From BPO to Divisoria: My Personal Odyssey

MANILA, Philippines – “If Odysseus has his own odyssey, I also have one, just like every one of us.”

Read the inspirational and success story of Karlo Angelo Alamares, who did not quit on reaching his dreams amid the struggles in life.

Karlo Angelo Alamares of MyDivisoriaPH
Karlo Angelo Alamares with his family – his reason for striving hard, the WHO and WHY of his life.
I am Karlo Angelo Alamares, co-founder of MyDivisoria PH, a local social commerce company whose dream is to decentralize e-commerce and help our fellow Filipinos to become micro entrepreneurs by using social media. This blog is written not to promote our company or service but to promote life lessons I have learned during this journey of mine.

I graduated Political Science from a state university in Bicol. A student leader, parliamentarian and active on local and national issues; my parents, professors and friends see me as a high calibre lawyer in the future. After graduation, I married my college sweetheart and worked in a Manila based BPO company to meet our familial needs. Back then, when you are in a supervisory position at a BPO company – you are earning well, both financially and respect from your co-employees, family and friends.

After four years, my wife and I got separated, I was sent to jail by my ex-wife, our daughter was taken away from me and my father died. As the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” It was the lowest point of my life. But life goes on... Even if you way over depressed, it still goes on.

I continued working for two years and started law school. Thanks to my new found love, Jane (who is now my wife), for helping me out financially; during this time I am financially drained as 80% of my income (that is before taxes) goes to child support. I decided to call it quits and went home to Bicol to try my luck. I continued law school, but being employed is hard. Companies either ignore me or tell me I am over qualified. Having rotten luck in the province brought me back to Manila and tried to go back to my old BPO Company. Sad to say, my position is already filled up. Just imagine my frustration, restlessness and anxiety during those times.

Until I met online freelancing (via my sister who works online), I borrowed an old laptop from a cousin and voila – after two weeks of applying I was accepted for two jobs; Jane followed suit and if we can make it why not create an agency out of it. Zerolinx Virtual Solutions started, with it I have created an online portfolio and expanded my business network. Armed with new skills and online connections, we went home again to Bicol and started to build my own real company, as my way of saying thank you to all the companies who snubbed me. Equinox Virtual Solutions was born. I was a CEO at age 27! A local start up rock star and living the life! It started with only ten seats until it reached 300+ seats after three years. By the third year it was acquired by a North American company. I was retained as a consultant with a very high salary.

Imagine the earnings I have back then. So I diversified and invested my money on other businesses focusing on this, focusing on that. Until by November 2014, the company shut down. The US management team have other plans and I am not a part of it. Boom! Reality sets in, hundreds of employees lost their job and what’s worse? They blame me for it.

My dream house, the cars and other “assets” where all loaned from the bank. I lost them all! All that remained are the debts I acquired! It was the end of times for me. The end of my world! During those dark moments, I have not thought about Jane and my two little darling daughters – I have not lost everything! They are still with me! They are everything to me!

We relocated back to Manila to find greener pasture. We sold any property that can be sold to survive. One day as I was in Divisoria looking for not so expensive items for the family, a light bulb ignited in my head! How about an online Divisoria?

Upon getting home, I created a page and started MyDivisoria PH. The following day I took some pictures of items that can be sold online, posted them and got some orders. From that moment forward I go to Divisoria every day to learn, network with suppliers, look for new products, and know the system; after a year MyDivisoria PH have grown to 9,000+ resellers with P3M+ gross sales. I honestly started it with no financial capital. I started it by having an idea, trying it out, polishing it further and continue learning.

In this journey of mine, the number one lesson I have learned is that, don’t you ever quit! A very simple dictum but full of meaning... I did not quit because I know my “why” and my “who.” As Robert Kiyosaki said - “I wish I could say it was easy. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t hard either. But without a strong reason or purpose, anything in life is hard.”

Have a happy new year everybody and wherever you are in your own personal odyssey as of now – just continue, never ever think of quitting on your dreams.

About the author:

MyDivisoria PH

Has successfully exited on their first venture Equinox Virtual Solutionslast July 2014. A BPO company that started with 10 seats that expanded to 300 + employees in its first year of operation. It was later acquired by a North American Company. With his internet marketing, e-commerce, web and app development experience and his passion towards social enterprises, he has since then created MyDivisoria PH last November 2015.

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