Simon Miller (GradCert Business & Technology ’12) turned his overseas adventures into a thriving e-book business with Saigon Survival, a unique travel guide to the Vietnamese city.
I made my career choice because... It all started when I had the opportunity to live in Vietnam for a year. Towards the end of the year, after watching tourists and expats make the same mistakes and fall into the same tourist traps again and again, I realised that that there was a real need for this kind of guide book. From that point on, it took myself and a team of four about nine months to create and publish Saigon Survival. Within a month, my author rank on Amazon had made it to 146. Pretty impressive for a first time unknown self-published author. Within three months and approximately 3000 books sold, success was realised. From that point I decided to focus on this business full time. My second travel guide Seoul Survival will be released soon with several others to be published by the end of this year.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have... my experience in Vietnam would have been so much smoother and I would have saved a bunch of money. This is exactly why we created Saigon Survival. Our readers don’t have to slow down and go over the speed bumps as we have already done that for you.
As a student I... When I started studying my MBT with the UNSW Australia Business School, I was a small business owner in South Korea. I was really excited when we covered the whole expatriation/repatriation process in one of my subjects. More and more people are experiencing these issues with their careers, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
My most impressive achievement is... I’m not really interested in evoking admiration. I wrote a book, it has value. I am writing a second guide on Korea now, and plan to continue publishing Survival Series books into the future. Being able to do this full time and travel the world I would say is an achievement.
At the moment I'm inspired by... I’m more interested in inspiring my team. They had faith in this project from the start and they've stuck around this long. Given the success of the first book, I’m now endeavouring to build a virtual work environment for my team based on freedom of location and self-motivation.
Others say I... Others say I should be working 9 to 5 in an office, pay a mortgage and start a family. Um, I’m not a robot, so, I won’t be doing that. I’ll be exploring and living life. A lot of people I meet are still living in the past, working their mundane jobs. It’s 2014 people, come on, there are a lot more ways to generate money now. You are more valuable than your income. Why else would you still be getting paid?
You might be surprised to know that I... have found success with Saigon Survival, it was a long time coming. As a serial entrepreneur, I have failed several times. I have also had unsatisfying success. The key is to just keep taking shots. Eventually you’re gonna hit something.
My greatest goal that I'm yet to achieve... To win the Australian Open (I don’t even own a tennis racket.)