C Level My Way

As I was going through my previous posts (that I have to manually copy to this site), I came across this blog. I decided that instead of re-publishing it as is, I’ll post it here instead;

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Risk-based audit

Written by virayvibe on February 10, 2008 – 8:37 am

First training I attended this year is ‘Adding Value Using Risk-based Auditing.’ This program is awfully familiar to me as I was already trained by SGV and this has been mentioned frequently during my CIA review. So why did I take it? My boss asked me to, so what can I do?

As expected, I was bored to death as I once again encountered slides about audit standards and practice advisories (give me a break!). But thanks to most trainees who happen to be Chief Audit Executives (CAE), I just had this realization.

Four years ago I applied for an analyst position at PNOC-EDC because my batch mate in college advised me that there was an opening. After I passed the exam, I vividly remember how confused I was when the CAE’s secretary called me up to schedule an interview. At that time, who would have thought that audit department needs an engineer to fill an auditor position? But as I was assigned with diverse audit engagements which required me to meet people with varying positions from different places, observe and review unfamiliar procedures, I did not realize that 3 years of rich experience has passed. Yet questioning my audit competency never left my mind because I pursued an engineering course not accountancy. That insecurity, together with the desire to go abroad, pushed me to take the CIA exam.

A year ago, I left EDC knowing that somehow I contributed to its success of being partners with business owners. Gone are the days that auditors were viewed as policemen or ‘cops on the block.’

Now I am already a Certified Internal Auditor and planning to take the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) in the near future.

So what is my realization then? Surprisingly (to me and I guess to those who I have worked with), I now know what I would want to end up in the future. I would want to be a Chief Audit Executive myself. Based on standards, CAE should report functionally to the Board of Directors specifically the Audit Committee and administratively to the CEO. Not bad for a position eh? Well, I’m gonna push my luck (I don’t want whammy!)… we’ll see.

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Seven years after, that wanting to be a CAE all came back to me. I was far from being one, but I was on the right track then. But God has bigger plans. Now, I am reporting to the CEO (who happens to be my husband who in reality reports to me joke!) and instead of reporting functionally to the Board of Directors, I am one of them. hehe…

Some realizations.

Story of Randomness

1. We are still in the process of renovating our office. It’s emotionally and financially draining. I don’t know where to get more supply of patience as we wait for it to finally be over. I can’t wait to see the output and I can’t wait to settle all our dues so that we can move on to our next project.

2.  I am undergoing splint therapy because of my TMJ disorder. After 6 months, I’d be wearing braces to make the treatment permanent. TMJ has been causing pain in my facial muscles, neck and shoulders for years.

3. What’s the travel plan for 2015? I HAVE NO IDEA! (Can you feel the frustration? haha!) Kidding aside, we’ve been delaying a lot of things because we wanted to focus our resources on our new office. As I’ve said, renovating a vacant 220 sqm office space is not a walk in the park. I am still hopeful we’ll continue the yearly tradition, but just in case nothing pushed through, I’m ready.

4. We’ve been pitching to local brands about our company Propelrr.  We’re meeting brand managers, members of the top management, even entrepreneurs themselves to present our company and what we can provide. Definitely a learning experience for a structured engineer-turned-auditor who’s more into financial and operations rather than sales and marketing – that’s me.

5. I am reading a really good book, the Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story. It is about the Enron scandal that led to the bankruptcy of this American energy company. I knew from the very start that it’s going to be a good book, but it turned out to be MORE than I expected. I am learning a lot about running a business from a C-level perspective while enjoying a mystery novel.

6. Our kids are all big! Marcus just turned 16 (the age I met Gary, can you imagine?), and he’ll be in 10th grade this coming school year. He’s now busy helping the company as an intern (not a requirement from his school but from me for him to earn the bass guitar that he’s been asking since last year.) Zach is turning 10, ready for 5th grade, and finally had his circumcision. Lia turned 6 last May and will be a grade schooler in a few months.

Compared to last year, by this time, we’ve already been to Surigao-Japan-Palawan-Baguio. But well, we didn’t have a real office space then. Those travel put together wouldn’t match the cost of the four ceiling-aircon alone that were recently installed in our new office. So nothing to complain about, really.

Pure thanksgiving.

Propelrr’s New Home

I’m back.

The reason for the new design of my old blogsite is that it was hacked. I am still in the process of redesigning and re-posting my previous posts, but at least now I can start blogging again.

It has been 5 months since my last post and I cannot emphasize enough how time flies.

The highlight of this quarter is our transfer to and the renovation of Propelrr’s new office. It will be finished hopefully by the end of May and it will look like this.

PROPELLR_Office(Propelrr’s office plan)

Warehouse style ang peg, but instead of wood we’ll be using steel.

warehouse(picture taken from the internet)

Another milestone for Search Opt Media Inc.

