If you’re contemplating attending the Cross Border Summit in 2023 or just curious about what this premier event has to offer, you’re in the right place. In this episode, CBS Emcee and Host, Ash Pemberton, and our very own, Mike Michelini, will unveil the compelling reasons why you should mark your calendar for CBS2023, offering a sneak peek into the invaluable experiences and opportunities that await.
Topics Covered in this Episode
Introduce our MC this year, Ash!
Super excited to have you as our MC at Cross Border Summit this year. Can you share a bit about yourself Ash
How did CBS get started?
Why hasn’t there been one since October 2019?
Identifying the Target Audience
Who is the CBS event for?
Setting Event Expectations
What can attendees expect at the event?
Speaker Lineup and Topics
Who are the speakers, and what kind of content will they be sharing?
Highlighting Networking Aspects
Tell us about the networking opportunities.
Exploring Additional Event Features
We’ve just announced a new expo with 20-30 supplier and vendor booths the day before the event—a joint project under the brand Cross Border Matchmaker.
CBS VIP Tickets
Additionally, for those looking to go BIG, you can become one of our VIP ticket holders. This includes access to a half-day mastermind session on Nov 15, an exclusive VIP dinner that night with speakers and other VIPs, as well as priority access at the event and after-parties.
How can people join?
Seats are limited, so secure yours now at 2023.crossbordersummit.com
A heartfelt thank you to Ash for being our gracious host! Here’s to an incredible Cross Border Summit 2023. See you all!
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Ash’s VIP Page
√ Cross Border Summit November 16-17, 2023
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss
√ Visit our GFA partner – Casia Cross Better Logistics – for your logistics needs
Episode Length 50:38
A big thank you to all our dedicated listeners! Your enthusiasm and loyalty inspire us every day. As we continue to explore the world of cross-border business together, your presence is invaluable.
Don’t forget, the Cross Border Summit 2023 is just around the corner, and we’d love to see you there. Register now at 2023.crossbordersummit.com to secure your seat and be part of this incredible event. Let’s make it an unforgettable experience together!
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And now your host, Michael [00:00:30] Michelinie. Got some deer head behind me. So the intro and outro will be video, but we have an audio only interview. I was at Ash’s office today here in Chiang Mai. He’s starting up his own podcast and studio. It was really amazing. I’ll try to get some photos here for you and the show notes.
He’s our emcee for the cross border summit and, um, he dug in some deep questions with me after so you’ll learn a little bit [00:01:00] about why you should come to the cross border summit as well as afterwards he gives me some fire shot questions about the history of the business and me. So, um, you can enjoy that.
But if you’re watching the video, you’ll see me walking around, we’re considering this place for one of our after parties, and it’s pretty epic. It’s got deer heads on the wall. I don’t know how I feel about that. It’s got a pretty cool I don’t know if I can drink all this alcohol on the wall. A very beautiful space [00:01:30] here in Chiang Mai.
There’s so many cool coffee shops and restaurants. So I’ll talk more about this after the interview with Ash. Ash is interviewing me, I feel. I interviewed him, but he’s kind of interviewing me. I’ll also be on his podcast. He’s starting up. Let’s tune into the show. You’ll get a little bit of preview of what to expect of this cross border summit 2023.
It’s been four years since the last one. All right, we have Tommy, the sales manager at CrossBetter Logistics. How are you, Tommy? Hi, I’m fine. We just got to meet here in Shenzhen, China. It’s great. Uh, [00:02:00] they support the show at Global from Asia and we also use them ourselves for many of our brands and e commerce businesses.
And Tommy really cares. They always are, uh, trying to help us save money. You know, not, you have some products you keep for us in China. You have some products you keep for us in the U. S. warehouse. And, uh, I really appreciate that. And you’ll, you can talk to the seller, right? You can give them your advice.
You work with many Chinese sellers a lot, right? And, uh, you can help, [00:02:30] um, help the sellers understand more. Yeah, we are very professional for the shipment to USA and Canada. Also, we have warehouse in USA and Canada. Yeah. We can help our factories, suppliers, sellers for the shipment, for the e commerce business.
Yep, and you even keep stuff in China too, so sometimes if you have the limitations about sending too much to Amazon, you can keep it here in China with, uh, [00:03:00] Crossbetter, or you can send it, of course, to the U. S. warehouse. They have many different options, and they’re always trying their best to find, uh, find out what’s the best solution for you.
So, definitely. Finally, talk to Tommy, talk to Crossbetter, and thank you for your support of the community. Yes, we have good pricing and better service. Thank you. Thank you so much.[00:03:30] Okay. Hello, everyone. And a massive hello to Michael Michelini. Hello. Thanks for having me. Wow. This is amazing. That was, uh, one hell of a welcome from the sound effects machine. Yeah. There’s a huge, huge crew here. It sounds that way. It sounds that way. So may I start by introducing you because it’s something that I know I’m going to have to do live on stage very soon.
[00:04:00] I know that you are a public speaker. I know that you run and host the Cross Border Summit. You’re a podcast host of Global From Asia, which is all about cross border business, and you have 410 episodes under your belt, plus plus, because I know some of them weren’t actually released and you did some special series.
