Warning: The information contained here-in may lead you, at some point, to a sales pitch, from which I might earn money. However, it may also enhance your life in ways you haven’t thought of yet, and could lead you to financial independence … so, as we say here in the Philippines, whether or not you chose to continue is, “‘Sup to you.”
How many of you reading this consider “Evangelist” to be a word associated only with religion? I think that a preacher waving his arms from the pulpit is very likely the most common thing that comes to mind. And it is not at all a false impression, in some definitions, Evangelist, especially when capitalized, refers specifically to the four authors of the Gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
But when you use a small “e”. evangelism can simply mean one who continually tries to enlighten and teach, no matter if the subject is religious or secular, and that’s the definition I am using here.
One of my all-time heroes of industry, Guy Kawasaki, was known for years as the Apple Evangelist, and in some ways he still is.
I consider myself a digital evangelist, or more accurately and Internet evangelist. So many of the people I come in contact with, especially folks who contact me on this blog, seem to consider the Internet as just am interesting toy, irrelevant to their “real” problems, which often include escaping a job they hate, finding a way to support themselves while living in the Philippines, earning extra money to support family in the Philippines and so on.
Well let me pose an alternative view to that held by many of you:
The Internet is the largest socio-economic phenomenon of our century. It changed the way people communicate, collaborate, and live. It also created a whole new type of worker: the online worker. Those are people who work full-time on the Internet. Some make money through their blogs, others leverage affiliate marketing, others yet focus on providing services over the web …
photo credit: SeaDave The Internet will not “change the world”, it already has, and if you aren’t on board, especially on board in something other than playing games or reading Facebook pages, your time is short … the train is pulling out of the station and if you expect to attain your proper degree of success, you better get on board.
The quote above is from Daniel Soccoco, a long-time on-line acquaintance of mine and a very successful blogger and Internet entrepreneur. Daniel is heading up a great new training/support program that will certainly change many lives … I think it has that much value. If you are still dependent on a last century conventional “job”, or worse yet, are desperately searching for one of those “job” things, then you owe it to yourself to investigate this opportunity so you can make an honest evaluation. Here are some pull quotes from a recent article Daniel authored, along with some of my comments to help you tie them directly to the situations that many of you reading this blog have told me “fit” your needs.
1. No more wasted time on commutes
- 0.1 1. No more wasted time on commutes
- 0.2 2. You can work on your own terms
- 0.3 3. You can work anywhere
- 0.4 4. You can network with a lot of people
- 0.5 5. It is flexible
- 0.6 6. It might be less risky
- 0.7 7. You get to be your own boss
- 0.8 8. You get to develop business skills
- 0.9 9. It might grow into a big business
- 0.10 10. Your work will go into something you own
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Even if you live relatively close to your work, you’ll still waste a good amount of time commuting back and forth every day. For example, if your workplace is 30 minutes away from your home (either by car or by public transportation), you will waste 60 minutes per day, which translates into 240 hours every year….
Of course for us who are interested in living in the Philippines and still earning a decent living, the “commute” we sometimes face is one of the largest on earth. I know of many fellows who have kept their conventional jobs in the USA while they send money back to support their families living here.
And of course, to many of my Filipino readers, this has, unfortunately become virtually the norm. If you want to earn a decent living, you must flee the country and go to some other country to do work at lobs their own citizens don’t want to. I can sum this whole attitude in one concise, precise word … bullshit.
The Internet allows you to “be” anywhere you want to be for your earning activities, while your body stays where you chose that it be. And think for a minute about Daniel’s estimate of 240 hours wasted on commuting every year. Typically, you are likely to work 40 plus years. That works out to nearly five years of commuting over an average career.
Are you trying to tell me that you figure it’s worth spending five full years of your life stuck in traffic, or waiting for trains, or sucking traffic smoke in the back of a Jeepney? My daily commute is about 30 seconds from my bedroom door to my computer room. About four weeks out of a 40 year career … that alone is a fantastic saving/reduction in carbon emissions/opportunity time, whatever you personally choose to value time with.
2. You can work on your own terms
Imagine being able to wake up without an alarm clock every single day. If you work on the Internet you can work any time you want. Do you feel more productive at night? Then work at night. Do you want to take Wednesdays off to practice a sport? Go for it. …
Not too long ago I recall complaining to someone about a young man who had asked me for help in finding a job. He couldn’t seem to hold a conventional job because, get this, he was 26 years old and he couldn’t get up in time for work.
Well of course, to my 65-year-old mind, especially with 40 years of military conditioning, I found this shocking … sad … “nothing but a damn slacker, that fellow”.
But guess what? Maybe you hate getting up in the am? Have you been told all your life that “the early bird gets the worm” and all those other little brainwashing saying we’ve been taught since childhood?
Well the truth is, those saying are all out the window. The Internet is open for business 24-7. If you want to stay in bed long after sunrise, and work until the wee hours because that is what suits you best … that will be just fine.
3. You can work anywhere
We say “work from home,” but in reality you can work anywhere, and this is a great advantage. The only requirement is a reliable Internet connection, but you can get one virtually anywhere these days. You could work from cafes, parks, and even from the beach if you grab a wireless modem.
