Saturday, May 27

Sun Life Live Brighter Session: Apprentice Asia Jonathan Yabut Shares His Secrets to Success

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” -Zig Ziglar

Why do we need to have goals in life? Why do we need positive affirmations or life changing thoughts in order to focus on our goals? These are just some of the questions that are running into my head and it is only logical to seriously think about these things.

It is really imperative that at any stage in your life to have a solid plan to be able to meet the realization of your aspirations. 

Sadly for me, I haven’t really seriously thought of devising a plan to push my dreams into realization. Considering my age, I just plan for the day and go with the flow on a daily basis. Am I doing the right thing?

BUT, when I heard that Jonathan Yabut (the first Apprentice Asia winner) is the featured speaker for the Sun Life Live Brighter session, I immediately felt the rush- fan mode on and sheer enthusiasm to finally meet him face to face. 

Yes, what can I say- I am a huge fan of The Apprentice and Jonathan Yabut. The way he handled himself during the reality show was kinda cool but I could sense that his mere coolness was just part of the grandiose character that he has and that sets him apart from the rest.

May 24, at the A-Space Makati, the Sun Life Live Brighter Session took off where aspiring Sun Life financial advisors, millennials and invited bloggers are present. This event aims to target and inspire young people to live brighter and to plan ahead for the future. Speakers for this event are Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut, JP Cruz, a Sun Lfe Financial Advisor and Fin Bernardo- Sun Life Financial Recruitment Manager. 

Jonathan Yabut is the first winner of Apprentice Asia, a reality show that centers around the search for the most promising CEO or future business magnate. Jonathan hails from a small town in Aklan and his humble beginnings as well as struggles propelled him to take positive actions that will ensure him to live a brighter future and that’s what he did. He is now an in demand motivational speaker and a successful entrepreneur.

Jonathan Yabut at the Sun Life Live Brighter Session
I am so excited to listen to Jonathan and so ready to chew and digest the valuable life hacks that he’s about to share. I admit that I’ve never been so attentive at any event but this live brighter session is a great opportunity to find motivation and insights towards a secured future. Jonathan Yabut selflessly shares the lessons he learned from the Apprentice Asia.

Jonathan Yabut’s definition of success

Success is when preparation meets opportunity
(a quote from Seneca)

He said that there are two things- the predictable and the unpredictable things, and humanity does not like unpredictability. 

Jonathan thinks that a lot of unpredictable things in life are bad or just sad but there are unpredictable things that turn out to be positive such as opportunities that come only once in your life. What Seneca meant with his quote that people must always be prepared to any opportunity that might come since this will be instrumental in turning one’s life around. 

Jonathan Yabut eagerly shares that he has prepared so much for Apprentice Asia by watching all episodes and by even pretending to be one of the contestants answering questions and creating scenarios in his head. At 17, he already envisioned himself that one day he will make it to Apprentice and eventually win. So he did. He prepared himself psychologically even if he is not sure that there will be an Asian version of The Apprentice. 

So what makes Jonathan Yabut the winner of Apprentice Asia? The answer is simple- it is not because he is the smartest but he won because he was the most prepared contestant in the show. This is how he described his victory- why he is declared as the big winner.

Jonathan was being honest in saying that he hardly knew who Apprentice Asia big boss Tony Fernandes is- that in the Philippines people were clueless about the guy. So what he did was stalked him on social media and studied his character from his talks and TV appearances. 

Jonathan took note that Mr. Fernandes used the words ‘youth and accountability’ and ‘leadership and passion’ in his speeches. For Jonathan, these are the characteristics that Fernandes are looking for in his apprentice. When he joined the reality search Jonathan admits that he has to prove himself and embody these qualities to ensure him a good chance of winning Apprentice Asia.

Jonathan Yabut wants to share his experience since according to him most millennials are victims of the “#YOLO” mentality which leads to procrastination. He said ‘you can never be too prepared for the next big thing that can happen in your life- and when you fail to prepare you are only preparing to fail.’

Apply the cooking concept of “Mise En Place”
Mise en place is a French culinary phrase which means "putting in place" or "everything in its place." It refers to preparing everything ahead of time prior to cooking.

Joathan Yabut aspired to take culinary arts and so he did two years ago. He learned about the value of this French phrase and apply it on practical situations in life which is to execute actions at the right timing

His biggest pet peeve about working people in the corporate world is that they wish they had zero inbox and will brag at around 10 am that they accomplished the zero inbox goal. 

The thing about this is if you ask them if they made money today- the usual answer is no. Why? Because there is a big difference between being busy and being productive. This is where the concept of ‘mison en place’ comes in. It is the ability to identify the things that are needed to be prioritized and focus on these. 

Successful people plan ahead, they strategized before attacking the battlefield thus the concept of ‘mise en place’ comes into action.

You don’t need to say yes to every opportunity, success means knowing why and when you should say no to someone or something.

Humanity and science agreed that we cannot accomplish many things at the same time. Science suggested that we are capable of multi-tasking only on 3 things at a time. We should practice the art of filtering- successful people have courage to say no to things even if they are important. “For every 100 opportunity presented to me I decline to 99 of them and only focus on one big thing and make a name out of it” says Warren Buffet.

Spreading too much of yourself to many things will wear you out. You want to be good at one thing and be an expert. Like Apple concentrated on one thing- the IOS and perfected it. 

The ability to say no allows a person to be good at one thing. It is not about the many things that one can accomplish it’s more about the quality of how things were done. Smaller things can only destruct you from the bigger things that you need to accomplish.

