Blog Entrepreneurship Learning Self-Development

Book Insights: Single, Taken, or Building My Empire by Jonathan Yabut

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Good day, dear readers! Here I am with a new post but this time, I will be writing a book insight. Since I have tons of books in line (thank you, Mr. Guevara for lending me self-help books), I do not want to read it just for the sake of learning things on my own. This time, I’d like to share it to you. Thus, I’ll be starting a new section in my blog which are Book Insights. For the first book I’d like to share, here’s “Single, Taken, or Building My Empire” by Apprentice Asia and Asia’s Millennial Guru, Jonathan Yabut.

I was inspired whenever I see Jonathan speaks in front of an audience and empowers people to be the best they can be. Thus, I’ll be sharing to you some key points I got from the book. Of course, this does not mean to spoil you but rather provide you tidbits of information you can obtain if you get the book. Moreover, I will be connecting this to personal experiences and advice I could share with you. Here are 7 insights to fuel up your reading game:

1. Don’t travel for pure leisure.

At the start of the book “Single, Taken, or Building My Empire”, he mentioned how people travel nowadays for the gram. Of course, this is not something totally bad, but having that kind of mindset would not create a meaningful impact to others and to yourself as well. To some people, they feel that their friends are just having a good time which sparks comparison, most, in a bad way. To make traveling worthwhile, instead of seeing it as something to tick off your bucketlist and share to the social world, why not:

  • Share your learnings along with it;
  • Show them contents, not just pictures showing how worthy and insightful your travel is; and
  • Make your peers feel that they can travel like you, too!

Of course, there would be a lot more ways to make traveling as learning. Whenever I travel as well, I’d love meeting new people and getting first-hand information from the locals. Nothing beats the experience when you explore on your own!

Single Taken or Building an Empire
Whenever my friends would ask me my travel budget, I’d always tell them I just pay for the fare. It is truly helpful to build some genuine connections anywhere who could help you whenever you pay a visit.
Photo by Archie Binamira.

2. Empower people.

Since the book is more on the corporate world, he mentioned how empowering people would create a big leap in your career. I believe it’s not just in the corporate world, it’s the same in the business industry, relationships, may it be family or friends, education, and a lot more. Way back, I had this difficulty in letting people do their ways because sometimes, I get things done faster. However, doing this would not help you and your team in the long run. Let people do the way they want things to be done. If ever they would be needing your help, they will seek you out. If things don’t work the way it should be, then it would be a learning experience for the person and you would be an instrument to make the person realize why it didn’t work. Moreover, empowering people respects individual differences and diversity.

Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.

George R.R. Martin

3. Don’t hope: act, and ask.

In the book, Jonathan mentioned that people will never make excuses when they want something so bad.

Do you believe in this?

We are part of the generation wherein a lot of things are given in an instant. However, being successful is not done on a click of a finger. In my entrepreneurship journey, I have seen a lot of people quit in the first few months or so, because they lack the vision that they’re going to get where they want to be, and instead find other ways where they think they can “get rich fast”. Sounds familiar?

Thus, I always tell people I mentor that it’s never going to be an easy way but what you can bank on is your attitude, and next would be your skills. For example, passive income (the stream of income you get with little or no effort after some time) does not happen instantly. Billionaires nowadays are not rich people without any reason. They worked on it so hard at first that right now, they are just reaping what they sow. It’s similar to farming, you plant, and you harvest after some time. If you plant correctly, you are going to harvest a lot. However, some people wait for that passive income to happen. Passive income does not happen by merely hoping for it. Acting on it, asking for help, are essential in starting it. Don’t just sit there and wait for nothing.

Single, taken, or building my empire
Some people envy a lot of successful business owners because they are enjoying a free life. However, knowing these people more, they shared their experiences of rejection, moments of depression, zero balances and so much more. Yet we see the final product only, right? It pays a lot to just enjoy a leisure time like this when a tremendous effort is exhibited at the start of your journey.

