Jan 26, 2013
In Davao City, despite its size and economic activity, I went through a nose-dive that gave me a rude awakening. It's not just in Davao, but the country, in my humble opinion, is still an internet backwater for launching online marketing campaigns. As such, my Philippine-based social enterprise was appreciated, but not subscribed to. I've done due diligence knocking on doors, talking to people, emailing, making presentations, but at the end of the day, nothing came out of it despite the agreeable nods they gave me.
While utterly disappointing, it didn't really come as a surprise. I had been ignoring the glaring fact that's been in my face for too long. I've just been stubborn or perhaps too caught up in the 'dance' where I skirt the abyss by hovering just above poverty line, internalizing the meaningfulness of skirting the edge. It's a nice romance, but I have to wise-up. The glaring fact is, the Philippines is NOT web-centric. It's very hard to make money on the internet if you're dealing with the present-day cultural stumbling blocks. In the Philippines, no one does business from an email he receives from a complete stranger no matter how sound. It's not because of SPAM aversion - email is simply not the business medium of choice. Business people still want a face-to-face meeting and a handshake. Unless introduced or endorsed by a friend, colleague or family, it's hard to get past the receptionist, security guard or secretary. To make money here in the Philippines, I have to work 3x as hard to make a third of what I can possibly make outside. From a logical standpoint, it never made sense.
I somehow saw this coming - the reason why I launched 2 global websites late last year as a hedging mechanism. But now, I have to shift focus from local to global. With a global audience that's more web savvy, having their own websites, having more purchasing power, and a cultural convention of doing business online, I should exponentially grow given the same amount of work I'd been doing locally. This time, the theme is abundance through material gains while keeping in check its social relevance in providing a level and equitable field to all stakeholders - the ethical component remains paramount.
I feel a little sad that I must now ween myself from a growing organism that I conceptualized, designed and developed for 2 1/2 years. From a thought, it now provides a roof over my head in plush hotels and high-zoot resorts. From a thought, it allowed me to break bread with friends as they became my 'plus 1' breakfast guests. I've gifted nice hotel rooms to friends and family, treated them to good eats using up gift certificates from great eating places. From a thought, it allowed me to throw away 'home' and live life on the open road. It gave me the freedom to do what I want to do, be what I want to be and go where I want to go. These things will not be totally abandoned - they just won't take the spotlight anymore.
It's odd that I now take this direction given my quest to push the limits of poverty just a few years back. Interestingly enough, this move may fulfill what an Ananda Marga Dada once prophecied after reading my palms - not that I subscribe to fortune telling, but hey, it's not costing me anything to feel good about it. I'm more curious how this thing unfolds.
Today is Day 1...a new evolutionary direction in wealth building. The world is now my oyster. Lemon and Tabasco please?
Jan 26, 2013
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