Posts Tagged ‘mark’s advice on business and failing’

Happy New Year! It is now 2010 and I hope you are looking forward to a great and wonderful year ahead. This is the time of the year when I am often asked, what’s a good business or investment to get into?

So for my very first column of the year, I wanted to share something basic but very often overlooked about succeeding in Business or Investing in general and that is, before you invest in anything, you must  invest in yourself first.

Sounds simple enough but many times, we place all our efforts and even our hard earned money in opportunities that come our way without knowing what it is we are getting into. Most of the time, we hear and see a new business or investment fad and immediately start thinking of putting money into it. And because we so badly want to progress in this world, we let impulse and greed take control over reason, raise our hopes and inevitably shake our heads later when the opportunity turns out to be another dead end, or worse, another scam. Is this the cycle that you continuously experience every year? So if you are asking what’s a good business or what’s a good investment to get into this 2010? My answer is start investing first in the one thing that you have probably overlooked for so many years…Yourself.

For those who want to start businesses, educate yourself first. The following areas are where you should start:

  • Sales and Marketing Skills

This is perhaps the most important skill to learn first. I often say that Sales is the purest form of business. Without it, you can never be in business. If you are a shy person and don’t think that selling is something you can do, think again. In my Sales and Marketing seminars you’d be happily surprised to know that the shy persons will always outsell the outspoken ones.

  • Capital Raising Skills

A lot of people think that they need capital to start a business, although that may be true for some businesses, would you know how to source capital without getting into debt?  Increasing your knowledge in this area will help you in your business ventures.  This is an important skill that every aspiring entrepreneur needs to learn.

  • Cash Flow Management Skills

A business is like a car.  Sales is money coming in or the gas that fuels the business while Business Expenses is what will deplete the money coming in. Cash Flow management is simply about knowing how to keep your business running smoothly even when the money coming in is not enough to sustain the business operations for a few months as sometimes experienced by many entrepreneurs.  If there is one skill that is critical to the survival of your business, this is it.  That’s why I make it appoint to equip my students with the proper tools and systems for cashflow management—it can make or break your business.

  • Human Resource Management Skills

As your business grows, you will need good people to help you run it. Forming your dream team is a must and improving your people handling skills will help you build this team.  For this, you will need to know basic knowledge in Human Resource Management.  From there, you will be able to develop systems to guide your employees, as well as programs to develop and motivate your team.  Applying what our HR training consultants have taught in our seminars, many companies including my own have greatly benefited from the best practices shared.  I’ve learned over the years that it pays to invest in your people too.

For those who want to do better in financial investments, the following areas are where you should look at:

  • Money Management Skills

The most important part of investing is not about how good you pick what to invest in. It’s about what you do with your money when things go bad. In other words, what is your exit strategy and what’s your plan B? As an investor, this is the most crucial thing for you to learn first.

  • Fundamental Analysis Skills

When you decide on what to invest in, you have to understand the underlying reasons for choosing that investment in the first place. For example I chose to invest in real estate because fundamentally, this particular area is a prime area and also because 5 to 10 years from now, this area will continue to increase in value due to continues development improvements by the private and government sectors.

  • Technical Analysis Skills

An important part of investing is also knowing the past price movements of whatever it is you are buying (or selling) Investors use these past price movements to determine trends in the markets which when properly combined with fundamental analysis can greatly improve your investments and the timing of when you get in and out of them.

  • Discipline in following a plan

Lastly, one of the hardest things to master about being an investor is to develop the discipline to only invest when the probabilities of investing is optimal. Too many times newbie investors will have no discipline and will invest based on gut feel and intuition resulting in catastrophe more often than not.

So you see, when you start asking yourself what’s a good business or investment to get into in 2010, do not just look at what people tell you to get into. Instead invest first in educating yourself and developing your skills in these areas. Then determine for yourself if these business or financial investments are indeed worth it.

Invest in yourself in 2010 because you are worth it.

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila.  A sought after speaker for business and forex, he is scheduled to conduct his signature seminar series on Business Start Up and Entrepreneurship this January 16 to February 13, 2009.  To know more about these seminars, you may visit or call (632)6874645.  You may email your comments and questions to:


A long time ago, I used to think that the true way to success is to outwit and outmaneuver competition. Truth be told, I am a very competitive person by nature and I hate losing to competition. And I’m sure that a part of you feels the same way deep down inside, it’s called the “competitive spirit”.

In fact I would wager that a lot of people who want to venture into business have a very healthy dose of competitiveness and most of the time think of starting a business as similar to going to war. You start to buy and read books such as the “art of war” and numerous business strategy books to beat your opponent(s). You have in your heads that to be in business, you must focus on “Killing Competition”.

