Thought of taking some time off to pen this down and share with you folks. I think this is going to be a long thread but I'll do my best to keep it as short as possible. Hope you find this thread useful... and if you've got the time!
4 Years Ago Today...
I was sitting in front of my employer in his room office, sharing the pizza we ordered from Domino's (it was on him, of course lol). I had just turned 18. My former employer asked if I was satisfied with the pay I was getting and without thinking much I said, "Yeah pay's good, but I know I can do better."
Although I said that, deep down even I was taking my own words with a pinch of salt. That was the same year I tried and FAILED in Network Marketing, got dismal results from trading Magic: The Gathering Cards, and I was 'more talk than walk'. So many ideas on paper just never got around being implemented.
I was already prospecting the possibilities of starting an Internet-based Business back then, but it was just like the rest of the ideas on paper so as said, I took my own words even with a pinch of salt. Little did I know myself, it was going to be the 'trump card' for me to exit the 8-6 rat race. Of course, it wasn't without its own risks and perils.
Internet Business = Easy? What Do You Think?
Like many other Internet newbies, I too initially bought into the idea that Internet Business is 'easy'. People have different interpretations on the word 'easy' in Internet Marketing context. To me, it is easy to a degree - I could go on making unfair comparisons on why starting an Internet-based business is easier than a brick-n-mortar one...
... But when I got my hands on this business for the first time ever on 3rd March 2005, I tell you... 'easy' was NOT how I would describe it! In spite of all the best and unfair advantages, a solid business needs time to be built and grow into the right direction. Internet Marketing is but a medium.
Unfortunately, I wised up a little bit too late... I was already 1000s of dollars in debt, just for trying foolishly. I quit my day time job too soon. My mother and I couldn't get another job (I promised her the sky too) and now I found myself hiding the truth from my younger sister who was sitting for her final year in high school. And if you're wondering whatever happened to dad - long story short, my parents were divorced in 2003 and my father hasn't given us a red cent since.
To describe the next several months "in pure agony" was an understatement. We were only THIS close to losing the roof over our heads, THIS close to having the phone line cut (I was using dial-up), THIS close to having our electricity cut and it would be GAME OVER.
There were no friends to count on because at this point, I was living in a rural sub-urban area of Johor Bahru. I had disconnected and burnt the bridges with old school friends and acquaintances, due to my parents' divorce and since then we traveled around on bags.
I was in deep sh*t obviously and everything else seemed so hopeless. I think this part is something many of us can relate to - I got a glimpse at hope again when I got my first $97.00 sale notification later. I remembered how I ran up the stairs to wake up my mom 4 in the morning, "MOM! WE MADE A SALE!"
We were ready to turn the tide.
What Happened Later in the Following Months...
Now I got a confession to make. An embarrassing one, if I must say so myself. I used to hold on to my calculator a lot, and type up imaginary "what if I make this" figures. :rolleyes:
When I started to realize that if I want to make real serious money, I have to build a real serious business. I stopped looking at 'get paid to surf' sites. I stopped fiddling with the calculator... ok, only sometimes. I used to try to save what little I could but I risked being a little more daring - I spent more instead, though I was already in the red.
My phone bill was in the $100s of dollars (read: dial-up again) and to me, it was a lot of money at that time. This was in spite trying to go online at moderate times. This time, I went all ahead because I know if I had stopped trying or do this with little courage... ok I don't want to think what might have had happened. It's like the saying goes, "You have to jump over the fire quickly. If you delay or do it too slowly, the fire will get you."
All in all, I started taking this seriously rather than just a 'hobby' or a 'playground' to mess about with. Putting food on the table tomorrow, clearing the bills, the roof over our head, my sister's tertiary education - OUR survival - all depended on this.
I am happy to report that within the same year, I managed to not only clean up all of my previous debts I had made more than enough money to move to town area for access to better facilities the following year, and my sister was enrolled into college just in time (yeah, as if nothing had happened lol). I was thankful in many ways - she had an obligation to serve the National Service for 3 months after her final year exam at high school, and that bought me just enough time.
Thanking Some Of The Best Warrior Members I Met
I've been saving the best part for the last.
This is a big part of the reason why I feel compelled to write this on the Warrior Forum instead of on my Personal Blog (maybe I'll write something else there later lol). Even though I was very determined to succeed, the blunt truth was I couldn't do it on my own. So guess who helped chimed in?
