Pinoy shares secret to being a 'serial entrepreneur'
MANILA, Philippines – Simply juggling work and family is a daunting task for most, but for serial entrepreneur Lex Ledesma, being involved in multiple endeavors—and being good at it—is all about time management and finding the right people.
Ledesma is one of the founders of the One School, and is currently running three Whistlestop restaurants and the Nami Resort in Boracay.
He is also into buying and selling houses and vintage motorcycles.
“It’s about time management and having good teams also to run the businesses that you start,” he told ANC’s “Shoptalk.”
Ledesma said that with every business opportunity that he ventures into, he focuses on grooming personnel who can make the right decisions for the business.
“At the onset, each business requires at least three years to build a team that can help you run it when you are not there,” he said.
He also said that he gives a business 2 to 4 years before he goes into another venture.
This strategy has allowed Ledesma to do outreach work on weekends, and study psychology at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman.
“I have a very balanced life. I don’t overwork, I have a lot of time to do a lot of things,” he said.
Ledesma came from a family of entrepreneurs, which he said instilled in him at a very young age how to value money.
It taught him how to “work with what you have” and how to be “very creative when you are making your decisions.”
“I knew from the day that I was born that I was going to become an entrepreneur because everyone in my family is an entrepreneur. It’s not unusual for us to have many businesses,” Ledesma said.
“[Coming from a family of entrepreneurs is] very useful because you grow up with a certain mindset. Growing up, I always had the smallest allowance because I was always managing my money. I was asked to account for every centavo I was given for allowance, and if I didn’t account for it, I wasn’t given the same allowance the next time, so the training really started at birth,” he said.
Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
Ledesma said there are three things that aspiring businessmen should keep in mind: passion, skills, and market opportunity.
“Those are the three things that you have to look at when you are putting up a business. If you don’t have one of those things, then you definitely should walk away. People who start business just for the money never really last in those businesses because at some point, especially in the beginning, you’re mostly putting money out and no money is coming in. So you have to wait through that process,” he said.
Ledesma said he has also used other investment tools to grow his money, but only in tools that he “has a lot of control over.”
“I’m here for the long haul, I’m not here for a quick buck. People who want to make a quick buck always lose their money because it’s very easy to become greedy and if you just look at it as a game and not something that’s so important, then you will win some and you will lose some,” he said.
He also said that money earned from the business should be separated from personal finances.
“Your business and yourself is separate, so you should never use your business money like it’s your own money. Pay yourself a salary, give yourself dividends and don’t touch that business money because the money made by the business should go back into the business to make it grow,” he said.
“You really have to be thrifty with your own personal funds. As your income grows, you cannot allow your expenses to grow with that income, you should just live a simple life and enjoy the process instead of making it all about the money,” he added.
Ledesma also highlighted the value of people in every business venture, saying it is one of the reasons why he decided to study psychology.
“At the root of every business, regardless if they are building apps or building technology, or building houses, the only problem that they will talk about is people, people management, issues with people not getting along. So I think that understanding people is at the core of business and that’s one reason why I decided to spend 7 years studying again,” he said.