MR. Ricky de Vera is a sought-after management/marketing consultant, a trainor/facilitator, and speaker in such areas such as Strategic Market

Planning, Consultative/Behavioral Salesmanship, Account/Sales Management, Creative Leadership, Attitude/Motivation, and Cutting-Edge Customer Relations.

He is currently the president of Pin-Point Direct Consultancy. In the first

week of August, Mr. de Vera will be conducting some seminars in Bacolod City primarily to educate businessmen and generally to educate individuals on getting the results that they need in their lives via the seminar Going Beyond Expectations in these Challenging Times. Mr. de Vera himself had undergone many challenges in life but he still plowed on.

1. Betsy: Hi, Mr. de Vera. So, you're coming back to Bacolod to give another seminar. I welcome you in advance.

Mr. Ricky de Vera: Yes, I am happy and excited to be back in Bacolod for the series of seminars on Marketing, Business, Sales and now we are also introducing Credit & Collection.

2. This seminar is about Going Beyond Expectations in these Challenging Times on August 3 at East View Hotel. Why do you think we need this?

Mr. de Vera: The topic on August 2 would provide participants an opportunity to look a things and how to manage their competitiveness from a different perspective and paradigm.

3. How about the one on Results-Driven Marketing Management? That would be on August 2 also at the East View Hotel, right, sir?

Mr. de Vera: Yes, the wonderful thing is that the seminar on Aug 3 would be a build-up or would dovetail with the Aug 2 seminar and this makes the learnings better as well! Definitely, we shall be introducing new inputs and ideas to make the sessions exciting as well!

4. I heard very positive reviews of your seminar last year at the Pagcor Hotel. How did you get to be a motivational speaker?

Mr. de Vera: I would consider myself not a motivational speaker but rather an inspirational mentor, someone who actually have been through a lot of challenges and experiences and now would want to share these on a very practical yet thought-provoking manner to guide participants and add new meaning in their lives! Even before, I would feel the urge to explore and be curious, experiment and learn - and eventually share to other who want to listen.

5. Your qualifications are impressive. What does it take to be a top-notch motivational speaker of international standards?

Mr. de Vera: I would say that being a recognized speaker and seminar leader was not an easy thing. I had to also "pursue" the calling to excel. Thus I eventually was elevated and recognized as "Chairman Emeritus" by the Philippine Marketing Association Chapters, was given the title as Certified International Trainor/Facilitator in Singapore & Japan and just recently - the 1st and currently only Filipino to be awarded the title of Certified Sales Professional + Trainor by the Australia-Asia Sales & Marketing Associations.

The role of facilitator is more demanding than just a trainor or lecturer.

After gaining 15 years or corporate and business experience, I moved on to being a professor and lecturer in the academe. Then became a trainor with companies and now I consider myself as a facilitator. This means - as a facilitator - I need to be able to encourage participants to talk and interact while at the same time I should be able to address in practical terms their questions. Thus, it's not easy to be a facilitator. You need a good self-grounding, experience, a wide range of learning and an analytical mind to be able to provide an environment of productive learning.

7. Is there always room at the top for everyone?

Mr. de Vera: I believe that everyone has the capability to excel. Actually, the opportunities are there but other prefer to ignore them. I used to say to myself years ago "why can't I be like him or her"?" I tend to compare a lot. Eventually it dawned upon me that one cannot get anywhere but simply comparing. Thus I had to start telling my self - "I'd like to be recognized for whom I truly am - I want to be a brand by myself!"

Together with dedication, action and implementation - eventually I found that I could reach my goals better, and yes, there was still room in the top for someone like me.

8. This may sound mundane and personal but I would like to know how you manage to fit your speaking engagements, family life, spiritual life and social life into your busy schedule? Do you have to sacrifice an aspect of your life in order for the other parts to flourish?

Mr. de Vera: How can I manage the thousand of things that come along my way? For me, it's really about yourself. I have learned to manage priorities, to accept what I can do and what I can do but with a little longer time. Thus I learned to pace myself. Work and things to do will never run out. It's there a question of how you would manage yourself.

Likewise, I am a holistic well-being coach/therapist. This means I practice what I preach. Thus I actually provide advice to others on how to find more balance in what they do on a 360 degree scope. Life is too short to waste!

9. Do you have bright hopes for our country?

Mr. de Vera: Yes, I do have bright hopes for the country. Moreso since I give and conduct business and economic briefings and thus I have tons of information that gives me a better perspective of what's happening and what's about to happen in the country. As a mentor and business adviser/consultant - my advice to others is "stay in the country over the next 6 years and feel the changes as they happen."

9. What is your definition of success?

Mr. de Vera: What is my definition of success? "Success is when you have reached what you have desired and you have not only felt accomplished but rather you have even become better as a person and that along the way - you have touched and even helped others as well."

Investing in knowledge will generate priceless rewards in the future. One of my favorite authors of financial books is Robert Kiyosaki who wrote the best-selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He advises that if we desire financial stability or have a fuller life, we need to invest in ourselves, and this means attending seminars or lectures. Limiting expenses on consumer goods and investing in our mind is a wise move. Life had always been challenging and it continues to be. It's how we face it that matters.