God’s great plan.

My financial journey 4

You may ask, how long have you been doing business? Were you successful the first time?

As I’ve mentioned probably for a number of times already, I never imagined myself being a full-time business owner, or at least not this soon. I envisioned myself climbing up the corporate ladder until I enjoy the perks of being part of the top management. It was my husband who cannot keep still in the corporate world and embraced a number of opportunities presented to him. It was a challenge for both us because we have different risk appetites. Those businesses failed btw. I’ve seen loopholes, my husband gained wisdom.

We realized, as husband and wife, that if we wanted to be business partners, we have to meet somewhere. It took a while for us to finally accept our differences and use it as our advantage. Being a control-freak, analytic and introvert, I have to accept where my risk-taker husband is coming from. The most effective medium that influenced my sudden change of heart is by reading business books. I tell you, I matured in months. A couple of reading, but mostly experience has taught my husband on the other hand to sometimes step-back before making a big decision. He lead the company, I prepared the path.

We’ve been doing business for a decade already. And no, we were not successful the first time.

As they say, “Fail Fast and Fail Forward.”

To Be Continued…

My financial journey 3

Transitioning from an SEO company to a Digital Marketing Company is a leap of faith. But we have no choice. I am just glad that my visionary husband led our team to that transition before it’s too late. And God is pushing us even further, He’s preparing us to transfer to a bigger office.

On my end, this means that I can no longer hold on to my excuse of not having enough Marketing skills and knowledge. I’ve read a couple of Marketing books though, but I don’t think that’s enough. I have to have the right training and experience to do Marketing.

Fast forward to now, I am trying to establish a process for creating a digital marketing strategy while I am helping the company create our Marketing Plan. Clap clap clap…

It took a lot of courage from me to start from scratch and embrace the idea that I have to do Marketing as well. It’s a long way for me though, I have to stretch myself even more.

As they say, “It’s better not to know things sometimes” because now I am thinking about how to grow the company which used to be solely my husband’s concern. Hah!

Seriously, looking at the growth-share matrix, I am seeing our company as a “Star”. (A star is a unit with high market share in a fast-growing industry. Stars require high funding to fight competitions and maintain a growth rate.) This means that we need to have a “Cash Cow” business unit that will fund this Star.

 

BCG Matrix

 

What could our cash cow be if our main business is a Star?

To Be Continued…

My financial journey 2

So where am I now on my financial journey?

I used to think that I’m already at my peak. From an employee trying to make ends meet, to a business owner of a Digital Marketing Company, Coffeeshop and an Independent Distributor of Royale. My family and I are definitely enjoying a lot of things we couldn’t afford before. But are we having an easy life? Hell no! If we stop what we’re doing right now, we definitely won’t last.

That made me realize that I may have climbed a few steps up, I am still far from my peak.

For years I’ve done a lot of different things for the business. I managed things where I’m good at; managing processes, handling the financial, doing accounting, admin, planning, strategizing and all those boring stuff lol. I avoided the marketing side because I told myself I don’t have the skills. Managing business has taught me a lot. It’s like opening another eye that has always been closed before. (Hopefully not the third eye lol)

And I didn’t stop there, I fed myself more knowledge and information through reading, letting my eyes open wider.

I realized, instead of focusing only on my strengths, why not work on my weaknesses as well. I cannot continue doing what I am doing now if I wanted to create big things. I have to do more, be more. This is getting more exciting.

Btw, you may ask why am I sharing this journey. Well, the least thing I can do now is to share my positivity as I tell my Rugs-to-getting-there story until I finally become RICH. Who knows I might inspire someone to start their journey as well.

competition

Picture taken from the internet

To Be Continued…

My financial journey

I have always been a simple person. “White shirt and jeans with minimal accessories” is my favorite outfit. I don’t easily get fascinated with material things. I don’t have problem delaying gratification. I buy expensive things because I have to, for business’ sake, not to pacify myself or impress another.

This must be the reason why my husband asked me recently, “Why do you want to be a multi-millionaire?” He just blurted it out while we were discussing Strategic Plan for my health and wellness business. My initial answer was, “I want to have financial freedom.” And he asked again, “Why?” (My husband can be annoying sometimes lol). It took me a while to answer. I am a thinker, I probed deeper. My initial answer would have been, “I wanted to travel anytime I want, business class plus five star hotel and bring everyone along. I want to fund a bigger office to hire more people and provide them the best compensation one could imagine. I want to ensure good future for my kids. I don’t want to worry about growing old.” This time it was me asking myself, “Why?” (Can you imagine the impatience building up on my husband as he waits for my reply? Good thing he has his phone with him and decided to be online while waiting) I let the question die.

But deep inside, the question lingered for days until I realized that my husband asked me a wrong question.

“Being a multi-millionaire is not my objective, but creating something BIG is.”

