My mother had foresight.
She had the two of us enroll at a computer school at a nondescript building, with an area not exceeding 40 square meters. I forgot where it was located, but I remember we had to look over the shoulder of the teacher and we had to share a computer, tinkering with DOS and binary numbers and floppy discs together. We were no longer mother and child, but two people trying to ride with the times. I am not sure if I (or she) learned anything. I know that back at home I continued to type my thesis with an electric typewriter.
Not that it mattered. What we had learned would be relegated to the annals of computer history, because in a few years, mankind was to take several quantum leaps into the information age.
In his book “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century”, Thomas L. Friedman catalogued the shift of the philosophy of the world – from working hard, man had to work smart. He said, “… One way small companies flourish in the flat world is by learning to act really big. And the key to being small and acting big is being quick to take advantage of all the new tools for collaboration to reach farther, faster, wider, and deeper.”
From the computer came the Internet. And the internet is the new frontier where this is possible.
According to InternetWorldStats.com, worldwide Internet usage rose by 24.7% from the period 2000-2009, with growth ranging from 132.9% (North America) to 1,360.2% (Middle East).
For 2009, internet users comprised 6.7% of the population in Africa, 18.5% in Asia, 50.1% in Europe, 23.7% in the Middle East, 73.9% in North America, 30% in Latin America/Caribbean, and 60.1% in Oceania/Australia.
In the Philippines, Internet users rose from 2.6% of the population in 2000 to 9.3% of the population in 2005. In 2008, 14.6% of the population was using the Internet.
The realization hit me and hit me hard: we are at ground zero. The rules have been changed. To have a chance at success, one must leverage the Internet.
And I have got to ride the wave.
And so I decided to invest in my internet education. I found my mentor on the internet (where else), in OurAwesomePlanet.com, a food and travel blog that I frequent.
I discovered Anton Diaz, maven, internet guru and mentor, founder of MavenSecrets.
I did not know what I was getting myself into. At first, I was just curious. About Anton, about the internet business, about what he could teach me.
I joined the MavenSecrets in February 2009, not knowing that taking that step would define and re-configure the rest of my life.
As Anton said:
Maven Secrets goes far BEYOND traditional “Internet Marketing or Blog Marketing” programs because it focuses on having the right mindset and aligning yourself with what you are passionate about. It teaches the basics to give you a strong foundation. It also shares advanced strategies that you would need to become a maven in your chosen niche.
I learned this and more. And – oh boy – there is still too much to learn. As said in the testimonial, I did not know that it will lead to my re-examination of my life, that it will change my life, transfer me from the confines of my glass penthouse to vibrant, more exciting possibilities.
The possibilities indeed are exciting. Some found fortune, some found fame through computers and the Internet: Bill Gates III (Microsoft), Lawrence Ellison (Oracle), Sergey Brin (Google), Larry Page (Google), Michael Dell (Dell), Paul Allen (Microsoft), Shawn Fanning (Napster), Mark Zuckergerg (Facebook), John Donahoe (Ebay), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Jay Walker (Priceline). I could go on.
The future is on the Internet. MavenSecrets has opened a lot of doors for me, even doors within myself. I feel what Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan must have felt as colonizers eyeing a new colony – the reach of my eyesight cannot even comprehend the breadth and height and limitless potential of what is before me. Except that I am sitting on a desk, my eyes reflecting the many colors on the computer screen.
It is the place to be now, the new terra firma. Make your presence felt. Start a blog, or a website. Put your business on the web now.
It might even give you the break and riches you are waiting for.