It's a Sunday here in Japan and I feel like typing a lot about what has been going on my mind for these past few weeks (or even months..? maybe!).
There is something about Sundays that make me reflective about the recent happenings in life! :)
Leadership was something I never thought I would be so committed about.
If you have read my story or my previous entries (categorized under thoughts, haha).. you would know that I wasn't born with a "very bright mind". In a class, I would be that struggling girl wishing for a passing mark (or at least half lol) in her math / science tests. My English was really bad (thanks to blogging, I was able to improve it) and I could not assert myself because of low self-esteem / insecurities about my "intelligence".
But because there were many circumstances and challenges I had to face early in my younger years, I had to take the initiative most of the time (and this is why you shouldn't underestimate the youngest child in the family lololol).
At first, before I started "leading" others. I had to lead myself first. I had to pull myself up, slap my face with reality and solutions in mind, and gave myself a "pep talk" everyday that I could do it. I had to make my own formula (mental battle for years) how I would "self-motivate" myself or cheat / trick myself to get things done and realized.
Nobody taught me how leadership should be done. I eavesdropped, listened, observed and read books instead.. I wasn't the girl / student in class who would be sent out to attend leadership seminars and all of that (thanks to my so-so grades haha). I was the girl who tried to understand everyone's situation and find that "harmony" to be everyone's common instead.
Life experiences taught me that if you really want to make your dreams come true, you have to have that grit like ANY leader.
I think that everyone can be a "leader" without actually leading other people. You can be leader of yourself (top priority).. and even if you don't intend to, naturally.. by living as a good example to other people, you can also be considered as their "leader" or someone who they look up to. :-)
That is really not the topic for this blog entry, haha! The intro part was supposed to be 2-5 sentences only but look at those block of text hahaha..
(okaaaaay, here we go!)
Weeks ago.. or maybe months ago, I was having a lot of struggles and "reflection" / "assessment" time. It doesn't show or I don't really tell about it to many people (sometimes my friends / family don't even know whether I'm having problems or the like, 'cause I'd rather try to fix those by myself rather than burden them with feelings I am also unsure about). I'm just that kind of person who would rather focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
There was a time when I felt cornered by my own responsibilities as a main leader of Kawaii Philippines and Japan Lover Me.
Sure, we are getting eyeballs and gaining recognition for our hard work and such... but there was this "realistic" voice inside of me asking..
"How are you going to sustain this without doing so much sacrifice on your part?"
"Job well done with Level 1. So now, how are you going to keep up in this game?"
Honestly, "Kawaii in Manila 2" planning really *stretched* me to my limits. It was so overwhelming to the point I had to "escape" for a bit from the work (hence my Kyoto solo trip) and I cried in front of many people while I was delivering my speech with Anne Kate. It was a humbling experience and I am very thankful for that. It was a huge success .. and I didn't want it to be our "greatest" success or our endpoint. As the leader, I should envision the reality, the next years for Kawaii Philippines, our game / action plans for more "kawaii dreams" to come true. I had to mentally prepare myself to move forward while assisting everyone. And it was no easy feat.
Kawaii in Manila 2, in simple terms, was almost "self-funded" by my brother and me...
(I could have traveled many countries /concentrated on Rainbowholic blog / branding or realized my Rainbowholic Cafe dream if I used the allocated money / savings there, or my brother would have chosen other business ventures to invest in, but he believed in this.. which I am forever thankful. Thanks bro~ )..
Even though there were indeed many believers and supporters of Kawaii in Manila 2, not a lot of people were willing to risk or invest their money in this "dream". There were the much-needed cheers and the like, but ONLY a few really gave us their "full trust". When it comes to money, it is already a different subject, frankly. Many wanted to jump into the bandwagon, but not all were willing enough to take a risk. And this is why I am really thankful to everyone who did not only voiced out their support.. but to those who also offered monetary support.
