The Covid Grind in Asia – and How We Businesses are Adjusting with Rico Ngoma and Alan Scanlan

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

In today’s episode, we are talking about the grind on covid business in Asia. It’s a round table with Rico Ngoma and his new business partner – Alan Scanlan and it’s like an update podcast about how their business is going and how they have been adjusting. Everyone will be learning a lot from this episode. Stay tuned.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduce Rico

    Great to have you back on the show Rico! RICO NGOMA, CEO, Source Find Asia and Host of Made in China Podcast

  • Introduce Alan

    Rico’s busines partner

  • Lots since Last Interview

    We had Rico on the show in and did our regular updates – he’s still holding my luggage in Manila (thanks man!)

  • How are you feeling about being outside of China for so long (when was the last time you were inside?)

    Alan is in HK, Rico is in Manila, Mike is in Thailand

  • Rico, you did great setting up a team and systems and workflows - preparing for this well before the Covid lockdown

    We even had a podcast all about your preparations for spending less time in China

  • What are the trends you’re seeing now in 2022, moving into 2023 in B2B trade and sourcing?

    We are years into the covid lockdowns, and the shift to fully remote sourcing and teams.

  • Your clients, any trends you are noticing in how they are doing business?

    What are the shifts you see there?

  • Biggest mistakes clients (or even your company, if you’re willing to share) have made

    We all learn the most from failures, and those willing to share. If you don’t want to reveal too much, that is fine – but would love to hear some juicy stories – and hope we can learn from that.

  • How can people find you and your business online

    Thank you so much for coming on the show!

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Rico’s VIP Page
Alan’s VIP Page
Rico’s podcast on preparing to work outside of China
Alan’s first podcast on GFA
Cross Better Logistics
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss

Episode Length 01:12:26

Thank you so much Rico and Alan. We sure are happy to have you both here today and we look forward to having you here again in our future shows.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Episode 384 of Global from Asia, and we are talking about the grind in Covid business in Asia. Let’s do this. Welcome to the Global from Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice. And now your host, Michael Michelini. Yep.

[00:00:27] What is up everyone? Thank you so much for hopping in again for another podcast here with Mike again. And we are so excited. I think Mike is super excited with this episode. What can you say, just a quick background about this episode? Yeah. I mean, you, you picked up the microphone from him, Rico, he’s our old friend and the, you know, fellow podcaster, the Meet in China podcast.

[00:00:52] And I saw him in Manila just before the world changed like around March, 2020. And he’s been on a show a couple times. I think he’s been the most frequent guest of our, of our show. And uh, we’ve also, you know, I’ve been on his show. Faith will probably get you, get you over there too soon and. Sure, sure.

[00:01:10] It’ll be fun. And so we talk about, you know, the grind. I call, we’re thinking about the title, we’re talking about the grind. You know, it’s like an update podcast about how their business is going. You know, how clients they’re working with and their sourcing is going, how we’ve been adjusting and yeah, it’s a, it’s a round table, right?

[00:01:26] There’s a few people, you know, we add, Alan came involved with his business, newer business partner and discuss that story, but it’s a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun, honestly, and we really enjoyed that time because there was just a lot of inputs learning from each other, and at the same time, you were giving inputs as well.

[00:01:46] So I think this episode you will be learning a lot, everyone. And also for the podcast listeners, please stay tuned for this episode. We’re super excited for, for everyone to hear this one and to watch this one again. Of course, it’s already Halloween, I believe. So any plans on Halloween? I don’t know. I’m like, I’m, you know, I’m a dad.

[00:02:10] I Miles wants to go trick or treating. I don’t know if they have it in here. I’m in the burbs here, you know, in Thailand and I don’t know if they have, I don’t know if they have trick or treating here. I gotta, I gotta look down. But you wanna check that Of course for the kids as well. They might be very happy on that.

[00:02:27] Of course. And before, I just remember the time when I was a kid, I used to wear power puff girls with my twin sister and the other power puff. We are only two. And the other one is my mom. Wow. If you’re great. That’s so funny. If you have any photos, we can show it maybe on the show notes or something. Yeah, she.

[00:02:50] Tried to pull that up. Wow. But yeah, Halloween it’s Halloween everyone again. It’s already October. Wow. I can’t believe it. Right. It’s fast approaching 2023. It’s just around a corner. Are you pretty excited for the next year? Oh yeah. I mean, actually we just had a, I just had a call with our buddy Andres, our partner, Andres at Akitai, and we had a strategy call about q4, the new products we added since that show, and, you know, He’s also a New Year’s resolution person.

[00:03:21] I don’t know if you are Faith. I, You know, some people like do it. I love New Year’s resolution. So Me too. Me too. Yeah. Great. We got a lot to do. We got a lot to do next year. So a lot of plans. A lot of, a lot of stuff. So much to happen. Super exciting. Again, it’s 2023 and it’s already a year that passed. Like Wow.

[00:03:45] I know. So a lot happened. A lot happened. So much is happening? I believe that your week was so hectic. Hectic as well. I believe so. There’s a lot happening this week for you. There’s so much. There’s so much. I think we can have. I call it the blah blah, blah session. After the interview, we can talk about some things.

[00:04:04] We’re doing some business together. Faith is super exciting. We can share about your business that we’re, we’re getting involved with and some opportunities for listeners. Just a little teaser. We’ll get, build that up more. We also got the mastermind for GFAVIP members next week. We got a lot of things, but yeah, I mean it’s logistic stuff.

[00:04:23] So much logistics stuff. Mm-hmm. , , and we’ll talk about that after the, after this amazing interview with. We’re super excited on that part. Yeah. We are actually making business together. We are doing it. While we’ll want to give you a quick glimpse of that, I believe so will be best in the later part of this video so you can first focus on our episode and learn more about our guests.

[00:04:49] And also with, Mike, well let’s just hop in it and let’s keep going. Let’s do this. Let’s do it as, And watch this episode. Great. Are you looking for a cross-border logistics company from Asia to the east and the west, then look. No further cross better logistics is a solution for you. From ocean shipping to air freight, from factory to 3PL warehouse, Amazon FBA and Walmart.

[00:05:15] For better logistics is an experience service provider, free camera sellers and B2B traders on TPS trade. As a GFA partner level sponsor, let them know we sent you and they’ll take care of you. Check them out at today. Hello everyone. This is Faith with you as your host here and Global from Asia Podcast and today this is a special one since we do have good and amazing guests here with us, which are two wonderful entrepreneurs that we have here with our podcast.

[00:05:57] And absolutely we’ll not be complete without our Mike Michelini. Hi Mike. How are you? What’s up Faith? Doing great. I’m doing great. And how’s it, how, how’s your whole week? It’s been a while. I don’t know if we’ve talked about it. You were joking with me about flooding in the Philippines. It’s flooded.

[00:06:15] The school’s been closed for the last two days, you know, cuz of flooding in Thailand. The teachers are all flooded out. I guess they live together, . So the kids are at home and my wife’s at the DMV for three days in a row, so it’s just me. Three days. DMV man. Can you believe that? Trying to get the license back , but it’s all good.

[00:06:33] Just fun, family fun. All right. But at least you were able to overcome that as well since here in the Philippines, it’s been signaled number five last time, it was so scary, but now everything’s doing well. Everything’s just moving forward here. Well, again, I don’t wanna keep our viewers and listeners waiting.

[00:06:53] I want everyone to immediately learn more about our guests. All right, so we have Rico here, and we are so happy to have Rico back here in our show. Again, this is Rico Ngoma are the CEO Source Find Asia, CMO and host of Made in China Podcasts. How are you doing today Rico? I’m good. I’m good. I respect the energy, you know, I respect Faith’s energy.

[00:07:21] It’s like good energy. I feel it. So I’m getting hyped listening to you. Yeah, no, I’m, I’m good. I’m just on a little like vacation. Gonna be traveling soon cuz it’s the October National Day, golden week holiday in China, so decided to take some time off, but I, I’m still working even though I’m time off with podcast.

