he is in a war with God for souls.
Watching this video may rock the faith of some who may view it but God reminded me of my own faith struggles. He reminded me when I was young that I had a phobia of death and about dying. It was so bad it was manifesting through hyperacidity, palpitations, etc. I was using my head to answer the question of God’s existence. I, like the boy St. Augustine met in the beach was trying to put the whole sea inside the hole the boy dug. My phobia was instantly cured when hearing mass in my late teenage years, God inspired me that I just need to have faith. Years of questioning God, the Bible, the Creation I just need to say amen and believe.
Pope Francis gave a similar answer when asked by a 12 year old Filipina why does God allow Children to Suffer; “Only when we too can cry about the things that you said are we able to come close to replying to that question,”. Intelligence will never be able to answer the existence of God, only when the heart has understood will the head follow.
I leave you with this reflection question, when was the last time you thought about the devil and his acts?
It has been one year since the lockdown, for some it was more. Classes were suspended one week before, while us at work had a trial lockdown starting March 12. A trial lockdown that is more than one year old now. I do not need to tell you how hard a year it was, we were all affected:
So how was your one year in lockdown? Some say you need 40 days to change a habit, others say you need to to do the 21/90 days to build a new one. Which ever is more effective, we have been in lockdown for more than 365 days, definitely we all changed. I even wonder what will be the new me after the lockdown, from someone who likes to go out or travel I might be now a home body.
During the one year lockdown I was able to follow my reset-realign-restart formula which reinvented SMEpinoy.com and AgentisConsult.com. If I was to plot my wheel of life, there would be major improvements in most aspects of my life.
Sometimes I felt guilty that the lockdown was more a blessing to me compared to other people. Until I lost my mother, although she did not die because of COVID, I believed she was an indirect victim of COVID. Being a nonagenarian, she cannot get the proper medical attention she needed.
Furthermore, there is now a more contagious variant which brought things closer to home. There is at least one from my different circle of friends getting COVID, not just individuals but also their families. From averaging 2,000 new cases a day, we are now at 5,000 new cases a day. The UP OCTA even projected it can go to 6,000 new cases a day by the end of March. Even if there is already a vaccine, a Philippine Senator projected that at the pace we are going, we will reach the needed 70% vaccinated to get herd immunity by 2033. Even if we drastically improve our pace, it only mean we would not be able to reach the 70% needed this 2021. It only mean that at best we are just halfway into this lockdown.
I am stating this not to scare people, or make them lose hope. In the spirit of Strategic Planning, we should know the real score so we can plan appropriately. In the spirit of ISO 9001, we should revisit our plans, check how we are meeting them and adjust where necessary.
If you have hibernated for one year, do not believe you can survive by being idle for another year unless you have millions in your account. Even if you have millions, you still need to reset, realign and restart the other aspects of your life.
If you have been adept to have followed a plan during the pandemic, it is now time to for a revalidation. Personally, I have neglected my health. I also feel a need to have more impact in helping the community. Sharing what I know is not enough, I should start a project that would have a more direct impact to people’s lives and the environment. Whatever it would be, I would now review and adjust my plans.
Just do not forget, that to survive another year of lockdown we need more than ourselves. We need support from other heroes in our life. Whether we like it or not, this is not the end of the longest lockdown in the world. Happy Lockversary to you all!