Defining Week: Scale To Next Level or Temple Time

In now by Michael Michelini

What Mike Michelini is up to Now – April 24 -30, 2022

Listen as audio here [2.5 minutes long] (or scroll down for text)

(In photo, Sunday morning grind + reminder why I’m doing all of this. Using new HD cam from Wendy.

What is Mike Michelini Up To Now – April 24 – 30, 2022

The opportunity flow is just like a firehose right now. Believe in our amazing team, and we can achieve greatness from this firehose. Accept it, and do not reject it.

* Bought out FishingLab, want to apply new business concepts to it
* Flamingo Handshake is becoming a full time business instead of monthly event.
* More crypto community projects, love this space (but it is wild west).
* Ecommerce, crowdfunding / Amazon – honestly LOVE being so deep in all of this.
* Soo much more, so much building, so much creating, so much opportunity.

To be honest, I may have a burnout or a breakdown – or I may transition into some kind of new person. Hoping for the second, but this week will be that week to define it.

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

Week Plan April 24 – 30, 2022 Shadstone Limited

Happy Sunday, a working day here in China. Yes, this country often turns weekends into work days to shift around holidays. Just another example of its power and isolation from the rest of the Earth. It will be a May 1 holiday next Sunday and that means this working Sunday will become a day off on May 2 and 3 to give more time for citizens to enjoy the May 1 day.

Now – back to our normal “week plan” (or insights into what is happening at Shadstone). I do worry these get long winded and out of focus – but I think they also help give insights to the team on all the various projects and investments Shadstone is involved with so they are more up to speed.

And hey, maybe someone on one project here that wants more opportunity can also step up and get involved in another. That is part of the “dream” of Shadstone – to have various projects and investment companies and allow the creative team of do-ers to be able to be specialized in their skill and be able to apply that across various businesses. Both to leverage their amazing ability, but also to share the “pressure” of having to maintain a full time team and HR / management team.

Finally we are breaking through that “chicken or egg” issue of having enough projects, funds, and people.

But we will be growing to an even higher stage, one that I and Shadstone have never embarked upon before.

And it is important that all of you know this. And its important that you are also ready and up for the challenge. Janette’s consulting that kicked off last Jan 2021 was a point where I and the company became convinced we need “shepherds not sheep”, or more in business terms, leaders and managers. As we have said in various week plans, we had to make very painful decisions on this road, but I would say it has gotten us to a new stage, and a powerful platform and a foundation to grow on.

Now, we need to really move to further growth. And this is by structuring leaders and managers of these projects to even more work on their own time management and systems that we are trying to equip you with.

In the last few weeks we have added some amazing new, massive, projects and opportunities to our plate. We will need to upgrade our current team’s time, skills, and onboard more people.

It is something new for me. Again, many of you think I am experienced in corporate. I worked on Wall Street after college and it was pure “flat structure” where I was a trading assistant getting screamed at (my manager was downstairs and I saw him once a month at max). I had no idea on how to structure things – I was doing trading on Bloomberg terminals and balancing pure insanity 7am to 7pm each day. It was the nights and weekends on eBay and Google adwords to our ecommerce store (New York Bar Store) that turned into Shadstone sourcing , and leaving NYC to end up in China /Asia.

So basically, I am still a student on how to grow to the next stage of Shadstone. Leaning in on LJ’s experience. Nessa is great HR – so kind and patient with all of us in the team. Martha is now adding more time to work with us (seems she loves working here already, its great!)

So we need to STRUCTURE more. Build more HR, finance, management systems. And hope to still maintain that creative and flexible work environment that I, and I believe all of you, love and enjoy.

Let us work together to maintain that, while we also grow.

So now for some of the projects:

* Bought out the remaining ownership of Fishing Lab. Our partner wanted to move on. Maybe the growth wasn’t what we were thinking, etc etc. We decided to make an offer and he accepted it to sell his ownership. We will be transitioning it over. One thing was I wanted to do more creative ideas on the site, but our partner wanted to stick to the standard practices. Now, we can be more creative (but we do need to decide who on the team is heading this project).

* Flamingo handshake auction 13 another success, launching the online marketplace and auctions. Intense Thursday for the FH team. Anne also says the same but I lose sleep the night before always worried if enough bidders will come. But it works out each time. And we had a fun time with the sunglasses, and the rugs, and my liver. And then we launched the online market – which I think was a perfect way to do it – at the end of the first year anniversary party. The story is beautiful, but let us make it real. This is a huge project, and also a huge opportunity, to become a leading marketplace in Handshake for top premium HNS TLDs.

