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How To Turn $2,000 Into a Multi-Million Dollar Business With No Funding (Episode 111)

Freddie van Huynh is the Co-Founder of Absolute Internship, one of the world’s largest internship programs for students. Frequently covered by Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, and BBC News, Freddie is recognized as one of Sweden’s top entrepreneurs, having built a multi-million dollar business from the ground up.

Fun fact: Freddie speaks 7 languages and does Brazilian jiu-jitsu for fun.

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What you will learn

  • Why you need to experiment with life to discover why you are on this planet
  • If an internship is the best experience for learning
  • Why experience always trumps an idea
  • Why travel is important for discovery
  • If myth exceeds reality and how to overcome it

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:04 - 00:00:38

Hi everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas show. Today I have with me, Freddie van Huynh. Now Freddie is the Co-Founder of Absolute Internship, one of the world's largest internship programs and students that he started 12 years ago. He's been frequently covered by Forbes magazine, New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times and BBC News. Freddie is recognized as one of Sweden's top entrepreneurs, having built a multi-million dollar business from the ground up, and I'm having a chat now with Freddie from Barcelona, welcome to the show Freddie!

Freddie van Huynh

00:00:39 - 00:00:42

Thank you very much, Jeff! I'm excited to be here.

Jeff Bullas

00:00:42 - 00:01:13

So I just love the Zoom world we live in today, the 24/7 world. It's 8:15 in the morning in Barcelona and it's 5:15 in Sydney, Australia.

So Freddie, tell me about your past and how you started this, because obviously you're not European. And so how did this all happen? Where did it start? What was the inspiration for this?

Freddie van Huynh

00:01:15 - 00:04:14

Okay, where do I start? I was born and raised in Sweden, my parents are from Cambodia, blue collar workers. Never been to high school or university, no one in my family has been doing any higher education before, so when I grew up, my biggest goal was to actually get an education so I can get a better life, so to speak, than my parents.

Fast forward, I got accepted to a business school and in my third year, I was an exchange student in Shanghai, China and my roommate, he was an intern and I was like what's an intern? Because back in Sweden, internships back then was not a big deal and I was telling me, well, it's like you're working for a company, you're learning the ropes, but you're not being paid, it looks good on your CV and it helps you land a graduate job. I was like, oh, that's amazing, I should do that, a lot more people should do that. And I met a lot of other interns when I was there, even though I was a student, that student interns working for the Beijing Olympics, Heineken and so forth. The year after I was an exchange student in Japan, which was an amazing experience with people from Australia from all around the world and once I graduated, I moved to Thailand because I always have the university, I wanted to live abroad and during my time there I couldn't find a job literally applying to hundreds of jobs. I didn't speak the local language. So what I did was, you know what, I've always been a big football fan, soccer, so I went to these Adidas factories and Nike factories and I was buying shirts and jerseys on wholesale. I was selling them retail on eBay and I was making USD$500 each month. Also basically living on $1 or $2 per day in Bangkok, which gives you like some really good meals, you know, but I knew it was not sustainable, Jeff.

Around that time, I got a Facebook message from one of the guy that I went to school with in Japan because a few months earlier they've been reaching out to me and they said, hey Freddie, like we're looking for internships, can you help me? I was like, okay, sure. I know some previous interns back in Shanghai and helped hook them up with these internships in Shanghai through my old network that I had, but this was before Airbnb before Booking.com. Like it was not as easy as today to like move to China, so to speak.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:15 - 00:04:17

So what year was this?

Freddie van Huynh

00:04:18 - 00:04:20

This was 2008.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:20 - 00:04:24

Right. Social media, social media is actually just starting.

Freddie van Huynh

00:04:24 - 00:05:18

Exactly, exactly. Just just started, so they ended up getting their internships, but it was really, really hard for them to find accommodation because when I was there 2007, I was literally knocking on real estate agency doors, you know, to find a flat, it was not like, hey, I'm gonna go in there and book something, you know, so when he sent me this Facebook message, like, well, like how's everything? Thanks again for your help. And I was like, okay, how was it, did you have an amazing time like myself? And they were like, well no, because of all these issues of finding accommodation, not being able to find friends. And I gave that a thought. And it was this weekend, it was a Friday. I was watching The Sopranos. I was a big fan.

