You could find hundreds of inspirational rags-to-riches stories online, but is there something substantial you could actually learn from all these entrepreneurs who made it big in their respective industries? Let us start dissecting the journeys of the most successful entrepreneur in the Philippines, Mr. Henry Sy Sr.
“There is no such thing as overnight success or easy money. If you fail, do not be discouraged; try again. When you do well, do not change your ways. Success is not just good luck: it is a combination of hard work, good credit standing, opportunity, readiness and timing. Success will not last if you do not take care of it.”- Henry Sy, Sr.
The Chinese Tycoon’s business flourished after the 2nd World War, when their family store burned down and they resulted to selling shoes. He gained enough money to establish the now widely renowned ShoeMart or SM, but things weren’t so easy after the war. He had difficulties finding the perfect shoe manufacturer who could execute his ideas and plans from the brand. But with unceasing determination and perseverance, and his unwavering set of standards that he set for himself and the brand, he eventually established more and more stores that catered to what Filipinos wanted and needed at the time – and continues to do so until now.
The key takeaway from Henry Sy or any successful entrepreneurs can be summed in 3 main points. First, failure is inevitable. You must fail in order to find solutions that work, and learning from these mistakes will make you and your business stronger. Second, always be on your toes. Be quick to move and be aware of your surroundings. Know what people want, and be sensitive enough to know when the times are changing and it’s time for your business to adjust and adapt. Lastly, you need to make your own decisions. No amount of advice from a trusted CEO or your closest friends can get to decide how you should go about with your business. Learn to trust your gut and follow through with every judgement you make. However, don’t forget to act for others as well! Have a business that does not only serve your needs but the needs of others, too.