The Biggest Opportunity for Ambitious Entreprenuers in 2014

Over the last year I’ve helped a lot of people build a lot of businesses. Everything from freelance writing, to SEO, to blogging, to ecommerce – you name it, readers of this blog and members of Location Rebel have been killing it.

Most of them have been building lifestyle businesses. Meaning they work on their own, make somewhere in the range of $2-10k a month and do whatever they want, whenever they want.

It’s an awesome life, and it’s what I’ve been doing for the past year.

On the flip side of this, you have entrepreneurs that are ambitious. They want to build something scalable and sellable. They want something global. They want something where they can take advantage of currencies, economies of scale, and their own willingness to experience a little discomfort.

I’ve seen quite a few of those this past year as well, and the ones who are doing it the best? They’re doing it in China.

My Experience Doing Business in China

Over the past year and a half I’ve taken two trips to explore business opportunities in China.

The first was to go to the Canton Fair (the world’s largest sourcing fair) to look into making wood watches and travel backpacks.

I found all kinds of suppliers that could bring my idea to reality – but ultimately I decided it didn’t fit in with my current goals of having a “lifestyle business”.

That’s not to say the ideas weren’t good.

We all saw what happened with the Minaal bag. $341k on Kickstarter.

My buddy Ryan was at the fair with me and got on board with the idea of wood watches.

He spent some time building prototypes, and I still remember 9 months later on my next trip out there we were brainstorming Kickstarter goals on a bus from Vietnam to Cambodia.

The result? $390k for Original Grain.

Obviously I need to start acting on some of my ideas :)

I decided to go a different route however. My good friends and partners, Nick and Tim have built a 7 figure business importing wine into China – and for months we talked about working together on a similar venture bringing in beer.

I talked with breweries, met with distributors on the ground in China, calculated shipping costs, and was extremely close to sending a shipment over. Until I realized that for me, and where I’m at the costs and time outweighed the rewards – so we decided to shelve the idea for the time being.

That being said, we’re in the early stages of a new cycle in business.

Sure, major companies have been manufacturing their goods in China for decades – but only recently with increased globalization and technology has it become so much more accessible to the average person like you and me.

The person with an incredible idea and vision, who just needs a little direction to make some amazing things happen.

Introducing Enter China: The #1 Community for Entrepreneurs in China

For the last few months I’ve been working with the same guys I was doing the beer stuff with, Nick Ramil and Tim Nybo, to do something really special.

On the surface and for the uninformed China can be a really scary place. The language is completely foreign, customs are extremely different, and there’s often a lot of very negative talk of the country in the media.

What does all of that mean? It means it’s also the country with the most opportunity for an ambitious entrepreneur.

However what’s lacking is a bridge between the two, and that’s where Enter China fits in.

This is a community full of people both currently living and doing business in China, as well as those just getting their feet wet. We facilitate introductions to any contacts you might need. We have blueprints walking you through everything from how to plan your first visit, to how to setup your business structure in China, and even go A to Z on how to manufacture your first product there.

This isn’t some theoretical community. The people behind it have formed numerous 6 and 7 figure businesses in a variety of industries, and have all the know-how and connections you could ask for when it comes to doing business there.

Today is exciting because it’s the first public step of the process for us. We’ve already got some early stage beta testers in there, building the community and giving us feedback.

In a few weeks, we’ll be releasing it for a few more people before opening the doors to everyone.

However for right now, we’ve got a free gift to help you move a little bit further down the path of deciding whether or not China is right for you.

We’ve just released “The Beginners Guide to Doing Business in China”, which is a totally free book designed to give you more information on the country, show how you can get started, and explain our background with doing business there.

I highly recommend checking this out if you’ve ever thought about manufacturing a product, importing/exporting, or doing something a little more out of the ordinary.

This is the first new product I’ve worked on in nearly two years, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I think it’s an excellent compliment to the lifestyle focus of Location Rebel, and will cater to a new subset of people.

Any questions about it? Feel free to shoot me an email at sean@seanogle.com.

Check out Enter China and Grab the Book!

Mark Powers February 18, 2014 at 10:37 am

Super super cool, Sean! You continually impress me. Can’t wait to check this out.

