I cannot believe I’m going to write this but I need to take a break from socialising and networking. After the last 2 weeks, I don’t want to meet anyone new, I don’t want to make any new friends and I want to have one day that I can relax. I’m officially “networked-out” and need to spend more time at home focusing on building Healthy Hair Asia’s website, social media pages, and products. Since I’m still a “one-woman team” there are phases when I’m super focus on one element of the business, as of late networking and building partnerships, and end up neglecting an area, like blogging. Documenting this journey is as important as making hair products, building relationships, and so on, but I need to balance these roles until I hire someone else to do it. So, when I tell people that I’m really busy, and they say “that’s great, it’s good to be busy” I have to prioritise now, and networking is something I will scale back on for some time.
Working full-time while building Healthy Hair Asia
My last teaching job, I lived on the school campus (with free housing), I could travel on and off campus when I didn’t have class, and the job had a relatively light workload (except for all the paperwork teachers had to do at the end of the semester :/). So, I was able to build the basic foundations of Healthy Hair Asia, used the school garden to take pictures and do my photo shoot, sometimes in between classes I would make some hair products, or run to the bank. However, with my new teaching job, I don’t have this amount of flexibility and privilege. It’s an amazing job, the curriculum is great and I have all the necessary tools (iPad, iPod, speakers, etc) to create an innovative classroom, they provide lunch (special vegetarian for me), its only 15 minute away by motor-bike, my co-workers are really nice, and I have great salary. All wonderful and great to build my English teaching career in Thailand.
Now, if you know me, I have great and positive energy that makes me quite an amazing person (not bragging lol). And, my energy is fuelled by good night sleep,exercise, friends, and doing all things I love to do. It’s been a little over 1 month since I started this job and had to completely redesign how I energise myself to work 8 hours of the day and come home to work on Healthy Hair Asia. Not complaining, I guess this is what most entrepreneurs do before they have enough money and capital to work full-time on their startup, so I see this as a “mountain I must overcome.” So to maintain my level of energy I start my day around 5:30AM, 3 hours before work to get things done, go to work (I cannot use my phone at all, which I guess is good so I can focus), clock out, and then work on Healthy Hair Asia deliveries, website, and networking before heading to bed at 10:30PM (yup I’m now officially too old for working late and getting up early!). Oh, and before I forget, in between work and business I still manage to maintain friendships, call my family on Skype every week, and spend quality time with my boyfriend because they keep me grounded and happy. This is my strategy for now, and given my hectic social/networking life (I’ve done this to myself) I’ve managed.
So, last week what happened?
So I missed one week of blogging, because July 23-29, is a complete blur, too many things happened. Techsauce Global Summit 2017 I attended as a writer, which to be honest was nice but found the speakers were a bit out of touch with the people whose problems they’re trying to solve, I was a judge for the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange competition hosted by the UN for teams of students in Asia to pitch their ideas for their social enterprise business, I had a Ladies Afternoon Tea meet up at the British Club, and I attended the Organic & Natural Expo 2017 where I met some organic farmers. Phew it was the busiest week of my life! So, if you wondered why I didn’t write, well, I was honestly too exhausted. So forgive me if I want to be anti-social and not open my friendship circle!
Networking will always be important, but my customers do come first. I’m happy that business has been picking up, and I mailed products to customers in Cambodia and a friend/customer who started teaching English in South Korea. I’ve gotten request in the past to mail products to the US, but my market is SE Asia and all of Asia in the long-term. Logistics and delivery is another part of the business that I want to develop because selling natural products will not enable me to scale, delivering organic and natural products to customers all over Asia how I will scale, how I'll do it, I can't tell you it's my secret sauce ;)
Also great news is that my investor is in town (I can’t say much) and since attending the Organic & Natural Expo 2017 I’ve decided to make my fresh hair product line organic. The farmers and ingredients are right here in Thailand, and are USDA and COSMOS certified organic! So over the next couple of months I will be reformulating my products. In addition, develop a new scent for my products, thanks to attending Bangkok Soap Opera Perfume Workshop, I realised my products had too much a “natural smell” and my customers would enjoy smelling beautiful essential oils along with their fresh my homemade product. And this weekend, I made my 2nd largest investment, I bought a new phone, I had my last phone for 5 years, and it was time to invest in a phone (where I do most of my business) that has a good camera, long battery life, and more storage. Super excited, things are moving forward :)
Thank you for reading,