“I was never book-smart since I was young,” Dato’ Don Aiman uttered. “I knew I wasn’t born intelligent, but, I always tell myself that I don’t want to get trapped in poverty. I want to achieve financial freedom and own a house. I bought my first house at the age of late 20s – and I kept going,” he shared.
As he delved into real estate, he admitted that there was time he was terrified – worried if he made a risky decision in buying the wrong property. “Sometimes, I do have the thought to pull out from the purchase. But, I didn’t let emotion control me – I knew how the figures worked and today, I have multiple properties in total; some of the properties I rent to college students and families and one of them I operate as an Airbnb.”
Just recently, he purchased another property worth millions at one of the most prestigious addresses in Kuala Lumpur. Located in the highly sought-after residential neighbourhood within the compound of the top-ranked best golf club in Asia, the property has breathtaking views of hills, surrounded by green trees and in fact, one of the few remaining green lungs in the city of Kuala Lumpur.
Dato’ Don Aiman: a passive income whiz and investor
Even though he’s not an expert in investing, he learned a lot in the past few years by creating a helpful platform for educating and encouraging people to build multiple passive income streams and establishing and growing his passive income business.
Don Aiman is most well-known for being the mastermind behind the Entrepreneur Circle community – a platform to unite entrepreneurs and provide business opportunities. He shared with WargaBiz about his journey which is truly inspiring.
Crawling out from poverty
“I hate being broke, having dead-end jobs, live paycheck to paycheck and not being able to provide the best to my parents and also to my family. I had to do something to change my life,” he said.
As he started the Entrepreneur Circle community, that was also the month he launched his passive income business. Still, he didn’t know much about the subject, but, through trials and error, he learned about the process and acknowledged it. These past few years, his platform has changed the process of how people can make easy money.
Many people know Don Aiman for his cosmetic business, NUR ASIA. “NUR ASIA is my first baby step in business before being bought over by Datin Seri Vivian to fund my current business,” he explained.
“The idea was to change the industry from active to passive income and learn how to build long-term wealth. The opportunity was always there, I began reading as much as I could on passive income business and reaching out to people to seek advice,” he clarified.
“I connected with them and created a website that could help my visitors to own multiple businesses while generating passive income.”
Launched in 2018, he managed to generate a five-figure income in the very first year. He then continuously created and expanded new passive income businesses and people are paying him for this.
“They were essentially investors without being investors. That was just a life-changing moment for me,” he stated.
Next, came the part of changing the cashflow quadrant and moving to the ‘I’ quadrant. This is the quadrant where money becomes wealth, which is become the mother of all his incomes. This is the part where he uses the money to make more money.
“I made all of my investment decisions on my own, from research I’ve done while managing my portfolio. I invested in several investment instruments and real estate is one of them. But it wasn’t that easy – especially if you don’t do your research.”
Don Aiman is now basically keeping doing what he was already doing – but on a larger scale. It was a lot for him to handle at first, and there was a steep learning curve. But, he has already grown the portfolio by almost 50%.
“I haven’t spent any of it. What I did is I reinvest the dividends and leave it.” Besides, he also invested and crypto and gold. “If you’re deciding which asset to invest on, my take is, it depends on your investment goals. I think it makes sense to invest in both. However, for Muslim investors, make sure to deal in Shariah-compliant investments.”
His key to success
Asking what has been the catalyst for his success and reaching the point as a self-made millionaire, Don Aiman jokingly said, “If I were a millionaire, I wouldn’t be in this interview,” he laughed.
“I always hold to this principle: Whoever had the money had the control. Once you had the money, you controlled it, used it, and invested it. Thankfully, I’m now at a point where I’m financially stable and able to provide for my family. Buying fancy cars is not my goal – I’m more towards family and making sure I’m able to provide a comfortable home for them.”
“Always lived below your means,” he emphasised. “I had a non-flashy, stealth-wealth lifestyle, and I even thought my children the same way. But, some people tend to ‘show’ their wealth – fancy cars, jewellery, and expensive clothes.”
“It’s not necessary to prove to anybody that you’re wealthy. Don’t go broke trying to look rich. Use your money wisely, invest in yourself. After all, investment in yourself has always paid off.”
Furthermore, he also stressed the importance of having enough money to keep your family functioning no matter what happens. “COVID-19 has shown us how having not enough savings could affect our lives. “It’s a wake-up call for us. I asked a few new members of my entrepreneurship community, could you withdraw RM10-000-RM20,000 immediately if you had a family emergency? Most of them say no.”
Don Aiman also credited his success to his noble charity works. “If somebody asked me about the one thing that I’ve done in my career that paid off, it would be helping people. I’ve always wanted to help people. I usually look for ways that I can help that don’t compromise my position,” he said.
The biggest life lesson
As someone who is able to change his life from zero, Don Aiman has a few lessons to share comprising business and investment.
“When it comes to business, stick to what you know best. Only do business with people you trust and get on with, and get reference checks on them. Not everyone who walks through your front door is who they claim to be.”
“There are lots of people and institutions who claim they will teach you how to invest and get rich, but no one teaches how to stay rich. Look at all the lottery winners and some of the world’s highest-paid sportspeople who lose everything because they were never taught the basics.”
He also pointed out that to stay rich, one has to educate himself/herself and be humble enough to learn from the mistakes and from those of the people who have gone before them. “Don’t be over-confident or arrogant and think that having money makes you powerful. Money and power are two different things – knowledge is power and it’s more powerful when you apply it.”
Remember that what makes you unique is your advantage
“As an unheard journey of myself achieving my dreams, I’ve found that leaning into my lived experience as an educated village boy has served me well. It has allowed me to create multiple businesses from nothing into something that addresses client needs.”
Instead of blending in with the crowd, Don Aiman started to lean on his knowledge, skills and capabilities – that has made all the difference. Over the years, his interest in passive income went from just a piece of knowledge to a business that earns more than five figures, which allowed him to move to the ‘I’ quadrant a few years back.
Allow yourself to experiment and evolve in your business
“When I started my passive income business platform in 2018, a lot of people around me were confused: Aren’t you a cosmetic founder? Why are you talking about money? Those opinions made me second guess my desire to evolve beyond the behind-the-scenes of my project.”
“At the beginning of 2019, I permitted myself to keep going. I allowed myself to explore this new passion of mine without worrying about the judgment of others and focused on my goals. As a result, I launched multiple businesses under my community brand.”
Doing things that scare you can help you grow
Looking back, he can’t believe he has created the life that he currently enjoys. It wouldn’t have been possible if he let fear hold him back. Starting a side hustle a few years ago to build something new from scratch was undeniable scary – what’s more when he had no idea what the outcome would be.
There was so much to do and learn and one cannot run from making mistakes along the way. But, as time went on, he got into a rhythm and started to wonder why he waited so long to take the first step.
“I migrated to Kuala Lumpur in my early 20s, and I had set the goal to be successful. When I began my first side hustle in this city, I didn’t make enough money for a couple of years. With lots of work and consistency, I’ve been able to transition to a full-time investor and live a life that is no longer just a dream, but a reality,” he expressed.
“Ultimately, my best advice is to lead with specificity and authenticity. Your strength comes from your experiences and the lessons you have learned along the way. And I’ve learned that embracing what makes you different can make all the difference,” he ended.
*Finally, Don Aiman would like to wish all Muslims a blessed Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir & Batin! May this Raya bring you all endless blessings.