By Eric Manalo

Eric Manalo transformed from being a hotel waiter in 1991 to a millionaire investor in 2011. It was a 20-year journey of learning and determination. Today, he wants to share his accumulated knowledge and inspire the younger Filipino generation on how to succeed in business.

Today, he is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and business development consultant. Eric is passionate in helping companies increase their cash flow, develop leadership, and unleash team potential.

Eric is not just a new member of the Ambitious Tribe. He is also one of The After Six Club’s board of advisors. In his article, he shares his ambitious journey.


After 15 years of international travels to the UK, France, Canada, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Australia, and the US conducting sales training, business development and strategic marketing activities, and closing multi-million dollar deals for companies, I decided to share the success formula to entrepreneurs in the Philippines. This success formula can help improve professional and business growth.

My in-house training program is customized according to an organization’s specific training needs. The insights are based on real-life experiences, best practices, and challenges encountered by companies and team members. This is why the audience can relate to the topics and connect with the message.

Is it always necessary to be passionate about what your business is about in order for it to succeed?
Passion is everything. It is a mindset that fuels the focus to deliver desired results. No matter how great your product or service is to the market, if you don’t have a team who’s passionate about the vision of the company, it will never take off. Having competent skills does not mean they have the passion.

How did you obtain capital? Were there investors?
I started my consulting career way back in 2003. After I made my decision, I started on a 12-month planning and preparation stage wherein I save money from my monthly salary as an employee to set up my home office and buy my office table, laptop, fax machine, office supplies, calling cards, and printer.

I wanted to start my business without the use of any credit card or bank loans. I did not invite investors because I truly believe that if I am going to teach success principles to others, I have to experience firsthand what it means to set up a consulting business on my own.

How did you build your customer base?
I started my consulting career with two clients a month. I got clients through referrals from my personal contacts. I was able to close two companies that hired my services for a period of three to six months. Word of mouth is truly the best kind of marketing.

How do you generate new ideas for your business’ growth?
I continuously learn from other speakers. I attend seminars and read books, articles, websites, and news trends that provide me with ideas for my training, consulting business.

What kind of company culture are you implementing? What are your core values?
Integrity, trust, commitment, focus, and passion. Purpose-driven values to create long-term business relationships.

How do you deal with major mishaps? What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
I learn from mishaps in business. One of the biggest learning lessons I can share is this: Be the best you can be to excel and lead others but never get attached because you cannot save everyone if they have an arrogant mindset.

What skills do you believe are necessary in handling a business?
Knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to execute plans.

What would you say are some dos and don’ts in starting one?
Do start your business with purpose. Don’t start a business because of money.

Was there ever a time you felt afraid that this might not work? How did you manage this fear?
I never felt afraid because my higher purpose was greater than my fears. When you decide to use your talents to inspire others to excel, fear is nothing.

Describe a typical day for you. How many hours of work a day do you put in?
I spend the day reading books, creating training videos, and closing deals. I work eight hours daily. I make sure that weekends are spent with family.

What sacrifices have you had to make to get here?
Time with parents and family members. During those times when we were poor and with no money, we had each other. Now that I have money, I have little time to spend with them. But I am truly grateful to have the ability to provide for them.

What can you consider is your greatest success?
The ability to accomplish my task when everyone believed it cannot be done. I closed Php3 billion deals.

What would you say is the secret to success?
It’s a mixture of faith, integrity, and courage.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The ability to inspire others by example.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
I see myself as an international speaker, inspiring Filipinos all over the world.

Do you consider yourself an ambitious person?
Yes, I consider myself an ambitious person. No matter how talented, skilled, or young you are, without ambition, you will just fade away in life.

Do you think being ambitious helps you in business?
Yes, being ambitious drives you to excel and bring out your true potentials even when things get really hard in business. Failure is not an option. Rather, it’s a learning experience to move forward.

What piece of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Remember who you are and know the value or impact of your business to the world. Don’t settle where you are now but create more opportunities and possibilities.


Edits: Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla  |  Image Credit: Eric Manalo

About Eric
For the past 15 years, Eric traveled to the UK, France, Canada, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Australia, and the US to implement sales training, business development, and strategic marketing activities for Century Properties Group CEO Jose E. B. Antonio, which contributed more than PHP3 billion worth of sales for the company.

Today, Eric is a motivational speaker, trainer, and consultant for various companies that are interested to improve leadership, team performance, quality service, strategic marketing, close deals, and sales production. You can check his website here.

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