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:
April 24, 2018:
What I truly don’t understand is how people try to sell something that isn’t a good product or a service. I see it happen a lot, in Facebook groups, in my own store when people come in to sell me things, and all over Seoul South Korea when I am walking around. Honestly, some things are just outdated and no one wants to buy it. The craziest one to me are the old men who try to sell newspaper subscriptions!!! Like, are you serious? It doesn’t entinceme that I get to put my flyer in the newspapers that no one actually reads. You know what I mean? I am always polite to them, up until the point they do not get the message and keep badgering my wife. Actually, I always just straight up ask the person what they are selling and just give them a straightforward answer. I learned to not beat around the bush with salesman in South Korea, because they will suck all the energy I need to properly care for my customers and clients. But sometimes they start talking to my wife and not to me, but I have told pushy people to just leave my shop or Gyosoopso, even though they weren’t talking to me. Actually, when my wife and I ran the Gyosoopso, I would be at the back of the room (class), and she would be at the front (consulting room). So people would talk to her first most of the time. I sometimes went out if I knew a salesman were to arrive and get him out of my Gyosoopso as soon as possible. The main reason was because my wife is too nice to tell people to leave. I used to be too nice to tell people to leave, but learned to be firm with people once I realized I needed to take care of my mental health. I felt a little bad for the guys I told to leave because they were just trying to hustle and make some money, but I did not believe I did anything wrong. Anyhow, people trying to sell the unsellable. I just do not understand. No matter how much someone spams a Facebook group, or a forum, or their friends with their products and services, if no one wants it, no one wants it. Just move on and try to find something actually worthwhile to sell or find something else to invest your time and energy into.
Sometims when I’m in the subway, I see people waking in with those blue box carts, trying to sell their item. And you know what? Some of them actually have good things to sell. And you know what? Some of them are very convincing with their sales pitch. And people actually buy from them. I know it isn’t legal to do, but I admire their courage to just go into a subway station and sell their product. But at the same time, they can be annoying.
So if you are reading this. Just remember, having a good product or a service is the foundation to any business. You can’t sell a crappy product that no one wants. And don’t be that friend who gets all your friends to buy your thing and then make them feel bad for not buying it. Luckily, I do not have any friends like that. And if I did, I would probably support them and buy one or two of whatever they were selling. But then I would either start to avoid you and think badly of you or tell you straight up to stop trying to sell me. The closer friends will get my straight up talk, but if we aren’t that close, I’ll probably just end up avoiding you, like for the rest of my life, no joke. You got to think of the long game. To me this is important. That is why I never directly ask my friends to buy my items or services. Unless it were for charity or for a good cause, I would never ask my friends to buy from my business. Don’t push people away from you (unless they are really negative), by being so pushy. There are other ways to sell your product and service. There aren’t any shortcuts to success. It takes honest hard work. Too many unrealistic people these days.
April 22, 2018:
One thing I really enjoy doing is walking or driving through a new part of Seoul (and old parts), and seeing what businesses are there and how small business owners are making a living. It’s always cool for me to see the building structures, what types of businesses are in a particular area, and just ask myself, how are these businesses and people doing in there day to day life? And I’m not going to lie, I often judge small businesses in my mind and ask myself, or actually just tell myself, man, why did the business owner open this type of business in this part of Seoul, it’s probably going to go out of business in less than two years. This might sound negative, but I just really enjoy analyzing if a specific business will do well or survive in the area it is in. This is another reason why I like doing an online business because I won’t be stuck in one area.
But as I was saying, I like to analyze and criticize small businesses. I believe this helps me exercise my business mind and helps me find ways to improve my businesses. And I often look to see what kind of business would be good to start in the specific area I am walking around or driving around in. I am constantly thinking about what kind of business I can start or operate that will make a very good profit. But even if a good idea pops up, it doesn’t mean I’m going to act on it. There is only so much I can do in a day. And there are only certain things I would like to do in my life.
Well, this was just a random thought I was having.
And honestly, why are people continuously opening up new coffee shops? I honestly believe, almost every single rich person in Korea has their own coffee shop. And then there are a lot of just average people who have a coffee shop as well. I honestly think people just open up coffee shops, so they can have their own coffee shop. I honestly don’t think that they believe that their coffee business is going to be a very profitable business for them. But I’m sure there are people who think their coffee shop is going to do well. I remember talking to someone a couple years back and he shared his idea about opening up his coffee shop. I asked him what his plan was to get customers. And he told me that people from the street are going to smell how good his coffee is and come into the shop to buy some coffee. And I honestly thought that was a weak strategy. Almost like no strategy at all. Like there are so many coffee shops all over Seoul, and I don’t know a single person who went into a coffee shop because the coffee smelled so good. You would have to be in a very remote area with few coffee shops for that to happen. But if you went to a remote area, then you would have a lot less traffic. So yeah, people really got to put themselves in the customers’ / clients’ shoes.
