Alpha: Tell us who you are?
Jhet van Ruyven: I am a Filipina-Canadian author, speaker, entrepreneur and a positive motivator dedicated to helping others in making dreams come true. My contact information are as follows:
Alpha: Could you please tell us the story of your company and why you started it?
Jhet van Ruyven: I used to own a digital printing company for 15 years and sold it 4 years ago. It was always my dream to have my own business. I didn’t know anything about printing but I know how to type, being a medical secretary as my first job, and I studied Bachelor in Commercial Science Major in Marketing. I wanted to practice what I’ve learned both academically and in experience, and see if my forte will work in North America. That’s really much about it. How much can I do with two young toddlers and no nanny at that time? I didn’t know where to start but I had this dream.
I took the plunge and opened a business centre in Surrey. At first, there was a huge learning curve but I stuck to my gun and kept on learning everyday. I hired staff to help me with anything and everything about owning and running a printing company. I was the driver and my amazing personnel were the great passengers. My book keeper, accountant, suppliers and increasing loyal customers helped me throughout the journey and made it enjoyable. I basically used my natural talents—marketing, networking and bringing people into the business. I delegated the technical work to my staff—from operating the copier machine, the computers, doing graphics and design, handling the cash register and all the other technical business processes.
Fifteen years later, I felt in my heart that it was time to pass on the baton to a new owner. A higher call has come, I wanted to do something more purposeful. After writing my inspiring autobiography which sold thousands all over the world, I have committed to helping others realize their life’s potential and make their dreams come true—speaking as a motivational coach and sharing inspirational stories through my websites and social media sites.
To keep my analytical side of the brain running, I have also focused on real-estate and stock market investments. And oh, I am also very much traveling here and there. I am fulfilling my life’s dream which is to go to places and discover the many wonderful destinations Mother Earth has to offer.
Alpha: Could you please tell us about the biggest successes and failures in your business. What worked, what didn’t and what did you learn?
Jhet van Ruyven: Unfortunate incidents happen in running a business. With fancy and expensive equipment on site, my business centre attracted burglars that it was broken into three times! When the insurance company refused to pay the damages and to reinstall new machines, I tried to work it out myself. I was ignorant and was afraid that hiring a lawyer would cost me an arm and a leg so I avoided legal counsel to sort out issues with the insurance company. That was a big mistake. It brought business interruptions and too much strain and stress to me and to my family. As soon as I hired a lawyer, he did what he was best to do. The issue solved and the insurance company finally paid my company.
Lesson learned: Seek the right person to do the job.
Jhet van Ruyven: Another mistake that I made was doing business without a solid system in place. Because I also juggle my time as a homemaker, wife, and mom, I delegated many facets of the business to my fully trusted staff perhaps more than I should. When my manager suddenly quit followed by her assistant, I felt lost and wanted to start over again. Luckily that’s when I sought a franchising company to come on board with me and help me run the business—this time with solid business processes and system.
Lessons learned: Have a solid foundation in building a system. Have a business system in place, innovate it along the way. Delegate but ensure business continuity in case a staff will resign or retire. Michael Gerber wrote E-Myth, a book about owning a business. He says that when the passion is no longer there, prepare for transition, let it go, move on forward and do what you’re natural at and what you love to do.
Jhet van Ruyven: Here are some of my successes in life:
Work-life balance: For the success part, one of the biggest gifts given to me by my business is having the ability to achieve work life balance for my family. As the boss, I can leave to attend my daughters’ school activities, go home anytime to cook, and take vacations on my schedule. Owning a company gave me so much financial freedom and freedom to use my time.
Doing what I do best: I just love connecting and meeting with people. I was natural at speaking, making people smile, and perhaps closing sales. My business gave me an avenue to expand my network of contacts, socialize and share with them what my business center has to offer.
Leverage: I wanted to write my own book and since I’m a business centre owner, I found it easy to find the right supplier for the job! My story The Tale of Juliet has been shared to thousands of people in Canada, the Philippines, United States, Japan, Singapore and other countries.
Lesson Learned: Everything happens for a reason: when eyes are open for learning and seeking a higher purpose. While running my own business has its many failures and successes, I realized that all that I went through made me to the person I am today. Failures almost made me quit, but I glad I didn’t!