[00:07:42] Podcast. Yeah. Thanks. No, and, and I have a, I have a brainstorm session with Alan at 730 today. So like, Oh, my girlfriend, My girlfriend was like, Wait, I thought you’re on vacation. And I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell you. I have no idea what to tell you. I just, we’re never on vacation. . Yeah. We’re never on vacation.

[00:08:01] All right. Okay. But, and at the same time I believe so Mike wants to tell quick a bit, so just a short story that your luggage, if so, now with Rico. Do you wanna just tap into that. Actually, Faith you should, you should thank him. You have the microphone right there. Yeah, I have that was to get that.

[00:08:22] And but I think Rico was quite a very busy at that time, so I was able to get that the morning, I believe. So that’s, yeah, so the stuff’s still there. You know actually my backpack, I have a whole suitcase. Yeah. He’s still got, I think it’s two backpacks, suitcase and a backpack. Honestly, Man, that’s like, I, I’m almost forgetting about, it’s two and a half years.

[00:08:43] Can you believe that? Two and a half years? It’s crazy. Years crazy. Yeah. It’s actually kind of my core stuff. I, I, I I, I think I had some good clothes. I like in there. I had you know, obviously some different gear. But basically I had to evacuate Philippines in March, March, 2020. And I couldn’t get back to Manila to get most of my stuff cuz I was in Bohol for a company retreat.

[00:09:03] Faith, there was LJ, Alvin and some others like Stephenie. And then there was a lockdown. I couldn’t get back to Manila and I had to evacuate to China. Unbelievable. So, yeah, Thanks Rico for storing my stuff there. Oh, brother. But yeah, I hope to pick it up in December. December. I’ll be back. Yeah, it’s on, I mean, it’s all good.

[00:09:23] I have like a, there’s a third room in my, my condo, which is supposed to be like the yaya’s room, the cleaners room, and it’s turned into a storage room, so it’s like, it’s not a big deal, you know, But Yeah. Yeah. I even forget about it sometimes when I walk into that room, I don’t notice the, the, the bags.

[00:09:43] Okay. All right. Well, and at the same time, I know that Mike was is also busy and wasn’t able to get that yet. But again, thank you so much for helping out Mike. It’s a good quick story for everyone’s just everyone’s information why all of your things, just some of your luggage is still with Rico as well.

[00:10:02] I think we’re cool, like that close, like that . Well, I, I also have a friend like that. That’s how we are as well. We just wanna help in all. But I wanna know more about Alan as well. You wanna present Alan, Mike? Yeah, Alan, Alan’s great. He’s been on a show before, we were talking actually a couple years ago, and he’s, he’s he really got a great sourcing experience and is working with Rico a lot.

[00:10:31] I I’d love to hear Alan’s latest too. You want to fill us in, Alan? Yeah, for sure. First of all, I second of Faith, your energy. I think Rico, you’re gonna have to work on your intro . So yeah, no, you know, the thing is Alan, I’m, I’m the Smooth Jazz intro. Oh yeah. It’s the smooth Jazz intro , you know, I mean, it’s, it’s a different vibe, but it’s still a vibe.

[00:10:50] Yeah. So I suppose a, a brief background on myself, My, my family business have been importing and sourcing goods outta China for 50 years. Next year it’ll be the, the company’s 50th year anniversary. The business was built in souvenirs. So I’m from Ireland, if you haven’t guessed by the accent. We would make leprechauns and shamrocks and anything green and tacky that you would sell to tourists.

[00:11:15] Over the years, it the business developed. We have sort of several brands that sit under the, the company umbrella. The biggest one being Temporary Crystal, which we bought about 10 years ago, 11 years ago now. And I’ve developed that into the, the biggest giftware business in Ireland, which we wholesale throughout Ireland and a bit into the UK Now.

[00:11:35] I moved out to Hong Kong in 2017, set up my own sourcing business, came across Rico through his podcast and, and knew Mike as well, actually when I was searching all things sort of business related in, in China. And yeah, started working with Rico very kind of early days, five years ago, the sourcing business.

[00:11:54] Awesome. I had also set up an apparel company at the start of that work at the end of 2018 and launched about a month before Covid kicked off. So that’s been a bit of a struggle recently shut it down because of just, just everything that’s been going on. But the big news kind of the recent big news is that I merged my sourcing business with Source Fund Asia.

[00:12:18] So working a lot more with Rico day to day basis now. Again, working on a lot of projects, so we’re kind of. Building building that company out and different aspects to the business that we’re trying to, trying to develop that we can launch in the, in the near future. Yeah. Yeah. That’s really cool.

[00:12:36] I’m really happy. You guys are both good, good friends and good people. So that’s, that’s really nice to hear. It seems like, yeah, its been, all of you have been doing great as well and you wanna put your input as well, Rico. Yeah, I was just gonna touch on the, the merger side of things. Like obviously we’re still trying to figure out exactly how that works, but like it’s been great just in general to have somebody who’s in you know, you know, I love China, Mike and, and China, Mike is my original business partner.

[00:13:05] And he still obviously maintains his stake in the company, but he’s in the States, so, you know, I, I talk to him generally at night when I can’t actually do things at that time in terms of, of work. Whereas me and Alan are in the same time zone. So it’s easy to just kind of bounce ideas off of each other and then implement them before the workday is done.

[00:13:25] So that’s been, that’s been a fun experience. Yeah, for sure. And I think it’s one of the things we one of the things from the show notes that we might touch on later in terms of failures in business. And one of the things with, with earned, with the apparel, just not working with someone on a day to day basis, or the right people on a day to day basis just I suppose personally gives you a, a lot of fulfillment as well, which is I think something we probably touched on later on in the podcast.

[00:13:51] Mm-hmm. Yep. I think all of our listeners and our viewers will be very excited to learn more about what happened, what has been happening in your businesses, how did you grow the business, what’s your progress? Well, we wanna make sure that we will tap on that a bit later. And of course today will be something different.

[00:14:11] It’s quite of a round table discussion, I believe. So this is something that I’ll be asking questions you could just put in your inputs. It’s as easy as that. We wanna tap in very quickly here. And how are you guys feeling about being outside of China for so long? Well, you know, Alan is in Hong Kong, well, Rick has been in here, in Manila and Mike is in Thailand.

[00:14:36] I wanna get your inputs, everyone. Let’s start with Alan. Yeah, I mean, not being able to get in to the, to the factories and the country’s fair. It’s, it’s not been as disastrous as I thought it was going to be. It’s been, it’s, it’s made things a bit more challenging, trying to find new factories without having the kind of, the faires there.

[00:14:54] But the fact that we have, we have an office, an SFA office in Guangzhou, and we have our staff there. Being able to locate products hasn’t been an issue for, for our customers. Yeah, I, I thought it was gonna be a lot more detrimental to the business, but I don’t think it has been. I’m looking forward to getting back into the shows.

[00:15:10] I’m looking forward to trying to open back up, which a couple of years ago, I don’t think I would’ve said about traveling around some of the factories and spending time in there. But yeah, now, I’m excited to get back in. But yeah, I don’t think it’s been as bad on the business. It’s been more the other side the effects that’s had on, on the West and companies over there.

[00:15:30] That’s, that’s been the real kind of downside things over the last couple years.

[00:15:36] Okay, good. It’s good to know that as well. And of course, we wanna hear it from Rico this time. Yeah, I mean, I, I would agree with everything that Alan said. It’s been interesting for me just because I have I mean I, we have about like 4, 5, 6 employees in China, so we’ve been working remotely with them for a long time now.

[00:15:58] And then also we have our partner companies that we work with. But what’s been, what’s, what I’m most proud of in terms of this situation is that one I’ve been able to expand it in the Philippines. I’ve been able to hire more employees here start to understand sort of the manufacturing climate in the Philippines.

