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Entrepreneurship is a leap of faith By Jean C. Uvero

Business Mentor Notes: Jean C. Uvero, at a very young age was exposed to different challenges in life. At the age of 17 years old her father died and forced her to become a mother and father to her family, She was a Mason’s scholar, graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in nursing and a license registered nurse. Her first job was with Roche, Philippines a position in sales and marketing after a year, she decided to work in the US to pursue her
Profession, She took the licensure board and landed a job as a head Nurse at Millard Filmore Hospital. After five years, she decided to go back to the Philippines to settle down. In 1998, she established a trucking company, Uvero Movers Inc. to cater to her husband's brokerage company, soon, she was able to get other forwarding companies like DHL, Box Global and All transport. In 2000, She decided to sell out her business because she needed to take care of her sick daughter who was diagnosed with Global hyperkinesia - it is a condition that causes a general weakening of the heart, resulting to inefficient blood supply to the body. For three years, she became a stay at home mom to take care of her sick daughter. However after 3 years, because of her love for business she decided to go into buy and sell and eventually joined several bazaars. With 7,000.00 pesos start up capital, eventually it grew to 50,000.00. That led her to transform her house garage into a retail store. In 2009, she went into franchising business took the risk of getting a portion of their house loan to start up a franchise business. Because of hard work and perseverance her franchise branch performed very well, she was able to get her investment in 6 months and the business was able to help out finish their home project. Now, Mrs. Uvero has 17 salon branches, 2 restaurants, an auto shop and car care center.

It is often said that success is only the tip of the iceberg. We only see a fraction of what really is. My success story is just that. It is the tip of the iceberg. All of the struggles, unpredicted challenges, support and eureka moments are the things that lie beneath the surface.

Grupo Uvero Inc. was established in February 12, 2009. It was founded on a risk I took. During the construction of our house, I was aching to try my hand in business. We were granted a loan by the bank for the house. I asked my husband if I could use a part of our loan to franchise a waxing salon. He warned me of the risks. If this endeavor did not succeed, our house’s construction would not be finished and we would have to find another way to pay the loan. However, I knew in my heart that more could be done with the money. Perhaps it was the entrepreneur in me that saw opportunity where others only saw risk. 7 years, 4 franchised waxing salon branches, 13 company-owned nail salons and 2 restaurants and a car care center later, I am glad I took the leap. From 10 women employees, Nail It! Salon now has 280 under its wing. If there is a thing or two that I learned from my journey as a business women its to always see things on a positive note. Every time something in your project doesn’t seem right, it is only a challenge. Never mind finding the person to blame, it is simply a chance to put your game face on and create a solution. A successful entrepreneur never stops until she gets it right. Passion is the best fuel for sleepless nights, long hours and tiring days.

In my 10 years of being in business, I have learned one powerful tool: the art of listening. It is important to listen to all forms of feedback, whether it is customer feedback or advice from other entrepreneurs. I try to act as fast as I can to resolve and apply the feedback to my work. I also use this to find out what the competitors are doing. A good entrepreneur is relaxed with her business, but a great entrepreneur is always on her toes. It is vital to be one step ahead of everyone else when it comes to business. But above all, I believe that fostering values within an organization is the key to a strong company. In my company, we value integrity, loyalty and perseverance. To able to instill these things in our employees will help you sleep better at night. Your employees are your partners in success. Sharing the same values will help you see eye to eye.

In 2015, I joined the Association of Filipino Franchisors. This was the beginning of my growth as an entrepreneur. In the short time since I have joined, I was able to expand my network and broaden my knowledge of business. I was able to gain access to advice from seasoned entrepreneurs and develop my skills as a leader. I learned the true essence of being an entrepreneur, and that is to help. I became a mentor to aspiring businessmen through AFFI. Giving back and helping Filipino businesses grow is so rewarding.

My family plays a big role in my life as an entrepreneur. It would not be possible for me to do all these things without the go signal for them. Contrary to popular belief, family and business can go well together as long as the proper dynamics are at play. As a businesswoman and a mother, I use my business as a tool for learning for my children. I believe that the values that one learns as a budding entrepreneur are the same ones that adolescents need to learn in real life. In business, the value of creativity and risk taking go hand in hand with being logical and realistic. Business-minded children grow up to be responsible and well equipped adults. Having two daughters, I empower them by being a woman entrepreneur myself. In showing them that a predominantly female industry like a nail salon can flourish and be successful, I am teaching them the endless capacities of a woman in this age. I make sure that they are involved and exposed to the world of business so that regardless of which path they choose in the future, they will have all the skills and values that will equip them to succeed. My husband has been my strongest advisor from day one. He has been my sounding board when times get tough. As a lawyer, his knowledge about the best decisions to make is very significant to me. He has been very supportive and encourages despite all the risks involved in business ventures. He has trusted me throughout my journey as a businesswoman. From my small sidelines in the start of our marriage, to the grand dreams I mapped out before us, he always held my hand through it and at times, even allowed me to forge my own path in this world.

My faith is an integral part of my life. Although some may separate business and logical endeavors from their faith, I find that in my case, it is simply impossible. Every decision I made and am making has always been strongly guided by God. I have to say that I owe much of my success to my faith and to the big guy up there. Perhaps I was lead to where I am for a reason and that is why it is important for me to give back. Success is only true when shared. These are words I live by. During difficult times, one of the only things that can keep anyone afloat is the capacity to help others and opportunity to better the lives of others. This is what makes an entrepreneur truly blessed: God’s grace.

Beneath every iceberg is a large mass that is most of the time nearly thrice the size of its surface or tip. Without it, the tip would not be visible, nor would it stay afloat. My success is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it, my struggles, my family, friends and God are the ones that are keeping it afloat and allowing it to be visible to everyone.

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