And you know what? I used to want to own a coffee shop 5 years ago. I thought it would be nice to have a coffee shop and I believe I would have been able to make enough to make a little money from it. But currently, I don’t think it would be worth my time or energy to do a coffee shop. It just wouldn’t be profitable for me to do one because I don’t have that much experience in the coffee industry. Sure, I worked in a coffee shop for a year when I was a university student in Canada, but yeah, I don’t know much about the business. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind one day and open up my own coffee shop. If I do, I’ll let you know!
April 15, 2018:
So, as I was just sitting here and reflecting on this week and kind of figuring out what I am going to do for this upcoming week, I remember a short conversation I had with a friend. Now, this friend’s father owns a small trade company in South Korea and I’m sure my friend will take it over one day, since he is heavily involved in the business. But I remember way back, before I started Flower Gift Korea, I told my friend that I was thinking of starting an online flower business on the side as I ran my English gyosoopso business. And he said to me that an online business will take a lot of money because you have to hire a web developer, you have to hire people to do the marketing and sales, you have to hire someone to make the products, and you have to hire someone to do the customer service, then you need a place to store the items to be sold, and then someone to make sure the business is operating properly. He’s like, you need at least $100,000 US, actually he said you need at least 1억won, which is similar in value. But I didn’t agree with him, but I didn’t say anything because well, we were speaking in Korean, he’s older than me, and I didn’t have the energy to explain my point of view in Korean.
Also, my friend graduated from a good business school in the US and was pretty much helping his father run an actual exporting company. I honestly didn’t even know what the school was till he mentioned it and I honestly don’t even remember the name. But yeah, he went and got his MBA and is in the process of taking over his father’s exporting company. The company has two locations, a factory and an office location. He goes to China often and other countries. Me, I was an English teacher teaching in a small English gyosoopso that I started with my wife. So if you do the math, it really didn’t matter what my opinion about business was, at least to him at that point, but who knows what he actually thinks of my opinion since this was all just made up in my mind. But what I believe is that in his mind, business is done a certain way, and I guess he’s not used to people around him bootstrapping things. And we had this conversation like in early 2016. Fast forward two years and Flower Gift Korea is doing 6 figures in sales (US dollars) annually. And my wife and I pretty much built Flower Gift Korea with less than a couple thousand dollars US. Of course we invested more money as time passed, but we started from our home, I made the website myself, we created some flower designs, took photos of them, put them up for sale on FlowerGiftKorea.com and went to town on marketing them online via google, blogging, and social media. And we only bought flowers whenever we received orders, so we didn’t really need that much space for inventory.
So, nowadays, it is possible to create a business with very little money. You just need to brainstorm some ideas, find a good product or service, market like crazy on social media, and work super super hard. If I can do it, so can you.
April 11, 2018:
I just finished writing a morning routine and I wanted to share more of my random thoughts. Actually, there are lots of times I want to share some random thoughts. It’s not often enough that I want to start an Instagram, twitter or Facebook page for entrepreneur Korea and share, because I know I won’t be able to commit enough time to do it right. But it’s more often than the entries on this page. Aw well, sometimes you just have more important things to do. Can’t do everything.
Anyways, like I was saying in my morning check-in for the day, my goal is to work on building the businesses that I am creating with my wife. My wife is the most important person in my life. And I truly value a strong marriage and hope to build a nice family with her. That is the main reason why I became an entrepreneur and built my own small businesses. That is why I created an English gyosoopso with my wife in 2013. Sure I always had goals to do something important or great in my life, but what’s greater than creating a happy home? I don’t know, that’s just what I value. So I will always choose my family over business, it’s just the way I am. And this is the main reason why I am not truly going all in on my online businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy creating content and love recording podcasts, but my main focus is further growing Flower Gift Korea and building Smart Trade Korea, both businesses where my wife is a very important component. Flower Gift Korea could not have been built without her, IGL English could not have been built without her, and Smart Trade Korea will not be successful without her. I obviously could build businesses on my own, but creating something together with the person you love is something quite amazing. There are definitely times of disagreement, but you learn to compromise and create an even stronger bond. But at the same time, I know that starting a business together as a married couple isn’t for everyone. I guess that’s why you really need to know yourself first before anything and be honest about everything, but at the same time, know when to compromise.