[00:16:14] But second, our COO, Imojen, who’s based in China. She’s basically just taken over the operations and she’s run with it and she’s been handling all these major projects that we’ve worked on in the past two and a half years. And you know, it’s, it’s really cool to see somebody just kind of take hold of their position and, and just step up in, in that moment when you need them.

[00:16:34] And then that kind of alleviates any concerns that you have over, you know, Oh, I’m not in China. Cuz usually with, with these big projects, I would have, Mike or myself would be in the factories. Or around, in and around the factories making sure that everything goes smoothly and Imojen’s been able to do that by herself.

[00:16:53] So yeah. Yeah. Imojen’s the real rockstar in the business. Yep. All right. Good to hear that as well. I mean, of course here in Manila is also good to do business here and also work with with Filipinos. And I believe Mike would love to put some input as well if you, My, yeah. It’s still kind of fresh for me outside, you know, about a month now as of recording that I’ve been outside of of China.

[00:17:19] I was stuck in, kind of stuck in Cuz if you, what is that? The Hotel California. It’s one of my favorite KTV. It’s my favorite KTV song. Yeah. That’s, that’s me and my girlfriend’s song that we dance to all the time. Oh, there you go, man. There we go. Yeah, you can’t leave or you can, you can go, but you can’t leave.

[00:17:39] Or you can come, but you can’t leave. Something like that. But there you go. Just get them. Let’s get the KTV going right now. But still a little fresh to know. Like for me, it was hard when I was on the inside. I was on the inside, you know, And I even did, I did deals and business with people. I never, of course we always do, but there was business deals I did where I started and finished without ever meeting them.

[00:18:02] And it was kind of like larger deals. Like, like I was doing a lot of Amazon acquisition help for for overseas companies in China. And you know, we’re talking about big, big projects, big deals and, you know, I think before Covid you would’ve, normally they would’ve flown to China or I would’ve flown to meet them, right?

[00:18:19] But I’m doing all this remotely. It’s just been really, I think we even said in the show or before the recording, we were saying, I guess we’re all just getting work. We’re all just getting used to working fully, almost fully online. Like it’s truly like location independent now because of Covid. Maybe it was even a call I had earlier, a Chinese business friend.

[00:18:37] She was saying how even in China they’re working at home more. I mean, cuz Chinese were more traditional with the offices and, and physical meetings. So I think we’re all just adjusting to this online world. I agree. I agree. That’s that’s pretty much about it because it’s already 2022 and I believe so that we are also moving forward with the what comes to Covid and I, I hope everyone’s doing well in and in their covid situation in HK and also here in, of course, Manila.

[00:19:10] But of course I wanna tap in with Rico. I know you did great setting up a team and systems here for workflows as well. Preparing this well before the Covid lockdown. And we even had a podcast with you, with Mike about your preparations and spending time less in China. We wanna get your insights about it.

[00:19:30] Your interview last time with Mike. Yeah. So the, the podcast I think you’re referring to was in 2018 or 2019. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I was, I was traveling quite a lot during that time period, both for work. I, when I say traveling, In and outside of China, both for work and play. And what I noticed was like when I would leave the office, like my, my staff wouldn’t come to the office but they were still doing their jobs.

[00:19:57] They were still doing, being effective and everything. But the, the reason why I noticed is because we have like samples, product samples that get shipped to the office. And I would be checking in on some of those samples and then you know, people would be like, Oh, I’m not at the office right now.

[00:20:11] And I’d be like, Okay, why? So. Initially I had fines for people not showing up to the office, and I was finding people, and then I just kind of went like, Well, it’s kind of hypocritical because I’m traveling so much and I’m working remotely. Why not have everybody else just work remotely? Like that makes more sense to me than trying to like force people to do something that they don’t want to do.

[00:20:35] Especially since they was still getting their work done. So we just, I, we implemented remote work systems. When I came back to China in the middle of 2019, I sat down with imaging and we sat down and just kind of like wrote down standard operating procedures around remote work systems. And we tweaked it over time as we noticed different things happening.

[00:20:55] And then when Covid hit, it was kind of like, not different for us because, because we were already used to working remotely for about six months. So it was just kind of like, Oh, okay. So we’re just doing the same thing that we’ve been doing for a while. The only difference is that I’m just not in China or I can’t go to China.

[00:21:14] So, so yeah, that was that. And since that time period, I think we’ve completely gotten used to it. We don’t have a physical office space in China anymore. We have a warehouse instead because for the samples and products and stuff like that. But our staff pretty much works from home a hundred percent of the time, besides the times that they have to go to the factories and, and travel around.

[00:21:38] But like, yeah, so those have been the changes myself as well. I turned one of the rooms in my apartment into an office space. I’m thinking about getting a physical office as well now, just because. You know, this is like, I have like a dog and a cat and my girlfriend and all this stuff. So I was like, maybe I need to be able to go somewhere else to work to be a little bit more effective.

[00:22:02] But yeah, those have been the major changes. I agree. I agree. I think Mike would just agree as well, since a lot of our team are working remotely. What can you say, Mike, about Yeah, I mean, working online, it’s, I, we, you know, definitely check out that we’ll link to a lot of. We’re gonna reference a few previous shows, so you can catch ’em on the show notes.

[00:22:22] But yeah, I mean, working online takes takes a lot of effort. It’s, it’s, everybody loves it, but to, to actually do it successfully, I think takes extra, even extra efforts and systems and workflows than than working in office. I think, I think everybody here would agree with that. Probably everybody listening, so, yeah, I mean if you, if Covid hit and you weren’t doing it online, you had to shift online.

[00:22:43] I, I could only imagine how hard it was. But yeah, I think same as same as Rico, we, when Covid hit, we were already working online, so it was just kind of normal business for, for work, which kind of worked out. Mm-hmm. Of course, of course. And also just wanna get some stories and input as well from Alan.

[00:23:03] How’s everything working remotely for you? Well, I, when I moved here, I was working from home anyway, so. Mid 2017. So it didn’t affect me at all. I did come from an office environment back home, so I do think there’s a nice it there. Like I think once everything kind of settles in the next couple of years, there’ll be a nice blend with working from home and working in the office.

[00:23:26] Cuz think, think having that face to face time with people, I think it’s good for creativity rather than sitting at home in, in your home office, kind of not dealing with people. And that’s, and again, kind of back to what I was saying earlier on, that’s, that’s one thing that affected me a lot when, when I was working on my own all the time.

[00:23:43] But yeah, no, in terms of in terms of changes though, I was, I was doing it for three years or two and a half years when when Covid hit. All right. It seems like all of this three have been doing a lot of things, especially we’ve been working from Hill, but I agree. We’re all visionaries. Exactly, exactly.

[00:24:01] I think I agree with Rico. I would love to have a space as well if I’ll be given a chance so I can just work, you know, focus on everything that I’m doing. I really understand that. I really agree on that as well. And now let’s move forward here. What are the trends you are seeing in 2022 moving into 2023 in B2B trade and sourcing?

[00:24:28] I believe that we are years into the covid lockdowns and the shift to fully remote sourcing and teams. I wanna get your inputs, everyone. Let’s start with Alan.  In terms of trends, It’s, it’s in, in sourcing, iit’s, it’s kind of hard to, it’s kind of hard to say because everyone’s obviously looking for different products.

[00:24:47] We are, I’ve seen a few different companies do it. One pops to mind in terms of who are a financing company, and then they’re also offering freight options and also looking to offer a sourcing of manufacturing option. So in that kind of, they’re, they’re trying to complete the circle and offer, offer their customers everything, which is something that we’re working on with SFA, where we’re not just sourcing and manufacturing.

