You may not believe it, but in reality, it is not easy to be Richard Yap. The day this author met the 49-year-old celebrity in a dinner-event in Wangfu Chinese Café (a restaurant he co-owns in Serendra in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City), he had a typical long day—attended a meeting for his new furniture business in the morning, went to band rehearsals for an upcoming concert in the afternoon, and was set to go to another business meeting later that night for his restaurant endeavor. Yet, there were no traces that he was all worn up.
As you may already know by now, Sir Chief (his popular character in a defunct daytime drama series) is not just a movie and TV actor. Aside from being a devoted family man, Yap is also a passionate entrepreneur. Aside from Wangfu, he is also a food franchisee and is about to get into a new office furniture business.
During a one-on-one interview with Tech and Lifestyle Journal, the actor-entrepreneur opened up about the Richard Yap his fans do not really know more about—his entrepreneur persona.
Runs in the blood
To break the ice, Yap revealed that he has always been very entrepreneurial. “Even when I was in college, I was selling things in school like t-shirts and interior products to my friends,” he recalled. “But I guess it had to do with the influence of my dad, who was also a businessman.”
But Yap did not immediately pursue his dream to be a full-pledged businessman. After college, he worked for his dad. During that time, he partnered with a friend to put up a stainless steel business on the side. “But that lasted for only less than a year because I moved from Cebu to Manila,” he shared. Yap did the marketing for his first enterprise, while his business partner took care of manufacturing.
Moving to Manila
Yap left his job in his dad’s company to join the corporate scene in the country’s capital. It was a job that lasted him a good 22 years, until he accidentally got into show business. But even as an employee, Yap managed to put up a Cebu lechon business in Manila, which only lasted for two years due to some issues with personnel, and enter into food industry as a franchisee.
“When I started in show business, I had to let something end and that was letting go of my day job,” Yap recalled. He explained that he had to do it full time. It was a difficult decision for him as there was no certainty if his new career will also flourish and provide him the means to support his family. “That was when I started to have a brave heart and to work hard,” he said.
Is he willing to end his showbiz career to focus on his business or vice versa? Yap said that for now, the two careers are working well together. He admits that his showbiz connections are also somehow helping him market his businesses. “For now, I am keeping both. Maybe when the time comes for me to end it, I might start something else,” he added.
Recipe for success
As an entrepreneur, Yap can share a simple recipe for success: put in a lot of hard work, be prepared to win some and to lose some, and be financially prepared. He also admits that it really helps that he has reliable and trustworthy business partners who help him effectively run his businesses.
“That’s why you really need a partner to help you through,” he asserted. “That’s why I choose Manulife as my insurance provider. I started being its client since 1992. We have to start early if we want to secure our future,” he added.
Yap may be a really lucky guy. He made it big in show business even if he started a bit older than his contemporaries. But he emphasized that he started making sure his future is secured at an early age. “There’s no age limit when investing in your dreams,” he said.
Richard Yap is one of the brand ambassadors of Manulife Philippines, which recently launched its #StartYourStory campaign.