Richard Juan was just trying to be productive during the pandemic.
At first, the ABS-CBN host/actor tried to overcome his anxiety by trying new things, such as learning Korean.
He said in his interview on PEP Live Extra last March 10, 2021, Wednesday, "It's just, I guess, me starting to do more things, distracting myself with finding new ideas to do, finding new plans to do, finding new challenges to do.
"And kind of diverting my focus lang talaga. I tried to get myself occupied, like I said, learn Korean."
Then the Pinoy Big Brother: Connect host began to get serious about his plans to put up a business.
The Kapamilya host continued, "During the pandemic, I started planning ahead on, 'Hey, what can I do?' Life is a marathon, not a race. If I'm gonna stay still, I'm not gonna move forward.
"I mean, I know I don't have to sprint, but I know I can just start planning, start building towards it, which is why I spend a lot of time planning what I'll be doing like after the pandemic.
"But along the way, I was like, 'You know what, I'll start to do some of these things 'cause the pandemic will take a long time pa until we're fully okay again.'
"Kaya how I overcame it or how I coped with it is just really doing things, and just doing new things."
That was how Richard was able to start his own digital entertainment company called 28 Squared Studios.
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28 SQUARED STUDIOS
Asked what their company actually does, he said, "We do video production and we also do digital media. And we are also venturing into different things, which I don't want to share too much yet. I don't want to jinx it kasi we're in talks about it pa."
Why did they choose the name "28 Squared" for their video production company.
He told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "My birthday is on August 2. So two and eight. That's always been something I... It's kind of like my semi-lucky number.
"And then two plus eight becomes ten. So perfect ten, parang ganun din.
"And then, 28 is a very lucky auspicious number din kasi two-right, in cantonese, it's 'yi baat' which means 'easy to be rich.'
"Bakit squared naman, because me and my business partner, we're two people and we started this business at 28.
"So parang saktong-sakto din siya."
He added, "Eight looks like infinity kapag nakahiga siya, di ba? So two infinity squared is infinite infinity."
Richard said the company also aims to produce videos for their clients in four weeks, which is equivalent to 28 days.
The 28-year-old content creator further explained, "And the fact that 28 is equivalent to four weeks also, we want to say that, 'We can create projects within four weeks.'
"It's our own personal goal to create projects in four weeks' time."
So far, Richard is proud that several brands have expressed their desire to work with his company.
"We did something for Hong Kong Tourism Board, we did something for a Thai company, we're also doing something for a skin-care brand.
"We have a lot of cool stuff lined up so hashtag abang-abang."
The same team in his company is also the one helping him produce his podcast called Your dose of inspirASIAN on Spotify, where he invites Asian influencers and celebrities to talk about life.
Some of his celebrity guests on the show are Tony award-winning Broadway star Lea Salonga, NextShark founder Benny Luo, and Hong Kong-based content creator J Lou.
Richard said, "I wanted to highlight and share Asian stories because in the last couple of years especially because of the Korean wave, the Hallyu wave, the success of Crazy Rich Asians, the success of BTS, we are—Asians, in general—are the next big thing.
"And I want to be able to further highlight that."
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YOUNG BUSINESS OWNER
Richard said his dad, Nixon Juan, greatly influenced him to start a business of his own.
He said, "My dad is a businessman. So growing up, I've always been into business. And that was what I was 'supposed' to do after graduating from U.P.
"But because of the showbiz industry, parang na-delay lang siya konti."
Why did he venture into a video-production company?
Richard explained, "I think it's because ito na talaga iyong mundo ko, e.
"Like, this is where I built my connection, this is where I've built all my friends. And this is what I enjoyed and this is also what I studied in school."
Aside from this, Richard hopes to showcase Filipino talent through his company on a global level.
The Hong Kong Chinese TV personality told PEP.ph, "And you know, having the privilege to work around the world also, I got to meet a lot of people in this industry, so I want to kind of like create content or create videos that will connect the Philippines to the world.
"Like I want Filipino talents, Filipino content to be out in the world. Kaya natin e. We can produce really good content. We have really talented people here in the Philippines.
"And sayang lang na there's no platform for us to put it out there for people to appreciate din. And one of the goals of the company is to create content that is Filipino but at the same time, for the world to see."
Richard had always wanted to start his own company, but he took his time since he wanted to team up with someone that "complements" his personality.
This is also one of his greatest pieces of advice to young entrepreneurs starting up their own businesses.
He said, "I was very fortunate to have met my business partner right before pandemic lang actually.
"And ayon, we were like, 'Hey...' I realized he has what I need and I have what he needs. And that's how everything started."
Richard added, "Sometimes, it's the patience, e. Sometimes you meet someone that complements you well. When it comes to business, parang love life din siya, e.
"You have to be patient din, but, at the same time, be open. And to find the right person is important as a business partner kasi you need to find someone that complements you well.
"If you have the same type of person, sayang lang. Parang, bakit ganun, di ba? So sometimes being patient, also in the business case, is also very vital."
Richard admitted that starting a business, especially amid the pandemic, is a lot more challenging. Nonetheless, he and his team were able to overcome the challenges that came their way.
"Our biggest challenge at first was really whether or not there'll be clients.
"Kasi siyempre, to run a business you need the business permits, having an office address, everything like that.
"Ang daming kailangan ng pera din. So siyempre pag may lalabas na pera, dapat may pera na papasok din."
He added, "That was honestly our worries at first, but how we overcame that was really finding ways to... Kailangan madiskarte.
"Like, you really have to reconnect with people, you really have to cold-call people and cold call potential clients and say that, 'Hey, we have this service right. These are the stuff we can do. Can we offer this service? Can we send you something? Can we show you what we can do?'"