I believe Smart Trade Korea will be not be the last business I create with my wife. She is my partner for life, in businesses and in investments that we will make, and in almost everything else. The only businesses she won’t be fully part of are my online businesses. Though I believe that she will still help me with things related to Korea and always be there to support me, my online businesses will be my own. It will be bitter sweet once our businesses mature and get to a stage where we are no longer needed there (or can show up less) and I am able to focus on teaching others how to create successful small businesses in South Korea and a lifestyle they enjoy, since I will probably spend less time with my wife or maybe not, who knows.
Building businesses is what I enjoy, I love the starting aspect, and have been able to discipline myself to see the good business ideas come to fruition.
And that’s another thing, make sure you have the discipline to actualize your business ideas so you can actually make money. Too many people starting up and just folding or not continuing after a month or a few months. Or people just hustling to get seed money or investors, but not really creating a sustainable business model that actually generates sales. Remember, you need to invest at least a year to really see results. Sure there are some examples of overnight success, but those people usually were already networking or were preparing behind the scenes. Just gotta keep going and working, sooner or later, you’ll be able to put the pieces together and build that profitable business or create that awesome lifestyle. The two important words in the previous sentence are “build” and “create”. So get to work! That goes for me! I’m going to go get to work!
April 1, 2018:
So I’m on a subway at the moment and it is nice to have some time to myself. Not that I am always busy, but Flower Gift Korea has been steadily growing and I find myself having to be more purposeful with my time, and it hasn’t been easy. I am in the progress of offering consulting and coaching on HagwonStart.com This decision came about after receiving some requests and actually having the chance to give advice to one of the HagwonStart premium members. I really enjoyed my time and the Member said that I should be a consultant. Being a business coach and consultant in South Korea is my end goal, so it was nice to hear that. I’m not going full into it yet because I am still in the process of building some of my businesses. I’m not sure what I will enjoy more, coaching an consulting or building businesses, but coaching isn’t something that can constantly create cash flow without my involvement.
Oh, and I was just taking about being on the subway. You know, when Flower Gift Korea started back in early 2016, we only got a few orders a month. So I would just take the bus and subway to make the delivery, especially since I had the time. Nowadays, I have to drive almost daily, and when we get really busy, I have to drive and we have to hire part-time help. So the good news is that Flower Gift Korea is busy.
That’s it for now because there is this obnoxious old couple talking really loudly beside me. I think they are drunk, so I totally lost my train of thought. Sucks to be me.
March 24, 2018:
I met a friend from Toronto recently and it was great to catch up. We were talking and he asked me what my goal for Flower Gift Korea was. I took some time to think and answered his question. I think I did a good job. He then asked me how much money I wanted Flower Gift Korea to make. And I am so glad he asked me this because in my end goal section of this website, I wrote that I wanted to get to 7 figures in sales, and this is in US dollars of course, because 7 figures of sales in Korean won is like 4 figures in sales in US money. Right? Like 1,000,000 won is pretty much the equivalent of $1000 US, and Flower Gift Korea can generate that much in sales in one good sale day.
Anyhow, I got to thinking and it allowed me to really figure out what would be ideal for Flower Gift Korea. At first, I said that I wanted to get to $1,000,000 US in sales a year. And he was like, yeah man, I can definitely see your business getting there. And I was like, really? Because I don’t really know how big the market share is yet of the flower industry for English speakers in Korea and outside of Korea who have loved ones in Korea. But he provided me with some good ideas and it was nice to hear from him. But then I got thinking again and changed my end goal figure. I told him that I wanted to get to as close as possible to 500 million won in sales, but not go over. And my reason for changing the number to just half of my original figure, is that once you make a certain amount of money in certain types of businesses, there are a lot of new rules and policies your business has to adhere to. But with all things in business, there are pros and cons. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but once you make a certain amount, you have to have a hired accountant who you pay monthly to take care of your books and who will end up doing your taxes. But then again, having a really good accountant in your corner is definitely worth the cost.
