Business Success Series: THE SUBARU CHALLENGE

How does one turn desperation into an advantage?

Meet Mark Llauder, 32 years old.   About 8 yrs ago, after resigning from his job to take care of his ailing mom, he was penniless.  Desperate, he can only grab whatever opportunity that comes along.  The Subaru Challenge was like water to a dehydrated person in a desert.  Dangled in front of him was a chance to win a brand new Subaru STI Impreza car and some cash. The challenge was to lay his hand on a Subaru car hood without letting go, for as long as he can.  For 32 hours, under sunshine and rain, darkness and light, he did.  He won the preliminaries in Manila and got 15,000 pesos.  So, off he went to  Singapore to compete in the finals where he made another 10,000 pesos but did not win his dream car.

Subaru Challenge Yr 2009

It is amazing what desperation can do.  It is during those times when one’s true character is revealed. It can either break or make a person.  Mark himself was surprised what he can accomplish when pushed against the wall.  During those 2 years of his mom’s sickness, Mark found strength in God and never lost hope.

After his mom died, he went back to employment.  Shunning all temptation to do what is usual for guys his age, he focused on his work like he did as he fought sleep while his hand touched the Subaru hood.  He steeled his determination to do his best.  He transferred from one job to the next, but each time, learning everything he must.  As he earned, he set aside money for investing.  He had a goal. Shaken by his mom’s death, he determined to turn the misfortune into an advantage.

Juan A Stick Shopking Mall branch

Today, Mark, is currently President and CEO  (Majority Stockholder) of Juan A Stick Food Concepts Corporation; President and CEO (Majority Stockholder) of All Around Fitness Inc.;  Sub-Majority Stockholder of Melt Grilled Cheesery; Stockholder in all 6 branches of Rue Bourbon Restobar;  and Head of Corporate Human Resources of Calata Corporation.


For Mark, the Subaru challenge did not end in his 25,000 peso win.  Eight years ago, as he laid hands on the Subaru for 32 hours without sleep, non-stop, he was praying, “God, someday, give me this Subaru.”

Last year, he bought his first Subaru car for cash. The same salesman who saw him during the Subaru Challenge was wide eyed when he recognized him as he handed Mark his car keys.

Subaru STI bought cash

Where is God in the midst of your desperation?