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I’d like to briefly share my story to inspire you to grow, focus on your objectives, and build your ideal lifestyle. I have noticed that many similar posts are very vague; by the end of them, you feel more confused and without having learned anything useful.
So, I will try to be as precise as possible, and I hope that by the end of this video, you will benefit from the information I will share with you.
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So let’s get right into it!
My parents are from Lebanon, and I was born in Rome, where I lived until I was about nine years old. I don’t come from a family of business owners; in fact, I would say we were part of a lower middle class.
We moved back to Lebanon in 2000; I continued my education there in a french school and completed my university degree in medical lab in 2012.
At this point, I still wasn’t exposed to anything related to entrepreneurship, but I always dreamt of having my own business, even though I didn’t know what that would take.
I got a master’s degree in England in 2013, which opened my mind a little, especially as I met some people there who were paying for their tuition fees on their own by working online as website and app developers.
That was one of my first exposures, where I saw that some people with specific skills could work as freelancers on the internet and earn a decent amount of money.
I moved back to Lebanon in 2013, and like most Lebanese people, finding a decent job in my field was tough.
I kept applying and even came here to Dubai in 2014 just to find a healthcare job. Nothing happened until I moved back to Lebanon and got a job in sales at a medical equipment company.
I remember that job was so exhausting, in a period in which Lebanon was going through bombing every few days, with a salary of around 800 us dollars. For someone with a master’s degree from England, I just thought, what is this degree even for?
And why did my father have to pay close to 30 thousand us dollars for a 1-year degree for me to get employed like this?
So after just the 3rd month, I decided to quit, and two months later I left and went to France to find a job there… aaand as you would expect, I didn’t find anything there.
For 4 months, I spent my time giving out CVs to any recruitment agency, going to job events, searching online for any opportunity, and I even sent my CV to shops like Decathlon and even as a cashier for Carrefour, which obviously declined me!
Finally, I got the idea to return to the UK and was accepted at TripAdvisor in Oxford as an inbound sales rep. I had to sell a marketing tool to the French market over the phone.
That was very intense, but at this point, I was just happy that I found a job that allowed me to earn some extra cash from commissions. I was at 1200 pounds monthly, but if I exceeded my daily and monthly targets, I could reach at least 2000 pounds.
But guess what, Oxford is super expensive, and I was paying 550 pounds for one single bedroom in a small house shared with three other people.
Long story short, I certainly couldn’t accept this, and four months later already started looking for another job anywhere in Europe. After many interviews and traveling around the country, I got two offers, one in London for Oracle and 1 in Salzburg at a well-known dental company.
I accepted the one in Salzburg, and I finally felt that I got a typical job with a better salary, which was 1900 euro at that time but with some benefits. Although Salzburg is also really expensive, they speak German. Beautiful city, but not much to do.
I was responsible for the French market from there, and I had an excellent job, often traveling to Germany, Italy, and France.
So at this point, it looks like I had a promising career and jumped salaries quite often, but shortly I’ll explain how I went from that to the millions.
So now we were in 2016, and I had to take a three-week summer vacation. So my wife and I decided to go to Malaysia and Thailand for those three weeks.
It was July 2016, to be exact, and honestly, those three weeks were some of the best travels I’ve had, so much so that that trip alone was one of my life’s most significant turning points.
I saw the beautiful nature of both countries, went to the tourist cities and the beaches, and rode a small motorbike on the islands. I just thought to myself what the f*ck are you doing in Europe, working so hard for a salary, far from your parents, with only two periods per year that you can use to travel, 1 in the summer. One by the end of the year to see your parents?
And most importantly, I did some calculations: if I earn 2000 euros, and I’m able to save 1000 euros a month, I would end up with 12,000 euros by the end of the year.
What would that do? How can I improve my quality of life with that amount, living in a small apartment in a small city where everyone speaks German, and pretty much nothing happens?
Something had to change. I wanted to make at least the same salary but live in Thailand. Increase my purchasing power to increase my quality of life!
So, I googled: “best ways to make money online”.
And I got FLOODED by so many different business models, endlessly watching youtube videos, reading articles, and joining groups.
I got information overload and shiny object syndrome.
In October 2016 moved to Paris with the company, my salary increased to 3000 euros, and the company even gave me a car. But we lived in a tiny apartment rented at 1000 euros a month.
We had to focus on business now. So:
We started a blog that… failed miserably.
In November 2016 tried starting a dropshipping store selling the UK, but again failed miserably.
