Podcast

Episode 97: Asia Trip Review – Global Sources Summit, Canton Fair, and a Visit to our Philippines Team

“Sometimes you have to do something that makes you uncomfortable to further your career and your life and I really believe that.” – Mike Jackness on speaking at the Global Sources Summit

This episode is a play-by-play report of my entire trip to Asia, covering the Global Sources Summit, the Canton Fair, meeting with our Philippines team — basically everything my team and I did while we were in Asia from early October through early November.

If you’re like me who doesn’t like following someone’s life abroad on an hour-by-hour basis, then this episode probably isn’t for you. But if you are in ecommerce and have never been to these events in Asia before (or you’re just curious about what we do there), this will give you a pretty good overview of what it’s like to be on the road, traveling back and forth between cities to attend fairs and meet people, things you might need to do if you are serious in growing your importing business.

These are the highlights of my nearly month-long trip:

  • getting on a ridiculously luxurious first class flight to Hong Kong for about $50
  • hiking and exploring Hong Kong during my first few days there
  • the ill-timed typhoon
  • my presentation at the Global Sources Summit where I was rated as the number 1 speaker (this just goes to show that you can accomplish anything once you set your mind to it)
  • EcommerceFuel meetups, masterminds, and new plans to take EcomCrew to the next level
  • visiting my Philippines team
  • going to the Canton Fair
  • the amazing people I met from the ecommerce community

My wife Michelle, our Director of Ecommerce Jacqueline, and I crammed so many activities during our time in Asia that when we arrived back in San Diego we were all absolutely drained. These trips are very productive and rewarding, but be warned — it can also be terribly exhausting.

Nevertheless, trips like this are very valuable for entrepreneurs looking for serious growth. The trick is laying out what you want to accomplish while you’re there, which for me, are three things: meeting as many like-minded people/entrepreneurs as possible, touring as many factories as possible, and building as many relationships as you can with the people you already work with.

Resources mentioned:

AsiaInspection
Stamped.io

Thanks for listening to this episode! If you can, please leave an honest feedback on iTunes and reach out to us at [email protected] Until next episode, happy selling!

 

Full Audio Transcript

Mike: This is Mike and welcome to episode number 97 of the EcomCrew podcast. You can go to EcomCrew.com/97 to get to the show notes and the comments for this episode. We look forward to hearing from you. There will be some links and stuff as always here, and I look forward to your comments as well. This episode is basically a play by play of the entire trip, almost hour by hour of what I did while I was in Asia, and my team did from early October through early November.

It was almost a full month, just a couple days shy of a full month I mean. And if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like following somebody around in a Kim Kardashian style, life with the Kardashians, this is probably not going to be the episode for you. But if you’re into ecommerce, and wondering what it’s like to go to the Canton Fair, to go to Asia, or even if you have been there and you’re just kind of curious what I do day-to-day over there, this is the episode for you. It’s a deep dive into the trip.

And what I do just so you can kind of understand what life is like on the road, it’s not a lot of personal time or down time. We value our time out of the office, and try to make the most of it. So it’s pretty fast paced and intense, and always looking forward to get back home more than staying over in Asia for more time. So again EcomCrew.com/97 to get to the notes, and until then, we’ll see you on the other side of this talk.

 

Mike: Sometimes you have to do something that makes you uncomfortable to further your career and your life and I really believe that. It’s something that I will never forget and I will continue to strive to be a better speaker. And I’ve worked really hard at that just in the way that I speak and the things I’m talking about, and it was definitely cool.

 

Mike: Hey everybody and welcome to this edition of the EcomCrew Podcast. This is going to be a trip report from my Asia trip that was October 12th to November 4th. If you don’t have any interest in these types of reports, then I would just skip to the next episode. But I get a lot of requests for what’s it like–life on the road, exactly what do you do and accomplish during these trips.

So I want to literally go through day by day. Again if this is not your thing, I personally I’m not into watching things like keeping up with the Kardashians, or something like that. But if you have an e-commerce perspective on it, and you’re interested in exactly what does someone like myself and my team do during these trips, I would definitely stay tuned. I’m going to try to cover everything in as much detail as possible, and we’ll see where it goes. I look forward to hearing your comments about the trip.

