Who is Jean-Serge Gagnon and why follow me?
Today’s episode is all about me.
Where I’m from, my family, how I got into business and my online journey.
Now that I’m building a personal brand online you might wonder how it all started.
My first business was called Newlix. I was co-founder and we started it in 1998… shutdown in 2001.
At that time, I was a millionaire! My net worth was almost 2 Million Dollars, well, Canadian lol
But let’s go back a little more…
Where is Jean-Serge from?
I was born in Sept-Iles, Quebec and lived there until I was 6 years old.
We moved to Manitoba until I was 9 then to Nova Scotia and finally to Gatineau, Quebec where I lived my adolescent life until meeting my first wife in 1990.
I had two beautiful little girls and worked as a computer technician at Ottawa University.
I’ve always wanted more though… I wanted to be a millionaire and live the big life.
So I always worked on different projects.
This of course took a tole on my first marriage. It took many years to show it’s impact – more on that later.
First real computer job
I worked at Radio Shack after college and eventually became manager. I was there for 4 years.
I wanted more – I couldn’t see my self become a district manager, they just made 60k (I was making 40k or so)
So I looked into sales…
Car sales at Mazda for 6 months…
Then, I almost took a job as sales rep in a new Apple Store but instead decided to take a job as a sales rep for Rainbow vacuums, imagine.
After which I took my first “compter related” job at QMS Printers as a “sales analyst” – I was responsible to setup expensive printers a customer sites and help with technical support after sales.
I learned about PostScript programming language at QMS. I worked there almost 4 years.
My first online experiences
Then my first internet type job came – a friend told me of a position at Ottawa University as a hardware support specialist.
I met my first wife while working there…
It’s also where I learned about the Internet – it was called BITNET back then, the network that connected all universities together.
I even setup my own FTP server to share my first program called PPST – the Postscript Processing Speed Test
I was there for 4 years as well.
but, I was seduced by more income and took a programming contract… I made huge money – like $400 a day! That was insane…
but it lasted just 4 months and there was no new contract for me so I looked for a job…
Because of the increased income, our expenses grew too, so I looked for contract anywhere…
Eventually found someone in St-Louis working for AT&T
When it all changed
In the mean time, while working back at Radio Shack part time in evenings to make more money… one of my colleagues asked me to go to a “business opportunity presentation”.
That was in 1991 (I think) and I was blown away by the MLM business model…
It was my way of becoming rich! right? Oh well…
Anyway, I did that for many years… buying wholesale and telling my friends about it… nothing big came of it but I did love the model.
In my first week in St-Louis, I got a call from a company in California that say my PPST program and wanted to interview me…
I took a flight the next day and spent a few hours in LA and flew back to St-Louis to quit my job
The we both flew to LA to spend a weekend and we were excited for a new job.
Seriously, it was 2x more money (from 35k CA to 60k US) and we moved to Thousand Oaks, California.
The shift to entrepreneurship
During that job in LA, I learned a lot about Linux (well more since I started using Linux a few years earlier)
Because of this, I started working on a automated install of Linux from a CD boot.
Unfortunately, the company I worked for in LA (YARC Systems) was in trouble and in the last few months would pay me 30 days late.
Not a fun thing to live through when you have huge rent to pay (and long distance phone bills)
We ended up moving back to Canada and I kept working for them a few months remotely until they shut down.
At the height of their success, I owned 30,000 shares evaluated at $3 each. Not a millionaire yet.
A friend of mine was impressed with my auto install Linux CD and introduced me to one of his entrepreneur friends
Becoming a Millionaire
He was also very impressed and agreed to invest $50k to start Newlix Corporation.
I owned half the company, so I was worth $50k – woohoo!
We grew the company to a headcount of 20 people, had an initial Angel founding round of $500k and a second round at $10 million.
By then, my ownership was diluted to about 20% which meant I was worth almost $2 million!
It was great but unfortunately not meant to be. We were in our 3rd round of financing, looking for $25 million but no one was investing in Linux companies.
It was the dotcom bust – we had to shut down and my shares in the company ended me with a few hundred k – of course taxes took half.
From there to here
I eventually found a new job in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada as a Build Manager… today I work as a DevOps
I learned a lot of things about programming over the years on side projects.
I met my wife on a weekend trip in 2009 and she’s been a supporter for me.
In 2015, I had to get a new job… we were moved to PEI… there was no work in PEI that paid enough.
So, I took a job in Montreal – 12 hours away from home.
My first thought was back to MLM – build that and generate enough to quit my job… Montreal was a big city, I could do it…
It so much time and effort… how could I have a job and build an MLM? I know lots do it, but it just wasn’t working for me – or I wasn’t making it work.
Finding the online marketing world
During Christmas break in 2015, after 6 months working in Montreal and seeing my wife and kids a few times, I was searching…
I was searching for a way to build my MLM online.
I found lots of interesting videos and blog posts… and eventually found Cesar Rodriguez’s free Heavy Hitter Boot camp.
My Lead System PRO was my ticket! I was gonna be rich in 3-6 months!
Well, that didn’t work out quite like that.
But, I learned everything I know today from them.
I’m still learning but I’m helping you to learn too and I’m excited for your success.
I will have to create a new blog post and episode talking about that story…