Relying on an Amazing Team

In now by Michael Michelini

What Mike Michelini is up to Now – March 13-19, 2022

Listen as audio here [2 minutes long] (or scroll down for text)

Still locked down! But as crazy as it sounds, glad I am. I could have left last week back to my apartment, but if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to leave – and the internet there is painfully slow (so I wouldn’t have been able to perform as well at our upcoming online conference)

And just working harder than ever worked before. Building, creating, this is what I love to do. Realizing I am truly an introvert – as I am almost happy to tell people who want to meet for a coffee or meal that I am physically not able to leave my apartment.

Anyway, these weekly updates I am rambling more than in the past – here’s the bullet point list of “to do” for this week:

* – second annual online conference all things Handshake we are putting together this March 16-18 (Wednesday-Friday in the Western world, but my Thursday to Saturday morning in Asia). Will be intense, and hope my internet is stable and my laptop doesn’t overheat.
* Excalibur Brothers – 4 products to launch using Blimp Method. Have 3 of the physical samples at my work station (dinner table, lol) and chipping away. Ecommerce physical product brands take such a long time. This brand Amazon launch process has been in the works since summer 2021.
* Indigitus – really hope HandyCon we can announce some positive news.
* GFA Kids – hoping our management and Janette our consultant can step in and improve the workflow and communication. It is a classic culture/communication/workflow bottleneck I hope we can overcome.
* NowShenzhen – paying advertisers, making those workflows. Total lockdown in Shenzhen so reflecting on best way to help community.

For those who want to hear the full week plan for Shadstone Limited, Mike’s company (removing sensitive info) – here it is:

Week Plan March 13 – 19, 2022 Shadstone Limited

This week is week so it will be intense for a lot of us at Shadstone. Those not directly involved, just keep that in mind and also see if there are ways that you can step up and help.

That is what makes our team so amazing, and this “dream” of an “empire” to come true. We have an amazing team WHO LOVES to do creative things for online businesses and ecommerce (ecommerce is simply another form of online business – the act of selling a product online – which web3 is doing in the form of domain names and NFTs). Just feel we are on the cutting edge of the changes of the old internet and the new internet.

Was able to pre-record a session w/ Drew Rosener (the top domain broker in the world) for HandyCon on Friday – and he seems similar position as us – his firm is still focused on web2 to make the majority of the income while the web3 is the “new thing” that is harder to predict the exact outcome and monetize to support an entire company with sales income. (The session will be presented live at HandyCon).

So please support Anne and the amazing team holding the fort for HandyCon that is this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning Asia time (day 2 and 3 starts at 3am Manila/China time, crazy) – I am certain it will be a big milestone for the Handshake community as well as our involvement in the decentralized web as a company.

Now, besides that – we are doing a TON of other things and many people here are working hard on those – so sorry this HandyCon took up the majority of the update this week, let’s run down some other things happening:

But before I start – if I can admit I am nervous. When things are doing well, I get more nervous than when things are hard. Maybe it is something in me or human nature in general – but this time seems different. Feel we have the most amazing team and maybe I am nervous because I need to rely on the team more than ever to hold up this amazing empire that is growing and flourishing. I really hope you are HAPPY. It is so true, if the team is happy and satisfied, amazing things happen. Cannot force people to do anything they need to want to do it. Really hope you are enjoying your work and you are satisfied with your compensation. If any issue or request, please do not be shy to ask your manager, HR, GM LJ, me, or anyone. Or send a note. Each person here is responsible for where we are and we are building amazing things together.

Another issue is just doing too much – ha – most of you know that – but I never listen. Just love to create and build. And this time even though we are doing so much – it seems it is holding together. And I think the difference this time from the many other times we try to do so much is YOU – the team. So please keep it up, and I hope you trust me and the company that the sky is the limit and those will be rewarded.

* GFA Kids – still working out the exact team and communication flow. Majority of parents and our sales/BD team is on Wechat – so our management needs to be on wechat. I know it is challenging, but there are ways and the company can support you on a new SIM if needed. If we can master our team to use “western” internet and “Chinese internet” (mainly Wechat) – there is so much we can do – as most are not able to bridge those 2 worlds and communication channels.

