I sometimes have random thoughts regarding business and entrepreneurship in Korea. I sometimes put them in posts, but they are literally so random and can ruin the flow of the post. And social media posts are too short, but I do plan on getting on social media one day and sharing about entrepreneurship. But for now, I decided to compile them here:
January 28, 2018:
You know, there is so much opportunity available these days. It’s amazing how lucky we are to have things like the Internet, Social Media, and amazing free tools online that we can use to create our own very brand. I’m so thankful to be living in this era. Of course the cost of housing is really expensive and it seems like the economy isn’t doing too well, but the opportunities are there for people who are willing to learn how to use the free technology tools available. To be honest, I’m not a very social person, though social media is a very important aspect of my Flower Gift Korea business, which is the main business that has a pretty decent cash flow. I’m normally the guy who doesn’t post much on Facebook. You can probably tell if you visit my personal page on Facebook. I’m not very active. But I do my absolute very best to post something on my business social media pages at least Monday-Friday and at the very least, respond to people’s comments. I could probably engage more people in conversations with DMs and Comments, but I’m using my time in other ways. For now, the postings and liking other people’s posts is doing a good enough job for Flower Gift Korea.
I am pretty nervous about Valentine’s Day because I know it’s going to be super busy for us. I’m really worried about organizing all of the deliveries. It is not an easy job to coordinate hundreds of deliveries on one day that need to get to certain places and certain times. But, we are looking forward to it and have already been making plans to make the flow as smooth as possible. I don’t want to turn away business like I did last year. We are going to buy a lot more flowers in advance and take as many last minute orders as possible because that’s when most people order anyways. Well, just some random thoughts.
January 19, 2018:
So, I got to say, I’ve been really unproductive and inefficient so far this year. Basically, I got very comfortable and satisfied with just making enough…recently my wife told me that she read an article or something in a Naver Cafe that when you can make an income of at least $4000 a month or 4 million one a month, you get kind of comfortable. 4 million won isn’t super rich, but it is enough to not have to worry about things so much. And I think there is some truth to it. For you, the figure can be higher or can be lower, but I think we all have this amount in our heads where we are like, if I make this much, I’m good, and I don’t really need to do extra.
I tell my wife that my end goal is to make 100 Million one a month in profit, but the truth is, deep down, I think I’m okay with even just 5 Million won, and sometimes I’m okay with even less. But I shouldn’t be, I should be pushing for what my potential is. I could be making money in a lot of other ways, help more people, and create more steams of income. Oh, this is kind of off topic, but I have been reading up on how to invest money. I don’t have any investments and not much saved up, as the money my wife and I have is either tied up in our home or in our business. But I have been thinking hard about creating a nest egg for myself. In Korean age, I’m 35 years old, so I may be late, early, or starting at the average time, I don’t know. I honestly think I’m late, but better late than never.
Anyways, just going off on tangents here…but yeah…there are times where I’m just like, my wife and I are doing good enough, so I’m just going to chill. Last December we did alright, but January isn’t looking as good as our last few months. I learned that January is the worst month for people in the flower industry, so I’m unsure of how true that is for us yet, since this month isn’t over yet. But one thing is for sure, I have gotten really complacent in my businesses and in creating content. I have been thinking of writing a short ebook about doing business in Korea and being an entrepreneur in Korea, but I’m not sure if anyone will buy it at the moment. But then again, I have so many ideas I want to capitalize on….I think it’s time to get going on the florist website I’ve been meaning to create. Actually, I’ve been trying to get the technical side of the florist website correct, but there has been some difficulties, so it has been discouraging. Well, gotta get on that. And it’s time to wake up and get working…
December 7, 2017:
So these days, I have a lot of people on my Facebook timeline that share about bitcoin. I honestly don’t know much about bitcoin, and the other cryptocurrency out there, but I am curious to see how everything is going to turnout. Am I going to invest any of my money in it? No, mainly because my wife and I are investing all we have into paying off our current loans. We got a pretty big mortgage and two other loans. We are almost done paying off one of them, so we will have our mortgage (house loan) and one other loan. If all goes well, everything should be paid off within 5-7 years, which is a long time still. Actually, the time can be lessened depending on how well my trade business goes, but just from Flower Gift Korea and at the rate it is going, 5 – 7 years seems about right. But Flower Gift Korea is growing steadily and I have a lot of hope for my future trade business. But yeah, bitcoin and all things related are quite interesting, I learned that the rich invest 10% of their money, but my wife and I probably won’t be doing investments outside of paying for our home until we are 100% debt free, but then again, we might change our minds. I hope to one day learn about stocks and maybe other ways of investing, but for now, I have my goal of paying off my home and some loans. It’s never a good idea to be in debt, but sometimes you have to get some loans. And even with the help of my parents, I still had to get some loans because it isn’t very cheap to get a home in Korea. So I can imagine how much more difficult it is for people who don’t have parents or parents who can’t support or help financially. Well, whatever you have to work with, you just got to do your best, and if you were blessed to have been given a nice home, it’s definitely nothing to feel sorry about. You still have your challenges and can use what you have been given to create something great for yourself and help those around you.
