How a Poor Immigrant Who Couldn’t Speak English Retired at 27 and Grew to be a Multi-Millionaire

Lessons from the life of the King of High-Ticket Sales

David O.
David O.
Aug 20, 2019 · 7 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Dan Lok

Today, the name Dan Lok is a global brand. It signifies excellence, business acumen and a top influencer shaping the skill economy. If you have noticed his YouTube channel (where he uploads a video every single day), you will find him doing what he does best.

His Chinese accent is still quite obvious today. He claims he speaks better English than Jackie Chan. But about 2 decades ago, he couldn’t speak a word of English. His mother relocated to Canada from Hong Kong and brought him along.

It wasn’t ambition or affluence that brought Dan to Canada. Actually, his parents were getting divorced and his mother made the choice to immigrate. Furthermore, Dan was getting into a lot of trouble in Hong Kong. He was getting along with the wrong crowd and had to be bailed from the police station a few times.

On one of those occasions, the police officer advised Dan’s father to take him out of Hong Kong. The police officer alluded to the fact that he would turn worse if left in that environment. This added to the reason his mother took him along to start a new life in Canada at the age of 14.

Getting to Canada, Dan couldn’t speak a word of English.

He struggled through high school and was a very shy student lacking self-confidence

However, he had a very entrepreneurial spirit. He felt the necessity to take care of his mum and hence thought of ways to make money.

Dan’s first business was a lawn mowing business. And he discovered it “accidentally”. He was jogging one day and saw an old man struggling to mow his own lawn. Dan offered to help him and the man agreed. After Dan was done, the man gave him $20. That opened up his mind.

So he thought of how he could turn this into a business. But first, he had to get a lawnmower. So he went to the old man to strike a deal for the lawnmower. He asked the old man to let him use the lawnmower and he would mow the man’s lawn every week as rent. The old man agreed. So Dan got a lawnmower and started thinking of how to get customers.

Dan’s aunt had a business and was making flyers to give out. And Dan saw an opportunity there. The ads were printed on one side of the paper only. So he asked for his ads to be printed on the other side and in exchange do the work of distributing the flyers. Dan had his way again and went around the neighborhood slipping the flyers under the doors.

He felt so confident in his marketing that he told his mum that the phone was about to start ringing off the hook. To Dan’s disbelief, no call came. After waiting a week, he thought to himself how he got his first customer so he can replicate it to get more. So he decided to do what he did that got him started.

He went to the nicest neighborhood and looked for the house with the tallest grass

He got to work and mowed the lawn. Apparently, he didn’t know there was anything against that. After he mowed the lawn, he sat at the door of the house waiting for the owner. Interestingly, the owner drove by and had to turn back because she couldn’t recognize her house.

She was surprised and talked for a while about how her surroundings got so bushy. In the end, she handed Dan $100.

Later, Dan went around the other houses and introduced himself as the guy who mowed the lawn of the house down the street

This was how Dan got started doing business.

Dan worked briefly as a grocery bagger, but he found it unfitting. Shortly after having a taste of business, he got drawn into the online world of selling. He sold stuff on eBay. He discovered a neighbor who claims to know much about the internet. The neighbor promised to help him with a setup on the internet.

Dan, being so trusting, was giving the neighbor money and the neighbor kept giving him hope. He kept putting in a lot of money through credit cards and loans from friends and relatives.

One day, he went to check the neighbor to see the progress and saw the apartment swept clean

There was no trace someone lived there the day before.

That was the first bitter lesson Dan learned. This got him stirred up to learn about the internet business. He began to read and study along that line.

Dan went to a conference where he noticed the gentleman that sat next to him. It was Alan Jacques. Dan had gotten exposed to sales letters written by Alan. He was fascinated at how the message and the marketing were crafted. So getting to sit beside Alan was a surreal moment.

Alan himself was a bit surprised that a young foreigner like Dan could like him because of his sales letters. Dan then offered to buy him lunch and Alan agreed. Alan was just intrigued by the eagerness of Dan through the lunch. Dan asked Alan to mentor him and Alan refused. But Dan didn’t give up.

