Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Connecting Makes All the Difference

Frank, talking with his hands
in my box-filled dining room.
Frank Mejia is the eldest of eleven children. Like many eldest children, he is an over-achiever. During his long career, he has worked in government, learned the garment business from the sewing machine up, done import-export, did a stint as an economics professor, developed software, made creative audio visual presentations, shot wedding videos and now, after his ostensible retirement, he’s making eLearning for some of the largest companies in the world. He’s an entrepreneur who just can’t quit.

I invited him to my very old farmhouse for dinner recently and we had a very lively conversation on how it all fits together.

Fresh out of a Jesuit university in the Philippines, Frank went into government service. During those years of the Marcos regime, there were a lot of possibilities. One of which was the chance to study for two years in London. After that, Frank owed the government four years and in total, he stayed for ten. At the age of 27, he had married and a family soon followed. He began to feel that as an honest man in government, the salary wasn’t enough for his growing family.