November 24, 2017:
So, we weren’t so busy today, so we ended up just going to the coffee shop to do some content creation / planning work. That means our store is unattended, so we can miss out on walk-in sakes, but we are okay with that. We went “hourless” awhile back and it has been great. But I can’t get myself to write new blog posts for this website and for Flower Gift Korea. I rather record podcasts, but I haven’t even recorded one in awhile. Creating content can be challenging, especially for someone like me, someone who gets distracted so easily and can’t just focus on one thing. I think what I need to do is go back to waking up earlier than I have to. I have been talking night classes and have used that as an excuse to sleep in. So tomorrow, I’m going to wake up at least an hour earlier than I have to and see if it will help me plan my day, and finally allow me to create one new blog post. The last piece of content I wrote/recorded for this website was on November 4th, 20 days ago, and for Flower Gift Korea, it was on September 10th, which is more than 2 months ago! To be honest, I’m having a lot of fun learning about trade and am really planning on starting my trade company with my wife. I already know how to network with people all over the world, I already made sales via Flower Gift Korea to people in close to 70 different countries, and I have some connections in the flower / plant industry in South Korea. So yeah, I guess I’m eyeing the big fish rather than working on catching more of the small/medium sized fish I have been catching for awhile. But I need to keep the cash flower coming and continue to build Flower Gift Korea. And I am truly thankful for where Flower Gift Korea is and the current customers we have. Well, that’s enough thoughts for now.
November 20, 2017:
So I just had my first class at the Seoul Global Center Trade Academy course. It was cool to go to. Today’s class wasn’t really geared towards me, but to people looking to get their visas. I’m really lucky to have an F4 Visa, so I am very thankful. Some people have to do certain things to earn a visa. But I learned a whole bunch of things about the visa types in Korea. As of now there are 36 visas in total. I’m looking forward to learning more about exporting/importing. And I’m also really looking forward to adding content to this blog. I am learning a lot from my experiences running my business, taking this course, and have also learned a lot from running my own Gyosoopso (small hagwon). Currently, my hands are tied with running and growing Flower Gift Korea, so adding content to this website is done on an ongoing basis. Well, that’s it for now.
November 5, 2017:
So I was having a conversation with my wife yesterday and I told her that I would not start a hagwon business without actually owning the property the hagwon business would be operated in. It’s not to say that people can’t create a successful hagwon business if they rent property, because I know a lot of people who are. But I personally rather build businesses that have less uncontrollable variables. One of the main reasons I closed my English Gyosoopso business was because the apartments in the neighborhood were being demolished. By now, there are a lot of new empty buildings in the area my hagwon once existed, and they will slowly fill up again in the future. The great thing with Flower Gift Korea is that even if every single building in my area were to somehow become vacant tomorrow, my business would barely be affected. I would say 95% of our sales are made online and 90% of our customers would probably not be able to visit our physical shop without taking an airplane or driving very far. So I told my wife that I’m just going to keep building and creating businesses that do not rely on a space that I have absolutely no power of. Also, I know how much work it takes to start, build and grow a large language hagwon because I know people who have done it and am seeing people do it. So yah, maybe my hagwon business isn’t going to be made any time soon, but there really is no rush, since I can build other things.
November 2, 2017:
I honestly don’t understand why people choose not to go the small Hagwon business route and try to do some kind of start-up that has a really low chance of succeeding. Why not have a small Hagwon business (Tutoring / Gongbubang / Gyosoopso) and then once you are able to create cash flow from a small business you can control, then go out and create that awesome startup? I too want to create an awesome app that will make me a millionaire or some neat startup idea that will make me rich and allow me to not work a single minute, but I’m realistic. I’m working hard and doing things that some people might not do. When I first started Flower Gift Korea, we would get just a few orders a week. And sometimes we would have one order for the day, and it may have been a small sale for as small as $43. For that one sale I had to spend probably 4-5 hours of work. I had to go to the flower market to buy the flowers, get the right materials, then come back home and cut the flowers properly, then put the flowers together and wrap the flowers up. Then we had to deliver it and then follow up via email. Literally 4-5 hours of work. And how much was left over in profit? Maybe less than $15, depending on the flower costs, there may have been times where we literally only made a $5 profit or even nothing! But at other times we had a larger profit, and of course now, we have more profit because we are able to get flowers at a lower cost, have more orders to fulfill, and are making more than our Gyosoopso business in the past, and the business is continuing to grow. So why this random thought? Well, I was typing up the October 2017 review and mentioned something about my past Hagwon business and I just started thinking about this. But the point of this random thought is, it takes work to build a business. There is a very small percentage of people who get really rich off a smart startup idea that invests little time and money. Most fail and a lot of people lose a lot of money. So really think about what skills you have, what kind of network you can leverage, and create something that actually creates cash flow before you create that sexy app or cool business idea.