I’m sitting here and typing this flood of memories pouring down on my head. I remember when I just started playing video games. I used to play with my brothers for hours, non-stop. I wished I had as much time as I used to back then.
Now, I wake up late, around 2 PM, and the clock moves one hour further every time I blink. Before you know it, it’s 4 AM!
Where did the time go???
I also remember when I got my very first computer. Hmmm…! I can still the joy I had when it came on. All I can remember was that it had a Windows 3.11 operating system.
Don’t laugh! I said don’t… Alright, go ahead…!
Looking back and I realize that I’ve come a long way. From my university days studying computer science. To the day that I first stumbled upon internet marketing.
Google AdSense was my first exposure to internet marketing. This was back in 2008. I used to blog for fun at that time until a friend of mine introduced me to Google AdSense.
A placed an ad in my blog and in trinkets, money started dropping in my account.
Boy, oh boy! I went crazy!
That was the beginning for me.
I have tried a lot of stuff before getting to where I am today. I didn’t wake up one morning and BOOM! I became a successful internet marketer.
There was a process. A tough one. Filled with some mountain-top highs and some valley-deep lows.
It’s my birthday and I want to share what I have learned over the years.
Take this as “The Chronicles of Bank K.”
It’s 30 lessons from 30 years of my life. Say one per year.
Here’s we go:
1. You don’t have to be good at everything
Take this from the guy who has tried many things!
When I started learning about internet marketing, I got so intrigued about the number of opportunities I could take advantage of. And because of that, I dabbled into everything that I could lay my hands on.
If I wasn’t doing something, it was probably because I hadn’t heard or read about it.
From Google AdSense, I tried affiliate marketing, mobile apps, eCommerce, Facebook Ads, and I even sold my landing page service on Fiverr!
Just think about it, I must have done it! Paid traffic and free traffic, white hat and black hat stuff, I’ve done it all. But, was I really good at everything?
Well, I don’t know, I’m kind of really smart… Hahaha.
Jokes apart now.
I wouldn’t say that I was really great at everything. I didn’t do so well in many of those things, and I lost lots of money on the way.
Also, I’m not very good at SEO, so I ended up wasting a lot of money on different tools and employing content writers and backlink service.
I also tried making some money from mobile apps as well. But that didn’t go well too. Funny enough, I have many friends who consistently make over 5-6 figures a month from mobile apps.
So, you see, I think it all boils down to self-discovery. Knowing what works for you and where you are good at.
Now, I know that I am pretty good at selling stuff online, using paid traffic, and building an efficient sales system. I am also good at hiring people to work for me. That should count for something too, right?
But here’s the thing, I most probably wouldn’t have been doing so well in my current niche if I hadn’t tried out all of that other stuff.
So, here’s the balance. As much as you don’t have to be good at everything, you also don’t have to be afraid of being poor at something.
This would only stop you from even trying in the first place. It is much better to try and fail than to do nothing in the first place. After several attempts, you would find yourself. And when you do, learn to accept yourself.
Sure, we are not good at everything. But we can be good at one thing. And in that thing lies satisfaction and fulfillment.
2. Find your Strengths and Weaknesses
Part of being more self-aware is knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. Your strengths are things that you are good at. They might be innate, and you might have picked them up from somewhere. However, you got them, ensure that you don’t just sit on them. Even the sharpest blade still goes blunt overtime.
Find your strengths. Improve them. Read more books. Take online courses. Join online forums. Ask questions. Watch tutorial videos. Google is your best friend!
Take more action. And when you fail, learn from your mistakes and never repeat them. That is how you sharpen your strengths.
And for your weakness, ensure that you do not spend all your time trying to bulldoze your way through it. If you don’t enjoy doing it, find someone else to do it for you.
Delegate your work to someone whose strength is your weakness.
Over the years, I have hired a lot of people to do customer support for me. For my print on demand business, I have someone who does the designs for my product. I have someone who comes up with quotes for some of my products. At a time, I build software to upload my products online.
You don’t have to do it yourself.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
It is very important for you to know that other people’s happiness is not your happiness.
You should not be defined by what makes other people happy. For instance, some people might have a nice car or a big house but to be candid, you don’t need to have all of these things to be happy.
You might find happiness in traveling or living a simple countryside life. Whatever it is, just ensure that you live your life based on your own terms. Don’t be pushed to do what you do not like because others are doing it.
