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Meet Edsel Roy. His was a story of the thousand others in the corporate workforce: he was a simple minimum wage employee as a marketing staff who lived with his parents in his aunt's house.
It was the year 2000, and communication became easier and cheaper through SMS or text messaging. Edsel, like most of the 'texters', became inseparable to his mobile phone. He tirelessly collected and forwarded inspiring and/or funny quotes and anecdotes day after day. Little did he know, texting was going to change his life.
Edsel, having an eye for opportunities, saw one in the text generation's fascination with text quotes and jokes. He started developing a compilation of quotes, sometimes making them up himself, and he published the first edition of his book Text Thots: A Collection of Inspiring Text Messages.
He thought 2,000 copies were enough for the small audience he thought he was writing for. But his small audience turned out a lot bigger than he expected, and in less than a month, all his 2,000 copies were bought. With more orders pouring in, Edsel had to have several more reprints of his book, and to make more editions as well.
In just one year, Edsel turned from being a simple employee to become the boss in his own business. Finding that printing books was a more lucrative livelihood, he quit his job and focused on the small company he named Lifebooks.
With a home-based office/warehouse and the help of his father and aunt, Edsel managed to meet the demands of his readers. Soon, he was able to buy his very first car and used it for delivery.
The milestones then came in leaps and bounds: Lifebooks acquired license to reprint American titles here in the Philippines, setting up good relations with international writers who send over their manuscripts to Lifebooks for local printing. This allowed his then family-based company to invest in a delivery van and employ two drivers. He managed to secure an office/warehouse, set up his parents in a 3-storey house, and live in his own condominium unit.
After catching on the text craze, Edsel now saw the next wave to break: online publishing. The year being 2006, Edsel started his blog Starmometer.com, which discusses everything from lifestyle to travel, gaming, fashion, and more. As was before, Edsel never imagined the volume of his online readers will reach heights that will require him to update the page 20 hours a day. But it did, and he again rose up to the challenge.
Using online advertising to his advantage, he was able to earn through his website. In just six years, Edsel managed to become one of the youngest successful start-up entrepreneurs in the Philippines.
But for this guy who somehow manages to catch on every new trend, it’s all a matter of loving your work.
Quoting Mark Anthony, Edsel said, "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. I think it's applicable to any kind of business that aspiring young entrepreneurs would like to pursue. As long as you love what you do, you will have passion to succeed in whatever endeavour you are taking."
Now on its 10th year, Starmometer.com is not how it used to be, Edsel acquiesced, with the various social media platforms today. But starting his blog at a time when only a few Filipinos were online certainly helped establish the page, and Starmometer.com still garners decent readership every day.
Lifebooks, on the other hand, is doing well at promotions on social media. The company just partnered with mobile digital app Buqo and their fiction titles are now available for download. Lifebooks is prepped to release its first batch of coloring books, as well as fiction books You and a Thousand Origami Cranes by Tsi Cajayon, Forget Me Not by JP Adrian, Balintataw by Red Aquino, Somewhere Between Moving On and You by JP Adrian, Mga Basag Quotes ni Pabebe Queen by Alexandra Javier, and 8 Cracks of Heart Before It Breaks by Shari Louise Co.
Edsel's story proves that technology can be used in different ways by different people. For some, technology simply provides better, faster and more efficient ways of doing things. But for people who see beyond the surface, technology has the power to fuel ideas, create opportunities, and change lives.
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