Ep 105 - Don't Get Sued! Be Wary of Borrowing Money in China

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Ep 105 - Don't Get Sued! Be Wary of Borrowing Money in China

Today´s guest is John Graham Harper, an Australian entrepreneur who started out in the fitness industry in Shenzhen around 18 years ago.

We talk about why China was the perfect spot for adventurers, how to cater to the Chinese as well as the expat community and how to create a sports platform like White Collar Fight Night.

It´s a very interesting interview where John shares some of the mistakes he made and tips on how to avoid them.

Topics incl:

  • Coming to china and Unexpectedly Staying

  • Feeling invincible back in the day

  • White Collar Fight Night

  • Early Mistakes and what it takes to build a Gym Business

  • Gym Businesses functions on Debts

  • Conflict with the Lender

  • China's Justice System 

  • Getting Sued, a common issue.

  • Tips on how to deal with legal issues

  • Crowd funding for a Lawyer

  • Foreigners are at a disadvantage when battling a case

  • China's Still a Land of Opportunity

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Ep 104 - Canton Fair - Things You MUST Do Outside of The Fair

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Ep 104 - Canton Fair - Things You MUST Do Outside of The Fair

Here is another repost from our SFA Youtube Channel Rico Advices on tips with. what other productive things you can do outside Canton Fair?

Topics incl:

  • Duration of your stay

  • Picking a spot where you can do things outside the Fair

  • Communicating with suppliers a month beforehand

  • Research on Meet-ups

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Ep 103 - Building Sustainable Fashion Wear in China w Felipe Arias CEO @ I Too

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Ep 103 - Building Sustainable Fashion Wear in China w Felipe Arias CEO @ I Too

In this Episode, we listen to the conversation that Rico had with Felipe Arias, CEO of Itoo, who was a guest on episode 92. Here, he gives a more in depth view of the Fast Fashion and building sustainability within the Industry.

Topics incl:

  • How Fashion Industry Affects the Environment

  • Sustainability in China

  • Corruption in the Industry

  • Advance Technology for Sustainability 

  • Polyester Recycables  

  • Sustainablity in Fashion is Expensive

  • Implementing Safety in the Factories

  • Organic Farming

  • Trust and Transparency

  • Lack of Workers in the Factory

  • Sourcing from India and Vietnam 

  • Fast Fashion

  • Made in China vs Made in Italy

  • H&M and Zara

  • Marketing, YG Media

  • Selling in Canton Fair

  • Digital Marketing in China

  • Trips with the Europe Crew

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Ep 102 - Product Development with Don Wilder - The Sourcing Table

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Ep 102 - Product Development with Don Wilder - The Sourcing Table

This week's podcast we have a repost from the sourcing table. Mike sits down with his Buddy Don Wilder, a product developer, to share about his experiences developing a product in China and creating a successful crowd funding campaign.


Topics Incl:

  • Starting with product developing and crowdfunding

  • Is it Necessary to be in China when developing products?

  • Obstacles doing business in China

  • How crowd funding has changed 

  • Being specific with your customer profile/ targeting your niche market

  • Developing a new table top game

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Ep 101 - How to Conduct Yourself in a Chinese Factory Meeting

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Ep 101 - How to Conduct Yourself in a Chinese Factory Meeting

In this episode, which was originally released on Youtube. Rico gives us tips on how to conduct yourself in a meeting with the Factory Bosses or Sales person  while hanging out in Nantong.


Topics Incl:

  • What to expect from the First Meeting

  • Price Negotiating Tactics

  • The Unassuming Boss

  • Be respectful of the Factory

  • Researching the price range before the meeting

  • Do not make empty promises

  • Don’t be too aggressive

  • Be specific with details

  • Take advantage of the dinner with the Bosses.

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Ep 100 - Extravaganza! What's Your 80/20 Rule?

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Ep 100 - Extravaganza! What's Your 80/20 Rule?

LET'S CELEBRATE THE 100th MADE IN CHINA Episode with a special podcast where we Compiled Every Guest's Answer to their 80/20 PARETO PRINCIPLE Question. Let's walk through this memory lane with Rico and Mike as they give their reviews and observations on the common takes from different personalities.


Topics Incl:

People, Family and Relationship

The Power of the Internet to Reach out and Market your Brand

"Mastering Successful Habits"

Law of Energy/ Positive Karma/ Mind over Matter

Networking and Being Present

Evolving, Adapting and Committing 

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Ep 99 - China Sourcing War Stories w/ Aakash Chugani

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Ep 99 - China Sourcing War Stories w/ Aakash Chugani

On this VideoCast, We have a fellow Sourcing Guy, Aakash Chugani to share his Outrageous War Stories running a sourcing business in China.  


