Interview in the HOOD of Medellin, Colombia. Digital Nomad and Entrepreneurship

By Ian Fernando

Ian Fernando: Hey guys, welcome to Luis Delgado's show. Today 

Luis Delgado: We have Ian Fernando here live from Medellin. It has been a while since I've last had a, had a guest on the show. It's been about, I don't even know, maybe a year or two, yeah, because I've been working on this other podcast with, uh, my co host, but um, CEO of Ian Internet Media.

He's been in digital marketing space, media buyer, affiliate marketer for the past 15 years. I've been traveling the world about for about a decade, but I want to take it back to before you were a world traveler and international speaker and having your own company. Um, so right from the beginning, you know, what were you doing before you got into into business and traveling and, you know, well.

Well, there's a lot of stuff to start. So maybe we'll start off when I finished high school. We got 

Ian Fernando: into college. I went to college for about two years, about three and a half years. My first year I got kicked, uh, 

Luis Delgado: suspended for 

Ian Fernando: my first semester for having a poor GPA. Because all I was doing was like hanging around with the white girls on campus.

And just, it's because I live in a very Asian household and I was away from my parents. And I was like, Oh my God, I have freedom. Alright, so I just did whatever I wanted. Didn't really care about my grades. The second semester I actually got kicked out because of fighting, right, but that was just an issue, right.

Then I went back to New Jersey, 

Luis Delgado: um, and then I went to college there, Middlesex County College, a county college, and I 

Ian Fernando: got kicked out my third year for fighting. So I went to school for two and a half years. Couldn't really get into the... education part of my career, right? I couldn't listen to somebody that taught me about business because I went to school for business information, but none of the professors actually spoke or had knowledge of having their own businesses.

So I'm like, Why am I listening to this person? So when I did that and I told my mom, I didn't want to go back to school. She's like, well, you need to either find, go back to school or find a place, a new place. I'm like, all right, let me just find a new place. So technically I got kicked out and I had to figure out how to survive.

So. Basically, I was working three jobs. I was a waiter on the weekends, a human resource manager during the day, and a call center agent at night, right? So, I probably only slept probably two to three hours a day, right? Um, and then I told myself, like, you know what? There has to be something that I need to do to just get rid of two jobs.

My goal wasn't really to be an entrepreneur, to be where I'm at today, to be a traveler. My goal was at that time to have just one job. And then I found internet marketing. I googled how to make money online. I made money through eBay. My first, uh, career. I did very, very well. Um, I started ordering items in bulk, selling things outside of Walmart, outside ShopRite, uh, in the streets after work.

And then I also, once I started making bulk money on eBay, I was able to just get rid of, uh, one job. But the issue with that... How do I, I couldn't really deal with customer service because I was still working the two jobs. I still didn't have time to do working with, uh, with the clients. So then I started Googling how to make money with, without customers, 

Luis Delgado: without customers.

Ian Fernando: And then I found about affiliate marketing, media buying, and that's how I started buying ads on Google, buying ads on Facebook, uh, at that time, I was only buying ads on Google at that time, um, and I found affiliate marketing. Which then got me into an affiliate network and this affiliate network called Azuga back in the day, they're the one, they're responsible for jumpstarting my career, right?

I went from literally maybe 1, 000 a month to 1, 000 a week to pretty much 1, 000 a day, right? And that's pretty much how my career kind of started that path, right? There's a lot of things in between, like, there's a lot, it's like before, like, I, like, to survive in the hood, I had to like, Do a bunch of robberies.

You know,

but that's kind of stuff that, you know, happened to me. Like when I didn't have even free, when I didn't have wifi, I couldn't afford wifi. I saved money to buy a wireless repeater so I could put it on the edge of my window. And get a weak signal and get internet that way until I was able to afford a monthly, um, internet, like, so, yeah.

And so besides, uh, 

Luis Delgado: you know, getting kicked out from home and all these schools, like, what, what was your drive, though, to, to just, like, besides that, to be, to get into business? Why not, you know, pursue something 

Ian Fernando: else? Again, I didn't really understood anything about business. My goal was to get rid of two jobs and to get one job, right?

So eventually I Vonage, I went from call center agent. To, um, a, I forgot, like a school of call strategies where I had to figure out who had the fastest route, route call, but the cheapest route call, right? So it's all statistics. And then I realized to myself, if I were able to get rid of two jobs, can I get rid of this last job, right?