So I left on October 12th, Thursday October 12th out of LAX. I splurged, I used some air miles. It was something like $50 total with the taxes to book a ticket on Cathay Pacific in first class on a three class aircraft. And if you ever wondered what life is like as the 1% or one tenth of 1%, this is it. I mean, there are six seats up on the front. It’s almost the size of a twin sized bed. It’s pretty incredible, just amazing service. They literally serve you caviar on the plane, and freshly cooked meals. You definitely do not land hungry, or really even that tired, because it’s just it’s an amazing experience.

They give you pajamas and a little toiletry kit, and make your bed for you with a duvet and everything. It’s pretty ridiculous. It’s almost embarrassing, but I’m an experience guy and I love stuff like this. And especially when I’m not spending my own $12,000 on a plane ticket, because I would never do something insane like that. But using airline miles, definitely this is the time to take advantage of it so when I arrive in Hong Kong I’m not just completely miserable.

And that was the case, right? It was just an amazing flight. It went by a lot faster than a typical 14 hour flight would. And I landed in Hong Kong about an hour late. Our flight was delayed a little bit, but nothing too bad. I arrived there about 8pm, hopped on the Airport Express train. It’s a 30 minute train ride to Kowloon, which is where I stayed, which is right across the water from Central Hong Kong, right above Elements Mall which has a bunch of restaurants in it.

It’s a place that we’ve stayed up before, Airbnb that I absolutely love. I absolutely love this place. It’s on the 50th floor of the Sorrento Tower, just a ridiculous view of all of Central Hong Kong, and just super convenient again to the train, to getting into Central Hong Kong, to all the restaurants in Elements Mall. I was there for three days, three full days. I woke up the first morning at 4am, which is pretty typical. I went to bed at like eight or nine, and just passed out as soon as I got there.

And I woke up kind of jet lagged a little bit at 4am, but just got a great night’s sleep. This is pretty typical for me when I get to Hong Kong. Slept really well and woke up with lots of energy at 4am. A little bit weird to see that number on the clock, but I got a bunch of work done, and just felt really energetic and motivated. It’s nice to not have a bunch of noise in the house, or at the office, and it was easy to kind of think clear headed about what I wanted to accomplish during the trip, and things I wanted to do there.

So I was able to do that on Friday, and just basically worked all day in the apartment by myself, got a ton done. I worked the way that I work best, which is to work for a couple of hours, like eight o’clock in the morning. When things started opening up, I went and got breakfast, and I came back and worked for a couple hours. Then I met someone for lunch, a friend of mine for lunch, came back, and worked for a few hours. Walked around the city for a little bit, came back, did some more work, and then went to dinner with some friends.

And just kind of used that schedule for the first couple of days I was there by myself to work in a way that works best for me, versus being in the office and having to kind of conform to those hours which don’t work as well for me. But I do like being with my staff and getting a lot of things done with them. So it’s kind of a necessity at this point, but that was kind of the hours that I worked while I was there for that day. And then on Saturday, I had actually brought with me my backpacking gear, my little camel pack. And I decided on Saturday that I wanted to go on a hike.

So I woke up in the morning at 4am, and I worked until lunchtime basically. I went and got a bite to eat at the train station, and hopped on my journey to go hike. So basically what I was trying to do was get a really good meal in before going hiking, knowing it was going to take me about an hour to get out to start the hike, so I would be digested by then. So I hopped on the subway over to Central Hong Kong, and then on the blue line all the way to the end of it.

I forget the name, but I stopped there, just a spectacular hike. You start actually hiking through the cemetery that’s built into the side of a mountain, that’s just really neat, it’s something I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. It’s all above ground cemetery style stop, and it’s just a staircase straight up the mountain through the cemetery to the start of the hiking trail ahead. And quite frankly, I had to stop at least three if not four times as I was climbing the stairs to like catch my breath.

And I was soon there thinking like how ironic would it be right now if I dropped dead in the middle of this cemetery, because my heart was pounding so hard. It was not like — it’s interesting, we were hiking up steep stuff on a hike. I don’t think it works your body in the same way as just straight up climbing stairs. So it was definitely, it definitely caught me off guard, and I haven’t really gotten a whole lot of exercise since the Alaskan hike, which is sad. So it definitely winded me.