[00:25:12] We’re gonna offer the, the full circle, the full, the full offering of goods, whether that’s brand design, product design sourcing, manufacturing, QC freight, and kind of, kind of all the above. But yeah, I, I, I haven’t seen or haven’t noticed any very new trends. I mean, maybe Rico, you can help me out here.

[00:25:31] In terms, in terms of what sort of new is popping to mind, but just with considering all different customers are looking for different items in terms of sourcing and manufacturing, it’s kind of based on what the trends are in their specific industry rather than what’s going on in our industry. I think maybe the main trend that I’m seeing that has been going on for a few years is like companies that are trying to source, not just in China, but maybe a blend of sourcing in China and other countries.

[00:26:00] So like people are trying to transition outside of China, but they know that they can’t do everything outside of China. So that’s been something that’s getting more and more, It’s been like a sort of snowball since I would say 2017, you know, that since, since that’s, I mean, there’s some that happened a lot with Trump with his tariffs and people decided that they were gonna move everything outside of China.

[00:26:22] But there’s also been a lot that there was that big shift, but that shift hasn’t materialized or it hasn’t worked. So people tried to shift to Vietnam, to Cambodia. And they don’t have the same, Yeah, they don’t have the same infrastructure as China and the quality outta China is, is the best in, in most industries.

[00:26:42] So there was that big trend for the push for it to happen, and then it just didn’t materialize, or I haven’t seen it in, in a lot of industries completely shifting. Well, I mean, I’ve, I’ve been telling people for a while it was like, Yeah, it’s, it’s all, well good to say let’s source from outside of China, but like the implementation is, is quite difficult to do and is gonna be many, many, many, many years before China is overtaken by another country with that.

[00:27:07] Yeah. But the infrastructure and all that stuff. But I, I am noticing more. Oh, another thing I’m also noticing is sustainable products. Like a lot of the clients that come to us right now, they want to know if the product has been sourced sustainably, if the product, the raw materials are sustainable.

[00:27:26] Alan, you know this as well, right? Because we’ve been dealing with this for a year plus. Yeah. That’s been a new trend. I didn’t, I mean, I knew about sustainable products. I knew that we had some clients that had that requirement, but it almost seems like one out of three people that come to us right now, or companies that come to us right now are like, Is it sustainable?

[00:27:46] Was it so sustainably? You know, there’s still a lot of Yes, 100% that’s been asked, like probably even more than one in three. But I also find when it comes down to bottom line, that gets thrown out the window pretty quickly. Like people, people seem to be asking the question because it’s on trend to ask the question and whether they want to implement that into their business.

[00:28:10] Like it’s, it’s nearly like we have a list and we need to ask this question. Like, like back in the day, is there child labor in the factory and like, Like, of course you wanna work in packages that don’t have child labor. And now it seems like sustainability is this trend that everyone asks for, but at the end of the day, if it’s gonna cost you four or five times the price to get a product made sustainably, are they gonna do it?

[00:28:32] I think that’s the way things are gonna go in 50 years. Everything will be sustainable, but in a lot of industries it’s like still very expensive. Like apparel, for instance, to make a, a recycle gym top over, over a standard polyester one is four or five times the price. Yeah, I mean, I think for me actually what, what I was saying earlier about creativity and working together, I, I, I have, I, I, I heard some critical feedback about the new iPhone.

[00:29:03] And but I guess most of the world is being able to meet in person now, besides mainly China, but I know in China, like I, I literally talked to a, like, like Rico says it, it is golden week, it’s holiday, but there’s Chinese business people still talking, doing calls with me. And I feel like they’re hungry to learn more because they don’t have the exposure to the international market.

[00:29:27] And like those trade shows, they would learn as much as, as much as the international visitors would learn, but they would get ideas of products themselves. So I think I think it’s affecting innovation in general, but especially in the Asia markets even in Thailand, like I’m back here in Thailand and like I, was mentioned before, the recording people aren’t really meeting in person as much.

[00:29:47] Everybody’s mostly doing things online. And I do think like it’s, it’s affecting innovation and creativity. It’s a good point. But even all, all the big tech, all the big tech companies in the, in the States, are they all back in the office? Are they, they’re all still working remotely, aren’t they? And I’m not sure either.

[00:30:03] I guess I don’t, I I know, I remember Facebook said they weren’t gonna do a live event until 2023, and that was about a year and a half ago. And I, I, I think. It was either Google or Apple. I’ve only just announced to go back. So a lot, like a lot of them are, people are back, but people are also still working from home.

[00:30:22] And like, you’re right, it’s when you meet someone or have a Zoom call or there’s a zoom meeting, it’s very, very different to in person. And it’s creativity, it’s relationships. Like there’s like, when you go to a factory in China, you sit down with them, you have dinner and you have a beer, and you have all the MAs and mouths of food.

[00:30:39] And that’s what builds the relationships. And it’s, it’s the same with creativity. Are you in mute or just, Just you ask as you like, Okay. Yeah. Rico, we don’t hear you. No. Hearing you. Maybe the air pods. Yeah. Ticket time. All right. Yeah. So what I was gonna say is like I, I saw an interview with Mark Zuckerberg and he said, That they’re gonna keep it optional for people if they wanna go to the Facebook campus or offices versus working from home.

[00:31:12] So it is like, that’s just the way of the future. So I, I think that that’s just gonna be more implemented with other companies around the world over time. I don’t know how long that’s gonna take, but like, for us, like it’s the same thing for us. It’s like, I still think it’s important to have a physical office space.

[00:31:30] I still think it’s important to have face to face meetings from time to time, but I don’t think it’s a requirement to be effective in, in your work. It, it, it just, I think this whole thing has changed that whole nine to five. Like, you need to be in the office at nine o’clock and you need to leave at five o’clock.

[00:31:48] Which, yeah, I think anyway, but it’s changed that. If, if you leave at a half day, but you’ve got all your work done, obviously depending on, on what you’re doing in a, in a company. And I think the higher management are a lot more open to letting people work from home as well, because productivity, they would’ve assumed it would’ve dropped if you’re working from home.

[00:32:09] But it seems to be the opposite where people are like, I’m gonna get my work done quicker so I can have more time off. Yeah. Finish my day early. So I think it’s gonna change the whole dynamic and I think you’ll have a lot of people doing the Facebook thing. And like the extensive holidays, like even that.

[00:32:25] Like companies who have unlimited holidays, no one takes them because they’re all terrified to take three months off because you’ll be the guy who took three months off. Just, just to, just to add to that, in terms of productivity, I think what changes in terms of like when you’re working remotely is you just have to be a little bit more structured in terms of assigning tasks and who’s responsible for what and what you have to do on a daily basis.

[00:32:50] So like that’s the difference. It’s like when you’re in an office, you can just walk over to somebody else’s cubicle or whatever and just be like, Hey, like you need to do this, this, and that right now. Right. Or today. Whereas like when you’re working remotely, it has to be a very much more structured aspect of it.

[00:33:05] Assigning tasks and assigning specific things that the person has to do, and then touching base and checking on. Progress on those tasks. So that’s, that’s the biggest difference. I think I’ve, I’ve noticed, like, but again, with that, like even in the office when we were working together in office, I’m the kind of person where like, I don’t like being interrupted in the middle of my work.

[00:33:27] I think the can relate to that. Mm-hmm. Yeah, I’m like this. So yeah, we do the Pomodoros and it’s like, I put on my headphones, I’m listening to music and I’m, I’m in the zone, I’m working. I don’t want to be called, I don’t want anybody to touch me. I don’t want, like, just, if you wanna talk to me, message me on Slack.

[00:33:44] Literally, if you’re sitting next to me, message me on Slack and I will respond when I have time to respond. So, you know, people learn that over time and, and it’s just one of those things. But yeah, with remote work systems, I think that’s important. And one of the things that you learn is that, Hey, like, you don’t have to talk to people all the time.

