Travel to Food: Lessons of a Change of Investment.


Travelling and writing are both close to my heart. As an ordinary man whose life started at the lowest of lows, I then began dreaming. Like what I constantly told myself “The poorest of all is not a man who doesn’t have any cents in his pocket, but a man who doesn’t have a dream”. Yes, that quote was exactly what took me to where I am now because I dream big.

I know that this post might be out of the topic about what my real blog site is entirely about. But I don’t desire to be selfish and just keep what I have just learned recently.

But before I partake in what happen recently, I want to share who am I and where I came from so you would understand the whole thing. I would implore you not to cry after reading this.

I moved away from home since I was 13 years old because I belong to the”dysfunctional family”. Both my parents bequeathed us, and I have nowhere to go. From the mountainous terrain of Mindanao in the Philippines where electricity, fast food, toys, even basic needs like tooth brush and body soap, and everything that a young kid should have experienced at that time were completely not accessible. And most of the things I’ve mentioned above were not even familiar to me at that time. I was educated to work really hard at a young age before experiencing wearing a new “slipper” or tasting a “can goods”, which is mostly sardines at that time.

Then, I traveled to the civilized town to work while studying as my way of getting out from poverty. Fortuitously, after all the bloody hardships. I was able to achieve the life I want to experience, to at least buy the things I want, and things that I didn’t able to experience when I was still a young kid.

Fast forward……..

That was me before, can you even imagine?

Anyway, five months ago, I was in the middle of confusion, either use my five year savings, which was intended for my “100 days backpacking around the world” or invest it in a food business. After all the unending battles in mind, I end up investing it in a food business. True enough, I went about the process of finally managing my own business. At first, it was really fulfilling, since I took another exciting venture in life. As time goes by, my energy depleted remarkably, and just like that, It has brought me close enough to subside for a scary thought life. I’m always stressed, I was no longer happy, I have no time to travel, until it goes to finally closing the business after five months of business operations.

Twister Shawarma Food Cart Business

So here’s what I’ve learned from five months of running my business and things I should have learned before starting a business.

 

Start with the business that’s close to your heart or something that you’re passionate about.

I should have asked myself if this would be something that would still make me happy even it will drain my energy like climbing a tough mountain. Yes, definitely I forgot to ask about it. I was too clingy to start a business that I have not seen myself doing it since from the beginning. I assume that doing a food business would probably make me a better person or make me happy along the way, but turned out a big burden. It was like carrying a baggage every day that I scarcely want to stop, but I can’t because I don’t want to be called as a failure.

 

Don’t pressure yourself just because you’re almost out of the calendar.

Yes, looking at where I came from, I was then afraid about the future. I thought that I have to do this and do that because I’m close to my “30’s”. I pressure myself a lot that before embracing my 26th year of existence, I should begin my own business. Eventually, that brought me to embark on a business without carefully studying the in and out of the business. Just like what they always say, there’s always time for everything. I guess, pressuring myself is like jumping on a plane without bringing a parachute.

 

Investing in a business is like choosing who to marry.

Yes, It took me a hundred of bucks to learn that thing, that investing in something like business is like choosing who to marry. Studying and knowing the possible cynical situations of the business and how you can cope up with it if this will adhere. Yes, I conducted a feasibility study about the location, the products, and the food cart business and all, but I suppose, it was not enough. It’s like choosing who to marry, we should deeply know the person before we can eventually decide to marry that someone. Truly, it requires time and jumping into a conclusion right there and then should never be an option.

 

Don’t expect about the yield on investment as quickly as blinking your eyes.

Yes, before I started the business. I already have foreseen myself probably earning after 3 months of operation. I underestimate the challenging process before earning. I never thought about adjustment, which in the first phase, I still shell out money to run the business and to pay all the overhead expenses. I never considered that reaching break-even after the whole month of operation is harder than I think it was. With all these unforeseen processes, I realized that investing in business is like paying a tuition fees in school, to probably learn in the beginning before you can finally apply it and start earning. Again, it actually takes time to earn, and having a 1-2 years back up business  plan and fund should be available.

 

Find or look for a business mentor just like how you choose a friend to talk to whenever you feel down and happy.

I jump into the conclusion that I can make it myself without seeking any advice from people who has the experience of doing the business or have been successfully doing the business. I was relying on my own knowledge that running a business would make me a “Businessman”. It’s always great to talk with someone who have experienced in business, in this way, you’ll be enlightened and motivated to continue with what you’re doing. It’s like choosing a friend to talk to whenever you feel down. It will certainly make your baggage lighten once you were able to release everything to your friend.

 

You should rise after the fall and never stay on the same ground.

Yes, it hurts me a lot after investing not just the money, time and everything, it turned into something I never have thought to come about. Hence, like what we invariably hear from a lot of people, we should always rise after our fall because we are destined to move forward and should never stay on the same ground.
I may have regarded it as a failed investment, or probably not. I’m nevertheless happy that once in my life, I made a great decision. It gives me a great deal of lessons that I’ll be forever going to treasure for the rest of my life. I may have not achieved my “100 days backpacking around the world”, but this will certainly be something I’m proud of myself.

After all, life is still beautiful. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year where great things are always available as long as we keep moving forward and never stop dreaming. It may take me another 5 years to save for 100 days backpacking around the world, but I’m still excited and motivated to reach that dream of mine. Who knows, this time it won’t take me that long to save, and little by little, I can still travel around the world, one flight at a time. I’m still so grateful and I thank God for always guiding me.

Note:

All the views shared in this blog post are from my personal experience and its not intend to discouraged people from venturing in any business, especially in food business.