It was like a risk taker for me, a risk, risk, uh, issue for me. And I told myself, well, I have three months of worth of savings. So if I can replace this job within two months, then I'll continue. If not, then I'll find a job on the third month, right? Continue doing my job searching. And then when it's in my first month, I probably did my whole year's salary in one month.

Right. This is the first year. Yeah. My first time doing affiliate marketing. Right. And I was like, Oh, my God, this is awesome. This is great. So that's kind of how I got into it. And then over time, over time, I, over my career, I learned about it. Like, I learned how to do copy, create web design. I learned how to do more of the finance stuff, analytics, hiring, right?

Because eventually there's a lot of, uh, checkpoints in my life where I went from making things, 1, 000 a month to five figures a month to six figures, seven to eight, eight figures a month, right? So it's all throughout that time. I was always learning. So I never really wanted to get into business Entrepreneurship and affiliate marketing and media buying basically chose chose me.

Yeah, and did you know I mean at that 

Luis Delgado: point like I'm sure there's somebody that Kind of helped you along the way. Is there was there anyone that or that you looked up to like, hey, there's that Yeah, he's into marketing, you know, 

Ian Fernando: so back in the day, there was nobody like we have now, right? Because I started in 2002 full time 2004.

Um, Derek and Mike feel the same, you know, Russell Brunson, and um, Joel Kahn, like the old, old, old internet guys, old internet, old marketing guys, but on the internet, right? So like you have those legends for sure. Um, but there was nobody like me right at that time. So during that time I started creating, uh, I was using meetup.

com to find marketing meetups and that's how I started creating my circle, right? I started creating like, Oh, I want to meet people that do media buying on Google, Facebook. Plenty of fish, um, and then it's posted out there in public and eventually, uh, people in New Jersey that wanted to learn marketing or were into marketing or were just starting to marketing, just join my little meetup.

That's kind of who I learned from, but most of the time, 90% of the time I learned through mistakes, failure. Not the best way to learn. And that's how I learned. Failure. Yeah. So you were in New Jersey for a while and building this business 

Luis Delgado: and, and, and. This community, right? Yeah, at what point 

Ian Fernando: did you decide to 

Luis Delgado: move or how did you start, you know, it sounds like you were probably one of the first ones started like working from home, you know, or like, and traveling that term didn't exist then, but you 

Ian Fernando: know, I don't think it ever existed back in the day.

Right. I don't even think even remote work even existed back in the day. Right. So, I mean, this is 2004, 2005, 2006. We're in it with basically, let's see how old. Five, six, seven years old back then, right? Yeah. So everybody's still figuring it all out. It's like AI today. 

Luis Delgado: Yeah, 

Ian Fernando: exactly, exactly. 

Luis Delgado: So, so what, what, what inspired you to move overseas or to start traveling?

Is it when you reached a certain 

Ian Fernando: level of a success 

Luis Delgado: that you, was it just out of boredom or out of like 

Ian Fernando: to meet new people? So I think a little bit of mix out of boredom and I got tired. I needed to reset in my life, right? So I had a company in New Jersey or in Hoboken this time, um, we're doing amazing numbers, right?

Um, and one of the issues that I've hated was that when I became a C, when I was basically C level, which you technically just fall into the role of C level, it takes away, it takes you away from what you were doing, what you enjoyed. Me was looking at stats, looking at creatives, doing the ad, trying to trick people into buying, right?

That's what I enjoyed. But then, when I started having employees, I had to think about human research, I had to talk about people's payroll, I had to think about health benefits, their investment, they're all 401, I had to open banking, I had to open up more LLCs. I have to make sure there's no drama, who's having sex with who, like, these are the issues that having a company suck, and I hated it, and I got kind of burnt out, and two days before my birthday, uh, and before this time, I was traveling on and off, right, uh, but not full time, so, I walked into the office, and I basically told everybody, like, hey, Uh, the company's closing, um, take whatever you want in this office, right?

Because it's shutting down, right? Just like that. Yeah, just like that. And then that Friday was my birthday. We celebrate, I celebrate my birthday with my closest friend, my business partner. Yeah. And some employees. And that's Saturday or Sunday, one of those. I just flew to the Philippines and it took a year, year and a half off.

So that's how my travel, full time traveling kind of started. But I've been traveling on and off. Like my first, when I married me, my first. You know, a couple thousand dollars, uh, I went to Morocco, that's my first country, right? To solo? Yeah, just to, uh, just solo, right? But I was a cocky motherfucker back in the day, so that was a bad idea.

