Why I Started My Online Business & My #1 Secret To Online Success

Posted On By David D
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Hey guys, here is my first Youtube video as part of my plan to build a personal brand this year. In this video, I’ll share with you:

  • A little bit about me and my background
  • The reasons why I started my business online despite having a university degree in Entrepreneurship & Marketing.
  • My #1 secret to generate an income online


Full Episode Transcript:

Would you like to know the secret to become successful online? Hey, I am David Dang and I’m the creator of the @entrepreneurshipfacts IG account which has more than 700 thousand followers at the time of this recording.

Today I want to tell you about a new project that I am working on… which is this Youtube channel… or podcast, depending on if you’re watching or listening to this.

I get a lot of messages from people saying they want start an online business but not sure of what to do. Or they don’t have the experience or the capital required to succeed. Or how their business is not making them any money.

I’ve been through all of that, and I feel like this is an area where I can help a lot of people, especially the ones who are looking to leverage the power of the internet to live their passion, escape the rate race, and achieve the freedom to do whatever they want in life.

Well… To be clear, I am no expert to really teach people anything.

I don’t consider myself as being successful yet, and I still have a lot to learn

All I can do is share my own personal experience in my few short years of making a living online.

So I decided to start this Youtube channel as a way for me to share with you my journey to financial freedom, such as what I am working on, what I am learning, the reality of entrepreneurship, and I will also be interviewing other entrepreneurs to share their experience and different perspectives.

Hopefully you will be able to take out something valuable for yourself as you’re going through your own journey.

At the same time, this is a way for me to have a taste of something new in the pursuit of my goals and life mission.

I’ve been fortunate enough to earn a full-time income online right after graduating university, which gives me the freedom to work with just my laptop and smartphone.

That means I get to choose my own schedule, work from anywhere, and travel the world whenever I want to.

All this, without getting tied to a regular 9-5 and the financial pressure in getting a “secure and stable” job. To me, this kind of freedom is priceless.

On today episode I want to share with you the secret to succeed in any online business, which is having an audience.

Let’s start with my story, so you can know a bit more about who I am and why I started online business despite having a university degree…

I was born in Vietnam. When I was 12 I moved to Canada without knowing a word of English. I am sure you can tell from my accent.

Like most asian kids, I went to university after high school with no clue of what to do.

I went simply because all my friends were going, and I would look like a loser if I didn’t.

I took a bunch of science courses in my first year, because well, all my friends were going to science.

But then I switched to Business in my second year and I am so glad that I made that choice.  

When I turned 19, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

The book completely changed my perspective about money. It also inspired me to be rich, and I know it’s definitely something achievable, not just a dream.

My family wasn’t poor, but we never had a lot of money as I grew up.

And I just want to make my parents proud. They sacrificed a lot for moving to a new country, with a totally different culture.

And up to this day, they still barely able to speak a word of english…

To me, business was my best shot to achieve my goal.

While I was studying at university, I had a corporate job doing data entry and some accounting stuff.

Because of that job, I knew sitting in a cubicle is definitely not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I was bored out of my mind and drowning in endless paperwork, day-in and day-out.

In addition, it was quite clear to me that most people there were working only for the paycheque.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working a job to make a living. It’s just not the lifestyle I want to have for myself.

And I know I am capable more than just being average.

The job strengthened my resolve to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship.

But, one year before I graduate, I started to get scared…

My dream back then was to graduate university and start a startup that would impact the world, like how Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs did in the movies.

However, I soon realized the stuff I was learning in school was setting me up to be an employee, not an employer.

I had no tangible skills to actually start a business on my own. Despite I was getting a double major in Entrepreneurship & Marketing.

All I could probably do with that degree is to get an entry level job in marketing. Like who would hire you for an entrepreneurship degree?

And I was scared that if I get a job after I graduated, I’d get satisfied with making $45k a year and get brainwashed into the corporate mindset.

The worse thing is I would give up on my dreams.

For some reason I feel like I would be a failure if that were to happen. That fear haunted me as my last year of school approached. I knew I had to figure out something quick.

That’s when I remembered an experience I had when I was still in high school. Back then, I’d wanted to see if I could make some money online, so I researched it and tried a few things.

I made like $2, which is nothing. And thought it was way too hard and not worth my time, so I moved on and forgot about it. Until that last year of university.

As I remembered the experience, I thought, “I made $2 before… Even though it wasn’t much, but it must be possible to make money online right?

So I started looking into online business again. And the more I learn about it the more fascinated I got by how much the internet has changed the world.

Just 20 years ago, the idea of being your own boss and working online is lunatic to most people. But the internet has now enabled us to literally turn any passion into a business.

There are little kids making millions on Youtube by reviewing toys. There are people travelling around the world to experience new cultures and making a more than just a living. There are people making money just by simply sharing tips and tricks about their fishing hobby. The possibilities are endless…

Besides unlimited income potential, by working online, it means that I can work where I want, and whenever I want without anyone telling me what to do, or when I can take days off. I am 100% my own boss.

I used to believe that the formula to success in business is to come up with a brilliant idea, like the next Facebook, or the next Uber, and somehow get funding from venture capital, then work my ass off for years hoping my idea would kick off. And statistically speaking, most startups fail …

With online business, everything is a lot simpler. It has a low barrier to entry with very little capital required compared to a traditional business. I can get started with just a few hundred bucks, and I can get results quickly.

So if I fail, I can fail cheap and fail fast without wasting much resource and time… The benefits were clear as day for me – it was time for me to start a business online…

Because Rich Dad Poor Dad, I was fascinated with the idea of passive income. The first thing I googled was something along the line of “how to earn passive income online”.

