It’s time for your own Christmas Business

Ber months na!
Have you noticed how there are so many bazaars over the holidays? Or how one or two or more of your friends may be busy on weekends because they’re selling there wares?

In case the thought flew by you,Christmas is an opportunity not only to be generous but to generate wealth!

Christmas is a prime spending season:
  1. It’s the season of giving – people are more willing to spend on others during Christmas.
  2. It’s a season of pampering and indulgence – Aside from stuffing themselves with tons of food, many people plan to spend (or splurge) in Christmas time. It’s the end of the year, they’ve worked hard to get to where they are, now they want to celebrate.
  3. It’s a season of temptation – Christmas time is when stores flash sales, mega-sales, 0% interest schemes, buy now pay later promos, etc. all sorts of enticements to get people to spend.
  1. A lot of buyers – people are willing to spend on themselves and others during xmas, they are looking for unique gifts to give
  2. Opportunities to sell – bazaars are everywhere, companies need suppliers for a lot of gifts,
It might seem opportunistic – and it is! Building wealth is about recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
Here are some businesses you might want to consider:
Focus is on Gift Items 
Option A: simple buy and sell – clothes, accessories, gadgets, etc.
Look for goods that are unique from ​those of ​other competitors or things that are usually found in bazaars. You have enough time to import them! If you have a kamag-anak abroad have them send a box over.
Option B: homemade goods – cakes, cookies, chocolate, jam, etc.
This is perfect if you’re really good at food and can package stuff in a pretty way!  Just make sure you test your products (and also test producing in large quantities). You should know your ‘eat by date’.
Option C: Something Crafty and Personalized
Create unique and/or personalized christmas decorations. Decorate boxes
Focus on Season Related Services
Option A: Personal Gift Shopper
Do you like to shop? Or are you always at the mall? Do you like to find quirky things? You could be a personal gift shopper. Some people are too busy to shop for gifts whether its for their family, friends and especially their work colleagues and contacts. All the client needs to give you is a list of people and a little indication of what kind of gift would be appropriate and their budget. Charge a fee on top of the gift or a flat rate for the service – your choie.
Gift Wrapping / Christmas Packaging
Again, people can be too busy to do this themselves. Whether they want simple wrapping or impressive wrapping. Head out to Divisoria and grab a ton of wrappers, ribbons, scotch tape, ornaments, cards and the like and put your creativity to good use.
Catering or Pre-Cooked Party Food
Be hired for your superb cooking! Cook the food for parties of 5 -10 -20… whatever you can handle. Whether the party is at someone’s home or at some venue you can pull it off.
Even if you intend this solely as a seasonal business–the following rules apply!
1. Know your market – who are there, where do they buy, how much they are willing to spend, which bazaars they go to…
Some markets you can immediately consider: your network (friends, family, officemates), local bazaars, kamag-anak abroad who want to give something different and special to people here in the Phil, etc.
2. Know your competitors – do they sell the same things you do, how much, how do they promote themselves, etc.
3. Keep detailed records of your investment, expenses and sales so you can manage your finances effectively.
A note about payments: one of the worst things that can happen is that you spend your money (or use your credit card) and then people don’t pay you (for whatever reason). Consider taking a non-refundable downpayment (especially for services where you have an out right expense). 
A note about limits: Don’t get too much business that you can’t possibly serve all of them. Live to sell another day/season – then next season get reinforcements! 


Valentines Gift to Make Her Ugly

In an effort to be entrepreneurial, Koi and I were thinking of what we could make quick cash on this coming valentines… as always I referred to the font of all knowledge – google. Lo and behold what I found on


submitted by: Anonymous
The most creative Valentine’s day gift I have ever received was from my husband, when we were still dating. We met shortly after high school, dated a year, then he left on a church mission and I went away to college.

We wrote each other every week and were still good friends. He knew I dated a few people at school and was a little bothered by that. The Valentine’s day after we had been apart about a year and a half, he sent me the best package.

I had no idea he could be so creative. Inside were items that were meant to scare off other guys. He sent me a razor that he had super glued the blades, so I would have hairy legs. A brush that he had plucked all the bristles out of, so I would have messy hair. Mouth wash that he had replaced with garlic water. An empty deodorant container. Some empty make up containers. And a toy frog to kiss so I would get warts.

I was so amazed that he took the time to think of something so clever. I just loved it. It meant so much to me that he missed me that much. It must have worked because now we’ve been married seven wonderful years!



Guita T. Gopalan

Let’s Make Great Things Happen!

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8 Hats Entrepreneurs Must Have

I’ve read a couple of reviews of the book Creating You & Co. by William Bridges…unfortunately I haven’t been able to get a hold of a copy I can read. Nevertheless, the central idea is that every entrepreneur should be able to don the following ‘hats’ to succeed.

