I was not a clever boy when I was growing up.
There are many things in life I didn’t know, because my parents were very restrictive.
The only thing I heard from them was: “Study hard and get good grades!” or “This is for your own good!”
After the age of 17, I started realizing that a lot of the things I heard and learned weren’t preparing me for the real world I would face in the future.
Below, in no particular order, are things that changed my life forever and made me who I am today: a person who believes that the future is never written until the day you make history.
Reading a 266-Page Book in 3 Days
From the day I was born until the age of 22, I had never read a book longer than 100 pages.
When I borrowed books from library, it would always be less than 100 pages.
Not that I didn’t like reading.
I just didn’t like reading books that taught me nothing at all.
The 266-page book I read in 3 days was called Rich Dad Poor Dad.
This was the first book I read from start to finish, and I did it within 3 days.
The reason I could finish 266 pages in 3 days is because the book taught me something that no one – not even my parents – had taught me before.
The book completely changes the way I think, and helped me understand how I should plan my future.
But things never went well, because my parents never believed my plan.
What was this plan, you ask?
Well, I’ll write about it in another post.
It’s a long story.
Anyway, let’s move on.
A Book that Took Me to Another World
The book is called Secrets of Internet Millionaires, by Stuart Tan.
It took me into the world of internet marketing, a world no one had told me about before.
It completely changed the way I understood the internet.
It wasn’t just about surfing, playing and even communicating; it was, and is, a platform that can let someone escape the rat race and live a life of financial freedom.
After 16 years, I have yet to escape from the rat race because of problems at work that directly affect my family. They stress me out and put me in a position where I have no choice but to carry on running the rat race.
This is yet another long story I’ll save for another time. Let’s carry on.
Letters that Led Me to Copywriting
Even now, I have many friends who don’t even know what the heck copywriting is.
Believe it or not, some even say it is re-writing another people’s work.
Anyway, the reason I’m fascinated with copywriting is because of words – words that can change how a reader feels and make them take certain actions.
Whether it’s a sales pitch or a personal letter, copywriting can change the mind and emotion of the reader through words alone.
Isn’t that a powerful skill to acquire?
Copywriting helped me understand that what I had learned about English in school – such as literature and boring comprehension stories – was a bloody waste of time.
And here are the letters that forever changed the way I thought about words on paper and brought me into the world of copywriting: The Gary Halbert Letter
The Band that Inspired Me to Play Drums
When I was a young boy, I never listened to music, not even on the radio.
I was never good at playing recorder in school music class, either.
But all this changed when I was 15, when I heard a song my brother kept playing and playing on his computer.
It made me love the song so much that I went out to find the album.
The song was Forever Love, by a band called X-Japan.
You can listen to the song here:
And here are three other songs I love as well:
Art of Life
Believe it or not, all their songs were so good that I bought every single album of theirs that I could get my hands on.
Their songs’ melodies were smooth, and I especially liked the drumming.
It was fast –incredibly fast.
And it changed my life forever – from someone who didn’t give a shit about learning a musical instrument to someone who was inspired to start learning drums.
But it wasn’t going very well.
My parents didn’t support me, as they felt I was not a born drummer.
So I had to find a way to earn and save money for courses and to buy a drum set.
It took me 5 years to buy my first electrical drum set, but because of money problems I didn’t finish my drumming course.
Thanks to advances in internet technology, I learned most of my drumming through YouTube.
By then I had joined Drumeo, an online drumming community, to advance my training.
Sales that Changed How I Look at People
When I talk about MLM, everyone seems to avoid the shit out of me.
There are just too many freaking MLM scams in Singapore.
It’s almost like AIDS.
And because of that, MLM in Singapore is an absolutely bullshit way to succeed in life, especially if no one believes and trusts you.
Well… almost no one seemed to believe and trust me when I tried selling them something that would improve their life.
And guess what?
These people whom I tried to sell to were all closely related to me.
They pretty much owned a business (I don’t want to name them).
Only 2 out of 10 of them actually bought stuff from me.
Those 8 people who didn’t buy from me always told me to stop doing MLM.
They told me to trust them.
They knew that all MLM was just scam.
Stop it, they said. For my own good!
You know, I really wanted to tell them that unless you are God, please don’t assume everything is a scam.
They had never done MLM before, because all they knew were people on TV and in newspapers telling them how MLM had scammed people.
To them, one bad egg meant all the eggs were bad.
But seriously, is the news on TV and in newspapers ever good? Or happy?
I mean, can you ever find news that inspires you?
I doubt it.
Well, after doing this MLM shit, it changed the way I looked at the people closely related to me.
When it came to money, everyone seemed to be a stranger to one another.