Writing this on my China eastern flight to Hong Kong. I’m so addicted to blogging! Well it would have been a paper journal if not online. What an exhausting 2 months in USA….reflecting about it is rewarding for me to reflect on. For those of you following my blog, this may seem like a repeat, but this is a good summary for me, and helps connect the logic and thought process I was going through. I pretty much followed the travel agenda I set out beforehand
landing in NYC JFK airport on Sept 15...chinese / Filipino wedding with Sarah. Realizing I have experienced the culture in Asia more then so many in the wedding…seeing how much I have experienced and learned while in Asia. Met a lot of people I hadn’t seen in so long. Visited my university Stevens Tech, saw my fraternity brothers, so many leads for SEO coming in. Felt the money was gonna come rolling in, and my overseas office and freelancers between China and Philippines could support me as I did sales and consulting in NYC. Riding high. Working a new deal with a “Mike Russia” who I have been working on with the LED pourer electrapour, and we were exploring opening a retail store for bar products and manufacturing overseas. Crashing with my Jiu Jitsu master friend Josh Griffiths, talking about subletting his 1 bedroom in the east village to work from to start NYC sales office. Visit my friends at Deutsche Bank, where I used to work, don’t feel I am missing much, seems the same situation I would have been if I had stayed, just maybe with more money in the bank. Working a concept where I would try to speak at Stevens Institute of Technology university part time, keep on doing SEO consulting in the northeast, USA. That became the goal, bought a new google android phone with 2 year contract!!!
bachelor party in Puerto Rico, a main reason for me picking these certain dates was Tayan’s wedding and bachelor party (put the bachelor party 1 month before the wedding, jeez!) So after 1 week in NYC, I flew down to San Juan Puerto Rico for a long weekend with Ty and the boys!
Parents and family in florida – After Puerto Rico, jumped up for a quick flight to florida to see mom and dad for about a week and a half, saw my grandmother, uncles, cousin Alicia. Told mom and dad all the crazy stories about what I’ve been upto. Get some home cooked food, catch up with family, talk to my Florida accountant, massive piles of mail, met with Immigration lawyer, and also have a home office to work from after the crazy couple weeks in NY and Puerto Rico. Had the bar supplies from upstate NY trucked down to NJ to be housed at “Mike Russias” location and fulfilled from NYC for local delivery and online sales….making a step closer to opening a shop. My grandmother asks when she will have her grandchild…feeling pressure about life…and family. Tell my parents I’m staying in USA, do sales in NYC and northeast America. My mom is so happy I am back…gives me a big hug and a kiss. Planning to come back to Florida for Christmas. Meet some florida business contacts , bar products mostly for custom imprinting and product manufacturing in China. Get a phone call from “Mike Russia”…the goods from upstate were too much to fit in his location…so I had come back a day earlier than expected, the goods have to get somewhere now…I have to pay fees each day its held with the trucking company…and find another place to put the stuff.
back to NY, NJ, CT, MA. Immediately coming back I had to rent a Manhattan self storage unit. I was thinking to put it in a cheaper storage unit, but this made sense to put in Manhattan as the goal was to eventually get a store or showroom setup. Not as many people came through to help me move in the goods…a little discouraging….and a managerial and logistical nightmare. Rushed up to Connecticut with Andrew Moran for Brian’s house warming. Then the worst, most insane bus rides up to Connecticut and Massachusetts…trying my best to see customers, friends…just stretching myself too thin (seems a common issue in my life!)…. Crashing all over the place. Hustling and working deals for bar products in NY, possible store, sales office in the city. Jiu Jitsu class with Josh, talking Internet marketing, helping bar promotion companies increase their rank on google and reputation management. Talked to Gillian from SEOmoz and she was guiding me on developing an SEO business in NYC. Just kept on networking, went to a mobile internet convergence conference, traded a lot of namecards, learned about NYC entrepreneur events and networking. This seems like the right thing….to skip my nov 10 return ticket to Hong Kong and stay in NYC to open a sales office….I gotta develop my USA sales, and my Asia operations can support me. This is what I am thinking, and this is still the goal.
