By Roxanne Joyce Malabanan |Executive Chronicles
Every business starts on the same ground; but not all meet a successful end, that’s for sure.
Being on top of your business isn’t a walk in the park. It’s one thing that every good entrepreneur knows. Staying on top of it is just as challenging if not more. It’s not so often that people find themselves working their passion. Having a goal and wanting to reach it with the same force driven by the love for what you do.
Embracing technology and with the new media, Dennis Hilario was able to craft something huge in the business world. He is a dreamer, a creator, and a risk-taker with a vision to make a big change for the better.
In an interview of Executive Chronicles with Entrepreneur/Businessman Dennis Hilario of Hilsoft Inc., he talked about his journey as an entrepreneur.
EC: What inspired you to be in this business?
DMH: When I started, I was inspired by the thought of working for my own. But now, I am inspired by working for my customers with my team and innovating for the community.
EC: When and how did you start as an entrepreneur?
DMH: I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur back in high school. After college, I worked as a programmer in a Japanese firm. Back then, there were a lot of signs of my calling. I was surrounded with dreamers such as my brother who’s also a technologist and my uncle who’s an accountant. In 2001, we decided to start a software business without knowing what to do. We called it Omega Biz Consulting. We just went with the flow and continued to evolve our purpose and vision.
EC: How did you come up with the idea of creating a customizable accounting system?
DMH: We saw the opportunity of creating something for the horizontal market. And that is a fully web-based accounting and ERP system that seamlessly connects a business with multiple locations and branches real-time. We pioneered in that model.
EC: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
DMH: Balance. Before, there were periods when I always work late and non-stop, and periods when I used to go out and party hard. I felt restless. But now, I mindfully balance my everyday routine, I juggle my time and balance work, relationship with family and friends, exercise, mental health, self-improvement, innovation and leisure. When I am mindful, chemicals in my body are balanced, then I am able to see things as they are with focus hence I feel very productive. That gives me fulfillment.
EC: What would you say are the key elements for running a successful business?
DMH: Top of my list is a clear purpose and vision. That’s my driving force. I wake up on some days when I don’t feel like working but when I think of my purpose, then it gets me going. Purpose stimulates my passion and vice versa. Second would be the core values. That gives my business a personality. And that personality drives the business through the test of time.
EC: Have you ever been a mentor to someone? Who were they and what did you do to help them grow professionally?
DMH: For 15 years, I have developed this passion on mentoring my team. I always believe software developers are one of the most intelligent beings but their personalities at times bring them down. I myself went through inner struggles in developing mine but I am thankful that I was able to release my inner potentials. In our team, we try to inject some sessions like personality development, leadership and display of talents. In 2014, I founded a small group and named it Filipino Programmer’s Society (FILPROS). Its main purpose is to develop their inner awesomeness. But it’s dormant at the moment because of priorities but I know in time it will materialize. It’s the law of the universe.
EC: Have you ever experienced failures in your career?
DMH: I experience small wins and losses from time to time. It’s how business works but I celebrate my wins and learn from my mistakes.
EC: Describe a difficult situation you encountered in the business and how you handled it.
DMH: Back in 2007, I down-sized from 25 employees to just myself and a messenger. My uncle and brother pursued a different path. It was a result of immaturity. But again, its about the flow. I still had it and went with it until I realized I was back in track. In 2011, I changed our name to Hilsoft, Inc. I served my commitment and our purpose. Resilience and adversity management is the key.
EC: How are you as a boss?
DMH: I am democratic and result oriented. I manage my team not too tight and not too loose. I try my best to make time to socialize with them.
EC: What are your long term goals for this business?
DMH: We want to be recognized as the top software innovator in the country and in Asia in 5-10 years. I dream one of these years we can invent and contribute a phenomenal software technology in the world, made in the Philippines.
EC: What is your own definition of success?
DMH: Success is when you are already able to acknowledge it and when you’re able to share your blessings and experience and inspire people to do it.
EC: What message can you give to the young hopefuls who aspire to take the same career path as you?
DMH: Just listen to your gut and courageously go with it. All dreams come true.
Indeed having your passion as a profession is a gift. Succeeding in doing something you love is a hundred times more rewarding. It is both an accomplishment and an inspiration to keep on dreaming and aiming higher than before. You just have to know it when you have a calling; waiting to for an answer. Yet another person has proven that taking risks, passion, and proper mindset can move us up. Learn to acknowledge your weaknesses as much as you do your strengths. And never let the fear of risks keep you from taking them. As Mr. Hilario advised,
“Just listen to your gut and have the courage to go with it”.