Welcome to the 21st century where people spend more time trying to replicate other people’s Instagram pages rather than living their own life.
If there is one thing that I’m glad I didn’t learn the hard way, we are all very different. Everyone is unique in his or her own way. And this uniqueness and personality diversity must be appreciated and celebrated.
So, do whatever makes happy even if it’s not the popular thing.
4. Family is always 1st priority
Nothing beats family for me!
My mom, my dad, my brother, and the rest of my family are very important to me. They should be your first priority too. If you’re married, then your wife and kids too. Building a very solid relationship is highly important.
I have learned that having people who have your back around you is an endless source of motivation and strength. Your family is the one that you can trust. They’ve got your back every time and any time. That is priceless.
So, do not push your family away when the $$$zeros begin to roll in. Take care of them. Spend time with them. Spend your money with them. It’s worth it. I promise.
5. When it comes to friendship, go for quality, not quantity
Having many friends might be cool if you live in a huge penthouse with 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, 5 bathrooms, and a video game room.
But honestly, we don’t need to have many friends. Too many friends mean too many influences. That can be a bad thing.
If all you have are only a few good friends with whom you can talk, enjoy doing things together, and confide in your darkest hours, then you are lucky enough! Take care of your friends. Have fun together.
6. Travel a lot when you can
There three E’s that I hold onto – Explore, Excite, Experience.
You cannot possibly enjoy all that life has to offer from your couch. You have seen your community. You’ve seen it all! You know all the shortcuts and bypasses. Why not expand your shores a little bit? Travel to the horizon and watch how the sunsets from another part of this big globe.
Before the pandemic, I traveled a lot. And I really enjoy visiting many places around the world. I enjoy trying different local food, taking photos of many attractions, taking selfies with beautiful statues, and many other fun stuff.
If you don’t experience the wonders of life now, it might be much more difficult when you’re older. This is why I love to travel a lot. I get away any time I have. You should try it too!
7. Exercise often
As I got older, I began to realize that my body is not as good as before. I started getting tired easily when I ran just a few minutes. I can’t concentrate much on my work because I always felt sleepy. I couldn’t sleep well because I got a sneezing allergy.
I must exercise more seriously. So, I decided to buy a treadmill and an electric bicycle in my home.
I started exercising more often. I hop on the treadmill and run for a couple of minutes and sometimes go on the electric bike. And soon, I found out that my body started getting better after that.
I can sleep better. My productivity got boosted. I could concentrate properly, and I started enjoying a good night’s sleep once again. Now, I know the importance of keeping your body in a good shape.
You need to exercise often. It helps you to better productivity and live longer. Besides, staying fit boosts your self-confidence and helps you keep an optimistic, upbeat attitude about whatever life throws at you.
8. Eat healthy food
This is a sequel to the previous point. Running on a treadmill and going for a greasy burger after each session is just like filling your car with gas when your gas tank is leaking.
You get the picture.
Healthy food helps you stay in good shape and supports your body with all the necessary nutrition. As you exercise your body, don’t spoil your hard work by taking in lots of junk food. Be moderate with what you consume.
9. Don’t worry, be happy
We all thought Lion King would only remain a great childhood memory until the producers decided to remake the movie with Beyonce’s soundtracks!
But one major thing that has stuck with me from the first animation version is the upbeat phrase, “Hakunamatata!”
It simply means, “Don’t worry, be happy!”
Over the years, I have found that the people who live the longest are those who spend less time worrying about when they will die.
Life is filled with ups and downs. Problems do not end. So, if your problem can be fixed, don’t worry because you will be able to fix it soon.
And if it can’t be fixed, it’s not worth the time to be worried about it. Just forget it and move on with life.
Don’t worry, be HAPPY!
10. University? You don’t actually need it
While I do not support people dropping out of university, I still believe that there are ways that we can learn much more and faster nowadays.
And do play the Mark Zuckerberg card on me!
Sure, I did go to university. But there are ways to follow our passion and make money while at it without passing through the doors of institutionalized education.
Although, it would require much more discipline and determination.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the university. In fact, I have made lots of friends from university. But the world is changing. You can learn anything and start taking action fast.
You don’t have to learn all the things at the university for four years before you start doing the job.