So I’d say, that’s not quite Joe Rogan, but that does show a tremendous amount of consistency and commitment. How long you’ve been doing that? We’ll dive into in a [00:04:30] bit. Um, you’re an American National, originally from Connecticut, but you have truly international credentials and you’re super active on social media.
The outputs that I see are really professional content, so that means you’ve either got a really good team or you’ve streamlined your own operations. Quite impressively, you are the founder of Global from asia.com. Which I found out is way more than just a podcast. You know, you’ve got your marketplace, [00:05:00] which seems to be designed to help others do business, and I, I feel that a lot of what you do is designed about networking, collaboration, and helping others.
You’re the founder. This goes on. You are the founder of Off-Chain Global, which is a global community for crypto. Co founder in the Chiang Mai district. Co founder of the Chiang Mai district. Thank you for correcting me on that one. I know the founder is Jonathan. Great guy. Cool. Yeah. Which is, which just the reason for me [00:05:30] mentioning that as well was like a whole new aspect of you about blockchain and crypto.
For me, you are best known as an e commerce specialist. Living in China for over 10 years and now living here in Chiang Mai with your family. Mike, that is a lot. What out of everything that I mentioned or failed to mention is most important to you? You know, I think being a connector, a global connector, and [00:06:00] like you said, bringing people together and finding, finding the strength and the opportunities in other people.
That’s awesome. Yeah. Can I be blunt? Does that pay the bills or is that something that you do to give back? Yeah, I don’t, I don’t do, I’ve been hearing the word altruistic a lot lately from my discussions with people, but I don’t do things for money right away. I guess I make my money on the, as a seller myself.
I don’t know if I put enough in [00:06:30] my, what I do, but I’m also an e commerce seller. And I also do consulting for other e commerce and online businesses and content creation. Yeah. Can we just dive in a little bit more into, into what an e commerce seller is? Because I think I know, but I’m sure there’s an awful lot more to it.
And I’ve mentioned to you in the past that e commerce sellers seem, can be, not seem, can be quite secretive about what they do. Is that the case for you? [00:07:00] Is that your experience? Can you share just a little bit more about specifically what you do? Sure. So e commerce seller is one way of calling it.
Another way is a brand owner. I should have called myself a brand owner. When there’s e commerce, e commerce seller could mean a lot of things. You know, I just had a phone call before our session. He mentioned Dropship. He’s like, Oh, Dropship. Dropship is a form of e commerce. I don’t do. Dropship means I, somebody [00:07:30] sells other people’s products and makes a markup.
But a FBA seller, Amazon FBA, has to buy the inventory and stock it and sell it. So it’s a more capital intensive type of selling. It’s also could be called private label or PL. It means you put your own label or your own brand on the product, which is what I, I recommend. So I, I believe in brand being a brand.
The reason a lot of sellers, I actually have some series [00:08:00] where I say, what’s your ASIN? ASIN is Amazon stock identification number, I believe, or basically your SKU. I joke like, what’s your ASIN? You know, with the, with the microphone or a camera. And the reason they’re so afraid is it is somewhat easy to reverse engineer the product from Amazon listing.
There’s more and more tools. It shows how much they’re spending on advertising, their ranking, their sales. even some ideas of where their supplier could be based. So there’s this paranoia that [00:08:30] they’re just another seller of a product that anybody else could do. But I, I have off almost always talk about the products I sell.
You know, I have meetups here. I bring the product samples. I talk about a podcast. I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m scared because yeah, it’s also dangerous because maybe somebody doesn’t like you or somebody wants to hurt you or copy you, or maybe they don’t even intentionally copy you, but they subliminally copy you.
There’s some jokes about a garlic press. [00:09:00] There was a course that talked about this or a community talked about selling a garlic press. So everybody, not everybody, but lots of people started selling garlic presses. Just because the information was there, I guess it’s just easy to say, Oh, this product makes money.
And I know how to buy it and I know how to promote it. So that was maybe the beginning of it. But sometimes you subliminally copy something, right? You hear about an idea or a product, you sleep on it, and then maybe you [00:09:30] don’t even purposely copy them, but you start to kind of do what that person you’re learning from does.
So there’s this concern. And a lot of people feel like sometimes Amazon commodifies, commoditizes the seller. They just try to make everybody look the same. There’s even some memes or jokes about like… Videos on, on like, you know, on social media about, oh, which table should I buy? And every picture looks the exact same, except just a different name and name or brand, but you try to differentiate [00:10:00] through, through the features or the, the packaging or the experience or a listing.
But I mean, a lot of people just paranoid that they can get copied somewhat easily and reverse engineered so they don’t share. Sure. I understand that. And obviously e commerce sellers. Brand owners, FBA, these are all people that are going to come to cross border summit. Yep. Yep. How did you get started with cross border summit?
Cross border summit started from the podcast. So the podcast was going well, [00:10:30] people were enjoying it, contacting me, wanting to meet people said, Oh, I’m coming to China. Do you have time for a coffee? Do you have time to meet? And I have to credit my wife, Wendy. She says, you should just. Make a conference. So it was like the end of 2015.
The idea came and I actually would like your feedback, or maybe even listeners, I was considering calling it the G F A summit or Global from Asia Summit, [00:11:00] but I felt like it was too, too long. And I thought like, what do we really do? It’s like cross border, and it was like a newer term then. Mm-hmm. . And so I, I just decided to call it Cross-Border Summit instead of Global Summit.