[00:34:03] Like it, it, sometimes it’s more inefficient to do that, that you can always just message them. I surely agree. Again, I have been working from home for quite some time now. I have been doing a lot better ever since compared to I was working on site. Well it depends on the person, but honestly, I, I agree with you.

[00:34:22] I do have music that I listen to whenever I work. Sometimes like an instrumental, sometimes like a white noise, so depending on my mood. But I agree. I love anything that can help me focus and do deep work as well. And of course, I know we have been talking more about remotely, remotely working and everything and doing all the teams and every single thing.

[00:34:46] Well, your clients. Any trends you are noticing in how they are doing their business? So what are the ships that the, that you really see from at this point? Let’s start with Alan. Well we have, we have had a few new clients recently come on board. Our, well, we’re in, in the process of, of doing sampling who haven’t been able to get out to the shows, so haven’t been able to source source new suppliers themselves.

[00:35:15] And then we’ve had a few conversations, I’ve had a few conversations with people as well who’ve, who’ve moved away from having a sourcing department or a, a sourcing kind of expert in their business and they’re looking to outsource that side of things. So that’s something that I’ve definitely noticed in the last kind of six to eight months.

[00:35:32] Yeah, that would be the, that would probably be the biggest one from my end. Now whether that’s something that holds on. It, it would be interesting to see that the first kind of count on fair coming back, how many people come out to it? I think it will be massive. Whenever, whenever China does it open up, but yeah, they, that would be probably the, the biggest trend I’ve, I’ve seen.

[00:35:50] How about for Rico? Yeah, that, that I would agree with a that I was also kind of pushing that message in some of our content in terms of like, cuz I knew like before that people, a lot of companies were flying to China to meet with their factories and maybe source new suppliers, things like that.

[00:36:09] But like, once you cut that option out, it’s like, what are you gonna do If you wanna find a new supplier, You wanna have a sort of more close relationship with that supplier, then you have to work with somebody that’s physically in China. And a lot of times, you know, they don’t wanna work with the local sourcing companies that wanna work with something that sort of understands their culture, business culture and stuff like that.

[00:36:32] So that’s something that I’ve been saying to people for a while and it’s something that I’m, I’m beginning to notice more and more. And I think that part of the reason why a lot of these companies wanna outsource it instead of having their own sourcing division is because. At the end of the day, like if you are a tech company or whatever, like, you’re not going to be focused on sourcing, right?

[00:36:52] Like, that’s not your core business. That’s not what you do. It’s much easier to hire another company to, to work on what they actually do, their profession. So yeah, I, I would agree with Allen on that. All right, good, Good to hear from that as well. And of course, Mike, what’s your input on this one? Yeah, I mean, you know, I, I guess it’s around value add services value ads.

[00:37:19] We, we’ve chatted us on, on actually on, on the main China podcast round tables. But I think people have to, you know, like, like Rico says, focus on what they’re, focus on their strengths, find strategic partners. To do what they’re not, not as good at. Because I think it’s gonna get, I think it’s gonna get harder or there’s gonna be more and more mergers like, you know, Alan, Alan Rico.

[00:37:40] I think there’s gonna be more consolidation in the markets. Mm-hmm. . And then those coming out after this, you know, shuffle in this market will come out stronger. You know, and I, I, you know, you see the smaller companies, not, not, not surviving as well as the larger ones, unfortunately, it’s actually a little bit scary.

[00:37:58] But you know, I think there’s gonna be more consolidation. You know, I, I chat a little bit about the Amazon acquisition space. There was a lot of rollups, a lot of mergers of, of conglomerate brands. I really, So it’s just interesting to see what happens. I agree. I agree. And of course speaking of this kind of situation, that there’s a lot of shifting that is happening lately when it comes to businesses here at 2022.

[00:38:27] We wanna make sure that I wanna tap into something exciting as well. And of course our listeners and viewers will love to know as well. What are the biggest mistakes your clients or even your company has ever made? All right. This, this, I mean, this should be something very exciting for you. Just so you can tell any, anything that you wanna share.

[00:38:48] Well, we all learn from the most of our failures, and of course, if you’re willing to share, we’ll be happy to learn more about it. If you don’t want to reveal too much, it’s okay, but at least we’d love to hear some juicy stories and we hope that our listeners in VI can learn as well. Let’s start from Rico.

[00:39:10] How much time do we have? You know, there’s quite a few stories. I’ll, I’ll try to consolidate one story. I’ve done a YouTube video about it as well, but basically it’s I. When we were, like early days with sfa, we were only registered in Hong Kong, but we had Chinese, mainland Chinese employees as well.

[00:39:29] And that’s sort of a, a gray area in terms of employment. And so what happened was one of the employees that I had hired, I noticed the first three months she was fantastic, and then after three months she started to kind of drop off with her work. And I started getting complaints from suppliers and, and customers and things like that.

[00:39:53] And the, the contract that we had with her and didn’t specify the criteria in terms of if she got fired, you know, why sh she would get fired in the process of that. So when I did fire her, eventually, like I, again, I’m like skipping a lot of details here, but when I did fire her she threatened to sue me and threatened to sue the company.

[00:40:14] And we were in a weird situation that time period cuz we were in the process of registering our mainland license. So if she did sue me, I, I didn’t know if that was gonna compromise the license registration of the company in mainland China. So anyways, we ended up settling on, I think I paid her like, I think initially she asked for like six months payment.

[00:40:38] Which I, like that’s ridiculous. . And I was like, you’ve been working for us for like eight months. You was friends with the other staff, so I’m like, You really one of the other employees in the company as well, because that’s what you’re doing right now. And then we ended up settling on about, I think it was four months and I paid it monthly, four or four months.

[00:40:55] So that’s probably the biggest mistake I made was just not fully understanding the labor laws in, in mainland China and. You know, just, yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think getting, getting sued by a Chinese person in China, man. Like you’re not winning that one. Not a good, I mean they’re, I got stories like that.

[00:41:18] I mean, I don’t, I don’t know about they their labor department supports the locals. I think most markets, you know, cuz as a western foreign, not western west as a non-local, like a foreigner in a country as a, as a business owner, the governments usually sides with the local versus the international person.

[00:41:35] Whether that’s mm-hmm. , I think even the US probably, but, you know, everywhere. I think especially, it’s changing a bit in China. On, on the higher level, like as in Nike have one case recently, a new balance. At a very, very high level. It’s changing a tiny bit, but yeah, I’m sure at our level it’s not really, Yeah, And, and for me, I just kind of looked at it like, look like we’re gonna lose this X amount of money by paying her four months.

[00:42:00] The, the norm is two months in China, so she got double what she was supposed to get, but you know, I was just like, Look, like at the end of the day, the business itself is gonna be bigger in the future. We’re gonna make way more money than this. So it’s like, I might as well settle and just deal with this and, and, and move on.

[00:42:17] So long term, yeah, we made significantly more money than what I paid her. And everybody else in the, in the company, the o other employees stayed, so, you know, and they were also disappointed. I had like a meeting with my staff and we, we had a conversation about it and, you know, everybody else was disappointed in her in terms of how she behaved.

[00:42:38] So, And you know, it is what it is. But now my my contracts are iron tight

[00:42:47] I’m super happy to hear. Then of course, I really understand this is where we really learn from what is happening in our business all through this years. And I wanna hear it from Ally and you’re not going anywhere, Alan. Yeah, man. Yeah. Well, I suppose I kind of touched on about the start with the apparel brand.

[00:43:05] Launched a month, Yeah, a month before Covid. Had to had to smuggle all my black clothing in into Hong Kong cuz all black clothing was banded in Hong Kong during the protest here, had stored it in Rico’s apartments and everybody, everyone store stuff in Rico’s apartment. Yeah. Every, everybody’s apartment stuff in my apartments.

[00:43:27] Rico’s apartment is a great warehouse. If anybody here needs the warehouse, inventory, clothes, abandoned goods, I’m gonna start like Airbnb equivalent of storage.

