Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jaychrist Teves, Chief Creative of TDPH (Think Digital Philippines), located in Dasmariñas, Calabarzon, Philippines.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a full-service marketing and innovation startup proudly based in Cavite, Philippines, focusing on bringing superb screen-based solutions and marketing strategies for our clients. We bring the right ideas to life with our awesome expertise in user experience design and creative, strategic solutions, enabling businesses to be the authority of their niche. We genuinely help purpose-driven local, creatives, entrepreneurs, and micro-small businesses to have more time to follow what they are really passionate about to build their meaningful work in line with their values and beliefs using the best productivity tools and proven strategies available online.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a 100% Filipino creative entrepreneur and maker of functional and meaningful experiences. I produced and created an episodic podcast from my small home studio, The Design Life Show, for Filipino creatives who are bold enough to pursue their passion and purpose. I also created a few practical courses for aspiring creatives and entrepreneurs focusing on three-course tracks such as essentialism, design, and creativity at Journey Academy and currently helping local micro-small brands create something meaningful as a Chief Creative of All Things Awesome at TDPH (Think Digital Philippines), a marketing and innovation startup based in Cavite which I bootstrapped in my one-bedroom apartment. In case you want to know, I was originally born in Manila (Quezon City) but grew up and raised on the Southern Shore of Manila Bay, Philippines (Silang Cavite). I now live and work independently together with my beautiful wife and two clever daughters.
I had a different journey than most. I started my career after working in some shitty jobs like working in a factory (I respect the job and the people I worked with, and I do not intend to degrade people.) I call it shitty because of the work environment. I worked there under poor conditions and with low income. After realizing that my health and happiness were more important. I left the job, got back in school, and worked my ass off to build my creative design business as a side hustle. Fast forward after a few years, through a ton of courage and hard work, I'm fortunate to officially wear these different hats - designer, founder, speaker, mentor, and maker of functional & meaningful experiences (also known as UX Designer).
With more than twelve (12+) years of design and brand experience, I had the honor of developing products and services for companies such as Envato, Happy Orange Project, Priority Consultants, RVPRCO, Brainhub, Bodies.tv, Walkthrough, Personiv, Dilate Digital, PayStaff, RemitAU, Legacy Podcasting, Kerry Barrett Consulting, and thousands of different niches of brands, businesses, and companies around the world. To my parent's delight, I have been lucky enough to be featured in a number of well-known local and/or foreign organizations and publications such as Google I/O Manila, WeRemote Philippines, Center for Technopreneurship and Innovations – Batstateu, Hack Manila 2018, Ambidextr Media, Filipino Freelancers with Australian Client Community, Creative Manila – Portfolio of the week, Logo Daily by Creato, Fomolist – Filipino Tech & Business, Health Revolution, Innovation+ Creative Edge, The Rajiv Show Podcast, Creative Chika Podcast and Hustle to Freedom Podcast to name a few. I was also the former co-founder of DesignPlusHub.com.ph, the first online creative space-sharing community in Cavite, Philippines. It's our first attempt to break the ice between innovators, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs locally. Previously, I've been the Chief Creative Lead of Poddle — a full-stack creative & innovation boutique I started with 3 good & old friends based in the Southern Shore of Manila Bay, PH. Nonetheless, I am relentlessly designing and building purposeful experiences for brands, businesses, and even the Filipino creative community.
Aside from the daily grind, I am sharing my no-BS thoughts about essentialism, creativity, design (UX), and productivity in my personal newsletter, a blog reaching thousands of talented and passionate creatives worldwide each month. I'm also the host and producer of The Design Life Show (TDLS) — a personal talk-based podcast aiming to spark an interesting conversation with creatives, makers, builders, and hustlers. It's basically designed to share knowledge, inspire and contribute to the Filipino creative community in an interesting way. I think it is safe to say that I am one of the most optimistic individuals that you'll ever meet. It is the reason why I am successfully chasing my dreams while helping others.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, it's really hard to tell what's the biggest accomplishment I've done so far in my creative entrepreneurship journey because I feel like it's always an uphill battle (every single day). But, I think that's what makes this journey really meaningful and special which I'm very grateful for because having these challenges alongside, I am glad that I still have the passion & energy to be able to provide value within my community, build meaningful work, real-human relationships and most importantly is to be able to provide the result for me and/or my clients. Also, getting some positive feedback & support from the team was a relief, so I might say that's pretty much my biggest achievement so far (I hope that makes sense).
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As for me, I think coming from a developing country like the Philippines, it's inevitable not to question yourself sometimes... if this is the right path? Especially if you're carving your own success wherein the opposite of the spectrum while having to build a close-knit family on the side, which I think still has been a vital part of my daily motivation as an entrepreneur.
I feel like having a business like I have does need undefined courage because failure is always in-sight. Luckily, resilience is in my DNA growing up, so there's no way I could not navigate any challenges that come on my way.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Document your journey from the ground up. It's the only way to really have that clarity, for you to obtain any goals you have in mind. If possible, write it down as detailed as you can.
- Build meaningful relationships with your team, community & your clients.
- Remember that everyone is creative, and you don't have to know everything at once because you can figure it out along the way.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'd love to leave this quote for everyone: "If you tap into your natural creativity, you have a chance to be extraordinary."
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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