After 3 years of working as a marketer of a multinational food and beverage manufacturing company, I decided that it was my time to move on. Don’t get me wrong; I liked my job. Even after 3 years, my deciding factors for joining the company were still met:
1) Holistic professional training
2) Culture fit
3) Fair compensation
So what nudged me to leave?
1. Listen to Your Inner Voice
It would be convenient to say “quarter life crisis” or that I’ve exceeded the average number of years a millennial stays in a company (1.6), but it wasn’t. Looking back, it was due to an incessant tug in my heart that disturbed me. A voice in my head started getting louder 5 months prior to my departure telling me it was time to plow a pasture that was more for me. I wanted to use my time to do the things that were more meaningful to me. I envisioned that it was something I would gladly wake up early for on a Saturday morning and even do it for free!
2. Know Your Passion
As I reflected, I couldn’t articulate what made me tick. I kept trying to answer my mother’s paraphrase of Frederick Buechner’s definition of God’s calling. She says that God’s calling is the intersection of my greatest passions and the world’s greatest needs. So I did my homework. I looked back at instances where I felt I was my best self at work and in school. I’ve always known that the “Image Industry” excited me. Beyond looks (wardrobe and physique), the Image Industry deals with verbal and non-verbal communication, packaging and delivering a good show. I thoroughly enjoyed performing on stage, organizing programs, creating pitches, watching commercials, looking through ads in the magazine and watching documentaries of remarkable personalities in history that have boldly left their mark. I have encountered my friends and colleagues having the difficulty to craft and tell their story. Their point of discomfort was something I wanted to ease.
All in all, this act is called Branding. It is both an art and science to be able to deliver the intended message across.
3. Find Mentors, Be A Student for Life
I explored my options here and abroad with some job interviews and conversations with people I respected like my parents. I am fortunate that Ma and Pa taught me ever since that as long as I keep doing what I love, the money would follow.
After weeks passed with prayers made along the way, I asked my parents out for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. While enjoying bulgogi and kimchi, I presented my plans. We gladly bounced off ideas and started finishing off each other’s sentences and plates.
So in August 2015, I let go of my corporate job to take a step closer to my dream one. With my savings intact and at 25 years old, I decided to put up my own branding firm named Brand’eM (bran-dem). Brand’eM aims to create brands that are as clear as black and white. By having more deliberate branding of ourselves (individuals and companies), I dream that we will have empowered people who would greatly affect their immediate circles of influence.
Did I foresee myself becoming an entrepreneur? No.