Jonathan cited the case of Delta Airlines where the management decided to forego of the lettuce on their food. The lettuces are often left uneaten and ended on trash bins. They threw it out and in one year saved 1.4 M US dollars. Lesson- many people keep unnecessary lettuce in their life that they thought were important but they really have to let it go. LET IT GO- for heaven's sake!!!

JONATHAN YABUT asks- Do you have some lettuce and identify what it is that you think you can let go? (It could be someone or something that stops you from reaching your goal)

Remember for every ‘no’ that you say it gains you a ‘yes’ to something else. And that YES can be something that will truly propel you towards success.

In order to stand out you need to stand back.

Success is about personal leadership. Jonathan imparts that being able to influence someone to get that job done even if that person does not like you or his job means effective leadership. 

Scientifically it was proven that the great leaders are those who sustained themselves in the long run because they put the interest of their people at heart. The leaders who last are the leaders who also eat last. 

Alex (one of Apprentice Asia contender) questioned him why he did not volunteered to be a project manager- he reasoned that there is a person that can do better than him in that particular scenario. So he stepped back and let that other person shine  because real leadership is to make more leaders out of others and when you are a leader it is no longer about you but about the people you serve.

It’s not about working hard but working smart.

Jonathan Yabut shares- “I hate people who goes to the office at 7am leaves at 11pm believing that they are the best employee.” Working smart is learning how to effectively use technology, delegate task, or decide not to do it all. At the end of the day, you’ve got more time to relax and be with your family or friends. 

Jonathan Yabut also shares that- The winner of the show is not the most intelligent guy- the winner is the guy who has the most nutritious breakfast, most amount of sleep and stamina. 

He even admitted that he gets some artificial energy from Extra Joss! Haha..he was high on caffeine and ready for the challenge at the Apprentice Asia. I am amazed how honest Jonathan is on sharing his lessons and vital tips on winning the apprentice asia- he is indeed one smart freaking guy who is ahead of his competition! Simply brilliant.

Zoom out first before zooming in.

Access the situation- look for better ways to improve things and work efficiently. Jonathan Yabut said that people who use Mozilla /Chrome browsers were challenging the default-installed software since they know that there is something better. Successful people are never contented with one-time victories. They are looking out for something that can be better.

Success is democratically out there for everyone.

Success is determined by grit. IQ (some level of intelligence) + EQ + beauty/good looks + fitness + wealth= SUCCESS. 

According to Harvard studies (science of body language) it was suggested that successful American CEOs average height is 6’2” which is a factor in looking good. Therefore, being able to present yourself in a manner that is deemed attractive physically is a big contributing factor to success. So always stand up straight and look confident.

People who are successful in life know exactly the value of grit. According to author and psychologist Angela Duckworth- grit is passion, perseverance combined to achieve a long term goal. The idea of grit is that after every failure you get up dust yourself off and get things done. 

Para ba kanino ka bumabangon tuwing umaga? 

Jonathan Yabut asks the audience (yah including me) - borrowing the famous phrase from Nescafe. Then he said- if you cannot answer the question you have no right to complain about life because you are not inspire to do things because you really don’t know what you really want to do in life. (OUCH!)

Successful people are gritty enough to believe that in spite of so many failures in life they get it done. It is your duty and responsibility to inspire yourself every day and discover what that grit is.

Execution of things or doing things better than anyone else will set you apart. There is no need to be super intelligent to get things done more efficiently. Consistency to execute actions better matters more than intelligence, talent or skills and not be complacent at things.

The Growth Mindset theory- since the ability to learn is not fixed.

Practicing growth mindset theory is what successful people apply to any challenge in life. As the saying goes- “the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. The same fire that melts the butter toughens steel.” It is rather how you react in every situation, which for every failure there is always something to learn

Never say- you can’t or you won’t but instead say ALMOST GOT IT. It is always a NEAR WIN not failure since you are confident that it’s not yet time or you have to exert more effort into your goal before finally achieving it.

Talk about brain power- Did you know that neurons could expand and that our brain is capable of processing more complex information regardless of age? 

Our brain keeps on growing and the amount of knowledge is virtually limitless. So we must make use of this tremendous natural human ability to our utmost advantage. Like in every failure we humans can turn these unfortunate events to opportunities to learn- right?

Jonathan Yabut also reminded us the “failure is not permanent but a necessary evil for you to succeed in life. That makes gritty people not settling for anything less.

Growth mindset vs Fix mindset- failure is a near win… since you know you are getting something out of it.

Successful companies give back to the society- sharing it with anyone else means success. A business should have social purpose or mission to be truly successful this is one grit needed to have fulfillment in life.

Jonathan shared a Zig Ziglar quote “if you feel intimidated that a lot of people are ahead of you in a race -please don’t be because you create your own race and your own finish line”. 

So you don’t need to be great to start but it all starts with day one. This is when most people fail because their day one gets extended to day 1002 and they don’t end up doing anything else. You have to START NOW!! So that’s when you start to become GREAT!

Selfie time with The Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut- fan mode on- just happy to see him.

The Sun Life Live Brighter with Jonathan Yabut was a phenomenal experience. It has taught me so much about living and moving forward.

The session with Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut is life changing for me. The things he shared including the life hacks he gladly imparted are very logical and outright applicable. I will do my best to always remember his words and take it by heart. 

Sun Life Philippines is very active with their Financial Literacy advocacy. Through the Live Brighter sessions, attendees are given knowledge that will equip them for life. Practical lessons from these talks and events are valuable in securing our own stability whether financial or personal. 

No one said life is easy because it isn’t. However, when you turn failure into opportunity then it would work into your advantage. As they say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade out of it. It is really how you react to any situation that will give you the outcome you’ll want. Timing is also crucial and the time to be great is NOW!!!

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