“We were stingy in terms of our expenditures. I’m just lucky to have married a wife who doesn’t have a predilection over branded stuff, luxury handbags and shoes. Her happiness and simple joy is a trip to Ukay-ukay on a Sunday. Honestly, I consider it as one of the foundations of our success over the years. Those sacrifices: saying no to promo fares, online shopping, 3-day sale, impulsive financial decisions and more, have somehow led us to a comfortable life today.”
The big question should the call for such support be approved: Who are the middle income earners? How much are they earning? Are you one of them?
Due to the drastic effect of COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines, the Government has released a total of Php275 Billion to help support Millions of Filipinos who are directly affected economically. The Social Welfare arm, DSWD is tasked to distribute cash assistance to nearly 17 Million poor families ranging from Php5,000-Php8,000. This is on top of the relief packs distributed by the local government units utilizing their respective funds. But as the extended lock down of most cities and provinces in the Philippines is being strictly implemented, that also entails continued closure of companies & MSMEs which account to 99.6% of the establishments in the country.
It is noteworthy to point out that the middle class population comprise of small and medium business owners and employees of big corporations whose operation has been halted if not limited since the enhanced community quarantine was in place. Thus, there is a growing public clamor for the government to allocate support for the middle class, which is about 46.8% of the total household in the Philippines. The call became even more palpable when Cavite Governor Remulla wrote a letter to President Duterte making know his sentiments on the importance of providing cash aid to middle-income earners which was verified by the President himself during his address to the Nation.
The big question should the call for such support be approved: Who are the middle income earners? How much are they earning? Are you one of them?
According to a study conducted by PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES in 2018, the middle income has an important role to play in the country’s socio-economic and future developments. The study defined the Middle income class according to their monthly family income between PHP 38,080 to PHP 66,640 per month, computed between four to seven times the poverty line. There are three different levels of Middle class subsequently: Lower middle income, Middle middle income, Upper Middle income. It is not yet clear if these three strata shall be combined to make up the total number of milddle income households that will be qualified should the proposal be approved by the government, as to which the Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez has cast doubts on. He however mentioned that there is a Php35 Billion support for MSMEs in the pipeline. In a very conservative estimate, should there be 7 million qualified middle class households who will receive at least Php5,000 each, the government has to source out another Php35 Billion.
Do you wanna know which Socio-Economic class you belong to? Below is a screenshot from the said study available for public verification. If you are earning at least Php190,400 on a monthly basis, consider yourself rich.
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It starts by dealing with your LIMITATIONS, the most common reason why you remain surviving and living from end to end despite the years’ hard work. These limitations could be your mindset, your perspective about life, the criticism of people around you, or even your educational attainment.
Once you break the mindset that limits your perspective, it is easier to recognize the need to grow and explore your strengths. And the only way to do that is to break free from your COMFORT ZONE. You will only discover your strengths and achieve your full potential when you leave the place where mediocrity fosters.
When you finally take the first step out of your comfort zone, you will encounter LIFE STRUGGLES. They could be failures, discouragement, disappointments and breaking circumstances. Once you overcome your struggles, you will develop the GRIT, your strength of character, which is the bedrock foundation of true and lasting success.
Now that you have found your strength and developed your GRIT by overcoming your life struggles, you are already prepared to challenge the STATUS QUO. These are real issues that will confront you. Your status quo could be doing something you don’t love but you do it to survive or going against the “what-should-be”.
And last but the most critical of all, to break free from your FINANCIAL SETBACKS & BUILD YOUR WEALTH. Managing your finances can be a daunting and challenging task, that’s why many people have suffered greatly by mismanaging them. Money is not an issue. It’s the heart that has issues with money. The goal is to address those problems for you to break free and live a life filled with purpose, joy and financial freedom!
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I’m George, CEO of Suretrust Group, a company that started in Iloilo City and has expanded to 8 branches across Visayas and Mindanao in 3 years. I’m a registered nurse turned entrepreneur and I don’t have a business or management degree. I made my first Million at the age of 23 years old from scratch and now I am managing 3 companies spanning from auto loans, real estate and International education consulting. How did I get here? That’s what I want to share with you. Here are the 6 life and success lessons that I have followed in my life up until today:
1: PUT GOD FIRST.
Put God first in everything that you do. Everything that I am today, everything that you see in me, and all that I have, and I have little things. All these have been made possible because of the grace of God.
During the most difficult moment in my life, way back in 2013, just roughly 5 years ago when I lost everything I had worked so hard for, God was there for me. I was bankrupt, I had more than Php2 Million in debt, I lost every single thing I worked hard for. He picked me up from hopelessness and desperation and brought hope back into my life. I could never have overcome the overwhelming challenges If not because of God’s amazing grace.
