When Kaye’s baby was seven months old, she felt the need to “get out there” and learn new skills. But without a yaya, she quickly learned how difficult it is for parents, especially moms, to attend workshops outside of home.
With a background in human resources, events, and training and development, she found a way to use her corporate work background in her new season as a mom. Mamacademy PH was born. Today, we welcome Kaye to The After Six Club’s Ambitious Tribe.
I was a stay-at-home mother to a 7-month-old baby and I wanted to get myself out there after being stuck at home for a long time. I wanted to learn so much about motherhood, parenting, and anything that would help me become a better version of myself. But my dilemma was that I didn’t have a yaya. So that would mean bringing my baby everywhere and every time I go out.
As someone who has a background in human resources (HR) events as well as training and development, I was led to start a learning community and an avenue wherein parents, especially mothers, could come together and learn about varied topics that would be valuable for their personal development and family life. I wanted to build a community wherein they will feel welcome whether or not they come in on their own or with kids and babies tagging along.
Prior to transitioning to becoming a stay-at-home mother, seminars, training, and events organization had all been part of my work that I enjoyed a lot. Then came motherhood. I thought of how I’d be able to mix both my corporate background, my desire for continuous learning, and my season as a mother. Mamacademy PH came as an idea and was established in May 2017.
As learning, events, and workshop organizers, Mamacademy PH provides avenues and opportunities to mothers, parents, and women to continue learning alongside parenthood. Our first-ever workshop was attended by just less than 10 moms and was held inside a small classroom in a friend’s school in Pasig City.
Fast forward to today, we are very excited to hold the Be WAHMazing MOMpreneurs Edition Workshop on February 23, 2019. This is for everyone, especially moms, who want to explore entrepreneurial potentials and launch their own business someday. It is also for MOMpreneurs who want to shake things up, learn some more, network, and get inspiration from other MOMpreneurs.
Is it always necessary to be passionate about what your business is about in order for it to succeed?
Absolutely! Passion will not always get you the results but it is what will make you get up during rough and rocky days.
How did you build your customer base? What form of marketing has been most effective for you so far?
We had to start from scratch. We approached people and shared with them what we do. Some were warm enough to entertain us while others weren’t just interested. If there’s anything that worked best for us and we enjoyed doing the most, it is building relationships with our customers. It happened naturally and in fact, it earned us friendships, with some even turning into family-like relationships.
What kind of company culture are you implementing? What are your core values?
My vision is to make learning a lifestyle for everyone, not just for our team members, but for everyone. We love to see learning evolve from not just something that we acquire over formal sit-down sessions but also into something that we continuously encounter through different and practical means. We want to see it transform into something that we would have a personal love for.
How do you deal with major mishaps? What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Business is a daily decision. You get up, take risks, and decide on things. Some turn out good and some can turn out nasty. But above all, when things don’t turn out well and I don’t have peace, I pray and ask God, “Lord, did I give it my best? And did I please you?”
If not, I learn from my mistake and get back up by God’s grace. This becomes a reminder for me to always seek God’s wisdom for anything and everything about the business. He is our business CEO after all. We’re just stewards of His blessing.
What skills do you believe are necessary in handling a business?
Personally, I feel that skills are something we could all learn and acquire over time. Alternatively, we can hire someone to do it for us. Attitude, though, is something else. Your attitude towards people, circumstances, and every other business detail can set sail your business towards success or elsewhere.
What would you say are some dos and don’ts in starting one?
Make sure you do your initial assignment before launching your business. Pray, research, learn, ask, go out and around, observe, and many more. Until you can finally say, “I did my best. I’m ready to do it.” Do not just jump in because others are doing it or just because an idea looks interesting, trendy, cool, or glamorous.
Was there ever a time you felt afraid that this might not work? How did you manage this fear?
Definitely! I felt it a lot of times in the initial phase of business and still feel it whenever we try and introduce something new. It’s natural. In moments like this, I go back to my “why” and ask myself, is this decision in support of my “why” and our mission? Does this aspect of the business glorify God and does not compromise our values? If my answers are all leading me back to my “Big Why”, I assure myself that we are in the right direction. Otherwise, if something does not feel right and peaceful to me, this is something I look at and pray for over and over until I have the wisdom for my next course of action.
Describe a typical day for you.
