This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

Embark on a captivating journey with Bernard Chong, an illustrious angel investor and entrepreneur, as he shares his remarkable evolution from the family shoe business to pioneering ventures in animation studios, coffee brands, and tech platforms. 

In this insightful interview, Chong delves into the invaluable lessons he gleaned growing up in a family-run enterprise, where keen observation and interpersonal skills became his secret weapons. 

Uncover the pivotal role of salesmanship in his transition from selling shoes to strategic investing, and how this unconventional path shaped his unique perspective on business. 

Join us as we explore the wisdom gained from Chong’s diverse experiences, offering a treasure trove of inspiration for leaders facing their own entrepreneurial challenges. 

You can find Bernard Chong at the below links

In the interview, Bernard shares

  • “In the bustling business landscape of Manila, I, Bernard Chong, navigate as an angel investor with ventures in animation studios, coffee brands, and tech platforms.”
  • “With 53 branches across the Philippines, I’ve ventured beyond the family shoe business, delving into the realms of technology, currency exchange, and the restaurant industry.”
  • “Growing up in a family business was a unique training ground, exposing me to every aspect—from manufacturing shoes to managing our own stores.”
  • “Observation was key; my father always emphasized the importance of understanding people’s talk, thought processes, and actions. This skill proved invaluable in both guarding our shoe store and designing shoes in the factory.”
  • “My journey from selling shoes to investing in various businesses began when I realized I could make more impact and earn more by capitalizing on my connections rather than starting as a fresh engineering graduate.”
  • “Salesmanship paved the way for independence. Even when applying for jobs, my proficiency in sales led me to invest capital rather than work for others.”
  • “Transitioning from the family business, I invested in animation studios, radio stations, and restaurants, guided by a people-centric approach. It’s always about building connections with those you work with.”
  • “Currently, my focus is on supporting education through a coffee shop venture called ‘Mental Coffee’ in California, while also investing in small projects and movies, nurturing relationships with people I can grow old with.”
  • “My daily routine involves managing appointments, schedules, and meetings in California, where every interaction becomes a discovery of new businesses and opportunities.”
  • “Reflecting on challenges, I’ve learned that seeking advice from knowledgeable mentors is crucial. Surrounding myself with professionals, like lawyers for legal matters, ensures a well-rounded support system.”