And so believe me when I tell you to hold on to God no matter what happens. Whether you’re doing good or life isn’t going the way you planned, always stick with God. There will be moments when all your hard work don’t seem to count, and you feel like you just want to give up and quit. I have been there. Always know that you are never alone in your battle, it is during the most difficult moment when you are at your weakest that God comes in and fight for you.
I’ve kept God in my life and has kept me humble. I didn’t always stick with Him but He always stuck with me. So stick with Him in everything that you.
2: FAILURES MAKE YOU BETTER. KEEP FAILING UNTIL YOU SUCCEED.
“The most successful people are not those who got it right the first time but got it wrong and did something to make it right”
-Thomas Edison had to try 1000 times before he finally invented the light bulb.
-Walt Disney was turned down 300 times before finally getting the money to put up Disney World.
-Michael Jordan missed more than 9000 shots in basketball.
I have my fair share of failures too:
Before I graduated from college, I have already had 5 failed businesses at the age of 20.
When I applied for a job, I was declined by 3 BPO companies
In 2012, I had my first big break when I joined real estate. After 6 months I bought my own, after a year I earned my first million Income.
In 2013, one year later, I lost everything. I lost my first office, I lost my car, and ended up bankrupt with more than a two million in debt.
Because of my past failures, I have learned and I have become a better person.
When we fail, we are confronted with FEAR. And sometimes, we just want to run away and never look back. But the word FEAR has two meaning.
1: Forget Everything And Run
2: Face Everything And Rise
I chose number 2. I faced my failures knowing that God is with me every step of the way. I chose to face my Giant, my Goliath, and like David who was small, ordinary and didn’t have special power, I was able to beat my giant all because of the grace of God.
From being bankrupt, I have co-founded Suretrust Group along with my wife, a holdings company that have subsidiaries operating Auto loans Intermediary, Real Estate Marketing, Travel and Tours and International Education Consulting. Our company has accumulated a total consolidated sales of Php2.5 Billion In less than 3 years. As of today, we have expand our operations to 8 branches in Iloilo, Roxas, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Koronadal and Antique. And so I say to you, IF YOU WANT TO GO BIG, FAIL BIG!
3. THE MOST SELFISH THING YOU CAN DO IN THIS WORLD IS TO HELP OTHERS.
Wait wait wait… SELFISH? HELP? They don’t add up right?
But yes, helping the person to the left of you and the person the right of you is the most selfish thing you can do.
Our body is made up of chemicals that regulate balance and equilibrium. Each chemical has something to do with our feelings.
These four major chemicals are Endorphin, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin. Now I’m able to make use of my nursing lessons.
First let’s talk about the Selfish Chemicals.
Endorphin serves one purpose and one purpose only, to mask physical pain. Athletes survive a long game and still pretty much enjoy it because of Endorphin. It masks the physical pain with pleasure.
Dopamine on the other hand, is an Incentive for progress.
It is the reason for the good feeling when we accomplish something that makes us yell: I did it!
And here’s to something you guys can totally relate, when you post a selfie in social media, each time you get a LIKE, you feel like you’re becoming more beautiful or handsome. Every time likes add up, you feel more beautiful. And here’s the best part, when your crush liked your photo, you turn into Ms. Universe. That’s dopamine.
It makes us feel good about achieving something. As much as it makes us feel good, it’s addictive. Dopamine makes people feel good each time they drink a bottle of alcohol or smoke cigarette.
Now Let’s talk about the SELFLESS chemicals.
Ever wonder why you’re feeling excited and proud with the thought of coming up the stage to get your award or diploma? Which brings me to my point that you wanted me to finish my speech ASAP. The chemical called SEROTONIN is responsible for that. It is the feeling that we get when we perceive that others like or respect us. It makes us feel strong and confident.
Last but not the least, Oxytocin. The LOVE chemical.
It’s responsible for the feeling of friendship, love and deep trust. It is the feeling we get when we do something nice for someone or someone does something nice for us.
Without Oxytocin, we wouldn’t be able to perform acts of generosity. There won’t charitable Institutions or corporate social responsibility in big corporations.
One day I went to the pharmacy to buy Gabbie’s medicine. I was waiting in line behind a man in his late 50s. I overheard him telling the cashier if he could just get the medicine and pay half because he didn’t have enough money and his daughter needed it right away. Being a father too, I felt for him. And so I offered him to buy the medicine and asked him to keep his money to buy something for her daughter. The man was teary -eyed and I saw from his face a shade hope. He felt good. That moment, I felt good for helping someone I don’t know. And not only that, when the guy went out, the cashier was smiling and told me, what you just did made my heart melt. The cashier felt good.
Simply seeing or hearing about acts of human generosity actually inspires us to do the same.
