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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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 Ep 85 - 3rd Year in China Lessons & Transitioning Out of China

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Ep 85 - 3rd Year in China Lessons & Transitioning Out of China

For this week, Rico and Harrison connected at the Refined, Manila to talk about the lessons they learned after 3 years in China. They give their very own perspectives about how different individuals particularly expats decide to stay or while some others like themselves eventually leave even if they have their businesses connected in China.

Topics Includes:

  • Transitioning from living in to leaving China 

  • "Lifestlye creep"

  • Price hike in China

  • Why some guys stay longer

  •  "Health Issues" a reason for leaving

  • Business lesson learned by the 3rd year in China

  • The advantages of being in China while doing FBA Amazon Retailing

  • Anxieties about transitioning out.

  • Present tools such as podcasts and youtube channels to help expats in China.

  • Finding the right Supplier for your Amazon business

  • "analysis paralysis" - Figure the first step and then go on from there.

  • Guru Courses are unnecessary expenses

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Ep 84 -Systemizing A Consulting Business in Asia Year 2

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Ep 84 -Systemizing A Consulting Business in Asia Year 2

In this episode, let's listen to Rico and Noam Once again where they talk about how to further systemized a consulting business in their respective areas, to make it easier for them to manage the company.

Topics Includes:

  • The Ups and Downs of running a company

  • Hiring process

  • Language Barrier Between Clients and Chinese Employees

  • How much can you systemize 

  • Reaching Unrealistic Goals

  • Focusing on your own work

  • Amazon investments on Technology

  • People vs Apps that can help ease your business effectively

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Ep 83 - Importance of Homebase & Riding The Entrepreneurship Hockey Stick

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Ep 83 - Importance of Homebase & Riding The Entrepreneurship Hockey Stick

A "hockey stick" chart is a line chart in which a sharp increase occurs suddenly after a short period of quiescence. The line connecting the data points resembles a hockey stick. 

This week, we bring you one of the last throwback episodes from the series of Rico and Noam's recorded Podcast 2 years ago (2017). Their conversation circled around the benefits or importance of having a home base for your business and the pressures of maintaining a company's rapid growth .

Topics Includes:

  • What it means to be Riding a "Hockey Stick"

  • Why having a Home Base for your business is Essential

  • Being Consistent is the fundamental key

  • Operating around your Schedule

  • Systemizing will lessen the stress

  • Your City Surroundings can motivate your drive

  • Handling a rapid expansion

  • Fast Growth Company needs to look at their quarters like a normal company would look at their year.

  • Keeping your feet on the ground despite having quick success 

  • "Pessimistically Optimistic" 

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Ep 82 - China Then and China Now

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Ep 82 - China Then and China Now

For this week’s episode, Rico and ChinaMike or now known as ChiangMike, Hangs out yet again to share each other’s observations of China’s rapid development through their respective duration of time spent living in the country.

Topics Includes:

  • The Sourcing Table Meet Ups

  • The Changes in China from 2008 to it’s Present

  • The Government has tighten up

  • The Decreasing Quality of Food as the Cost of living Increases.

  • Nantong, A City that’s much cheaper then it’s neigbouring Cities.

  • Old School Sourcing vs Present Day Sourcing

  • China being the first to develop the apps

  • Pollution is getting better

  • More Businesses being established.

  • The Challenges retaining workers/ and dealing with the minimum wage hike

  • How Different this generation of workers compared to it's predecessors

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Ep 81 - How to Meet High Level Contacts in Hong Kong

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Ep 81 - How to Meet High Level Contacts in Hong Kong

A back to back episode with Alan Scanlan at the Pullman Hotel in HK. Let's talk about building connections in Hong Kong. One of the places where you can meet some of the most successful people. Let's find out some tips on how you can meet those people so you can do business more effectively.

Topics Includes:

  • The advantages of Moving and Living in HK, 

  • Making a lot of connections in HK

  • Supportive Expat Community 

  • Joining Networking events such as Invest HK*

  • Banking in China

  • Email Inbox Organization

  • Working on weekends and holidays

  • Living in mainland China vs HK

  • Handling distractions while trying to focus on Work Goals

  • Dealings of a Boss: Making it Work for your staff as well

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Ep 80 - Building an 8 Figure Family Dynasty From Ireland to China

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Ep 80 - Building an 8 Figure Family Dynasty From Ireland to China

This week's episode is another video cast episode Featuring Alan Scanlan, who runs a Family Sourcing Business that was started in the 1970s by his Father. They talk about the history of how his dad coming from Ireland came about sourcing in HK and how he turned it into an 8 figure dynasty for more than 4 decades now.

Topics Includes:

  • Difficulties during the first 5 years

  • Tipperary Crystals

  • History of the Family Sourcing Business

  • Manufacturing and Importing from everything irish such as the Shamrock

  • Coming to Hong kong 

  • Allied imports and allied international

  • Doing business with Mark and Spencers 

  • Coming into the business as a young man

  • How he found Rico

  • Sourcing for Whiskey Bottles

  • Newlands Sourcing

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Ep 79 - Managing Clients

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Ep 79 - Managing Clients

In this Episode, Rico and Noam Discuss how they respectively manage clients and what lengths they have to do to maintain them.

Topics Includes:

  • The difficulties of maintaining a Routine!

  • Approaching from the Clients perspective

  • What's your Brand Story

  • Making your decisions base on your core values

  • Just be honest with your clients; Never give bad news without a solution

  • Clients who negotiate for cheap price

  • Selling Service vs Selling Finish Products

  • Taking on Enough Projects that you can Handle

  • Getting clients is just like "Dating"

  • For every negative there's a positive 

  • Systemizing your Business: SOPS SOPS SOPS

  • It's good to have friends in your industry even if they are your competitors

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Ep 78 - The Growing pains of Consulting Businesses

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Ep 78 - The Growing pains of Consulting Businesses

This week, we welcome back Noam Lightstone to the Podcast who is one of Rico's Core Friends from way back during college in Canada. In this episode they exchange each other's Growing Pains that comes with running a Consulting Business, their shared values and how it is being a Young Entrepreneur.

Topics Includes:

  • Micro Expenses

  • Big Sin City vs Small Transitioning City

  • Does Systemizing your business really give you more free time?

  • Making the right Hire and managing your staff.

  • Having someone who can get task done aside from yourself

  • S.O.Ps

  • Strategizing and moving your staff like chess pieces

  • Wearing different "Hats" within your company

  • Challenges of working with an unreliable Company or Client

  • Giving Trust to your employee as part of encouraging growth.

  • Can there be balance when starting a business and having a relationship?

  • "You can have it all you want but not all at once"

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