Year In Review 2018 and Plan for 2019
Well, just under two weeks left for he year 2018 – time flies when you are having fun. Or when you have kids! These kiddies just grow up so fast it is really true what they say! So I enjoy recapping what happened this year and planning the year ahead.
What was done in 2018:
(Year-long) Further developed my skills working with online teams – almost the entire year the team was managed online. We had Claire Hu working for a couple months a few days a week at my home office in Shenzhen, and had Tanya (Puii) working at my home in Thailand a couple days a week too, but besides that we did everything remotely and online.
(Year-long) been reading tons of books. When I finish my work, I am not watching TVs or movies – I am carrying my Kindle with me. Loading it up with tons of books and reading like crazy.
Feb 2018 – Went to USA in Feb – that was a nightmare as I couldn’t take Wendy on the plane and had to leave her in Hong kong airport.
April 2018 – An amazing third annual Cross Border Summit – definitely the highlight of my year. I enjoy the spring season the most, and having a yearly conference with friends and people in the industry I work in is really enjoyable.
May 2018- Worked hard learning how to manage an online based sales and lead generation team – most of my years working online has been in the more operations side and marketing side, not on the sales and outreach. Since about May of 2018 I worked on getting an online based team to find and reach out to companies for various B2B sales campaigns we did, in GFA and for clients. Learned so much and was able to get the flow from finding to closing, all online.
July 2018 – Took an Amazing Summer Trip with my Wife exploring our big move – in July we visited 4 countries (Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Nepal) on a hunt for where we would live next. A great bonding experience and time away from the kids.
Aug 2018- Moved to Thailand – after the 4 country trip with Wendy, we picked Thailand and the next month (for me, the next day) we moved to Thailand and enrolled both of our children into school there.
October 2018- Back in China for Cross border Matchmaker. Realizing it is a lot harder to run an event remotely than expected.
November 2018 – made a huge decision to merge everything I’m doing with a friend that I’ve been working with on various ecommerce projects and finally (after years of discussing it) make an ecommerce incubator for 2019. Means full focus, which is something I haven’t done for years. Wrapped up ongoing consulting clients, and wrapped up video blogging and podcasting.
December 2018- fully focused on 1 project, and down and dirty not working on much else. Realizing maybe I should have done this a long time ago.
How about 2019?
So what is in store for the next year?
Good question and I am not fully able to say many details, but we will introduce this ecommerce incubator. I plan to run things from Thailand, continue to operate online as much as possible and continue to work on my strengths – content creation and managing online teams.
What I’ve Learned
I know I am weak in sales. I have tried to read books on sales and negotiation. I built a sales and lead generation team from the second half of the year. I learned that marketing is only half, you need the outreach to leverage the marketing. That marketing builds the brand, but if you don’t ask – then you don’t tap into what you have and don’t get the income. Basically I learned that to do a podcast and video blog – at least to make money from doing it – you need to be asking for people to buy your stuff all the time. Every single time. I was not doing that I was simply giving out free and helpful information and expecting and hoping people would thank me by buying something I had on the products page.
But also learned / accepted you need to have a team. To compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ve gone back and forth about having business partners – many entrepreneurs have stories of partnerships gone wrong – but I have decided they are necessary if you want to do something big.
And I still want to do something big. There is that voice in your head saying “you have kids, your costs are low, you can just keep rolling with the consulting and podcasting” but the other side still wants to create something bigger. And that is the decision I made at the end of the year.