Projects such as these.. of course, cost some money. And it is my job, as the founder / "start-up", how to meet everyone's demands and make a common ground. How to do x-deals, and how to make all parties feel the maximum satisfaction out of each other's offerings.
I have to admit, there are many times when I would be scared. The "What If's" are just too many.
What if someday, I would have to focus my 70% on other priorities? Honestly, I have a big personal obligation within our family which I am trying to prepare myself with. Within our self-built company, I am the "right hand" of my brother.. and I am also human who gets tired and stressed out with the load.. there were a lot of sacrifices made but because I believe that opportunities and time are very vital, I had to re-prioritize and even I wasn't really fully prepared, I had to run, chase, and fight for Kawaii PH. I had to program myself to believe that these "kawaii projects" will launch and skyrocket. But of course, everything is a learning process. There were the trials and errors. Failures and more failures (which I love calling as experience). Rejections and personal struggles. Oh Lord, the rejections, there were a lot. Still, I am thankful to those who rejected or who shunned me away.. because they have inspired me to find more ways, to create and build my own doors, and find that inner strength that sometimes.. I fail to see.
... will ...
Will Kawaii Philippines and JapanLoverMe be able to sustain.. and grow bigger?
How the hell will I engage / invite everyone to help me and others too as we make "kawaii noise"? As we share the worldwide JapanLove?
How will I be able to convince others to share their craft / expertise / time in this movement? Even if they are not from the Philippines?
Will the people who I used to collaborate with (and commissioned with our hard-earned money too) ... will still stay and fight with me as I try to lift up everyone as we change the world with kawaii? Will they still contribute as I also contribute by offering only my leadership and mentorship?
For this type of community and movement to sustain or continue, "funding" or money would not be enough unless you want it to be a one-time big shot / fad.
For this type of community who dreams big, moral support + initiative are also not enough.
For this to continue for many many years and decades, the formula could be:
Heart (puso) or initiative + Financial Funding (with proper allocation) + Leadership that produces leaders
There were / are still many questions going on my mind. Thankfully, those were the "challenging questions".
This coming 2015, I honestly don't know if the expected people (mass power?) would really support Kawaii Fund or.... will Kawaii in Manila 3 really happen. It is given that my team and I would do my best by jumpstarting campaigns, I would present myself as the representative of these bunch of creative generation / rebels / youth ... I would gulp down my shyness, I would do everything.. but I am not entirely sure if my everything would be enough.
The answer will not only lie within me. This kind of answer, this type of dream.. is not only mine. This is also a dream of many.
I am not very sure if my solutions or ideas would work out... but one thing is certain. even if I am stretched to my limits and my rubberband is about to snap.. I will find a way to get myself together. Even if my motivation levels rise and fall at times (human being me haha), I will find scraps to build my own ladder to go up to where I have left off.
It's funny how I keep on asking myself, only to find out that in the end, the answer is.."Just do and believe in it."
But this time.. I have to admit..
I cannot do everything by myself. Definitely, I will be needing the help from many people. I have my hardworking team with me and I am grateful for having them as my incredible & extremely creative support system .. but Kawaii PH / JLM are going to grow. And the size of our dreams will also grow.
Kawaii Philippines. Happy Philippines.
Japan Lover Me. Sharing The Worldwide JapanLove.
All I can offer right now and from the beginning would be an opportunity for everyone.
Opportunity for everyone to share, to support, to be part of more dreams unlocked..
And I believe that we all want to be part of something great.
Something that used to be impossible. Something that others or the society would not believe can actually come true.
Kawaii can be used to change the world?
Hell freaking yes.
If it has empowered this girl who used to doubt if she could be someone great..
... how much more if this idea spreads around the world?
This type of kawaii movement promotion may have started locally in Manila, now being promoted across the Philippines (thanks to Kawaii PH TV being aired on local tv station IBC13) .. what more if this would be duplicated in other countries?
Even if there are many struggles or setbacks.. adjustments and the like.. my eyes are focused on those crazy dream goals.
I hope that we also see things in the same perspective. :-)