John Paul De Guzman

I can vividly remember mid-year of 2015 when we lost our top-paying client, moved into our new office, and almost close shop. What an amazing year!

We were dry and desperate. It felt like we’re heading for a crash. With two kids, six employees, piles of debt, and rent to pay, and the business is our only source of income — we had no choice.

We need to make it work.

It’s like a scene in the movies. We don’t have any money. But we need to buy milk. So my wife looked for coins lurking around in the house. Went to the shop to buy groceries and milk, summon all her strength to pay all items on the counter with all the coins she collected. It was one of the lowest time for us.

But we need to survive.
So we had to borrow money — from my parents.

Both my parents have been cynical about our company. They haven’t seen any visible progress from me for the longest time. My parents think that “doing things on the computer” is not a “legitimate business endeavor.” So, most of our conversations would burst into confrontations, wild shouting, tantrums, and — dramatic exit. Imagine, a 30-year-old me throwing tantrums because my mother won’t lend money for our payroll. Those temper tantrums went on for about three to four times that year. I felt embarrassed for me, my wife, and kids.

I thought we’re doing fine. I felt I’ve already made it. But to be honest, I never made it in the first place. I was a Big Failure.

Valleys will make you appreciate the mountains. But it was the pursuit of our mountains that made us unappreciative of the little things that made valleys a wondrous place.

Looking back at it, my parents have been very supportive of all my endeavors. My parents were entrepreneurs. And we’re all raised in an entrepreneurial environment. So all this time, I thought they did not understand anything I was doing. They did. I failed to see because I was so naive — self-centered. My ambition blinded me.

Being beaten down in life makes you appreciate the smaller things you often take for granted.

If it wasn’t for my wife and my parents — I was a headless chicken.

Those dreadful years pushed us harder. And we constantly remind ourselves to always persevere. We have come a long way. But still a work in progress. A lot has changed since then. Now, I have four kids and eighteen employees.

These events remind for me to to be humble — to appreciate the journey more than the destination.



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