Luis Delgado: He said you were a cocky? Okay, yeah, all right. Well, I guess that's two questions. What changed that, cockiness, and then how 

Ian Fernando: come the Philippines? So my cock is when you grew up in the hood and you don't have everything. Yeah. You want everything, right? Mm-hmm. . So for me is one, like I was a kid that when I would save my checks to buy the new Jordans, right?

So when I had, you know, a couple hundred K here, I would buy a watch. If I had another couple grand here, I'll buy a new car. No, I flew private. There are times where me and my business partner, we'd be like, Oh, we want real Italian pizza. We just took a private jet to Italy for a night, right? Oh, we want to go clubbing in 11 tonight.

We just took a jet to 11 for the night. We flew back the next day, right? And I was also so cocky that if I walked into the club and the tables were full, I would talk to the manager and be like, Hey, how much for this table? It's like, Oh, somebody has to have it. Well, I'm like, I'm asking how much for this table.

How much can I add more? Like, Oh, if you want to take it, it'll be another 5k. I'm not going to get done. You, the manager would come in, pick these people out and I would have my table. That's how cocky I was. Like there's instances of me talking to a bouncer like, Motherfucker, I've been waiting in line, like, let me in, right?

Um, do you know who the fuck I am? You know, I make your salary. I just made your salary. Mootly, let me in, right? Yeah, that's 

Luis Delgado: how bad I was. Yeah, that was bad. I was, I was, I was 

Ian Fernando: bad. Oh man. And then the cockiness stopped because I went into depression twice, right? And my first depression was... When I bought a house, uh, because everybody in the industry at this time, we're young people, and everybody was buying houses.

So I'm like, I can buy a house too. Like, I can flex my money too, right? Um, so I bought a house. Uh, and then probably like a year into it, I was losing like 7k a day, right? And I was like, Oh man, what's going on? And then I, I was asking myself, would this work? Did I get into this industry by mistake? Was it by luck?

Did I have, do I actually have skill? I started questioning myself about these things. Like, did I just get into the right moment? During the internet to make easy money, right? Because at that time, you throw up an ad, you made money. That's how easy it was. Like literally, like I was doing ringtones, literally printing money.

You can just throw money at the wall and for some reason it just turned to gold, right? It turned into shit, right? So, it was easy to make money back in the day. Nowadays, it's still easy to make money, uh, but you have to be more and more strategic, right? And this is where my first depression I realized.

Okay, I need to just focus on what I know, what this marketing taught me and see if I can expand out. Right. And it's the reason why I have like these tattoos on here. Love life, right? Just so it reminds me all the time. And my second depression was, uh, when I got another house. You got another one? 

Luis Delgado: Yeah. 

Ian Fernando: Uh, in South Jersey.

And then I was, at that time, I was trying to make a software company. Right. And then I was struggling to do so and I went to my parents like, oh man, I don't think I'll be able to pay rent, uh, or my, my mortgage, right? And my mom's like, well, you can't come here because you shouldn't be moving, you shouldn't be moving backwards.

I'm like, fuck, that makes so much sense. But damn, I hate you for not allowing me back in the house. 

Luis Delgado: Right. Right? Your mom said that? 

Ian Fernando: Yeah. Most moms I feel like would say, right? Come on, honey, I miss you. Kiss. I like, no, you're moving backwards. Like, you're fucking up. I'm like, damn, she's right. Right. So within three months, um, I was able to repay the mortgage and I worked a deal with the bank.

Um, and then it all worked out. So we just need to add a little harsh push sometimes. So would you say that 

Luis Delgado: what made your cockiness go away is like. Almost the moment of having it all over the night. Yeah. That, you realize how, like... 

Ian Fernando: It's not even that, I think it's like, I realize that, dude, I treat people, I treat people like shit.

Right? Yeah, like, when you, when you, when you're depressed, when you're depressed, you start thinking about, Why am I here? Uh, am I worth it? Do I have skills? Am I good at what I do? What led me to this? Right? You start asking all these weird questions, and then I found out it's just my attitude, right? And then once I started to become more humble, like, things just slowly built up, right?

Would you say, 

Luis Delgado: I mean, I see that a lot with people, especially like, you know, people that knew money, right? Yeah. And then they didn't grow up with money, didn't have money, had to work hard for it. A lot of times they want to spend it, you know, on materialistic things, cars, houses, and then at some point... At some point, hopefully, most people probably realize that that's not work.

I agree. That's not work. Most of your happiness comes from this. Maybe it adds to it, but it's 

Ian Fernando: not everything. It makes life easier, right? I mean, for sure money makes things easier. I don't think it, I mean it doesn't make, I mean, I am pretty happy in my Porsche, right? Or my Lambo when it happens, right? You know, um, But at the day, like, Like right now, I'm just simple.