Jeff Bullas

00:05:18 - 00:05:19

What are you watching?

Freddie van Huynh

00:05:20 - 00:06:10

Sopranos. I don't know if you know this, love that. And after the show ended, I was literally googling, Jeff, summer internships because I wanted to know what was out there, like what, what's like, what's out there? And a company popped up. They were organizing summer internships in New York City selling programs for $12,000. And they had 400 students each year, and all of them were from the US, and I was like, you don't need help to get an internship in New York. People speak english there, you need help in China where not a lot of people speak english. That was sort of like the light bulb, like went on.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:10 - 00:06:11

The aha moment.

Freddie van Huynh

00:06:11 - 00:06:24

Exactly around the same time, like within the same days and weeks, I discovered a new book that just came out. It was called The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. And I'm sure you know that book now, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:06:25 - 00:06:29

That was one of the inspirations starting the blog back in 2009 for me.

Freddie van Huynh

00:06:30 - 00:06:32

You see. Yeah, so,

Jeff Bullas

00:06:32 - 00:06:35

And so, Tim's got a lot to answer for Tim Ferriss. Okay, right, so

Freddie van Huynh

00:06:36 - 00:07:07

Yes, but it was for me, it was so eye opening and it became a huge inspiration. I was like, you know what, I want to build a company where I can work from anywhere in the world.

And this selling internships because I saw the company in the US. They had an office but I was like you're not gonna go to an office to look for an internship, you're probably gonna just gonna Google that. Although you know what, I can do this from Thailand or from China from anywhere. So that's how it started, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:07:08 - 00:07:37

Okay, so you were traveling the world already? So you went to china? You went to Japan, you went to Thailand, you bet you are originally from Sweden even though you are a Cambodian original, your parents are Cambodian. So that's quite a fascinating story really. It's like you're actually Cambodian heritage but you're Swedish.

Freddie van Huynh

00:07:38 - 00:07:39

That's correct.

Jeff Bullas

00:07:40 - 00:07:48

So you went to China. Okay let's just wind that back a bit. So you went to China, why did you go to China?

Freddie van Huynh

00:07:49 - 00:10:21

Oh I love that, that's a nice story, Jeff. So I was like eight, I think it was eight years old and my mom had this random ideas like do you want to learn chinese? Yeah, literally Jeff, I was like, you know when you're eight you're like I'll do whatever you say, mom. So my mom, she convinced me that I can. I come from a very very small town in Sweden called [inaudible], there's only 10,000 people and there were, I think, there was four or five people from China. Two of them were Chinese teachers, one was retired and one was the active teacher. So my mom basically convinced the retired teacher to teach me and mentor me. So I took Chinese classes once per, one hour per week after and one hour each day after school. So when all my friends went to play video games after school, I went to a Chinese classes. Fast forward a few years, obviously now I've been very like immersed in Chinese culture, learned so much, speak the language but couldn't practice with anyone except my chinese teacher. So in high school, I met this accountant, you know and this was a man that drove a nice car, nice suit, a guy like a man I looked up to, you know and he said where you going to school? Like going to this university, this business school like okay that's amazing, you need to go and do an exchange semester. And I said, oh yeah yeah I want to go to France, I wanna go study in France and like no no no you need to go to China. And I was like why China? Because China is going to be the future. So it's sort of like I had the base now, okay I learned chinese, I mean I understand the culture from a theoretical point of view at least because I've never been to China and this was the man I looked up and I was like okay I'm gonna follow your advice and you know to do an exchange semester Jeff, it's very very competitive because you don't pay any tuition fee, but I was lucky no one wanted to go to China and my business school, you know this was like 2006 when I applied, you know and I went. I was able to in 2007 so I was able to go and that's the reason I went, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:10:22 - 00:10:30

Okay so when did you go to China? You’re teenager? Like were you or eight?