Every day, I wake up way earlier than the rest of the family. I start my day between 4:30 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. I prepare my husband’s food and send him off to work. At 6:00 A.M., and while my baby is still asleep, I would read the Bible and start my daily prayer time, just before the craziness and business of the day starts. I’d work for about two hours until my daughter wakes up at 8:00 A.M. then work gets pushed aside. The rest of my time is devoted to housework, errands, childcare, play time, and everything else around the house. My solid hours of work is during the earlier parts of the day and in the evening when my daughter is finally asleep.
How many hours of work a day do you put in? How many days per week?
I work roughly around two to four hours on good days when no one is sick in the family or everything is normal at home. On not-so-good days, I barely have time to open the laptop and work. But that’s all right because motherhood takes priority more than the business. After all, we are called MOMpreneurs because we are moms first before entrepreneurs.
What is your greatest fear?
As a mother, I fear that this whole MOMpreneurship endeavor that I have now would take me off too much time from what matters greater to me— my time for the Lord and my family. And I think that’s just valid for anyone or a mother like me. We fear not being able to spend quality time with our loved ones.
What sacrifices have you had to make to get here?
I guess, like in any start-up venture, you give a lot of your time, resources, and energy. It’s the little things that you so willingly forgo—a family weekend trip to attend a meeting, a big purchase you have to put aside so you can fund a business need, and everything else. Those things you don’t notice easily, but unknowingly trade off during the phase when you have to build everything from the ground up. And that’s all part of the building-up journey.
What can you consider is your greatest success?
Of all the things that yielded out of this venture, the greatest success are the newfound friendships and relationships that we were able to build. I cherish them the most and consider them to be our success points. Random friends we meet along the way became mentors and friendships turned into family-like relationships. More than the financial gain, I think these relationships are far more precious and lasting.
What would you say is the secret to success?
The secret sauce? I’d say humility. Humility to learn and accept help from other people. Humility to embrace a new season and seek help when needed. Humility to realize for yourself that you don’t know everything and that you need others to learn from and teach you. Humility to acknowledge that you can’t do everything and that you need God, ultimately, and others to help you along the way. Humility to admit your mistakes and own up to it. It is in humility that we open our senses to seek development rather than just seeing our cups filled.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Meeting people, different types of individuals from various age groups, industries, and interesting backgrounds. I love hearing their stories and learning from their experiences.
What motivates you? Who has been your greatest inspiration?
When I see moms and I hear about how their transition to motherhood has introduced them to a whole new level of challenges, I am excited to encourage them that it’s just a season and a phase that we go through. Our children won’t be little ones for too long. Next thing we know, they’re on their own and they’d be off on their own adventures. Like them, I also feel their pains, exhaustion, worries, and the mountains of emotions we go through as a mother. But motherhood isn’t the end of it all. It’s just a season that unlocks opportunities ahead of us that starts through learning. We all have unique God-given strengths that we can maximize and turn into opportunities.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
Surprisingly, I don’t see myself going back to corporate work anymore. Perhaps more kids and a bigger family? Seriously, I’m praying that we’d still be able to serve more moms through what we do in Mamacademy PH in the next 10 years. Grow the team. Reach out to more moms around the Philippines, extend to the provincial areas, and, hopefully, even go global.
Do you consider yourself an ambitious person?
I’d give it a yes because in being ambitious, you never put away the desire to keep learning no matter what season you are in your life. And that’s exactly our message in Mamacademy PH.
Do you think being ambitious helps you in business?
Ambition coupled with the right vision–yes! It definitely helped and will help us work towards our “Big Why”.
When you are firm with your vision, you don’t take your time doing things, seeking things, making decisions, and everything else that does not make sense for your vision. You go straight right into it, focus your resources, time, and energy in working towards that vision. You can easily identify which opportunities you have to say no to, which direction you should be sailing towards and not just be persuaded easily by people and circumstances.
What piece of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you want to get into entrepreneurship and start a business, ask yourself this question: “How can I add value, help, and serve other people through my business?”
Get some clarity on this question, your purpose, and your “Big Why”. Do not just jump into entrepreneurship for the sake of earning money. Because, truth be told, there will be rough and rocky times. And in these times you will undoubtedly ask yourself, “Is it still worth doing?” If you know how you are adding value to other people and you’re crystal clear about your “Big Why”, then giving up wouldn’t be your immediate course of action during rocky times.
Kaye Ang is on a mission to encourage, enable, and empower moms, women, and parents to pursue #LearningAlongsideMotherhood through Mamacademy PH, a mom-and-parent learning and event organizer. This career-driven woman turned stay-at-home mother is passionate in helping other women find their God-given calling and joyfully embrace their season of motherhood and turn it into a purpose-filled opportunity.