Good Changes

So, I haven’t blogged for a few days.   Been very busy.  So, here is the main points:

  1. Took 3 days vacation in Thailand.
  2. On the way back, got call from Mina that is she is not coming back to China.  
  3. Fired my PPC girl
  4. Hired a Product Development Manager
  5. Hired a picture editor
  6. Got a call from Amazon France – they want tot work with us!  Cool.
  7. Sales are doing EXCELLENT!
  8. Marketing via Gerry is awesome!  Awesome!

So, lets discuss a bit of each topic.

Thailand

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Thailand was amazing.  I needed to clear my head a bit – get bit of R&R.  Reading the book that is  really strong on working in regenerative periods into work – I buy into it.   It was  awesome.

Mina

On the way back, in Bangkok, about 10 minutes before boarding airplane got a call from Mina.   She was in Canada, and called to say that she would not be coming back.   She gave me some reasons, which of course I didn’t buy.  Basically, she was telling me she needed out.   I was shocked but not surprised.   I was hoping that when time for Mina to go, we would schedule it, plan it, have proper good byes etc.  But, that is what I would have wanted, and knowing Mina, I know that is not how she would have wanted it.  So, she exited on her terms – the way she needed to do it for her.  Being her friend, I get it – so, although feeling sad that it wasn’t done in a way that I would have liked it – I can respect her method.  We have been and always be friends.   She did the business a favor by exiting – and I probably would not have been strong enough to pull the trigger the way she did.  So, Mina is a true friend all the way to the end.  Taking the hard decision and saving me the pain.   Wow!  
So, with Mina gone, I had to spend time to re-org things a bit.   Timing wise it could not have been more perfect.  I had no clue, really no clue that she was planning to exit, BUT by sheer dumb luck I brought Gerry on board and also interviewed Alex for Product Development position – both jobs that where psudo-covered by Mina.    Honestly I could not have planned it better if I wanted to – but its perfect.
Gerry is moving forward with marketing and execution of new sites – and Alex, the new Product Development Manager will be tasked with driving new products and re-working SilverDevotion.  Very nice team. 

PPC Girl

Had to let go of a new hire that wasn’t finished probation yet.  She was actually good, the only issue is for small growing companies you need someone that can think on their feet, bring ideas to the table and drive things.   She was good but didn’t bring those skill sets to the table – she needed to be coached, mentored and driven externally.   So, not a good fit.  Too bad – but need to focus on what we need.

Product Development Manager

I met Alex at EO BBQ – fresh off the boat into Beijing – with a wealth of experience in Jewelry from US, UK and Australia.  Fait?  Hmmm…   While I was in Thailand had her meet with Gerry, Jessica and Eileen.  Personality wise was a fit.  So, we have a 3 month contract in place now – and will be focusing on cranking on SilverDevotion.  3 months to see results.   To continue or not will be very easy to decide.   Alex will have to prove her self and drive ROI.   My call right now is that she will kick ass, just like Gerry did.

Bling Only

We are 2 weeks away from taking BlingOnly online.  Some of the processes we have had in place for imagenew site where not followed – but Gerry is stepping in and cleaning that up.  Technology is in place, and I really LOVE the way Gerry is doing things.  He is taking the work I have done – enhancing it – making his own and improving on it.   Takes a big man to take another mans’ work  and not reinvent the wheel.
So, above is the high level process of skinning the site – its clear – cool and result oriented.

Amazon France Calling

Got a call from Amazon France – they want to talk to us about placing products with them.  Very cool – for months before, or even years – we couldn’t get anyone at Amazon to talk to us.  Now, not only are their marketing people working with us, putting our product in the goldbox, featuring it as a product of a week, etc.   Cool.

Sales are up

If things stay on track we will have our best June EVER in the 6 years of company existence.  And this is during the recession.   So, nice – gives me a bit of breathing room.  Lets hope it keeps up.

Personal Side

So, business wise things are good.  Looking inwards, I must say, last week was stressful – my emotions where up and down – dealing with Mina departure took a lot of emotional energy.   I”m good now and understand it – but still a bit of a shock.  The good news is that while Mina was here, I was ‘mentally’ using her as a safety valve – now that is she is out – the whole business is in my hands – 100%.  So, actually, quite empowering.    Feels very good.     Took me a few days to understand Mina’s motives, and thinking – and I think I got it.  She was, is and always will be a very dear friend.   I trust her that she did what she did out of care.  
So, with Mina out, ever so important for me to be strong, present, available and there for the business.  So, been doing a lot of mental prep on how to get myself into high performance zone – all while ensuring that I don’t burn out.   Long and steady look to the future.   I’m still a week or two away from getting myself a solid plan for Paul – but its coming.  Its going to be good.    Mina’s departure had forced me to get there sooner than before – I just don’t have room for self indulgence anymore.
 
So, a busy, busy week.  A good week.  Solid progress.   I have become stronger and better – and am very, very enthusiastic about what the future holds.