Hello, this is Andre Amsing from the French Alps. With my brother Bert we were raised in a Dutch family who emigrated to Clinton Ontario.
I went to high school, and since Canada is a bilingual country, we had to study French. But class was from 2 – 4 pm and digesting lunch plus hot June weather had me daydreaming.
“I’ll never learn French in a classroom. My only hope would be to get married to a French woman and live in France for a while.” They let me have my Grade 13 diploma with 50/100 for French. I think Mr. Brazeau gave it to me for effort.
Met the girl of my “Daydream”
I wanted to travel and after high school went to Holland for 18 months and then to a school in Wales specializing in linguistics, theology, and literacy. Well believe it or not, I met the only French girl there.
We have been married 45 years and except for the first five years where we lived in Michigan, Texas, and Istanbul, we lived most of that time in France. We raised a family of 5 children who are all doing well.
But to meet the needs of a growing family, I started working in sales. (Yes, I became fluent in French).
After having worked as a small businessman or salesman for many years, I was nearing retirement. But with a lot
of business expenses since I was driving 30 to 40000 miles per year and paid on a commission basis only, I could not save for retirement. Would I have to continue working ‘til 72 years old to get a full pension of about …$1800?
No ongoing results for all the work
I had been working on different ‘niche’ businesses in the floor tile trade as well as selling innovative office supply material business to business. I always have been a hard worker but there were no ongoing results of the work I had done.
In January 2011 I gave my business in the floor tile trade away to a friend and my innovative office supply client list to one of my colleagues for free. I never got paid for that work. I was going to take on a salaried position in a Swiss NGO a couple of months later.
Once I got the Swiss NGO job, we were living better than we ever did with a good Swiss salary but that’s where you need to plan ahead. So at 59 we started over.
Retired, building a Home Business, and loving it
I knew I would need an income to supplement my retirement money and I had heard that you could sell online with ever having to leave your home. That appealed to me when I thought of how many miles, I travelled for years to reach my clients.
I started learning how to run a computer at work. Benjamin, a colleague offered (as my birthday gift) one year of free coaching on the computer! He had a challenging job because at that point I didn’t even know how to send an email or copy and paste!
Invest in yourself, no one else will
I was 61 when I got started with my online business. 18 months before that time (OCT 2012) I started to invest in myself and spent money on online courses to learn the basics of the internet. The learning curve was pretty steep but every week I spent about 20 hours learning on top of my job.
I figured that I could use my money to study online marketing so that I would have other options available if my employer would not need my services anymore. (It actually happened because I was “let go” several years before retirement.)
So I learned a lot (and went from “technophobe” to a “60-year-old geek” like my son would say (he is exaggerating of course).
To your success,
P.S. I also have a ministry called “Church Online” (Eglise en Ligne) and would love to connect with fellow believers (especially if you speak or write French) to collaborate with me on this project. Just reach out by replying to one of our emails or sending in a support ticket at email@example.com. I look forward to meeting you soon. God bless.