Freddie van Huynh

00:10:30 - 00:10:33

No, No 2007. I was, I think it was 20 or something.

Jeff Bullas

00:10:34 - 00:10:57

Yeah. Okay so you went there, how long were you in China for? And like this is what's great about life, isn't it? You actually, I'm really quite interested in this and if your parents give you the freedom to do that, so do they help you get to China? Like how did that happen?

Freddie van Huynh

00:10:57 - 00:11:33

No no no. So I was there for six months, Jeff, to answer your first question. They didn't help me. No, I had to book my own flight. I had to sort out my own visa. I had to like figure out my stuff when I was there, you know, which was extremely, extremely difficult and overwhelming, especially since it's your first time in China. I don't know if you've been to Shanghai where I was, but you know, 25 million people. But no, they didn't help, you know.

Jeff Bullas

00:11:34 - 00:11:54

Yes, well I've been to HongKong, but I haven't been to Shanghai. So you organized it all yourself, so you're 20, that's pretty cool actually, so you did that in China, you then went to Japan. So where did, how did Japan happen?

Freddie van Huynh

00:11:55 - 00:12:28

Japan was also an exchange semester, so basically I was able to exchange semesters abroad and it was the same thing there, nobody helped me to get my visa or accommodation or anything. It was first time for me as well going to Japan. What I found out was the school organized and airport pickup, that was the only thing that I paid extra for and then just arrived on campus and we're like, okay, now I'm in Japan.

Jeff Bullas

00:12:29 - 00:12:34

So you can maybe speak more than one language?

Freddie van Huynh

00:12:35 - 00:12:54

Yes, that is true. So I learned Japanese when I was in Japan, but today I don't speak Japanese anymore because I haven't practiced it for so long, you know, Jeff, but today, yes, yeah, it is true. I speak seven languages, so I love meeting people and being immersed in different cultures and I love people in general.

Jeff Bullas

00:12:55 - 00:13:23

Yeah, so this is what's interesting about life quite often, what you imagine what you want to do exceeds the reality of what it feels like, in other words myth exceeds the reality. So what I admire about what you've done, Freddie, is that you've actually gone and tried a lot of different shit.

Freddie van Huynh

00:13:23 - 00:13:25

I have, yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:13:26 - 00:14:11

And what you've done, what you've experienced from that is going, this is what I love doing, this is what I need to do and you only discover that actually if you do it because in other words, the idea here versus the reality, there is often very, very different. In other words, the actual reality can be underwhelming or it can actually be overwhelming. So in other words, the reality either exceeds a myth or underwhelms a myth. So, and it sounds like you've tried to help people with internships going, okay, what are you gonna try different stuff? Is that sort of what happened?

Freddie van Huynh

00:14:13 - 00:15:03

I think what happened was, you know, my mom, she gave me when I grew up, you know, she gave me a lot of self confidence, self esteem and she really inspired me and not to say that my father didn't do it, he did it as well, you know what, my mom had like a deep, deep impact and I think with Absolute Internship, I had such a great time when I lived in Japan and China and like living abroad really like I grew so much, you know, I think with Absolute Internship I wanted to create an organization, an experience for other people to grow and have that that inspirational impact that I had, you know, for sure this is the reason why I started Absolute.

Jeff Bullas

00:15:04 - 00:15:10

Okay, so you had the experiences that actually revealed the world to you?

Freddie van Huynh

00:15:12 - 00:15:14

Yes, exactly, exactly.

Jeff Bullas

00:15:14 - 00:15:18

And out of that then you're going, this is what I want to do.

Freddie van Huynh

00:15:21 - 00:15:22

100%.

Jeff Bullas

00:15:22 - 00:16:03

And that's how Absolute Internship started because you had the experiences in real life at a very visceral level that helped you actually do that. So this is where it's sort of like your innate ability, loving people, experiential and love and what you want, love doing. So it turns up, is beautiful intersection and that's what's really, really cool is that.. So how did, so you've done all these things, so what was the starting point of Absolute Internship then?

