“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.”