I don't even have a watch on, I don't have my chains on. I realized after traveling so for so many years, so many times, like when I was in. They're making it public. Like, people are happy, right? Just like, talking to you. I'm like, why is this person happy when they know they're broke? Right? But, it's that thing, that simplicity makes things happier.

So you've learned that in the 

Luis Delgado: years that you were traveling to these 

Ian Fernando: different countries? Yeah, prior to my full time. Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. It definitely hit me more. Like, when I sold a car, when I walked into the office and told everybody we're closing down. And I took a year off. It definitely hit me more because like in the Philippines, I would play, uh, basketball with my cousin and I would have Jordans on, right?

And he was playing flip flops and, and his friend would play with no flip flops. I'm like, dude, I'm so ashamed. Like, I'm embarrassed that I don't even want to play with y'all, right? But they're happy, right? And it's crazy to me that they don't have the basics, but yet they were able to play and enjoy themselves all together.

Right. So during that time, I traveled for sure. My first two years, I realized a lot more stuff for sure, but I knew this before, but. I just wanted to act like a boss. I would be the guy on Instagram, like at the airport, look at this fucking, look at these peasants. Right? like fucking pendants in the fucking, and they have to wait for the, wait for their fucking seats.

Yeah. I'm like, in first class, I'm like, they calling me a priority. I'm like, yeah. Like I fucking peasants. . You're upload. Yeah. On Instagram. Right? My sister would get so super mad about about that for sure. But yeah, that's not me anymore. Well, sometimes.

Do you have any, is there anything that you learned from, from, from being, it sounds like you're two different 

Luis Delgado: people. Was there, were there pros and cons? I mean, were there 

Ian Fernando: pros to being like that at all? Yeah, you, you're, you're super confident, right? You grow your confidence a lot, right? You know how to talk and you get what you want.

That brings, that brings the attitude in sales. Like when you want to create deals. Your cockiness helps, right, for sure. Because it's tied to some level of confidence. Yeah, no, it's like confidence. Like, yeah, dude, I know what I want. Like, just give it to me, right? But I can say, oh, there's, uh... So now, 

Luis Delgado: where does that come from, if you're not 

Ian Fernando: cocky anymore?

Luis Delgado: Now, if you're not that anymore, where does that same confidence come from? 

Ian Fernando: Well, it's still in me, right? I'm very confident in what I have. So, but I'm not, I'm not cocky. But if there's a deal that I want, I'll act cocky. I'll do like, you probably know this, I'll do something close. Where I'm like, oh yeah, the inbox.

Let me know when you send it to your account. I'm ready to start. That's not something close. That's cockiness. Right. But in a subtle way. Right. So that's because in sales or in marketing, if you're, if you're going to read a terms of service and be like, Oh, we can't do this. Then that kills your creativity.

Right. So cockiness is not like, like I'm still confident and I know what I'm doing. Yeah. Right. Like, but I'm also humbled. Now, right, but if I'm in the club and I can't get in, I won't be like, yo, what, how much that table has kicked these motherfuckers out. I'm not that person anymore. I'm like, oh, let's go, let's go to another club.

So that's, that's where it changes. I mean. Yeah. I mean, I think it's crazy how sometimes you have to go through dark moments 

Luis Delgado: just to get 

Ian Fernando: to that, that side. Yeah. The other side of things. Well, yeah, I mean, I think the difference nowadays is that... Because you still make the money. Yeah. And, but it's just the way you see things changing.

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I think the difference is that I have compound experience, whereas nowadays... People gain experience through YouTube, right? Like, I didn't know anything about financial education. Yeah. My parents only taught me how to save money, right? That doesn't do anything, right? Now, I had to hire a lawyer, CPA, tax attorney, right?

But people can get all that through the internet now, right? Which is, that's why a lot of people now are more financial savvy than anything, than when I was back in the day. Like, nobody's gonna buy a fucking quarter million watch. Tell them, hey, I bought a quarter million watch. Yeah. Right? 

Luis Delgado: You're like thinking back.

Um, tell me about, so you were traveling, you know, a couple of years and then you, so then when you got back into business, what, what were, what were, what was your, uh, your plan then, you know, and then how did that ultimately lead to 

Ian Fernando: being here today? So I think when I traveled and I took a year off, I wanted to get away.