I think it was originally Global Familia Summit, but before we did the first one. So the first one was in October of 2016 in China. Right. It’s a one day event. I think on a Saturday, April 16th, 2016. So am I right in saying everyone that came to that very first cross border summit [00:11:30] would have been come from your podcast?
They were listeners or associates or people that had heard about this from your podcast? Say, yeah, either, either from it or, uh, referred by it. And then here we are 2023. How has that expanded? How is your reach and, uh, your audience expanded? So it’s evolved for sure. I mean, the whole space, the whole space of, especially I was in China and, you [00:12:00] know, actually we were a little bit more diversified at that time.
We had also taxes and corporations and. Corporate culture and selling in China, but after that first one, people kind of asked me, and of course I was listening, if you look at the 2017 18 19, it was more and more FBA or Amazon focused based on the requests of the audience. So the first one was very broad.
We, of course, had Amazon content and e commerce [00:12:30] content, but we also had a lot of like broad content. about cross border e commerce. So, but yeah, it’s definitely expanded over the years. And even we’re mentioning that panel I was on people recognize stuff. That’s just my voice because they had listened to a lot of still audio, you know, a lot of audio and they said it, they had maybe listened to it when I came to Chiang Mai and they were looking for Asia business content and found it.
[00:13:00] And we’re excited. So of course, with so many shows online and content everywhere. And word of mouth. There’s been much more people discussing these things. Cool. The 2023 event is here in Chiang Mai. That’s a first. Yeah. First time. The theme is open borders, new beginnings. I think I know what that means, but maybe you could just explain that to everyone without using the C word.
Oh, the C H word. Because [00:13:30] it’s been a while since you launched a live event, right? Since 2019. Yeah. And here we are in 2023. How has it been for cross border business during that period? I mean, it chokes me up thinking about it. There’s this mass destruction. You know, horrible destruction, even before COVID, there’s a lot of C words.
I don’t know which one I can’t say. COVID was the one. Oh, I thought you meant China is another one. Oh, really? No, I didn’t think of that. [00:14:00] But you know, we did an online event and we call it the broken border. Okay. I don’t know if I want to spoil a surprise, but we might have parts of that event, uh, on display at the, at the first in person live one.
Cool. What? I mean, families, separated businesses, destroyed products, liquidated brands, just gone. Like I could feel a whole show of those stories, but it was just mass destruction of our, of our, of [00:14:30] our industry and our community. So, so many have left, you know, like. So many have given up or sold, or there was also this aggregator wave where these investors bought up all these smaller guys and consolidated to bigger ones.
So a lot of, maybe even with some in a good way, retired, you know, made seven, eight figure exits and don’t do it anymore. You know, sometimes they’ll see me at an event like, you know, DC event and they’ll say, Hey Mike, thanks for telling me about Amazon. I I’ve sold, I think they’ll [00:15:00] thank me if they say they got, I got.
And they’re gone, they’re out of the industry now. But, yeah, I, I, I’d say it’s just, that’s why this, you know, Open War is a new beginning. Because it’s, it’s a new, it’s a, it’s a whole new world. It’s a whole new world. So the, the people that have stuck it through, the people that have survived, and that are going to come to Crossborder Summit this year, what’s in it for them?
Why are they coming? It’s a mix of, I think the networking is, I mean, I love the speaker content. [00:15:30] But of course, the networking and the reason we keep these small is we want it to be high impact networking. Where people see each other more than just once bumping into each other in a larger event. Uh, and you can also meet the speakers.
Like the speakers are there and of course you have so many testimonials but people say, I was actually able to meet the speaker and talk to him or her and ask questions. Connect with [00:16:00] them. So it’s really about the networking and connecting as well as the content itself. We really encourage, well, we have no recording and, and I guess I can say Joel is happy about that because he’ll, he’ll be sharing there too.
We really encourage them to share their brand, to share real case studies, to share a real, uh, examples. Cause you said earlier, Amazon sellers don’t want to share their brand. But. They know this event for me, almost personally is they want to make their best [00:16:30] content here and other testimonies we have, and they’re coming back like one is Roland’s he’s, he’s from Eastern Europe and lives in Taiwan and he’s come the last two and he’s already confirmed for this one.
He says he, sorry, I had to miss the after party, but I had so many ideas and strategies. I went back to my hotel that night and I started to do them. Hmm. Yeah, because we like the hacks and, and like the things you can do [00:17:00] right away. So a lot of speakers try to put some high impact strategies. Deliberately not recorded, deliberately not published on the internet to try and promote the connection and the openness of conversations at the live event.
Exclusive number of tickets. Is that right? How many people will be attending? How many, how many can you fit in and you know, what’s [00:17:30] the capacity and where are you at with that right now? Sure. So it’s a hundred, a hundred people attending total. We’re about a third there. So we still have about 70 to go and you know, including speakers, there’s 20 and there’s of course our team and there’s a few great sponsors confirmed.
So I think the max capacity of this room is like one. 2130. Super. I think it’s well worth telling people a bit more about who the [00:18:00] speakers are going to be. And for me personally, I don’t know if we’ve actually mentioned this before, but I’m going to be emceeing the event with you. I’ll be your event host.
