A note to graduates: use your head, build your wealth, follow your heart

Last March 28, 2015 was the 2nd time I spoke in a graduation ceremony. A speaker is asked to reflect on their life experience and draw the lessons to be shared to students. However, this is their graduation event. Instead, I focused on what I wish I had done. For the new graduates, this is for you.

I started my insight sharing with a keynote idea gained from Porter Gale’s book – “Your Network is your Net Worth”. It ask the question, “What brings you success? Is it your head, heart or wallet?”

There are no right or wrong answers below. Just remember that when one takes the lead, the other 2 will follow.

What brings you success? from Janette Toral

“When the head leads, the heart and the wallet will follow.”

As young graduates, I encourage you to use your head. Think of the vision of what you want to become. Pour in your heart and resources to make it happen. Invest in education and mentorship to increase your chances of success. Prioritize education spending over entertainment as these are all investments for the future.

For those of us who spend our lives in the technology, Internet, e-commerce, and digital marketing field, there will always be new developments. Learning never stops and is one of the keys to remain competitive or relevant to your market.

“When the wallet leads, the heart and head will follow.”

Being newbies in the real world, a key strength that you must learn is handling money well. Increase your income opportunities. Stay away from debt. Save money for emergencies, personal needs, and investments. Build relationships with people who can teach you how to do it right and achieve your goals.

This is one area where I have failed miserably in my early years. Whenever I have resources then, I would always think about what projects can I embark in. Then at times of emergency, I realize that I hardly have put money aside to cover for them.

This is the time where we need to put our passion into some form of control. Don’t risk everything you have unless you have the strength to rise above and recover, no matter what.

“When the heart leads, the head and wallet will follow.”

When you do the things you love and feel passionate about,  work doesn’t feel like one. Your primary focus is to serve others.

Real passion is not short-lived. It connects to something deep inside you. If you will be able to connect this to what you (want to) do and your dreams, learn and use your resources to make them happen.

Sacrifices are sometimes made that affect our earning. With a big picture view, these investments will be paid off by long term gains.

“Live your dream everyday”

Think about the big goals you have in your life. It may take awhile for them to become a reality. Some of you will even change your plans.

But for as long as you are taking steps to gradually make that happen, you are living your dream everyday.

Dream on. Make it happen.


  1. Mac caliwara - reply

    great inspirational speech , Mam Janet!

    • Janette Toral - reply

      Thank you Mac. Keep me posted on your project. 🙂

  2. Jose Filomar Remola Bas - reply

    Madam Janet, Congratulations.

  3. badeth - reply

    Ms. Janette, when I first met you, I was really impressed how humble you are. It’s great to be inspired by someone like you who walk the talk.

    • Janette Toral - reply

      Thank you for the kind note Badeth. 🙂

  4. GILMAR PADUA - reply

    Thank you Maam Janette, it help me remind to think big and pursue my dreams. Keep it up 🙂

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