For the matter of fact you can even travel to other countries and still work on your websites as you would do if you were sitting on your home office (and many people do just that). …
That’s what I’ve been talking about, folks. Many times I have been received criticism back from people complaining that they asked me for information about a job and I answered them with a lot of “Internet gibberish”. Well, whenever someone doesn’t get the intended message, the fault lies as much with the sender as the recipient. You should really get more of Daniel’s information, maybe he can make it more clear.
You asked how to make a living in the Philippines, and I’m telling you, you are looking at it right now as you read this article.
4. You can network with a lot of people
Online networking is certainly not as effective as face to face networking, but the fact that you get to interact with thousands of people certainly compensates. ….
There are hundreds of cases of people who got hired, found partners and launched successful projects over the web without meeting the other side physically.
Very true, indeed. Many have somehow formed the belief that making a living on the Internet is somehow a solo, mysterious and introverted occupation.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. For example, I keep to myself a lot, yet I have hundreds of folks I can communicate with on a moment’s notice, and dozens of on-line associates I am quite close to.
If I am trying to figure out how to do something, the answer is seldom any farther away than my email program, or an Instant Messaging client. And if I chose to suddenly work from somewhere else … like I wanted to move from the US to the Philipines? I lose none of my friends, associates and readers … I just do it … a freedom that’s extremely hard to find in any other occupation.
5. It is flexible
A great benefit of working on-line is the flexibility. You can create all sorts of websites, explore different niches and try different business models every single day. …
This is one of the most underrated advantages to working on-line that I know of. I’ve run into many people who “have an idea”, but they haven’t acted on it for weeks or months or years. Why?
With the Internet you can crank something up, right now, today, and give it a try. Your actual money investment can be as little as nothing.
Work at it for a reasonable period of time. See what pleases you and what doesn’t. Then if you are happy with the results, build it bigger or branch out.
If you aren’t happy, though, big deal. Shut it down and try the next idea. Hardly like the problems of starting a business in the ‘real world’ (I like to call it the “dirt-based” world), where you need to come up with money, physical space, paperwork, licensing fees and all the other trappings of last century that actually impede the flow of ideas. On he Internet, you just keep trying until you prove to yourself what works.
6. It might be less risky
Many people work 9 to 5 jobs because they believe it is a safer option. A regular job sends a pay check every month, after all, while an online business has many ups and downs.
To a certain extent this is true, but under many aspects having your own online (or offline for the matter of fact) business is actually less risky. For example, if you work for a company you could get fired any day. Sometimes even top performers are fired because the company needs to cut costs.
If you have your own business, on the other hand, no one will be able to fire you. Sure, the business could still go wrong, but that is a risk under your direct control.
Let me beg to differ a bit with Daniel on this one. It “might” be less risky? I disagree. It is less risky in virtually every sense you can imagine. Let’s assume you fit the persona of a number of folks who read and/or write in here.
You’re youngish to middle age … too young to retire. You have a deep need to move to the Philippines, even if it is nothing more than to try out living here … your life hasn’t been satisfactory in all ways so far, and you want to try new things before you get too old to enjoy them. And you have a job back there in the USA, today. Love it or hate it, good pay or bad, you surely can’t afford to just up and quit and move to the Philippines … or so you feel, and so all your friends and family tell you.
Well, as far as I can tell, they’re right. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Be cautious … you could really screw things up if you do the “wrong” thing.
But “being cautious” is exactly what I am talking about when I evangelize about this “on-line” thing. If you take the initiative, today, and position yourself to succeed without that conventional job, only two things will happen.
— 1., You’ll succeed … after time and work, mind you, I never promote any get rich quick stuff. If your on-line efforts get to the point you are confident you can trust them, great, you’re home free. You can then tell your boss to stuff it and make your move. Or you can just keeping earning until you have plenty more in the bank to make you confident that when you do decide to make the move, you won’t be struggling to account for every peso and centavo.
— 2., Conversely, you might fail. Nothing shameful about that, virtually all successful people have many failures behind them. In fact more than one rich person has bene quoted as saying something like, “If you aren’t having failures, you aren’t trying hard enough”. Point is, you will have risked little or nothing, and just like going to school, you’ll have a now valuable set of additions to your ‘experience bank” that you use day in, day out to make life decisions.
Risk? I see very little at all. And if the model I quoted above is wrong …perhaps you are one of those folks who no longer has a job, well then there is no risk at all … you have to do something.
Your choices are to learn something new and move with the times or else plod from HR office to HR office, handing in applications and begging to be taken back into the same environment that has already “chewed you up until the flavor is gone and spit you out.” Are you insane, to allow yourself to be treated that way? One definition of insanity is to do the exact same thing over and over and expect a different outcome.
Getting another conventional job, if you can, is also a very high risk proposition, because you’ll be the “guy on the bubble”, “last hired first fired” and so on … where the hell is the security in that?
7. You get to be your own boss
It would be tough to find a person who never had an annoying boss, right? Even if your boss is a nice guy, taking orders from someone else sucks.