To Be Continued…

Growing old

Time is passing by so quickly don’t you think?

I am starting to get scared whenever I look at our kids, they’ve grown so fast. Especially Marcus. I am just glad he doesn’t go out too often (compared to teens his age), but he’s starting to ask permission already. He has someone who he constantly talks to on the phone. Don’t worry I’m ok (kaya pa), just as long as he spends for his celphone load and he sleeps on time.  I don’t have problem with his grades anyway. Zach and Lia, though I can still tell them what to do, are no longer babies as well. Zach even tells me, “Ok, you don’t need to shout” whenever he talks a lot and do not listen to what I say.

One night Gary asked me, out of nowhere, if I really don’t want to have another child. Maybe, he misses a baby in the house. Or like me, he’s starting to feel scared because we can no longer deny the fact that our kids are big already. Btw, my answer to Gary is still no to having another child, I cannot go through the same process anymore. Also, I wanted to have more time with him. To take care of all his needs (his love language is service) that I cannot possibly provide now because I have 3 kids to attend to. I am planning to start having vacation for the two of us starting next year, or maybe sooner, who knows?

I also plan to make more vacations as a family. It doesn’t have to be out of the country all the time, but if only we can afford it we’ll do it. We can go to Baguio, Tagaytay or even in Nuvali where we can use the club house already. I want to create situations wherein my kids don’t have the choice but to spend time with their siblings and their (old, emo and senti) parents. lol

Like 2 weeks ago, we spent our long-weekend in Baguio. Btw, we usually stay at Azalea Residences Hotel because we love how spacious their rooms are and how convenient their location is. We just ate and slept the whole time. This time we tried 2 of the best restaurants in Baguio, Cafe by the Ruins and Forest House, aside from Hill Station which has always been part of our every Baguio trip.

 

photo 1

 

Here you can see the kids’ bed (where Marcus is currently lying down). Gary is watching TV (he prefers to stand when he’s tired of sitting down). Zach, Lia and I are on the dining table. I am having a bottle of beer, Zach is reading the Hotel’s Bible (kulang na lang basahan ako ng verse at i-pray over hehe) and Lia is playing puzzle. On our back is the kitchen where you can find the ref, stove, microwave, sink and cabinets of utensils. On Zach’s right is the bathroom and another room for Gary and myself (though Lia still prefers to sleep with us) which has another TV and bigger closet.

 

photo 2

Picture of our babies-no-more while buying vegetables and Baguio sweets at Strawberry Farm.

I hope we can make many more memories like this.

Why enrol your kids to different schools?

I always get this question. And every time, there is a lag between the question and my answer. I struggle for words to explain that I look for school that would meet each of my child’s needs and not the other way around. I’ve learned my lesson already and I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

My eldest son Marcus was diagnosed with mild ADHD. He doesn’t have learning disability, actually his IQ is above average and he is as normal as any normal child can be, except for one, he needs more attention. He would always get a bad remark for his behavior because of that. His psychologist recommended that I enrol him in a school with small class size (15 students or below) so that he can get the right attention that he needs. BUT because I didn’t want Marcus to feel that he has special needs, I still enrolled him in a traditional school. I tried to talk to the guidance councilor and adviser to make sure that his needs are addressed. They made promises that they were not able to keep. When these traditional schools gave up on Marcus, namely Don Bosco Makati and San Agustin, I was forced to look for another school. Blessing in disguise, Australian International School was referred to me.  Since Day 1, they did not disappoint me. Now, Marcus is always on the top 5 (among 15 kids with different nationalities), he has proven his leadership skills, getting (almost) straight As, varsity player in basketball and learning to play the piano and bass with minimum supervision. Opportunities that for sure won’t be presented to him from schools he came from.

My second child, Zach, goes to San Agustin. He fits the traditional school discipline. I honestly would want to pull him out from that school because the number of students there per class is so big already (almost 50), not to mention how they treated my eldest son. But so far Zach is doing well. He has good grades, speaks well and is confident of himself. I don’t want to stop his momentum by transferring him to another school. Maybe in highschool. So what I do now is I enrol him to other activities such as kumon and swimming. I also tell him to read books about important things not usually taught in school, like financial education.

My only daughter goes to Assumption College. She was enroled in a progressive school last year. There was great improvement in her in terms of social skills and independence but I transferred her this year because in terms of acads, they’re not much of a hurry. That scares me because I don’t want Lia to be left behind. Also I want her to get values and religious education. In Assumption, there are 16 students in her class (compared to 20+ in CSA for Kindergarten). I am still observing Lia’s progress, but so far so good. I will also enrol her to special class on top of Kumon.

There. I believe that I am in the best position to identify what my children’s needs are in terms of learning and development. I don’t want to force my kids in an environment which cannot provide my children’s best interest. So help me God.