Through the years of teaching business, I’ve encountered a lot of start-up businesses and even growing businesses that do not focus on what is really important, and that is learning how to make profits regardless of competition.

A lot of businesses that I’ve encountered will typically price their products lower than competition so that they can “steal” the clients from them. They feel that the more clients they are able to take from other businesses, the more successful they become.

For Example: You just opened a water refilling station just a few blocks away from an existing one who sells their 5 gallon jug at P50 each, you decide that for the opening promo you are going to price your 5 gallon jug at P45 each so that the customers of the existing business will switch to buying from you.

If you are starting to think this way, let me say right now that this is faulty thinking. Why? Because:

1.)    Your competition will most probably match or even price their products lower than yours and a price war may start. A price war is never good for business, not for you, not for your competitor. If you go down this path I guarantee, no one will win.

2.)    Competition will ALWAYS be there, even if you manage to destroy one or two today, 10 more will spring up tomorrow. It’s a losing battle that you will never win. Plus, this is the sure fire way to attract more enemies and possibly bankrupt you.

3.)    You are not acting in your business’ best interest because your profitability suffers and you are running your business not like a merchant but like a warrior.

So instead of thinking like a warrior let me give you now a few insights that will help you think more like a merchant whether you are just starting a business or have been in business for a while.

First, let’s re-focus you, repeat after me: “Businessmen are merchants, not warriors”. Business is not about going to war with your competitors, it’s about being profitable first with your customers.

There are many methods for pricing your products and services to be profitable with customers which I discuss fully in my Business seminars, but for this article I want to focus on a very important philosophy of profitability and that is to start learning how to

“Price for Profit, never for war”.

Here’s a real life example on how I did that. A couple of years ago I was invited to speak on “How to Start and Manage a Food Cart”. At first, the organizers wanted me to price it at P500 / seat since their other speakers (talking about other topics such as catering and baking) was offering that price. I said no to P500 and ended up negotiating the price to P2,500 / seat, 5 times higher than what the other seminars were going for. Though the organizers were reluctant at first, they finally said okay. You should have seen the poster. My seminar was the only one that was priced at P2,500 and the rest of the seminars were all P500. It stuck out like a sore thumb.

When the seminar day came, there were three seminars going on at the same time, mine and 2 others. The other 2 seminars were jam packed with about 60 participants each, mine had only 30 participants. Here’s the math:

Seminar A had 60 participants x P500 = P30,000.

Seminar B had 60 participants x P500 = P30,000

Sub Total                                              = P60,000
My seminar had 30 participants x P2,500 = P75,000.

Even if you add up the sales of my 2 “competitors” I still produced P15,000 more. Another way to look at it is that even if I only had 12 participants, I would have made the same amount compared to seminar a or b’s 60 participants, in my example above I only had half of what they got but I won over them in profits by an astounding 150%.

So you see, as businessmen, if you focus too much on increasing your customers by lowering your price, it is not at all as profitable as getting a smaller number of customers at a much better price. I never try to steal the customers away from my competition by lowering my price, instead I focus on giving more value to my customers with the price that they pay, regardless of what competition does.

Knowing this is the most important first step to becoming a merchant and a true Businessman.

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy and Forex Club Manila.  He regularly holds seminars on Business, Finance and Investments.  To read about past articles from the BIZMAKER column, you may visit  For more information about his seminars, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit or

Today, I want to start coaching you again on becoming a greater success in whatever you do. I will share with you a simple but powerful truth: “If you want to increase your success, you must:

1.)    Know what you really want in life

2.)    Have the will and desire to go for it; and

3.)    Learn from the experience your journey will bring

So let me ask you: “Do you Really Want to Succeed?”

If you follow what I have to say, I guarantee that you will be successful sooner rather than later.

Tell me if you can relate: Too many times, we get distracted with all that’s happening with everything around us. We run around like headless chickens and most of the time we spend all our energies on things that get us nowhere. It can’t be helped, that is what Life does, it provides you with challenges and distractions which you have to figure out what to do.

What I’ve realized early on and what Life has taught me is that you can’t handle everything without going crazy.

So lesson number 1 to be successful is to “simplify your life”. Every now and then, when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I undergo a “Life simplification” ritual. This basically means, I remove and let go of all the things that are weighing me down. I choose what I really want to be doing and achieving and I focus on (at most) only 3 of them at any given time. I become obsessed with the things I choose to focus on and nothing else matters until I achieve the goals that I set.

