Employee Turned Entrepreneur – Eric Sangerma
Posted Under: Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Our Heroes
In “Our Heroes” today we have Eric Sangerma. While traveling around Asia was an upside to the corporate job he had before, he always felt like it was jail. He broke the 9to5 jail “cold turkey.” See how:
DD: Who are you and what kind of corporate job were you at?
ES: My name is Eric Sangerma, and I was the Asia-Pacific Manager for one of the leading French Veterinary Pharmaceutical companies. I was based in Shanghai, China, where I have been living since 2000.
DD: What made you leave the job? When did you realize that you wanted to be an entrepreneur & why?
ES: First of all, I have to say I loved my job in the sense that it allowed me to travel around Asia and develop a very large panel of skills. My only problem with this job, and most of the other jobs I had before, is that I felt I was kind of a “prisoner of the system.” I could not make all the decisions I wanted to and sometimes the lack of reactivity of the persons around me would drive me crazy. On top of that, I have never been a fan of the “9 to 5 jail” as you put it on your site.
DD: What did you do to break the corporate jail? How did you prepare for the employee to entrepreneur transition?
ES: I actually went “cold turkey.” I quit my job and just decided to dive into it directly. At the time, in 2006, I had read a lot about affiliate marketing and seen that a lot of people were making tons of money on the internet from the comfort of their own home. I instantly felt in love with that idea and tried to pursue it to the best of my abilities. I bought and studied a lot of e-books and worked very hard, very long days, to put myself in a position where I would feel confident enough that I could actually start making money online.
DD: What is one resource (person, coach, book, organization anything) that helped the most/best?
ES: The e-book that changed my life was “Google Cash” by Chris Carpenter. That’s how I started, by promoting other people’s products through affiliate marketing and the use of Google adwords.
DD: What do you know now that you wish if only you knew when you made the transition?
ES: I wish I had known exactly who to take inspiration from, and I think actually that I was quite lucky and did not get distracted from my path too much.
DD: What are your suggestions for aspiring entrepreneurs?
ES: First and foremost, if you have some ideas, if you do not like your present job, just go for it. It is especially true if you are in your twenties or early thirties without a family, what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose.
For those of you who do have a family to support and feel there would be too much of a risk involved in doing your own business, I’d recommend starting online during your free time. Try affiliate marketing, the investment is minimum, and if it does work, you will be able to switch and do this full time.
DD: How are you doing and how do you feel now?
ES: I’m feeling great. I have launched my e-Marketing company: Arkadia Consulting. We are doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Marketing for many clients around the world. This is all thanks to my online experience in the last several years. I’m also trying to help people who want to start affiliate marketing online with my blog.
I have plenty of spare time to spend with my wife (who started her own online business as well) and my 16-month-old son Alex.
The decision I made almost 7 years ago to quit my job and do my own thing really changed our lives for the better.
DD: Much like kicking a bad habit, Eric Sangerma kicked the corporate jail to the curb without a backward glance. And much in the same fashion as getting rid of a bad habit, this change was for the better. Getting ready to drop your corporate job “cold turkey?” Share with us your experiences that lead you to this point, in comments below.
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