Indian wedding in Virginia – the center of my visit, was in the India style wedding party for my good friend Tayan Patel. More buses but this turned out to be a smooth bus ride. Dancing to Indian music in a parking lot into the wedding hall. India “mackdaddy” dress suit. Just embracing all these world cultures. Talking to people about life, seeing my friends all married, houses, nice cars. Is this the life I want? Thinking about ***link** the emotional rollercoaster…wondering how many chances I have in life to do wht I want to do. Am I really happy? Am I focused? Do I want this pressure to fight so hard to be in NYC, seems less people are helping me in reality than actually say it. Thinking outloud to friends in the wedding about taking my return flight to Asia. They try to find ways to convince me to stay. Offering my spare rooms in their house in suburbs….THAT IS NOT THE LIFE I WANT. I’m not gonna be some guy in my pajamas all day in a spare bedroom in the suburbs saying by to my friends as they go to work every day. What is the American dream? I get some job offers, opportunities….but I don’t want a job….I’m not going back to that way if there isn’t a way to stay in USA, then so be it.
Back to NYC again – squeezed a half day with my Uncle Bill in Chinatown new york. Enjoy the chinese restaurant. The insanity. Realize I THRIVE IN CHAOS. I don’t want normal. My uncle bill supports my idea to return to Asia – Follow my dream. He gives me some genealogy documents about my family roots…he and his Russian mother (my grandmother) coming with the family from Russia to Seattle to set out for a better life in USA. Maybe I am doing the same now? Meet my friend Mike Andrews from Hudson digital, talk SEO, as well as life, family, business, priorities…..Still thinking about AMERICAN dream? Work, get married, family, work more, save, retire. Then travel? I want to be a hustler. I want to travel. I want to meet, connect, explore, adventure. Write at least 1 book. Travel agency, tour guide. Rushing around to the storage unit to ship goods, find Joshua Whiting to help me out, and he has been in Shanghai before, hoping he can get back one day. Having trouble managing office overseas, feel I need to get back there to work face to face. But what about USA sales? Thinking…thinking…decide I have to go back to Asia. Can’t miss this return ticket to Hong Kong!! Its already paid for , else I’m going to have to spend another $1,200usd to get back to Asia later. I book my domestic ticket to Los Angeles (as my return flight is from Los Angeles to Hong Kong) Also happen to randomly find a Bronx factory of bar supplies, amazing that still exists, and talk about some cooperation. Talking to Ken Chen about some affiliate marketing opportunities, with office in Philippines, go to a nightclub with luggage, have a VIP party with him and some other affiliate marketing gurus, and then go directly to JFK airport.
Fly to Los Angeles – Decide to take the return ticket to China after all….kinda hard to eat my words, friends in Asia, USA friends confused, disappointed, thought they would be able to see me….called mom and dad and telling them I changed my mind and am not gonna be staying in NYC afterall….and not gonna be around for Christmas….that was hard. But I told them this is my draem, this is my destiny…and this is the way my life story will move forward. They support me.
Only 6 days in California, in LA I spend time with Abiy (awesome Ethiopian food!) SEO talks, and some contacts there. Rush down to San Diego see Piotr, Ben, fraternity brothers…..no time really to relax. Santa Ana to meet some product importers, warehouse I’m working with, Lisa, and sales rep Rome. Head up from Orange county back to Los Angeles, Lisa gave me a ride up.
Jammed in a few more meetings, talking new product development….spent some quality time with Abiy, realized he is in SEO too for his job and his side business. Hope to work some deals with him. Rush to the airport, got a bit lost with his wife Kiddy, but made it, rushed to the airport, and am now sitting here typing this blog entry from MS word on the plane.
Life is insane…I guess I really have to sit back and filter through all these things going on. What do I really want to do? Choose, don’t try to do everything. Find good managers, partners, alliances. Do what I love to do, and what I can really contribute to. Keeping costs low, bring up sales, be positive. The woman in the Post office in LA said life rewards those who take risks, work hard, and stay positive….but man, I feel I am licking my wounds and reflecting.