FCM One-on-One presents:
Mr. JayTee Balmores, owner of JEEPNEY JayTee, the most popular and successful Filipino food truck in Alberta!
FCM: Who influenced you to be an entrepreneur?
JT: My partner always tells me, “Don’t stop bettering yourself. Don’t stop improving yourself.”
I’m not a shy person. When I was in college, I won Mr. Nursing personality at my university. People know me. But that did not stop me from selling food like Yema, Pastillas, and so on. I even sold the sunblock product that I use.
When I won the Mr. Philippine Heart Center title, I still carried the entrepreneurship mindset with me. I wasn’t shy to sell. Back then, someone asked me, “Aren’t you shy? You’re in nursing, but you’re selling stuff?” I didn’t pay attention to that. I think I learned it from my mother. I don’t like to waste opportunities.
FCM: What are the best things about being an entrepreneur?
JT: Speaking only for myself and what I’ve experienced, people get to know you.
You make a name for yourself. You also get to enjoy your alone time if you need it. You’re in control. And you see your ideas materialized.
Even though some or our recipes are difficult sometimes, we’re able to do it. Your thoughts will come to life because you’re the captain of your ship.
When you work, if you don’t go in the office, you’ll stop making money. For me, if I can’t sleep at night, I can work on a recipe, then the following day I have something to sell.
As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you how much you want to work, and how much you’d like to earn.
FCM: How do you stay motivated?
JT: I’ll be blunt and honest; I don’t like being put to shame. Ayaw kong napapahiya. Not now. Not at this stage of my life.
One of the quotes I wrote in my journal is, “Work as if someone is working hard to get your position the following day.”
When I was a nursing student, I wasn’t the smartest, but when I read books or do my studies, I want to make sure I’m prepared to answer questions because I don’t like the feeling of being ashamed if I can’t successfully answer a question.
FCM: If you could summarize your keys to success, what would it be?
JT: Hard work, humility, I follow the rules, and I take my food seriously.
My integrity is in my food. It’s my name that’s out there, not anyone else.
I tell people it’s not hard to dream or attain something if you like it. If you don’t work on your dream, then it’s only a daydream.
FCM: For someone looking to start their own business, what’s your advice?
JT: Aside from what I mentioned already, you should take care of your credit score.
Second, know your battle. You have to learn the business you’re going into. Just because you know how to cook doesn’t make you a good restaurant owner.
I don’t like math, but I learned to do it for my business.
You can’t have a dream and only take or do what you like and disregard what you don’t like. You have to fully accept what you are getting into. And don’t stop learning.
I always ask my team if they have any input on what we do. I learn from people. Your surroundings are rich in things that will enrich your talent and skills. Don’t think you’re good enough. Be open to learn.
FCM: What’s the next plan for Jeepney JT?
JT: Next plan is to put up a restaurant. It’s going to be a restaurant that celebrates Filipino culture, but also welcoming to all Canadians.
FCM: Last thoughts you’d like to share?
JT: I want to emphasize the value of giving. Life feels sour if you don’t give. Even if you’re alone, when you give, you know you’re happy. I’m proud of being able to give. That’s where my confidence and pride comes from.
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