Here's how the versatile entrepreneur, JJ Atencio, maintained success in the realm of business

There are different paths to success. For JJ Atencio, Chairman and CEO of Januarius Holdings Inc, it's the path to versatility and achieving balance in life. If one browses through the decorated businessman's thread of achievements, they would find that this principle pays off.

Atencio owes his success to experience. "It’s all about the learning experience that any task undertaken provides. For me, the attainment of an objective at the end of a task is a bonus, it is a by-product of having learned something along the process."

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Throughout the years he had spent in the business industry, Atencio has learned to harmonise analysis with intuition when making a decision. "Many leaders already have great analytical skills, and it’s always good to have an objective, numerical, and empirical basis for decisions. But this can be prone to analysis paralysis," he explains. "Over the years, I’ve learned to trust my quick thinking (using intuition and gut feel), and it’s always been right. So I’ve been most effective when I use both thinking skills on the same problem. It becomes a red flag when my analysis is opposite from my gut feel."

Atencio isn't afraid to make a bold move such as taking the first shot just moments after studying the options presented to him. "The reality is we can never get 100 per cent of data to make a perfect analysis. I feel comfortable with maybe 60 per cent of data present to make an analysis, the rest is filled up by intuition, making decisions faster but also analysis based."

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At this point, it shouldn't be a surprise that the CEO pulled the same move when the whole world was hit by the pandemic. Without wasting any more time, Atencio and his team set up a planning session. After meticulously looking over their data, soon they were able to revise their business plans ahead of time.

What makes his principle brilliant is its usability. As we got to know Atencio, we learned that he has applied the concept of balance and versatility in other aspects of his life. In fact, Atencio is a golf enthusiast, an art collector, and a family-oriented person. As he ventures towards the path to success in the field he finds interesting, Atencio takes his trusted Lexus LM with him.

An art collector

One might imagine Atencio's wit and eloquence in the office a bit intimidating. But when he's speaking about his art collection, he lights up and begins to speak (with passion and not the slightest hint of arrogance) about colours, tones, perspectives, and provenance.

"The art has to speak to you," the entrepreneur says when describing what he looks for in a piece he wants to acquire. His collection, which consists of 2,000 artworks, ranges from pieces produced by Fernando Amorsolo, Ronald Ventura, Jean-Michel Basquiat, to Anish Kapoor.

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It's obvious that the businessman pays attention to details, but only when much needed. "I've learned not to sweat the small stuff and save attention to detail to the stuff that matters," he shares. So when it comes to essentials, like the vehicle that takes him where he's needed, Atencio definitely pays attention.

"I like this car," he shares, "Lexus doesn't change its exterior design that often. So even [if you bought your car] three years ago, when the new model comes out, it has the same iconic [features]."

A golf enthusiast

Atencio used to go bowling, but health restrictions and protocols during the pandemic have urged the CEO to stay away from indoor sports. However, as someone who loves to be athletic, Atencio found a new sport to pursue—golf. 

He was able to merge his two passions, golf and business, by exclusively distributing AutoFLEX, Seven, and Fujimoto in the Philippines through Januarius Golf. 

On a game day, the business mogul would take the Lexus LM to the field with his driver. 

After playing golf under the sun, Atencio climbs inside his vehicle, taps on a button that moves the seat to relax his feet and enjoys the cool air adjusted to his preference as he heads back home.

For a man like Atencio who pursues different passions on a daily basis, things can get a bit hectic. Fortunately, he's able to take a breather in the comfort of the Lexus vehicle as he's driven to different places. Regardless of the destination, Atencio can sit back and enjoy his trusted Lexus LM's versatility.


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  • PhotographyIan Santos
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