Taoke (Business)

1.82M Views and Next on 1CH1NOY: Marketing Guru Josiah Go is Always Ahead of the Times

1CH1NOY: Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart continues to reign the airwaves with 1.82M accumulated views on the episode featuring Dr. Geraldine “King Zamora. 1CH1NOY has been ranked 2nd place in CNN Philippines’ Sunday programs.

Next up, we have the marketing guru and arguably the pioneer multi-hyphenate before such a term was even devised—Josiah Go.

Josiah Go is a man of many hats. He is a multi-awarded entrepreneur, a bestselling book publisher, a sought-after speaker, a mentor to many and probably best of all, a modern father.

Of these many achievements though, the common thread that ties them all is how Go is a man who is always ahead of the times.

Knowledge Capital

Over the last 30 years and counting, Go has built Mansmith and Fielders to become the premier business and marketing consultancy firm in the country. From humble beginnings, Go and his wife Chiqui, transformed Mansmith and Fielders and the story behind it is quite the inspiration.

Go shares, “I saw knowledge was going to be gold. In 1990 nobody was willing to even pay for seminars. But today it’s totally different, the progressive companies understand the value of knowledge. And I realized that you can convert knowledge capital to financial capital.” He credits his wife Chiqui though for the company’s big delta, “It was actually her idea to convert it into an advocacy-based company. So I credit it to her. Through the years we’re not just only doing seminars, providing knowledge but we’re doing so many advocacies. We have been co-founder, we have been brainstorming in very important occasions about what do we do, and today, we have transformed ourselves into an advocacy-based training company–the only one in our field. We are also an awards-giving body. We actually sponsor the Young Market Masters award, now on our 17th year, and we also have the Mansmith Innovation Awards. All our awards have no entry fee. It’s really a public service thing.”

Career-wise, Go has made a living seeing the future. Aside from being Chairman of Mansmith and Fielders, he is also an Independent Director for Union bank, blazing new trails in marketing and breaking a lot of traditions to great success. However, one can say that Go has always had foresight.

At a time when it was not well-accepted, Go overcame the Great Wall to marry his great love Chiqui. Go shares, “I think the timing is also important and part of that is that I was President of De La Salle’s Filipino-Chinese organization which was the biggest student organization at that time inside La Salle.  It won the Most Outstanding Organization for the first time in the history of the organization. I think my father saw that I was responsible enough, and then I was employed in RFM for three years. I was an employee, I was promoted in nine months. So I was confident that I wanted to be on my own and in the worst scenario, I can survive on my own. I don’t know how to say it, but you need to be able to say “Okay, I’m willing to give up everything for love”. Pero parang pelikula ano *laughs* But I think that’s true. My father, he’s a romantic. The way I saw him with my mother, so he probably saw himself [in me] when he was younger.”

Foresight and Fatherhood

Go cites his father as very influential in his life. And although they were middle class, his father was very well-educated and a Christian. When Go was admitted into De La Salle University and wanted to opt for a cheaper school, his father set his foot down that Go should enroll in DLSU even if his three older siblings were also in college and his Lasallian education would cost more. “Kakayanin natin ito,” his dad said. This is probably why as a father, Go is also very much a modern parent, treating his children with what he calls “reverse mentorship.”

Go is father to four children, among them the celebrated online influencer and one of the Philippines’ original bloggers, Tricia Gosingtian. Go beams, “Well, I mentor many people but there is such a thing as reverse mentoring. An older person can be mentored by younger people. In my case, I’m very proud of my children. Tricia taught me about inbound marketing. First time I heard it from her. She was a fresh grad, she won Ateneo Art Award, sole awardee. I thought she was bumming around in the house, so I said, “Why don’t you get a real job?” and , she told me “I have a real job, dad”. I said, “What’s that?” “I’m a blogger”. And of course, at that time, blogging was not a popular thing. Then I volunteered to be her manager because I wanted to have a better relationship with her. And I wanted to sell myself to be her manager. I said, “You know, I started in the knowledge industry. Nobody believed in us. Now, blogging is  a new industry and I think I can manage you because I know how to create demand, and I know how to communicate the value proposition.” And she agreed, so long as she has the final say. And I have no editorial power whatever in her blog. That’s the easiest decision, of course, it’s a yes. So our relationship has improved. Today, she has her own Hinhin brand in e-commerce. She just launched Chapter 2 of her new collection.  My eldest son Chase, is a computer graduate. And one time, he went into this bespoke fashion and he learned a skill. And after so many years, he realized that it’s hard to to be competitive in terms of cost. And he went back to software development. And he had the humility to start all over again from the lowest position. Today of course he is a lead software developer. And [from him] I learned the importance of humility. My other son is a concept artist who studied in Singapore. And of course, I was asking him, “So there are so many artists in the world, so what will make you different?” So he said, “No, I’m gonna be a concept artist.” And I’m very proud because he can define differentiation in his plan. And he also started teaching at one point in time, highschool students. And one time one of his students had a very dark drawing. And he had the presence of mind to talk to counselors and say, “Can you take a look at this student?” The important thing is of interpreting beyond the drawing about the person. My youngest son Calel, showed me the importance of network beyond business and having a social network. I think it’s a very important thing that we learn from each other. And I look forward to continuously learning from younger people.”

Personal Brand

Finally, he is also ahead of the curve in seeing the value of advocacy and personal branding before those things became buzzy.

Go confesses on a huge turning point in his life, “When I was in highschool, fourth year, one of my teachers started asking the students, “Where will you study and what course will you take up in college?” The two people in front me, the first person said, “UP. I’m gonna take up whatever sophisticated course.” And the second person said, “I’m going to study in Ateneo” And she’s gonna take up whatever sophisticated course. I was the third person. UP was taken, Ateneo was taken so I said “I’ll study at La Salle.” But the first two, my teacher did not react, but when I said La Salle, my teacher looked at me and said, “La Salle? Very difficult” and all my classmates laughed. And that was a moment, the turning point in my life when I realized the importance of personal branding. Because at that time, people were saying “How can this guy survive La Salle, he’s not even studying. He’s a C student” and I never studied so hard to pass the entrance exam.”

Since that time, Go has won numerous awards, among them the global Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World. Go laughs, “When I won the Most Outstanding LaSallian award, I shared this story. In highschool, I studied in a Chinese school. Lo and behold, I was the graduation speaker of that highschool. And I shared the story that you have invited a C student who was at the discipline office. And I jokingly said, “I have the last laugh.” But of course I was just trying to inspire everybody that there is hope even if you’re a C student.”

Catch 1CH1NOY: Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart only on CNN Philippines via Free TV Channel 9, Sky Cable Channel 14, Cignal Channel 10. It will also simultaneously air on CNN Philippines’ webpage www.cnnphilippines.com.

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