And then from there it turned into a woodsy kind of situation. I was walking through a hike and shoving through the woods. And then — but it was still kind of uphill, and then the downhill started which made it really easy, and I hiked down to a beach called Big Wave beach. It was amazing the dichotomy between like what I left an hour beforehand, two hours beforehand to what I had arrived at on the other side of this mountain, this little small village, beach village with a beach, real nice sandy beach, people out there surfing.

And there were some bars and restaurants round the beach. You can grab a beer, and a bite to eat, and just kind of watch the surfers and the waves come in. But like everything there was single story and like kind of like almost like a shack kind of thing what you would see on a Caribbean island. You would never believe that on the other side of that mountain was one of the world’s largest and most powerful cities in the world. It was really, really neat.

I was way too exhausted to hike back. So I ended up hopping on a bus which almost made me throw up on the way back as it was a really windy steep road back to the closest subway stop from there. But yeah hopped on the subway, went back and took a nice shower, and then had another meet-up with some friends that evening. I mean the nice thing about this trip now, these types of trips, I know a lot people in Hong Kong. I know people that come to Hong Kong because of Global Sources Summit or the Global Sources Fair, or the Hong Kong Mega Show.

Well the Canton Fair, there is just a lot of people that are there in this part of the world, this time of the year. And it’s fun to talk and meet with other entrepreneurs. I really enjoy that aspect of it. So I had met someone new that I had never met in person before that night and it was a lot of fun. And then on Sunday, there was actually a typhoon that came through. Believe it or not, of all days, all the things, I actually went down that morning to grab some groceries from the grocery store that’s right below the apartment.

And as I was getting on the elevator, I was realizing like the walk through there, how windy it was outside, but didn’t really think much of it until I saw somebody taping up all the windows in the lobby there where the elevator is. And I was just like what the heck’s going on with that, and did a quick search, Hong Kong weather. And then the typhoon when it had just popped right up, I was like, oh my God. So I went down and grabbed a couple of days worth of food not knowing exactly what to expect if the power went out.

And so the rest of the day, I just kind of hung out in the apartment that Sunday, and didn’t do much of anything really except work and eat the food that I had purchased unfortunately kind of kill the day, but it was nice to relax that day. I did want to go hiking that day, but it was like pouring down rain outside and just not pleasant to be outside. So I did have to skip the hike that day.

Monday was the day before the Global Sources Summit. So I actually hopped on the train out to Global Sources Summit and met with Meghla, the person who runs that show out there, and just got to meet her in person for the first time and chatted with her about my presentation, and just what was going to be going on at Global Sources Summit. So it was awesome being able to meet her. Again had dinner with friends that night, and got ready to speak at Global Sources Summit. I’ve talked about that on a previous podcast.

But that Global Sources Summit was Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday October 17th, 18th and 19th. So the routine for those three days was pretty much the same except that Dave and my friend Mike had shown up Monday night. So the apartment was full of all three of us at that point. So the three of us got up each morning and headed right to Global Sources Summit, and then did some sort of a meet-up or activity those evenings.

And I spoke at Global Sources Summit on the 17th and the 19th, so I had two talks there. And one thing I am really proud of, the organizer of the event sent me the survey that came out afterwards, and I was literally rated the top number one talk at the event, which is not really a bragging thing, more than just a personal satisfaction thing. I think it really goes to show you again if you set your mind to stuff like what you can accomplish, I wholeheartedly humbly will say that I was a complete wreck a couple years ago when it came to talking in front of a large crowd for the first time, and didn’t want to do it and tried to figure out every way out of it.

I kind of got coerced into doing it by a friend of mine who plainly said that sometimes you have to do something that makes you uncomfortable to further your career and your life and I really believe that. And it’s something I’ve worked really hard on. To really be rated the number one talk at an event like that with a bunch of other speakers that do this professionally and there are just really amazing sellers just means a lot to me. It’s something that I will never forget, and I will continue to strive to be a better speaker and work really hard at that, just in the way that I speak and the things I’m talking about and it was definitely cool.

So that was the end of the Global Sources Summit on the 19th. And then we had a couple that night, the night that ended on the night of the 19th I hooked up with a couple of people that were attendees there. A friend of mine that I met last year Chris, who I’ve just really come to really like, and we went out. And that was our one night of hitting the town hard. It’s kind of become a tradition for me. After speaking, I do like to kind of let loose.

