Ardy Roberto is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who co-founded two top training and learning events companies, Inspire Leadership Consultancy, Inc. and Salt & Light Ventures, Inc. for which he was named Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 1o Entrepreneurs as well as the Microsoft Most Inspiring Entrepreneur in 2006. He is an in-demand speaker for top corporations and organizations all over the country on Entrepreneurship, Work, Stewardship, Life, among other topics. He is one of Go Negosyo‘s Angelpreneurs, coaching on How to Have the Success Mindsets of Entrepreneurs. Ardy is also involved in other exciting business ventures including an international ebook conversion and content company called Flipside Digital (www.flipsidecontent.com) and Sugar Manna Food Ventures — a.k.a. Tubo Cane Juice with branches in Eastwood, Century Mall, ATC, SM Southmall, Metro ATC, and Festival Mall and Glorrietta (starting Oct 15).
Ardy is happy husband to [Miss Universe] Miriam Quiambao-Roberto and happy father to Joshy Boy.
There are many occasions when Ardy and Miriam are asked to speak in tandem for organizations and churches.
He is the author of eight books, including the 2011 Ang Pera Na Hindi Bitin – Money That’s Never Short (2011) which ranked #1 Bestseller by National Book Store for Philippine publications in 2011; The Heart of Healing, which won a Gintong Aklat Award for Best Inspirational Book; Real Men are POGI – How to be Handsome in God’s Eyes which was among the Top 5 Bestseller in National Bookstore; His books can be purchased through this online link at Amazon or OMFLit.
Following the success of and demand for his #1 Bestseller Ang Pera Na Hindi Bitin book, Ardy has written a sequel, Ang Pera Na Hindi Bitin (Updated Edition) which is due to be launched at the 37th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) on September 14-18 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Would like to share with you this interview with Ardy Roberto:
For those who might already have your first book, what can they learn from the second book?
The strategies are the same for saving, getting out of debt, living simply, being enterprising and so forth, but since the first edition was published in 2010, there have been a lot of changes in the personal finance landscape so these have been updated in the second book. For example, my chapter on Savings reflects the new strategies that come with the bank’s lower interest rates on special savings accounts as well as new updates on investing. I’ve also included at the end of each chapter questions that my readers have sent me over the years and my answers to them. For example, questions on whether it is safe to open accounts in Rural Banks, questions on investing online, and starting network marketing businesses, etc. Including this interaction with my readers adds value to the book, I think.
Did the Lord speak to you about something specific after your first book was released?
Yes! The Lord teaches me to “walk the talk” about Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin. Whenever I speak on the topic, the Lord always uses these as teaching moments–to guide me on how to use the money He’s entrusted to me. I’ve also been led to research more and read more books on the topic like Randy Alcorn’s excellent book – Money, Possessions, and Eternity. The new updated version of my book reflects that.
Do you think wisdom in money impacts other aspects of a person’s life? In what ways?
YES, it’s all connected! Financial decisions are spiritual decisions. Money affects your relationships. It affects your relationship with God (do you honor Him with the money He entrusted to you? Can you be trusted with a little?) It affects your marriage relationship — money disagreements can sour the sweetest marriage. You can honor or dishonor your parents with money.
What do you mean by, “Financial decisions are spiritual decisions”?
I subscribe to this tenet from Crown Financial Ministries [of which Ardy is a Board Member] that when you make any financial decision, it involves God’s money. If I’m going to use my money for a particular purpose, have I asked permission from the real Owner of the money? Am I being a good steward of the resources I have?