[00:43:44] But yeah, no, we, we, I suppose it’s not, you know what, it’s not a necessarily one mistake. There was loads, there was loads of mistakes made. There was loads of good stuff done with the brand. But one of the, one of the biggest issues was around team and, and my partners like two, two great guys, two brothers here in Hong Kong, but they were too focused on.

[00:44:05] Their gym and their training and not focused enough on the brand where I was putting everything into it. And at the start, that was fine. And, and I kind of fell into the trap of doing everything anyway, so then it became the norm. And when one person is doing everything, you get a bit resentful. It to the other partners.

[00:44:23] And then also I, I like, I’m good at some stuff, but I’m bad at, bad at a lot of stuff, so I shouldn’t be doing everything within the business. So that was, that was a big mistake for sure. And then I think like a lot of it was bad timing kind of going into the brand, a bit shortsighted in terms of the resear research I should have done going in the gym.

[00:44:43] Apparel industry is a, a very tough market to break into. Nice and glamorous, but very, very tough to break into. Didn’t go into it with enough money. Was another one of the mistakes, but learned a huge amount from it. And as I’ve said to loads of people recently, it’s, it’s, it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me in business.

[00:45:01] Didn’t feel like it at the time, but taking a step back and, and seeing it for what it, what it is and the learnings I took from it yeah, for sure, for sure is, is, is gonna be one of the best things that’s ever happened, But lots of mistakes around along the way. And I think the biggest one being the team.

[00:45:16] And that’s something that myself and Rico have been working together for four or five years now, but the last year a lot closer. And that actually gives me a lot more fulfillment and joy which is super important as well. Work, right? You need to be happy withwhat you’re doing or if you are happy what you’re doing, you’re, you’re blessed.

[00:45:33] I, I have a question for you actually. Going off of what you just said. What is the difference, obviously without, you know disparaging previous business partners, but what is the difference that you feel in terms of fulfillment? Like why do you feel fulfillment? More fulfillment, working with me more closely because I know you’re working towards the same thing and you’re putting in 110% effort in, in, on the other side.

[00:45:57] Whereas I, we would’ve gone to a lot of meetings with, with the earn stuff and we sit down and we have conversations and then it’s like me going off and doing everything. Mm. And you don’t feel part of a team. And with all the SFA stuff where we’re building towards something bigger, right? We’re always talking about ideas and we’ve, we’ve over the last kind of, I’d say two or three months, we’ve, we’re really trying to develop something bigger and as scalable as a brand and something a bit different in the sourcing and manufacturing agency area as well.

[00:46:31] And that’s exciting. That’s. Like, it’s those, like, I’m like genuinely so excited for our call at 730 because I know the project we’re working on and like, I love that, right? Like, I’m like one, you have one phone call and that makes your day good and that makes you happy. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s that’s something that’s really just really important to you.

[00:46:51] Girlfriends are gonna get jealous, man. My girlfriend’s already jealous. She said, My girl, my girlfriend’s already jealous. She’s like, Oh, you talking to Alan again? Okay,

[00:47:04] Well, super happy to hear all of that. Honestly, I agree to the two of you. It’s all about putting effort in what we do. And from that, that’s where we do everything more better. We grow or we develop and many, many more. And of course we have Mike here also has been taking care of a lot of businesses, being a great, Oh, I mean, I wanna hear from you too as well.

[00:47:28] Like Rico. I mean, it was a whole show of failures. I was even, there was even a podcast was invited about your, your worst investment podcast or something. the guy I was on and but I, before I even say, I mean like, like Alan says, that’s how we learned the best. You know, I think to be an entrepreneur, to be a business owner by definition means you’re putting yourself out there on the block, you know, to, to to test your ideas.

[00:47:51] So I’ve had so many failures and mistakes and problems and but I mean, I think that’s how we, how we grow. I think maybe a recent one less couple of years. Hmm, hmm. You know, the mask stuff. I don’t know how I feel about that if I call that a failure or not. But the mask stuff we’ve done, even dedicated shows about that.

[00:48:12] I know Rico, we’ve talked about that, but No, I think, I don’t know if I still kind of saw, Yeah, we still have masks sitting in warehouse. We still have masks. Yeah. Else in the states. You wanna buy any, buy any masks, you wanna hit us up and buy some mask in the States. That whole mask thing, like a lot of peoples, you know, myself included, everybody jumped into that.

[00:48:35] I remember the conversation. I think it was more relevant for you, your business, but I wasn’t really insourcing. I’m not really insourcing and, but you know, the whole world was like falling apart and it looked like, you know, Amazon warehouse froze. Even all their Amazon seller friends were just jumping and selling masks, like we were joking, like people were sitting in their basements, in their underwear and their mom’s basement.

[00:48:56] Trading saying they had like $5 million worth of masks they wanted to buy for the, the city of Pittsburgh or some shit, you know, I was like, everybody’s like selling masks, you know, like but I, I, for me, I, we, we, you know, I hope to bring it back. I’ve talked to to faith about it, you know, load pipe.

[00:49:13] We were trying to make like a group buying platform. I still see potential in that. People still even sign up for the beta. It’s still online, but you know, that didn’t work out. We thought, we tried to start with the masks to, to get the mask, you know, critical masks and then moved to other industries.

[00:49:29] But then, you know, we started emailing the list of load pipe. People signed up, Do you wanna buy a camera holder, A smart AI controlled? And then somebody replied like, Mike, you should just go back to your, go back to your other stuff like selling online. Like, don’t, don’t pitch me a different product group.

[00:49:47] Buy every, every week. You know, I don’t want to be on some list. To group I random stuff every, every week. So kind of put that one back on the shelf. Oh. But but yeah, I mean, I guess that would be one recent business mistake. But, you know, again, like, what’s that word? Like hindsight is 2020 or, you know, like obviously if we know what the future is, but you know, like all these different stories, the, the person that we, you know, hired to work with us could have been like the, maybe the, could have been that one that like, is our best now.

[00:50:18] Right? I mean, we didn’t know this person wouldn’t work out, or, or the apparel wouldn’t have been a hit, or, or the load pipe or the mask wouldn’t have, you know, we don’t know when we’re doing it. Right. Like, that’s why, you know, my favorite poem is the Man, I’m blanking. Is it Dwight d Eisenhower? The man in the arena.

[00:50:38] I don’t know if you know that, that poem, I even have a blog on my personal blog about it, but it’s like, it’s, it’s like a few paragraphs, but it basically says the, the gladiator or the person, the, the doer that does, is the person that we should celebrate. Not the critic on the audience at the, at the arena.

[00:50:56] Yeah. That’s saying, Oh look, he’s stumbling, he’s falling, or she’s falling, he’s not doing, If I did it, you know, or this, or they say like, you know, don’t, there’s some coach thing. Like, don’t give me feedback on Monday morning or Monday after the game on Sunday. Give me feedback of what play to play when I have 30 seconds between plays to make that decision.

[00:51:17] You know, like, it’s so easy to look Morning, quarter. Why did I do that? Right. Ryan, Ryan Holiday talks about that poem. Oh really? Yeah. It’s a nice moment. It’s really a nice one. So I mean, we all are putting ourselves out there and taking action and, and you know that’s how we get stronger. You know, like I tell my kids, like, your muscle gets bigger because you, you push until it gets hurt, you know, it’s almost like damaged and then it comes back stronger.

[00:51:44] You know, I mean, like, I saw something recently, it was Apple, Apple’s the biggest brand in the world and they’ve had hundreds of more failures than they’ve had successes. Now their successes have been huge, but they’ve, they’ve released way more products that haven’t worked than they have products that have worked.

