By: Lucell Larawan
THERE is nothing dramatic and exciting about financially blessed individuals who merely inherited wealth. We are, however, drawn to those who, through many hard knots, made their own names because they have winning business mindsets.
One of them is Dan Lok, an Asian in origin. He started early on at age 20 when he launched 13 businesses—all coming to grief. Against one’s expectations, he rose from being in debt of $150,000 to one on the crest of the wave.
After his parents separated, Lok and his mother migrated to Canada. In one interview with Entrepreneur magazine, he quipped, “I will never forget the look of hopelessness on my mom’s face and the tears in her eyes”. He continued: “At that moment, I decided that I would be successful. I didn’t need my dad; I would provide for my mom. I never wanted to see that look again.”
Lok’s first and last minimum wage job was that of a grocer. He was told that he did not fit in as an employee because he could not be told what to do. He could not agree more.
He began mowing lawns and delivering papers–anything that could not possibly raise money. While attending full-time business classes at the Douglas College in Vancouver, he worked through one failed entrepreneurial idea after another. He tried vending machines and day trading, among others.
Seemingly crippled by debts from Lok’s relatives, his cousins advised him that he rather find a job. But Lok reasoned with them: “If I just work for a job, I will never be able to repay you.” He recalls in an interview, “I knew I would be better off as an entrepreneur, even if it took a decade. I never gave up because I couldn’t afford to quit — and if you don’t quit, then you can’t fail.” A strong-willed man of vision does not just take one’s suggestion.
Between the first and the thirteenth attempt, anyone can pull the curtains down, but he reveals in an interview why he was tenacious: “Success is on the razor’s edge of failure. When you think it can’t get any worse, hang on just a little longer.”
Lok, obsessed with marketing, soon discovered marketing expert Alan Jacques. He attended his seminars where he met Jacques in person.
Offering to buy Jacques lunch, Lok asked Jacques to be his mentee. Jacques declined, but Lok was not deterred. He visited Jacques’ office for a month where he demonstrated his worth, including picking up trash around the office. Jacques finally hired Lok.
That job with his mentor was important for Lok which made him decide to quit college. He started to craft sales letters only for Jacques to tell him it was terrible. Jacques was not satisfied with these letters until his seventh revision. For Jacques, the first draft was “OK”, he confessed later. But he said “OK” is not how one can master anything.
The 12-month mentorship was Lok’s first “million-dollar year” though he did not get much money. From what he learned, he started a sole-proprietorship advertising firm. In one year, his clients earned millions from his sales letters. At a young age of 22, Lok could price a project at $10,000 and was earning six figures.
He returned to Hong Kong where he came from and met his father. Walking down the street, Lok pulled out a set of keys and said, “I bought that apartment for you.” He could already provide for his mom.
The profit Lok earned from his online business went to real estate investments. At 27, he was already a millionaire. Lok founded or partnered in more than 15 companies – from beauty salons to e-commerce – now earning a combined sales that exceed eight figures annually.
These days, Lok is focusing on teaching. He has 4.5 million followers on social media. His video series and programs like “Dan on Demand” and “Tube Your Own Horn,” mentor others to grow their businesses. The business luminary has written more than a dozen books, including, “Unlock It!” which hits bookshelves with Forbes Books in September 2019. Lok mentors business skills through his High-Ticket Closer Certification Program and Inner Circle mastermind.
Lok attributes his rise to important elements: mentorship, focus, and “high-income skills” like copywriting, marketing, and public speaking.