Also, you don’t have to be worried if you don’t do well at university. There are many chances you can fail and get back in real life. Your university performance does not define you.
Often, we tend to think that being a classroom failure means being a failure in life. That’s not true! This is because that classroom is not life. It’s only a fragment.
The University has a lot of rules that majorly do not apply in life. So, please don’t beat yourself about it. Missed it at the university? Take your best shot at life!
11. Don’t be too serious when you fail on the exam
Still, on the issue of handling university failure, you must know that exams are not a true reflection of your abilities or intellect. They are often more of the ability to give correct answers to some stipulated questions.
Take me for instance. I was failed in Marketing during my Master’s Degree program. Today, I work as an internet marketer. Quite ironic, right?
So, you can fail many times when you start your working life. But don’t let it affect you. Keep moving. Keep learning. Keep getting better.
12. Do what is essential
Essentialism – One of my favorite books
If there’s one major lesson that I learned over the years, there is a huge difference between being busy and productive.
Often, we pay so much attention to what is not important or essential to our work. Understand that time is limited. Hence, it would be best if you focus your time and energy on what is important.
Always say no to whatever is not essential!
And as I said earlier, you don’t have to be good at everything. Do the thing you can do best and get the best results out of it.
There are times when I would spend hours trying to figure out things that are not my strong suit. I end up burning up time and energy yet making no evident progress.
So, I had to embrace the culture of delegation and hiring people who are good at these things to get it done. It’s been working for me effectively ever since then!
13. Don’t be trapped by 4-Hour Workweek
You have to be diligent! 4-Hour Workweek is only the result of hard and smart work. But don’t stop at working just 4 hours a week, you can get more things done as you dedicate quality time and effort to it.
I like the book 4-Hour Workweek. I think it is one of the good self-help books out there. But the thing is, that principle is not a good thing to do, especially when you are just starting.
When you’re young and have done only a few or no successful things. You really need to work hard when you get started.
I read this book when I got started my internet marketing career. I did the work for just a few hours, and I just said to myself that it’s enough. I’m the man who can work just 4 hours a week.
Unfortunately, that caused me a lot of lost hours and the opportunity to build my empire.
It’s not a good thing to do.
I realized that many of my mentors who make lots of money are still working harder than me. So, why is Bank K., the little unsuccessful internet marketer working for just a few hours a day?
14. Think less, do more, fail more
I often have to remind myself of this from time to time, deliberately. This is because it is very easy for us to forget that overplanning and overthinking a decision or an action can be the major obstruction of its execution.
Face it, overthinking is a function of fear. We are scared of failing. Scared of trying again. So, we end not doing anything.
This should not be so. I have failed a lot and many times. But I later realized that a thing should be done than for it to be perfect. Honestly, do not belabor yourself with the burden of perfection.
I won’t say perfection is not attainable. However, I would say it doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It takes time, process, and multiple failures pilled up together to form experience and perfection.
Look at it this way. Perfection is having failed so much that you know how not to fail again!
So, focus more on taking action. Don’t be afraid to fail. When you fail, you can fix it. At the end of the day, we will finally find good results.
So, keep trying! It’s much better than thinking too much and doing nothing.
15. Be honest in everything to yourself and also the others
Honest is the best policy.
It also builds a good reputation for you. In all that you do, ensure that you keep honest practices and avoid fraudulent activities.
Also, you must learn to be honest with yourself. Know your limits. Know your boundaries. Part of being honest with yourself also involves knowing when to say NO!
16. Help people’s life
There is nothing more that I value more than a kind heart. I love being able to meet other people’s needs. I also love it when I see people do the same.
Sure, you don’t want to be seen as a doormat for every person. But it would be best if you did not allow that to get in the way of helping people out.
Honestly, you won’t be poor for doing this. When you do or sell any product or service, as long as it can help people get a better life, you will make lots of money, and other people benefit from this. Ensure that your product or service is helping people in one way or the other.
17. Find role model and follow them
Ever heard of the phrase “No man is an island”?
You would have a hard time forging a great career path for yourself without proper guidance from other people, especially role models and mentors.
I have a few mentors, and luckily all of them are great. They are not greedy, live a simple life, and work hard. I follow them, and I am who I am today because of them.
