One can simply never stress enough the importance of having a passive income.
For most people, having a regular nine to five job is adequate. As long as you make ends meet with your salary with a little extra on the side, there’s really no need to look for another source of income.
But for those who dream of having more — whether financially or they just want to detach themselves from the same old corporate job, having a passive income is crucial. So while they’re working for money, they’re also making their money work for them.
Of course, a passive income isn’t a get-rich-quick solution. But it’s a major road towards financial security and stability.
It’s not all about the money too. There are moments when you can’t stomach the thought of having to work the same job until you retire so you feel the need to look somewhere else. Having the financial capability to do so is empowering.
That’s the case for Filipino Amazon Masterclass’ very own student, Andrea.
Andrea is a Philosophy graduate. Before becoming an Amazon seller, she bounced from one job to another.
“Patalon-talon ako ng job. Nagsulat ako ng movies for ABS-CBN, nag-Japan ako, nag-Thailand ako. Then I got married and nag-settle na ako sa house.”
As a stay-at-home mom, she started to look for an online job. This was around 2013-2014 where the online community wasn’t that prominent. That became a hindrance to Andrea.
“Nag-start ako in Upwork. The very first client I had, na-scam pa ako. I just accepted in sa Craigslist. Hindi siya [client] nagbabayad on time and ang sabi ko, ‘sige okay lang’. For me, hindi pa iyon red flag dati. Mga 2014 or 2013 kasi iyon, hindi pa kasi strong iyong online community so kakapain mo pa.”
Despite being scammed on her first job, she continued accepting online jobs here and there for a couple more years. But as a parent, she wanted to look for something more fulfilling rather than accepting a job that gets too repetitive.
“Dumating sa point na kapag hindi ko na nafe-feel iyong growth sa job, lilipat na ako. Madami talaga akong na-try. Tumatagal naman ako sa mga clients ko, mga one year or a year and a half. Pero kapag na-feel ko na repetitive na siya, or iyong ‘gagawin ko ba ito hanggang 50 years old na ako?’”
Unfortunately, feeling estranged from your own job is very common. Like Andrea, a lot of people don’t want to be limited from their work that is incredibly routinary.
But unlike other people, Andrea dared to take a leap of faith and break free.
While looking for her next online venture, she came across the Filipino Amazon Masterclass. Her desire to make money while still having control over her time led her to invest in her skills that will allow her to reach that goal.
“Very attractive for me iyong idea na magma-make ka ng money na free iyong time mo.”
When asked why she chose Amazon as her next online venture, Andrea shared how she was intrigued by the appeal of the brand name and the lifestyle that Amazon sellers live.
“Malakas ang hatak ng Amazon. I-compare mo siya sa pagsasabi na nag-oonline selling ka versus being an Amazon seller. Nandoon ang stability niya and brand power niya. Doon ako unang na-attract. Second, iyong tinitignan ko iyong lifestyle nila [Amazon sellers], gusto ko maging ganoon. Compared sa iba na hindi ako maka-relate sa kanya. Tsaka, kapag na-set up mo na iyong system sa Amazon, tatakbo na siya on its own. Iyon talaga iyong pinaka-amazing sa Amazon.”
So, for a stay-at-home mom like Andrea, she wanted to look for something that will allow her to earn money while still having total control over most of her time to focus on her personal and familial life. At the same time, she wanted something that will give her the financial freedom to attain her desired kind of lifestyle.
Her discovering of the Filipino Amazon Masterclass was just the beginning.
Enrolling in Filipino Amazon Masterclass was a huge deal for Andrea. After all, it was way more expensive compared to other Amazon classes found online. But her determination and want to belong in a local Amazon community where she could relate to is overwhelming.
After careful consideration and research, she found out that the same group offers a Masterclass for Amazon Seller Virtual Assistant. The course was drastically cheaper compared to the Filipino Amazon Masterclass so she decided to try it out first.
“Noong una, nag-enroll muna ako sa ASVA. Kasi malaki iyong difference ng price ng course. So iniisip ko, baka naman pwede akong mag-sell using that course. Pero in the end, hindi pala kasi magkaibang-magkaiba iyong modules. At saka, iba rin iyong community. Iba iyong goals sa ASVA at iba iyong sa FAM.”
By July 2019, Andrea finally enrolled in Filipino Amazon Masterclass. In just four months, Andrea was able to set up her Amazon business, fill her inventory, and sell her products — is one of the fastest to do so in her batch.
Sharing her experience on her journey to Amazon success, Andrea recalled the usual barriers to entry when it comes to starting an Amazon selling account in the Philippines.
“Una, ang karamihan talaga na matagal gawin ay application. Nagkataon lang na hindi ako nagkaroon ng maraming hurdles pagdating sa application. Second, pinanood ko lang iyong course talaga. Palagi kong sinasabi sa iba na magkaroon kayo ng Amazon buddy. Kasi dati, halos araw-araw kaming nag-uusap ni Tony. It’s an accountability partner or some sorts.”
Tony is one of her batchmates from FAM who was also successful in quickly launching her own Amazon business.
Having already invested in quite a lot of money for her Masterclass, Andrea lightheartedly recalled one of her mistakes when it comes to allotting her initial capital for her business.
“60,000 pesos iyong initial capital ko which is sobrang liit compared sa iba. Kasi diba, mas safe talaga kapag mas mataas iyong capital mo pero kuripot lang talaga ako. 100 pieces lang muna iyon [inventory]. Nagkaproblema ako kasi naubos iyong products ko tapos nagpa-air pa ako kasi nagtitipid ako noong una.”