Topics Incl:

Supplier's Factory got Closed down

Selling Big Ideas to suppliers while Client's Business Closed

Double Checking Factories and Clients

Meeting Felipe

Biggest Success

Giving Enough Trust to your Chinese Staff

Online Presence of Sourcing Companies

Being Involved with every aspect of the Business

Organizing A Busy Schedule

Fashion Industry

Online Businesses in China

Sourcing in China Vs Other SEA Countries 

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Ep 98 - #ThisisChina 5 "Factory Bosses"

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Ep 98 - #ThisisChina 5 "Factory Bosses"

After Last week's #ThisIsChina Episode where we heard stories about Employees, this week we cross the other side of the Fence and listen to Mike's and Rico's Bizarre Experience with different Types of Factory Bosses that they had dealt with from the Beginnings of their Sourcing Experiences.


Topics Incl:

Factory Boss 1 - The Band Man - Party Hard Boss!

Factory Boss 2 - The Egostistic MuthaF*%$#@ who won't admit his mistakes

Factory Boss 3 - Swapping Materials for Cheaper Material

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Ep 97 - #ThisisChina 4 "Memorable Employees"

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Ep 97 - #ThisisChina 4 "Memorable Employees"

Here we go again. The 4th Installment of #ThisIsChina Episode is back! Mike and Rico discusses and share their memorable experiences with different notorious "Chinese Employees". Some Funny, Ridiculous and even Scary. Let's Join in and Listen. Cheers!


Topics Incl:

Employee no.1 - The Scheming Employee

Employee no.2 - The Favourite Employee "the feminine"

Employee no.3 -The C.B.A Employee "The Lazy Gamer"

Employee no.4 - Roy A - "I Don't Give a Sh*t" Guy

Employee no.5 - Roy B - WTF!!! Drinking Beer While at Work!?!

Employee no.6 - Mr B -The Smoothest Talker

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Ep 96 -Disrupting the Hong Kong Banking Industry w/ Iris @ Neat HK

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Ep 96 -Disrupting the Hong Kong Banking Industry w/ Iris @ Neat HK

In this week’s Video Cast, We sit down with Iris to talk about Neat HK, an Online Bank Service aimed to offer small businesses and startups the right technology to make life easier. Iris, who is now Head of Marketing Department was the First Employee of Neat, She shares us stories about the progression of the Company from it’s beginnings and later on Explains the Different platforms that Neat has to Offer.

Topics incl:

  • Coming from a Finance Background

  • The Appeal of joining Neat

  • The HK Banking System still behind compared to Europe

  • Neat's Demographic

  • The early challenges opening an Online Banking System in HK

  • Partnering with other Banks

  • Digitizing to minimize cost

  • Neat's Application Process

  • Company's challenges in the beginning

  • Neat Personal Account and Business Account

  • Multi Currency Account

  • Expansion Plan in China

  • China's Withdrawal Limit

  • Neat's Technical Support Team

  • Customers visiting the Office to check if they are Real

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Ep 95 - Original Design Management 2 Year Retrospective w ProdigyGame Part 3

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Ep 95 - Original Design Management 2 Year Retrospective w ProdigyGame Part 3

In this last part of our 3 hour long special podcast, Bryan and Rico Broke Down the workflow even further up to the 3rd production run. An episode that can help bring knowledge of what to expect when Sourcing for an Original Design. It was a Unique Experience especially having to produce 5 existing toys and simultaneously  designing another 4 more. We will also get to know what advantages there are when Coming to China vs Working Remotely.

Topics incl:

  • Implementing QC

  • Being Detailed but not too specific on Instructions

  • Having a toy facing the wrong way

  • F.R.I -Final Random Inspection

  • Translating Western English "Idioms" to Chinese English

  • Designing a new toy after BIG HEX

  • The Difference of manufacturing a new toy vs Big Hex

  • When Factory Increase Per unit  Cost

  • How The relationship Progessed Between ProdigyGame and SFA as they were growing respectively.

  • Coming to China for the First Time after Working remotely for 2 years

  • The progress of Prodigygame during the 2 year process of Manufacturing

  • Revenue from Toys Vs Revenue from Softwares

  • Observation on SFA during the 2 1/2 years as it Grew.

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Ep 94 - Original Design Management 2 Year Retrospective w ProdigyGame Part 2

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Ep 94 - Original Design Management 2 Year Retrospective w ProdigyGame Part 2

Continuing on the Podcast, We have the 2nd of 3 episodes with Bryan Paratian  who was Lead Hardware Developer of ProdigyGame, An Educational Technology Company, which so happened to be the company that baptized Rico as his first Clients. Here they revisit their initial experiences that came with challenges they had to endure in order to have an Original Design Successfully Manufactured. On this sequel, they broke down the work flow  of the process that took 6 months to a year for “BIG HEX’s” completion. 

Topics incl:

  • The issue with the team they were working with before finding the right personnel.