Freddie van Huynh

00:16:05 - 00:16:13

So people think that you start a business and you have you created 40 pages business plan.

Jeff Bullas

00:16:14 - 00:16:20

Sorry I told you with that, fuck the business plan. Okay, you're about to tell me that you didn't even write one.

Freddie van Huynh

00:16:21 - 00:17:15

No, like literally it was just two pages and word, I was gonna do it, Jeff, you know, so because, you know, we had $2000 to get it with my business partner saved up, but I didn't have a computer. My business for that. The computer. So we had one computer and we looked up how much it costs to like incorporate a company and that was $2000. I was like that's too expensive. I need to spend $1000 getting a website first, you know, so and then another $1000 maybe for another computer because we can't be sharing a laptop. So yeah that's how it started basically. Just writing down how we're gonna get customers, how much we're gonna charge them, company name and how the website was gonna look a little bit of website text basically. That's how we started, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:15 - 00:17:17

In other words it wasn't overcomplicated.

Freddie van Huynh

00:17:18 - 00:17:21

No, no I'm all about simplicity.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:21 - 00:17:38

Yeah maybe. So if you write a business plan to predict what the future will look like, you're actually going to fail that already, okay. Because the market is going to tell you what works and what doesn't, doesn't it?

Freddie van Huynh

00:17:38 - 00:17:40

Exactly, exactly.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:40 - 00:17:44

Okay. I see you write a very simple business plan.

Freddie van Huynh

00:17:44 - 00:17:45

Very simple.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:45 - 00:18:07

And obviously sounds like you didn't use a complete template. You didn't copy a Harvard degree Master's guy that actually written a how to do a business plan. You went, fuck it, I'm actually just gonna write a business plan that just comes from my heart and that's how you started.

Freddie van Huynh

00:18:08 - 00:18:17

Yeah basically things that made sense, you know like how are you gonna get customers, how much you're gonna charge them like how is the website gonna look like, you know.

Jeff Bullas

00:18:18 - 00:18:25

Okay so you've written a two page business plan. What happened next?

Freddie van Huynh

00:18:27 - 00:20:34

What happened next? Okay so we had the money, right? It’s on the bank, $2,000. And like we need a website, let's go on forums and try to find one, you know. So what I did was I reached out I think five or six different website agencies and they were asking for $5000-$7000. I was like, okay no we don't have that. So I was going on forums which basically, okay website designer. And I was going to Swedish forums and I found a guy and he said I'm gonna do it for $1000 I'm gonna help you guys but you need to design it. I was like I don't know how to design. So my business partner, like I can do it on power point because that's the only thing I did. I know. So she did it on power point like, you know, that works. He said whatever program you want to do it on. So that's where the first $1000 went to. My favorite football soccer team is Juventus and it's a team in Italy. He was like well do you have a logo? I was like no but these are my favorite colors, you know, was inspired of that. And then the other $1000, we basically went to buy a Macbook, you know. And so, so imagine we started this business like alright, website up. We didn't even have a bank account and this was like, people had just started, so we didn't even have any PayPal account, you know. So I don't know how are people gonna pay us and I was like, you know what, I have like an immigrant name. It would be really shady if people wired us money to my account. Let's use your mother's bank account for new customers. So for the first few customers, it was pretty funny, Jeff, they're like, you know what, who's this person I’m wiring money to. So we had to convince people that, you know what, that's one of the shareholders of the company. For the first few thousands that came in, we actually used that money to incorporate the company, you know, and being legitimate.

Jeff Bullas

00:20:35 - 00:20:55

I love it. You know what? This sounds like the creator's journey, which is actually the entrepreneur's journey which is where you go. I'm going to start a business, I have an idea and you're just testing it like and then you're going, but I'm so glad you bought a computer with the next $1000. That's really, that's really good.

Freddie van Huynh

00:20:56 - 00:21:09

Of course. You know, you have to, you need to have a tool. You know, I know my parents, they were like, you know, you want to go to work, but you don't have a tool, you need to get the tool. And I said, yeah, you're right, mom and dad.