But overall – GFA kids is moving along nicely – even this weekend I see Lori and Wendy in the GFA Kids wechat main group sharing the upcoming student/teacher group, I see more HR interviews and onboarding, and great discussion w/ the team.

* Excalibur Brothers / Blimp / GFA – “lumping” these 3 into 1 as for the most part they are brother/sister products – I would categorize EB/Blimp as GFA community initiatives. So 3 of the samples are on my desk now – but with lockdowns in China it is a real struggle for all invested parties to see them at the same time (Luciano had to leave for a visa renewal but can’t re-enter this apartment complex). But we keep doing our best, photos/videos / wechat discussions. Jasmine is doing great sourcing. Christian working better now that he sees the sourcing status in Slack. Listings are being created and optimized. We had a PPC mastermind last week with Chris Thomas which was amazing. Also recorded a podcast w/ GFAVIP member Nelson Xiao about product testing. And Aubrey holding the community and communication along – hope she had an amazing birthday this weekend.

Overall, the “ecommerce” and “Traditional” business community we have at GFA is moving along – even as we are investing in the “new stuff” such as HandyCon / handshake / “web3”. So it is great we can maintain both.

* NowShenzhen – we are getting advertisers ! Contracts are being signed, we are onboarding clients. Ad banners being made. Even under lockdown here in Shenzhen, we are able to get income so we should be truly grateful. On top of that, our team is working well together – Elayne is coordinating well discussing with the sales / Becky/ Wechat / China team and bridging that to our content and It departments. It is great when things go better than planned. But still a lot of work, and a lot of improvement – but this is business and this is life. Main point is we are positive, getting income, improving our systems and our communication.

* Indigitus – again we brought in new partners to this company late last year and it changed the culture. It was known to be a part, but the other challenge is it is dependent on the blockchain the hardware is made on. But face to face meetings with the blockchain and our partners we made last week and a new deal is being formed. Anyone who knows me knows I will find ways to take care of those who trusted us early on.

* Clients and partners – we are getting overwhelmed with new client and partnership requests. From website building to Amazon FBA growth and management. It is a beautiful thing to see. Only been trying to make something like this since 2007, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Discussing with David (our partner at NowShenzhen) who is our VP of sales at Shadstone on the reason we split up Shadstone services and Content Investments – the idea was — Shadstone is SELECTIVE and a “boutique agency”. Now a “buy it now button” kind of company. Heck, even do not want to have clients – want to have partners only in Shadstone. So Content Investments is meant to be a “buy now” services only – but no phone calls, no consulting or coaching. Just buy the services we use at Shadstone and plug into your business. Maybe we should break up more clearly Content Investments clients from Shadstone clients (which I vote to almost move exclusively to partnership deals only). We want to do deals where we make the upside from our work when the company grows, not a “sorry we don’t need your services anymore, we are hiring internal staff for this now” message you get as a service provider.

* Website investment portfolio – I logged in to some of our advertising sites and traffic sites, things are all looking so nice. Maybe it is just the static sites are stable (used to see tons of hacked / spam sites in our portfolio before static moving), and our consistent updates. Probably also due to the continued trend of the world being forced to be online – but we are maintaining our nice investment portfolio. Would like to start to invest more back into content and upgrades, we have a few sites (like a VPN one, won’t share url name public.) that we are building out with Jason and others.

So much more, and if I forgot to list a project we are working on or put your name on here specifically – please do not be offended. Each week I stress about putting names or not and lately I am putting more in. But as this company grows and our projects and portfolio grows – maybe this week plan has to be re-formatted. I believe we started these week plans in 2014 (based off a management book I read) as a way for the team to know what the company is thinking and doing “big picture”, and I hope these help.

(Honestly I do not seem to get feedback each week, but I feel those who read it are more in touch on what we are doing and hope that motivates them to stick with us).

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