Ms. Ermz Teodocio is one of the people I look up to. She's a full-time employee, an online marketer, an Amazon published author, a financial advisor, and a volunteer. You name it, she's probably done it! She really went out of her comfort zone! Not to mention, Ms. Ermz also helped me when I was just starting out with my blog. Not only am I really grateful and excited to share her story in my blog, I am also extremely honored!
Tell us about what you do
I am currently working full time managing outbound logistics and operations in the Negros Island. During my spare time, mostly on weekends, I volunteer in Gawad Kalinga (“GK”) as a community organizer, as head of the Green Kalinga Program, and as part of the caretaker team of GK ERH Village. We aim to uplift the economic status of residents and move from one village to another as we work towards the vision of GK: to end poverty of five million Filipino families by 2024.
I am also an advocate of financial literacy. I give financial coaching to individuals and to large groups through the International Marketing Group (“IMG”).
I am also a published author in Amazon Kindle. I wrote and published the book, “The 5S System of Handling Cash,” and am currently working on my next book, “Plan and Organize Your Own Wedding.”
What do you do to support your projects?
As I am still actively working in the corporate world, most of my resources come from my salary. But, I also started doing some projects that earn extra income on the side.
How do you change the world doing this?
I know that God uses me in the mission He entrusted me with through every little thing I do in the GK villages and in coaching individuals and group with their finances. I also trust and believe in the mission and vision of my community and mentors.
What did you do before this?
I have been working in the corporate world for the past years. I have also been actively serving in my renewal community leading single men and women to establish a personal relationship with God in service and in their families. I have also been sending my younger siblings to college.
How did know about this opportunity?
My involvement in the renewal community introduced me to Gawad Kalinga, where I had the opportunity to serve more.
Who was your greatest inspiration or influencer?
Life brought me in the middle of a raging storm unexpectedly. I actively sought mentors in order for me to better understand what has gone wrong and what I needed to do next.
My massive learning journey led me to my mentors and influencers: Bro. Bo Sanchez, Dean Pax Lapid, Benj and Fely Santiago of IMG, Jomar Hilario, Robert Kiyosaki, T. Harv Eker, and Brian Tracy.
"A sheltered life will bring you to nowhere. Go out there! Experience all the facets of life. Enroll in seminars. Be mentored. Learn new things, but take action!"
What made you decide to finally take the leap?
Being the breadwinner of the family is a tough job. When my mother got seriously ill, I was financially unprepared with zero savings on my name. My next option was to borrow money. Eventually, I found myself buried in debt and this went on for several years. I really felt at loss on what to do.
After seven long years of repeatedly paying my debt only to borrow again, I realized that should do something that I haven’t done before: I invested in my financial education. I needed to learn how money works.
What was the most difficult challenge you faced when you were starting out?
Writing down a detailed plan everyday especially on my daily spending was hard at the start. So do saying no to siblings who ask for some money and saying no to invitations of friends to eat out. I had to pack my lunch and snacks.
When you are at the end of your rope already, you need to make some tough love decisions.
How are you coping up with your challenges?
Disciplining myself and changing my daily routine and habits for much better results is worth every painful effort. But in the most trying moments of my journey, it was God who always sheltered me. My faith had been challenged and fragmented many times over. There were moments when I already let go of Him. There were times when even saying a simple prayer became very difficult. But, God never failed to send His angels along the way. Eventually, He restored my broken soul and faith and allowed me to start over again with better and clearer goals in mind.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from doing this?
God always has a better plan. He has a reason for everything. Yes, I questioned His will, especially when I asked for a miracle, but He said "no" on the night He called my mother home. I asked why He answers the prayers of other while mine fell on deaf ears. Yes, until now, I may never understand His will, but I learned to surrender everything to Him, to forgive myself, and to ask for peace in my heart to fully trust His will.
My financial struggles made me seek great mentors and continuous learning. I also learned to dream bigger not only for myself, but also for my family, for my community, and for other people.
Has the journey been worth it?
Yes, it has been worth it. Yes, it has been painful, hard, and full of raging storms. But, if I did not go on this journey, I would not have known my great mentors, I would not have learned to work harder on my big dream, and my life would have probably been mediocre.
What's next for you?
I am looking forward to my early retirement when I can live off the interests from my investments, to touring the world, to mentoring more people, and to helping others change their lives for the better.
Your advice to aspiring World Changers
A sheltered life will bring you to nowhere. Go out there! Experience all the facets of life. Enroll in seminars. Be mentored. Learn new things, but take action! At the end of the day, there must be a doable action plan for every acquired learning.
Learn from everyone you meet. Leave all your prejudices behind. Be like a sponge and absorb all the wisdom you can get.
Volunteer and help shape the world. No matter how insignificant it may seem right now, know that what you are doing causes a ripple effect. Someday, it will spread out wide. You may not see it now, but God knows it from the moment you take that first step.
How can they reach you or join your revolution?
You can also also visit my personal blog, www.ermzteo.com, and my website, www.destinationfeed.com, where I welcome guest writers. Get a free copy of my eBook “Your Five Easy Steps Guide on How to Control Your Cash” on my website.
We will also hold a Business and Money Summit in Bacolod at SMX Convention Center, SM City Bacolod, on September 5, 2015. You can learn more about the event here.