Jeff Bullas

00:21:10 - 00:21:20

Okay. So you've started, you bought a Macbook, you've launched. So what happened from there?

Freddie van Huynh

00:21:23 - 00:21:31

We launched, we started to get a few customers and it didn't go as fast as I thought it would be. It was a lot of people..

Jeff Bullas

00:21:31 - 00:21:44

Welcome to the real world of entrepreneurs. Sorry, you're not Amazon or Google in two days, right? You're getting slightly disappointed, are you?

Freddie van Huynh

00:21:45 - 00:21:57

Yes. And you know, I was young too. And I think people overestimate what they can achieved in one year, but they underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

Jeff Bullas

00:21:57 - 00:22:01

Okay. That sounds like a Bill Gates quote to me.

Freddie van Huynh

00:22:01 - 00:22:04

Oh yeah?

Jeff Bullas

00:22:04 - 00:22:05

Exactly that's what Bill Gates said.

Freddie van Huynh

00:22:06 - 00:22:08

Really? Okay. I didn't know that.

Jeff Bullas

00:22:08 - 00:22:11

I thought you were ripping off Bill Gates there, actually.

Freddie van Huynh

00:22:11 - 00:22:14

No, no, no, no, not intentionally. Not intentionally.

Jeff Bullas

00:22:14 - 00:22:16

But that actually is the reality.

Freddie van Huynh

00:22:17 - 00:22:18

Yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:22:18 - 00:22:26

As humans, we overestimate what we can do in one year, but you underestimate what we can do in 10 years.

Freddie van Huynh

00:22:26 - 00:22:55

Yeah, I know. My mom, she told me that, you know what? All the overnight successes that I had seen, well in her life, you know, it takes 5 to 10 years to build like a stable business and she's like, are you willing to like really live below your means for so many years? You know, I remember her saying that to me and yeah, it was tough the first few years, you know, very, very challenging, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:22:56 - 00:23:24

So Freddie, what you said is actually exactly what Bill Gates said. In other words, we overestimate what we can do in one year, but we actually underestimate what we can do in 10 years. Like seriously. That's what Bill Gates said. It's like you're channeling Bill Gates, right, Okay. Seriously, that's what he said.

Freddie van Huynh

00:23:24 - 00:23:28

Okay, that's nice.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:28 - 00:23:55

So, I think like Bill Gates hasn't died yet, but maybe you're actually channeling him already. Okay. Seriously, that's what he said. So I totally agree with you. So as an entrepreneur, you gotta be willing to play the long game. In other words, just act every day. Even if you one thing every day.

Freddie van Huynh

00:23:56 - 00:23:59

Probably 1% each day.

Jeff Bullas

00:23:59 - 00:24:13

At the end of one year, you've done 365 things. At the end of 10 years, it's 3,650 things. That starts to get rather exciting actually.

Freddie van Huynh

00:24:14 - 00:24:16

Yes.

Jeff Bullas

00:24:17 - 00:24:24

So you've launched it, you start to get traction. You've got a Macbook. That's pretty exciting.

Freddie van Huynh

00:24:26 - 00:24:32

Yeah, it was, yeah, I still have it as a souvenir and I'm not gonna throw that away, you know.

Jeff Bullas

00:24:32 - 00:24:41

That might hang on, hang on to that and put it up on your wall. Frame it. So, so you've launched, what happened from there?

Freddie van Huynh

00:24:43 - 00:25:04

We’ve launched. I think it took us two years. Yeah, 2 years or 2.5 years. And we've got our first like media feature. BBC featured us because now China started to be much more in the media and the media was really interested in why students went to China for internships.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:04 - 00:25:08

In other words, your mom was correct about China being the future.

Freddie van Huynh

00:25:09 - 00:25:11

Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:11 - 00:25:13

So she's a prophet actually.

Freddie van Huynh

00:25:15 - 00:25:45

Oh, good gut feeling, good gut feeling, you know.

So I think from there, it just took off, you know, then like it just grew, 300-400% each year. The New York Times, Bloomberg happened and then just more and more media outlets reaching out to us, Forbes and yeah, like just kept growing, you know, and our team grew as well.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:46 - 00:25:48

So how many on the team now?

