By Olivia Preston and Janice Cardoso Gomes
After many trials and tribulations during the early stages of her life, our *Global Woman Corporate Leader recipient, Kate Bellosillo remained a leader in her home and work life. She has overcome situations that led to the creation of the brand, Kyani Philippines, a brand that specialises in creating natural products for people to feel good and look better. Kate also leads the corporate staff and business partners to support Kyani Caring Hands. As part of Kyani’s worldwide effort to provide 1 million meals to undernourished children, Kyani Philippines provided 17,000 meals to children in Payatas, Tondo, Taguig, Pasay, Saranggani, and General Santos, in 2016.
From the Philippines, Kate tells The Business Woman Today all about her journey to being a leader, gives us some advice and expands on the life experiences that have helped shape her.
“AS LEADERS, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT INFORMATION IS THE OIL THAT GREASES AN ORGANISATION AND KEEPS IT RUNNING SMOOTHLY.”
From finding your purpose to motherhood and business, what advice would you give to other single mothers who want to start their own business?
Start with the WHY. Ask yourself, why am I doing this business? Is it something I love to do? Your WHY is your North Star. It will give meaning and direction to your business and your life. Successful businesswomen can turn their passion to profit.
Next, what pain point will your business solve? Will it provide someone with stronger finances or a more secure future? Will it give that person a chance to develop his gifts and talents? Will it provide that person a safe community where he can truly belong? Will it give that person a chance to give back to the world?
Third, what do you sell that money cannot buy? This is the secret sauce that will set you apart from the competition.
Fourth, who are the 5 key people who can make your dream business happen?
Fifth, create a one-page business plan. It’s okay to start small and grow big.
I see that you are very involved with giving back to communities and charities. Why is philanthropy so important to you?
When my sons were kidnapped for ransom in 1994, I began to see that there was so much brokenness in the hearts of men that cause them to hurt others. This gave me the motivation to do what I can to bring healing where there is pain. If I could just feed one hungry child, comfort one tired heart, or reassure someone that she is not alone, I know I have helped make this world a better place to be. What Mother Teresa said is so true. “In this life, we cannot do great things, we can only do small things with great love.”
How did it feel to win the *Global Woman Corporate Leader Award at the Global Woman Virtual Summit in 2021?
Joyful. Inspired. Fulfilled. Proud that a mother of 8 can also lead an organisation of thousands and nurture its people to great heights.
How did your experience in health and wellness help you transform Kyani Philippines into the success it is today?
My experience in this industry made me realise that excellent products start at the source. In our case, Kyani draws inspiration from nature. For example, the Wild Alaskan blueberry which is the main ingredient of our Kyani Sunrise, can survive the harshest and longest winters. With this as the main ingredient, Kyani Sunrise combines the nutritional power of 22 superfoods that gives us the energy to start our day!
Science also plays a very important role in the formulation of products. Our Kyani Nitro which contains nitrates from the Noni plant has the unique ability to help our body produce Nitric oxide, which supports healthy circulation, proper inflammatory response, healthy cognitive function, digestion, and brain function. In 1998, the Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to 3 American scientists for their discoveries with “nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system.”
This wonderful blend of nature and science makes our products unique. The concept of wellness is simplified . We focus on sharing the experience of our products, on how they can add value to one’s health and life. Aside from this, we provide a business opportunity that allows ordinary people to enjoy a stream of income that will enable them to live extraordinary lives.
What do you hope women will learn from your business journey?
Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
The pandemic that turned the world upside down was one of the biggest challenges we faced in Kyani Philippines. The first lesson I learned in times of crisis is this: We must not allow FEAR to paralyse us. Rather, let’s use the fear to move us to make a positive decision. I immediately assembled our corporate management team and we assessed the situation. We looked for credible information to make enlightened decisions. I took charge and acted quickly. I focused on priorities that involved safety and security.
Simon Sinek said: “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.”
During the pandemic, we launched webinars on Healthy Living, featuring doctors who talked about heart health, mental health, the immune system, etc. These webinars have been very helpful in giving the audience a deeper knowledge of how to stay healthy and how to use our products. We also launched the GMs Hour, where I gave talks on “Leading in Times of Crisis,” how to be an entrepreneur, and guidance for resetting your mind for financial success.
As leaders, we need to understand that information is the oil that greases an organisation and keeps it running smoothly.
In summary, I hope women in business learn to:
- Have empathy: The messages we sent out to our business partners would end with: “Thank you for your patience and understanding. Stay safe. Stay healthy, stay positive, stay strong. We will overcome and rise together.”
- Be truthful: Transparency is key. We made an effort to give everyone a clear picture of what’s happening on the ground, in terms of business continuity. What’s possible and what’s not.
- Do it frequently: We made an effort to communicate with our people regularly, and more if necessary. The corporate management would meet five times a week. I would meet Diamond leaders twice a month to set targets, evaluate performance, know how they are overcoming challenges, and create new ways of doing business.
In times of crisis, we also have to manage our energy, take care of ourselves, eat well, sleep well, and exercise.
It’s important to stay positive because our energy permeates the energy of our team. Who we are, our teams become. If you are a leader who likes to complain, blame, find excuses, etc. that will be the quality of members you will have. If you want positive team members, you have to be positive first, yourself.
A positive person is someone who finds joy in everything, even when life is not easy. A positive person is always grateful for everything, no matter how little. A positive person is always part of the solution and not part of the problem.
What can women learn from your journey as country head of Kyani Philippines?
Women should learn that there are spiritual practices for success in work, business, and life.
The first spiritual practice is quiet prayer or meditation. Successful people like Oprah, Steve Jobs, Simon Sinek, Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn among many have found strength in meditation. I have also seen that from moments of silence and stillness, creativity and inspiration flow. Questions are answered. What we need comes to us with ease.
The months of April and May 2020 were the most challenging times for Kyani Philippines, as sales plunged to an all-time low due to the pandemic. I brought this concern to prayer and in the silence of my heart asked God the question, how can I help our company bounce back from the disruption caused by the pandemic?
Do you know what happened?
I came across the masterclass of Ken Honda on Money EQ at the Mindvalley platform. I learned that Money is Energy. It is all around us and flows to us as we need it. The practice of Arigato In Arigato Out was supposed to attract the flow of happy money into our lives with peace and ease. True enough, when I practiced it, amazing things began to happen.
From out of the blue a long, lost friend called and greeted me happy birthday. And she said, “Kate, remember when I was down and out, you were there to help me? Please text me your bank account, I would like to give you a gift for your birthday”. She sent a huge cash gift! Wow, this principle of Arrogate In Arigato Out really works.
I was inspired to create a simple module of the lessons I learned from Ken Honda, and I called it Money EQ: Resetting Your Mind for Financial Success. I shared it with the top business partners of our company and our management staff.
In June, our sales grew by a whopping 70%. On top of that, it grew by 56% in July. Despite the pandemic, in 2020, we registered the highest sales in our history.
So this is the Spiritual Practice: Arigato In Arigato Out, which simply means being grateful for the money we spend and the money we receive.
Then finally, keep a gratitude journal. Take time to write down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for every day. See how gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Oprah said: “When you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.”
I wish every woman reading this, a beautiful, blessed journey! May you all live your best lives!