I was once in a major debt.
When I began my own business, I was aggressive and was ambitious. I had everything under my control, so I thought. But as I was grinding the wheels of running a business, I got into business transaction that turned sour. Our client asked us to merchandise 250,000 sari-sari store tin plates nationwide. The goal was to finish it in 12 days to the amount of P9,000,000.00. We were excited to do this project because we thought it would have favorable return. But the project started to take a toll as early as its 3rd day. The client discovered that the face of the celebrity in their tin plates were either “jaundice looking” meaning yellowish or “sunburned “orange –overly fuchsia colored face. We had to halt operations while waiting for our client and the tin plate supplier to settle their issues. In the meantime, I was spending for warehousing and manpower. The project went for a turn from 12 days to a 6 months wait and what was a 9 million pay check to us became a 12 million spending on my account. I was bruised but was still in fighting form.
We bagged another project to do a nationwide supermarket sampling for gravy tasting. This was my opportunity to recover. There was slightly a problem that I did notice but did nothing about. I could not understand why the brand manager we were dealing with always asked my account managers to meet him at night and mostly in bars. Though suspicious, our company signed up to do their 4 million sampling project. We ran the activation and finished in 3 weeks time. As we were following up payment, we discovered that the brand manager, our direct contact, resigned. We were also told that he stole money from that company and that he kept all our documents in his desk. No one knew we ran an activation campaign in his office. In fact, we had to be investigated because they thought we had some “under the table” transactions. I feared that I was going on a snowball. As I sat with the owners of the company and showed all the documentation of a clean project activation, the owners drop a bomb on me. In a nutshell, they said, they did not authorize the project and that they are only willing to settle for 2 million. I felt my world crumble. In a span of 2 months between each project – I lost 5 million pesos. I started to feel my knees weakened and I lost my momentum to succeed and keep going.
I was very discouraged but not depressed. Failure was in my face daily as I went to work facing angry mob of unpaid workers. I was a neophyte entrepreneur and I realized I had to eat humble pie to learn the ropes of business. That was about the same time that I surrendered my life to Jesus.
God caught my attention at my darkest hours. He grabbed me to show me that I owned nothing and that he was the owner of everything. I had so much to learn about stewardship. As I was reading through His Word, I decided to clean house. We were no longer going to service clients that are into sin products. You have to understand that this was very hard for us because sin products were one of our biggest clients. But I still chose to put my faith in God. I desired for God to give our business the overhaul it needed. Some people in my staff at that time thought I was going nuts. But the truth is I just stepped down as CEO and made Jesus my CEO. In our lowest time, I got my team together and I started doing Bible study in the office. They needed hope from the lost battle and God’s Word was our greatest encouragement. God also taught me about excellence and giving more than100% in our work so that God gets the glory.
Looking back, those were dark times but they were exciting times in my faith walk. Every small victory such as being able to pay suppliers and workers their dues, were a reason to celebrate. As for the debt, I computed maybe in 3 years time I could pay or fully recover from it. I let God stir the company His way. God opened doors that I never thought I would be able to even step in. I felt like a David facing the Giant competitors every time we would pitch for big projects. But God showed me He was CEO and with our passion to excel and FAITH – projects were won over despite having all the big players in front of us. We were able to pay our debt and recover all our losses within 6 months time. And as if God just wanted to prove that He blesses people who walk in his ways, He gave us a very good profit at year end. There is no way I can claim this glory! All belongs to Him! The company I am talking about is Post Ad Ventures Inc. It is currently 13 years old and it is healthier today than it was on its first years.
If you are experiencing a season of debt, let me be the messenger of good news. God wants you to be set free from Debt. You don’t have to be a slave to this. If you don’t know how to get out of it, let me invite you to our event called Saturdates – this Saturday our topic is DEBTermined – how to get out of debt talk by Jayson Lo. Invite your friends and invite your spouse. This is going to radically change the way you live your life. It is my prayer that you will experience a freedom from bondage of debt and experience an abundance that comes from Jesus.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.” Romans 13:8