I used to dream about having a Volvo. When I became a Christian, the dream Volvo became a ReVO. I scaled down and viewed how to use the cost difference wisely. When the Revo started breaking down, I figured instead of buying second-hand, I would buy a brand new car to be sure that I don’t endanger my family. Then I remembered what my mentor, Larry Burkett, said, “Pray before you pay.” The day before I was supposed to make the downpayment for the brand new Nissan 7 seater for P1.1M, I prayed to God, “God, this is Your money, guide me in how to spend this.” In less than thirty minutes, my friend, Myki, messaged me that he found a website where an almost-brand-new 7-seater Mitsubishi Fusion, costing about P1M also, was being sold. (I had just counseled Myki the week before to buy second-hand when he told me he was going to buy a brand new car.) The owner won it in a Mercury Drug raffle and had no use for it so he was selling it at a discount for P750,000. A brand new one would have cost near my original budget. I texted the owner. I went there to check out the car, may plastic pa. But it was like 25% cheaper. I made tawad, “Pwede P680k?” Pumayag! Before lunch, I went to the bank and got a Manager’s Check. The owner told me that there were eleven more people who wanted to see the car after lunch. Sabi nya sa akin, nauna lang ako. My budget was 1.1M dapat. Nagasto ko P680k. But then what do I do? “Thank You Lord, nakatipid ako?” The Lord impressed upon me that the purpose was to give the difference to this group of missionaries. If I had bought brand new, it would have just served me. With the same amount, it was able to bless others for the advancement of His kingdom. When I forego a purchase or scale down, the difference can be used for God’s purposes. (I give where the Lord leads me to give; it’s not always missionaries. If we are to pray before we pay, we should also pray before we give and ask discernment where God wants us to refresh. I know you shouldn’t tell your right hand what your left hand is doing, in other words, keep these giving to yourself but we are also supposed to be salt and light and encourage others. So pray and discern what to keep to yourself (so that your reward will be in Heaven) and what to share so that others are encouraged to also give. Randy Alcorn says that we should encourage each other by sharing our “giving stories.” Not so that it results in praise to the conduit (us) of the blessing but to the “Blessor”(God). 2 Corinthians 9:11 says, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” So I share so that there will be thanksgiving to God and encouragement.
That is amazing how God directed you, you got your safer, brand new car, and you were able to invest in God’s work!… For people who are very privileged, what would you like to share with them? Are there problems that afflict this group?
Don’t trust in “your” wealth. It’s fleeting and you can’t bring it with you. 1 Timothy 6:17 says, “ For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Many times the wealthy tend to base their self-worth according to their net worth. And many times the not so wealthy and middle class do the same. We get into the affluenza trap… and it’s conforming to the world. Have an eternity mindset, fix your eyes on heaven, fix your eyes on Jesus.
What do you mean by “affluenza trap”?
I see. Sometimes, maybe having lots of money can make a person feel content with things that can be purchased that he doesn’t think he needs God… How about for people who are less privileged, what would you like to share with them?
That God is faithful and that He will always provide for all of our needs. Whether you are “less privileged” or “affluent”. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Is there tangible hope of getting more income or is it only a matter of keeping on being content with little?
It’s about being content with what you have right now–whether it’s “little” or “lots”. The biblical definition of great wealth is “Godliness with contentment is in itself great wealth.” 1Timothy 6:6 Many times, “less is more”.
What inspired you to write books?
I think that writers are readers. When you read a lot, you identify a certain “writer’s voice.” You try to emulate that. When I started writing and people started saying, “Hey this is good, you should write more,” that’s what encouraged me. But I didn’t have the confidence to really make it a calling. One day, I remember reading Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life and I asked God what’s my life purpose. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me to pick up the bible. I happened to hold an old bible — it was the King James Version then and my eye got led to Psalm 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. There it was. I was to publish — write — and speak of God’s wondrous works with the voice of thanksgiving. It just jumped off the page. God revealed to me that it is my calling is to write. Later, that calling was confirmed when I went on a journey to Mt Carmel in Israel. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and I knew beyond a doubt what the Lord’s calling and assignment for me was. But I’ll reserve that story for another time because it’s a long story. 🙂
Ok! Aabangan! Isn’t that wonderful when your life purpose is revealed to you straight from the Word of God! You asked and you received!
How much of your work was influenced by your earthly dad [the illustrious Marketing Guru, Dr. Ned Roberto, “Asia’s Foremost Marketing Authority” who co-authored with Philip Kotler our College Marketing textbooks] ?
My love for books was influenced by my dad because all the gifts I got from him were not toys but books (except for an occasional Lego). That was his way of communicating his love and affection. For example when I shifted from Pre-Law to Pre-Med, the next day, tahimik lang sya, but he had stacks of books on biology. He would pass on a lot of his books to me. I would see him at work writing books, researching. When I was younger, I was content to go up to my treehouse reading a book. That was then the equivalent of today’s iPad.
When you are surrounded by books, you must feel loved! 🙂
Can you tell me about My Father’s Bookstore?
It is an inspirational bookstore business that Miriam and I put up. We sell books which teach values that both your earthly and heavenly Father would like you to have. It’s embedded inside Neil’s Kitchen in Alabang. While you’re hanging out, you can pull out some books that interest you. We’re trying the Honesty Bookstore policy now so there’s no cashier. You just pick up a book, put the money in an envelope we provide, and you drop off this payment envelope into the honesty dropbox. I believe that if you appeal to people’s integrity and honesty, God will honor that.