I think it’s not necessarily that I need to do it anymore, there was definitely a time where I felt like I had to, because it was just so stressful. But it’s just a fun excuse now afterwards to go hang out. So this was one of these get back to the apartment of four o’clock in the morning as the sun is about the come up kind of nights. It was just a ton of fun. Had dinner and some drinks out at the Jordan Temple Night Market, then we went to this awesome bar that was like almost like a private booth and a bar that had Liar’s Dice, which is something that I do with my friends for real in real life back home with my non e-commerce friends.

And we did that and played darts. And then there was a foot massage place that was over there which I have now learned that foot massage places in at the Temple Night Market offer a lot more than that. That was a little bit awkward, but Dave and I did – where we would go, we stuck with just the foot massage part. But it was a little bit weird. So, definitely if you’re looking for foot massages in Hong Kong, and you don’t want extra-curricular activities, don’t go do it in the Temple Night Market.

That was definitely interesting, but just a really fun night. It did make for a tough Saturday waking up in the morning and having to kind of be functional, because we had a mastermind all day in the apartment with four of us just kind of going over ecommerce stuff. And then that night we had the EcommerceFuel meet-up, which was awesome. We had maybe 12 to 15 people that showed up for that, met a bunch of new people, which is like always my favorite part, a couple of people that actually live in Hong Kong.

One guy, Randy [ph] in particular who I was just super impressed with, just a super nice guy. He has a like a financial banking and M&A kind of background, and he’s applying a lot of that expertise now into ecommerce, and it’s just really cool to see what he’s doing there. He was just helpful and nice in so many ways helping me kind of just places to have the meet-up at. So the next I’m in town definitely somebody I want to hook up with. So that was definitely cool.

And then we didn’t really stay all that late that night, because I just didn’t want to have two nights in a row of crazy drinking, and I knew the next day was going to be a pretty intense mastermind. Sunday October 22nd, again four of us in a room just going over all kinds of things from Amazon PPC to enhanced brand content to ways to optimize our listings. And me sharing a bunch of things that I’m doing with them and then vice versa, which is just really important in your ecommerce and just business life in general.

So we had all day Sunday to do that, had a couple really great meals, but nothing really too crazy that day. We just kind of did our thing. So that was the 22nd. On the 23rd, it was time to say goodbye to everybody. It’s always sad. I’m a people person, I really enjoy hanging out with people, my friends. So it’s tough having to say bye to especially Dave who runs this show with me and the whole blog, and everything. He’s up in Vancouver, and we don’t get to see each other all that often.

So that was definitely a bummer, but we did get a bunch done while we were together, a lot of stuff for EcomCrew that I’m not ready to talk about yet. But I think that the plan over the next year is to take EcomCrew to another level or two or three up where we are at. We’ve been doing this stuff for quite a while, and providing a lot of free content. And we launched our first course that kind of gave us a taste of that, and the reviews and stuff that we’ve been getting back have been really good. So it makes us want to do more stuff like that.

We’ve upped the podcast to two times a week as a result of being there, and just seeing what’s come out of that. So it was a definitely a good trip there. But yeah, by the time Monday the 23rd rolled around, it was time to completely shift gears from Hong Kong mindset to China mindset. So I took the train from Hong Kong, the inner city through train. It’s a couple hour journey out to Guangzhou, to go the Guangzhou Dong, which is the east train station, and took a cab over to our hotel.

It was a new place that I had never stayed up before. That was fine, it was a nice hotel. The bed was hard as a rock, so I probably won’t stay there again. And the thing that probably ticked me off more than anything is they gave me a wake-up call at 9pm at night to let me know that I was going to be checking out the next day as if I didn’t already know that, and I had literally just fallen asleep. I was exhausted that day that we left and went to bed at like eight thirty, and they called and woke me up at nine. I had a hard time falling back to sleep. I was just like out of my mind tilted from that.

But on October 23rd at like 1am, my wife Michelle and our new director of e-commerce Jacqueline had arrived. They were a little bit late unfortunately. I was doing everything I could to stay awake before they got there, because I know that when I fall asleep for a couple hours and I wake up, I have a really hard time falling back to sleep. I just passed out. I mean I was just so tired. The trip that first week was already fast paced, and you’re still a little bit jet lagged and going to bed early and waking up early. And man it was just brutal trying to stay awake. But when I got there, they called me, woke me up obviously.

