Friday, December 30, 2016

Just Start! (My Personal Journey From BPO to Divisoria)

“You don't have to be good to start ... you just have to start to be good!”  - Joe Sabah

Since 2017 is fast approaching, allow me to do some retrospection of my life and how it all started... 2017 will be a new start, a new beginning. I hope my story will inspire you as we ride on a time machine looking back on the chapters of my life from BPO to Divisoria... 

I am Karlo Angelo Alamares of MyDivisoria PH, a local social commerce company whose dream is to decentralize e-commerce and help our fellow Filipinos to become micro- entrepreneurs by using social media. This blog has been written not to promote our company or service but to promote the life lessons I have learned.  

College... 

I was famous, an active student leader, an “activist.”  As a graduate of Political Science from a State University in Albay, Bicol, I am being prepped and groomed to become a highly-paid, distinguished and charming lawyer.  

After Graduation... 

I married my college sweetheart and, after a year, our lovely baby daughter was born. I needed to set aside going to law school first, I needed to grind for the family. Back then the BPO industry was just starting. I honestly didn’t know a thing about BPOs, but I just started! With proper training, mind set and perseverance I was promoted to a supervisory position.  

Marriage... 

After four years of marriage, my wife and I got separated. Worse, she even sent me to jail. My daughter was taken away from me. I was devastated! It was also during those moments of darkness that my dad died! It was as if the Earth stopped moving! I felt like I’m the unluckiest guy in the universe... 

Rat Race... 

Life went on and child support lingered. To support my daughter I needed to work hard. I continued my BPO career, but with 80% of my pre-tax income going to child support, I was barely eating and payment for the rent was long past overdue. I was a rat in a cage, running the wheels non-stop, going nowhere! 

New Found Love... 

With the help of my new found love, Jane ( now my wife), I started to stand up again. She helped me follow my dreams as I enrolled in Law School. We decided to go home to Bicol and try our luck there. I continued studying in the province, but finding employment was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was so fed up with failure and frustrated! I kept thinking, What happened to me? I was a promising student leader and future lawyer! With rotten luck, we decided to go back to Manila and to try to re-apply to my former job. 

Back in Manila... 

As I was applying again and trying to win back my old position in the BPO company, but it was already filled up (I knew it from the start, but at that point in my life, I thought there was no harm in trying). I wandered and searched for the proverbial job that could help me and my family survive. Negative thoughts swirled in my head and emotions were heavy every day. 

Online Freelancing... 

My elder sister was working as an online freelancer back then. With mounting desperation, I pleaded for help. I asked her to teach me how to be a freelancer. I was doubtful of the online gig. I looked at it like a “job” for nerds who did not want to get ahead in life and socialize with real people. But I had no choice during those times. I needed to earn... With a borrowed old model Dell Laptop from a cousin, I started applying online. Wow! After two weeks of application, I was accepted not only for one job but two! Cool! With the earnings from my online freelancing job (no more quotes for the word job) I bought a refurb laptop and Jane also started working as an online freelancer. 

I thought, if the two of us could earn online, why not put up an online agency? Zerolinx Virtual solutions was born. I was not that good in online stuff and putting up a business, but I started. I studied, I networked and I learned. As I grew my online connections and portfolio, I closed the agency and went back to Bicol to start a real company.     

Equinox Virtual Solutions... 

Jane and I started Equinox Virtual Solutions with only 10 seats. After three years of striving, it became a BPO with 300+ seats. I became a local start-up hero in our province and region, a CEO at 27 years old! I was living the life! I purchased my dream house and cars and I went travelling. Life was so good! 

A North American company got interested with my company and bought it out. One of the perks was that I remained as the over-all manager with a very high salary. Such a wonderful exit! With the money I earned, I invested in different businesses like a middle class resto, app development and others. But by November 2014, the new owners decided to close the company down. The news hit me with the intensity of a meteorite hitting planet Earth and making the dinosaurs extinct. The news meant my extinction! Hundreds of my employees lost their jobs and the worst part was that they blamed me for it! 

Back to Zero...   

I lost everything, the house, the cars, even the fame and accolade of being a successful entrepreneur! The debts remained and even piled up. I was in a limbo of not knowing what to do! How I wished it was only a nightmare and that I only needed to wake up.  Alas, it wasn’t. 

MyDivisoria PH... 

To start again and with the little money we had (by selling our remaining assets), we went back to Manila. Life was a struggle during those times. I needed to go to Divisoria and face the warzone to buy things at a lower price. It was the only way for us to survive. Then an idea came to me... an AHA moment! Why not build an online Divisoria? 

Upon getting home, I created a page and started MyDivisoria PH. The following day I took some pictures of items that can be sold online, posted them and got some orders. From that moment forward I went to Divisoria every day to learn, network with suppliers, look for new products, and know the system. After a year MyDivisoria PH  grew to 9,000+ resellers with P3M+ gross sales. I honestly started it with no financial capital. I started it by having an idea, trying it out, polishing it further and continuing to learn 

Just Start... 

As 2017 is about to start, whatever year 2016 has given you, throw it out! Start a fresh beginning by following your dreams. Start with faith in yourself and with God above. 2017 will be our year. JUST START! 



Karlo Angelo Alamares with his family - his reason
for striving hard and starting again in life!
 
  

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 
/*--- infolinks ---*/