The Four Corners of Me – Provincial Edition

As I sit here looking out my window at the beautiful city Cagayaon de Oro, I am taking stock of what it means to be me.


It not even a beautiful picture as much as it is the fact that its not full of stuff.

When I am in Manila I try and balance what I call the Four Corners of Me, which are looking for new business opportunities, leading my current business ventures, creating analytics content and sharing my analytics expertise. At times it can be a lot to balance with the challenges that come with doing business in one of the most chaotic megalopolises on the planet.

At the intersection of the four corners are my mind, body, health and spirit. When those 4 corners effortlessly intersect, then then I can manage the four corners of my professional life. Given how the negative forces of Metro Manila like poverty, pollution, congestion, and corruption can sometimes sap my 4 inner corners, it can end up leaving my four outer corners out of whack.

Which makes this trip to CDO so well timed.

The conventional wisdom is that to set up a successful business in the Philippines you need to be in Manila. That’s where most of the players are, where the government is centralized and where most of the perceived best things are located. However, when you get out to the provinces, pretty much anywhere you will find expats who have bucked that trend and set up their own little business empires far away from the capital.

I have long thought I’d much more likely enjoy life if most of my time was spent in a provincial city close to the beach. I thought that in Iloilo, and in Bacolod. Now I can add CDO to that list of places I see myself in for a big part of the rest of my life. Business development can be done anywhere if you have your inner four corners lined up.

Managing my current businesses sure seems easier when my condo is two blocks from my office. But given I spent so much of my time outside Ortigas, and since I have a good management team in place, running things from the Visayans or Mindanao is not as farfetched as it used to be. We dabbled with having a team in Cebu and it worked well. So this is any easy one.

One of the beauties to what I do with most of my time, writing and blogging about analytics can be done from anywhere. Access to virtual resources and discussions about analytics in limitless. When I first set up shop in the Philippines in 2012, access to in person conversations about analytics pretty much required being in Manila. But not so much anymore. Having worked with schools in several provinces, the demand for good analytics contact is driving people to be much more open minded to where they find their solutions.

And finally, the training aspect. In many ways, the schools and businesses outside Metro Manila are more hungry for subject matter experts. The pressure to not only keep up, but show up things in the capital is quickening.

So, the dream of where the four corners of me is based in a province and not Manila is once again at the forefront. Thanks to the view outside my window for the inspiration to bring the dream back.