  1. Marketing Hat
  2. Product Development Hat
  3. Operations Hat
  4. Client Service Hat
  5. Sales Hat
  6. Information Management Hat
  7. Time Management Hat
  8. Planning Hat

I agree 100%, entrepreneurs (and might I add freelancers and independent consultants) should be able to wear these hats comfortably and switch hats accordingly. I don’t think its necessary that one is an expert in all eight but rather one should have sufficient handle in all eight to allow for informed decision making. One can always get someone who has a greater expertise and enthusiasm in particular hats –but it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility to choose the ‘expert’ correctly.


Guita T. Gopalan

Let’s Make Great Things Happen!

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Have an Exit Strategy

Nothing in life is permanent so even before you have something be ready to let it go. If you can’t let it go then it’s not good for you. It transforms from something that merely exists in your life to something you are either addicted to or obsessed with.

But being emotionally and psychologically ready to let go is only one side of the coin. The other is about how to actually ‘let go.’ I’m reminded of a concept we teach at Colayco Foundation about investing – before you invest you must know your exit strategy: the why and how you would pull out, redeem or cash in your investment.

In life, I realize, the same should apply. Know your exit strategy: why change will be needed and how to effect it, why letting go will be necessary and how to go about it.

Easier said than done – even just the ‘being psychologically and emotionally ready’ for impermanence, letting go and change… is already a tough one.

Below are some points I’ve found useful/practical.


  • Start a business endeavor with the end in mind that you will eventually sell it to someone (when it is successful) – this means preparing and maintaining good legal and financial documents.
  • It also means, knowing the point at which you will say ‘this business is no longer profitable/feasible.’

Career / Job / Employment: Modern careers are characterized by dynamism – multiple changes in employment and at least one major career shift. Staying in one job for the rest of your life is becoming rare (even among entrepreneurs). Given this, I am reminded of Jim Rohn’s words: Learn to work harder on yourself, than you do on your job. Wherever you are now:

  • Figure out what you don’t want if you don’t know what you do want. Don’t wait till you are overwhelmed and frustrated with where you are right now before you speak up or decide to leave your company.
  • Work today knowing that you are leaving eventually – Do work well and maintain good relationships with your subordinates, peers, clients and superiors – your reputation and network will go a long way in the long run. Keep your documentation and files organized. Figure out what you don’t want if you don’t know what you do want.
  • Milk it dry : knowledge, skills, network, accomplishments…
  • Keep your end in mind… and the next step in sight.

Romantic Relationships:

  • Same as when you are employed…figure out what you don’t want if you don’t know what you do want. Don’t wait till you are overwhelmed and frustrated with your partner before you speak up or decide that it’s time to move on.
  • Be the better person always – whether you are the one with the desire and reason to leave (and thus cause hurt in the other person) or the one who was hurt. Or if you happen to be someone who betrayed your lover’s trust then be the better person moving forward.

Originally on Wisdom of a 20-SomethingJanuary 11, 2011


Guita T. Gopalan

Let’s Make Great Things Happen!

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The ASIDE Vision

ASIDE was a separate blog I started just this July. However, after a while I realized I should just collapse it into this blog because in the end it’s still my thoughts. I still dream of building, creating, establishing ASIDE in the real world. So for now ASIDE is a category in this blog. :D Enjoy

I believe the way to improve the quality of life of Filipinos and other Asians is through design, innovation and entrepreneurship directed towards addressing social problems.

In the course of my work, my studies, my research and my day to day life, I encounter people, ideas, initiatives, enterprises, designs, etc. directed towards alleviating poverty, improving health and sanitation, providing livelihood, and the like and most importantly these are simply amazing.

ASIDE is all about sharing the amazingness of social innovation, design and entrepreneurship (SIDE) ideas, personalities, initiatives, etc. 

Pretty basic right, but why focus on Asia? Well for one, SIDE as a development paradigm are in their infancy in the region. Most knowledge, practices, standards etc. come from the US, UK, EU and others. Their social problems are drastically different from that of Asia. In addition their appreciation of Asian social problems is different (not ineffective or unhelpful – just different). There is a need to re-frame these concepts and customize them for Asia, the countries in the continent, and the specific localities.

ASIDE seeks to stimulate thinking and discussion to both expand and localize SIDE in the hopes that such will spur more SIDE for and by Asians.   

There is so much more that ASIDE can become…so as with everything about ASIDE…here’s what ASIDE is About, what I envision (a working description).


Guita T. Gopalan

Let’s Make Great Things Happen!

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