From being a probinsyano manning a grocery store’s counter after school in Roxas City to becoming the youngest billionaire in the Philippines’ Forbes 50 Richest List, Edgar “Injap” Sia II had his fair share of life lessons. Before being known as the man behind Mang Inasal, the fast food chain he founded when he was 26 years old in 2003, Injap was just a simple, young boy with big dreams. “My parents didn’t start out rich. When they were beginning to raise a family, and for so many years afterward, they had to work very hard for whatever they had,” he explains.
Now with his new venture real estate company DoubleDragon Properties, and a book entitled Life Principles by Injap Sia, Injap continues to be an inspirational figure for many. “Whatever achievements and success I’ve had didn’t happen overnight,” he shares. “It is a product of guidance, hard work, careful planning, and intense and passionate execution for many years.”
In Life Principles, Injap recalls some of his memorable experiences from his youth, as well as business values, and life principles that helped and inspired him to be his very best. He also lists the phases an entrepreneur should go through when starting out. Below are a few excepts from his new book that could actually inspire you when pursuing your own dreams and goals. Take note, aspiring businessmen.
1) Make the decision to go into business
“The first phase is making the decision to go into business. This is the first and most important prerequisite, since it will determine whether you are wasting your time or not.” Injap shares. “At that time, I was determined to start a business—I didn’t know what it was going to be, but I was longing to do something more, something big.”
Injap says that what's important is that you have the drive, the dream, and the determination—everything else follows. “I was excited to do something, even if I didn’t know what it was. I think you need that feeling—that excitement, that fire—to make your dreams a reality.”
2) Check your resources
The second phase is checking your resources: time and money. “Time and money are intertwined with one another, even if they are different things. Every time you start a business, it will eventually involve shelling out money, but you should take into account not just how much you have , but how much money you are willing to risk.”
He adds, “At the time I put up Mang Inasal, I was just 26. Which means that—and this may be true for many—I had more time, but less resources. So I decided to move the fulcrum of the lever, by finding more resources. I thought of borrowing from my father for my startup capital. Getting a loan was also another option.”
3) Choose what business to open
“The third phase is the most interesting one: Choose what business to open,” Injap stresses. “It could be a business that you have been dreaming of. Here is where your good entrepreneurial skills come into play for the first time. It is in this stage where you close your eyes and dream.”
During this phase, there are countless of questions you must answer. Here are some of them according to Injap:
-How do I start?
-Is there a gap left out by the big players?
-Is there an industry transition brewing?
-What will the store look like?
-What will be its name?
-What will my product or services be?
-What will be my price points?
-How will I market it?
-Do I have the resources?
-Will the business relevant for generations?
4) Do a self-check
The fourth and last phase is a self-check. For Injap, this final step is the most important and the most serious one, as in this phase, you have to shelf your excitement and be realistic about your internal and external strengths and weaknesses. “I asked myself: Do I have the stamina for this? Do I have the support of anyone? Do I have the natural burning passion for this? Am I ready to jettison my free time? How do I see the business five, ten, or twenty years down the road?”
“Whatever achievements and successes I had didn’t happen overnight. It is all a product of guidance, hard work, careful planning, and intense passionate execution over many years,” he shares. “To succeed, you really have to put your heart and soul into it.”
Life Principles by Injap Sia is out now in bookstores, newsstands, convenience stores, and supermarkets nationwide for P295. Injap Sia will donate all royalties received from the sale of this book to the Injap/Sia Family Educational Scholarship charity program.