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22 comments

  1. Learning is sometimes a painful process. But again, we can always charge everything to experience. Nobody becomes a legend overnight. Success takes time. If not now, surely it’d be one of these days. 😊😊😊 To more exciting turn of events this year lai! Kaya rana 💪💪💪

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  2. You can and you will be backpacking for 100 days (and even more) around the world and have that business your heart will truly desire. What I see from you is someone who never surrender. If you treat all so-called failures as lessons, you will go a long way, my friend.

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  3. 1. I do believe that you can do that ☺️ Ganbatte!

    2. I also agree with what you said na if you’re planning to do a business it must be something that you’re interested in on something you’d love to do, same as sa pagsusulat and building a niche, choose something you’re passionate to write about and you’ll never eat tired of it.

    3. One more thing, dun sa feeling ng naghahabol sa time, I think lahat naman nagdadaan sa thinking na ganun like when I reached 25 last year feeling ko I wasted so much of my time na doing nothing kasi wala pa ako ganito wala pa ako ganyan but that thinking pushed me to do something and I did (started a business) and up until now okay naman sya, though may months na zero talaga and may time naman na paskong pasko sa biyaya pero since it just started and it’s doing good so far, okay na ako dun plus it is something that I like. (teka) may point is, okay kang mapressure minsan, and okay lang magfail kasi we’ll learn a lot of things about it.

    4. Yung 100 day backpacking mo, nandyan lang yan. Makakamit mo rin yan, have faith lang. 🙂 pero syempre samahan ng planning pero wag kalimutan na ienjoy rin kung anong meron ka ngayon 🙂

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  4. It’s a never ending process…I mean life in general. We learn things best from our experiences, our woulds and scars remind us of these lessons. Just keep looking forward and keep learning! Things will always fall into place after falling apart!

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  5. First, congratulations, you took the risk and you failed. Failure is not something we should be ashamed of, it’s a badge of people who tried and did something with their lives. The business may not have been as something that you expected but you sure learned a lot from it and that’s a good thing. At least now, when you decide to venture to another business, you are wiser and you know what and what not to do. Hopefully your next business will be a success, whatever that is.

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  6. Wow congratulations, I really admire people who start businesses like that and invest in it. Sounds time-consuming. It sounds great to have a mentor to help you on the way and who has gone through it all. There are many people who don’t do that and fail because they don’t know what to do. I would love to open a cafe one day 😀

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  7. Learning is a dynamic process indeed. Just like in science, it’s an unending cycle of experimentation/trial and error. Its never too late to reach your dreams of having a backpacking for 100 days. Thanks for this post. I really appreciate your insights kay karelate ko gamay haha. But I am more into investments like mutual funds, stocks, bonds. 🙂 Failure makes us stronger ika nga. I know you’re stronger and better than yesterday! Cheer up and I hope that your next plans (business related) will be a success, whatever it is. 🙂

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  8. I am proud to read of your achievements thus far Little Lai. With your positive energy and mindset, I am sure you will go far and yes, you are right that going into business is like a marriage. Take care.

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  9. You took a big step and that is something that truly takes guts. Not everyone has the strength to do that and you did it! You’ve already achieved so much from a tough upbringing and now living life to the fullest. Keep on dreaming 🙂

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  10. I think it takes a lot of guys to admit something isn’t working, even more than trying something new in the first place! Well done on both these counts, sometimes our paths may deviate but it sounds like you’re on the right track now!

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  11. Totally agree with your business tips and everything else that you said here. One should always do a business which is close to heart or at least on lines of something one can enjoy. Then only one can give their 100 percent in the business.

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  12. OMG! Its disheartening to know about your past and it takes a lot of courage to take about such sensitive issue in the blog. Kudos to that! I’m happy to learn about your success in business. Rightly put, it is indeed like marriage. Best wishes to achieve more & more success.

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  13. Like what they say.. Sometimes you win, other times you learn. 🙂 This is obviously a learning experience for you, and I commend you for not just getting over and learning from it, but for even sharing your experience through your blog. That takes a lot of guts. Not everyone can bare their past mistake for all the world to see, but you did just that and more. Kudos!

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  14. We really only truly learn from our mistakes. It was brave to try something new and though it may not have been a resounding success the experience and lessons learned are one to be proud of. I think your tip about going into business about something you’re passionate about is the best tip. When you’re passionate about it you’ll have a higger chance at success. Good luck to saving for that trip. You can probably do it quicker this time around. 🙂

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  15. Please do count me in If you’d give a talk or seminar about life goals. I have a lot to learn from you. Thanks for these food for thoughts.

    I’m to investing but haven’t tried businesses yet. Hope you could teach me someday. 🙂

    Thanks so much bro.

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  16. This really speaks to me on a personal level since I also own a small business and is very much into travelling. It’s hard to see the silver lining when we are in hard situations, just as I am now, but reading your post kinda confirmed that things will eventually fall into place. I guess adulting really comes with failures and overcoming. Kudos to taking the risk and rising on top of the Universe’ shit. LOLS

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  17. You have a very courageous heart and I admire you for that. Not everyone will have the guts to tell the world their weaknesses but you just proved to us that we are humans and we tend to have our low points sometimes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful lessons to all of us and I agree with you. Our time will come when we can finally reach our dreams. We just have to be patient and believe in the reality of our dreams.

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  18. Lai, I appreciate the life advise from this post. It’s not about travelking this time but I still get a great message. Thanks for sharing your personal experience on this post about business. Venturing to one is like almost marrying, love how you position that. Haha!

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  19. Amazing sharing! Enjoy reading your sharing of life stories & experiences here. Really appreciate your effort to share it & I learnt your life advise from your own experience. This is priceless, thanks for your personal sharing about business. Kudos to you! Cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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  20. I definitely agree that you need to do a business that you are passionate about. And at least you tried! If not you may have always wondered “what if”. 🙂

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