I can’t wait. I’ll be introducing people on stage and really getting involved with the event, trying to add my energy and promote networking too. But I really do think it’s worth mentioning just a bit more about the speakers. And like I said, for me personally, I think sponsors should also be mentioned.
Sure. So can you tell us just a little bit more about that? Sure. So speakers is, it’s a long list. I will pick some of the highlights, [00:18:30] of course, I don’t want to pick total favorites, but of course, ones I, I can think of and some that maybe I’ll mention some that I’ve never been to Thailand before at all.
So one is Danny McMillan. He’s, he’s also a podcaster at Cellar Sessions. He’s based in London. He’s never been to Thailand at all. He, he should be pretty well known for anybody in the space of, he has great content. And he’s been almost to everything, spoken to every, almost every single one we’ve done. [00:19:00] And he, he’s a expert on Amazon, listing optimization.
He’s worked with massive brands. He’s like a authorized Amazon speaker and a really fun guy. He’ll also be DJing on Friday. He’s really wants to show his, he’s also a DJ. So that’s Danny. Mike Hartman. Mike Hartman. Doesn’t. Really need to work anymore. He’s exited again recently. I feel another seven figures.
Mike Hartman is a, is a [00:19:30] American based out of Romania and it’s just a really good growth hacker, a really good marketer, like basically business brain, like a numbers machine. And he’s going to be sharing about crowdfunding for, so he’s really experiencing Kickstarter. But not just Kickstarter and done, but Kickstarter to Amazon so that you actually have a sustainable business because most Kickstarter people just do it once and then to another Kickstarter.
But he doesn’t want, it’s a lot of work to do Kickstarter. So he does it and then he continues it [00:20:00] onto Amazon. He’ll be sharing Howard Tai, professor of Amazon. A good friend of mine also spent American born Chinese descent that’s lived in China many years, work with huge Chinese factories and sellers and eight figures.
He will be sharing about ranking algorithms and ways to boost your rank with external traffic. Chris Rawlings, another first time to Thailand. I guess he, he does disclose he had a layover in the airport, but does that, I [00:20:30] don’t think that counts, right? There was a layover, but he never left the airport.
That’s not count. So that’s not counting that he’s from Sophie society and done an eight figure brand while he was traveling around on a motorcycle and. Africa, I think, or South America. Can’t remember which one. Very numbers, numbers guy. Like I think photographic memory, I feel super smart and he’s like, I think he has a science degree and he is really specializing more in [00:21:00] AI for Amazon listing optimization, PPC.
So he’ll be coming. There’s like Leslie Chong. Leslie and Daniel there from scale insights in Singapore, he’s come in the past, he sold his brand for seven figures and he, I even have clips of him that he kind of credits credits us because he came to the summit in 2017 and he was just starting and he couldn’t find events about Amazon and he met so many amazing people.
He [00:21:30] went to workshops after with some of us and he’s credits us his sale to our events in a bit, you know, he’ll be, um, Doing a panel about AI and PPC, probably we’ll have Chris and some others. I mean, there’s so, there’s so many, they’re all like, and they’re like my friends, Zach Benson, he’s a IG expert.
He’s like an influencer. He teaches people how to be influencers. And he will talk about KOL influencer strategy for [00:22:00] Instagram and social media for, for e commerce brands. KOL. Key online leader, key opinion leader. Basically like a influencer, influencer on Instagram. Yep. Sure. You told, you told me that this was long.
Yeah, I mean, you proved that and I’m sure there’s 20 of them. So 20 speakers in total over two days, but the day before is mastermind day. Yes. Is that a half day? [00:22:30] Yeah. What can people expect at the mastermind? Like why, why, firstly? Does the ticket guarantee you the mastermind or is that an additional cost and what do people get out of the mastermind?
Yeah. So it’s, it was added, I think the second year we added it, but it’s a, it’s an additional ticket. It’s the VIP level ticket to get access. It’s 2 PM to 6 PM table format with some of the key speakers. So some of those ones I was naming will [00:23:00] be hosting a table. And the way we do it, because I know there’s a lot of different ways of calling a mastermind.
It’s a cool word. So I don’t know if there’s an exact formula for how people do masterminds. Some people do different formats. Our format is four, four sessions, four hours total. And we have four tables you can move from. And there’s a couple of breaks in between. So it’s about 45 minutes per table. So you can rotate to different tables [00:23:30] where there’s some of our top speakers at those tables.
So you get time with the top speakers to talk about their specialty as well as others in that round table. And when they do it before the event so that you kind of get to know the other VIP and speakers in advance. Yep. That’s a, it’s a, it’s a good format and it’s a great start to an event because it makes you feel like you’re already welcome and well connected before you get to actually hear the people.
Yeah. [00:24:00] Yeah. And then just to make, we have a VIP dinner, so the dinner is for speakers and VIPs only. I like to do this before because other events I’ve seen that do the VIP dinner after or during, it kind of feels like we exclude. The others. I agree. So I don’t like to feel like, Oh, you can’t come in because if it’s before they don’t, it hasn’t started yet.
So we’re not like drawing that line or, or barricade between people. So, so that, that pre event is more like a additional fee or ticket level. So [00:24:30] speakers become part of the VIP package. Yep. Obviously sponsors do. We just should go through the speaker sponsors. I’d love to know. Yeah, please. So we have three, three core sponsors.
