The woman in the image is my business partner and the man in the image is me, Tony Choi AKA Tony Teacher. Her name is Brandy and I would not have had any success without her. She always reminds us of how much money we truly have to invest and takes cares of a lot of the admin work. Admin work is one of my weaknesses because I just find it boring. However, I am in charge of keeping track of our expenses, sales, and other paper work for Flower Gift Korea because I really wanted to learn more about these aspects since when we were running our English gyosoopso, she was taking care of all of the books and finances. Also, I want to know how much we are making and losing in our flower business in Korea so that I can have more motivation to further build the business.
You see, we got really comfortable in our 3rd and 4th year of operating our English Gyosoopso because it was really easy to operate. We only worked a total of about 30 hours a week between the two of us in our 4th year and we were still making a decent amount of money. However, we can’t be too hard on ourselves because we created these short work hours to allow us to have the time to build our flower business. But in the end, if my wife and I truly wanted to, we could have expanded our small English gyosoopso into a neighborhood Hagwon, but deep down, we didn’t really want to, which is a major reason as to why we didn’t work hard to further grow our English gyosoopso business.
*An English gyosoopso is basically a small English Hagwon business that can only legally have one teacher teaching
I always like to refer to my partner as the best employee any company can ever have, and I truly believe that I’m one of the worst employees a company can have. I just always try to find shortcuts and think meetings are usually a waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, meetings can be important, but sometimes they are very ineffective and unneceesary. I remember when we were both working in a Korean company and I would complain about having to go to so many meetings, even though I went to less meetings than my wife. And then she was like, “we all need to be on the same page and know what each manager is doing”. And I agreed with that, but I said that we could probably save a lot of time by doing the meetings in a different way or having an online system. So we have a different mentality on business, which can be ugly at times, but for the most part, we kind of complement one another. We wouldn’t take much risk with our business ideas without me and we might just go out of business without her. Brandy is als0 the main florist of Flower Gift Korea, and she is also my wife! Yup! My wife is my business partner and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
We obviously have arguments here and there, but I truly enjoy spending time with my wife. Some people rather not work with their wives, which is understandable, so you really need to know what kind of person you are. Working with my wife allows me to spend more time with her and I truly believe it also strengthens our marriage. We obviously still need time to ourselves, but we pretty much make all of our business decisions together. She even had a hand in helping me create the content for Hagwonstart.com so she is entitled to at least half of whatever money is generated from membership fees. But to be honest, we do not split our money, we just both believe all of the money is ours. This money system may not work for all relationships and marriages, but it has been working for us.
Our flower business is doing much better than our English gyosoopso business mainly because we already have experience running a business and we are also happier doing the flower business. I personally do not look to partner with others when it comes to business because of some bad experiences business mentors have experienced. And I especially do not partner with friends in business. There may be a time when I partner with others who already have a business, but I never ever want to start a business with anyone from scratch and share all of the expenses and profits unless it is my wife. I heard of countless stories from family and friends about how their best friend of 20 years left them stranded in a country while running away with hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I also heard of stories where people co-signed for business loans and ended up ruining their entire lives because a relative or a friend went bankrupt after investing millions and millions of dollars. That is why my wife is my one and only partner. Marriage is for life, at least that is what I believe, and we both don’t take huge risks. Though I take some risks, I personally believe it is best to grow a business in a controlled environment with as little risk as possible. Hard work over time will yield great results and I am truly enjoying the process. If you do not enjoy the process and you just want to get rich quick, you should definitely reconsider your business plan or try to find something that you will actually enjoy building. However, if it is a great idea and you are using the idea as a stepping stone to get to an even bigger goal, then maybe it can work. But this will be dangerous.
So do you believe in partnering with others? I believe partnering with others is fine, but it depends on what kind of level it is. If someone were to want to share likes on Facebook, write a guest post, or film a short youtube film together that will increase the sales of both of our products, then I’m all for partnering. However, if someone wants me to partner with them in starting up a restaurant where I would have to come up with 50% of the money to invest in the restaurant, I wouldn’t even think twice about declining the offer. So it’s important to know yourself, so you know what kind of risks you will be willing to take. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help. It is not easy to build a business alone, even though nowadays it is somewhat possible. Anyhow, all the best in your business building in South Korea.