Profiles, Taoke (Business)

Modern Tao Ke: George Siy’s Advice for Success

George Siy, Chairman Emeritus of Anvil Business Club

Several business leaders share their stories and advice in Modern Tao Ke, a special video series by Globe myBusiness. Hosted by Valerie Tan, the videos aim to provoke learning, inspiration, and connection among Chinese-Filipino tao kes.

George Siy, Director at Think Tank Integrated Development Studies Institute and Chairman Emeritus of Anvil Business Club, shares his advice for others that can apply to any business or field. Siy is also a Wharton-educated economic analyst.

Here are 5 key advice from Siy:

1. Work hard and focus on the positive.

When asked about the core value in doing business, Siy said, “I think you have to work hard. And that overcomes problems from systems of government, circumstances being against you, family problems coming up, almost anything if you work hard and be positive and not focus on the negative things. But work at solving them then, you can have a very good life.”

2. Even in business, misfortune is simply redirection.

During the pandemic, Siy was struck by the reality that “life changes so quickly.” Just before the pandemic, he was about to borrow 1 billion to buy a beach for a resort business. Speaking of the experience, he shared, “We’re not only lucky for the things we achieved, but also lucky for the things we didn’t get into.”

3. Utilize technology.

Amid the pandemic, his company also had to innovate quickly. He said that in terms of operations, technology, such as apps and Zoom meetings, makes everything more efficient. “We are trying to push everyone to do technology, one of which is to go into digital transactions,” he said.

4. Learn from others.

“The more you’re able to realize your visions and what you want then, the better life you might have,” he said. But he cautions to also listen to the market and people who are wiser and more experienced. He said you can learn from their mistakes so it would be valuable to immerse your time with them and not just people you enjoy. Then, “you can create you own combination,” he shared.

5. Put your dreams to work.

“You have to have the desire. Everyone dreams about being successful. Success doesn’t get you everything, but success takes away some of your problems,” Siy said. “What it takes is that you have the desire, but the desire needs to become a drive, which means you have to work at it. Otherwise, it’s just a dream,” he added.

Siy understands that some people may say they don’t have the resources, but he advises not to wait for things to come. “You help create it,” he said. “If you don’t have it, you find someone who has and then you show that you’re trustworthy and hardworking, and they will always back you up.”

For more of Siy’s story and advice, check out this video:


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