I went down and greeted them. And believe it or not, after even going to bed at one o’clock in the morning, we woke up the next morning and went right to the Canton Fair, just something that, just a part of life on the road, right? We got up, and got to the Canton fair by about 10am. It opens at nine thirty, and got right to work. And we were there for phase two for two full days, October 24th and 25th.

And we were looking for products for Wild Baby mostly at that point, because there are a lot of toy products there during that phase, and we were also looking at some stuff for IceWraps because there’s a couple of vendors there that do that stuff. So both days that we were there, it was Canton Fair all day, dinner with somebody in the evening, whether it was a supplier or a friend.

And then after we got done with the fair and dinner on the 25th, we took the train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen. Got in it late like I don’t know, it was like ten or eleven o’clock at night. I walked around for a little bit, went to bed and woke up the next morning and had breakfast slash lunch I guess what you would call at that point with a supplier, one of our best suppliers who’s in Shenzhen. We try to meet with her at least once a trip every time we’re in Asia.

Discussed a bunch of new products we’re looking to develop with her, got some samples of stuff that we’re looking at, introduced a couple people to her because we try to do that with all of our best suppliers, and just had a really great meeting with her. It was awesome being able to spend a half a day at least in Shenzhen. And as soon as we were done with that, we hopped in a car and took the car service directly to Hong Kong.

So if you’re in China and you need to fly to Hong Kong, if you’re in Shenzhen specifically and need to fly to Hong Kong, it’s a little bit easier, a little more expensive but a bit easier to grab a car especially if time is of the essence. They drive you right across the border. It’s easier to clear customs; it’s quicker to get to the airport. You bypass the city and all the subway nonsense and the border crossing. We did that and waited for our flight to the Philippines that evening on — again this would be Thursday evening, the 26th of October.

Our flight got into the Philippines at something like; I think it was about seven o’clock. We took a car out to our hotel. I don’t even think we ate dinner when we got there. We were just so tired, and we knew we had to be in the Philippines office at 9am the next morning and just didn’t really want to go out and do anything else at that point. We were just — you kind of get to the point where you’re just physically exhausted from doing all the stuff that you’re just ready to go to bed. And that was definitely the case that night.

So we woke up at 9am, actually we met for breakfast with our office manager Mia at eight, and had breakfast with her at eight o’clock in the hotel there, and then took a ride over to our office in the Philippines and met everybody at the office at nine. It was awesome getting to meet everyone there for the first time. We’ve obviously already put out an episode just a couple days ago about that trip. So I don’t need to get into a lot of details there. But basically each day in the Philippines, I mean just as far as hours, the next day the Saturday that we were there we got to the office at 7am because that would be 3pm in California.

So we had our first company-wide meeting, something we’re going to be doing now every Monday just to kind of help with communication, get everybody on the same page about what’s going on. So that day started at 7am. So that was really brutal just kind of getting up that early, that extra hour early. And the other couple of days we were there were basically 8am to 7pm. And then we would go out to dinner or also lunch with the crew depending on the night.

And one night we did go and do karaoke which was a lot of fun. And unfortunately then on the 30th of October, that Monday even after getting in the office early, we obviously had to still leave at some point and get to the airport and head back to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed, and so we ended up spending a couple extra hours at the airport that I wish we were still in the office with our crew. Unfortunately, that’s just kind of the way the cookie crumbles. And even more unfortunate it got us into Hong Kong like midnight, which is so brutal because we had to get up and catch an eight fifteen train in the morning over to Guangzhou.

So we had like zero time in Hong Kong. I had hoped to show Jacqueline around a little bit because she had never been to Hong Kong, at least to drive around in a cab for 30 minutes or something to say, this is this and this is that, or whatever, at least take a look at some of the sights. But we didn’t even have time for that. We were so flipping exhausted. We just went right to bed and passed out, and woke up, there was a 6am wake-up call. And I got on the train by eight o’clock, eight fifteen.

Luckily that was on time, got us out to Guangzhou, threw our bags in the hotel. Didn’t even check into the hotel, threw our bags in the hotel and went right to phase three of the Canton fair, which is for IceWraps and Tactical and some still some WildBaby stuff there, and all of ColorIt is on phase three. So we just — we knew we had a long couple of days ahead of us. That night we had dinner with a friend of ours that I had met originally at Sellers Summit.