We are almost there. Actually, we could have hired an accountant and paid him monthly, but somehow, we got an honest accountant and told us to do something that would help us pay lower taxes (legally) for at least a year. We will probably have to hire him on full time (where he takes care of our finances throughout the year and is paid monthly) in 2019 or later on in 2018, but hiring an accountant is just one thing you need to do. You will have to change your company to a corporate company (or whatever type you are legally required to), and by becoming a corporate company, there are so many more things you must follow. But at the same time, you can write off a lot more things off as tax expenses. So yeah, pros and cons.
But I guess it would just be easier for me to fly under the radar. That’s what I hope to do. And I don’t mean fly under the radar and do things illegally, but just so that I’m not on the radar and am bothered by visits from government workers and inspections. Because they rarely inspect small businesses.
As they say, more money more problems. I rather just make a decent amount of money and not have the problems. So I want to build separate businesses and never go over the 500 million won sales mark in any of them. But who knows what the future holds.
March 16, 2018:
So, Valentine’s Day has passed and so has White Day, so Flower Gift Korea will most likely not be as busy until May when it’s Parent’s Day in Korea, and then won’t be super busy till late Fall / Early Winter. That means I am going to have a lot more time to work on other businesses and projects. So, the questions is, am I going to really get down and work really hard? Honestly, I don’t know if I will. Am I just lying to myself? Maybe I’m just really happy with how things are. But at the same time, there is a part of me that does want to build other businesses and stuff. But I also like sharing my thoughts about the processes and experiences.
So, why am I not fully using my days? I guess my excuse is that it was White Day just a few days ago, and we had somewhat of a large volume of orders for the 14th and the surrounding days. But I also had pockets of time to work on other things, but I didn’t. I always make time to watch NBA game replays on Youtube, but I don’t always make time to create extra content or to do other work. Maybe it’s because I am not totally excited about the projects I am working on? I don’t know. I got to dig deep and really see what’s going on inside me. I want to live my passion, but what truly is my passion? I do enjoy creating businesses, and I want to help others create businesses and an awesome lifestyle, but I’m not really doing that. Am I ready to do so? Maybe, maybe not. Not sure, well, just random thoughts. More random thoughts to share in the future.
February 25, 2018:
I wish I was able to spend more time sharing my thoughts on this blog, but at the same time, I’m really pleased with how everything is going. There are times where I get these awesome thoughts and insights abou doing business or being an entrepreneur in Korea, but I may be driving or I decide I rather just chill out then to get my thoughts down on paper or onto this website.
One thing I’ve been thinking about these days is the amount of talk and planning I see and hear about going into a business for oneself, but literally, zero action taking place. I’ve told this to a few of my friends who ask for advice on their business ideas and business dreams, but starting a business in Koreais super simple, you just have to take action.
Now, why are so many people reluctant to go to the tax office to register their business, or putting off visiting the education office in the area they “plan” on starting their gongbubang or Gyosoopso business. Well, there are a lot of reasons, or should I say, excuses that people have. But it all comes down to this, fear. People are afraid to fail more than they are afraid of not succeeding.
I’ll be the first to admit that starting a business for yourself is scary business. I was scared to start my first real businesses, my English Gyosoopso, and I was also a little scared to go all in on Flower Gift Korea. So being scared is totally normal, but you have to be mor afraid not to succeed. If you aren’t, you have to train yourself to become that way. Surround yourself with winners and people that are confident. Sooner or later, their confidence will slowly rub off on you.
In the end, the main reason people aren’t taking the steps to getting their businesses off the ground is that they are mentally weak. The good news is that you can become mentally stronger by becoming more confident in your ability to create something for yourself.
Here are some practical ways to building your confidence to a level that allows you to start your own business/project in South Korea:
1) Hang around people already doing it and people who are optimistic.
2) Become more knowledgeable about the industry you plan on starting a business in.
3) Make your first sale in a related industry. If you are starting a hagwon, try to actually tutor someone on the side for some money. If receiving money is against the law, then you can teach someone an hour or two in return for a dinner or something. Either way, you need to make your first transaction to really help build your confidence.
4) Hire a coach or have a friend/loved one keep you accountable to the action steps you need to take. It’s also more efficient to have action days and deadlines, so you can track your progress.
So yeah, I’m totally big on taking action because I meet so many people who talk and talk, but don’t act. A baby step is much more powerful than hours and hours of sharing your dream/vision with someone who probably could care less about it or has heard it 100 times. Take a baby step today, another one tomorrow, and keep going. One foot after another. It is a lot easier than you think to start a business. The hard part is being consistent over along period of time. But I have experience doing business in Korea, so please feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to help.
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.