Moving on…

CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2016 - 9:00am

“No President has ever sold any of your LEDs.”

“What you need is professional business advice not political opinion.”

“Politics like the golf course is bad for business.”

“If you want ROI from your business, then Return to your Investment.”

“Politicians and the media profit by making elections sound important, what real profit do you have to show for agreeing to be their audience?”

Those are just some of my growing number of response to people who ask me about who will be the next President.

People might say I’m being cynical, but that is hardly the case. I am actually being very realistic and batting for people, particularly those in business as well as leaders to “move on” from our cultural predisposition to gather at the “kanto” or a similar venue and waste time talking about politics and entertainment that have no social or economic redeeming value for Filipinos.

Given all the effort and investment society makes for each of us to be productive and contribute to overall profits, you have to wonder why people gravitate to politics, tsismis and scandals instead of openly asking or talking about opportunities, suggestions on business improvement, or sharing helpful information or tips that we can all profit from. Did I miss something or has a law been passed that stops Filipinos from talking business?

Let me clarify that when I say “talking about business,” I mean sharing and not BRAGGING about how much you know or how much you’ve grown or earned. I appreciate and respect people who are driven in business but I honestly have no respect for insensitive people who show off or sound off on their acquisitions or investments as if they were competing in a game show or a beauty pageant.

The irony in the matter is that the real Taipans or tycoons or big players hardly talk about acquisitions and expansions in social events. Some of the big business people I know intimately are enablers, encouragers and givers. They quietly move about building their empires and patiently bring in the best and the brightest into the room. Two of their common features are patience and real ability to listen to others no matter their stature or education.

As early as last year I already made some effort to make people think and focus on things we take for granted. In a motivational speech I gave to dealers of a high value product, I called out several observations I noted in their general operations that if addressed properly would bring in an estimated 12 to 20 percent additional annual revenues.

One of those on the list was about prioritizing and developing repeat customers instead of obsessing on new customers only. The point was a repeat customer brings both “new” purchases as well as promotes the business to new customers, which would be hitting two birds with one stone.

Yesterday I met up with a friend who was planning on investing more money to build new buildings for additional work areas and storage. As a “spotter” (someone who studies the way things move on the ground or in business) I pointed out to my friend that he had ample room, sufficient areas and that what he needed to invest on is time and effort to study how his people worked and used space.

Recently I noticed that a very high-end retail store that caters to the very rich clientele has expanded to Cebu City and has been growing big, but they may not have noticed that they inadvertently forgot or lagged behind in projecting their brand and developing or attracting or developing new customers.

At another event, I chanced upon a high-end property developer who managed to build up his image and reputation and consistently brought up his brand value. When I asked why he seemed to have “dropped out” from the limelight, I learned that it was a personal decision because he had grown uncomfortable from the spotlight and the “ingit” factor or negative side effects. What he overlooked and I pointed this out was he failed to replace himself with someone or something to carry on the promotions and publicity.

Just to bring the point “home,” I recently spoke at the Beacon Academy in Sta. Rosa Laguna where a number of business people and professionals were invited to talk about their respective careers and professions so that the high school students who were interested or considering such courses or fields could garner more accurate information.

I don’t know about the others, but I apparently succeeded to terrorize the students and to have second thoughts about getting into the field of journalism. At one point I made it clear that it would be financially difficult if not impossible to send their future children to fine institutions such as Beacon Academy on a journalist’s salary. Out of curiosity I probed the students what their respective parents or dads did for a living?

To be honest most of them were clueless. But they are not the exception to the rule especially the girls. Our society is so protective of our children that we end up isolating them from the real world or our world!  The only time our children ever hear about how hard our lives, jobs or sacrifices are is when parents are giving them sermons as part of their punishment for an offense. Schools invite parents and professionals to talk about work and business. But how many business establishments or companies encourage or have a “come to work day” as part of their HRD program?

As a result of that observation, I suggested to the officers of Beacon Academy to host a follow up seminar for their students entitled: “What is the Real World like?”

Obviously there is so much that people in business and even at home can focus on instead of the mindless acoustic wars in politics and chatter in entertainment. We all have businesses to run, homes to live in and families to care for. Politics affects us the least, does very little for us at home and in the end there is no real or appreciable Return On Investment. Let’s Move On!

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com


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