Chris Chen – Co-Founder of The Next Level

What’s your story?

I used to be a teacher, but because of my knee injury and critical financial status, I have to find another way to bring better income for my family and myself.

4 years ago, I chanced upon the opportunity of starting online course business, I immediately bought into the idea and started doing it.

2 years later, I had my first success, which brought me almost 6figures USD within 3 months after launching.

Now I conduct training to help people to turn their passion, knowledge and skills into profitable business ideas, using online course as the main driving force.

What excites you most about your industry?

25 years ago my father wanted me to learn English, so he bought me a set of cassette tapes.

Although no one uses cassette to learn anything anymore, learning industry will forever be an evergreen industry, because 25 years from now, people are still going to learn English, just with different mediums.

People are often drawn to the idea of get-rich-quick. But I believe true wealth is built when you are in an evergreen industry that brings you sustainable income. There is no use earning 1 million in a short time but have no more income after that.

Chris Chen talk

What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?

It is all about impacting the world, and giving people more choices to live their ideal life.

My business partner, Sean Seah who was financially free in his late 20s, had his son suffered from Leukemia years ago (he is now recovered).

Because he is financially free, he has the freedom to accompany his son in the hospital, but things are very different for parents of other children in the same ward.

This encounter drives us to empower more people, to let them have more freedom of choice, so they can focus on what is more important to them.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

It has to be marketing! Because marketing is a combination of different skills like understanding human psychology, communication, being persuasive and more.

This has helped my team and I brought in more than 10 million dollars in revenue within a short 2 years. Because out of 20 team members, at least 13 of us have a good amount of marketing knowledge.

A lot of these skills can be applied to our daily life and improve our relationships with the people we care as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

“Learning without applying is a waste of time”

As someone who has been dabbling in business for more than 4 years, I have seen a lot of learners, but only a handful of doers.

There’s a Chinese saying that goes like this:
“Many people dreamed about a thousand paths to be successful, but woke up walking the old paths that they dreaded”

Everyday I was reminded of it, and it helps to keep myself in check, to always act on the things that I want to achieve little by little.

Who inspires you?

Lee Kuan Yew. He has done unbelievable work to bring Singapore to the amazing state that she is right now.

You can feel the sheer amount of thoughts he put in to make a decision whenever you hear him speak, and his ability to see things on a macro scale is something that always inspires me.

He is a politician by title, but I think he is definitely an entrepreneur by spirit.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

That there are many interesting knowledge out there in the world!

Before our students create online courses, they have first define a topic that they want. And to be honest, we weren’t even sure whether some of their topics are even going to work because we have never heard about it.

Like breathing to lose weight. (I mean, come on~)

But their sales went through the roof and the result speaks for itself.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

This is the part where I think a little bit differently from other people.

We may have made bad decision in the past, but what is done is done, what’s more important is to make the right decision from now on than to think about “if only”.

I believe that all the past encounters are nutrients for your growth to prepare you for the future. Who knows? if I never make that mistake, maybe I will never know what is right.

How do you unwind?

Play video games, read books, watch Netflix or YouTube.

By the way, I’m a big time Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter fans! And playing games and understanding gaming industry has given me good business ideas that I may never thought of by just doing my daily regular things. And I get excited exploring and testing out new ways.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?

We want to impact everyone, but there are going to be people that doesn’t have the necessary requirement to be impacted.

My first online course is about parenting and it’s a flop. I thought it was a good idea because my YouTube videos on parenting are performing very well, but I had 0 sales for my parenting online course.

That’s when I realised, usually people who believe in parenting are already good parents, and people who are not good at parenting, don’t really care about parenting anyway.

Everyone in business should read this book:

“Why You Should Fail” by Vincent Ng and Grace Lim

It’s a compilation of the exact business strategies that helped 23 of Singapore’s best and brightest entrepreneurs start and grow their companies to the multi-million empires they are today.

And one thing that they all have in common, is that they have failed before, and they learn from it.

I think it’s very important for entrepreneur to start embracing failures, or even better, treat them as results that is for your own review.

Shameless plug for your business:

We help turn your passion, skills or knowledge into a profitable business by making it a world recognised brand using our S.T.A.R.S. system.

How can people connect with you?

They can reach out to me via email

Social Media Links?


This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.