[00:52:02] So, I mean, even the top companies are doing it. There’s a good, there’s another good. Clip I saw on YouTube video a long time ago, but the Success Magazine person, one of the previous CEOs, he says, You can’t control the pendulum to success, but you can control the pendulum to failure. So you push yourself so hard and be potentially, of course, you know, purposely fail, but you put yourself out there in a position where you can fail enough that you hit it big like apple, Right?

[00:52:30] And it swings to success up. Well, there’s, there’s a, Yeah, go ahead. Sorry. No, that’s, that’s it isn’t, Yeah, I was gonna say, there’s that quote that successful people are comfortable being uncomfortable. So there’s that aspect of like, you know, In order to succeed, you have to put yourself in an uncomfortable position, right?

[00:52:52] So yeah, you have to be comfortable in the comfortability. Yeah. Wow. I love that. I love that. Also, of course, my, my take on that before is our failures would be our building blocks, like our baby steps to reach success. Honestly, I, I love all of the stories, I believe all of our listeners and all of our viewers, super excited to learn more about you.

[00:53:17] More, more about Alan, more about Rico. Well, of course, if you are interested everyone to work with these wonderful and amazing people, well please do promote your socials, your company. Let’s start with Rico. With us, like what, We have a, we have a discord right now. So if you go to, or you can just go to the main website and look at the navigation for Discord.

[00:53:43] Discord is, is really important for us right now because we are sort of in a transitional period where we’re working with larger companies, but we still wanna work with small to medium sized businesses and startups people that are doing crowdfund campaigns, things like that. So for the, the, the way we see it is like, I’m on Discord.

[00:54:01] I’m communicating with these companies, these people on Discord. We have Two AMAs every week. One is called Ask Batman Anything. Another one is Ask Mike Anything. We also have exclusive like case studies and podcasts. We have a separate podcast for the Discord called New World, New World Orders.

[00:54:21] So a little bit of a conspiracy vibe to it. And yeah, besides that, the, just general slash contact us and my email us We have the main channel podcast as well, if you to check it off and YouTube Source manager as well. Got, and we have for Alan as well.

[00:54:40] Yeah, I mean email and my LinkedIn would be, would be the next best place to get me. I’m pretty active, active on the LinkedIn and I’m doing a special guest on the on the Discord this tomorrow. Yeah. . So it’s gonna be ask batman anything, it’s gonna be ask alan anything. Yeah. Aaa. Aaa. He’s Cause cause I’m, Cause I’m chilling.

[00:55:07] I’m on vacation and stuff, so like a’s guest hosting that. So nice. Okay. All right. That sounds super exciting. Well, I hope our listeners in our view has learned a lot from this wonderful people and of course hoping to get a lot more success for you, everyone. The both of you and we only hope the best ventures, business ventures for the both of you.

[00:55:33] Well, thank you so much and we su we are super happy to have you in our show and we look forward to having you again here in our show in the future. Well, Mike do you have any more anything you wanna say before we let them go? We’re all good. We’re all good. This was a fun one even on the holiday.

[00:55:52] Thanks for taking time on the holiday week. Golden week. To make this happen. And yeah, I think we’ll, well, we, we do a lot of exchanges on each other’s shows, so probably, probably have a round table on the Made in China podcast soon, and maybe we, Yeah, do more as always in the future together. Thanks.

[00:56:09] Thanks for Rico and Alan. Yeah, no, I, I mean, for me, I find that like, okay, so obviously we’re doing podcasts for a while, you know, you have to kind of change the format a little bit. And I, I just think that like, it’s more interesting when you’re talking to multiple people in the same space as you, rather than just doing the one-on-one interviews.

[00:56:28] The one-on-one interviews are fun as well, but like even that, I’ve started to be more picky with my guests. But yeah, this is, this is cool. Like I love this kind of dynamic. Yeah, it’s fun. We agree all. Awesome. Everyone again, thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you in our next episode.

[00:56:47] Goodbye everyone, and have a great day. Thanks guys. Thank you. Bye. Okay, and thank you to our sponsor, our returning sponsor, online bank, while it’s a real bank, but you can do it totally online for us. Our Blimp program participants are going through this as well. Thank you Mercury. Travis’s great there.

[00:57:06] It’s been on our show, it’s been in our events. We’re gonna have another event where we will have them attending as well. And if you wanna get a little bonus for you and us, if you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to I also have a video tutorial that we use, even for the people use the same exact video to learn how to use it.

[00:57:25] Oh, I hope you can check it out totally free. Why not?  See you there? All right, so that was the show. Faith, I, I think you’re having fun on these, right? There’s so much to learn in these crazy stories that these guests and people share with us. Honestly. Honestly, if I’m going to tell you up front, we’ve been learning a lot and I have been learning a lot as well, and I think our listeners and viewers, what do you think about this episode?

[00:57:56] I believe that you’ve been learning a lot as well in your homes, in your phones, and I think this is a special episode in my opinion. Why? Because it’s some type of a round table discussion, just putting your insights and inputs and there’s, I mean, in one topic there’s a lot coming in and I think just Alan and Rico just putting their own thoughts, inputs and experiences, gave a lot of flavor for this episode.

[00:58:22] What do you think? Yeah, I mean, they also started. I don’t remember exactly, you know, when, but they’ve been working together and friends for a while and now they’re working even closer together as partners, which is really, really exciting. And, you know, they’ve both been on the show in the past, separately, and this is the first time they’re both together in this show.

[00:58:41] Like we mentioned, we, we, Alan joined, decided to join later, after we were prepared. And it was really a, a pleasure also, this, you know, my favorite stuff in all the podcasts, I think for listeners is the failures, the problems, the mistakes, right? I think it’s easy to talk about the, the, the success, right?

[00:59:02] You know, the, the overnight success that took 10 years or 20 years. Some, sometimes people talk about, so, you know, Alan shared pretty openly about his, his kind of athletic wear brand in Hong Kong. And it didn’t, didn’t work out. I mean, of course, Obviously it’s pretty hard to sell clothing during covid when there’s lockdowns and even a protest cuz what’s happening.

[00:59:24] So, you know, I appreciate him being vulnerable for listeners to, to listen and learn from. And, you know, the mask nightmare. I mean, we were talking about that a lot on this show in 2020. Yeah, I agree. Well, there’s a lot, especially when, again, let’s tap in with Alan. His experiences really just gave him more courage, more determination just to move forward.

[00:59:47] I know it’s covid, it’s really hard to just pursue business and all. It’s really hard. Well, but again, it’s still here. Yeah. Right. Still pushing, moving forward, doing progress and development. And again, again, Alan, if you’re watching it as well, we’re super happy that you are here, continuously working forward with your business and we are so proud of you.

[01:00:08] And there’s a lot coming in, especially before in Covid. There’s a lot of mouths we need here. The Philippines, I don’t know if, if it, when it comes to the other countries, there’s a lot of requirements when whenever we need to go out, we need to have this community pass. We need to have that idea. Like when, oh my God, it’s super hard.

[01:00:28] Travel pass. Yeah. Like. It’s your, it’s not literally the risk, of course we learned from it, but, you know, to the, the Covid situation brought a lot of, Well, we need to pivot a lot. Yes. That’s mainly it. What can you say? Yeah. I mean, I, I saw September 11th, 2001 with my own eyes. I saw that World Trade Center collapsed from my window, and the world changed after September 11th.

[01:00:57] I, and never went back to the way it was before. And I don’t wanna scare people, But Covid is even more serious of a world event. Of course, a thou I think 3000 people, Americans died and September 11th or so, it was horrible. I, I could smell the death for weeks, but I think Covid is maybe more serious of.

[01:01:18] Global catastrophe that has caused the world and the cultures and policies and politicians and politics to change for the good. I’m not a fan of the way things are going cuz it’s like a, I’m a, I’m like, I’m a, maybe a libertarian. I’m a, I believe an individual freedom, not, not group, mm-hmm. , not groups like telling me what I can and cannot do.

