Business, vanj padilla

What my mentor in Isabela told me minutes before I left 

I always want to talk to this person. Because I heard a lot of stories about him.

He is a self-made man, successful business owner, has an unquestionable love for his family and a rock solid faith in God.

IGC Motors big boss Isaias  G. Corpuz with his eldest son

Mentor IC is the proprietor of IGC Motors in Isabela.The company sells quality cars at affordable price. Mentor IC has clients from up to Visayas and Mindanao even though he is from a small town in Isabela.

He was not born with a silver spoon. He admits that they are so poor that at a very early age when boys like him are busy playing games and going to school, he and his elder brother need to look for food.

It was never easy. Everytime I hear their story, it makes me cry. Their struggle is real. He eats hard labor breakfast, lunch and dinner. He worked at a logging business and whenever they get logs from the mountains, he would buy junk materials in sacks that he carries one by one and sells in town.

He also worked as a helper in their eldest brother’s palay and corn buying store, drove tricycle for years just to earn additional money and support their needs.

Bottomline is at a very early age, he has to go through hard labor and learned the value of money.

Minutes before we left their town, I asked him to teach me about financial management. I told him I lack the necessary knowhow on how to handle money, make money work for me instead of the other way around. I told him I don’t want to mess up with blessings that God shall be giving me because I suck at fiscal management. And here are his tips:

Put God first 

All wealth and blessings come from God.

Being alive is a blessing. Having peace of mind is a blessing. We are taught to set aside a portion of our incomes as offering. This offering is being used by the Church to propagate the words of God and introduce Him to other people. The more people who will rightfully worship Him according to His will, the better it is for man. The better it is for us givers.

We offer it during the first day of every week as per the Bible. After setting aside the amount, you now have the freedom to control what’s left of your income.

Do not spend business capital on dead investments.

Cars, unless a necessity should be carefully thought of before you purchase. Think of how the vehicle can help you achieve your dreams or ease up your life rather than splurge on it for the sake of having a nice car.

Houses are also stagnant investments. He said he never spends on house renovation, improvement, expansion unless the money come from other revenue sources or incentives. He does not touch his revolving capital. Revolving capital should be revolving, not stalled.

Capital outlays should always grow  

Before spending your capital, think about how will it earn. How will it work for you. How it will grow. It you think it won’t grow, do not spend on it. Put it elsewhere.

You should go into a business that makes you happy 

I asked him why he went into buying and selling cars when he was a very popular geodetic engineering practitioner.

He said he loved cars, even when he is young. It made him happy. He used to buy a wooden truck when he was a kid. Paid P8 a day to the seller just so it can be told that he owns a truck.

He got the idea to buy and sell SUVs because his father in-law and brothers in-law are few of the best mechanics in town.

He added that he does not buy SUVs from second or third owners. Just first owners. Saves him a lot of trouble and unforseen costs. It makes flipping better and faster.

Most of his customers are silent millionaire farmers. And Isabela has a lot of those. They plant three or four crops a year because of better irrigation facilities. And his clients do not mind price much. They want a better performing, better looking SUV for their family to reward hard work.

Diversify only when ready 

Mentor IC said it is better to focus on one industry and grow or establish it before thinking of diversification. It takes about two to three years to reap rewards in business so its better to put your eggs in one basket first then focus on growing it before thinking of another.

Be a hands-on business owner 

You can delegate tasks but always be there to supervise. You must know every aspect of your business. Get your hands dirty and get paying clients. The adage ‘build and they will come’ only applies to the lazy ones. Build and give them reasons to come over and over are but two of the keys to success.

Live below your means and do not envy what is not yours 

I heard this gazillion times before. My millionaire aunt lives like a poor one inspite of her wealth. Mentor IC shared that when he was young, he used to iron his money to become creaseless. He values it and although he can spend it on anything he likes, he lives like he has lesser money to spend. He does not splurge. He does not have a vice or his spending habits are under control. He is a cash kind of person. Does not use check or credit cards. Just cash. 

Wanting what does not belong to you is the beginning of greed. He said convert the envy into positive energy like instead of thinking how can you ‘keep up with the Joneses‘, work hard for it instead. Do not want what is not rightfully yours. Instead, challenge yourself and put in the efforts.  

It was only a short and simple conversation but indeed, it was one for the books. How can you afford not to listen to the story of a self-made man? The man whose character is unbreakable even by poverty? The person whose determination and business acumen is impeccable? The man who, when he gives something out, God returns it tenfold or more?

I told him to teach me more. I thought I would learn more from Mentor IC like I do from his elder brother. And it was one of the most memorable talks I had in Isabela, the land named after the Queen of Spain.

                                  The display area of IGC Motors in Ramon, Isabela

IGC Motors, dealer of quality cars at affordable prices is located at National Highway, Burgos Ramon, Isabela Philippines. If you need a trustworthy and reliable car dealer, call them at mobile number 0999.574.4262.