  • The problems with the first molding

  • Reaction to Kids Reviewing Big Hex on Youtube

  • Having the manufacturer guide you on the Financial and Quality Side

  • THE RELIEF of releasing BIG HEX after a year then manufacturing 4 more toys later.

  • Customer Lifetime Value 

  • The Workflow of the Process, From it’s beginning to it’s end

  • Don't ignore the packaging!

  • Having the contract written in Chinese and English

  • Preproduction Development

  • The Chinese way of business Comparing to North America

  • Negotiation; the most intense process

  • Revising the production

  • Proceeding with the 2nd batch

  • Hiring a QC Team

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Ep 93 - Original Design Management 2 Year Retrospective w ProdigyGame Part 1

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Ep 93 - Original Design Management 2 Year Retrospective w ProdigyGame Part 1

This week on the Podcast, We have the 1st of 3 episodes with Bryan Paratian who was Lead Hardware Developer of ProdigyGame, An Educational Technology Company, which so happened to be the company that baptized Rico as his first Clients. Here they revisit their initial experiences that came with challenges they had to endure in order to have an Original Design Successfully Manufactured.

Topics incl:

  • Changing Roles at ProdigyGame

  • Using Stress Sensors to Evaluate Gaming Experience

  • Hiring Freelance 3d artist on Behance

  • Sourcing from Alibaba

  • Finding the right suppliers

  • Data Science to help with analysis

  • Deciding to get help from Rico

  • Screening  a company online is not enough

  • What SFA brought to the table

  • MOLDING Failed

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Ep 92 - Exporting in China since 19 with Felipe Arias @ Park Hyatt

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Ep 92 - Exporting in China since 19 with Felipe Arias @ Park Hyatt

In This Video Cast Episode, Rico sits down with Felipe Arias, who mainly deals with Fashion and started his entrepreneurship in China since he was 19. Here he goes in depth about Fast Fashion, sourcing from different Regions and the tricks of the trade in the Fashion world.

Topics incl:

  • Felipe's Beginning as an Young Entrepreneur

  • The learning process provided by China

  • The Mom's Influence on his Entrepreneur Blood

  • Fashion is not Something that you go to school and learn about. "Identifying the End Consumer"

  • Knowing the Regional Taste for Women

  • Early Mistakes and the Recovery after

  • Patience is a trait you need to run a business.

  • Building a team in China: Providing a good working environment

  • Being prepared for whats coming

  • Be Updated with the Technology of production

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Ep 91 - Marketing in China & FBA with Mark Ramos

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Ep 91 - Marketing in China & FBA with Mark Ramos

Welcoming in our Podcast is Mark Ramos,  A Veteran FBA Amazon and Internet marketer. Here he chats with Rico, who he will be collaborating with in Future Projects. Talks about his experience living in Guangzhou before it emerged to what it is now and how he loves being the guy behind the scenes organizing business seminars and networking events.

Topics incl:

  • Coming to China

  • The Emergence of Internet Marketing

  • Guangzhou, China in 2006

  • Introducing the concept of Internet Marketing to Chinese Clients and Factories at the Beginning

  • China's Control of the Internet

  • Maintaining Success

  • Selling in Amazon Then vs Now; Amazon Explosion on 2016

  • "Finding your focus as an entrepreneur"

  • Having a Chinese business partner and The strategy of presenting to clients as a foreigner

  • Consulting; Being in the country and present to the Factories is a benefit when sourcing

  • Networking in the Seminars

  • Build a Brand and an Audience First

  • Online Courses: Are they necessary for your business growth?

  • Black Cat Tactics that Chinese sellers employ

  • Having membership and maintaining monthly continuity

  • Future Plans for his Business in China

  • Bringing back Cross Border Summit in Guanzhou

  • Being Behind the Scenes

  • 10 years in Guangzhou, Observation of Influx of Entrepreneurship

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Ep 90 - A "Non-Digital Nomad Family" in SEA w/ Michael Michelini

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Ep 90 - A "Non-Digital Nomad Family" in SEA w/ Michael Michelini

In this Episode Rico caught up with Michael Michelini, who you know from ChinaBusiness Cast, Global From Asia and the Organizer of Cross Border Summit. A Dadpreneur, He now lives in Chiangmai and he shares the experience of living in a more relaxed environment compared to China’s Hustle and Bustle Life, Letting Go of China Business Cast and Transitioning to life in Chiangmai especially now that his children made an impact with his priorities and approach to life. Enjoy the episode.

