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It is always a challenge to balance family life and business. Not to mention the need for personal development like getting into sports or physical activities to stay fit, and other community and spiritual development activities. It is therefore important that one manages carefully the limited time we have. And I guess more important is that your spouse or partner understands these requirements or, most ideally, are into these activities as well so you spend time together.
I am fortunate to have Marissa as my wife as she understands very well the many preoccupations I have, and luckily in most cases, she tries to go with me so we get to do these activities together. She has also been a great co-pilot and in many ways a mentor as well, shall I say, when it comes to managing our family. The kind of partner one has is a big help in our negosyo or career. He or she can bring out the best in you, or the other way around. Will he or she make us a better person?
As Marissa and I celebrate our 30th year of being together, I thought that it would also be a good opportunity for me to ask and learn how our fellow entrepreneurs have managed to become successful, not only in business, but in their family life. They have shared their nice stories and I am taking the liberty of printing them here:
Atty. Felipe Gozon, GMA Networks: â€œWe have been married for 44 years now. We met while we were both studying at the University of the Philippines. Because we were too young then â€” I was 18 and Tessie was 15 â€” ours was an on-off relationship that lasted for 11 years before we finally settled down. We really got to know each other and we saw compatibility. Marriage has its ups and downs. In order for a marriage to succeed, there must be a give-and-take relationship. One must be willing to compromise, and in some cases, accept the shortcomings and faults of oneâ€™s partner. Also, a marriage will not succeed without prayers to the Lord to guide us and be with us as we tackle the problems that come our way. Since we live in the same house, balancing time with my family is easy because I get to see them every day. We have family vacations annually where we bond together as a family. We manage success by keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground. Success, like power and wealth, is fleeting. They are at best temporary. I have seen so many successful, powerful and wealthy individuals and families who lost their power and wealth. I have learned from what I have seen that it is best not to let success, power or wealth go to your head.â€
Johnlu Koa, The French Baker: â€œWe have been married for 18 years after our two-year relationship prior to marriage. We keep a good relationship as we are quick to apologize. I am cooking and she is eating my food. We genuinely have interest in each otherâ€™s welfare, take food supplements to stay disease-free, and make our kids always a part of our daily routine. We always find time to share a meal together. Considering my schedule as an entrepreneur, I work my schedule around the activities of the family; bring kids along even during business trips to somehow involve them in our business mission; and plan out travel schedules early for the entire year to give way to birthdays, school activities, wedding dates of close family and friends. My wife and I do things together. No weekly night out with barkada. We find new common interests, use business problem solving as opportunities to talk and share information. We donâ€™t forget Sunday Mass and always get invited to social functions as a couple.â€
Henry Lim Bon Liong, S.L. Agritech: â€œRita and I have been married for 37 years, since 1976. It took four years before we got married because my father died suddenly in February 1976. Under Chinese tradition, I have to get married within 100 days of my fatherâ€™s death or wait for another three years. This is why I got married at the very young age of 24. Despite that, our secret to a successful marriage is mutual respect and understanding. It is not easy to balance your business and family, especially if you are involved in a lot of associations and social activities. This is why mutual understanding and respect comes into play. Temptations are always there. Since I was raised by my parents to be God-fearing, this comes in handy when temptation is just around the corner.â€
Rosalind Wee, Marine Resources Development Corporation: â€œMy husband and I have been married for 42 years now. We were high school classmates and we were barkadas. For our secret to a successful marriage, you have to deposit a lot of sweet and romantic memories. So, when marriage becomes hard and rough, you have enough good memories to withdraw from. Forgive and forget. No grave diggings of the past. At the beginning of the year, we already schedule our family trip abroad or within the country. Sunday is always a family day; we all eat together for lunch or dinner. With success comes more temptations. We protect ourselves against all those realities by being reminded of our family values. Family first before anything else.â€
Karen Davila, Bandila Newscast: â€œDJ and I have been married for almost 12 years now, but we were six years together prior to getting married, so thatâ€™s like 18 years together! We first met in GMA-7 when he was a desk editor and I was a new reporter and anchor. Work brought us together, keeps us together, but also poses the most challenges in our marriage. It is also challenging when it comes to a growing family. Now, we have two boys, David and Lucas. Time management is so important to us now, and, of course, DJ being a workaholic. My schedule isnâ€™t easy either. I have three daily live programs: ANC Headstart, DZMM and Bandila Newscast and a weekly magazine program. The secret to a successful marriage honestly is acceptance, kindness and patience. Our marriage is not perfect but there is mutual respect and a deep caring for each other. A balanced life is not all about work. It is a pie, really â€” your work or livelihood, family, relationships with friends, health and your own growth. Life is short. One day we will all pass away. The most important in life is love. No doubt about that.â€
Rikki Dee, Foodlink Group and Central Mall Group: â€œWe will be married 30 years this September. We actually met during grade school and met up again in college at a party. After a year, we got married. Respect and understanding serve as our secrets as couple. I am the boss at the office and she is the boss at home. It takes a lot of effort on our part to do time management for business and family, but family time is always a priority. We have an annual family vacation and an extended family Christmas vacation. In the early days, I brought them along on my meetings, store visits and jobsite inspections. Today I assign them tasks since they are starting to join our family business. Dinner is always fun as we discuss various aspects about business, current events, and, of course, food.
â€œWe have a happy family that everyone works for. Temptations will always be there. It is a choice between something temporary for something forever and for everyone. And it is an easy choice.â€
Nelson and Siu Ping Par, PR Gaz: He says, â€œWe have been married for 25 years. Our courtship lasted for two years and then I proposed right away. So I guess you could say that the relationship really deepened when we were married already. Love, trust and devotion are our secrets to a successful marriage. Our family is our priority. On weekdays, everyone is busy with office work and school assignments. But on weekends, we make sure we eat dinner together. We travel with the kids often for us to spend more quality time with them.â€
She says, â€œI make it a point that my familyâ€™s needs are fulfilled and their happiness is always the priority.â€ On resisting temptation, â€œFor me, it is not difficult because I love my husband very much.