Freddie van Huynh

00:25:49 - 00:25:51

Right now, we have 18.

Jeff Bullas

00:25:51 - 00:25:56

Okay. And you're turning over what sort of revenue? If you want to reveal that up to you.

Freddie van Huynh

00:25:57 - 00:25:59

Yeah, no, it's a few million. Each year.

Jeff Bullas

00:26:00 - 00:26:05

Wow! Okay. And you're changing people's lives.

Freddie van Huynh

00:26:06 - 00:26:14

Yeah, it's extremely fulfilling, Jeff. Extremely fulfilling. The job I have, I'm very, very blessed.

Jeff Bullas

00:26:15 - 00:26:19

You don't have a job, you actually have a platform that's changing the world, mate.

Freddie van Huynh

00:26:20 - 00:26:22

Thank you, Jeff, I appreciate that.

Jeff Bullas

00:26:23 - 00:26:29

Well you have, looks like it's not that's it's evidential.

Freddie van Huynh

00:26:29 - 00:27:52

Yeah, you know what, I appreciate your kind words, I don't take it like for granted. It hit me a few years ago when we had a student from the midwest in the US in Beijing and I was there with him and he'd never been abroad, he was telling me he comes from a small town, think like hundreds of people, everyone goes to the same church, everyone are of the same skin color, everyone votes, votes for the same political party. He came to Beijing extremely overwhelmed. Never seen so many asian people and so fast paced city, millions of people living in Beijing and after six weeks in China, the guy was so comfortable like buying street food on the street, not even speaking the language, speaking with his hands and he was telling me like Freddie, thank you so much for this experience, you literally changed my life and the way I see the world and it has really opened up my mind and I wished more people from my town in the midwest could have had this experience because I'm sure it would really change the outlook of the world. And I meant a lot, you know, Jeff, I think it, from that specific student, I really appreciate it.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:53 - 00:31:07

Well, here's the magic of travel which you've just revealed is that it shows you a world that you've never discovered before and you realize that your world is just closeted and you need to actually experience the world. And this is what's really exciting about travel. It actually opens your mind and shows you a world that you never knew existed and then you can actually understand that not a lot of people aren't the same as you and you'd open your mind and actually let the world come into you. And It's really empowering. I really, so when I started my blog, you know, back in 2008, 2009 actually and going, well the rest of the world thinks the same way as me and they're going, no, they don't think the same way as me. And the more I travel, the more I realized that I needed to actually let the world come into me and the world changed me and I changed the world in my own little way. And this is what's really good is like travel can transform you so much and you've done that. You've gone from Sweden to China to Japan, you have a Cambodian mother and father, you have a gift and that's actually just so needs to be embraced by the world in that if we did, if we traveled more and not get closeted, we actually would go, look, we need to look after each other because, in the middle of this, a war in Europe, which is really frightening for all of us. So we don't need to have war. Why do we need to have war? Why do we need to kill people? And we need to welcome people. We need to actually encourage them to grow. And I think that's really, and that's what you're doing, all right. You're actually encouraging people to try new opportunities at low risk. And I remember, so for me, my own story too is I was a teacher and I hated teaching and I went after 5 or 6 years, I said I don't want to do this anymore. So I went and tried three different internships. I arranged that myself. I didn't have your company to help me do that. And I chose the one that resonated with my soul, which is technology. I went, I just want to just get involved with technology and guess what? It changed my life. So I think what you're doing is encouraging people to have a multiple level of experiences that will touch their soul and allow them to experience the world in a different way and they discover why they're here on the planet. Is that what you're helping them try to do?

Freddie van Huynh

00:31:07 - 00:31:11

Yeah, spot on, spot on, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:31:11 - 00:31:44

Cool. Because mate, we don't know what we don't know until you actually try stuff you don't know. So what we're gonna do and what you're doing is like I so think what you're doing is fabulous and that's you are revealing a world to someone they didn't even know about and it's low risk, they're not doing a degree, they're not spending a lot of time not spending three or four years, they're just trying a few weeks working for someone, is that correct?