I wanted to figure out who I was, right. Because being. Being a C level is not fun because you have to be responsible for people, not your company. Well, you have to be responsible for your company, which includes people, right? You're not responsible for yourself anymore, right? So you can't be selfish, right?

Um, so I didn't like that, right? And the craziest part is, like, before even that, I sold, uh, two companies, uh, before that. And just two years ago, I just sold another company, right? And they, the two other ones before 2013, um, I had my biggest employee list was probably 25, right? But I had somebody else take care of that, right?

Whereas me, when I owned my own stuff, I had to make sure everybody was good, everybody got paid right, right? Everybody had to know drama. But, I think... For me, I wanted to understand that what I wanted, did I want to make companies or do I just want to run, uh, affiliate campaigns, right? I'd rather be a one man show and have virtual assistant than have, uh, employees under me, right?

Because I'm responsible for my own income, right? Because the income in the company, I'm responsible for the revenue coming in to give to my employees, right? Let me talk to you. I have to make sure of KPIs. My KPIs aren't being hit and I get annoyed because I, I got to yell at employees, like, do I want to do that?

No, I don't know. It's, it's a weird dynamic. Right? I would rather just buy ads for myself. And if I don't make money, I don't make money. That's my fault. Right? Whereas if the company doesn't make money, then I can't pay employees. That's a heavy burden on me. I didn't want it. Got it. So you started to design your life in the way that you thought was best for you.

Yeah, correct. Yeah. 

Luis Delgado: And that was not having as much responsibility, but just focusing on a few clients. Um, and, and was that at that point also, were you thinking at that point, I also want to keep living overseas and work as, allowing you to work, you know, as least possible to make, and still make a lot of money?

Yeah. Or were you still like... Working a shit ton and trying to make a lot of money, even as a one man show. Oh 

Ian Fernando: man, no, I wasn't. So, once you hit, once you hit like a million, and you do eight, you're like, eh, they're different between one and, uh, seven and eight figures. Like, there's really not a big difference, right?

So then, I was like, okay, do I just want to make X amount of money per month? And just enjoy my life. Sure. I can do that because overseas is cheap, right? Right. I can control that variable, right? If I really want to make ends, I can, I can do it, right? But then that sacrifice my time, my freedom, my travel time, right?

Or do I just want to make a couple thousand dollars a month? So I can full time travel, full time read and write, all that stuff. But I realized that I want to be overseas probably four years into my travel, and probably three years into my travel. I was in Vietnam, and I really love Vietnam. And I think for me, once I understood how cheap it was, I was like, why would anybody want to live over, why would anybody want to live in the U.

S.? It took you that many years to, for that to put. Yeah, you know, and I started to think, figuring out how to, You might, well, we had taxation strategies overseas in Singapore and Hong Kong, but now it's like, okay, how do I do it for myself now? Because that, those entities were for the company, right? Huge corporations.

Yeah, exactly. So now it's like, how do I restructure it? Like right now I'm trying to figure out a little restructure for, for what I'm doing now, because this year I did very, very well, right? So now I'm trying to restructure it again. So I think it took me like three, four years to figure out, oh, I definitely want to be overseas just because.

Like lifestyle overseas is far better. What's better about it? I mean food access is far cheaper You can choose your climate. You can choose your your environment. You can choose your city, right? Like i'm moving to brazil next month And I'm going to Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo reminds me of New York, right? It has Japan town, it has German town, Italian town, Korean town, right?

The diversity is there, right? I guess those other ones as well. I thought that 

Luis Delgado: was mainly just Japan. I mean, I saw Japan. 

Ian Fernando: Town. Yeah, they're all, they're all out there. Yeah. 

Luis Delgado: He said they're all 

Ian Fernando: out there. Yeah, just imagine talking to a Japanese girl with a big booty. Like that's, that's crazy. In Brazil. In Brazil, yeah.

They're a mix. Yeah, they're a mix, right? And the other thing is you'll realize that people overseas, right, they enjoy being who they are, like Colombians, right? When you're in the U. S., There's this issue, like, we have an identity issue, right? So, everybody's like, oh, I want to protect my Mexican heritage.

Okay, cool. Right? That's awesome. Yeah, do that. Right. I want to protect my Indian heritage, but when it's a crossover, right, they're like, Oh, your culture appropriation like no motherfucker sharing my culture. Right. You don't understand that and it isn't what is the issue they have with. A lot of, uh, U. S. uh, what is U.

