I saw an unmet need some 25 years ago – marketing students using foreign textbooks with examples they can hardly relate with, so I decided to launch my first marketing book, ‘Contemporary Marketing Strategy in the Philippine Setting’.
Banking on Strengths:
I was an unknown 30-year old author in 1992, but I had three credentials I could bank on:
1. My term as National President of the Philippine Marketing Association had just ended;
2. I was the Director for the Marketing Minor Program of the Ateneo de Manila University, and I had been teaching marketing part-time since 1990;
3. I was a successful marketing practitioner (RFM’s brand management for 3 years), and entrepreneur (7 years).
Fortunately, I got helped by many people.
Asking for Help:
As a novice, I asked help from many people I looked up to.
1. Dr. Ned Roberto (from the Asian Institute of Management), Prof. Roger Buhay (from the De La Salle University), Mr. Wilson Lim (President of Abenson Group), the late Mr. Tony de Joya (Chairman of AMA Consolidated), Mr. Bobby Sumulong (SVP Marketing of Jollibee), Dr. Jun Lao (VP- General Manager of Unilab Generics) and Mr. Edwin Bautista (VP of Citibank, now President of Union Bank) helped review and improve an imperfect, unedited version. In hindsight, I should have been more considerate and sent an edited version, but I didn’t know any better then. There were other people I approached, but they declined to help. I also thanked them for making me improve myself.
2. The Philippine Marketing Association and the Association of Marketing Educators gave their official endorsements.
3. My wife Chiqui Escareal-Go did an excellent job of editing the book to make it readable. Years after, she became my co-author, collaborator and mentor. To me, she is the most influential person to help shape my mindset.
4. National Book Store’s matriarch Socorro Ramos helped me with an advertisement paid for by National. She instructed all branches to give me mass display and to treat my book as if it was owned by National.
Chiqui and I set up the Josiah and Carolina Go Foundation Inc. in 1992 and gave all book profits to this foundation, including from our subsequent books. The advocacy would not have happened without Chiqui having an advocacy mindset.
Dozens of full college scholarships as well as annual scholarships for the school of the deaf have been given to date. Medical assistance to people was also granted.
Then, Chiqui and I decided to expand. Together with Waters Philippines and Mansmith and Fielders Inc., we built homes for the homeless in Recom, Reparo, Caloocan City, initially by Gawad Kalinga, until Ancop took over. 30 families we did not know had a new beginning. In 2009, Chiqui and I brought our family to the housing site (known as Gosingtian Village). We wanted to show our children that while making money is important, it is in giving that makes life meaningful.
In 2012, we also helped 80 children with cleft lips operated through the help of Operation Smile. Many of these kids did not want to go to school anymore because their classmates kept teasing them, affecting their self-esteem and confidence. Some hid themselves inside the house, others would occasionally go out, covering their mouth or face with a handkerchief. Without helping these children, they were doomed not to have a normal life – to graduate, to have a job or start an enterprise, to get married, to have a family, to fulfill their dreams, like yours and mine.
These kids did not have a safe place; they were not healthy as they had difficulty eating. Instead of being challenged intellectually in school, they are physically and emotionally challenged. Instead of being supported, they were almost abandoned as “malas” (unlucky). Instead of engaging with others, they were isolated or isolated themselves.
(Operation Smile photo credit: Tricia Gosingtian. She wrote about her experience http://triciagosingtian.com/blog/opsmile/ )
The Photocopying Culture in College
Chiqui and I have been working hard for our books because we see the faces of the homeless and the faceless. We could have helped more, but the photocopying culture among college students was a huge problem. We have given many talks in school auditoriums, yet have been approached many times by students to autograph their photocopied book, each time our hearts dropped a bit for the homeless and the faceless.
We eventually lost the title of bestselling authors; we became the ‘best Xeroxed authors’!
We were told by executives of Rex Book Store that senior high school is different; parents pay tuition plus books, and students claim their books from the school,. Hence our latest book “Principles and Practices in Marketing in the Philippine Setting” has K12 students as our primary target market and practitioners as secondary market (yes, they need to go back-to-basics as well!). We wanted to do more for the poor and the marginalized and trusted Don Buhain and Danda Buhain-Garcia of Rex Book Store, so we appointed them as our school channel distributor for our latest marketing book. There is still much to be accomplished for the underprivileged. In the year 2000, Chiqui and I drafted the Gosingtian Family Vision and Mission Statement signed by Chiqui, myself and the children. We wish to share this with you as part of our accountability:
Gosingtian Family Vision and Mission Statement
in the Supreme Being of God
that family is God’s personal gift to us
in discovering and fulfilling God’s mission for us on earth
that talent given us is abundant and that we shall utilize them
in the most productive way to do God’s will
that abundant blessings given by God are meant to be shared
and given to those who need them most
to love and treat each other with respect, trust and support
to tolerate each other’s differences
to be guided by the Golden Rule
to do our best in all our endeavors and
to inspire others to do the same
to keep communication lines open both ways: in speaking and listening
to say sorry when we make mistakes and to accept apologies graciously
to stand up when we fail and to remain humble despite our successes
We shall support the following causes in our lifetime
send at least 100 underprivileged people thru college
nurture at least 100 people to earn at least a million a year
help at least 100 street children find a home
influence the minds of at least 100 future leaders positively
We are special as a family because
we enjoy our sense of humor and time spent together
we can share life lessons that our next generations shall have access to
we practice exclusive family rituals
we strive to consistently improve our personal freedom and financial independence
we love each other and we always say it or show it
honesty, integrity and reputation
positive outlook, loyalty
initiative and resourcefulness
a balanced lifestyle – good health and peace of mind
spending time together, cherishing each other’s company
All our lives we lift up to the greater glory of God who has made all things possible and who has given us the most wonderful gift of family!
Bestselling author Josiah Go is the Chairman and Chief Marketing Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. (the leading marketing and sales training company in the Philippines), President and CEO of Waters Philippines (the market leader in the direct selling of premium health durable products in the Philippines) and President and CEO of PT Noah Health Indonesia. He is Chairman / Vice Chairman / Director of over a dozen companies.