The Road to Freedom: Mike Grogan’s Lessons to Become World-Class Filipinos

The Road to Freedom: Mike Grogan’s Lessons to Become World-Class Filipinos

Freelancing has created opportunities that we can’t imagine to be possible. Yes, it’s not easy. But the opportunities are accessible more than ever.

All for what? FREEDOM! Right now, you can achieve financial and time freedom while working online. And this is the advocacy of Mike Grogan, one of our esteemed speakers for the upcoming Working Remote Conference 2019 (Sept 13 & 14).

One of the most in-demand management trainers in the Philippines, Mike Grogan is a Lean Kaizen Consultant, best-selling author, and leadership trainer. He has traveled all around the globe before seeing the infinite potential among Filipino talents and leaders.

He even co-founded “The Rise of the Pinoy”, an online advocacy that aspires to keep on inspiring Filipinos to create a First World Philippines.

We have the privilege to interview him. And this is how it went.


How Did You Start “The Rise of Pinoy”

Q: Why did you start the movement “The Rise of Pinoy”?

A: So I’m the cofounder with Mary Gabayan. And we started this because naniwala kami sa Pilipino. We believe in the Philippines. I know I’m a dayuhan. Galing sa Ireland ako. But gusto ko manatili dito sa Pilipinas. Alam kong may maling akala sa labas. Like hindi pwedeng maging tagumpay dito sa Pilipinas. Para sa akin, puro peke sinungaling. Hindi totoo. 

And I want to show my Filipino friends that this is a beautiful country. Malaki ang kakayahan dito.

Ayoko umalis. Gusto kong manatili dito. And I think this is the greatest time in the history to be in Philippines. Lalo na if you’re a freelancer and entrepreneur. You can really create your own destiny. And you don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing or follow the false beliefs of the past. You can create your own destiny here. 

And I want to stay here. And the Rise of the Pinoys is to inspire the Filipinos to break free from the maling akala that’s saying hindi pwede. That’s why we started it. 


Chasing Freedom: Create Your Own Destiny 

Q: Yes! Right now we have great opportunities in the Philippines. It’s really possible more than ever. And it all boils down to the pursuit of freedom. What can you say about Filipinos wanting freedom in their own country?

ASo I’m expecting people who are reading this who wants to be tumatayo sa sariling paa. Stand on their own feet to be independent, to be financially free. I’m assuming you have dreams to be looking after your family, to help your family to achieve financial freedom, to travel, and to travel the Philippines, to travel the world. Whatever that may be.

So I’m assuming readers of this blog of watchers of this video want freedom. Kalayaan. And ako rin I want kalayaan right. Ang dahilan tungkol na pangalan ng anak na lalaki ko ay Malaya. The reason we call him Malaya is we want him to be free. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone. Help them break free from their false beliefs.

So para sa akin. I’m payo para mga taganunuod. Viewers whatever may be is. Spend time looking after yourself. Self-love. Ibig sabihin. For me, I use it the morning or into day. Take time to watch sunsets with the people you love. Take time to watch sunsets magisa. To reflect on your day. 

Cause its, ang paglalakbay sa kalayaan mahaba. It’s a long.. It’s very easy to think to quit. Sumuko. Pero ang paboritong kasabihan ko ay isang porsyento mas mabuti araw. 1% better everyday. That’s the kasabihan of Kaizen. That’s the real meaning of the Japanese meaning of Kaizen.

My advice is it’s a long journey. 1% better everyday. Take time for yourself. Lalo na sa nature para sa akin its the sunrise and the sunset. To reflect on how you can make today great. How you can win today lang. That’s the because the sobrang mahaba na paglalakbay you’d focus on how you can win today and in the end of the day to reflect on what went well today end what could you have done better.

So that’s my kind of high-level advice for readers and for the journey. Its mahaba pero it’s so worth it. Freedom is so worth it. It’s a beautiful gift. 


1% Improvement Compounded Everyday

Q: Now the question is achieving that freedom. You said that you’re a Kaizen consultant. How can Kaizen help us achieve the life we always wanted?

ASo my second hat that I wear dito sa Pilipinas is I work with different companies introducing the concepts of Lean Kaizen into their organization. So lean Kaizen is the business strategy and management system that made Toyota the number one motor company in the world. And now thousands, tens of thousands of companies around the world are using the same methods. Mga paraan to become more efficient more effective mas malaki ang kita sa loob ng negosyo. Pero dito sa Pilipinas, kulang ang halimbawa. Very few examples. So I want to change that. 

Because its a false belief in the Philippines that these best practices from Japan Toyota from Europe from America from Australia, Hindi pwede dito sa Pilipinas. That’s not true. That’s not true. That’s not true.

So my passion here is to work with different companies. And I work with different clients here and inside metro manila and outside to show them that world-class performance is possible in the Philippines. And that’s what Lean Kaizen does. It really just a roadmap to how to create a world-class winning culture in your company. So I’m very blessed that I work with companies here and helping them create their culture. That winning culture. 


Habits and Routines

Q: Right! The Kaizen concept plays on the little efforts that we do that create a lasting difference. If I may ask, how can freelancers apply Kaizen in their life?

