by Will Crozier

I first came to China 6 years ago. I rode economy class and didn’t sleep a wink on that 16 hour flight. I couldn’t afford anything better than the $30 a night local (read horrible) hotels. I rode the metro to all appointments.

The first question I would ask any vendor was MOQ? (Minimum order quantity) the dreaded answer was usually one full container. What on Earth was I going to do with 1300 ceiling fans? Vendors would size me up quickly and assign me to their interns so I could waste their time.

Happy hour and networking was usually conducted at some Starbucks rip-off. A common question was “How big is your warehouse”. The honest answer was about 600 sq/ft, one of my “hard down” 1 bedroom units at my latest project.

6 years later things have changed. First class in the air, and I slept most of the trip. Hotel Limo and Mr Crozier sign at the bridge gate . I never touch a bag, no tips accepted. Check-in at the Executive Lounge, auto upgrades every time to the top floor suites.

Vendors send their Benz and pretty sales ladies to pick me up at the hotel to tour factories. Who tours me around? The owner, of course, and he also makes me Chinese Tea while discussing China-American politics. I don’t ask MOQ anymore. I place multiple 40 HQ container orders per month or quarter.

After work, the Factory Bosses want to flash cash, so they take me to the trendiest restaurants and clubs in town. Bottles and bottle promotion girls abound.

Back to work the next morning. My new Factory Boss BFF wants to pick me up and go visit other non competing factories with me, help me negotiate and check quality. Time to meet the mayor and local economic chief too. They like having foreign friends. It makes them look more sophisticated. I’ll take it.

Who pays for everything listed above? Not me. Either vendors do, or points accumulated from biz credit card charges.

Am I bragging? Partially, but the main point of this is to remark at how quickly it all changes. Those 6 years were going to pass anyway. When I stand back for a little perspective, I realize how proud I am of the business that I’ve built from the first penny in, to filing the LLC docs. It’s debt free, recently valued in the millions, throws off cash faster than even I could spend it, had I ever taken a single penny from the biz.

The entire economy surrounding the trips described above came from a simple idea, a lot of work, a little luck, respecting your businesses needs, and your own mental work zone. It’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment to realize that you built it, and built it from nothing.

This is my little side hustle business, an afterthought really. I’m eager to see where this and other future ventures go.

I hope to band together, for the rest of my life, with other doers, entrepreneurs, musicians, doctors, and thinkers. I admire you all for your struggles and your successes. Let’s share both freely. Hope to know more of you soon.

About angelcapwill
Time Would Have Passed Anyway @ Guangzhou, China