People & Inspiration

In Focus: Business Tycoon George Yang’s Best Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

In Focus: Business Tycoon George Yang’s Best Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

When George Yang—founder and chairman of Golden Arches Development Corp. that owns local McDonald's—thought of bringing the multinational brand to the Philippines in the 80s, he was just a "nobody." His words. With the fast food chain prioritizing its expansion to European countries over Asia at that time, Yang the "nobody" got his request turned down by the McDonald's' American headquarters over and over again. “I was an ordinary guy, an unknown young man. There were so many big corporations, big names that also wanted the franchise. There were so many other people trying to get it, but we all got the same answer,"  he told ABS-CBN Lifestyle.

Yet not even a sting of rejection held Yang back from the same goal. Every few months, he stubbornly messaged the US team about the Philippines' growing business potential in fast food. “To put it simply, I persisted,” he mused.

And so eventually getting the franchise up and running in 1981 marked the highlight of his life. “Nobody would have expected that. Who’s this guy that was able to get McDonald’s?” he recalled with a laugh. How he got Mcdonald’s was a journey by itself, and managing it as the CEO became another inspiring story. “It was very difficult in the beginning because I had people from McDonald’s come here, tell me what to do, disapprove the things that needed to be done,” he shared. The brand started growing only when his company bought out McDonald’s equity, he revealed, to become what Filipinos now well love.

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Feeling inspired to set up your own firm in the future, too? Yang himself listed the top lessons that served as a driving force for his remarkable success as a businessman.

Create a positive mindset for reaching your dreams.

For the entrepreneur, everything starts with the mind. “I thought this business would be big enough if I pursue it and make it a success. What do you want to be? You want to be the CEO of a company? Then you have to believe in yourself that you can do it,” he declared. “Tell yourself every day, ‘I want to be this and I’m going to achieve that.’ You have to have the mindset of who and what you want to be.”

Work hard from there.

Persistence, patience, confidence, and perseverance are all included in his recipe for success. “Many people worry about failing and getting rejected every now and then. I say, all the more, you must stay determined—that’s the story of my life,” Yang stressed.

Be open to new things.

“You have to go with the times. We get young celebrities for some endorsements and hire young people to do our marketing. Always be flexible and know the things that are relevant now,” Yang said. “Social media presence is also very important.”

Consider learning as a lifelong process

“Physically, as you grow older, you get tired easily, but your mind… it’s important to keep your mind still young, still creative,” the business tycoon concluded. “At my age, I’m still thinking. You must continue to use your brain, you must continue to be active. That way, you can still produce masterpieces and live longer, even."

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