We call her our number one fan, and she was actually nice enough to buy us dinner. So I just want to give her a shoutout again. Thank you Natalie for that again. I’m sure you’re listening to this podcast. She seems to listen to all our podcasts. It was definitely really appreciated, and again I’m sorry that we were so flipping tired.

That evening it was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my business career for the year, just you’re at a dinner with somebody, and even though they’re understanding of it, it’s like in the middle of a sentence, I’m like I’m going to bed, I’m just so tired. It’s just it was you’re traveling back and forth all these different times, and there’s just no time for sleep. And both of — all three of us Jacqueline, Michelle, myself went back to the room that night and all of us like just passed out like immediately.

So it was nice to kind of finally get a good night’s sleep. Woke up the next morning, did phase three again of the Canton Fair. That would have been on November 1st. We had a small ECF dinner that night, EcommerceFuel dinner from a couple of guys who I had never met before that are from Australia, just awesome dudes. Man I really enjoyed hanging out with them. It was just a small little meeting in the cocktail room of the Westin, and definitely really, really enjoyed meeting them. It’s just like it’s always good meeting people from different parts of the world and have different types of businesses.

Not unusual whenever you meet someone from EcommerceFuel, they all just seem to be awesome people and that did not let me down again. So definitely appreciate hanging out with them. Next day again up early, ran to the Canton Fair as the door opens for our final day back at the Canton Fair. And actually, now that I’m looking at this, I’m remembering this was like an impromptu day actually. We ended up not going to the Canton Fair first thing in the morning. I’m remembering this.

I didn’t actually put this on our schedule because it happened last second. When we were there, the day before, November 2nd we found this other factory that makes some supplies for ColorIt, that potentially could make supplies for ColorIt that I was really impressed with. And we found out that their factory was “90 minutes away,” but we found out later it was more like three hours each way, which was a bummer because it made us late for other plans for the day.

But we went out there toward their factory; we left early in the morning toward their factory, which was really impressive, way more impressive than the people we had been using. Had lunch with them, and then sat in traffic for a couple of hours trying to get back to the Canton fair, because we had to pick up some samples and talk to a couple other people before it was all over. And that was it. We left the Canton Fair.

It’s always where like the last day you’re there and heading out of the Canton Fair, I feel like I used to on the last day of school, middle school, or high school, which is like this huge sense of relief. You’re just so ready to get the heck out of there. And I was able to have dinner that evening with Steve Chou and Jen Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job. We’ve become really good friends, and Toni as well who runs the Sellers Summit.

That was like our last thing that we did in China before departing. I just love those guys to death. It was fun and nice being able to just kind of be around someone that you’re really comfortable with and such good friends with that you can just be mentally drained and exhausted and not have to worry about impressing somebody, or even thinking about being articulate or anything at that point. It was interesting conversation, and we were just all puddles of goop by that point, all three Michelle, Jacqueline and myself.

And it was funny because Toni and Steve and Jen were just totally jetlagged. So they were happy to have dinner early at like I think like six thirty or something. They were just like we can’t stay awake any longer. All of us were just completely shot. Then woke up the next morning, said goodbye momentarily to Jacqueline and Michelle as they had a direct flight — well not direct flight, but a flight directly out of Guangzhou. But they had to connect through Seoul, and I had to make my way to Hong Kong.

So we both left about the same time. I had like a three hour journey to get back, or four hours to get back to Hong Kong, get through customs, get on the train, get out to the airport. By the time I got out there, I had a couple of hours in the lounge which was nice. And 12 hours later, we were back in LA, or I was back in LA. unfortunately again, I don’t know what it was, but the delays on this flight, Michelle and Jacqueline’s flight was delayed. So they ended up getting in a couple of hours late. It turns out that there is no arrivals lounge in Los Angeles. I know first world problems.

This is something that I feel we are complaining about even, but I hopped in a Uber because there wasn’t a place to sit and relax in the LA airport, while I waited for them, and I just went to a Starbucks. I found the closest Starbucks and just hung out there until they arrived. And then we got an Uber back from LA to San Diego, passed out like within minutes of getting home. I was so exhausted. We got home around 10pm on Saturday night. I went to bed no later than eleven, and embarrassingly I slept – and Michelle, both of us slept the next day until 4pm. And I’m not sure if one of us didn’t awake first and wake the other one up, who knows how long we would have kept on sleeping.