Keeping tabs on inventory is one of the important aspects of the success of your Amazon business. While a sold-out inventory means that your product is getting traction and selling, that also equates to losing potential buyers the longer you have your inventory emptied.
Despite being a successful Amazon seller, she still makes sure that she doesn’t get too lax with her business. When asked about the hardest thing she encountered on her Amazon journey so far, Andrea stresses the importance of keeping yourself on your toes especially when it comes to Amazon policies.
“Even up to now, nakakatakot talaga iyong platform [Amazon]. When you sell, you really need to play by Amazon’s rules na pabago-bago every week or every month. Kailangan updated ka sa lahat. Iyon ang pinakamahirap. Everyday you’re on your toes even if bumebenta ka na.”
On her strategies as an Amazon seller, Andrea made a conscious choice to not use Pay-per-Click advertisement. By going organic, she was able to fully keep her profit without having to worry about the additional costs of upkeep. However, she recognizes that this strategy isn’t for everyone.
“Hindi ako nag-PPC at all. Organic lang lahat. So iyong mga profit ko, talagang profit lang. In 4-6 months, nakuha ko na iyong return of investment ko kasama na iyong binayad ko for Masterclass.”
Andrea used most of her profits to re-invest in her business. For her, this is the most important part when it comes to growing your Amazon business to be capable of so much more.
Considering that most Amazon sellers rely on PPC to bring traffic and buyers to their site, Andrea trusted on her own skills of doing product research to make sure that people would want to buy her products.
“Nag-launch kami ng Christmas. Akala ko, dahil Christmas kaya naubos pero tuloy-tuloy naman ang kita. So feeling ko, depende siya sa product research mo talaga.”
When asked about her goals for her Amazon business, Andrea just wanted a simple thing.
“Initially, iyong goal ko lang talaga is mapantayan iyong sweldo ko from freelance. Tapos, narealize ko na pwede pa palang bigger.”
She then compared herself to her students in Filipino Amazon Masterclass and her batchmates from ASVA.
“Iyong mga ibang students na nakaka-usap ko, ang lagi nilang sinasabi ay kapag nawalan sila ng client, nagscra-scramble sila to look for a new one. It’s the feast and famine cycle. Iyon ang goal nila na hindi ka mag-panic na mawalan ng client kasi may Amazon naman. For me, the realistic start ko ay hindi naman ganoong kalaking level ng money. Iba-iba naman tayo ng goals.”
After a couple of months working as an Amazon seller, Andrea now earns PHP 80,000 as her monthly passive income by just working 10 minutes a day.
“Siguro mga PhP 80,000 na passive income ang pumapasok. Hindi ako kasing aggressive ng ibang sellers, so mga 10 minutes of my day lang [working on Amazon]. Pumasok ako dito thinking na kaya niyang gumalaw mag-isa. I understand na iyong approach ng ibang sellers pero iyong point of view ko kasi, gusto ko siyang tumakbo mag-isa para makapag-set up ako ng iba.”
Andrea dreams big for her Amazon business. But right now, she wants to savor the moment of her success.
“Feeling ko, alam ko na iyong gagawin ko sa product para tumaas. Pero okay na ako at this moment muna.”
For a stay-at-home mom, Filipino Amazon Masterclass opened a lot of doors for Andrea when it comes to her establishing a business.
“May peace of mind na ako. Ang una kong nagustuhan sa FAM ay marami palang opportunities. It opened doors for me kasi ngayon, nagka-interest na ako sa e-commerce. Nagka-interest na ako sa Shopify. Gusto ko pang dagdagan iyong streams of income ko nung na-realize ko na totoo pala siya. So dagdagan pa natin. Second, hindi na ako katulad before na lagi akong naka-tutok sa computer. The income I get is not directly proportional to how many hours I worked.”
In the beginning, Andrea had little to no idea that this will be the outcome of her investment in her skills and to her business. The turnaround for the risks that she took blew her away. Recalling one of the moments from her FAM, Andrea couldn’t believe how far she’s come.
“Mahilig si Coach Lish na magpasulat ng goals. Sa meeting dati, tatanungin ka na mag-set ng goals. Nagulat ako kasi hihingan ka ng specific amount. Tapos, natupad siya. Iyong time na ginagawa ko iyon, parang wala lang. Nagsasabi lang ako kung anong value.
She fondly remembers FAM and the community as part of her success in Amazon.
“Sobrang nakatulong ang FAM at ng mga members ng FAM. Sa batch namin, kapag may opportunities for Amazon, talagang shina-share. Sobrang close talaga…Masarap din na may mapagtatanungan ka na community. Iyong mga experiences nila nakakatulong din. Iyong time na nag-lelesson pa ako, binabasa ko iyong mga Facebook posts kasi sobrang helpful talaga.”
When asked for advice to those who are on the fence about starting their own Amazon business and investing in their skills, Coach Andrea reminds everyone to put their money on something that is worthwhile and will give you a fulfilling return of investment.
“Malaking pera ang course, so sobra ko talaga siyang pinag-isipan bago ako nag-enroll. Hindi naman agad-agad. Pero after that, sobrang worth it kasi iba iyong nag-Amazon ka at may community for you. May mga one dollar courses, maganda nga pero iba iyong Filipino iyong kasama mo at may value iyong course. At the end of the day, ako pa rin naman iyong nag-work at nag-risk pero iba iyong feeling na may kasama kang community.”
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