Friday, April 17, 2015

Francis Kong: What He Can Teach the Entrepreneurs

My school employer, STI Gensan, happened to sponsor a renowned entrepreneur - speaker, Francis C. Kong, for a day's seminar on Personal Leadership and Disciplines of Successful Entrepreneurship last April 14, 2015 at GreenLeaf Hotel, General Santos City. The place was fully swarmed with business tycoons and enthusiasts.

I happened to join in the second seminar and quite liked what Mr. Francis imparted. Having owned a family business, Kreativ Boutique, a retail store in Gaisano Mall,  which I share with my siblings and in-laws, has been both blissful and challenging. The pressure doing it all, inventory, marketing, sales, among others can put a toil to all of us to the point that I want to personally give it up.

Kreativ Boutique, our family business since 2010

The talk with Mr. Kong put some new insights, although, some I had previously read from books and other resources.  Let me sum up some interesting tips for entrepreneurs of all ages especially for those who are struggling:
with STI new graduates and students

  • Business is VUCA. This means that it is vulnerable, uncertain, challenging / complex and ambiguous. There are no straight answers to entrepreneurship. We can only be guided by the best and worst practices of those businesses who succeeded and failed. 
  • Family businesses oftentimes fail because of lack of technology, transfer of knowledge, innovation and succession. I could only agree more. Having to do everything just to save on cost, is not actually helping. Acquiring technology may mean cost but it will save you time and offer comfort and convenience to your customers among others. 
  • Entrepreneurship is passion. Mr Kong gave a different meaning of this: suffering. Just like the shepherd who guards his flock, you can't allow other people to man all your business and expect normalcy. Eventually, these people may become the wolves who can devour your flock, in short, your business to failure. An entrepreneur breathes and lives thru his business, so, time and effort must be given more.
  • Invest on ideas and innovation.The challenge is not the competitor but how a business can create more value in the marketplace. One cant remain stagnant, otherwise, you join the rest who go extinction. 
  • Invest on the people, the right people. Compensate properly employees who share your passion. Train them,so, they become more productive.  Let go of the ones who remain passive and care less for the growth of your business. 
Bottom line is Mr. Francis can quite inspire entrepreneurs to dream big, to do more for their business, that way, the direction is only to look and act forward.

The two - hour session with him was quite insufficient. But, I could only hope that we all can internalize his inputs. 

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