It was nuts, but unfortunately waking up at 4pm on Sunday on the only day that we had left for a weekend after being gone for a month was a pretty big bummer. I felt pretty unproductive. And there was a bunch of things I was hoping to get done like going to get a haircut and do some grocery shopping, and go get a hike and just to get some fresh air and enjoy being back in California. Like none of that happened. It was just like we woke up at four, had a bite to eat, and it was already getting dark as it was daylight savings time already, and just absolutely a total bummer.

And then of course by waking up that late, we couldn’t fall back to sleep that night. So we were up all night just trying and struggling to fall back to sleep. And the alarm went off, I’m like already awake and I never fell back to sleep. And then I had to get in the office first thing Monday morning, and was just basically a zombie. And that continued for a solid week of feeling that way, and even as I was recording this podcast, I’m still tired man, like it’s — when I come back from Asia, I don’t know what it is travelling in that direction, but it is tough, it is really tough.

I don’t know why it’s hard to adapt going from travelling from west going east back in time that direction, but it’s brutal. And I think it’s going to take another week or maybe more to fully get back on this time zone and not feel tired every day. It’s a bummer because it’s a busy time of the year. It’s an exciting time of the year, and having to struggle and push through being tired all day sucks. I like really enjoying my day and getting through the day, but it has definitely been a struggle the past week and a half. But I know we’ll get past that here shortly, and be able to enjoy Black Friday.

So that is a full trip report. I hope you guys enjoyed listening to this. Again if you’re into that kind of thing, we will be back next week with a little bit more interesting and substantive episode if you’re not into following someone’s life around the globe. And until then guys, happy selling and we’ll talk to you then.

And that’s a wrap. I hope you guys enjoyed this play by play of my Asia trip. As you can probably tell, it was exhausting. It was very productive, very fruitful, but exhausting. So I think people back here in the office have learned their lesson to ask how was my vacation when I get back, because it is certainly the furthest thing from that. I want to give a personal shout out and thank you to Jacqueline for just being a beast over there.

It’s one thing for Michelle and I to do it because we are owners, but as an employee, even as a very invested employee in our business, it’s still tough to keep up that pace. And even though she’s ten years younger than us, I know how tough it is. I mean, no one likes to be sleep deprived no matter how old you are. But she did an amazing job, and I want to thank her for that. And again my whole team in the Philippines, it was awesome meeting them. I wish we could do that more often. It looks like I’m going to have an opportunity to do that again in April.

We’ll see how that works out. But I definitely want to try to get out to the Philippines as much as we possibly can, and spend time with them as well. But it should really give you an idea again of what life is like on the road. What I think you should be trying to accomplish while you’re in Asia, it’s basically meeting as many like-minded people, other ecommerce entrepreneurs as possible, I think is number one.

Number two meeting as many factories as possible, and touring as many factories. And building as many relationships as you can with the factories you already work. This stuff is ultra important. And depending on your time-frame and what you have going back on in your home life and your home city, you probably don’t want to spend any more time over there than you need to. So you can tell why this is so compressed.

For me I just — my time in the office is super valuable; being with my team here is super valuable. My inbox overflows every day that I’m in Asia. My employees get more and more irritable the longer we’re gone, because there’s not a lot of communication. And so for me to get back is a big priority, and especially when you’re already gone a month, that’s basically the best I can do over there. So hopefully you guys found this helpful. We’ll be back next week or this next week on Monday. Don’t forget we’re doing this twice a week, now the podcast is twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays. So until next episode everybody, happy selling.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Natalie Super Fan Mounter
    November 23, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Ah! I got a shout out! I’m freaking out!!!! LOL Thank you so much for meeting with me for dinner, Mike. It was one of the highlights of my trip! Despite your exhaustion you were all amazing company and gave us some incredible advice. Thank you so much!! It was such a treat to meet Michele and Jacqueline and I look forward to the office tour you promised me in January! Thanks for another great episode! So excited to be getting 2 a week now!! Signed, Super Fan

    • Reply
      Michael Jackness
      November 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks again for dinner Natalie. I literally think I was more tired during that dinner than I have been any other time this year. Still it was great company and conversation. I just remember in the middle of a sentence being like “Yup, I’m going to bed now”.

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