S. mostly? We have an identity crisis. We don't, we don't, we want to stay super, super, um, we purposely segregate ourselves. Like, we want to be Mexican and keep the Mexican community because we want to keep it. I'm like, cool, but then why are you sharing your topics with white people? Right? And the white people can't, like, be part of your barbecue, right?

When they go to your barbecue and then they try to take some of your traditions. And to share your recipe, just quote, quote, culture appropriation, right? Like what the hell? Yeah. Right? That's why it's called a melting pot. Right? But for some reason, we don't want to get into the pot, we just don't want to be segmented before getting into the pot.

Like oil and water. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, no, for sure, man. 

Luis Delgado: I think that's, I'm Mexican, Salvadorian, and American, 

Ian Fernando: so I feel like I'm 

Luis Delgado: split in different ways. But I think in the U. S., it's just. I don't want to say it's kind of been designed that way, but historically, we've been segregated. So I think it's just kind of played today.

It's changing now a 

Ian Fernando: bit, but... No, back in the day when I grew up, everybody was all about each other. Yeah. Like, in the hood, like everybody was all about, oh yeah, you know, let's, let's do that. Bring your, your Jewish friends here, you know, and now you get offended because people make a simple joke or, you know, they talk about whatever.

Right. Right. But... It's just a macro version of your culture, so why can't I talk about it? Yeah. That's just an issue. I think what I was gonna, I 

Luis Delgado: don't remember, I think you mentioned the word sensitive. I feel like people in the U. S. are just sensitive in general, just because they haven't had it hard. Which is a whole different topic, I know, but it's like...

Yeah, I can get it, yeah. Too 

Ian Fernando: bad, people are so soft, man. Yeah, they are. Well, the thing is, for example, my generation, my friend, they overlook their kids, right? Yeah. And I'm like, dude, let your daughter trip. Like, do you want me to trip her? Like, I'll trip her. Let me trip her. Right? So you don't feel bad. Yeah, I don't feel bad.

And the reason why, because... Like, you go to these schools, public schools, like, every kid's allergic, right? They're allergic to breathing, like, they fucking have, you know, all that shit. Like, when I grew up, like, we're going to the night climbing, building tree houses, doing bike, literally, probably trying to get ourselves killed on purpose, right?

But, that's because we were kids. Now... You can't even be a kid and enjoy the true value of exploration, true value of creativity, true value of, uh, self and the true value of like, you know, curiosity. Now you don't have it because you have somebody telling you that, oh, the internet says this, watch out, you can't be out at 6pm because, you know, the sun's too dark and I can't see you.

I'm like, what? Who cares? Your kid needs to be lost, right? That's, that's, the issue is... That there's so much information now that it created fear. Back in the day, there was no information, right? Limited access to information that there was fear, but there was still, uh, okay, just be careful. Type out it, right?

Right now, it's just so much information that we hear is a one negative issue. Probably 1% in your community and everybody's like, Oh my God, what's going on? That's another issue. Yeah, topic for another 

Luis Delgado: day. Definitely, that's another podcast. For sure. So taking it back. Um, you were creating this new business, like, not business, but just creating in a way that made sense for you, where you're able to travel, meet new people.

Um, you did that for, what, four or five 

Ian Fernando: years? Yeah, another four years, yeah, in years. Yeah, got it. 

Luis Delgado: So this is where, this is where it gets you to today, right? Yeah. Being in the same space. Yep. Just had some exits, well, in the process. Yeah. Um. So what would you say is that like, I mean, for some people that are watching, I mean, there's some people that are probably business owners themselves or trying to get into business, you know, what, what's, I guess, what's one thing that made, made you successful versus all the other hundreds of thousands of people have tried it and they just haven't been 

Ian Fernando: able to succeed.

I think you have to understand yourself, right? Because this, this question changes a lot for me sometimes, right? There's, there's a lot of people that get into business and then they try it for two, three, four, five years, but they have not been able to make a dollar. My message to you is like, dude, find another fucking venue.

Like, like, I, the example I use, like, okay, you're trying to go to the NBA, right? But you're saying your parents are pushing you like, oh, you're good. You're good people telling you you're good. But you have to realize yourself that you suck, right? Like. You realize, oh, I'm a far better sprinter, right, because I can go up to court far faster than anybody else on the court.

Once you realize that skill and take that and maybe like, oh, maybe I need to go to a track or track, track and field instead, right? Or, uh, soccer or football, right? Because that they value more in sprint game to run game than basketball, right? So once you realize your true self, I think it's important that, uh, you can move on or pivot.

