We’re coming towards the finish line of 2018.

Successes, regrets, need more time, goals left undone, victories achieved.

Whatever the case, the year is about to roll forward 1 more time.

Whether we like it or not, time marches on.

What to do about it?

If you’re having a wonderful year, awesome, end it strong.

Keep working hard and sowing seed for a harvest into 2019.

How about if you’ve had a wonderful year and you want to take it easy in December?

That’s great.

Spend time with family, watch Christmas movies and eat more. A possible drawback to that, is you’ll have to hit the pavement all the more come January. Perhaps you’ve made concession for this.

On the flip side, very many have had bad years.

There’s been hurricanes, fires and continual tribulation across the globe.

Not to mention just the normal human cycle. We get sick, we get old, life is full of trials.

It’s a good time at the end of the year to remember those who hurt and help out.

Also it’s a good time, as the year ends, to count your abundant blessings.

We live in a time where average people possess more wealth than monarchs of bygone eras.

We have more technology in our pockets than any time before us.

How are we using that for our growth?

I’m not a big fan of complaining about “holiday stress”.

Why let it stress you out?

Either enjoy it and go with the flow or ignore the holiday season and do what you need to do.

It’s that simple.

I personally like to half and half it in December.

My mindset is to work in such a way that I can scale back a wee bit in December to enjoy the Christmas season, to have that extra family time and not worry about work.

From my importing business perspective, with Chinese New Year around the corner, there’s no longer active projects to handle.

There’s planning and sourcing for the Next Year, meaning after Chinese New Year.

From now until February, I’ll (by the grace of God) use this time to:

  • Source new products for our private label line:  Although the factories are closing down and aren’t necessarily taking new production, they are still working. You can have the salesperson in the office quote. You may even be able to get some sampling going. Keep in mind, that anything confirmed prior to the Chinese New Year needs to be reconfirmed afterwards. T’he paradigm of heaven and earth for whatever reason seem to shift after Chinese New Year and whatever once was may no longer be.
  • Use LinkedIn more and network with other importers and product developers: I need to use time to collaborate more with like-minded businesses. Whether it’s cooperation, expanding consultancy or pro bono helping for the sake of helping. Life is short and we need to lead a life that’s set apart for service, for helping. If I can make a little bit of money along the way,  that’s also a plus. So if anyone wants to network and start talking shop, whether China manufacturing, any offshore manufacturing and importing, customs clearance, Amazon FBA…I’m starting to think I’m a whiz in all of this stuff and maybe I can help or lend an ear. Contact me.
  • Look for factories and quality suppliers in other countries. Yes, I’m a bit late to the ball on this one, but I’m starting to pivot. Want to take my turn at trying factories in other countries…when I say other countries, I mean non-China. Why? To increase my competition, to avoid tariff and trade war scares and simply to grow and try new things.
  • Enjoy my family. I have in-laws coming in from the Middle Kingdom. It will be a blessing spending the Christmas season with them. I hope that by the time they leave they are well acquainted with Bing Crosby’s Christmas carol catalog.

We still got a month to go. A lot can happen in one month.

What are your plans for the holidays?

Whether work or life; what tips do you have to balance both?

How anyone in offshore manufacturing? Now that the Chinese New Year is around the bend, how do you maximize this time with your vendors and sourcing?

Remember that rough times can come immediately after successes. Stay on the balls of your feet, ready to move.

Remember that successes can come immediately after trials and strife. It usually can and does get better.