Business savvy is not what comes to mind when you learn that Dan Lok’s first 13 firms were all failures.
But from those failures came invaluable lessons that, along with the wisdom of a mentor, ultimately brought success to the Vancouver-based entrepreneur, who will speak at the TRU Business Gala on Friday, March 6, at 6 p.m.
Lok arrived in Canada from Hong Kong with his parents when he was 14 years old. His parents divorced two years later and he saw the need to start working.
“But I didn’t want to just work for a company,” he said.
Some of Lok’s early solo ventures included mowing lawns, renting vending machines and starting a delivery business. However, over the years, his work didn’t pay off and he found himself in debt.
Everything turned around when he connected with his mentor, an entrepreneur in Coquitlam named Alan Jackson, for whom Lok began working.
The job didn’t pay — Lok was a volunteer — but he did pick up skills in marketing and sales.
“After one year, the most important skill he taught me was copywriting — how to use words to communicate your value and how to use words to sell,” he said.
That skill proved valuable for Lok, who started his 14th enterprise and began bringing in much-needed funds.
“I went from failing to a six-figure income within a year,” he said.
That was in his early 20s. Fast forward to today. Lok is now 39 and still using those copywriting skills and making bigger deals.
He has also tried to bottle his success and sells video packages on his website, including High Ticket Influencer: 12-Week Intensive Program for $10,000.
Lok now sees himself as a mentor for others and spreads his message to others via social media, podcasts and YouTube videos.
“I don’t tell them what they should do, I tell them what I do. I’m a practitioner of what I teach,” he said, noting his income these days is about 80 per cent the result of his entrepreneurship and 20 per cent a result of selling teaching materials.
Lok said he is eager to speak with business students at the TRU gala and welcomes questions.
“I don’t do this a lot, but I’m happy to do it if my message touches even one of them to become better,” he said.