I just wanted to share a post, a reflection on finishing two years with Flower Gift Korea! We are officially on our third year and things are going pretty darn well. I wrote about passing one year last August, well the post was written in August 2017, but my business anniversary for Flower Gift Korea is April 1st, which is when we launched the website. But we didn’t share about the website and how we were in business anywhere online until April 4th, which is when we shared about Flower Gift Korea on my personal Facebook page timeline. And that is when we made our very first sale! Literally, the day I posted about Flower Gift Korea being in business on my Facebook page, I received my very first sale. I actually recorded a podcast about making my first sale in my past and current businesses on a past Marketing
As the Korean rapper Jessie would say, “This is a competition!”. Yeah, if you don’t follow Korean hip hop or haven’t watched the reality TV show, “Unpretty Rapstar”, then you may not get it, but yeah, business IS a competition. And I found this cool image on the web that kind of shows my attitude when it comes to people directly challenging my flower business in Korea, which hasn’t really happened yet, which kind of both surprises me and doesn’t surprise me, and I’ll explain a little later.
Actually, the image can be misleading, but let me explain the image. It is an image of a bigger fish, about to eat a smaller fish, in a blue ocean. A lot of Koreans and people are familiar with the “Blue Ocean Strategy” when it comes to business. In short, the Blue Ocean Strategy is basically creating a new Niche or a target
So one of the things I truly love about working with my wife is that we can have lunch together. Not too long ago, we went for Kimchi Jiggae. The place we usually go to is called “Baik Chae” (백채). I really like this franchise because they give a lot of meat. And we usually get the size that is for two people, which comes in one bowl. The bowl is filled with meat, broth, tofu, kimchi, and some other vegetables. Oh, and we add some noodles for 1000won, which is well worth it.
For the longest time, I noticed my wife only eating half the tofu in the bowl. The tofu is her favorite part of the kimchi jiggae, but why was she only eating half? Well the answer is very simple, she didn’t want to be selfish and wanted to share the best part of the soup. And whenever
I have some friends who want to start their own businesses one day, and others who want to invent something that will make them super rich. In their minds, they will one day create a cool business or an amazing invention that will generate a lot of money. I mean, who isn’t hoping to invent something that will make them super rich and famous? However, the problem is that it isn’t easy to invent something that will generate money and it can be really scary starting a business. But being scared to start a business is quite natural, and the greatest inventors probably failed more times than succeeded in creating something worthwhile. I personally was really nervous, excited, and scared when I started every single business I started in the past, and know that most felt the same. So waiting to feel “less afraid” or “more comfortable” may never happen.
When I was in grade 4, my father took me to a nice stationary store and bought me a whole case of school supplies. He bought me a nice marker set, erasers, pencils, etc. It was a set I was really proud of and I believe it cost my father somewhere between $40-$50 for everything, so it wasn’t a cheap set of stationary you could have bought at the dollar store. But one day, I got in trouble for playing with my school supplies during class and my teacher took the stationary set away. She didn’t say anything about the set and I just thought my stationary set was gone for good. One day, if I remember correctly, she said to the class that we have to ask for things or something about apologizing. I knew deep down she wanted me to ask her for the set and apologize for
I first arrived in Korea in 2007 when I was teaching outside of Seoul in a public school. It was my first time to Korea as an adult and I was going to teach one year of English as the Native English Teacher at Ipjang Middle school, which was located a little outside of Cheonan, which is in Chungnam. I was really excited and nervous since I didn’t know what to expect. One of the things I do remember was meeting one of the many teachers who was on the same orientation trip that I was on. What I remembered the most was one conversation we had while all of us Native English Teachers were having dinner. We didn’t really get too deep into a conversation, but It was a simple short conversation, which started off with me asking him the following question, “How long have you been in Korea?” And
One of the benefits of operating a small business in South Korea is the fact that you pay less taxes than when you are employed by a company or a Hagwon in Korea. There have been years where I somehow paid less than 1% of what I earned for my taxes for the year as a small business owner. I don’t know how that happened, but we hired an accountant who did the work for us. We paid her either 100,000won or 150,000won for all of the work, and we ended up paying around (or less than) 1% of what we earned for our taxes for the year, which was pretty shocking and exciting. So if we made 70,000,000won for the year, then we had to pay a tax of less than 700,000won. Of course the taxes can go higher or lower depending on the type of business you operate
When I was in my third year of university, I met a missionary couple who were visiting Toronto for a few weeks. They so happened to stay a night at my uncle’s house when I was living in one of my uncle’s rooms. So my uncle introduced me to the missionary couple who had been living in Turkana, Kenya for close to 20 years. The missionaries showed me a CD, which explained the work they were doing. At the time, I was really involved in church and even contemplated becoming a missionary one day, so watching the video on the CD really ignited something in my heart. In the end, I ended up volunteering about 3 months with that missionary in Kenya. It was an awesome experience and I believe I received more than I gave. The missionaries were very accommodating, the people there were very friendly, and I had
*The feature image has nothing to do with my family business, except for the fact that it is an image of the Canada Goose.
So a few years ago, I remember having a conversation with my mother and father over Skype. I have been skyping my parents every Saturday or Sunday for as long as I could remember to keep in touch, since I’m in Korea and they are in Canada. And I told them that I would make a website and social media accounts for their convenience store business. Their store sold what most convenience stores sold, plus flowers during warmier weather, and rented out DVDs. Yup, people in Canada are still renting DVDs. But, my mother was really against it. I’m not sure if it was because it invaded her privacy or because she was afraid it could negatively affect the business, but in the end, I didn’t go
Are you an entrepreneur in Korea and grinding and hustling to make something for yourself? Well, I am, and I’m still working towards making something for myself. Everyday I get closer, but it sometimes seems like it is a never ending game. But the good news for me is that I totally enjoy the process, and I hope you enjoy the process of building your business or project in Korea as well. I especially love it when my flower business gets a huge spike in sales at certain times of the month, but it is easy to get down on myself in the times when there are less sales. It’s the exact same feeling I got when students would take a one month break from my hagwon business in the past. Even though I knew I would have less sales in a certain month or knew that students would take