* GFA kids improving workflow, team, website, and IT. Wendy says GFA kids can add a lot more parents (customers) but she first wants to make sure we have system, team, and teachers in place. Last week we made more positive developments: the booking system Lori dug into it with a detailed request doc, Manly replied and I gave my input. Also Leisle will join full time to help with the management, while also still being a teacher. And Phenie helped upgrade the site and the GFA kids page at – intense amount of work, but a solid, strong foundation is being formed for us to expand. The idea is to extend this system to “GFA adults” to book training with Amazon / ecommerce experts, and other learning sessions. And the ultimate dream is a “village”, or a community, in the “new normal” post-covid world.

* NowShenzhen – the KPI continues to improve. We are finding our email newsletter is a hidden gem. Elayne has been doing great at coordinating with the Shadstone team, David and the sales and marketing team. Working on a new community center page to highlight other bloggers and influencers in the Shenzhen community. And just pushing ahead and improving bit by bit.

* Excalibur Brothers – massive work developing the first four products. Big challenge and delay has been the packaging. Luciano has made some state of the art packaging, I still have only seen photos and videos of it – hopefully this week we will receive the samples in the mail to check and approve. The polishing cloth production is essentially done but they need this packaging to put it together. And once we open the “flood gates” with this foundation of packaging, branding, and franchisee system – we will grow like a weed. There is no doubt – the only thing was it took almost a year to get to this point! But nothing is easy, and we have a valuable asset that will only grow over time.

* Akitai – Wrapping up our first month of the BlogJV relationship. Christian super deep in the Amazon seller central account optimization. A little scary I have to admit with some of the big changes, but this is what our partner Andres needs. He has an amazing brand and opportunity, but needs our Shadstone team to optimize and grow. There is so much more to do. Aubrey is learning the influencer program for them, setting up the email support box, reviewing rebuilding the site to grow the design and traffic. Just so much to do, and seems we love the brand too (I love it because it is a brand to showcase female leaders, and Shadstone is blessed with a great team of many female leaders)/

* GFA “adults” (Lol?) and CBM event – not sure is this is the right name anymore. But the core Global From Asia community we have been building and growing since 2013. Aubrey is taking the lead as always to kick off CBM 2022 – June 16-17, 2022 online . 2 days this year instead of 1. Hope we can involve others to support Aubrey on this. Maybe Leisle can have some of her time on this, and the idea is to launch the GFA “adults” learning program at CBM (from our experience at GFA kids). Also we will have a graduation ceremony for Excalibur Brothers at the CBM, and open the second batch of the Blimp Method program there. Feel the Blimp Method is the missing piece of the puzzle for GFA and that is why last CBM we didn’t have much “to do” after wards. Janette is working w/ Aubrey on setting this up. Wendy will also help w/ the sponsorship – and we want to theme these O2O – online to off-line – and have an offline event element here in Shenzhen, China during it.

* Indigitus – painful (for me at least) waiting game as we are negotiating the terms with Sentinel foundation. Believe we will come out in a much better position, it was all due to the software and protocol integration issues last Fall when we had that first hardware batch fumble.

* Client Work – as we said we are adding new clients and new partners
Current long term clients seem happy with our web development, design, marketing, and support.
Crowdfunding we are working closely with Don to service this. David is also seeing this service is a very valuable one and wants to help structure it to sell to more Chinese factories.
Crypto community – from our experience with Handshake and Indigitus – we are adding at least 1 new project to this and have a partner to also collaborate with on this (actually 2 partners). Will be doing a call Monday morning with one of them and also need to forge long term alliance with another.

Just probably so much more to discuss. I have to say, I have had a headache for about 3 days straight. I passed out at 8pm on Thursday night. Just so much , so much, to do.

BUT WE ARE GOING TO USE THIS to springboard to a whole new level never seen before at Shadstone. We have the empire in our sights. We are providing OPPORTUNITY to those who want to learn and grow and create.

If you read my “side bar bio” on Mikesblog- you’ll see my passion – to provide opportunities – or to quote (I believe I have had these exact worlds on there for 10+ years)

Internet marketer living in Asia since 2007. Enjoys helping business owners grow their online empires by blogging and creating content since 2003.

Passionate for helping more like-minded internet entrepreneurs create the future of their dreams. Love international business & connecting people. Working on more ways to give hard working people global opportunities. Check out Mike’s latest projects.

Notice the bold part – this is the part I need to work on even more this week.

So, there have been phases of Shadstone for the last 20 years (we have been around since 2007, and I have been doing online business since 2003 under different company names) where we overheat. Or hit the “feast and famine” where a company gets a wave of projects and income, but then sales comes down and it hits “famine” which needs painful restructuring/ borrowing / downsizing – but I feel this time it is different. We have client projects, yes, and they may not stick around long term -but we also have our own portfolio of internal projects and partnership projects that will balance out our cashflow.

Most important, I hope the team loves what they are doing. If you love what you do, you can do amazing things. If you are not loving what you are doing – talk to HR, management, me, whomever – and we can try to find a great place here that you will love.

This is the power of having an empire. There are limitless opportunities .

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