As early as I could remember, I knew that making money was already hard coded into my DNA. Allow me to share a few vivid childhood memories with you then afterwards, give you the most important advice that I will ever give.

Let me first bring you back to 1977. My mom and I were house-sitting for my Godparents for a couple of days while they were away on vacation with my cousins. I had just turned 5 years old and as a gift I was given a shiny, second hand instamatic camera with a free roll of film, 24 shots as I recall. “What to do with it?” I remember saying to myself. So I went around the house looking for things to take pictures of.

I did not have to look far because the moment the household helpers saw my shiny new camera, they started offering to pose for me to take their photos. With no hesitation, I counter offered to take their pictures for 1 Peso a click. They agreed. Kaching! I was in business and all I had to do was push a button. 24 pesos in 1977! Not bad for a 5 year old kid. (Of course my mom had to shoulder the expenses of actually developing the film. Thanks Mom!)

Then when I was in grade school, I started a small sideline racket by selling bubble gum scratch cards (made by Fleer, it was a set of 3 PACMAN scratch cards with free bubble gum) to my classmates for 12 pesos while my cost was 9 pesos (a 33% mark-up). At that time, my classmates went crazy for the stuff but were too lazy to go and buy it themselves. I saw an opportunity and took it. Every dismissal time, I would go to Shoppesville in Green hills to get the stuff, bring it to school the next day and do it over and over again. I made a killing and I was only 10 years old.

As I moved on to high-school, I entered yet another money making venture as a sketch artist that designed t-shirts for school events –Yes, I was pretty good in drawing back then. In one project, my seatmate made a deal with me. There is an upcoming school dance he said, I’ll come up with the money to finance producing of t-shirts for the dance but you design the logo and the artwork. I’ll give you 30% of the profits if we make money. but if we don’t make money then that’s my problem. I looked at him and said: I can have your drawing by tomorrow; it was a no-brainer deal.

By the end of the day, we had sold all the shirts. I netted P5,000 (Equivalent to P15000 today). I made money yet again, this time no capital needed from me.

Then, when I graduated from College, I decided to try the corporate life. Within a few weeks, I found a high paying job, eventually got hired by a bigger transnational company and then again by an even bigger multinational company all in a span of a few short years. My salary at this point was staggering. I started to change my lifestyle, bought anything I wanted on a whim justifying it by saying, well I deserve it anyway. Life was good. At least that’s what I thought.

You see for all the money that I would earn, I would spend it all on useless stuff because I thought that I could always make more of it anyway. In fact, I became so careless about it that my credit cards were always used up and for some reason would never be paid off.

I needed help but I didn’t know how or even where to start until I met my wife Jhoanna. The day I met her, was the day I became a true success.

She became my greatest inspiration. If you remember the movie of Jack Nicholson “As good as it gets” there is a line there that truly captures what I felt for her back then until now: “…You make me want to be a better man.”

How can I get married to Jhoanna, when I’m neck deep in debt and careless about money I asked. Well, I think Jhoanna overheard me because she seconded the motion.

So with a lot of “Tough Love”, she made it a priority to help me get out of debt, by teaching and helping me create a money management system to follow. Every Month I had to put in a big chunk of my earnings into a special bank account that we set up which I could never ever touch. She would use that to pay off my credit card debts first, then the rest would be for our wedding fund. It took us a little over 3 years to fully pay off my debts and get back on track but if it wasn’t for my wife, I would never be who I am today.

Today, I lead a group of companies that are 100% debt free and profitable.  I am a successful businessman, forex trader and trainer. So my best advice ever for you in Money is this:

“All of your success in making money will mean nothing if you do not know how to manage your money properly. If you do not know how to manage your money get help from someone who does, better if it is your spouse.”

Thank you Jhoanna, because of you, I am and continue to strive to be a better man.

Author Box:

Mark So is the CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila, as well as CFO of Teach It Forward, a non-profit organization for community livelihood. Together with his wife and partner, their main goal in life is to help others improve their lives personally, professionally and financially.  For more information about the products and seminars they offer, please call 6874445, 6874645 or 6873416 or visit www.businessmaker-academy.com.  You may also email him at markso@zerocapitalclub.com.
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Comments
  1. Savannah says:

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.
    LOL,

  2. Thanks for this great post, Mark. I’m earning a sideline in online venture but the money is not spent wisely. I have read your Money Management Simplified 1 and 2 and learned lessons from it. Your tips will now my guidelines in managing my money effectively.