4. Manage your energy and priorities.

I have written an article before on time management. I’d like to add on that based on what I learned from this book. It was mentioned there that time management is a matter of energy management, because our productivity depends on our energy peaks that we have for the day. In my previous talks on time management, I would always tell the audience that they have to do the tasks that requires concentration first before others. The reason behind this is that at the start of the day, our brain is still fueled up and we still have resources (chemicals and fluids in our brains) to think and be creative with our thoughts. Thus, let me share you some TED Talks I’ve watched with regards to Time Management:


5. Do the 1 Year, 5 Minute Rule on managing emotions.

It is true that in making decisions in life, a lot of people are affected by emotions. Have you experienced a time wherein something irritating happened that hindered your productivity or affected your activities?

Take this from Jonathan: If something like that happens but it won’t matter in your life for 1 year, then don’t spend 5 minutes thinking about it.

A similar advice I also got from my mentor about handling emotions and people as well. She mentioned, if you spent already more than two minutes thinking about a specific incident or a person that ticks you off, then the problem is not with the other party, but with you.

Single Taken or Building an Empire
Some people get into the way of their emotions even in social media. Topics about traffic, politics, other people ranting about someone makes others feel affected. Ask yourself, does being affected help you?
Photo by DGT Portraits.

6. Are some people are too young to be mentors?

Jonathan explains how we should accept that age is not a basis for mentorship. I definitely believe that no matter how young you are but you could mentor someone in a specific way, then go for it. I am 23 years of age and I have been mentoring my colleagues on self-development, leadership, entrepreneurship and the like. When I was 17, I started teaching individuals (even older than me), languages and they did not take my age against me because they know I have the ability to educate them. Going back to point #2, it is by acknowledging diversity we can empower others and learn from them. Life, right now is not a rat race. Instead of viewing it as competition, why not see it as collaboration?

My squad from Jonathan’s book launch! These people love to lift each other up. Marc, is an IT professional and a duathloner; Mafil, a content creator and a culinary professional; Mary, a previous HR practitioner and a business owner; Madz, a licensed professional teacher; and Shine, a registered nurse. We are definitely diverse thus there is a truly big room for collaboration!

7. Finding the right career is similar to finding the right partner.

Now we’re talking about love! I definitely agree on the last point I got from the last part of Single, Taken or Building an Empire. Some people are afraid to risk things because they are perfectionists. Let me just quote one thing I read from the book:

Will you be that 60-year old retiree who will regret the what-ifs in his career? I’d rather regret something I’ve done and learn from it than wonder forever what could have been.

Of course, it is essential to calculate risks in every aspect of our lives. However, if we see a great opportunity and our self-limiting beliefs, perfectionism, and the like hinders us from getting it, then we have to think twice. I always share this story to my colleagues whenever they ask about my love life:

When I first met him, I was [quite] fresh from a breakup. After my past relationship, I decided to stay single simply because it is tiring to date and adjust for someone and I’d like to enjoy the freedom of doing things on my own, learning, and building my career. However, he came into my life and though I could not fully trust him yet, we had that spark and it is possible for me to commit for a long time (maybe until forever, who knows!) with him. Thus I grabbed the opportunity of committing with him and loving him by being in a relationship. If I didn’t, perhaps we’re not happily together for almost 2 years now. And so, same with opportunities that come in your career. If you discover it and saw that it sparks something in you, don’t hesitate to learn more about it and grab the chance. Align your vision with it. Who knows, that opportunity might be the ones that will give you the break and stay with you for the lifetime.

There you go! Those are the top insights I got as I relate to my own experiences with Jonathan’s book. I hope you got some ideas, thoughts, and motivations as you read my article. Of course, I hope you get a copy so you can read it fully. It’s truly worth the read.

Single, Taken, or Building My Empire is available on bookstores nationwide.



Leave a Reply


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.