I was soon completely lost by the amount of information out there… There are so many different business models, and they all seem to be very attractive. I was confused by which business model I should pursue.

Eventually I tumbled upon a podcast called Smart Passive Income by Pat Flyn. On one of the episode, Pat Flyn was talking about the importance of having an audience. He was saying something like there are plenty of ways to make money if you have a following of people who listen to you.

It made sense to me when I think about it… Doesn’t matter what I sell, I need a way to get it in front of people. How would anyone purchase anything from me if they don’t even know that I have something to sell.

So if I have an audience, then it doesn’t matter what business model I choose anymore. I could build my own products, or in fact I don’t even need to have a product to sell. I can do affiliate marketing or dropshipping, which essentially mean that I sell other people products and get a commission from it. The beauty of that is I don’t even have to do any fulfillment or customer service. All the heavy lifting has already been done for me, and I just have show those products to my audience, and if they want it they will buy it. Any earning would be almost pure profit for me since I don’t have to spend much if anything on marketing.

I was really excited when I realized the power of having an audience… In that same episode, the guest who Pat was interviewing shared the story how he used Instagram to built his company.

He was giving away a free ebook on how to grow on Instagram, so I downloaded the ebook and started my first Instagram page ever. I had never used Instagram at that point and didn’t even have a personal account.

I knew it would be a long term play, where I won’t make any money till have a large enough audience. So, I needed to choose something that I am passionate about so I can stick with it. And I went with motivation and entrepreneurship.

My intention for the Instagram page was for my own personal growth and hopefully to monetize it later, given I can actually build an audience. With dedication and a lot of constant learning, I was able to grow @entrepreneurshipfacts to the size it is today.

Besides being one of my income streams, having a large audience on Instagram also helps expanding my network. When I go to business conferences, people immediately become interested in connecting with me when they know that I have access to a large audience. It boosts my credibility and open up opportunities to do business with people. Not only that, I started to realize that I am actually influencing and creating a little impact on the people who follow my account.

Almost everyday, people would message me saying how a post of mine on that day really motivated them as they were having a bad time. Or how my posts inspired them to start a business. Things like that give me a sense of purpose on what I am doing

Besides my Instagram account, I’ve made money online with informational products, dropshipping, print on demand, and affiliate marketing. The key thing that allowed me to make money in all those businesses is the ability to attract people attention

Large companies like Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube are worth billions of dollars not because they have special software or technology, but because they have people attention. Those companies make money by selling your attention to other companies who want to display ads on your feed.

If you really pay attention, all those who are successful online, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, or Tai Lopez, they have one thing in common. They all have access to a large audience who listen to them. And when you have an audience that listen to you, you have access to their attention.

If you’re a big fan of Gary Vee like I do, then you must of heard him said this numerous times “Attention is the most valuable asset.”

Doesn’t matter if it’s Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing, Print on Demand, Blogging, or whatever business model that is, at the end of the day, you need people to know what you have to offer before they even think about purchasing.

If you have started an online business before and haven’t made any money, then it’s most likely because your potential customers probably don’t even know you exist, therefore, they don’t buy from you.

Well if you have the budget you can pay Facebook or Youtube to capture a couple seconds of people attention and try to sell them whatever you have, but that doesn’t come cheap. And for most beginners you wouldn’t be able to profitably convert those into buyers anyway.

I have tried this before when I first started with dropshipping and print on demand, where I would use paid ads to drive traffic to my store, but the conversion rate was horrible. I ended up losing money instead.

The biggest differentiation between building your own audience and using paid advertising is that with your audience, people actually want to listen to you. If you make an offer in front of them, like… hey go buy this, the reason why they see the offer is because they intentionally watch your content. You didn’t interrupt them with an ad placement right before the pewdiepie youtube video that they can’t wait to watch.

Because they intentionally watch it, they pay more attention to what you have to say and you have more time to reveal the benefits of your offer. Therefore they are much more likely to buy compared to putting ads that interrupt what they are trying to do.

Of course there are things I could do to boost conversion and make it profitable when running paid ads, but I didn’t have the skills to do that when I first started.

If you’re like me, then in my opinion, leveraging the power of social media to build an audience is the best way to become successful online if you don’t have a lot of money to invest. Because you can drive traffic at very little cost, as a result you make more profit.

You can then reinvest the money into your business and learn how to increase conversion, and all the other advance stuff to scale your business later on… But first, you need to get some cash flow coming in.

The downside to that is it takes time. You won’t have a million followers overnight, and it takes a lot of time and effort. However, the pay-off is well worth it.

You don’t need millions of followers to make a living. You only 1000 hard core followers, who believe and listen to what you say, and would buy anything offer. You only need to sell one product at $100 to 1000 people to make 100k a year. And I believe that getting 1000 true fans isn’t hard if you can provide value and help people solve their problems..

You can start with Instagram like I did, or a blog, youtube, podcast, whichever channel that you feel most comfortable with. And pick a topic that you’re most passionate about where you actually enjoy doing it… And you would do it for fun without being paid for, because the reality is you won’t any make money when first started. It could take months until you see any results… Because most people will give up before they find any success, by doing something that you enjoy, you will more likely to get through that initial struggles.

So, there you have it. The secret to be successful online is “attention”. And to get people attention, you must build an audience.

Alright, that’s all I got you guys. I appreciate you all, thanks for watching. I hope you’ve learned something valuable, if you did then please hit the subscribe button.

Like I said, I will be posting more videos to share with you my journey to financial freedom, what I am working on, what I am learning, the reality of entrepreneurship, and I will also be interviewing other entrepreneurs to share their experience with you.

I want to do more than just inspire and motivate, I want to help you to actually take action towards your goals as well.

So hit that subscribe button, and see you in the next video!

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About Me

David D.

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