Angelica Umali is a Balanced Life Mentor at the Wisdom Institute for Leadership & Global Advancement (WILGA). She is also a Leadership & Business Coach, having had a robust 20-year career in the corporate world, managing across different cultures and business fields, with experience in over 30 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Australia/NZ, and Europe as well. She believes that enlightened leaders will pave the way for real transformation in the workplace by combining their solid business acumen with self-mastery practices.
The Wisdom Institute for Leadership & Global Advancement (WILGA) is an organization that envisions a new progressive world driven by more enlightened organizations and corporations, inspired by wise leaders and value-centered entrepreneurs. Its mission is to awaken the wisdom in leadership, to develop a conscience in entrepreneurship, and enlighten the soul of organizations and corporations.
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Here we sit down with Angelica, to know a bit more about her journey as a business, leadership, and life coach.
Q. What inspired Angelica to become an entrepreneur?
Angelica: My journey as an entrepreneur started with a “dark night of the soul” when I was at the apex of my career, having returned from an intensive expatriation stint for a couple of years, and being in a Senior Leadership position I trained all my career life for.
I experienced deep emptiness and meaninglessness and found triviality in just achieving market leadership, which I have successfully and consistently done for many, many years.
This emptiness manifested in the form of health challenges, as well as a deep questioning as to how business (and leadership) is being done. I suddenly felt so lost in a world I thought that I knew so well. A ‘near-death’ car accident also helped catapult this process.
I knew I needed help and hired a life coach to help me find a paradigm, as well as answers in the shortest possible time, and help ‘kick me out of my corporate life. She asked me what would make me happy, barring any time or money constraints, and I said that ‘helping farmers (particularly coconut farmers) would make me happy. I wanted to help distribute wealth to the countryside, after seeing that farmers in other countries had a better life than what we had in the Philippines, as well as the fact that the country is largely an agricultural country. I thought we had no right to be ‘poor’ if we had so many natural resources around us, but not do something about it.
A week after saying this, the Senior Leadership Team I was working with, went to a start-up community that wanted to build Social Entrepreneurship as a new way to do business. The intention here was to learn from the “Genius of the Poor” and how the social entrepreneurs found ways to collaborate and help the farmers. I found a deep sense of wanting to be ‘like them’ and had a sigh of relief knowing that there is another way to do business going forwards. It was on this day I decided to resign, knowing that I had a better resonance with the social entrepreneurs that I just met. I was so grateful for the inspiration of this day and was overjoyed, so much so that my colleagues knew I was already ‘gone’ from the corporate world.
Q. How did Angelica get started?
Angelica: Well, resigning from the corporate world was only the first step. The next step was my own challenge of having new ways of being so that I can truly be the ‘ideal social entrepreneur’ I wanted myself to be. I asked myself how can I get out of my current thinking and ways of doing business, knowing that having a new target is really in the unknown, and asked myself how to get there.
I traveled for almost a year right after my resignation and started, what I now call, my spiritual journey. I had planned a trip before resigning just on the dates after I had resigned, and since now there was no urgency to be back, I just decided to randomly travel throughout the year, with my ‘winter’ and ‘summer’ suitcases. This was all that I knew. Everything else was acting spontaneously, which I hadn’t done for many years since my whole year’s calendar had already been booked.
Over the course of my spiritual journey, I listened and met many spiritual teachers and learned various facets from each of them, that contributed to making my ‘personality’ more robust and more ‘polished’, with each step leading me in the right direction. I likewise learned a lot of lessons along the way — what was missing in me, and how I can further improve myself and my blind spots. I was on a relentless quest for being the person I wanted myself to be and never stopped pushing myself to continuously evolve and conquer every weakness that I saw. I told myself that the right time to launch my social enterprise would be the time when I thought so differently than I would definitely create something new and not just a regurgitation of the past.