Eventually, Dan’s persistence paid off and Alan gave him a chance. Alan gave him 3 conditions:

No excuses

No opinions

No victims (meaning, no blame game)

This mentorship with Alan introduced Dan to the world of copywriting. Copywriting became the first high-income skill Dan mastered.

Dan worked for Alan for next to nothing doing odd jobs around the office and learning. Alan began teaching him how to write a copy. Dan soon got the hang of it and started writing copies for $500.

After getting comfortable with that, Alan told Dan to increase his price. Dan initially thought an increase to $600 would do. But Alan told him to double his price. Dan struggled mentally with that a bit but then settled again at that level.

Not too long afterward, Alan told Dan to double his price again. This time it really shook Dan’s mentality. But he quickly adjusted to that level again. Alan kept pushing Dan to increase his price making him uncomfortable every time.

Finally, Alan told Dan to increase his price to $10,000.

This totally blew Dan’s mind. He couldn’t even mention that amount of money without a stutter. So Alan advised him to go home and practice asking for $10,000 in front of the mirror.

The time came when Dan was on the phone with a client. And the client asked what the price was. Dan says $10K. The client was bothered because the one who referred him to Dan told him $4,000. Dan says that used to be the price but it has now changed. Plus, the work with the client would take more time and effort. So, the client proposed 50% down and 50% when the job is done. And Dan says that is the arrangement he prefers also.

That was Dan’s first $10K client and others kept coming. Dan would work with 1 or 2 clients per month. This was Dan’s introduction to what he termed the world of high-ticket sales.

Dan was thriving as a copywriter. However, he soon saw another need. The companies he wrote copies for were asking him how to use it. Then Dan began to do marketing consulting.

Soon enough Dan made enough money to pay off his debt of about $150K which he got into when his neighbor duped him

He also invested in real estate. And when the returns from his real estate could afford him a good life, he decided to retire. This was at the age of 27.

Retirement for Dan was having all the time in the world to chill. He went to the beach every day for about a month. He got bored with that. Then he decided to start watching movies, getting all the movies he can. After about a month, he got tired of that also.

He then went back to his mentor for guidance on what to do next. He certainly didn’t want to “work”, but he wanted purpose and not emptiness. This led him into speaking, teaching and all the other things he does today.

Dan has evolved over the years. Things didn’t go so smooth after he came from retirement. There were other lows he had to rise from. He ran the Vancouver Entrepreneur’s Club for some years and now transitioned into a global educator.

Dan’s business life took another upward turn when he met his second mentor, Dan Pena

He got in contact with Dan Pena through sheer persistence. And later got the opportunity to attend the castle seminar in Dan Pena’s 15th-century castle in Scotland.

Today, Dan Lok’s picture is on Dan Pena’s Wall of Fame

Dan Lok is primarily immersed in his global education efforts. He runs a very rich online course known as HTC which deals with closing sales on the phone. And recently he launched a copywriting course to teach the modern way to write copies that convert.

  1. Dan’s life changed when he met his first mentor. He still says today that the fastest way to succeed is to have a mentor
  2. Dan worked practically for free with his first mentor. He worked to learn not to earn
  3. Dan constantly improved to take his skills to the next level. Even today, he still goes to events and training to learn (without being a speaker)

There are many more lessons. I hope you can pick some that apply to you from the story.


P.S. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for tips that give you a slight edge in business.

Rich Culture

Be the giver, not the beggar

David O.

Written by

David O.

Inspiring and educating people about money, entrepreneurship, investing, and mindset. | For writers → | Others →

Rich Culture

Exposing the mindset and strategies that lead people into a life of affluence, especially people from disadvantaged backgrounds

David O.

Written by

David O.

Inspiring and educating people about money, entrepreneurship, investing, and mindset. | For writers → | Others →

Rich Culture

Exposing the mindset and strategies that lead people into a life of affluence, especially people from disadvantaged backgrounds

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store