Business Success Series: PADDLE TO SUCCESS

Meet Mark Christopher Santiago, happily married to Melanie with 1 daughter. Working as a nurse, he found It tough living on a 13,000 peso monthly pay.


Although just as good as your pet dog when it comes to swimming, he worked as part time assistant swimming coach on the side to augment his meager income.  This opened the door for him to start a swimming school for adults in 2012.

The Plunge

Now called Swim Central (FB: swim central), his company employs personable coaches to provide affordable and convenient lessons that help hydrophobic adults realize their dream.  Only 4 years old, the company now graduates 1,000 per year and still growing with this year’s over 1,400 enrollees.


Lack of his own swimming pool did not stop him. He paddled his way to a sustainable business by using available pools that are near his customers. Treacherous waves of trials did not sink him because of his faith in God and willingness to grow.

Go into deep waters and swim like a fish

Now, he is about to branch out into scuba diving lessons and as he enters the deep waters of the business world, he is discovering limitless possibilities.  He foresees that Swim Central will be in every Metro Manila City, offering day and night swimming lessons.

This man is only 29 years old and is not only teaching people how to swim in the deep waters but how to develop faith in God and enjoy swimming in life without drowning. With his kind of faith, drowning is an impossibility.

Freed to Conquer

I asked him why he chose his kind of business. His reply is practical yet profound.  God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?”  That was after Moses argued with God and gave Him reasons why he cannot bring Israel out of slavery.  In the end, Moses obeyed God and threw his staff to the ground.  The rod transformed into a snake, showing that God can do a miracle with the insignificant thing in his hand.  That same rod parted the Red Sea to free Israel from Egyptian bondage.


What is that insignificant thing in your hand?

Perhaps, just like me, it is so difficult to start something new. Maybe God is asking you the same question. “What is that in your hand?” He is not asking you how much money you have, or to go to a palm reader to check if the stars are aligned in your favor, or if you have the right connections or a pedigree.  He is not asking you to copy the business of your friend who is successful. No.

That which is in your hand can be the next big thing.  God cares for you and has something more special for you. That is why He suffered and died for you on the cross.  He is asking you a simple question.  Remember, you are an original and whatever ability you have, he gave it to you for a special purpose.  Make the first step and see how your ability grow.  God will be with you to part the Red Sea and bring you to your destiny.

Now, think about it.  Are we always making excuses? Maybe it is time to answer the question.  What is that in your hand?