History – the long story

You might call me a Serial Entrepreneur. I attended college to become an Electronics Engineering Technologist. I started out my career fixing gas pump instrumentation and then moved on to service manager for a photocopy company in the early ’70s. Yes, I’m an old guy born in 1955 but I have a young heart and soul that just loves to get up each morning to see what the new day has in store. 

From 1977 until 1983 I was heavily involved in the sales of Mercedes, Volvo and Subaru automobiles in Kelowna, BC.

One evening my new wife and I were walking past a new retail space called ComputerLand. I instantly knew that this was something I wanted to do. I applied as a salesperson and quickly rose to store manager and then bought the store. I sold the stores in 1986 to Bell Canada, tried being an employee and quit that after 6 months to become the competition across the street.

It wasn’t long before I was the single-source supplier of POS systems to Play It Again Sports stores across North America. During that time I partnered with a genius programmer named Stuart Wyatt to create the first Digital Rights Management software in April 1995 that was used by McAfee, Microsoft, WallData, and Corel. It wasn’t long (months) before big money showed up at our door in 1995 and we started a new company called Commerce Direct International to properly market this incredible product.

We had everything under control with loads of cash in the bank to fund growth, hired some talented people and pressed forward. We went from nothing to $100 million a year in revenue in less than 12 months. Shortly after that our large financiers such as Morgan Stanley suggested we hire a new high profile CEO to replace me. We did and it only took the bum 8 months to bankrupt us. Apparently, he was sent in by our competition to kill our company in 1998.

I then started Retail Professionals Software, sold it in 2003 and started 101sitehosting.com.

Now, as a result of solely focusing on automated recurring revenue services businesses we have grown to include AccessWireless.ca, Arcwifi.com, AutomatedMarketingAgency.com, Dropship Distribution Corporation, Hosting.express, Talktel.ca and Webbie.express. The future looks solid with multiple revenue streams. Recently we sold the Hotel industry assets under Liveport to a competitor and kept our MDU and government contract divisions to continue with the same crew and resources now named ArcWiFi.com. This recent change allowed ArcWiFi to focus on what we love best – riding the wave of customer demand for our qualified services.

Access Wireless continues to grow as we focus on our partnerships with network equipment brands that offer solid hardware products and Cloud-Based Dashboards that bring it all together in a single pane of glass when managing up to 1,000 client networks under a single management login.

Now, I am focused on launching my next digital entrepreneurship venture “Internet Marketing” with the mentored help of good people including Jono Armstrong, John Thornhill, Igor Keifetts, Justin Sardi,  Paul Murphy, Steven Alvey, Trevor Carr, Omar Martin and the crew at Promote Labs.

I had previously spent a load of cash on many of the “shiny objects” that promise instant income and results as if it was easy to get traffic, subscribers and cash but most of it wasn’t true. I basically spent $10,000 in 30 days to get a crash course on what not to do. I could afford it and I did it with my eyes wide open hoping to get a crash course in 30 days what others might do in 3 years. I ended up with about 3 versions of different products in each online marketing category. I only needed one but they all looked so good.

I soon found out that some marketers sell crap and don’t stand behind their 30-day refund policy. I don’t like to pull that trigger but when their cloud-based solution fails a few days after I laid out some serious cash and then their support lines are gone as well I can’t help feel it was my right to a refund.

Looking back I could have done what I should have done for free and then invested only a little cash in mentor training that would have taken more time but that would have resulted in a solid base to build a long-term business. I am now on the long-term business path building out and supplying real solutions to that market – just like I did in my previous careers in completely unrelated markets.

Apparently, nothing much changes, you can’t get rich overnight, you have to work at it diligently one day at a time. What I like best about this new career choice is that you don’t have to invest anything significantly more than your focused attention and time leveraging proven systems that are easy to replicate from a trusted mentor/trainer.

In my previous ventures, I had to lay out serious cash and mortgage everything I owned to set up multiple high overhead businesses with conservative returns if I worked 16 hour days.  That earned me a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 48 and a white light trip to the other side which turned out to be a real wake-up call during my long-suffering recovery.  That event was a blessing. It became abundantly clear that I needed to change everything including how I worked, lived and behaved. Amazingly, I learned to delegate and suddenly I was more successful than ever. In the last 4 years, I sold off most of those businesses that I had started and was able to put enough away to retire comfortably.

But, here I was bored and burning through cash at a rate that isn’t sustainable if I didn’t find a new way to honestly earn an income from some other magical source that didn’t need a serious investment of cash and that provided a healthy return on my time and effort.

Now it is abundantly clear that I simply need to encapsulate what I have learned over a 40-year career and repackage it as useful information and tools to help others succeed by directing them to the new ways of making their way towards freedom without debt.

So, I’ve started and I have to say this is FUN. Stay tuned – my new trail to success started right here on my blog.

Gerry Bakker