Freddie van Huynh

00:31:45 - 00:32:26

That's right, That's right. Because I tell older students, you know, that you spend so much time and effort and money, you know, in your degree, there are so many people that have a great university degree from University of Melbourne, University of Sydney or whatever school it is that you're going to. But I don't think the degree prepares you for the work life, you know, like how are you gonna know if you're gonna like working in a bank, how are you gonna know if you're gonna like working in the tech company unless you try it out and that's what internships allows you to do, you know, to really test drive it, to try it out, see if you like it, you know.

Jeff Bullas

00:32:26 - 00:33:09

And I love the term test drive it. So the reality is test quickly and fast and cheaply and guess what and let your soul tell you like, I love Steven Spielberg's quote is like what you're meant to do in this world would turn up as a whisper. It will not shout at you. The only way you'll discover that it is actually by going out into the world and feeling that, sensing that, doing that and you're providing a platform for people to do that mate, it's so fucking cool.

Freddie van Huynh

00:33:10 - 00:33:12

Thank you Jeff, I appreciate that.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:12 - 00:33:32

Because I imagine being a doctor when I was a kid, I imagine being a accountant and I started my degree doing an accountant and I imagine being a teacher because that was the only other option I had and I discovered that I hated all of those.

Freddie van Huynh

00:33:33 - 00:33:34

And it's ok.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:34 - 00:34:31

Yeah, and so what I did is I went and tested for just three days working in technology companies. This ticks the box for me, it felt right and for the next, well we're here today, I'm still doing technology and well I I've had multiple intersections on that journey, but what's really cool is that I now have a career business that touches that and just feels right and I keep evolving that, so what you're doing is providing an environment to help people experience quickly what they want to do, I have no idea about it and that's made to be celebrated, I think you're doing a fabulous job.

Freddie van Huynh

00:34:34 - 00:34:35

Thank you, Jeff, appreciate that.

Jeff Bullas

00:34:37 - 00:34:46

So to wrap it up here, what's the top tips for people that are trying to discover why they're here on the planet?

Freddie van Huynh

00:34:49 - 00:35:19

For me, what does work for me in order to figure that out is to try different things, try new experiences and you have never done before, that's the only way to do it, you know, to figure out what you like. And secondly if you can afford it, if you can do it, try to do it in different countries, it's gonna open up your mind even more, you know, so I think that it's as simple as that.

Jeff Bullas

00:35:19 - 00:35:33

Yeah I totally agree, mate. It's so cool. I haven't had to try different things in different countries. You speak seven languages, I'm still struggling with English.

Freddie van Huynh

00:35:33 - 00:35:40

No, you're doing, you're doing great, Jeff. You're doing great.

Jeff Bullas

00:35:41 - 00:36:02

Like I just love playing with words, right. I like word wrangling and if I went into Chinese or Japanese or Swedish, I would be doing a really crap job. Really, okay so I'm concentrating just one language which is english.

Freddie van Huynh

00:36:02 - 00:36:05

That's fine too, that's fine too.

Jeff Bullas

00:36:06 - 00:36:46

Yeah but I think, we live in a world where we actually can experiment quickly and fast and I would encourage anyone to get to go out and try different things before they leap into spending three or four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for degrees and that happens in America and happens in Australia. Yeah so be very careful about incurring debt to learn, go and learn without debt, learn just go and try different shit out really seriously.

Freddie van Huynh

00:36:46 - 00:37:22

I mean, let's say that you're 22 years old and you're unsure about what you wanna do in life which is completely normal at age 22, let's say you're in South Australia and Adelaide and you don't have the financial means to move somewhere. You can do a remote internship, working for a company in Sydney, you can do remote internship, working for a company in HongKong for example and you can do several of those. The only cost that that's gonna cost you is your time. But what you're gonna gain is different experiences.

Jeff Bullas

00:37:23 - 00:37:26

And guess what? You will discover very quickly, what you love and hate.

Freddie van Huynh

00:37:27 - 00:37:29

And that's the purpose of that.