18. Find someone to compete with even they don’t know you
Like Goku and Vegeta, Messi and Ronaldo, Coke and Pepsi, find someone who would keep you on your toes and drive you to become better every day.
It will help you improve yourself a lot. Know that you are not the best in the world. Always improve yourself.
I have a couple of friends that I follow discreetly. They are doing great things in their fields, and I get motivated by them. This always drives me to improve myself and get better.
19. Surround yourself with good people
Our immediate social interactions and relationships largely influence us. Many times, our results and behavior are often a reflection of the kind of people around us. So, always surround yourself with a healthy company.
20. Don’t bother with other drama
There are so many dramas on the internet nowadays. You can read them for fun but don’t waste too much time with it. At the end of the day, you will while away time that you could have spent productively.
21. Read often
Honestly, I do not think I can emphasize this enough!
The more you read, the more data you have. The more data you have, the more valuable you become. More so, this data will help you in making pivotal decisions later in your life.
Reading keep your mind sharp and your imaginations active.
You don’t have to start with heavy reading. Start with light reading. You can pick a new book every month. Do this consistently till you can add one more to it. And one more, and another, and another…
22. Try something new
You will never know. It might be the next best thing in your life. I tried out a lot of things when I started my journey in internet marketing. And I do not regret them!
I started promoting affiliate offers in my internet marketing life. This was my first major entrance into the internet marketing world. But when it crashed, I tried something new.
I don’t think I would ever be able to have sold tons of print demand products like I do today if I didn’t try promoting t-shirt on Teespring many years ago.
So, don’t give up at once. Keep trying new things. Keep exploring.
23. Failure is not always bad thing
You can fail. You are not above it. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it in our journal. But, the most important thing is for you to return from that failure. Stronger and better!
24. Success is nothing too
Do not let success get into your head! All it’d do is make you proud for just a few days later, and it’s nothing. Don’t obsess with it. Find the next success. Keep striving for greatness.
25. Move from comfort zone
Two years ago, I was invited to talk at the Gearbubble Event in Las Vegas. I never thought that I could do it, especially in a non-native language.
It makes me proud and opened more opportunities for me. Don’t relax in your own space. Push yourself to do better. To be better!
26. Automation is king
This is one major highlight of my internet marketing career.
Your time is important. It would be best if you used it to do things that only you can do.
For other simple tasks, make use of the relevant technology. Nowadays, there is an app or software for almost everything. Make use of it!
27. Be lazy is acceptable
When it comes to resting and taking a break, laziness is allowed. If you’re too tired, it’s okay to lie back on your sofa and watch some Netflix.
We’re not superman. We can take a break! Even Superman needs a break.
28. Learn financial management early
I remember when I first made a thousand dollars. I invested it immediately. And I can say that that was one of the smartest decisions that I have ever made.
Being financially secure is the best thing to happen to you as a young person (even as an older person). There is no joy in not being able to afford a good life. But for this, you must pay the sacrifice of investing your earnings to secure your latter comfort.
So, don’t just go around buying big house or nice car. Learn how to manage your finance and learn it now!
29. Invest in something
If you don’t have much money yet, invest in yourself. If you have enough money, invest in some assets that will maintain your wealth status.
Do it now because when you’re older, it will be difficult. You should put money on the thing that can grow overtime. The stock market is a good example.
Take Warren Buffett, for instance. Apart from being the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, he also owns stakes in Apple, Bank of America, American Express, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, Visa, and even Mastercard!
Today, he is undoubtedly one of the richest investors alive, and he didn’t start from the top. He just started early.
Investing your money early is the path to financial security. It’s not good to put your money in luxury things that don’t make you more money. Many of these things even make you less money because of the fixing cost and devaluation overtime.
30. Always live below your mean
Luckily, I don’t want a big house or a nice car. I enjoy living a simple life and investing in many assets that grow in the long term.
Living below your means will never make you poor. Instead, it would make you have strength in your financials.
If you cannot afford a penthouse in LA, don’t go for it. If you cannot afford an electric car yet, don’t go for it now. It’s all about doing what is safe for your finances rather than trying to please other people.
Do not be tempted to live above your means!
So, there you have it. 30 lessons that I have learned in the last 30 years.
I hope they help you to do better at whatever you do. I also hope that they help you to become a better person. I penned this down so that you would learn from some of my mistakes and not make them again.
That’s it, I’m done!