MANILA, Philippines – If investments take a wrong turn towards bankruptcy, entrepreneurs should learn to toughen up and do what it takes to get out of debt.
Boom San Agustin, a senior consultant at Our Knowledge Consulting Services, said this is what he learned when he found himself in P27 million debt because of a bad investment.
Agustin said the debt put him in a dangerous predicament and even pushed him to contemplate suicide.
But Agustin, a father and a husband, said he had to toughen up to bring his family out of debt.
He said he had to “claw his way back” and looked for other sources of income.
“If you have to sell balut, if you have to go out and start a living from street vending, do it, because at the end of the day, opportunity comes to those who put themselves out there,” he said on ANC’s “Shop Talk.”
Our Knowledge Consulting Services senior consultant Boom San Agustin
Agustin also advised those who may find themselves in this scenario to forget shyness and don’t be afraid to approach anyone who can help you.
“Forget that Filipino trait of shyness. Go out there and ask,” he said.
When Agustin was millions in debt, he said he had to sell all of his belongings and move to a shanty. He then tried working overseas, and then returned to the Philippines to work in two call center jobs.
“I was lacking sleep, working 18 hours a day,” he said.
He then ventured into an online writing career and eventually built his savings to put up a new business.
Agustin said it is key to enter a business or a job that suits your passion because this will encourage you to keep working toward your goal.
“Do something that you like to do, because when difficulty comes along then you can always do what you do,” he said.
He also suggests creating an exit strategy in any business venture to anticipate the results of good or bad situations.
A break-even strategy is needed for situations when you need to close down a failing business as soon as it breaks even while a growth strategy is to know how to handle the growth of the business
“You need to have several strategies, anticipating whatever happens to your business,” he said, noting that it will also help to hire someone to help you create these strategies.
To avoid getting into debt in the first place, Agustin said to take the time to research on your investments.
“Don’t ignore the red flags, before committing to investments, do your due diligence, take the time to research on your investments…Always get as much information as you can. Study and research. Reference check even your own capacity because sometimes you overestimate your own capacity, and if you do that, that’s also a negative thing,” he said.