Amid the Hardships of the Pandemic, These 3 Filipinos Earn a Second Chance As Entrepreneurs

By Valerie Fischer

Do you think you deserve a second chance?

I’m going to give it straight to you. Yes, you do. You deserve a second chance, maybe even a third or fourth. But that all depends on the choices you make.

Personally, I have been given multiple chances in life. I quit my job and started a business. I lost my job and started a new business. My heart has been broken and healed many times.

Recently, the reality of second chances manifested in my life again when I joined The Conversion Engine as one of its founders.

Many of us Filipinos, believe that employment is the only way to earn money. We follow this linear path that our parents and their parents before them set. Go to school, do good in school to get into a good university. Graduate on time to get a job right after college. Start from the bottom, work your way up, and get a promotion. Then maybe when we have helped the family a while, then we can go into a relationship, get married, and have kids.

Nobody told us that we can create a different path for ourselves.

So off we go with our lives. Until we realize that something is missing, that we are not happy making other people rich with our time and talents. Some of us realize that early, and some spend most of our lives ignoring the call, working, and not living. I had a former boss call me one time and say that she was burnt out but can’t quit because she needed the money. I told her, “Why do you think that your salary is the only way you can make money?”

This is not unique to the Philippines. It happens everywhere.

For years, entrepreneurship has been considered risky. News of individuals going into brick-and-mortar businesses was received with raised eyebrows and a short prayer for that person to survive.

Then came the startups. Technology-based businesses were then seen as exclusive to Silicon Valley. Startups are for those who were willing to put in huge amounts of money or look for venture capitalists who were willing to invest in their idea.

While this is still true today, the world has opened to more models of entrepreneurship. And more types of business owners.

Here is where, who I call, the Second Chancers come in.


Ave Carlos is a 65-year-old grandmother, formerly a training and admin employee of various health and environment-related companies. She worked years in the corporate world and after retiring found a new lease on life when she discovered the online design tool, Canva. She found joy in experimenting with colors, shapes, and fonts and realized she can make money from this. She joined The Conversion Engine’s Executive Online Business Hub, a group for new online entrepreneurs to see how she can expand this business.


Yuan Fidelson was working as an Executive Assistant in a telecom company when he was made redundant in 2016. He then put up a computer shop, which unfortunately closed during the pandemic. He knew he needed to find a way to survive the pandemic and explored platforms to promote his business. That’s when he discovered The Executive Online Business Hub. With his learning from EOBS and the support of The Conversion Engine, he now has an online service brand that helps his customers with NBI clearance, passports, birth certificates, etc.


Christine Sto-Domingo is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who used to work for a remittance company. Her family lives outside of the Philippines and she felt like she had limited opportunities. Using the platform, she now sells a D-I-Y Busy Book for kids, has a Virtual Assistant business, and her Affiliate Marketing link where she earns commission from business owners she invites to the community. Christine can now stay home for her kids and earn money at the same time.

All three of them faced challenges during the pandemic, but all found their way out of the woods when they discovered a community of entrepreneurs who are also trying to find their way in this crazy and confusing digital world.

They made their choices very clear. The pandemic will not beat them. The recession will not stop them.

The Conversion Engine is the brainchild of Dr. Iris Radev, a physician-entrepreneur based in Canada, and Vener Sarmiento, a designer and funnel-builder based in Dubai. All three of us, as co-founders, The Conversion Engine is our second, third and fourth chance. And we are sharing it with the rest of the world.

The brand wants to change the narrative of our people. It is our belief believe that low- and middle-class Filipinos have been deprived of the chance at a level playing field due to limited access to technological platforms and resources. This is the heart of what The Conversion Engine does – it provides a powerful yet affordable platform that can help our kababayans with limited means to work smart and bring their products and services online and compete on the global stage.

So, if you are reading this and looking for a second chance at life, I would like to tell you that this choice is open to you. Find us at and let’s talk.

the conversion engine

About the Author

Valerie Fischer is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner with over 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing and co-founded an e-commerce site for locally made products. This combination gave her a unique process that helps businesses transition and thrive online. In recent months, her Brain Science Selling framework has helped over 7000 online entrepreneurs increase their revenue by as much as 42%. She is also one of the co-founders of The Conversion Engine.

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