Jeff Bullas

00:37:29 - 00:37:57

It is the purpose of that. So what you love, what you hate and seeing the section of both your innate ability, what you love doing and your experience.

So in other words if you can fail fast, quick and fast and quick, mate, you're gonna be so, you're gonna find life a lot faster than you would based upon your parents experience because they weren't able to do that. We actually have the tools down on the platform to do that remotely and virtually.

Freddie van Huynh

00:37:58 - 00:38:03

Yes exactly, we live in a very very, we should be grateful about the tools that we have.

Jeff Bullas

00:38:04 - 00:38:13

Mate, I am so grateful every day about that. Like people don't actually, a lot of people don't know that is what we have today.

Freddie van Huynh

00:38:14 - 00:38:33

Yeah I mean listen like you can go down the street and you can check what people are saying about each restaurant like, you know, and you can choose a restaurant based on, you know reviews, like you couldn't do that like 20 years ago, 15 years ago, you know.

Jeff Bullas

00:38:34 - 00:38:53

Yeah, exactly mate, so Freddie, it's been absolute pleasure. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience in your entrepreneurial journey, with your very simple dysfunctional two page business plan?

Freddie van Huynh

00:38:54 - 00:39:21

I think yeah, I would love to to share that one of the biggest takeaways, you know, throughout my career and something that my parents really really pressured me on. Like you need to read books because we we don't have the network, we don't have them, the the business mentors to provide to, you know, you need to find those mentors in books.

Jeff Bullas

00:39:22 - 00:39:26

Journals and books is fabulous, mate, that's where I found mine.

Freddie van Huynh

00:39:26 - 00:40:02

Yeah, so I would encourage everyone to read books and to invest your time in books and also follow advice, follow the advice that really resonates with you, you know, and for me it has been Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, a book that was written like over 100 years ago and a lot of people read books but they failed to apply what's written in the book, you know, and what has worked for me is actually to follow the advice is and take them seriously and it has really, really worked and I would encourage really anyone to read books.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:03 - 00:40:25

So what you've done is you've taken an idea that you learn from books and people and then what I love about books is that a book is actually a distillation of someone's entire life distilled into 300 pages that could learn a few hours.

Freddie van Huynh

00:40:26 - 00:40:37

And very cheaply too. You're buying a book for an average for $10, you know, or you can download them for free, you know, online. So the choice is yours.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:37 - 00:40:41

So my mentors have been books too, Freddie.

Freddie van Huynh

00:40:41 - 00:40:45

I'm glad, I'm really glad. really underrated.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:45 - 00:41:33

Yeah. Well one of the best books I've read is by Stephen King, he wrote a book on, even though he's written a lot of fiction. He write a book called On Writing and he said that books are a time machine, they take people into the past and take people in the future. The other thing I love about books is this is just still 30, 40 years of someone's life experience into just 200 pages and wow this guy, I can I digest that in two or three hours, it's like that is a gift.

Freddie van Huynh

00:41:34 - 00:41:36

It is, it is, you know.

Jeff Bullas

00:41:37 - 00:42:28

And so for me just like you, it sounds like books have been my mentors and I think the other exciting thing is that you've traveled the world and learned and listened, you've listened to your heart and you've actually then said I'm going to share this with the world and that's where we have Absolute Internship today and I would encourage anyone to go out and try an internship in a variety of companies and that's what you offered to them and guess what? You will discover life much faster and accelerated by doing that than anything else in the world.

Freddie van Huynh

00:42:29 - 00:42:32

Yeah. Absolutely.

Jeff Bullas

00:42:32 - 00:42:43

So mate, thank you very much for sharing. Thank you very much for sharing your gift with the world and it's been an absolute pleasure to talk to you and hear your story.

Freddie van Huynh

00:42:44 - 00:42:47

Thank you. It's been a pleasure to be on the show, Jeff.

Jeff Bullas

00:42:49 - 00:42:51

Thank you, Freddie.

Freddie van Huynh

00:42:51 - 00:42:51

Thank you.