According to Forbes, Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr is the Philippines’ richest man in 2022, with an estimated net worth of $8.2B.
But before he became the wealthiest, he was once a “Tondo Boy” who helped his mother sell seafood in Divisoria. Villar shared that his first lessons in entrepreneurship were from his hardworking mother.
He said, “I learned from my mother the value of hard work and perseverance.”
Now that he has risen to the society’s richest, Villar continues to live with his mother’s guiding principles in life or business. Here, we listed 4 pieces of business advice we can learn from the proud self-made billionaire.
1. “Sipag at tiyaga”
Villar has earned the moniker “Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga” as he rose from poverty through hardwork. According to him, whenever he faces adversities may it be in his personal or business life, we would recall how his mother worked hard through all the hardships of her life.
He fondly recalled how they would enjoy quiet moments of peace before walking to work in the busy market and facing the challenges of their days. Villar said, “My Nanay Curing would wake me up just past midnight, and we would have nilagang kape together.”
2. “Dream big”
Villar also shared that he had big dreams for his future as a boy growing up in poverty. At that time, it seemed impossible, but he didn’t give up on his dreams of a better life.
His dreams started to get bigger when he got inspired by other “dreamers.” While studying at the University of the Philippines, he became more socially aware. Villar said he wasn’t the radical ‘aktibista’, but he was amazed at the power of social consciousness.
He said, “Here I was dreaming of just changing the lot of my family and there they were talking about changing the country and the world!”
3. “Bounce back quickly”
As a business tycoon, Villar knows how the business landscape can change drastically. One minute you’re earning well, the next minute, the economy pushes you to close down.
According to Villar, to become a good business is to learn how to “bounce back quickly” from any challenges. Be flexible, versatile, and adapt to changes.
He said on Esquire, “It’s part of being an entrepreneur. ‘Pag entrepreneur ka, you need to bounce back quickly.”
4. “Have an entrepreneurial mindset”
Villar also highlighted the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset. He firmly believes that the only way to escape poverty is not just working hard but by being a good businessman.
“I think we could have grown faster if our citizens had been entrepreneurs. The bulk of the population is working—they’re not entrepreneurial. I’m of the firm belief that poverty can only be reduced through business. Wealth creation is the way forward. We’re not entrepreneurial enough,” he said.
Villar continues to break boundaries in business. He recently launched the country’s first smart carts to make grocery shopping more convenient.