Of course. We are open to others joining, but for right now we have three, our, our top sponsor as of now is LianlianPay. It’s a cross border payments company that is expanding outside of China. So a lot of our sponsors might are more famous in [00:25:00] Asia or China, and they kind of come to us for help to get more exposure to the, to Western markets and sellers.
So. There are some of the best rates you can get for the FX and exchanges and they’re starting to make an English and international product. And they’re not going to be like so pushy there because they’re almost using this as like a focus group or a way to talk to the English speaking international community.
As they’re building out like an English product for payments. So [00:25:30] anybody doing cross border trade knows you have cross border payments. So they have a way for you to kind of like receive the funds, keep the funds or send the funds. To like your supplier, to yourself, to contractors. So it’s, it’s our top sponsor right now.
The second is next Doria next Doria is a value add broker. I don’t know if they want to use the word broker value add like partner with you to help you sell your business. So they represent the sellers [00:26:00] to help them get the best price and deal for their business when they’re selling. So they represent the sellers and then they already have a network of investors or buyers and they’ll be coming and they’re, they’re sponsoring and the third is Unixpress.
Unixpress is a air shipping company that helps people ship from China, but now they’re expanding in Thailand. We’ve been using them as well. So they’re kind [00:26:30] of like a middle between middle service. They’re prices in the middle and their services above, like, you know, the U S mail or, or like post, but there are less than like DHL or UPS, I see well positioned.
Yeah. So they’re hitting that sweet spot in the middle. Cause you don’t need it in like three days, but maybe a week or 10 days and you want good tracking, you know, and good service that, cause you know, the U S mail, you don’t know what, you know, when or where it is. So, and they’re specializing [00:27:00] now in Thailand as well as China.
Cool. So just two more things that I wanted to talk about specifically about cross border summit this year. Uh, number one is I had a conversation with Antoinette Jackson, who’s going to be one of your speakers. She is the founder of Bee, Super Bee. What’s the word I’m looking for? Bees, Wax, Wraps. Basically she declares a war on plastic, on cling film and produces environmentally friendly social enterprise products.
So she’s coming to [00:27:30] speak. And… When she said, do you think I should bring my products? I was like, absolutely. Yes, you should and then she said, well I don’t know. Is there an opportunity for me to sell or give away and Then I read actually there is gonna be a new initiative for vendor booths. Is that during the whole Conference or tell us a little bit about why you’ve started that and and what’s the opportunity for people who want a booth?
Sure. Yeah. So the booth is, is a very fresh, uh, very, very [00:28:00] fresh, still baking and we’re going to announce it more clearly as we get closer, but we’re looking to do it on that 15th, the Wednesday, the 15th, the day before the event, and it will be an add on for people. Because we only have a hundred to the, uh, the summit and it’s much more exclusive.
This is gonna be a little bit open, more open because of course the booths want more, as many people as possible. So this will be an open event for, of course, [00:28:30] the local community here and others, but many people want to buy from Thailand factories, you know, a lot of people looking for alternatives to China.
And as I, I don’t think I mentioned on this show, but we also started the cross border summit during the Canton fair and trade shows in China because everyone’s coming to the trade shows. And we don’t have a trade show here, so I figured why not start to work towards it. And we’re partnering with a company that has a network of suppliers because I need their help.
I don’t, I don’t really know that many [00:29:00] factories here and they don’t know these buyers or sellers or buyers, you know, to a factory where a buyer sell, but e commerce sellers, a seller. So we’re partnering up to do this and we’re looking to just have 20 to 30 booths. As the first year. Okay. Local, local suppliers.
Yeah, we’re looking for Thailand suppliers. Northern Ang Ma. So we already have a, a group confirmed, small group. Uhhuh. confirmed. You found 20 already. He has a huge, uh, database. ’cause he’s, I can imagine provides [00:29:30] the services. Yeah. And we’re gonna, of course, um, maybe you know me, I don’t do anything for money.
So we’re, we’re, we’re kind of keeping an open mind about how we do this. But we want to do this for, it’s a long term play. So this might expand to be a more bigger kind of expo in the future. Excellent. So can we now just, just do some quick fire stuff which just summarizes to everyone. We have only 70 tickets left.
Is that right? Yeah. How many VIP tickets left? About [00:30:00] seven or seven seven. Yeah. So got to move fast. If you want a VIP. Yeah, we just confirm one this morning before the recording. How do we do this? Where do we buy? So 2023 dot cross border summit. com is the sub page. But of course you just go to cross border summit.
com and then go there. Sure. How much did the tickets cost? So general entry is just under 500 us as of right [00:30:30] now, there will be moving up over time. Sure. Early bird discount. And then the VIP is just over a thousand. Okay. Awesome. That is a really nice summary. Like I know it’s very important for me to get to understand more about this.
And in fact, what I really wanted to get from this interview, Mike was to me. Like we, we’ve, we lunch two or three times a week, sorry, two or three times a month. Yeah, yeah. I’ve got to really enjoy your company. Obviously, I’ve known about you [00:31:00] for quite a long time because we’re part of the DC, which is the Dynamite Circle.