    By the way, kindly update me your training schedules every month. I want to post it in Entrepinoy Bank. If you have 125×125 banner on free forex trading seminar, I can put it in my site for free.

    I will also try to attend your Free Online Forex Trading next month.

    Regards,

    Eleazar Tutor Acampado
    Admin (http://entrebankph.com)

    • markso says:

      Hi Eleazar,

      It is always a pleasure to hear from people such as yourself. I sincerely hope that you do indeed benefit from my lessons.
      I will contact you very soon about your generous offer. Please know that I truly appreciate it.

      All the best, all the time,
      -Mark

  3. AT says:

    It’s not about the money you earned, but the money you saved.–that’s what I thought. I am happy for you, Mark because you found your better half… Thanks for giving such a good advice..

  4. ritzcvega says:

    I believe what you’ve written is a hundred percent accurate. When you are on your own and are making a good chuck of change, you tend to use it on a lot of useless things. Money management is so crucial for the future for yourself and the people that depend on you. It is great that your wife has been there by your side to get you out of the debt situation and am quite happy that you are successful. I took your class a few years ago and still follow what youve said with my current work. I will always be happy that I took your class and will also listen to your advice. Cheers!

    • markso says:

      Ritesh! How can I ever forget you! Glad you got a chance to read and comment on my blog. More to come please continue to share with your friends, like me, I’m sure they will appreciate it!

  5. Bea says:

    Mark, I am both excited and “not sure if I can make it to the end” feeling on starting your lessons for the “How To Make Money Run After You”.
    But, i’ll give it a try and hopefully finish it with your help and patience.
    I am a full time government employee for twelve years now, a part-time Mom, a part-time blogger and a part-time businesswoman. But then still, both ends won’t meet.
    Thank you for sharing! God bless!

  6. Your blog truly inspired me. I’m looking forward to reading your future posts soon and apply it in my life. I am very positive that today you have given me the inspiration I needed to get closer to achieving my dreams. Thank you for you words and thank God for using you as his instrument. May you continue to bring and share wealth to others. 🙂

    • markso says:

      Hi Kenneth, I am very sure that your story of how you got rich will take on a new and more meaningful journey. Lots more to come! Please do help me share my purpose to all your friends and followers as well.

  7. Ian Ydel says:

    ikaw na ang in love boss mark! ^_^

    teach us more for free! 🙂

  8. precius david says:

    i can truly relate mark, save that i am just about to make the uphill climb towards freedom from debt. i guess NOW is right about the time to do it. super thanks for this awesome blog, keep it up! =)

  9. patty says:

    a ver useful reminder on financial education….. sometimes we think in terms of gross income versus net income…. and that we really need to have a personal financial plan and goals….Looking forward to learning a lot from you and doing our assignments 🙂

  10. tet b. says:

    thank you for generously sharing your views/tips. discipline is indeed very important in effectively handling finances.

    hoping to read more interesting posts from you…

  11. myyers says:

    Hi, Mark… do you have seminars on Money Management?

    Thanks for sharing your stories and imparting your wisdom on business matters.

    May your tribe increase!

    Myyers

    “Behind every great man is a woman.” 🙂

    • markso says:

      Hi Myyers, yes, coming soon as part of the ongoing lesson in Making Money Run After You. Stay tuned for that. In the mean time do share this and my other articles with all your friends. Like me, I’m sure they will also appreciate it.

  12. Ella says:

    Great advise Mark! We need mentors in money management. Our mentors are those who knows better us and already walking the talk.

  13. markso says:

    Hi Everyone! Part 2 of Making Momey Run after you wil be published in Manila Bulletin this Sunday already, Aug 14, 2011. FYI

  14. Brian Bergantiños says:

    Nice blog Mark. You really inspired me with this article of yours. I guess I really need to save and manage my financials in order to be successful. It’s hard, but I’m going to try it.

    Thank you for your wonderful advice.

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