Christine Ong Te, a successful events planner and coordinator in the Philippines, recently appeared on CHiNOY TV’s podcast, Rise Up. She is the founder and owner of COTE, a full service event planning, management and consultation company. Ong Te is a great leader who pays attention to detail to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Here are 5 tips from Christine Ong Te that can be applied to both business and in life:
Prioritize yourself before prioritizing others.
“I never expected that [the pandemic] will ever happen in our lifetime,” Ong Te said. But for her, the key was to stay positive, not just for herself but for the people around her.
“My strength will be to be positive lang,” Ong Te stressed. “Kung ito yung nararamdaman ko, what more our clients, especially our brides na ito lang yung once-in-a-lifetime event para sa kanila e so you need to be more positive.”
Ong Te added that strength of character starts with yourself, and only then will you have the energy to help everyone else. “If I cloud my mind with worries, with stress, I will not be able to think properly, so I think the best weapon for me is that kailangan ko maging strong-willed, maging positive, have a presence of mind, para I can be able to give a good direction to our couples.”
Always find solutions.
Her company COTE had its fair share of struggles during the lockdown, but Ong Te made it a point to find the quickest solutions since the show must go on!
“I see to it to all my couples na at that time na let’s think of the quickest plan possible so naghanap na kami agad ng solution and to all the rest of our couples as well, and even if there are weddings na,” she shared.
The lockdown may have affected their business, but it also brought them an opportunity to innovate their services. “I took action, like regularly, every week I meet my clients via Zoom. Kailangang maging innovative din e. We thought of ways of how we can communicate with our clients. We made sure that we are very visible to them, we wanted to be in constant communication, that way to lessen their stress, and we wanted to be always there for them.”
Learn from corporate experience.
“Before I started doing [events planning] full-time, I wanted to experience muna corporate life para at least I can apply that in my own company,” Ong Te said. “So just to share and to be of inspiration, and to give advice to all aspiring planners out there, or for those who want to have their own business, it’s nice to have a good background for corporate experience kasi that way, you’ll be able to learn a lot of things like managing people [and] financing.”
“After six years working in the bank, I decided na I think I can do [events already]. I know I can do this already,” she added.
Embrace your mistakes.
“I always treat all events as a learning process,” Ong Te said. “So even if I [have] done a lot of weddings, even if I know I can do it, even if I know, yeah, you can be confident but you don’t have to put that in your head, you have to always put your confidence from your heart.”
Ong Te also shared personal experiences where she had to learn from her mistakes the hard way.
Yet, she said, “Every success comes a failure, the failure will be your weapon to be a better person. So every wedding, or every event that we do, if there are some tips, mistakes, or glitches, we embrace [all of them]. I really love [it] when our clients give us details, or input because I can learn from them.”
Passion before business.
Ong Te stressed the importance of being self-aware of one’s true nature and passion. This will give clearer direction as to which career path to choose.
“When you have the passion, the talent will just come naturally, your goal in life will come naturally, the business will come second,” Ong Te explained. “If you look at the business side muna bago yung passion, technically, madali ka ma-o-overwhelm, pwede ka ma-burn out, but if you are passionate to what you do, you won’t mind if you don’t bring much money, alam mo na dadarating ang time that your goal will happen sooner or later.”