Are you overwhelmed right now? Then it’s time to simplify your life and figure out what you want to achieve.

Once you figure out what you want to do. Here comes the next step: Have the will and desire to achieve it.

If there is one thing about me, it is that I will never give up a goal that I set in my head. If I “suck” at that particular area in my life, and I truly want to improve that area, I will keep at it until I get it right. I call it “Stick-to-it-ivity”. In other words, I finish what I start. I guess it was how I was brought up. When my mom would tell me “finish your food”, I obeyed. But kidding aside, it is a trait that you have to develop for yourself, there is one very successful entrepreneur who also has this quality and he goes by the name of Walt Disney. Disney did not start out as a success story immediately, in fact there were huge set backs in his life that if he did not “stick to it”, where would we be?

The trick with never giving up a goal for me is what I learned about life early on. Life will always test your resolve. Life will throw you obstacles and problems that you never thought of. You will be discouraged by people that you love. You will feel frustrated and ignored by the people that you set out to help, you feel that life is hard and are inches away from giving in and giving up. At this point I tell myself 6 very powerful words:

Never give in, Never give up.

Because the true secret about the hardships of life is this: “Life’s purpose is not to make you fail, life’s purpose is to make you succeed. (Even though it does not seem that way). Life is a great teacher, the obstacles are how it teaches you to be better. “when life seems to want you to turn around, it is actually a signal for you to keep going. When things get tough, it is the most critical sign that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.”

Trust me on this because every time I achieve a goal, the larger the success I become.

Are you having a hard time with what you are trying to achieve right now? Remember NEVER GIVE IN, NEVER GIVE UP. I guarantee that if this is what you really want in life and you follow what I say, you will succeed sooner rather than later.

Now the last step is the most practical step of all: Be willing to invest the time and effort in increasing your skills to achieve what it is you are trying to achieve.

I’m a fervent believer that learning never stops in the classroom and that Life will teach you things that you never thought possible. However, the problem with learning with life alone is that it is learning by trial and error. So if you can avoid trial and error altogether and learn from someone who has achieved more than you, then that would even be better don’t you think so?

So before I get into something that I have no clue on, I always make it a point to “invest in myself” first. Meaning, I will never hesitate to buy and learn from books and seminars, learning events, and spending time learning with people more knowledgeable than me. And once I listen to what they have to say, I apply the lessons immediately and start to really learn through a little trial and error of my own. And although I will still make mistakes, I drastically reduce the errors and the time to achieving my goals.

So if you want to really succeed in anything that you want to do, follow the three things that I do. And you will see that you can be a success sooner rather than later.

The week before I let go of my Makati office, I wanted to say goodbye to it by taking my wife (girlfriend at that time) there for a surprise candlelit dinner. I had my one remaining staff put up about 20 candles and a soft romantic melody playing in the background before she left for the evening. I had everything planned out and when we walked in, the candles took her breath away. I sat her down in the corner of the office where it overlooked the light-filled city below us. Needless to say the evening was picture perfect and utterly romantic, until the part when I showed her what was for dinner.

Because I was still in debt at that time, we dined on 1 order of Mc Donald’s French Fries, 1 box of Chicken Nuggets and a glass of Orange Juice.

That was literally all I could afford at that time, so rather than starve, I decided to go with it and give my best smile while I gave it. And before I could even show how deeply embarrassed I was, my wife without hesitation and with the most sincere smile looked at me and told me that this was the best dinner in her life. And that was all it took to make me want to give her better food and a better life for all her life. That night, she gave me the ultimate reason to want to be a “better man”.

Within 6 months from that night, my troubled business had turned around and we had recovered 90% of my losses thanks to the virtual office that my wife had recommended and the sales coming in. However I was still not making any money because I did not have the right attitude towards money

My problem was that I never really managed the money coming in versus the money going out. Up until that point, I just concentrated on the money coming in, and never really minded where it was going. And worse still, like many men, I was never comfortable talking to women about finances. Like many men, I preferred to keep it a secret.

But my wife would have none of this “male money secret” nonsense, she told me point blank “If you really want to marry me, you’ve got to shape up your finances. I’m willing to help you, but you have to get with it.” Now, when your wife speaks like that, you never argue, you just do. Besides, I really did want to marry her.

So together we explored what I was doing wrong and found solutions that guide me till this day:

1.)    I should have given myself a salary – I used to think that the business is mine anyway so why should I salary myself? My wife’s practicality made sense, she said: “Well even if the business is yours, you still have to eat right? How can you eat if no money from the business is going to you?” So I gave myself back then a small token salary of P5,000 per month. Today, I always make it a point to give myself a salary for all the businesses that I build. Even if it is my business, I’ve learned practically what it means to “pay yourself first”.