In my company, we are putting much value on helping people within our organization. The best team are not literally those who have the best skills but those who are doing great in protecting and helping people to their left and to their right. Because of this, we have grown from a start-up company in Iloilo City to Multi-National holdings company with four subsidiaries under it. Our mission is help ordinary people earn through Suretrust by selling brand new cars and houses and help clients save money by offering them affordable and transparent deals.
This is the reason why helping others is the most selfish thing to do. Because the more good things we do, the more good we want to do. It makes us good people. So my advice for you is, BE SELFISH!
4. ALWAYS GIVE YOUR BEST IN ANYTHING THAT YOU DO.
I am a firm believer of that excellence isn’t some form of accident but a result of dedication, focus, determination and love for what you. People do best at what they do only because they give their best in what they do. In my 6 years of being in the business of sales and marketing, I have seen different kinds of people who came at our doorstep and I can clearly tell who will do great and who won’t. And I always end up right about my judgment because attitude is a powerful determining factor of performance. There are people who will work from 9-5 only for money and there are people who would go beyond the extra mile and work with their blood, sweat and tears to get the job done. Those who work for money never lasted for more than six months. They eventually worn out and began to blame the company for their low performance. Those who had great working attitude are still with us until today and are enjoying the fruits of their dedication and hard work. Some are able to buy their own car, some are able to help their parents build a home, some were able to travel abroad at all expense paid by the company. There will always be a reward when you give your best in anything that you do. There is no shortcut or life hack to be the best. You have to give your best to be at your best.
5. NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE. MAKE YOUR OWN DENT IN THE UNIVERSE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL. CREATE YOUR OWN STORY.
I remember the time when I graduated from High school. I took up nursing because It was the most In demand and the degree that you could land you a job abroad and earn dollars. Aside from the practical side of it, there were so many reasons why I decided to take it, even If i didn’t want to. My family wanted me to be a nurse, most of my friends were going for it.
A lot of things can probably be playing in your thoughts. The right career, the right university, the right course, the right job, or probably the right “one’.
And in the world that we’re living in today, there are just so many open access to data about everything that you need to know under the sun. Like “Life Hacks” in the internet from “How to cheat effectively in exams” to “How to become a millionaire in 6 months” or “How to make a girl say yes” and so much more.
Social media has become a very strong Influence in terms of how we view life. People will sometimes tell you this is what you should do and who you should be. We tend to change our authenticity to fit into something we’re not.
I like what American actor Bill Graham said:
Social media is training us to compare our lives, Instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is depressed.
The lesson here is simple. Not everything that works for me, works for you. And not everything that works for you, works for me. So if you’re used to cheating during exams, you’ll face the consequences later when you go out in the world when you’re on your own and there’s no where else to look at but your own test paper. And that test paper is your life.
The truth is, life is the most difficult exam because most people are looking at someone else’s desk. In school, you get the lessons first then test after. In life, you get the test first, then lessons after.
6. BE PATIENT.
I wanna encourage you, Do not give in to the demands of the world. Do not give in to pressure. We are all moving in our own different time zones. My story will stand proof to that.
I’m a registered nurse but I ended up CEO of a company that’s completely unrelated to my degree.
I failed so many times in my attempts in business but still I ended up a businessman.
I had a relationship for 6 years but we broke up. I met someone, we dated for 6 months and got engage.
I know people who never studied in college but found what they love at 18, and became successful at it.
I know people who were so sure about what they want to be in High school, and changed their mind when they graduated in college.
I know people who got 75 but became successful.
I know people who got 95 and now are working for someone who got 75.
Friends, everything in life happens according to our own clock. You may look at some of your friends and think that they’re ahead of you and maybe some are behind you, but everything happens in our own personal time zones.
My advice to you is, BE PATIENT.
At age 20, Henry Ford worked as an assistant mechanic. It was until he became 40 when he founded Ford Motor Company.
At age 65, Colonel Sanders failed when he first started a fried chicken restaurant. It was until he became 70 years old after 1000 attempts to finally franchise what we now know as KFC.
Jack Ma, the richest man in China, started Alibaba when he was 35.
My point is,
Getting a job in a small company still pays.
Traveling within in the Philippines is still fun.
A simple wedding reception is still sweet.
Driving a small car is still awesome.
Getting married at 35 is still romantic.
Becoming successful at 60 is still Iconic.
Do not let your life be defined by the other people’s timeline and be a mirror of someone else’s life. Live your life based on your own terms.
Be who you truly are,
Create your own story,
Be happy with what you have,
Work on your dreams,
Reach for your goals,
Do what you love
And always trust God in everything that you do.
I think to me, that is what truly matters.
INTRODUCTION. Four years ago, I only had five hundred pesos in my pocket when I entered the building of a local developer to join real estate selling in Iloilo City. I never really imagined myself as a salesman, the degree I earned will probably tell you why. I am a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing […]