I am from Southeast island of Singapore and am an internetpreneur by profession. In case you wonder what internetpreneur is, it is my alternate term for entrepreneur since I am running an online business.
I started my online business in July 2008 but prior to that, I used to be a hassler having taken on many jobs due to disinterest in studies, poor grades and limited knowledge.
I started as an admin assistant in July 1996 after completing my National Service. But because the pay was rather low at $650, I eventually quit to do data-entry at a local-based Hong Kong company specializing in computer and office supplies. Though the pay was slightly higher at $800, I decided to seek better prospects after working again for 1 year.
Now what happened was a series of roller coaster ride which I did not want to share openly because of poor decisions and ignorance that caused my family, relatives and so-called friends to look down on me.
I left my data-entry job for what was supposed to be a lucrative insurance career in Prudential, American International Assurance and Manulife Financial.
For the first 2 companies, I worked as a telemarketer fixing appointments for the agents to meet prospects while sitting for my insurance exams which is a must in my country for anyone to be certified as a financial services consultant or advisor before even starting his or her career.
But because I failed my basic insurance twice and investment-linked policies 3 times, I could not continue as the first 2 company managers I worked for could not tolerate my exam shortcomings and saw no value in continuing my services as the relevant authorities came up with better prospecting system than just telemarketing.
For Manulife Financial, I was accused of cheating in investment-linked exams when all I did was to bring in the formula table since Mathematics has been my weakest subject throughout my school life. And given the fact that I was given just 1 week to study and grasp the fundamentals, I could not do so and was under tremendous pressure to excel in order to be fully certified as financial services advisor.
I was sacked by Manulife and expelled from getting involved in all insurance-related jobs and career for 5 years. And I can tell you what happened after that was when everything went downhill from there financially, mentally and spiritually.
That was in April 2000 and jobs competition had become fiercer than before. I could no longer find the jobs I used to do as most companies preferred women and eventually cut labor costs by getting automated software and systems to perform all admin duties.
And for the next 7 years, I worked in various jobs as in telemarketing for call centres in credit cards, accounting software firms and timeshare companies. I also worked as freelance administrator for a brokerage firm and was getting full pay of $1500 despite of that.
But in 2008-2009 exactly 10 years ago, that was when I reflected upon myself and my family. Because 3 things happened that ultimately made a transition indirectly.
The first 2 were what everybody knew. Barrack Obama got elected as US President and Global Financial Crisis while the third was the effect Global Financial Crisis have had on my dad.
Now besides being a teacher, my dad was a stock and shares investor as well. But whether he invested into Lehmann Brothers, how much he invested and lost, those questions remained a mystery to me and my family. What I do know however was after the news were announced, he went into depression and frustration which looked to everyone as insanity.
Before that, he approached all his friends – who borrowed from him – to return back his money and then CPF (Central Provident Funds) board – which was our government body – managing our pensions, health and housing coverage to withdraw all his pensions but was turned down by all of them.
About 3 months later, he was diagnosed by doctor to be suffering from the final stage of liver cancer which he got 2 years before Global Financial Crisis. His losses worsened his condition and he passed away on 25 June 2009.
That was the day I decided not to depend on bosses and even government for a living even against my mother’s wish.
About 3 months before Global Financial Crisis, I developed an interest in possibility of making money online. The first 2 programs were email processing and work-from-home data entry jobs. Unfortunately despite following instructions from the letter, I did not make any money.
It was only in the 3rd program I joined – also data-entry program – that I started to make not just my first dollar but my first $100 and from there, I progressed to make my first $1700.
Because unlike other 2 programs, I was not just instructed to promote that program I joined but many other programs, products and services as well. That was also when I got to know online marketplaces like Paydotcom, ClickBank and Amazon.
However my only regret was despite making money online, the amount was not sufficient to save my dad from his financial and eventual health woes. By right as any Asian should out of being filial, I could have worked for bosses just to make ends meet for myself and my family.
But I did not. Instead I used my share of dad’s inheritance and invested mostly into internet marketing. First the courses by Ewen Chia and Jaz Lai – local experts I met at their internet marketing seminars and other marketers they recommended as their subscriber and customer. Besides courses, I also invested into many software tools and resources.
Keyword research, content generation and website builders. Either downloadable desktop and web-based.
That was towards the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 – which really marked the transition for me in life and business. But like everything else, life have had its ups and downs as well even though I have the flexibility to work and earn anywhere anytime I want.
Besides being engrossed into list building and email marketing as main fundamentals of internet marketing, I was also obsessed with building niche sites and getting to the top of Google for free search rankings and traffic. Because the higher your sites got, the more exposure you have and more money you make potentially.
But due to certain unethical practices by internet marketers which gave the internet marketing industry a bad reputation, Google made a series of changes to downgrade sites perceived to be of low quality in content and just wanting to be put by marketers for making money.
In 2013, I switched to Amazon affiliate marketing. As compared to digital products as in e-books, e-learning videos and software, selling physical products were easier but commissions were much lower. This was due to warehouse, shipping and delivery staff who make a full living into making sure the customers got what they paid for in perfect condition and on time.
Besides this, I also took a long time into building high quality e-commerce stores even though I was just promoting other people’s products and not my own. But the trick to succeeding is your affiliate sites should not look like typical but ones that really engage prospects into customers.
4 years later, I combined what I learnt from promoting both digital and physical products as both affiliate and product vendor as in sharing with people what I learnt and know so far in my 10 years of internet marketing.