…Trusting that if anyone takes wrongfully, the real Owner is Your Heavenly Father!
Do you happen to have a favorite among the books you’ve written?
That’s like asking a father of many children, “Which is your favorite child?”
That’s exactly the answer I thought I might get!
What inspired you to help others to write their own books?
When I started writing books, people came up to me asking, “How do you write a book , how do you get it published?” I would get into these long conversations with people then get asked the same question by someone else. After a while, I thought I should just make this into a seminar instead of ulit-ulitin ko. Doon nagsimula. I would like to believe there was a higher purpose higher than my irritation. Eventually, composing the Project Author [Salt and Light Ventures’s Seminar: Start Writing and Get Your Book Published] invitation to my Subscriber List, was so easy to write with so much joy and peace; it just flowed. Someone read it from the other side of the World Wide Web, and that was Miriam, yung Project Author became Project Bride.
Wow, ang ganda naman non! Bagay gawing movie! Parang mala-Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan. That’s how you and Miriam connected pala!?
Although that would be much later. Before Ting [Ardy’s late wife] passed away, she made bilin to her best friend, Carol, that when I get married, make sure that she’s a woman who loves God more than I do.
Swak na swak si Miriam for you! Dinescribe pa ni Ting!
Ting made bilin to me that I should follow up on my Project Author students. You see, when Ting went back to the hospital for a span of six months, I dropped everything else, except once a week, I met with my Project Author students. Ting would say, “Dapat i-follow up mo sila.” Sa first batch kasi, after eight or nine months , two pa lang ang nakapagpublish. A few months after Ting died, nag follow up ako sa kanila…
That’s an amazing story! For one of your future books! Pero grabe Miss Universe pa talaga who loves God!
Do you have a life verse?
I have several life verses. It actually changes according to the season of my life. Like now, I’m in a season where I’m praying to know the Holy Spirit more and want to be filled with and led by Him so these verses speak life to me: Isaiah 30:21, 2 Timothy 1:7, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 5:18-20… When I was writing Pera na Hindi Bitin and in a season of studying personal finance and stewardship, my life verses were Matthew 25 (Parable of the Three Servants), Philippians 4:19, and Malachi 3:10, etc. When I asked God what my purpose in life is, He led me to Psalms 26:7 (KJV), “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving and speak of all thy wondrous works.” And that became my “life verse.” But my evergreen life verses will be John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20, Proverbs 3:5-6, James 1:2-5, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, Joshua 3:5, Matthew 7:7, Romans 6:23 and of course, John 3:16.
There are more that come to mind now, but I’ll stop or else this might look like a Bible index. I guess this just shows that God’s word is alive and speaks life to us; that’s what it’s supposed to do. The Holy Spirit uses God’s word to teach and guide us. And yes, that includes about money, too.
The output of your work is a function of God’s biblical leading for you pala—a response to your calling!
Can you invite readers to your events?
Please come to the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) starting Sept 15 to Sept 18, 2016 at the SMX MOA where the new, updated edition of Pera na Hindi Bitin ver 2.0 will be released.
I will be in Davao speaking at an event in the University of Mindanao on September 17 (together with Miriam) but will be at the MIBF on Sept 18 at 5pm-7pm at the OMF Lit Booth to sign books.
You can also catch me speak on Entrepreneurial Mindsets on September 20 (at the Acacia Hotel Alabang) and September 27 (at Max’s Sucat). These events hosted by BPI-Family Bank and the Philippine Franchise Association are by invitation but you can message me if you’re interested. (Pls PM me on FB or check my FB page: ArdyRoberto). I will be speaking at GCF Ortigas on September 10, 2016 at 730pm-930pm (Real Men are POGI). There will also be a special launch of the Pera na Hindi Bitin updated by my publisher OMF Lit soon. Details to be announced soon!
Lord, thank You for showing us that You are alive and that You speak and guide through Your living Word. Thank You for the example of Ardy Roberto to intentionally listen and apply what You say. Thank You for his sharing about Money through his books and speaking which applies to everyone. May Your favor rest on him, his family, his career and business, and all endeavors; May You continue to establish the work of his hands. May You continue to use him mightily to share Your heart. Glory to You for the synergy of his partnership with Miriam in life, family, business, and ministry. May You continue to bless them immeasurably more than all they ask or imagine as he (they) continue(s) to publish with the voice of thanksgiving and speak of all thy wondrous works in Jesus’s name and for His glory amen.