My Career Background – How I Became an Offshore Entrepreneur
I graduated from college with a degree in economics with a minor in marketing. I went to a middle of the road university, so there weren’t a ton of opportunities in the complex field of economics and finance.
I chose to study economics partially for the misguided notion of high earning potential. Luckily, I found that I enjoyed the subject. I couldn’t find a job in the field, but my desire for earnings was strong, so I opted for a career in sales.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at it. Not that I couldn’t be – I just couldn’t be good consistently. I’m an introvert and an analytical thinker. I can put on bravado and execute flawless sales calls, but at the end of the day, I’m faking it.
I’m a relatively smart, friendly, and sharp guy, and used these features to modestly advance my sales career between 2003-2006.
My first sales job was for an established company that was looking to convert its print media advertisers to the web. Their product/service wasn’t very good, so while I wasn’t selling much, neither was anyone else. I was eventually fired approximately ten months into the job.
I did gain some valuable sales experience, and was able to parlay it into a slightly better opportunity with another firm selling online advertising. My job was primarily to sell ad space in white label online directories on leading business websites. The company’s sales operation was essentially a boiler room of twenty-somethings. I made money, friends, and had a blast. Here I met future business partner Andrew. It went fairly well overall, and I was once again able to advance my career and move on to a better gig. Andrew moved on to a website domain name broker.
My next sales position was with a leading provider of business intelligence software, that has since been acquired by one of the world’s largest corporations. The staff generally had stronger backgrounds, both in education and experience, and I met my second future business partner, Brian.
I excelled at the software company. This was not strictly due to my selling ability. I ended up with a fortuitous territory, went to town, and outsold everyone on my team. I recognized that my results weren’t built to last and that it was only a matter of time before my luck ran out. I adeptly began applying to better jobs and used my success as a catapult. It worked, and I again advanced another rung on the ladder.
My next job got off to a good start. My salary was increased, and I was able to work from home. What could go wrong? Two months into the role, I got a phone call notifying me that my mother had unexpectedly passed away. I was awarded a decent inheritance, and had I played my cards right, could have supplemented my income indefinitely.
While working this job, the business I started with Andrew began to generate some modest income, and was certainly on the right trajectory. The stock market was booming, and my investments in Google and Apple stock, among others, were paying off.
The downside to this confluence of events was apathy towards my new job. My mother’s death hit me hard, and I simply preferred to sit at home and day trade, rather than cold call.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last. I don’t entirely blame myself. I was let go in August or September – I can’t remember. On December 31st, some of the less than kosher tactics my business in which we were engaging ran their course, and we lost our primary source of advertising revenue.
The stock market began its descent into disaster in January of 2008 (technically, it started in August of 2007, and exhausted itself in December). Fortunately, Andrew’s experience in the domaining industry opened the door to a new opportunity – domain name arbitrage. We initially experienced substantial success, and became full-time domainers.
In June, Bryan contacted me seemingly out of nowhere. He told me that he had been working for a call center in the Philippines, and was looking to start his own. I flew to the Philippines, checked it out, and decided to go into business with him. Of course, I would bring my current partner, Andrew along, and we would make one big happy family.
It wasn’t that easy.