A: So I believe my biggest tip to freelancers that their to do is that your success happens exercise, meditation, writing, journaling, planning and any spiritual habits. Do it in the morning. That’s really worked for me.


Starting Sooner in Personality Development

Q: And it can be a night routine or what. The important thing is to start a routine for your personality development. We are curious though. When should people start? 

ADefinitely not starting my journey into personal development sooner. The seven habits of highly effective people was the first book I read when I was 27. On the genre of self-help of personal development, personal mastery. Wow I wish I started when I was 15 not 27. 

Because I would’ve. I think looking back. I wasted a lot of years conforming to the thinking of this world. And I wish if I started my journey sooner, I think I would’ve progressed a lot sooner. 

If I would say regrets, that’s the number one. Start sooner. 


Greatest Accomplishment

Q: With the help of Kaizen and the habits you build, what can you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

AMy greatest accomplishment. Wow. I guess breaking free from my own limiting beliefs is…

I know people are looking for a single moment here but I think believing that I could stand on my own. Believing that I could be independent from the career path that my parents wanted to give me. Believing that I could make a living at what I’m passionate about. I think those if I really reflect to myself my accomplishment are breaking free from those false beliefs. 

And I’m very… That’s why I really love working with Freelancers and entrepreneurs because they’re living examples coz I’m sure they’re gonna invite their family to stay whatever in the big companies to play it small

But I got a lot of respect for those who actually break free from those false beliefs and take control of their own destiny. That’s definitely my biggest victory. Taking control of my own destiny.


Biggest Challenge

Q: Taking control of one’s destiny is the ultimate goal. But it’s not really an easy path. We want to know, what are your biggest challenge yet? 

AMy biggest challenge is my (linked to the last comments) but I would say my myself. My selfishness. My ego. Makasarili. My hypocrisy. So all of us have hypocrisy. Elements of hypocrisy. There is no one without sin. And I think my biggest challenge is I preach a lot.

I don’t like that word but I talk a lot about personal discipline. Talk about setting goals about learning etcetera. All these success habits. But many times I failed myself. 

Many times when the alarm clock rings I struggled to get out of bed. I struggled to go to bed at the right time and all these disciplines. So absolutely my biggest challenge is the battle in my mind. And sometimes Good Mike wins. Most times he wins. But sometimes he loses. So that that battle is my biggest challenge.


Trust is the Currency of the 21st Century

Q: That’s a nice way to put it. The greatest obstacle of our lives is actually ourselves. We have learned so much so far. A lot of our readers are just about to start their freelancing journey. What advice can you give them?

ASo for those, I can answer this quickly. For those who are just starting their journey to freelancing this is a controversial but my recommendation is build your trust account. Ibig sabihin, this is a mistake that I made when I started early in my career. I wish I built my trust account sooner. So What I mean by this is if someone wants to work with you, One of the first things they would look for is ok how do I know if I can trust this person. The internet is a beautiful gift. But The disadvantage is trusting people over online is becoming more of a challenge because there are so many people trying to scam people. So people would look for your trust account.

What I mean by a trust account is your testimonies, your video testimonies, you people, your fans saying this guy is the best artist or graphic designer, editor whatever talent you have. So my high recommendation is how can you build your trust account. How can you get people to give you testimonies? Even willing to give away your work for free in return for a testimony. 

Lalo na if video testimony. That’s video. It’s coming almost a hundred times more powerful than text sometimes. Depende na sa context. So my advice is be willing to give your work for free in exchange for learning your craft but also getting testimonies from people saying the quality of the work is good. Because trust is the currency of the 21st century.


The Courage to Say No

Q: It’s really hard to trust people nowadays. And those who are trustworthy will certainly be differentiated among others. It’s an advantage in how the world works right now.

How about for those who are practicing freelancers already, what is your advice for them?

AThe courage to say no. I think this. Let me focus on that one thing. As a freelancer, it’s so tempting to say yes to everything. And yes to different types of food. I’m not just talking about tungkol sa pagkain but some clients you need to fire. 

That’s a good one for you. I wanna be really. Clients don’t come first. You come first. Your family comes first. Your peace of mind comes first. Your relationship with God comes first. 

Don’t allow any client to make you feel unworthy. To make you feel hindi ka karapat dapat. Or to make you feel doon ka lang alipin. It’s ok to fire your client. A lot of clients international lalo na mga international have really little respect for freelancers. 

You should. You are better than that. Mga Filipinos are better than any person that disrespects you. And in that community. So my encourage is look it is okay to say no. What can you create some rules for your own. Not just your planning but how you spend your time. I recommend having rules on when you start and finish work. Discipline equals freedom. 

Your goal is freedom just like my goal is freedom. But discipline is the daily commitment we need to make to get to that freedom. We can’t have freedom without discipline. So discipline that whole word of discipline is “No to yourself. No to distractions. No to negative voices.”

Learn how you can say no more. And ’cause the more you say no, the more you will be able to say yes to the big things. 



Saying yes to the big things! And what big thing is coming right now?! Learn more from Mike Grogan in the upcoming Working Remote 2019! Working Remote is the biggest remote working conference in the Philippines featuring high caliber speakers from here and abroad.

Let them open a world of possibilities to help you achieve your dream lifestyle through remote working. Tickets are running out fast! Secure your slots today


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