There’s life after 50: Employee embraces new life as entrepreneur
Faustino Calimon is living proof that there is life after 50, and a financially fruitful and spiritually-fulfilling one at that.
After 32 years of being an employee, he resigned from his corporate executive job at a multinational company in 2009.
Today, Calimon is one of the outstanding franchisees of petroleum product distributor Seaoil Philippines, awarded “Seaoil Franchisee of the Year” in 2012 and a finalist for the same category in 2013 and 2014.
“I have had enough of the corporate life and was considering becoming an entrepreneur, so when the opportunity for early retirement presented itself, I saw it as an answered prayer. When I turned 50, I realized I didn’t want to remain an employee any longer,” said Calimon.
After his resignation, he devoted his free time bonding with his family.
“I enjoyed being the personal driver of my two daughters. I would drive my eldest daughter to and from her summer internship. I realized the quality of time spent depended on doing the things that you are passionate about and being with the ones you love,” he shared.
Calimon spent the next four months after retirement planning his financial future to supplement his new lifestyle.
“I considered running a fuel station because it means that I can put up a convenience store or a food chain alongside it. I have been in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business for so long that I have developed an expertise in this particular niche. The huge investment involved in such a business venture and my neophyte status in franchising meant I have to be realistic if I wanted to be successful,” he said.
One day, he and his wife chanced upon a franchise expo in a mall and were attracted by the contemporary design of the Seaoil fuel station. They began making inquiries about franchise investments.
“The Seaoil franchise proposition is reasonable and therefore attractive enough to get the attention of a newbie entrepreneur like me. The marketing and sales programs also appealed to me,” he said.
Calimon stressed the importance of aligning one’s personal beliefs and principles with life-changing decisions.
“My wife and I went into a decision process wherein we had to match our personal vision for the business and company we were incorporating against what the Seaoil corporate advocacy was all about. We wanted to put up a socially responsible business that was environment-friendly as well. I researched about Seaoil online and talked to friends who were familiar with the company. The reviews were favorable and so the decision was made to open a fuel station,” he said.
His success in franchising comes with a lot of hard work and dedication to his business and taking care of relationships.
He shared that his management style was a combination of teaching and empowerment, which enables his staff to operate the station efficiently and allows him to focus on planning and steering the business toward greater success.
When considering a business venture, he advised future entrepreneurs to undergo a self-assessment process—what and where you are now, your vision, where, what you want to be, and steps on how to get there.
He also underscored the importance of research through studying the product and target market, and assessing the opportunities and risks involved.
“You can supplement your research efforts by attending franchise trade shows and seeking expert counseling from an experienced franchisor or business partner,” he added.
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