Then in December 2016 started an Amazon business and got lost with product research and gave up.
Then In January 2017, we decided: by the end of year, I will quit my job and travel the world. That’s it.
If I find a way to make money online, then I live; if I don’t, then I lose my job.
This is called the “sink or swim approach”, and this doesn’t give any other choice to your mind and body. You either succeed, or you succeed—no other option.
Although I had this resolve, starting something was still not easy. No matter what I searched online, the best business models I could find were either:
Until I discovered the Airbnb model!
Fast forward to June 2017, we paid 1000 euros to enroll in a course that would show us exactly how to purchase a property in France using 0% of our money, then register it and turn it into an Airbnb rental that would pay the mortgage and give us enough money to quit my job.
After some research, we decided to buy an apartment in Marseille, a city in the south of France, as we saw that the yield was quite good. But (fortunately), we were refused by more than 5 banks for useless reasons, and that project failed too.
Now the deadline was approaching. What were we supposed to do? How can we make money online? Soon I’ll have to quit, and we need to have something working.
I decided to start a new dropshipping project, but this time, selling in Italy.
After doing product research, setting up our Shopify store, and learning about Facebook and Instagram ads, “SHA SHINHG” we heard that sound. It was our first ever sale made on the internet. We sold our first product!
And that was when I started believing in myself. We can do it. It was a product I found for less than 2 dollars and resold for more than 13 euros.
We continued working on this and opened another dropshipping store in France this time, and while we were at it, we also started a new Amazon FBA business based in France.
Now here we were lost this time with another problem—legal and taxation.
How and where to register a business, how will we be taxed, and what are corporate and personal tax? All this was entirely new for us.
And in the meantime, we had some issues with the suppliers for the dropshipping store, as products were not arriving on time, and some were not arriving at all to italy.
So, unfortunately, we had to refund many people and stop selling there.
We sorted out legal issues, focused on the Amazon business, found a good product that started working well, and decided to help others do the same.
As I spoke five languages fluently myself (now seven), I decided to help dropshippers translate and write their descriptions to boost their sales.
I quit my job in December 2017 and used the power of freelancing platforms by posting my services on any platform I could think of.
By February 2018, the demand increased drastically, that we made more than 6000 dollars combining all sources. That was double my salary, from a job we can do from our computers.
Now keep in mind that at this point, my wife and I were working more than 10 hours a day to secure sales, do the work ourselves, and deliver and manage all client relations.
— So think about it a little at this exact time. If in one month we made 6000 us dollars, that would be around 72 thousand for the year. That’s still a long way to the million.
However, that’s one of the critical turning points that happened.
We offered three different services: copywriting, social media management, and design. And this is one of the most obvious mistakes beginners make: thinking of providing more services to make more money.
And in fact, at this point, we started profoundly focusing on the main business, offering only one single service. And this alone let us make nearly 200 thousand us dollars in the first year of 2018.
And guess what? All this while traveling the world. In fact, we went to Lebanon, Egypt, three islands in Thailand, lived one month in Kuala Lumpur, when to Bali for 3 weeks, then went back to Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, and Spain.
Now we had more money than we imagined as employees, and we started thinking about what to do with the money.
In one way, we were still in our scarcity mindset, thinking that money was going to run out and what would happen if suddenly we didn’t have anymore.
So the first thing we did, as many would do, bought an apartment. The first one was in Istanbul in 2018. We purchased our first ever apartment for 50 thousand dollars, did some renovations for 10 thousand, and put it up for rent on Airbnb.
That apartment alone got us around 7000 the first year (more than 10%), but it was hard to manage while traveling, and that’s a story for another time.
In 2019 and 2020, we focused on a bunch of other projects, which included our Amazon brand, our service, and this youtube channel. In 2019 we made around 400 thousand and bought a second apartment in Istanbul for approximately 120 thousand, including renovations but didn’t rent that out. In 2020 during the pandemic, we made around half a million, which was used to buy a beautiful 3 bedroom apartment in Dubai in 2021.
At this point, we had already reached the million. However, we were still deeply involved in the businesses, and we realized that money is just all potential power with a value that heavily fluctuates over time. So in 2021, our goal was to properly reinvest the money in education, processes, and teams that would help us finally grow our assets while we give back to other people helping us in our missions.
There you have it.
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There is still much to be said and countless stories that happened during these years, and I can’t wait to share them with you in my blog in the upcoming weeks.
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