It’s a remote independent business networking and entrepreneurial group. So I’ve known about you and I’ve, your reputation has kind of preceded you with, with the DC cause I think you were one of the earliest members. I’m a, I’m a OG. You’re an OG. Uh, I think I’m member 70 or something like that. That’s pretty cool.
Yeah. But what I really wanted to do was dive a little bit deeper into [00:31:30] exactly what it is that you do and like what makes you tick. So if it’s okay with you, we’re just going to do a quick. By a question round. Okay. If there’s something that you don’t want to answer, you don’t have to. You can just look at me in a funny way, and I’ll move straight on to the next one.
So, here they are. How old are you? Forty two. Kids? Two. Married? Yes. Who to? Wendy. Tell me about her. Of course, you know, we’re always talking about nationality. She’s Chinese [00:32:00] born. More the business minded person of the two. Really? Wow. I mean, I think of you as business minded. I guess I’m business, but I’m more of a creator, you know, I call myself more of a creator.
She’s the one that kind of thinks about the, some people joke about, I don’t know if it’s wives in general, but especially Chinese wives and they’re thinking about the money, like how’s this going to make money? What’s this idea? What, you know, but she’s very supportive and patient, you know, with me. Cool.
Yeah. How did you fall in love with her? One of my startups, [00:32:30] I, it’s really funny. We did a lead gen tool on Sina Weibo, which is like the Chinese Twitter. And it would do like mass searching and contacting of people on, on, on the platform. And she was one of my leads, not for dating, but she worked in biz dev for a mobile app platform in Beijing.
And I was going there to meet those kinds of people. And so she was one of my leads. Cool. What, what made her fall in love with you? I think she just thought I was so, uh, crazy [00:33:00] to try to do a tech startup in China as a foreigner. Didn’t speak Chinese . And you know, I think we’re both very independent people.
Cool. Stronger together. Yeah, stronger together. Awesome. What’s the best and worse things about living in China? I guess it really depends on what year you’re talking about. Is it now or is it before? Because it’s for you reflecting back on it. I mean, the best. It sounds, I feel bad because it’s Chinese people are not [00:33:30] free, but foreigners are free in China, or we actually used to be way more free, like when we first came there, we could do anything, you know, because they, even if you spoke Chinese, you would act like you didn’t speak Chinese and
you could kind of get away with anything. I mean, of course, there’s limits on that, but. And that’s why Chinese people would not like foreigners, because we could kind of get away with things. Stuff that they can’t. Yeah. And that was the best. Of course, right? I mean, it’s [00:34:00] not about race or stereotypes, but it’s the person being able to get that privilege is pretty awesome.
Sure. You’re getting freedoms that the nationals don’t get. Yeah. So what’s the worst side of that? Of course, the most of that, that specifically? Yeah. I mean, I guess. The, especially men are jealous, and of course, China, you know, women would also like the foreign men. There’s [00:34:30] not all, but of course, there was all, all advantage sometimes to that, or they liked the mysterious part of like a foreigner.
And you know, I guess the other negative is, you know, you can get taken advantage of. People would try to deceive you, but I guess it happens anywhere, but especially they would try to use you. Like there, I can go through some stories. Like I was part of the first coworking space in Shenzhen, China. And there was people that would want to rent the space to tell their potential customers that this was their real office.[00:35:00] And these are foreigners work for them. Right. And I didn’t know that, but then luckily I had a Chinese partner in that group that found out, he’s like, no, no, you got to get out of here. This is not what. You’re, this is not the purpose of this co working space. Do you say this is your office and these are these, all these foreigners are your staff, you know, stuff like that.
So there’s these kind of deceptive deceiving. Okay. So I did call it quickfire. Sorry. I tried. So in, in, in short, [00:35:30] the best thing is the freedoms. Well, it’s getting less now, you know, so I said it depends when, but lately it’s getting so strict for everybody. Yeah. So that was kind of good old days, we all say in China.
Sure. So I’ve lived in Chiang Mai nine years. Awesome. I love it here. My children go to school here. We’re part of a tremendous community. I’m a football coach, a business owner. Like, I’m so settled here. What brought you to Chiang Mai? Sure. I mean, I have vlogs about it. And the main [00:36:00] thing is I wasn’t satisfied with the education of my children in China.
Yep. The cost of the value, the ROI. Sure. So, and I didn’t want to go back to the U. S., so, you know, when people have kids, a lot of times they go back to their home country, right, because they can go into the system of the education system and the support system. I didn’t want, I didn’t want to do that. So my wife and I left the kids with her parents and we traveled around Southeast [00:36:30] Asia looking.
So we came to Chiang Mai. We looked in four places. We went to Philippines, Chiang Mai, Kathmandu, and KL, Kuala Lumpur. And we picked here because there were so many schools, the environment, the culture, the, of course, the costs are very, very, very reasonable and the nomads and the internet so fast. And you can get like a house, we have a house, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing.
Like a lot of other places you have to stay in like an apartment. You can’t really get [00:37:00] a house. And it’s a lot of cities. Yeah, we picked it for all those reasons. Well, that’s a lot of reasons. It’s a lot. So many reasons. What does the future of Chiang Mai look to you? How do you think it’s going to all shape up in the next five or ten years for Chiang Mai?
