“True fulfillment for me was being with the love of my life – finding that person to experience life with. I was at that age where I was thinking to myself ‘Maybe having children is something that I would love to do in this lifetime of being a woman.’ It was something that I haven’t really focused on and I started to wonder whether it was going to happen for me. So, I went from having that sort of empty individual existence to now having a beautiful family, a wonderful husband, a daughter and two dogs.”
“The most satisfying part about teaching is being able to change people’s lives – seeing pleasure in people’s faces when they can do something special. I had someone come in with a debilitating spinal injury. All he wanted to do was to play golf again. I trained him hard and intensely until he was able to return to his passion. It’s amazing! What makes me more determined is going through difficult times and not letting it get to you. If something’s not working, try to face it and analyze it to see how you can make it better.”
“I was working at the Senate in 2013 and the traffic in Manila went from bad to worse. I was spending two to three hours driving to work everyday, and that’s on a good day. I was stressed out and almost psychosomatic. But in December that year, I bought a pack of loose leaf tea. Unlike brewing tea bags, you have to measure one teaspoon for each cup, you have to be mindful of the water temperature, as well as the steeping duration. As I was making it, I discovered what I now recognize as a Zen moment. I found a quiet space inside me and all the stress disappeared. Long story short, I started looking forward to that ritual every day. That moment actually led me to become a tea business owner and a student of Zen practice.”
Doctors are very effective when prescribing drugs because they see what the patient needs without snatching control. They ask, ‘Do you want to do this or not?’ They give their patients the option to choose. So, when I am selling my products, I take the pressure out of it, and make it personal. If I notice that my products will really benefit them, then I strike up a conversation about my business. Otherwise I don’t bring up the topic at all. In the end, I don’t think of it as selling. I just think of it as helping people.
“Everyone was telling me to drop it. But the thing is… this brand came from me. This was mine. I didn’t want to just give it up.”
“I’ve thought about converting my business into a franchise, but I feel that if I franchise it, I will lose so much of what dog-walking is; it becomes less about the dogs, and more about making a lot of money. Dog-walking is a great lifestyle. You can easily get by and there is money to be made, but you have to draw the line between trying to become a millionaire and doing what is best for the dogs; between getting rich and doing what is ethical. I think having an ethically responsible business is more important than making money. Ultimately, I walk dogs as a business, not to make tons of money, but to give dogs the opportunity to exercise and socialize with other dogs and to interact with people who truly care for them.”
“My proudest moment is the time we were featured on TV. And when we watched the show, with my mom and dad beside us, my mom was just staring at the TV. I think she was thinking, ‘Are these my daughters? Are they really there, talking about our story?’ My parents really felt like we were doing something good.”