Alpha: What do you want to achieve in your company or in what you do:
Jhet van Ruyven: When I was diagnosed and treated from stage 1 cancer and went through challenging times with my marriage, I was able to fully refocus and ground myself. Coming out with my health and marriage reinvigorated, I believe that I’m ready to continue on what I started with a more strategic plan and foundation—that is to resume my career as a motivational speaker and author.
My passion is to contribute to the world to inspire and motivate others to share their God given talents while enjoying the journey to reach to their fullest potential. My goal is to touch more lives by giving value online and offline. We never know w how much we impact and touch other peoples lives when we share our stories with them.
In the process, I will continue to widen my horizons, learn from mentors and coaches, attend seminars and go on travel adventures.
In the next 10 years, I am to achieve balance in all areas of my life by having a solid system in place where I can continue to give value to my online and offline followers, most especially the quiet ones. Of course, I aim to speak more and write five or more best-selling books too! Personally, I’d like to continue my travel adventures with my family and enjoy the journey.
Alpha: What was your most inspiring moment doing what you do?
Jhet van Ruyven: There are countless inspiring moments and one of them was when someone came across and read the book The Tale of Juliet – You Have The Power To Change Your Life. He emailed me with a subject line “Your book saved my life!”.
He then went on to tell that the day he found my book was the day he was supposed to commit suicide. He was literally planning to end his life that day. He sent me four pages email and poured out his sufferings and his pains. He was a very talented young man but at that time he hit rock bottom with his relationship, his work, his career and his family too. He thought it was the end of the world for him. fter he read the book, something awakened within him—he was encouraged and had found hope to go on. He then took action, and worked towards his dreams. I believe if this book and its simple down-to-earth message can saved a life like this young gentleman. It is worth passing on to others more.
Another one was when Rustan’s, a posh and upscale department store in the Philippines, asked me to give their employees a talk. Its owner ordered 4,000 books and invited me to speak six store branches. She passed the word around up to her maids, drivers and high class social circles. Word of mouth led to more referrals and media interviews. The ripple effect created buzz and I was going from one interview to another and doing photoshoots like crazy.
Then I was awarded by People Asia Magazine as one of its People of the Year Awardee for spreading hope and inspiration. The awards night happened to be on the day of my birthday so I thought, this was my true calling and a gift from heaven. I am here to serve the world.
Alpha: If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?
Jhet van Ruyven: I would say:
- Positive habits
- Self confidence
- Self awareness
- Never ever give up even when the going gets tough.
- Faith in God, faith in yourself.
- Life of balance
I also want to stress on the importance of taking responsibility. When we take 100% responsibility for our action, we can make better decisions and will not live life to fate. Silver linings will always come to those who work at it, to those who takes action and believe in themselves that dreams do really come true.
Alpha: How would you define Success?
Jhet van Ruyven: I love to quote Earl Nightangle: ”Success is a realization of a worthy ideal.”
Regardless of what a person’s role in life is, it is important to realize that one can be successful if they perform their role to the best of their abilities.
Let me say this:
If you are an overseas worker, away from your family and you believe it is for their good, then you can take pride each time you work for your employer. You are successful.
If you are a mother, and everyday you are there for your children—making sure you show them all your motherly love, serving them, raising loving and future great citizens of the world—you are successful.
If you are a corporate CEO and you are leading your organization—bringing out the best in each of your team and serving your clients and meeting their needs while providing and nurturing a loving family—you are a successful person.
Alpha: What are your favorite things in life?
Jhet van Ruyven: Here are they –
Movie: Pay it forward
Book: The Tale of Juliet – You Have the Power to Change Your Life (of course!)
Inspiration by Wayne Dyer
Place on Earth: Our home and the world. I’ve been blessed to visit many countries, each one of them is special, each one has it’s own beauty in them.
Travel: As much destinations as I can!
Food: I love fruits and vegetables. And of course, cheese. I used to be deprived of cheese when I was a child (because my parents didn’t have the money to buy it) that’s why I just love cheese!
When I go home to Philippines, I love grilled sea foods, dried fish, chopped up green mangoes with bagoong (fermented shrimp).
I love steak too and the best one I tried was the one sold at a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina!
Drink: Virgin Pinacolada
My Personal Quotes: “Big Dreams Do Come True When We Believe.”
“Whatever we believe and conceived, we can achieve!”