[01:01:43] And I don’t wanna be like, I’m a crazy person that says no masks, but of course I understand importance. But now there’s gonna be like vaccine passports and, and, and there’s gonna be like documents and checking and this and this and that to do anything. And it’s kind of like those, those scary movies.

[01:01:59] Those futuristic movies where you, you know. It, it’s, it feels like we’re living it. It is. So, yeah. I don’t know. It’s, it’s, it’s a pretty big one. I think so for everyone. Yeah. That’s listening as well, of course Covid isn’t something that, Well, in my, in my case here in the Philippines, really, really took it seriously.

[01:02:25] It’s too much many, again, there’s a lot that we need to require here for travel pass. Even, even we, we just wanna walk out and, but just buy some groceries. It’s literally hard. You wanna hoard stuff. Yeah. And sometimes there’s this it is in the news that back in the pandemic there’s a news that you don’t, you don’t, it’s, it’s not okay to hoard things because you wanna give out some time for people to buy as well for the others.

[01:02:56] But of course, you wanna think of yourself, your family, so you, you really don’t know which path you wanna take on that . I know, I know. Oh, brother. There’s, there’s a lot here, but, but yeah, I mean, it was scary. I was in the Philippines when the lockdown started in March, 2020, and the shelves were getting emptied and the rest, and you know, LJ on our team, we had like a team call and she’s like, Mike, you can get off the phone.

[01:03:21] Go get canned food. Yeah, seriously. I went to like the market and it was like the shelves were like emptying, you know? It was really nuts. So yeah, it’s again, what a situation that we have. I believe our listeners and of course our viewers, again, it’s not only Philippines or where my kids, where I am, but it’s all, all over the world.

[01:03:47] And I think having you listening and having you viewing this podcast, we are now surviving it all throughout with progress and very happy that everyone’s just coming in, doing, moving forward, doing what they need to do. And it’s 2023, it’s just around the corner. Yeah. And we are happy that we are able to overcome the situation that we have for Covid.

[01:04:11] I believe so. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So, Exactly. We’re just working better online, you know? I mean, we will. Well, we was working online before Covid, but you know, I think we’ve gotten even better, you know, like Faith work, you know, working together well, and it’s a pleasure to have you in the show. And, and do you wanna share some of, you know, a little teaser of what, what you’re, Of course, we’re talking about.

[01:04:35] Yeah, again, everyone, of course you have been seeing me here doing a lot of co hosting with Mike and I’ve been really enjoying the time working with him. He knows that we’ve been doing a lot of videos already, video content, and you might wanna just wait for our almost every single week. It’s almost almost a week now though.

[01:04:53] We are doing a lot of episodes and we just want you to wait for it every single episode we want. We wanna make sure that you’ll be seeing a lot of content, not only podcasts, we will be guesting a lot of people and it’s, it’s, it’s very happy working with Mike. Absolutely. And again, I was able to give him a quick vision of, I have, having my outsourcing agency, it’s actually called Leiva and just mainly helping entrepreneurs, business owners, just free up their time.

[01:05:20] I, I think so that’s the best part. Cause I know you have your, a lot of workloads. I believe so, definitely. And. I believe so. Yeah. A lot of our listeners here are entrepreneurs, business owners or wanna start up a business. Might be. Might be. And that’s why I think of course any business owner would love some assistance on that.

[01:05:40] Again, we wanna take off that workload. That’s mainly my vision on that. Yeah. It’s just a quick glimpse. Wanna take off that workload. You wanna make sure that, oh, I wanna spend more time with my family. I wanna spend some me time just going on vacation. But I cannot because I have i’ll, I have a lot of things to do.

[01:06:00] So that’s mainly it. We wanna offer you, just help you get your assistant. It might be a virtual assistant. Yeah. And it doesn’t have to be, working with you, like on site in the office, but of course we aren’t working with you even virtually, but still developing the business even online. That’s why we wanna leverage on that, right?

[01:06:20] Yeah. We wanna leverage on that. Working online, everything’s digital, starting in the pandemic, and up until now we are still getting that vibe, working remotely and we wanna help you on that. So what, what are your, what’s your take on that? I’m really excited. I mean, I think some people know we’ve done, we’ve done some webinars and courses in the past and to, to really collaborate together with your, with your startup and, and build this out.

[01:06:44] I think we’re gonna do some more shows and content webinars and masterminds and, and weave this in too. So I’m really excited. Faith is, is for us, we were so excited to create more on it and also podcast potentially in, again, we’ll be having more guests, talking more about business is always that, just giving value to our listeners and viewers as well.

[01:07:08] But yeah, and of course I wanna honestly would like you to share more about our GFAVIP Mastermind call next week. Yeah. And we’ll be on October 19, 8:00 PM Manila HK time on Wednesday. What’s a plan on that? Sure, sure. So it’s. It’s actually, we missed a month or so, and we’re getting things back on track with a monthly round table with some of our members.

[01:07:32] Also, our new sponsor crossed will be joining some of their reps that you, you might have heard to add in our, our show today. First time actually it’ll be the day after this show goes live. So this show goes on the 18th. This will go on the 19th, but if you’re in a member, it’s private membership. It’s, you know, we’ve been getting new members joining and, and applying and paying, and we really appreciate their support.

[01:07:52] So this is a way to engage with our, our experts and our, our, our community. It’s more of a just a general round table session, and we do have other sessions and that are more focused, but this one’s really just to catch up to. I’m also gonna share some strategies about our launches. We’ve also talked about this NYBS or New York Bar Store videos.

[01:08:10] You know, it’s more behind the scenes, some private things that we don’t share publicly. As always, our, our mastermind. Yep. I agree. Well, people would love to watch that as well. We do have a call next week for our mastermind and we’ll surely wait on that. And of course, we were able to kick off our launch, our first ever show again for NYBS.

[01:08:33] So what does your take on that? What are your thoughts that, I know you’re pretty happy about that. I was, Yeah, I was, I was a little bit, you know, when we do post production for these, I’m a little bit more flexible, but I was a little bit more of a perfectionist, if you might have noticed in our, our work systems, right?

[01:08:48] Mm-hmm. . But I, yeah, I mean, we’re bringing them back. This the, the first business, first major business that, that we had here. And yeah, so you, you know, I shared a story, the, the, the good, the bad, the ugly. You, you and I, we, it was great. You’re an awesome host. And that’s on

[01:09:07] If you wanna watch that. I almost feel like we should put it in a global major show. Huh. It was like almost like a gold major interview in a way. But I think people like just kind Yeah. Mindly. Yeah. Yeah. We can do that. We can do that. I agree. I agree. And I really enjoyed that kickoff episode. Again, it’s, it’s our first time for that, for your, for this major brand that you have before, and just bringing that in.

[01:09:32] It’s like a major comeback. That’s the word. Yeah. Major comeback. I mean, I was so happy about it. You were so happy about it. But of course, we want our listeners and beers to be happy with us as well and celebrate our kickoff and comeback Yeah. Of the New York Bars store. And while, again, just watch, we do have, we send, we have the link here down below and we want you to watch it as well.

[01:09:56] Definitely. It was a fun episode with you. It was a fun episode with you. Yeah. I really enjoy it face and all. Well, I think we had a lot of funner outro and this is the, Covid, what is this? Grind Grind. If you wanna check out all the show notes and links, maybe the Power Puff Girls Family Photo will be on there.

[01:10:19] I don’t know. Will it be, Yeah, hopefully if I pull that up. All right. Fingers cross. We’ll put the Power Puff Girls Fingers cross. I wanna see that. All right. All right. We’ll see you everyone, your next show. Thank you so much, Mike. I’ll see you in the next show, everyone, please do support our videos moving forward, and we are so excited for the coming videos.

[01:10:38] And please stay tuned, stay watching, and stay listening. We’ll look forward to seeing you in the next video. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at That’s Triple Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed.

[01:10:59] Thanks for tuning in.

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