I just wish the smoky season could get fixed. Can we not fix that? I don’t know. I feel like Wendy and I were both kind of, the first year we were here, we were like, there’s got to be a way to like, fix that. How would the Simpsons fix it? I think they’d put a massive fan on the top of Doi Suthep and just blow it back.
True. Could we [00:37:30] do that? We should, we should. But the future, I think it’s going to keep picking up. I think Thailand also is in a well, I keep hearing more people, whether it’s Chiang Mai or Bangkok or Phuket or other cities in Chiang Mai and Thailand, more and more people picking Thailand. I’ve noticed more friends from China and overseas.
I, I see Southeast Asia as a, as a, as the best place to be, whether it’s Chiang Mai or Thailand or even other parts of Southeast Asia. I think this is the growth. Me [00:38:00] too. Yeah. Yeah. Quickfire, we ready? Ready. If you were starting out in business today and you needed to make money, what would you do? Do I have the skills I have now or do I not?
You have the skills. You’d probably, you’re going to tell me you’d do the same again. I guess it might as well, it’s clarifying if I have, do I have money? I have my knowledge, I have money, I have my network. Or, or where am I? Starting from… Starting from scratch. Today. Age. Young [00:38:30] twenties. Okay. Not a lot of capital.
What would you do to make money knowing what you know?
I’d dig into it. There’s two ways. One, I would, depends on how much risk I want to take, but I think the apprentice program, I know DC has done that. I think maybe being, of course, we don’t want to work for someone else, but it’s not like you’re just working for a company, but working for like a startup or a small, a small company is doing what you like, what you want to do.
And tell him clearly you’re like an apprentice. [00:39:00] If, if I, if that wasn’t a way, the other way is. I think service businesses is better than product businesses to start with less capital, but I would start a service of something that I want to build out. Cause when I try to do something like, like all the stuff I do, it’s still related with e commerce.
Like I sell products, I do, you know, events and community about this. I try to kind of build an ecosystem. So I would try to tell somebody to do what you [00:39:30] like to do and then kind of like expand around that. Sure. Good. Thank you. Are you ready for a couple more? Sure. Sorry, I’m longer, I feel. No, no, no, no. I called them quickfire and then I asked questions that just, it’s, you need to elaborate on.
So I’m sorry about that. Here comes another one. Where are we with web three? It’s a bear market for sure. There’s no question about that. And bear markets is down, but I think people building the bear is one thing people say [00:40:00] I’m seeing a lot of people building. I see it, there’s a saying about cowboys come back with arrows in their back, something like this.
And I think we finished that cowboy phase, even like the dot com bubble, right? In the dot com bubble, there was this huge bubble and then it popped and it was dead for a while and then it popped back. Like Facebook didn’t come in the original dot com. Even Google didn’t really come in the original dot com.
They came in the [00:40:30] second week. So, you know, those cowboys that did the NFT projects and all those scams, they were the kind of the, the cowboys, so I’m like, the next wave is the settlers and I feel like I’m a settler. I don’t, I’m working on a web three project for e commerce and I’ve seen a lot on crypto Twitter and they’re saying like now the pioneers are, I might get the wrong terms here, but the settlers are coming now because they learned from the first wave.
Yeah. And we’re kind of clearing out the scams and the, and the, and the BS [00:41:00] and now we’re getting, I think, build like the next Facebook and Google on web three, because those first ones were kind of scams or hyped, or maybe they didn’t intend to be, but it was too early. And now it’s kind of cycling that through.
So I think we’re going to build a second wave now. Thanks. A couple more. Sure. Yeah. You’re okay. Yeah. What makes you jump out of bed in the morning? Like what motivates you? I don’t know. I mean, my favorite thing is I hire too many people. I spend so much [00:41:30] money on people. I hire a way more than I, my revenue, because I like to develop the people.
I like, of course, actually some of them, I, I, maybe I’ll choked up. My team’s online, but I have retreats every year or two. And when I met them in December, a lot of in the Philippines, a couple, we had this weird experience where I had, uh, A consultant, she’s a Filipino HR consultant, came and she had this game where we went around her [00:42:00] room or the table and say like, they thanked me basically.
And that was the hardest thing to sit through because, but they liked how I pushed them. I mean, and then some of them cry because they said they’re trying to improve or trying to live up to what I’m trying to, to push them into, up to, to be. But yeah, I mean, that’s developed, developing them. Uh, and I’ve learned about consulting, not consulting, but coaching [00:42:30] or, or, or business or management is, is developing people to do the task.
But I love to see, you know, you’ll, you might even talk to someone in some of our groups, but they tell me like, I, I kind of like let them see that they could do that, or I gave them the confidence that they could do that. They didn’t think that they could do that. Cool. Yeah. Good for you. And good for them.
Yeah. And that’s what motivates you more than anything else. Yeah. I [00:43:00] mean, I think that’s, that’s the, that’s the way to, I’m trying to build stuff that lives beyond me. I don’t know why I think about death a lot, but I try to think of legacy. I try to think of things that can live past me and I’ve read a lot of management and leadership books and setting cultures and values.
And. I think that’s one of the best investments. Awesome. Have you been the recipient of this? Have you had good mentors? Have you had great [00:43:30] experiences from people that wanted to develop you? Where’s this come from? It’s a good question. I guess, it didn’t come, like it wasn’t like an original intent, but when I saw the results of developing someone.
