NEW JOBS FOR OLD
Need extra income, bored with your desk job or want to give another career a try? No need to pound the pavement, update your resume or even study for that diploma; online entrepreneurship just might be your next big break
At 25, Marife Rosas has achieved what many can only dream of: write a book.
And it’s not just one book, but four. The books, which you won’t find in any bookstore, are about success and personal development, advice that this college undergrad seems to have followed herself.
“I’m still in the learning stage,” said Rosas who was neither trained nor taught to be a writer. That did not stop her from writing electronic or e-books that she publishes online. Although her first book was published in 2014, it was only with her fourth book—“7 Secrets to Achieve Your Greatest Desires”—that she started making money. Published in February, the book has already sold 60 copies at $17 each.
The need to make extra money and escape seemingly dead-end jobs in a corporate setting are pushing many internet-empowered Filipinos to online entrepreneurship. Some are in retail marketing, others in services. A growing number have also turned to selling digital products, such as e-books and audibles.
These wired entrepreneurs are largely internet-tutored. Marlon Sumabat, an online financial consultant, learned the trade by “enrolling” at Negosyo University, an online business school founded by e-book writer, financial coach and digital marketing guru Jon Orana.
Aspiring financial coach Sojit Du learned the basics of online entrepreneurship by attending Orana’s webinars and by watching personal finance advocate and Inquirer columnist Randell Tiongson on YouTube. He is also an avid YouTube follower of personal strategist Anthony Robbins, author of the best-seller “Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny.”
Taking the webinars and watching the YouTube sessions “have improved (his) self-confidence in public speaking,” said Du, author of the e-book “How to Build Wealth for Employees.”
Sumabat and Du live in the digital world, but only in their spare time. Sumabat is an industrial engineer at San Miguel Corp., while Du runs a construction firm.
Their online jobs help them “earn money and escape the boredom of office work,” Orana said. “Online entrepreneurship will give you the money you need and the freedom you want,” he added. Orana, 40, said he has already earned an estimated P50 million from his e-books.
The IT graduate from Adamson University said he spent years in corporate jobs. But in 2004, Orana, who had moved to Canada with his family, found himself stranded in a kin’s basement, jobless and bored. He started looking for a job online, but didn’t like the idea of working in an office anymore.“It’s like running in a treadmill. Takbo ka nang takbo, wala ka namang nararating (You keep running but don’t get anywhere),” he said.
A friend advised him to try online entrepreneurship. Orana said he googled the word and found a whole world of possibilities. He started off by writing an e-book, which did not sell. In 2008, he hit the jackpot with his e-book on Biblical quotations.
“I noticed that people were looking for Bible verses which they quote online. An idea popped into my head. Why don’t I compile Bible verses by topic?” And so he did. To date, that e-book has made him P24 million richer.
E-books that provide information or solution to specific problems are good as gold, Orana said, citing Dale Carnegie’s all-time bestseller “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
But success will only come if the e-book writer has accepted an “entrepreneur and marketing mind-set,” Orana cautioned. “Many Filipinos have talent, but don’t know how to monetize it,” he said.
E-book authors must also keep their audience in mind. “Online people don’t read, they scan. That’s why it’s important to write short sentences and paragraphs. Engage the reader. Tell stories,” Orana said. At the same time, “be cautious,” said Orana, who was in Manila in November to hold seminars. “Don’t just quit your job to start an online business.”
That’s exactly what Rosas is doing. On weekdays, she works at a firm that sells engineering equipment. On weekends, she teaches Sunday school at a Christian church in Caloocan. In her spare time, she’s at her computer, updating her website marife rosas.com and answering queries from followers on Facebook.
“I’m inspired and encouraged to do more when people tell me I’ve been of some help to them,” Rosas said. Last week, she gave a talk on achieving financial success before a group of teachers. Not bad for an education undergrad from Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa.
With a huge, nearly infinite market of over 3 billion people online, there’s no doubt Rosas will find her own share of the pie. Who knows? She just might find her pot of gold!
GROUFIE WITH GURU Digital marketing guru Jon Orana with attendees of his recent financial seminar in Manila.