2.)    My credit card bills were through the roof – Every time my bill came, I only paid the minimum amount due and worse I would say yes to every single “insurance” offer from my credit card. So I was paying a HUGE amount in unnecessary expenses plus interest every single month. My wife almost freaked out when I finally revealed this to her. But calmly she explained to me that insurance is good, but the terms they gave me were 10 times more expensive than others. And when it comes to paying only the minimum—that was the worst sin of all for her –“Never ever do that” she scolded, “Did you know that when you pay just the minimum amount, you are just paying in essence the interest payment and only a very small amount is removed from your overall balance?” So I had the credit card company first remove all my “card loaded insurances” which immediately lightened my monthly bills. Since I couldn’t pay the entire credit card bill all at once, I did my very best to pay 4 times more than the minimum amount every month. This drastically reduced how much I still had to pay. When I finally had enough money, I paid off the entire balance. Today, all my credit cards are debt-free.  I always pay in full and ON Time. There are no “useless” expenses on any of those cards and my credit line is extremely healthy.

3.)    I never recorded my expenses – Who has the time, right? Wrong. It’s the most important activity in managing money. My wife once again pointed out, “How will you know if you are making enough money if you don’t even record what you are spending on?” So with lots of help from my wife, I started a simple recording system where I record money coming in, money going out, and how much money I have left. It helps tremendously because it makes you more aware of how much money you have at any given time.  Today, I am very hands-on in managing my personal funds, investments and business cash flow.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not know exactly my finances. All of my businesses are debt-free and profitable.

It took me 9 years to get to where I am today. But I wouldn’t have made it if I have not learned early on that: “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.”


Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy and Forex Club Manila.  He regularly holds seminars on Business, Finance and Investments.  To read about past articles from the BIZMAKER column, you may visit  For more information about his seminars, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit or

(Continued from last week’s article… if you have not yet read Part 1, please click here)

One month before I met my wife, I started to work and turn my troubled business around. So I did what I should’ve done a long time ago, I fired my non-producing General Manager and her cohort but kept one staff who was loyal to me.  That reduced my costs tremendously. I could now afford to pay that one staff to continue to chase after the deals that we were supposed to close and I could start to pay off the debt that had piled up.

But cutting costs wasn’t enough.  I needed to get more sales in so that I could get out of debt faster.  So I made a few phone calls and I was referred to a person who could probably help.  I called and arranged a meeting with the person and she mentioned that she would introduce me to her business partner so that we can discuss the matter thoroughly.  I did not know it at that time, but the business partner was destined to be my wife.

When I first met my wife Jhoanna, I was immediately attracted to her. She was radiant, elegant, beautiful, and little did I know then, a genius. After a minute or two of introductions, I explained what I thought would be the best deal ever and handed her a 2 page proposal.  After looking through it, she simply said: “Your deal doesn’t make any sense for us to get into it.” Bam! I thought I had the deal in the bag, where did that left hook come from?

Although the deal did not push through as planned, my wife made me realize one of the most important traits a successful entrepreneur should have. And that was to think about action and results, not fluff. You see the deal that I was proposing was to outsource 100% of the work of my company to them and I would take 70% while they got 30%. And how I went about pitching the deal to them was with nothing more than charm and fluffy words. My wife saw right through that and showed me with her matter of fact statement that handsome and charming I may be, that would get me nowhere. A lesser man would have just walked away, but not me.  I got even more attracted to her. She gave me another reason to turn the business around.

Well, back to the drawing board I told myself. The one staff I had kept was making little progress, there was still NO income, and the debt was still piling up. I had to do something more drastic.

Now at that time, Jhoanna and I were already dating and she became my sounding board, business advisor and more importantly, my source of strength.

One of the most crucial ideas that she gave me during those times was to get a “virtual office” to lessen my operating costs yet make my company still professional looking.  A virtual office is a business center service where you pay a minimal fee to rent the office address including the phone line and a receptionist without actually staying in that office.  With my wife’s help (she called up all the virtual offices in town and got me the best deal), I got one that charged only Php900 per month.

Armed with this solution, I decided to let go of my Makati office and phone lines to save more on costs. I made a deal with my staff to let her bring home the computer and printer and to use her home phone temporarily. I would pay for half of the phone bill and whatever excess electricity she would consume because she’d be working from home.  She agreed.

Interestingly, the Virtual Office was the key to getting our first client in. This was the next crucial lesson my wife had taught me about business:  You need to package yourself well. Perception is key. The Virtual Office allowed me to look extremely professional, yet lessen my overhead.

