Don’t Stop Adapting

We live in a time where things are constantly changing. With technology so intertwined into our daily lives people have lots of information thrown at them in a short amount of time. So much so that one second we could be thinking about one thing and completely forget what we were talking about the next. Our thoughts are moving faster than our brains can comprehend.

The same goes for businesses. Because of the way we now absorb information, businesses have to fight to stay relevant. What used to be effective marketing 5, 3, even 1 year ago is completely different to what works now. What could be effective now could be old news in 6 months – who knows? But you’re not really surprised by that statement right?

My point is that we should never stop adapting. Don’t stop learning. It’s easy to just say that you don’t want to change and stick to what you know but remember that your customers won’t. Our society is making historical changes right before our eyes, not just on a city or statewide level. Our nation and our world is changing! The way word of mouth works now has changed completely from when I was growing up. Wow, that statement made me feel so old lol 😝 But it’s true! Someone that lives half way across the world could possibly see me, follow me on Instagram, even purchase something from me without even meeting me or hearing my voice.

Photo by: Samantha Hurley

Truthfully, when I started my first business in 2004 social media was barely a thing. So as an entrepreneur it wasn’t quite something that we utilized to communicate with our customer base. You had to think of ways to get in front of your audience, to interact with them in person. Since then I’ve been able to adapt and change in the last 14 years of owning various businesses. I firmly believe that my ability to adapt has helped me continue to be an entrepreneur today.

We should always continue to improve – improve product, marketing, strategy, customer experience, everything. We shouldn’t be afraid to make strategic changes to stay relevant with our audience. It’s the thing that will keep our businesses thriving for years to come.

Xoxo,

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What Makes you Special?

That’s the main question. When you’re starting a business, it’s hard to be the first to do anything. So the question then would be, what sets you apart from the other similar businesses out there?

Photo by: Gordon Hatusupy

What makes you special? Honestly, ask yourself that question and answer it honestly. Don’t be modest. Make a list of what you bring to the table. This is going to help you create a niche and a segment of people that are searching for that exact thing that you have. What makes you special is exactly what the competition doesn’t have and what your customers are looking for.

I just want you to realize there’s something special about you. Unlocking your gifts and talents is going to set you apart.

Your skill set.
Your life experience.
Your struggle.
Your background.
Your upbringing.
Your mind set.
Your approach.
Your ideas.
Your brand.
Your personality.
You.

You are what makes your business successful. If it weren’t for your unique perspective then you would just be a dumbed down version of someone else? And who wants that? It’s a beautiful thing.

So tell me, what makes you special? Cuz you are. You are special.

Xoxo,

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CSUN’s AAPI Restauranteur Panel – Home Cooked

On the 1st of the month I was invited to be speak at a panel for CSUN’s AAPI Association (Asian American Pacific Islander Association). The panel consisted of Tien Nguyen (Los Angeles Food Writer), Kristine de la Cruz (owner of Creme Caramel LA), Rayson Esquejo (co-producer of Eat Play Move LA), and myself. The panel was held at the Oviatt Library in the center of CSUN’s campus.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. When they asked me I was actually really surprised. I knew I was passionate and had a lot to say about what I do but had no idea people were noticing it.

When I arrived the room was still empty, so I wasn’t sure how many people were going to attend. I walked away for what felt like a minute and next thing I know the room is full of people! It was nerve-racking and exciting at the same time.

The room was intimate and inviting, could fit about 50+ people. They had chairs and a couch set up for us. They made it feel like a living room which made me feel more comfortable. 

The panel was a lot of fun. The organizers did a great job making us feel welcome. It felt like we were just talking amongst ourselves at someone’s house – talking about life, how our businesses evolved, and what’s become of the LA food scene. We also discussed what it was like as an Asian-American growing up as a minority and how that affects the way we’ve grown/how we perceive our businesses. Tons of good stuff! Hope the guests found it informative and fun!

We also prepared some pastries for the panel including our Ube Macaroons, Food for the Gods, Ube Custard Cake, and Barako Coffee. They were a hit! I’m so glad people enjoyed it.

What I’m really surprised about, though, is how passionate I am about my upbringing and what it’s like to be Filipino-American. I don’t know, I guess I never really thought about it. I mean it did, but I never thought about it being that pivotal or important to me until I had to talk about it. Talking about what it was like growing up, how my mom would pack me meat and rice instead of PB&J’s, the insecurity I felt, watching my parents be entrepreneurs, the gap between 1st and 2nd generation Filipinos, and the journey of eating both Filipino and non-Filipino food. Wow, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Who knew?! Well now I know, it’s important to me.

More on that later, this needs a post all in itself. In the meantime….

A big thank you to Katherine (in the yellow), Veronica (not pictured), and the entire team at CSUN for your hospitality and for inviting this girl to a big girl party. Hope to work with you again in the future!

xoxo,

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