Like with me, I realized that I don't, I don't want to be a C level, right? I don't want to be a CEO. Took me away from my skill, right? Which is media buying, creativity, creating an ad, creating an angle, doing landing pages, picking people in the buy, right? Things of that nature, right? So I think if you're, know who you are.

Um, and know when to stop and know that you cannot, you cannot progress anymore from where you're at. Then you can pivot to another, a new position, new role, new idea, right, new business, and go from there. It's funny and amazing how a lot of people say, 

Luis Delgado: kind of what you just said, it's like, knowing thyself, right?

It's like, it seems to be like the answer to... To a lot of your problems and a lot of like clarity, just getting to know who you are and what you want. I 

Ian Fernando: mean, I mean, I think it's really important because I, I know friends that are trying to do things in the affiliate space, but they've been doing it for six, seven years.

And when you're in the affiliate space and you can't even like, you can at least open an ad on TikTok right now and make your first dollar, right? And then are you able to make 1 turn to 100? That's the skill there, right? So if you realize you can do that, then maybe that is for you. But if you can, and you can be like, dude, I suck at this.

I can't do it. And you know, you have to understand like, oh man, I'm not good at coming up with angles. I'm not good with coming up with a perfect optimized landing page. I'm not good at ad copy. I'm not good at, um, coming up with, uh, testing page ideas, right? And there's a lot of guys that are coming to marketing.

That definitely, man, it's, it's, and. 

Luis Delgado: And that's just like the affiliate, right? I mean, there's Google ads, there's TikTok 

Ian Fernando: ads, Facebook ads, you have Snapchat, you have Pinterest ads, like you can advertise on Quora, advertise on Twitter, right? There's so many places to advertise. You have OTT now, YouTube, YouTube Shorts.

Like I've advertised, I mean you can advertise on Reddit, there's so many places to advertise. If Taboola is Outbrain native, there's... Man, I'm sure there's going to be a way 

Luis Delgado: to advertise in the VR, in the virtual reality as well. Oh yeah, 

Ian Fernando: I'm pretty sure they already have something like that out there. It has fast forward already?

I'm pretty sure. I'd want to see that. I'm pretty sure they have something out there already for that. That'd be insane. Yeah. But it's coming, I'm sure. Of course. Um, what... 

Luis Delgado: So I guess what practical advice do you have for someone that, um, I guess, I mean, I guess she already 

Ian Fernando: kind 

Luis Delgado: of 

Ian Fernando: answered that. Let me think of another question.

I just scratched that one. 

Luis Delgado: Um, so we're here today. So now, so now where, where are you, where are you trying to go now? Like what's, so that's interesting because you've been successful, you know, the past 15 years had some custom exits. Um, you know, and design a whole new business model where you're the one in charge and you're only responsible for yourself.

Yeah, but 

Ian Fernando: now what? Like, I don't know. What do you do? Like, 

Luis Delgado: at this point, like money is just like, you know, it's nice, but like you said, you don't necessarily want, it's not, it's not going to make you 

Ian Fernando: more happier. Yeah. Well, everybody in Michigan is a family. I'm like, 

Luis Delgado: I don't know about all that. 

Ian Fernando: Yeah. Um, I don't know.

So I started consulting two years ago during COVID, hoping to get ideas from CEOs. Right. Um, I still haven't found the perfect idea, but there's one company I consult for inviting me to be, uh, almost like a VP of their agency. Right. And I took this position because. Maybe I need to get back into a work environment with teams.

Working solo is awesome, but I'm not a very extrovert person, so for me, like, I need to talk to people. So, being put in this new position where I'm in now, managing people in the direction I want to go. Instead of trying to manage the creative team as a team, you know, everything now I have directors, team leads, and employees, and then obviously the bare bone employees, right?

I don't know if that's good to say. Right. So, but now I'm in this position where maybe it will help me explore the management lifestyle a little bit, right, in a proper way where I have proper structures. Because before being a CEO, we didn't really have a director, right? So everybody technically reported to me and my other two business partners at that time.

Right? So it got too much compounded. And that was back in the day where, you know, just running a company was the first time. Boom, boom, boom, boom. It was just like, oh, I don't think we need a director. Why do we need a director, right? It just costs money, right? Uh, but now I'm in a proper company where I can drive vision and drive results because I have structure, right?

So I don't know where version three of me might be going, right? But hopefully this new position that I'm in now is will bring me to a point of, you know, probably Good happiness challenge of proper challenges. I need like what happens is you get bored. I get bored. I get bored to making money, right? Good problem, right?

