Last year, Frances Cabatuando was an associate creative director at an advertising firm who would post her home DIY improvement and decoration projects on her Instagram account @nobi.home. Today, you probably know her better as the founder and mayora of the well-received Facebook group Home Buddies, an online community of almost 3 million Pinoy home improvement fans.
Frances never expected that her Instagram page would set the foundation for the wildly famous group, whose popularity exploded on Facebook in 2020. By sharing her genuine passion for DIY and home improvement, she stumbled upon a winning formula. As people continued to stay indoors due to never-ending lockdowns, homeowners and DIY-ers became eager to enhance their own living spaces, finding their inspiration and enjoying a helpful exchange of tips in the Facebook group.
Today, Frances now wears another hat as a community leader who unites people, whether you belong in #TeamKulay, #TeamPuti, or #TeamKahoy. As she continues to lead Home Buddies as a safe and inspirational space online for all home enthusiasts, she wants others to also have the same story of success and manifest their own dreams. Here are her tips.
According to the Home Buddies founder, the first important step is to clearly visualize your dream and take steps toward making that dream come true. “Try to take action, no matter how small of a step you take because it isn't real unless you make it happen. You don't want to wake up one day and realize it's gone because someone else is living your dream.”
Before Home Buddies, Frances started different businesses—yet many of them were unsuccessful. Instead of being ashamed of her setbacks or getting discouraged from trying again, Frances took every experience as a learning opportunity.
“I invested a lot of my time in learning, and I know that learning is a lot about doing,” she shares. “I know that I just needed to keep going because success doesn't happen overnight, it happens over time.” Frances says that she knew that she just needed to keep creating, which put her closer to her goal.
Frances recommends that people find what they love doing and one that gives them a bigger purpose to reap larger rewards emotionally, mentally, and financially. “I believe that each one of us can contribute something to this world that only we can,” the Home Buddies founder says. “So whenever I start a project, I always look at what I’m good at and what I'm capable of. When you know yourself well and you have a plan of action, you can turn and manifest your dreams into reality.”
Frances illustrates Home Buddies as an example. It was born after online friends and followers began commenting on her personal Instagram account @nobi.home, which she considers her online “diary”. “I felt like it's a waste of interesting conversations if they would never see the light of day,” she shares.
Today, Frances has achieved what she considers her biggest milestone yet: bringing together almost 3 million people in one safe space, where, together, they can help each other achieve their dream homes. This bigger purpose gives Frances her own sense of motivation and the self-confidence to achieve even more. “There is this sense of fulfillment when you see people talking about your work,” Frances shares, adding, “When you've acquired skills that you've never done before, that's when the time that you know that you are on the right path.”
While you must dream big and have the courage to shoot for the stars, you must also be smart and strategic with planning. “As you earn more and you achieve more I believe that it is important that you also protect whatever it is that you've built,” Frances explains.
Before taking your great leap, understand that being adventurous is not the same as being reckless. Frances recommends, “You need a plan that gives you strong life protection and smart wealth investment. It's always nice to have a backup plan so that when things don't go your way, you know that you can stay committed to whatever your goal is.”
Products like FWD Manifest gives you that protection. FWD Manifest is an insurance plan with an investment component that provides financial growth. It protects your financial plan and gives you bonuses for achieving milestones and staying invested.
Frances says that designing your best life begins by doing the things that you can call your own. So she encourages everyone to just do it. “Start that business. Build a dream house. Turn all your dreams into reality! Start manifesting your future today! Success does not come overnight, but over time and it all just starts with a plan.”
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For more stories and insights that can help you manifest your future, tune in to FWD’s Manifesto masterclass series, coming soon.