Janette Toral might fairly be called the "Mother of Blogging" in the Philippines. She is the founder of the Philippine Internet Commerce Society, where she served as president for 5 years (1997-2002), and lobbied for the passage of the Y2K Law and E-Commerce Law (Republic Act 8792). She owns two professional online communities, where knowledge sharing and business matching are usually conducted, the DigitalFilipino.com Club and Philippine Software Process Improvement Network.
I was very disappointed to learn that I had missed out on a chance to meet Janette Toral, the warm and gracious founder of DigitalFilipino.com, when she was in Houston, Texas earlier this year. Fortunately, I was able to get her to give us an interview here at TheNextGoal.com.
“Janet, do you formulate ‘SMART goals’? If so, can you give us an example or two? If not, what helps you stay on track to accomplish your goals?”
“Yes. This includes attaining 100 club members in the DigitalFilipino Club; to have 100 active bloggers in our blog network at any moment; and to help out 100 start-ups in our upcoming virtual accelerator / incubator program. So far following this 100 rule allowed me to foster a reasonable and realistic level of relationship with the people I deal with.”
“You work really hard to educate, encourage, and assist people in starting their online businesses – your dedication and professionalism have always impressed me. I wonder, do you think it’s important for bloggers to have specific, measurable goals beyond ‘make money online’? Do you believe it’s really possible to earn a full-time living as a blogger?”
“I think it is possible for bloggers to earn and make money online if they are always open-minded to do experiments and learn from it. This can be from writing to rendering other forms of services, such as blog marketing; consulting; tech support; training; or trading.”
“You mean there’s no magic, one size fits all formula?” I laugh. Janet gives me a smile that says she knows I already know the answer to that one. “So, Janet, what are your goals for DigitalFilipino.com? In the ever-changing world of the Internet, the fact that it has grown and thrived for twelve years is just amazing. What’s your vision of the future and how you’d like to see it evolve?”
“The goal of DigitalFilipino.com is to help foster the growth of e-commerce in the Philippines. This has range from educating the public, SMEs, to helping individuals earn online. To further evolve, I am launching a startup accelerator / incubator program with the intent of helping 100 startups take-off.”
“Amazing! That is so exciting – I imagine you have bloggers and entrepreneurs beating down your door to be a part of that! What is your ‘life goal,’ Janet?”
“Helping others become successful is my life goal. By improving myself continuously, I do my best to ensure that I’ll be able to share something useful to the people I meet that they can take away and use in their undertakings.”
I suspect Janet, like my grandmother, possesses one of the greatest talents of all: The ability to truly appreciate the talents of others, and to genuinely want to see them succeed and reach their goals.
For your chance to learn from Janet and take part in the Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program starting November 24, 2011, enter the contest here. If you don’t win, you can still sign up at http://digientrepreneur.com.