Yes, sir. Like, like I can throw up an ad and make money, right? Um, it's just easy for me. So now I just need a challenge. Hopefully with a 4d just new network I'm working with. Um, it allowed me to have proper challenges, team vibes, drive my vision, drive structure, drive revenue in a way that I probably haven't done properly before, right?

Because I probably did it inaccurately back in the day, just now have more proper structure. So we'll see where that goes, but obviously I don't know where the end goal is. I tend not to think too far ahead of time. I'm more of a present, present person type person. So, yeah. 

Luis Delgado: Gotcha. And that sounds like that's going to, you're going to start doing that from Brazil until, yeah, I guess you're going to decide how long you stay out there or why, why, why are you picking this part out?

Exactly. Got it. You know, one thing I do like about what you said is like that you get 

Ian Fernando: bored, you get bored, right? When 

Luis Delgado: you're good at something. And I think life in general, like things that are most worthwhile are things that challenge us, you know, if you don't have a challenge or some sort of struggle, healthy struggle, or even bad struggle, it just, It's almost like you need to struggle in life for you to value it, for it to be good once you do achieve certain things, right?

But it's also at the same time being aware that, you know, once you reach those goals, like it's just, it's a temporary feeling, right? It's not going to maintain there forever, right? You're always going to roll and fade. More, uh, you know, different or more, more challenges. 

Ian Fernando: Well, yeah, and that's why like kids nowadays should like go to the hood and get beat up on purpose.

Yeah, like, oh, I know how this feels. Okay, let's let me, let me not do this. I mean, So this is an action because nowadays when people fail in marketing or in their business, they think it's Somebody else's fault. It's the program's fault. It's Facebook's fault. But they don't understand, like, uh, maybe you don't have the skill.

Maybe you just suck at it. Or maybe you're not looking at a problem the right way. Or maybe you need to approach it in the wrong way. Like, there's a lot of thought process when you have a business. Right. Gotcha. All 

Luis Delgado: right, well look, I'm gonna, before we wrap up, I'm gonna ask you like, I think two more questions.

They're gonna be pretty random. Um, 

Ian Fernando: best place you've been to world like that you felt like, I 

Luis Delgado: guess, man, I inspired, 

Ian Fernando: I really love Vietnam. Vietnam is a perfect combination of, if I want to, if I wanted to categorize middle class, Vietnam would be middle class. I don't believe in in rich, I don't believe in middle class.

I always believe there's rich and poor, black and white ones and zeros. Right. Um, but Vietnam has a perfect medium of like, just upcoming, structurally developed, good food, people are nice, right? And it's just an amazing vibe there, right, for me. So I think Vietnam is, is an amazing, amazing spot for me. I thought I was going to actually live there.

Man, you just, I mean, I've always 

Luis Delgado: wanted to go to Vietnam, been to Asia, but not Vietnam. I think that's going to. If you're going out there next year, let me know, man. It'd be cool to visit. Um, but for the last question, um, it's... Out of all the things you've done up 

Ian Fernando: to today, what would you say that you're most proud of?

I think my most proud moment 

Luis Delgado: is when people ask 

Ian Fernando: me to do something that I didn't think I would be good at, right? And by that, I mean like, for example, when I get clients, I don't go out to get clients. People refer them to me. My first speaking gig? I thought I didn't know. I was a beginner in marketing.

Somebody thought that, Oh, you actually know what you're talking about. I want you to speak. Right? Um, I think that that I think that chain of events where people will see value in me by just me giving value, I think is important because I'll add on to that because my speaking engagements, it was very, very random.

I never saw myself a speaker. I didn't. I was probably my second year full time in the affiliate industry. And Sean Collins from affiliate Song, uh, asked me to speak at Bo at the Boston event. Mm-hmm. . And I was like, sure enough, prepping my cards. And, and I'm like, dude, I never saw myself as a speaker, but over time it count compounded that I knew what I, I was talking about, but I became speakers internationally and I just came back from California speaking at a private mastermind event.

Mm-hmm. , right. And, um, Yeah, I think when people see value, they want to, you know, take advantage of the value and they want to use it, right, to provide value elsewhere with clients. Again, I don't have to go seek out clients, right? Just clients seek out to me and they're paying five to six figures a month, right?

So, yeah. Awesome. And where can people find you? Uh, you can find me at ianfernando. com or ianfernando. com forward slash social, right? But mainly ianfernando. com. Got it. Well, man, it was great to have you on the 

Luis Delgado: show today, man. 

Ian Fernando: Thank you, brother. Thank you.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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