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Saturday morning coffee with Mr. Living in Peru

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This week has been full of activities and I’m exhausted, but of course in a good way.

Last Saturday night, DP Peru, who organizes medical missions to the jungle, put together a fund raiser where approximately 500 people showed up at the Swiss ambassador’s house to dance, drink and have fun. It was, as always, a success. For those who have some spare time or vacations left in November, Diana the founder,has room for a couple more volunteers. You can find more information here.

Being part of the Start-Up community, I was lucky to get invited to the APEC Start-UP event, where three super entrepreneurs – Jeff Hoffman from the U.S., Justine Liu Yun from Taiwan and Rina Neoh from Malaysia presented their success stories. One thing they all had in common was that they started with very little, worked very hard and created a super success for themselves, their families and friends.

After the event I sat down and spoke with Jeff who explained to me that the way to success is NOT to create a demand based on a good idea that no one understands, but find solutions to problems that many people have – read more here.

Jeff started Priceline.com – a platform where you decide what price you’re willing to pay for airfare, a stay in a hotel, cruise, etc. Once you have given them the travel dates or appropriate information, Priceline searches for a match and often you can save up to 40-50%. Today Priceline.com is a US$ 64 billion business.

This idea occurred to him when (as was necessary back in the old’ days) Jeff called a travel agency to get an airfare, only to learn that the agent didn’t always look for the cheapest or most convenient airfare, but most often the airfare that paid the best commission. As customers couldn’t see what the agent was looking at, they bought what the agent told them to buy. Those days are over now 😉

Once arriving to the airport to stand in line for 45 min. to get a boarding card, Jeff and his team invented the software for the automatic check-in machine, which they later sold to American Express for millions.

Now Jeff is a public speaker, mentor, and investor and travels the world to motivate people to become excellent entrepreneurs. You can read more about Jeff here

A few weeks ago Saga Falabella sent me a letter offering me a credit line with an interest of more than 60% per year. I was in shock and told my wife I’d cancel it right away. I called to cancel it and after a 15 minute wait the customer service representative informed me that I had a debt of S/. 0.01 even though I had just paid my account a few days earlier (link to receipt). When arriving to the store, they told me I could only cancel this amount in their bank. One hour later it was done and I could finally cut my Saga card in two.

What did I learn in school that day? Well, it is easy to get the credit card however it is an incredible hassle to cancel it. No more Saga Falabella for me.

Every week I visit www.DownloadPeru.com to see what new titles they have about Peru and I found the most beautiful book about the cathedrals of Cusco. Unfortunately it is currently only available in Spanish, but it has the most incredible pictures and the best thing is that you can download it for free here Enjoy!

Last but not least, Christmas has arrived – at least in Wong where I shot this image almost two weeks ago.

Ho, ho, ho! Have a great weekend!

P.S. Don’t forget that the Señor de los Milagros’ procession, in Lima, is today- your last chance to join the festivities!

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Carsten Korch

Originally from Denmark, Carsten returned to Peru in 2002 with his wife and eldest son. He started LivinginPeru.com in 2005, among other ventures in Peru. Before this, Carsten has worked in tourism, living in France, Sicily, and the U.S., and promoted bands like Metallica, Def Leppard and U2 for PolyGram Records (now Universal Music). Carsten loves pisco sours, Peru’s cuisine, and traveling with his family within Peru, a country that he believes is the land of opportunities.