9 Rules to Business and Life

John Gokongwei, Jr.: Path to EntrepreneurshipThe nine rules to business and life which I will discuss in this blog article was lifted from a book entitled “A Path to Entrepreneurship”.  The book was written to tell the rags-to-riches life story of a top three Filipino-Chinese business tycoon in the Philippines in the name of Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr.

I have enumerated the nine rules to business and life that Mr. Gokongwei have shared.  I just added some of my own insights in the parenthesis.



From a Philippine business tycoon, Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr.


1.  Change is Inevitable and Flexibility is the Key

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said that for someone to survive and prosper, one has to be flexible and adaptable to change and adversity.

(Change is one of the few constant thing in life. You should not fear change, for in fact, change is good.  Just always keep an open-mind and optimism, then everything else will be alright.)

2.  Personal Stakes in the Company Encourage Everyone to Work Hard

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said that each person in the company should have personal stake to work very hard for its progress.  Hire the right people, and at the same time, provide them the right benefits.  And for more deserving people, give them a stock option to have a part-ownership of the company.  This will drive everyone to the same goal of making the business a success.

(Getting cooperation do come from making people feel that they are important.)

3.  Mistakes and Disappointments are Inevitable.

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said that a person should have a healthy attitude towards failure and adversity.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity, transform adversity into opportunity.  If you fail, try to learn the lesson from the mistake and then move on to search for new opportunities.  Optimism and positive outlook in life enables one to respond to change and to manage failure effectively.  Everyone makes mistake, the only difference and important factor is how each deals with them. Take them in stride, learn the lessons and move.

(Success and failure comes hand in hand, and those who win just know how to stand up. Success isn’t worthwhile without the setbacks.)

4.  Good Brand Building Equals Reputation

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said that his companies were founded on good branding strategies.  Building good reputation is through good branding.

(Nothing beats integrity.  Once you build your trust to someone, no matter what you do, that person will trust you. The same goes if it’s the opposite.)

5.  Family Support is Crucial

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. has high regards to his family.  He said family gives us inspiration and determination to work hard.

(No matter what happens, you will always have your family.  Everyone else will leave you, but your family will be there standing by just waiting for you to reach out.)

6.  Never Lose Sleep Thinking of Business Risks

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said do not compromise your much needed sleep no matter how much stressed out you may be.  Try not to let things bother you and believe that sleep is a joy of life.

(Remind yourself each day to ‘take responsibility seriously but never take yourself too seriously’. Learn to laugh on yourself when you make mistake instead of feeling sorry and stupid)

7.  Pausing to Recharge Brings New Vigor

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said that there should be a time to pause, to withdraw to recharge.  There are emotional costs to leadership, and as a leader, we need to recoup after working so hard, to step back and replenish your energy to bring new vigor into your life.

(Work hard but learn to relax and reward yourself for working hard. You deserve a path in the back and a break.)

8.  Reading and Traveling Enriches One’s Mind

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said, set aside time to read books and travel new places in order to learn more insights and discover new things.

(Two ways to expand your growth in life: a. read books/magazines b. travel to places)

9.  Philanthropy is a Personal Satisfaction

Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. have said to give back to society and share your blessings.  A sense of social responsibility.

(Everything you have now is temporary. We are just stewards.  Learn to give and share it back.)


  1. Very good info. thx!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. 🙂

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