On our calling card was printed:

Office Address: …West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road Ortigas, Center Pasig City, 1605 Philippines.

Phone: (632) 6873416; Fax: (632)6874645

I instructed my staff to call all our prospects and inform them that we were moving to a better office. When my staff started calling our prospects telling them that exact line and of course our office address and phone numbers, guess what?  Most of the prospects’ reactions were very positive and that immediately increased their perception of us.  In fact, one of the comments that my staff relayed to me was “Wow you guys must be doing really well, because that address is expensive”.  Little did they know that it only cost me P900 / month!

And sure enough, after a couple of weeks, we closed our first major deal. It was for a Million Pesos Gross and that was the first sigh of relief I had in 10 months. Finally, the business was turning around.

The projects were now coming in, and in the next 6 months, we had recovered 90% of the losses which was truly remarkable. However, I was still not making any money at that time from the business, I was still in debt and for some reason, I could not pay it off. Now this is where my wife truly helped me out. The turn-around of the business was just a small victory for the real problem that had to be fixed was my unhealthy attitude about money which my wife, through tough love, patience and practicality taught me to turn around as well.  (To be concluded next Sunday, Nov 15, 2009)

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  A sought-after Business Trainer & Consultant, he has taught thousands of people practical insights and strategies to win in business.  On November 14, he is scheduled to conduct his signature seminar on Capital Raising and Cashflow Management.  For more information, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit or
Click Here To Download the File!

Click Here To Download the File!

One of the top questions that I get from people is “What’s a good business to get into?” If you’ve asked this question yourself then you are in luck because in this article I will not only teach you how to choose one that is right for you but I will also give you 100+ Business Ideas for you to explore further.

So here are the instructions to download the list of 100+ Business Ideas

1.)    Click on the Icon above (Or Click Here)

2.)   When the Page refreshes, type in your contact details and Click “Register”

3.)    Check Your Email Immediately — The file will be emailed directly to your inbox.

Now let’s get started with the second part. Below are 5 questions that will help you tremendously when choosing and pinpointing the right business for you. If you can say YES to all 5 questions for any particular business in the list of ideas, then congratulations as you may have already found the business that you’ve been looking for.

Now, if after going through the list, you still can’t determine what business to get into, not to worry. Through the 5 questions below, I will hopefully clarify for you where you should start in your quest to find the business that you have been searching for.

The 5 Question Test:

Question # 1.) Am I really passionate about the idea? Or am I just joining a Fad?

Many times people start a business based on fads and not what they really want to do. They get into it because their friends or people that they know are getting into it. Instead of thinking this way, try to figure out what you really want to do with your life. If you find a business that allows you to do this, that’s the first positive sign. Scan through the list and just let yourself gravitate towards an idea or two in the list.

Question # 2.) Do I have a Customer / Customers who are willing to buy from me?

In my business seminars I always tell my students that the first step to making money is to find the customer first then build the business later. I also wrote a little bit about this in my article in Manila Bulletin last September 27 “How To Make Money With Zero Capital” but this question goes a little further, ask yourself. “If I get into this particular business, do I know of any one or groups of people who would be willing to buy from me, emphasis on the word me.

Question # 3.) Do I have any experience or skills in this particular business industry?

A very big plus before you start a business is to already have experience in a particular industry whether it is in sales and marketing, finance or operations, inventory management because one of the secrets of Entrepreneurship is to know how to add value to anything that will make it sell better. Your skills and experience matter. So ask yourself, do I have the experience or skills to allow me to carry out this business idea?

Question #4.) Can I commit the time and energy in getting this business started?

It is a myth to think that you can just hire someone to open and run a business for you from the start. I know because I did that before and it ended up horribly wrong. Abdication especially in the beginning will be disastrous. There is no other way about it — You will have to make time to work on developing this business even if it means working on it when you go home after your day job. So ask yourself, “Am I willing to sacrifice a bit of time and effort into getting this business started?  Can I stay committed to it as the going gets tough?”

Question # 5.) Can I see myself leaving this business to my children or the next generation?

Will you be proud of this business if you make it a success? Because believe it or not, 99% of people who want to start a business, want to start not just a racket but a legacy that they can leave their kids and generations to come. So ask yourself, can I see myself passing this business on to my children if they want to take over someday?

Enjoy and Good luck!

Feedback appreciated: I’d like to hear from you directly whether through my blog or email if my articles have helped you, if you have implemented any of the advices I’ve given and what is your most pressing question is about business. Your feedback will help me come up with even more relevant articles in the future.

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  You may also email him at