MANILA -- Although he found success as an actor, Richard Yap has always been interested in business.
“I’ve always been very entrepreneurial," he declared at the launch of the new Start Your Story campaign by Manulife held at Yap's restaurant Wangfu in Serendra, Taguig.
"Even in college, I would sell stuff, like t-shirts or whatever. I was selling it to my classmates. But it’s really because of the influence of my dad, because he was a businessman also,” Yap said of his beginnings as an entrepreneur.
Despite this interest, for more than 20 years, he worked a furniture company and only dabbled in business on the side, including a Cebu lechon franchise, and a fast-food franchise among others.
But that was before he found another career in showbiz.
“When I started in showbiz, I had to let something end. That was letting go of my day job," he recalled.
"That was very scary for me, because I had to think, what if it doesn’t work out? There is fear of not being able to take care of your family, and to give up the income that you already have. That was really hard for me.”
The leap more than paid off for Yap, especially when he starred in the phenomenal daytime series "Be Careful With My Heart."
But despite this success, he continued to do business. He was asked to partner in a Chinese restaurant which eventually became Wangfu.
And Yap wasn't just an investor, as he even took up culinary classes before opening the Chinese bistro.
“You really have to work hard. Put yourself into the business. You have to be determined to make it succeed. You have to learn,” Yap said when asked about his business approach for Wangfu.
While his restaurants are doing well, Yap admits that he also had his share of problems -- like a previous franchise that failed, and even the growing pains in building Wangfu.
Asked about his formula for success, he shared, “There’s no such thing. It’s really hard work, and then you have to be financially prepared. Be prepared to win some, and lose some. Financially, you can’t always guarantee that it’ll always be successful.”
Besides expanding his Wangfu chain, which now has branches in Ortigas and Pampanga, Yap has come full-circle by starting his own furniture company.
Meanwhile, on the showbiz front, Yap is working on the upcoming movie, "Mano Po 7," which is being eyed for this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.