By working on-line you’ll solve this problem for good. You’ll still have customers, readers and advertisers who will demand your attention, but the level of stress in dealing with those is significantly lower when compared to having a boss.
I think this is one of the advantages that needs the least commentary. I’ve had a lot of bosses over the years, and many of them were even good ones. The others? Not so good.
What was the most common thread between all of them? Easy. They were human and thus, by nature, thought differently, had their own set of values and goals, and never could really be on the same wavelength as me. It’s the way of the world.
Also, something very few people seem able to talk about openly … every day that goes by, you are a day older (Way to Go, Captain Obvious). Why does that make a difference? Let me answer that with a question:
Have you ever had a boss significantly younger than you? Well if you haven’t yet, it’s getting closer, literally by the minute. Every day that you age, you become, especially in America’s unstated but very real mindset, less and less useful.
One of the chief reasons I retired from my last real job (somewhat reluctantly) was that I spent my last 3 or 4 years there, after I passed the magic age of 55, watching people with less experience and often significantly less knowledge of how to get the job done, get promoted while I stagnated.
Often, these were people I had trained in their early days on the job. What did they have that I didn’t … the unspoken, but truthful answer was youth. And even though my bosses would never admit that was a defining reason, it was … and I don’t hold a grudge against any of those bosses.
If you were running a business, who would you “invest” in? The guy who is already past retirement age, and who could leave in one afternoon if he chose to, or the young guy who’s moving up fast and you have every expectation of getting 20 more years of good service out of? Anybody but a fool would pick the younger employee, all things considered.
I mean the law says you can’t discriminate, but laws are paper and the real world? Well it ain’t always fair.
Want to know who can promote someone over my head in my current on-line business endeavors? Absolutely no one, that’s who. Want to know how long I can work, continue to grow (and build more Social Security benefits, by the way?) … absolutely as long as I feel like it, and then not one day longer.
If you are 50 or 60 something, you know I am telling the truth here. If you are younger … food for thought as you ponder upon risk and security.
8. You get to develop business skills
Every website that is built with the purpose of making money can be seen as a small business entity. You will have to manage resources (e.g., web hosting, domain names), people (e.g., web designers, writers), clients (e.g., readers or customers) and so on. You’ll also need to plan the business model, the marketing activities and so on.
In other words, you’ll develop important business skills along the way, and this is something very valuable.
Thinks about this for a few minutes. Undoubtedly, virtually all of you reading this have, at one time or another, been advised to “go back to school” to increase your earning power.
And there are any number of honest studies out there that prove higher income levels and higher educational levels go hand in hand. Moot point.
But did you consider this important alternative? Instead of taking time off from life and miring yourself ever deeper in debt to try to make those statistics about having an MBA come true … start your own endeavor and get paid to learn.
I can assure you, building an on-line endeavor is not only fulfilling, not only can be profitable (remember, YMMV), but it is absolutely a learning experience. And even the most conscientious, modern post secondary school can not keep up with the speed of the Internet … whatever you pay for will be at least partially outdated before day one of the course.
In contrast, learning online can even pay, and there is no better way to keep current that presently exists.
9. It might grow into a big business
Most websites start as a hobby. If your idea is good and you put enough work on it, however, it might grow into a big business. Just consider blogs like Tech Crunch. It started as a one-man show, and today it employs several writers, editors, and it generates millions in revenues every year.
And you don’t need to go to the very top to see this pattern. There are hundreds of web design, affiliate marketing and consulting firms that were started as a hobby and turned into profitable businesses over time.
This may be the most pie-in-the-sky part of Daniel’s article. Or not. There are literally thousands of success stories out there, proving the truth of the statement that “It might grow”.
How about the blogging software that made it possible for me to crank out these posts? Designed in his basement by a young-twenties kid who wasn’t even looking to make money. How about things like Facebook? Again designed literally by a one man effort to increase and keep track of friends … worth millions and millions. The list can go on and on.
It might not happen to you. But then again, it certainly might.
10. Your work will go into something you own
We believe there are no shortcuts to success. Whether you work for a corporation or have your own small business, if you want to succeed you’ll need to work your butt off.
The difference of the two scenarios above is quite a big one, however. On the first one you’ll be putting your heart and soul on someone else’s business. Sure you might get a good salary in exchange for that, but the fact that someone else owns the whole thing and will collect most of the profits remains unchanged.
If you have your own online business, on the other hand, all your sweat will go into something that you actually own. If you hit a home run, you’ll collect all the profits, and you can also decide to sell the whole business down the road.
This is the last reason, and as a good writer, I think Daniel saved the best until last.
What do you own, outright, today? A car that is depreciating every day that you slave to make the payments on? A house that has lost 50% of what you assumed its value to be? A job that pays very nearly not enough? (wait a minute, we already established something, you sure as heck don’t own your job). Your job (and your boss owns you)). Anyway, get the drift?
Decide now to learn .. just put aside your “I can’ts”, and “It won’t work” prejudices and learn for yourself what this on line world is really all about. You may be very glad you did, but if it turns out you aren’t so happy, think of the knowledge and confidence you will gain.