In my relentless ‘quest’, I met a spiritual mentor, Master Del Pe, with whom I studied for a few years in retreats and coaching sessions. I grew a lot in terms of my consciousness and was feeling satisfied with my own growth and results, and I thought I would be ready to launch my enterprise very soon. But one day I was invited to stay after a retreat for a few months to explore being a trainer under the Wisdom Institute for Leadership & Global Advancement (WILGA), and I would say that the rest, is history. I resonated in what the organization wanted to achieve and, understood in a deep way, how leaders direly need a shift in consciousness so we can transform the way we do business — to benefit ourselves, the organization, as well as the planet — that when we say we are doing business for win-win outcomes, it will not just be about our own allegiances, but for the greater good which includes our bigger macrocosm, the Earth, other planets, other kingdoms like the animals, plants, and others.
I looked back on what I wrote as my new professional goal, just when I was starting out on my spiritual journey. I wrote — “I believe that enlightened leaders will pave the way for real transformation in the workplace by combining their solid business acumen with self-mastery practices.” This was the vision in my head and continues to be my guiding post up to this day. For it is when we conquer our own limitations and weaknesses that we can truly be a leader to others, and able to create new things that will truly be considered a real win-win outcome.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Angelica: My biggest start-up challenge was to learn about Energy Medicine. Since I was in the field of business for almost half of my life, learning about sciences at this point was quite challenging – it was like taking medicine in a compressed amount of time. Coupled with this also was my own lower ego of being in the discomfort zone of something new. I knew I was less ‘efficient’ with my time, being that, I have to give space to myself to learn, as well as take more time as a beginner in this area.
I did challenge myself to rise above these discomforts, as well as disregard the ‘whispers’ of my lower ego. I studied hard, focused on the purpose and higher meaning of why I had to learn this subject, and allowed myself the feeling of being a beginner at something again. I also focused on how this newfound field can possibly add to my evolution and looked forward to the future results of this alchemy.
Well, in the end, I passed all my exams, haha. But the biggest result was in the transformation of the cases I handled, and how I can use this newfound skill to improve the lives of others. It added a new dimension to what we currently define as ‘life coaching’. I would say its transformational work — it allows one to have the possibility of achieving the highest potential they have never imagined themselves to be, and from a new dimension of themselves they have never thought about either. It allows one to harness that window of “what you don’t know, that you don’t know” and transforms it into a strength in the shortest time possible, and, with more permanent results.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing did Angelica Done Since she Started the Business?
Angelica: The most memorable thing is the transformation of the clients that I have. Up to this day, it still amazes me and makes me teary-eyed time and again.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Angelica: I would recommend the book From Success to Fulfillment by Master Del Pe. Here you will learn the next steps after having ‘ticked all your boxes of what you wanted to have, to a deeper sense of meaning, which will make your life more robust, have lasting joy, even bliss, over than just happiness.
It will also teach you how to cultivate and balance the top 3 qualities that make for a balanced and fulfilled leader, and eventually an enlightened leader.
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Angelica: My favorite online resources are the different books and meditation found on www.masterdelpe.com as it is a really good resource for self-care, self-development, and self-mastery – ranging from stress management to topics on improving oneself, as well as honing your spiritual life.
I also like the Always Ahead Programme at www.wilgaglobal.com as it is a great resource for business people to know what is happening behind the layers of the business world, as well as be forewarned of what is to happen, paving the way for a shift to a Life 3.0 plan.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Angelica: I would like to ‘multiply’ myself in terms of whatever wisdom, talents, and skills I have learned over the years, touching people from a deeper level, that of the soul, to generate a breed of new and enlightened leaders, and create the new face of business, with them and thru them.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Angelica: Always look at your goal as your main guiding post when starting, and think that every step done right every day will eventually lead you to where you want to be. Do not underestimate your small little steps in the right direction for they have a multiplier effect over time. Be relentless in overcoming your own limitations and weaknesses, and see that as a means to achieve the goal you set out for yourself. It is a mark of your true strength and a sign of bravery and self-mastery.
To keep up to date with Angelica, and her journey, connect with her on LinkedIn.