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Dan Lok is a globally respected entrepreneur mentor, and one of the world’s most watched, followed, and quoted social media influencers with over tens of million followers across his brands.
Dan has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Money, Business Insider, Tedx, and on major television networks.
Dan is also the managing partner of DragonX Capital. DragonX Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage companies outside of Silicon Valley.
Dan Lok is one of the most recognized entrepreneur mentors in the world, having built a coaching + consulting enterprise that has collectively sold over $100+ million dollars worth of coaching programs, digital courses and high-value services online.
Today, he’s also the Chairman of Dragon 100™: the premier advisory group for entrepreneurs generating 7– and 8-figure revenues.
I was a punk kid.
I grew up in Hong Kong with enough money supplied by my Dad to always have $100 in my pocket. I had zero ambition. I was not interested in success. But my parents divorced when I was 16, and everything changed.
My mom and I immigrated to a bad neighborhood in Vancouver and a low-rent, one-room apartment. My bed was a sleeping bag. And suddenly, no more money in my pocket!
At 17, I hear my mom in her room talking on the phone. Then she comes out crying. “Mom, is everything okay?” I ask. “Your Dad just told me he went bankrupt. He can’t send us money anymore, we are on our own” she says with tears streaming down her face.
“What am I going to do?” (Mom scraped by with the little money dad supplied. She did not have a paying job).
For the first time, I see hopelessness on my mom’s face.
My mom was an angel for me. It was so painful to see her feeling afraid and hopeless. I never wanted to see that look on her face again. At that moment, I vowed to myself to do whatever it takes to protect her. No excuses.
Overnight, self-help books become my thing; me, the kid that hates school and can barely speak or read English, start going to the library! I have to use a little dictionary to translate as I read English. But I desire to upgrade my mindset and skills, so I think to myself,
Next, I see the Bruce Lee movie, Return of the Dragon. He instantly became my hero! (In the movie, he was looked down upon and out of place in Rome unable to speak the language. In school I was bullied and I felt out of place). So I begin taking Martial Arts courses to make myself strong and confident like Bruce Lee!
And then I begin side-hustles. Mowing lawns, fixing computers, stocking supermarket shelves (the only time I was ever an employee), flipping textbooks – anything to make a buck.
My side hustles evolve quickly into business ideas. The problem is that I am overconfident and inexperienced, the worst combination.
To fund my crazy business ideas, I borrow money from relatives. I fail 13 times in 3 years, and by my 21st birthday, I owe $150,000. This is especially bad in Asian culture. It puts a lot of pressure on my mom by bringing her shame. In her family’s eyes, she is a failure as a mom because I am a failure.
I am broke. Deep in debt. And a college dropout. Trust me, no one believed in me. Not even me. But now I felt desperate to make something work.
Little did I know I had a date with destiny.
At the time, I received a newsletter from a man named Alan Jacques. He would promote his workshops, but I loved his sales writing! I collected his newsletter dreaming of someday being able to write like him.
A few months later, still $150,000 in debt, still the guy with 13 business failures in a row, I go to a workshop and sit in the back. I look at the name tag of the man sitting next to me. It says, “Alan Jacques.”
“Holy S*&#!” I can’t believe it! I’m a huge fan!” I exclaim loudly, even though the speaker at the front of the room is speaking! Total fanboy moment.
Alan says, “Thank you. We hope people get a lot out of our workshop.”
“No, no, no, not the workshop. Your sales letters! I collect them. I love your writing!”
Alan is shocked. I’m this young Asian kid with spiky hair jumping up and down, screaming about his writing! You know that doesn’t happen every day. Then the speaker on stage says, “Okay, you guys need to quiet down in the back.”
I had lunch with Alan, and I learned where he lived. For three months, I showed up at Alan’s house very often, always unannounced, and offered to help him any way I could. I’d even mow his lawn – yes, I did. I didn’t want to make excuses. Finally, Alan became the first person to believe in me. And he took me under his wing.
I learned to write copy, started my one-person, advertising agency, and earned my first significant profits. By age 27, I was a self-made millionaire; shortly after, an 8-figure entrepreneur.
But my first taste of real success came sooner. It was the day I was able to provide for my mom. I’ll never forget taking her to the grocery store, without feeling bad that she had to shop in the “Almost Expired” section to buy fruit and vegetables. I said to her, “No mom, you can buy anything you want in the store. You don’t have to worry anymore.”
That was very much my turning point.
Today, even though I’ve written 12 books and taught millions of people around the world, I remember where I started. I was a punk kid who couldn’t read or write English, who failed his first 13 businesses, who was deep in debt to family members by 21. My only dream was to take care of my mother.
I hope my story shows others that there are no excuses.
No matter where you begin, what obstacles you face, or even what race you are – You can do it!
“My mom is a cancer survivor. I lost my mother-in-law to cancer. I strongly believe in Be The Match’s mission to save people from life-threatening blood cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma. I’d like to see a world where cellular therapies are readily available to everyone, regardless of race. Be The Match has my full support and I’m proud to partner with them in the hopes that we can save as many people as humanly possible.”