Divisoria,

From BPO To Divisoria - How Do You Define Your Success? (A Story Worth Sharing)

7:43:00 AM Fristine Chua 1 Comments



About the author of the post:
KARLO ANGELO ALAMARES
Co-Founder
MyDivisoria PH
marketing.mydivisoria.ph@gmail.com


“The greatest thing about hitting rock bottom is; there’s no other way but UP!“
- Sing 2016 Animated movie

This is so true. I used to be living the life. At 30 I was able to buy my dream house, cars, travel. Back at home, I was like a local start up hero. At 28, I was able to start my own company, Equinox VirtualSolutions, a BPO company of about 300+ employees doing call center stuff and internet marketing.

It was nothing I ever imagined, then it went pooof!

I graduated with a degree in Political Science in a State run university. Was an active student leader, not in academics, but I was the best in my class in extra-curricular activities. At 4th year college, I was even the President of 4 organizations. I will be a lawyer, and so I thought. At 20 I got married to my long time college sweetheart. At 21 I was already a father. I started my career in the BPO industry right after college and have to delay my dream of becoming a lawyer to focus on providing for my own family. I joined an MLM company and thought about making a quick buck in networking. That did not pan out, company shut down after 2 years. I was lucky enough to be part of a TV network workshop for writers, and was given a show to write on, but that too lasted only for a year. At 24, I got separated, was sent to jail by my now ex-wife. She took my daughter, and Dad just died.

It was the end of the world for me, but then again, so I thought.

Life has to move on, my family and my new found love (now my wife Jane) was supportive enough to send me to law school while working. I was so determined to get back on track and just focus on what life has to offer. I spent another two years in the BPO industry. But I was hit with child support so stiff, that it was eating up 80% of what I was earning pre-tax. I was giving child support for a daughter I can’t see, I can barely pay rent and eat with what was left out of my salary. I decided to quit. I went home to Bicol, continued my law school, and thought I just could get a job there easy given my experience. I was, again wrong. I was so pissed of of my situation in the province that I vowed to return and put my own company.

For about 2 months I was still out of job. I can see my daughter, but still need to pay child support; else I go back to jail. Depression, again hit me. I quit law school, and went back to Manila. At that time, Jane was just waiting for her US visa. I tried asking for my job back but it was already filled. About 3 of my co- workers quit the same company almost at the same time so we decided to venture out and started looking for work; but I couldn’t. I was in the supervisory position, before I left my company. Unfortunately, I just can’t land a job with the same rate or position as I had. Out of depression I applied for an entry level position. I called my sisters and my friends to tell them about the news. They all said one thing - NO! Don’t take the job! - you are far better than what they were offering you. I heeded. For another 2 months or so I was still out of job.

My sister was already doing a work from home type of job at that time and she told me to check it out, and so I did. It was Odesk, which was later on renamed UpWork where I started. I went to my cousin and borrowed his old Dell laptop, told him I will buy it and pay once I get a job online. After a week or so of sending out applications and interviews, I was able to get not just one, but two jobs, and eventually was able to pay for the laptop and buy another refurb one. Jane was so fed up of hearing my voice doing calls at night that she decided to try it out too. And so I created a profile for her and was lucky enough to get a data entry job in a matter of days. Eureka!

If I could get a job for myself and Jane, I can probably do it for others too. I started my own agency and hired a few people. It was then named Zerolinx Virtual Solutions, a home based virtual assistance agency. By using the same tools I have and a couple of free ads I was able to expand my business, network, and online portfolio, that I decided to just quit, go home to Bicol and put up a REAL company and fulfil my promise.With Jane’s remaining money that was supposedly to be spent for her US visa processing, a loan from my sister and an appliance center. I was able to register the company, get a space, and 10 desktops, and support from my whole family, I started Equinox Virtual Solutions. I was CEO at 27.

My Mom thought I was crazy. Banks turned me down, I couldn’t get a loan. All I had was a proven idea, my determination, and, well, my situation and the thought of going back to jail if I can’t pay child support and never ever see my daughter again. With my persuasion, the talent, and relentlessness not to give up. I hit the jackpot. From 10 seats and in less than a year, I was able to expand the business then, by its third year it was bought by a North American company. But as life would have it, dreams aren’t meant to last long. I opened other businesses one after another, thinking I could just do everything all at the same time. After all, I needed to diversify. By November of 2014 or barely 6 months after selling the company to which I was still serving as it’s resident agent full time, and salaried. The company shut down its operation. I wasn’t part of the US management at that time, so I did not see that coming. We had plans to expand the business and I was already looking for clients. Apparently, they have other plans and we were not part of it. Hundreds of employees lost their jobs, and they blamed me for it.

My house, my cars were all loans from the bank. My other businesses weren’t thriving. Now I’m in debt. It was a wild roller coaster ride that ended in horror. I lost everything to the point of even breaking up the one thing we all should be thankful about, my family. We relocated to Manila, sold the house and cars just to make ends meet and pay off some debts. For a month I was out of job, with tons of debt to pay, and a random trip to Divisoria, another AHA moment struck me.

An online Divisoria.

I took some pictures, did my research, created a page, and just started MyDivisoria PH. In a matter of days I was selling. Inquiries started to pour in, and every day with or without orders I go to Divisoria just to learn new things, look for new products, bring back home some orders, pack and ship it. It was an immediate success for a gig, but it went on to become a real business with about 5000+ resellers and distributors nationwide, and about P 1.4 million in sales in just 10 months. IMHO, capital should be the least of your priorities in starting up a business. It’s not even your passion, as most are saying.

What matters most is the REASON. The answer to the WHYs and the WHOs in your life. Why are you doing this, or should be doing this? For whom? Are these reasons enough to motivate you to desire for more? My passion is writing, my dream is to be a lawyer. But all these things aren’t possible in past and current situations. Can I still do it? Absolutely. I don’t think anybody here dreams of being or becoming employees for the rest of their lives. But our priorities should change or adapt for the time being. Coming out of our comfort zones isn’t easy. But I truly believe that everybody deserves a chance to succeed. Question is, do you have the right reasons to do it?

There’s no such thing as being born to become entrepreneurs. Rich kids can put up their businesses as they have capital, but does not necessarily equate to success. Success is defined by you and your reasons of doing it. Not by blood or by affiliation, but by you and only you.


Disclaimer: This is an inspirational guest post from Divisoria PH - content is not mine.

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1 comment:

  1. You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. I'm a life coach blogger. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging endeavors. Please keep in touch with me in Google+, +sridharchandrasekaran Twitter @lifecoachbloger

    ReplyDelete

Hey love! Thank you for sharing your idea. Everyone is welcome to comment and share their thoughts. Although, please be mindful if you're going to be saying anything negative, as this blog purely focuses on sharing joy and love. Cheers!