Twenty 8 and Zero
I turn 28 in three days, and what a ride it has been. The COVID lockdown, attempting UOL modules with no formal classes and having to pivot the business multiple times in the last 12 months.
I spent the last 30 days in research and geek mode as I tested out Youtube advertising. I had to buy a ton of tech gear, familiarize myself with Final cut pro, speaking in front of the camera and then Google ads platform itself.
The result: I declare Singapore’s dating coaching market dead as I spent 1.6k into paid advertising to the best of my abilities.
In business, it’s better to just be upfront about it and cut my losses.
It could be purely due to corona season and the Singaporean men market just isn’t excited to date. However, I have some clients that are hardcore and still go out to meet women in masks. Hint: it can be done. I told my recent clients, you guys may very well be my last batch of students in Singapore.
Thousands of dollars spent into marketing budgets, learning the skillsets and 7 years since I started the dating advice blog. I found myself in limbo, 1) shut it down and move on. 2) Pivot.
Now, even though I think I’ll make it good in sales, insurance, real estate and or banking. I actually do have a huge distaste for these professions due to the principal-agent problem.
I also knew I could also easily market anything more conventional from vocal classes to business grants. Then again, I’m an idealist, I’d rather fail as a starving artist…
I’m turning 28 soon.
That means, the pressure to perform financially is there.
On the bright side, the only thing I am reliant on parents is rent. However, I got bills to pay. It’s when the business goes south you are under immense pressure. Thankfully (and of course strategically), I do not have huge overheads such as kids or mortgages: and my Mum wouldn’t let me starve to death if I asked for help (I hope).
I’m looking to pivot the assets I built up through the years (the website) in the best way possible in the next 12 months and maybe sell it away (rebrand to a non-personal brand) or continue to build on it.
I am aiming for the international market. This is reflected in my own client portfolio in Singapore. Let’s face it, Marcus, most Singaporeans just won’t be bothered to learn to date. I was idealistic to enter a market with a mere 20 searches a month “dating coaching” keyword from Google keyword planner.
However, hey, I had a good run. I really did.
On the other hand, there is hearsay of local entrepreneurs such as Jian Yong, founder of happy Swim School banking his way to 100m by selling swimming classes. Yes, swimming classes.
Gary Halbert, one of the best marketers of his time quipped that the most important aspect of marketing is to put your product and service in front of a hungry crowd, and not to create the hunger.
In spite of my increasing ability to excel in conventional settings over the years (Berkeley and University of London), I don’t think I am employable in the long run. You can ask my friends and my ex-employers.
Initially, I got stressed out and felt pretty down. I realized that I needed to either pivot or close the business.
However, I am still armed with copywriting, video and SEO skillsets that are valuable to every organization. I’m also on track to 2nd upper honours in my degree program. (I’m a slow starter when it comes to being competitive with grades, I used to not care at all lol)
I don’t think I’ll starve to death. However, starving to death is one. I always expected myself to excel.
This is why I choose to pivot and secondly explore new ways of entrepreneurship. The internet is a wonderful place where you can market products and ideas to the world. If the Singapore market doesn't cut it, then let’s try the world.
I’m also hugely considering to get educated in small business mergers and acquisition in the near future. Even though I do have skillsets as a digital marketer, I’m hardly interested in running an agency and doing consulting/coaching in this oversaturated niche.
It’s better to purchase a company and then implement your ideas or allocate capital to your marketing acquisition systems.
To give you an analogy: Jian Yong used SEO to grow his school. He is an SEO specialist + a swim coach. However, people know him for his swimming school and not as an SEO specialist. I’m also persuaded that he won’t be able to make 100m as an SEO specialist charging 500 SGD a month for his services. He owned his vertical.
I am not considering being an insurance agent or real estate agent. Nobody woke up and declared, “my life goal is to be an insurance agent or real estate agent”.
Furthermore, if you created a product or service through your own hands out of thin air and scaled it to a certain point, it’s hard to go back to more conventional ways of generating income.
It’s not a knock on nobody. However, you get my point.