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Sean February 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

Good to hear from you Mark! Yeah I’m pretty excited for this one :)

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Jarrod February 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm

As a current member of Location Rebel and an early adopter of the Enter China community – I can’t wait to see what the new launch brings! Sean, Nick & Tim are all brilliant entrepreneurs and teachers! Get after it.

Scott Asai February 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Sean, really cool resource and thanks for sharing what you’re working on with us readers!

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Fred Perrotta February 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Shhh, don’t tell everyone. Also, could you go back in time and publish this five years ago when I first needed it? Thanks!

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Greg February 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I’ve always thought about doing business in China, especially with all the opportunities in the digital realm these days. Thanks for all the great insight!

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Abdullah Syed February 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Thanks, Sean! This adds perspective to what’s been on the back of my mind for a very long time.

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Al February 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm

When you say 6 and 7 figure business is that referring to sales revenue? profits? NPV of business?

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Sean February 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

In these cases, sales revenue.

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Tristan King February 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

Awesome Sean. Can’t wait to check this out :)

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Sheralyn February 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Such a cool idea! I’m sure it’ll be awesome!

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Cammy February 19, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Are there any assurances that your product would be made under fair labor practices?

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Sean February 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Cammy,

Our product Enter China, is made by us, and us alone. So yes, we have fair labor practices on ourselves :)

As far as factories you might work with in China, us and our associates only work with the most reputable factories.

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Dustin February 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Wow, I love the fact that you’re stepping into unknown worlds and going for it. That’s inspirational in itself. We’ve all heard that China is the new wild west for entrepreneurs. What cities are you doing business in?

Leveraging this kind of community will allow so many connections to be made. It’s a beautiful thing to see, the Internet globalizing business in this way. You mentioned Tim and Nick…I’m curious about how you were able to create that type of mastermind environment? Doing internet stuff, I feel like we’re all very isolated. I’m trying to reach out, but it’s not easy. I’ve noticed that the connections you’ve made have been really helpful in your career.

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Joel February 25, 2014 at 2:02 am

Hi Sean,

Great post. I’ve just returned for a brief spell in the UK after living for two years in Beijing and I understand how intimidating it may be to do business there for the first time!

Good luck with your project. I’ll send you a PM in case I can help you out with any contacts!

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Me March 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm

What you have to remember is that you cannot just jump into China. It takes time to get your feet wet and figure out what is going on.

Much of what is going on here also relates to people’s likes and dislikes (e.g. if it is cool and popular at that time), and you need a competitive advantage.

Also, you have to remember that we are guests in this country and we are still subject to Chinese law. You need to respect that the laws and how things work may be different than that of the USA or your home country.

Most people also make two common mistakes – one is that they think by registering a company in Hong Kong this will solve their issue to China, which is not the case. Hong Kong is considered separate by the law.

You will need to be registered with appropriate licenses in China. Also, local registered companies are possible for non-Chinese and this is contrary to what many people think.

You risk and jeopardize your future if you do not do things legally here. If you break the law, there is a laundry list of consequences as well as your offense being on your international record that is shared by all embassies.

Having lived and worked in China for the past five years and having cooperated with companies across many industries I have a good handle of the environment here.

Feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.

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Me July 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I can be contacted at exploringpossiblities@gmail.com.

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Eugene March 4, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Sweet! I’m headed to China for the Peace Corps and planning to stay afterwards. Can’t wait to get involved with the community and connect with you guys.

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Riley March 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Wow.. This is awesome. So, for the past 2 years, we have been trying to put together the same type of thing in Kenya with our company KenyaSocialVentures.com. We’ve been down there for 9 months total so far and we’re heading back this summer. Looking to partner up with any and all ambitious entrepreneurs who are looking to do business in Africa!

We like the idea of first getting your feet wet by getting to know the locals and the community, and then start businesses around what their needs are. Huge opportunities in Nairobi in the digital space as well, with smartphone users taking off right now.

I’m curious to see how fast Africa can catch up to China.. They say they’re 30 years apart right now..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K-P7Hv_Zwg

Stayin tuned..

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Sean March 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Thats awesome man! Keep me posted on how it evolves. Would love to hear more about what you guys are doing specifically.

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James St. James April 7, 2014 at 10:32 pm

This is a wicked idea. I’ll pass it around on a networking crusie I’m going on soon – I don’t know too many product people, but there will be some there.

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