Topics incl:

  • Selling China Business Cast

  • Finding a Replacement and Listeners Reaction

  • Life in Chiangmai, Level of Entrepreneurship compared to China

  • Family Life 

  • Meet Ups in Chiangmai

  • Manila Vs Chiangmai

  • Education, A priority and a Factor in Choosing where you live

  • Cross Border Summit Columbia

  • Shenzen

  • Doing the Youtube, Podcast and Blogging

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Ep 89 - Finding Your Business Passion in China w Carl Nickel

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Ep 89 - Finding Your Business Passion in China w Carl Nickel

In this Video Cast, Rico welcomes back Carl Nickel, An Entrepreneur who has gone through challenges with his Business Opportunities while in China. He continues his persistence and advices to find what you are passionate about so that you may always have the motivation to continue finding success despite the hurdles and obstacles you have to endure to get to the top.


Topics incl:

  • Teaching English in China

  • Working in an Oil Company

  • Why you should Do what you are passionate about

  • Managing Waste technology

  • Doing Business with Taiwan's President

  • Investors and gathering the team

  • Group Disbanding and investors pulling out

  • Joining his Dad's business upon coming back

  • Working 14 hours 7 days a week a way of life in China

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Ep 88 - Manila and Wildball During Chinese New Year

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Ep 88 - Manila and Wildball During Chinese New Year

In this episode, Rico checks in with Chinamike to talk about their yearly goals, for the business or personal growth. Discussion was made about the success and failures for 2018 then after they shared what they aim to reach this 2019.


Topics incl:

Summary of Rico's year and 2018 goals

  • Profitable year High Revenue but high expenses

  • Being in debt and getting out of it

  • Getting sued by an ex employee

1st goal Maximizing work with a small team (Failed)

2nd goal: Releasing an episode a week on podcast  and  youtube Videos (Success) 

500 subs & 1k Youtube subs in 6months (failed)

3rd goal - muscle up and  14% Body Fat (Success)

Grade: B


Summary of Mike's year and 2018 goals

Reading books (Failed)

Reaching the Timeline of the sales goal with the lifestyle brand (Failed)

Being more social! (SUCCESS)

2019 GOALS

Rico's 2019 Goals

  1. 20% increase of sales revenue 7% increase of profit : Controlling the expenses

  2. Social Media Goals/ youtube video goals

  3. Get an intern

  4. Youtube ads to result in 5 figure revenue

  5. Revamping the website

  6. Organizing Meet Ups 

  7. Batman goals : Stay in the Philippines concurrently; and learn MMA

Mike's 2019 Goals 

  1. Audio Books

  2. Getting to Africa

  3. Meditation, Wellness retreat

  4. Getting quality Interviews on the podcast

  5. Social up!

  6. Running a successful meetup.

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Ep 87 - 2018 Goals vs 2019 Goals

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Ep 87 - 2018 Goals vs 2019 Goals

In this episode, Rico checks in with Chinamike to talk about their yearly goals, for the business or personal growth. Discussion was made about the success and failures for 2018 then after they shared what they aim to reach this 2019.


Topics incl:

Summary of Rico's year and 2018 goals

  • Profitable year High Revenue but high expenses

  • Being in debt and getting out of it

  • Getting sued by an ex employee

1st goal Maximizing work with a small team (Failed)

2nd goal: Releasing an episode a week on podcast  and  youtube Videos (Success) 

500 subs & 1k Youtube subs in 6months (failed)

3rd goal - muscle up and  14% Body Fat (Success)

Grade: B


Summary of Mike's year and 2018 goals

Reading books (Failed)

Reaching the Timeline of the sales goal with the lifestyle brand (Failed)

Being more social! (SUCCESS)

2019 GOALS

Rico's 2019 Goals

  1. 20% increase of sales revenue 7% increase of profit : Controlling the expenses

  2. Social Media Goals/ youtube video goals

  3. Get an intern

  4. Youtube ads to result in 5 figure revenue

  5. Revamping the website

  6. Organizing Meet Ups 

  7. Batman goals : Stay in the Philippines concurrently; and learn MMA

Mike's 2019 Goals 

  1. Audio Books

  2. Getting to Africa

  3. Meditation, Wellness retreat

  4. Getting quality Interviews on the podcast

  5. Social up!

  6. Running a successful meetup.

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Ep 86 - Building A Global Mastermind From Manila with Noel Naguiat CEO @The Refined

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Ep 86 - Building A Global Mastermind From Manila with Noel Naguiat CEO @The Refined

While in Manila, Rico discovered a gentleman's club that defines him, The Refined is a members only lounge that provides a gentleman's lifestyle experience. Rico sits down with the owner, another Toronto Boy, Noelle Naguiat who was very gracious enough to share his experiences in entrepreneurship and the birth of his "Mancave".

Topics Includes:

  • Coming Back to Manila

  • Advantages leaving in the Philippines compared to North American countries

  • Beginning with Mankind then opening Refined after

  • What didn't work at Mankind then corrected at Refined

  • Finding the right Investors 

  • Making Connections

  • Mastermind groups

  • Finding Focus

  • Early Mistakes with the Refined

  • Paying for The "Experience" of Refined

  • Being present as an owner 

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