Now I may not post here as frequent as I used to like 1-2 years ago, though I do come back now and then to check on the latest updates. Admittedly, I see a lot of debates, arguments and written brawls going on here often and I do my best to avoid them. Yet I've had the best of pleasure working with the following Warrior Members, whom I really, really think deserve a special mention.
Check them out below. Who knows, you might even least expect your name to be here! Whether big or small your contribution, thanks for playing a part in my business and life.
Here Goes... (in no particular order)
Joseph Then - if not for Joseph, I wouldn't have had a PayPal account today let alone thought it was possible. Honestly. At that time, Malaysians couldn't open and withdraw from a PayPal account from the country. Joseph led the way!
Vince Tan - I can see his latest Firesale event is causing some controversial stir as can be seen in some of the other threads. Well done! Vince is one of the best people I have the privilege of working with on a partnership level, besides Stephen Luc. Many 50/50 partners have disappointed me in the past but Vince didn't!
Stephen Luc - we sure came a long way, huh? We both worked on the PLRGold: Videos package and it was launched earlier this month. The event was a success with the sales approached the $100,000 mark by the 10th day. It's funny in a way - I got to know Stephen through this forum too. He paid me $200 to write his copy back then and our business relationship was much more formal.
Simon Hodgkinson - this guy posts here very little, to my knowledge at least. But I'm sure many people who he is. And it comes with little surprise that he (together with Jeremy Gislason) are some of the people I look up highly to.
David Thompson - hah, I bet you didn't expect your name to be here! I've not talked to this guy in a while but I won't forget David as one of my earlier Ad Swap partners! :-)
John Delavera - "Turbo Man" needs no introduction, he's also one I highly respect and as far as being among the top list of respected Internet Marketing role models is concerned, John belongs there. I'm sure many others would find the same way.
Dylan Loh - to clarify, no we're not brothers. We co-authored a published book together with Stuart Tan this year and the books are now in Singaporean and Malaysian bookstores. It's been great working with you!
Kim Standerline - Kim has been of big help with some of my PLR launches. I feel guilty personally because I have yet to return the favor!
The WMIS 2007 Warrior Group - there's too many other names that form the group but I trust you know who you guys are. We met last year in Expo Hall, Singapore for the World Mega Internet Summit event. I remember how we got pumped up on Day 1 of the WMIS - wait, that was more like the first hour or less. Then everyone went their own way out of the hall and started going around Singapore!
The MY/SG Group - you know who you are. I didn't forget you guys and gals too. This is the group meeting Joseph Then organized 3 times in the past 2 years.
Kevin Riley - Kevin is growing to become a 'celebrity' in the Warrior Forum quickly. I met up with Kevin online in the most odd of situations - the Off-Topic Forum - 2 years ago. But then, maybe most of you aren't surprised after all.
James B Allen - I had little talk with James on WF but I met him in person when I was in Japan in September. He's the role model of being a nice, gentleman. I found out how much I lack in manners after I met him. Shame on me!
James Brown - he doesn't post here much but he's been a regular customer, good partner and also a good friend. Congratulations again to James for getting married (like officially) just 2 months back.
Dima Sorokine - many people might not know who Dima is but he's actually one of the earliest PLR pioneers. He was the one who taught me the ropes of the PLR business when I was just starting out in 2005. Amazing that he didn't tell me much yet it was all so straight to the point, it made a deep positive impact on my business. Thanks, man!
Dean Shanin - I didn't talk to this guy much yet but I've found Dean to be of a likable character. Hmm... I think I still owe him a JV or something? Uhm...
The WSO Customers - I can't name names here (read: privacy reasons) and even if this isn't an issue, there would be too many to name. I definitely didn't forget you as well, and thanks for trusting and believing in me.
I know there's still a longer list of names not acknowledged here; this is who I can remember so far. If your name isn't here I apologize for the omission and hope you don't take this badly! (Btw, this list is limited to only people I've met as a result of getting acquainted in this forum.)
All in all...
Admittedly, I made a lot of mistakes in my pursuit of succeeding in this business. But if I were to list out just a couple of things I did right that changed everything else, it was:
1. Not using my financially desperate circumstances as an excuse to secure Joint Ventures. I've seen people in the same shoes do this, and they have all met with negative, rock bottom circumstances. I am glad I had never once pulled that card in my deck in spite of the great urge at that time.
2. Discovering this forum. Kudos to you guys once again!
-- Edmund Loh