And there’s been some that they, they stay with us longer because I’ve [00:44:00] invested in them so much and trying to be almost like an investor in people. And, you know, as you can see, we, we went through a lot of stuff I, I do, and I can’t do that myself, all those things. So I’m trying to have them as leaders to be able to run those businesses.
Without my involvement as much. How many people have you employed or do you currently have working for you? It’s, it, I’ve [00:44:30] been, we’re very flexible work, but it’s approximately 15. Okay, good. And you come across as a very composed, calm individual. How do you manage your work life balance? Yeah, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a workaholic.
I love. I love, I can’t even see myself retire. I don’t know, retiring. I I’ve watched, I’ve read, somebody sent me some article about, there was no such thing as retirement in [00:45:00] for many years. I think retirement is still like a new term, like grandparents would work the farms in the old times and you die when you stop working.
That’s what this article says. The reason people start to die is they stop working or it’s not work. It’s not really like about like. Nine to five work, but creating or, or exercising or using your brain, not even, not just muscles, but your brain. [00:45:30] But I mean, my habit is mornings, my work time, you know, my, I work at home and my son or daughter, my wife or somebody will walk in and I do 30 minute pomodoro’s with a five minute break.
So I, and I have a timer clip on timer. So it is. The 30 minute. If they come in and ask me something, I pointed out the timer. And unless it’s an emergency, like somebody’s deathly ill and 30 minutes they’re [00:46:00] going to need to go to hospital, I tell them to wait until my five minute break and then I go to break and I get some tea and talk to them.
And then afternoons is, you know, we’re doing this in the afternoon. Afternoons when I kind of It’s also called maker management. I’ve read that somewhere, your maker brain, and it’s like your right brain, left brain. So my, my morning is my, I forget which one’s which, but one’s my maker time in the morning and the outside in the afternoon are phone [00:46:30] calls or, or other emails.
I try to do that in the afternoon. Evening is kind of, I try to be with the kids, but I’ll squeeze in phone calls. Sure. Good. Good. Good. Thank you. Thank you for being put on the spot. Sure. Thank you for being so open and for sharing that with us. It’s been wonderful chatting to you. Yeah. I hope that we’ve given the Cross Border Summit community a little insight about what they’re going to get this year.
Sure. I hope that we’ve also, like, given some [00:47:00] incentive for people to snap up those remaining tickets. Yeah. Especially the VIP ones with only seven or so left. Yep. I really look forward to that event, to networking, to meeting your speakers. I love the idea that everybody is at the same level and that everyone gets to network and mingle.
And I think it’s really golden that you say it’s not going to be published online. So the content, the conversations, the connections that you make in that summit. [00:47:30] Yeah. And nowhere else, which I think is a great incentive for people to come along. For sure. Yeah. So please just hit me with the date again and just that URL so that people know.
Okay. Sure. November 16th and 17th is a Thursday and Friday. Of course there’s a pre event if, if you’d like to join the mastermind VIP and we’re actually going to have some add ons after. Workshops on Saturday and then Sunday will be the market tour and factory tours at crossbordersummit. com. [00:48:00] Cool. And that’s here in Chiang Mai.
Here in Chiang Mai. Yeah. For the first time ever. Yeah, exactly. Wonderful. Thank you, Mike. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much, Ash. Cool. I appreciate this. And thank you to our sponsor, our returning sponsor, Mercury. com, online bank. Well, it’s a real bank, but you can totally online for US. Our Blimp program participants are going through this as well.
Thank you, Mercury. Travis is great there. Thank you. It’s been on our shows, been in our events. We’re going to have another event where we will have them attending as well. And if you want to get a little bonus for you and us, if [00:48:30] you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to globalformation.
com slash mercury. I also have a video tutorial that we use even for the blimp people. I use the same exact video to learn how to use it. I hope you can check it out totally free. Why not see you there? Thanks Ash for that amazing interview. He said I didn’t have to answer all the questions, but I did, you know, I keep it real, try to keep it real.
We got so many things in store for all of you, so many things changing, so many things growing. I’m gonna be checking into a [00:49:00] temple tomorrow morning for three days. The show will go out right after that. We’ve been through, we’ve grown a lot, I, I, I, if you’re… I’ve been listening to this show for almost 10 years now.
You will understand 410 episodes. You have grown too, I’m sure. There were some jokes I saw in some various WeChat groups with Chris Davies group about, you know, how a lot of people have left the industry or… sold their business or done different things. It’s a, it’s a long game. [00:49:30] I’ve been in and out. I’ll be honest.
I’ve bought, I’ve sold, I’ve started, I’ve stopped. And I’m really excited for what’s in store for this next cross border summit. There’s only a certain amount of tickets left. Honestly, they, they have been selling more. I mean, it’s two months to go now and we’re working on so many different value ads and bonuses for those that join us for this new open borders, new beginnings opportunity, but To kind of enjoy this little venue here as I, as I decide to lock this one in, or not for one [00:50:00] of our after parties.
But thank you for coming through the whole show and for being part of the podcast, listening and watching and participating. So that’s it. Talk to you later. Check out the statue.
To get more info about running an international business, please be. Visit our website at www. globalfromasia. com. That’s www. [00:50:30] globalfromasia. com. Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.