Lesson From COVID

Lesson From COVID is an abridged version of the full blog: What I learned during the Covid19 lockdown after losing my passion business by Paolo Manuel Soler, who gave permission to MY RANGGO to share his story.


Lesson From COVID: How one man lost his passion business to COVID19 but gained new perspectives.

Despite all the losses, I’ve learned so many invaluable truths, realities and lesson from the COVID lockdown.

Maybe my lessons will be of use to you. Or maybe you learned them for yourself already. But my lessons are as follows:-

Lesson From COVID 1. Work On Yourself, As Well As Your Business

My first lesson from COVID was that I was mentally and emotionally weak. Losing my business was a debilitating and humbling experience. I’ve learned so much about myself and I am still coping with it all.

But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!


Lesson From COVID 2. The Drawbacks Of “Do What You Love”

My next lesson from COVID was that turning the thing you love into a business doesn’t mean you will love going to work every day.

If your business is based on your passion then you need to brace yourself for the turmoil and negativity. This comes with any business but it may have an impact on your passion.

female surfer in bikini holding a custom made Skwala Surfboard painted to look like a clown fish
Skwala Custom made surfboard. Photo courtesy of Paolo Manuel Soler


Hiring friends, or acquaintances you met through your passion, may strain those relationships. And not everyone will share your vision. Some may think you have ulterior motives and treat you and your business as a threat to your shared passion.


Lesson From COVID 3. Don’t Put Yourself In A Position Of Relying On People With A Specialist Skill Set.

My third lesson from COVID was one I’d already recognized, but the pandemic and lockdown really brought it home to me.

One of my businesses (Skawala Custom surfboard) relied heavily on people with a very specific skills set.  And there weren’t many who had those skills. This meant my business was vulnerable should any of them resign or fail to do the work.


You have to be the best at providing the product/service of your business. Then if the people you’ve hired mess up or leave, you can do it yourself and continue. I don’t regret starting the business; I’d built something that was the pioneer of a growing industry and considered the best in its time.

When the pandemic arrived I was faced with the ramifications of being blinded by a grave, emotionally-driven decision and I had to close it.

I’m happy to say I have shifted the level of focus I had for that business to the food industry, where I feel just as fulfilled and continue to grow and innovate.


Lesson From COVID 4. Employee Loyalty Only Extends So Far (even if they’re friends or relatives).

My fourth lesson from COVID is not to expect your employees to make any extra efforts or sacrifices for you. Or for the business, in times of crisis.

I learned that few will appreciate gestures of kindness and generosity.  Even fewer will return the favor! Your business isn’t a charity and its survival should be paramount. Few are interested, care about or realize the value of their employer’s survival.  Or applying an “in this together” approach.

So do not give more than you can afford to, no matter how desperate they are.


Lesson From COVID 5. Don’t Allow Your Passions To Overcome Your Decision Making.

My father taught me “Never fall in love with your ideas”.

I’m still kicking myself for not listening. If you think going through a breakup is tough, try losing your dream business!

Man preparing a custom made Skwala Surfboard in a workshop
Paolo with a Skwala Custom made surfboard.


Seeing it “through to the bitter end” rarely works in relationships. And it certainly doesn’t work in business. Be pragmatic and learn to let go when your business head tells you that you have to.


Custom Culture – A Filipino Surfboard Story:



Lesson From COVID 6. Diversify

My sixth lesson from COVID19 is about having other business or income options open.

This lockdown has resulted in a lot of us being stuck at home.  A lot of businesses have realised they don’t actually need a physical office or workplace.  So, start a Vlog, a podcast, teach English online, teach anything online. Start an online business or work for one. Diversify your income.


With the lessons I’ve learned I’ve been moving forward with a more positive attitude lately. I’m stronger now and I only care about things that are valuable to my growth. I still deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis but this has reduced as I see new goals on the horizon.

I launched a new business, Tito Paolo’s Inasal, in May 2020. And I’m happy to say that although I share the same passion for food, as I did my other business, I am now committed 100% to this industry. I’m not emotionally involved with anyone else in it and I couldn’t care less if anyone hated on me.


Link to Paolo’s full blog is at the top of the article.

What do you think?

Written by My Ranggo

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