Work Discipline, Fun and Ridiculously Good Homemade Korean Food

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WhistlerConnie and I are hanging out in Whistler for a few days, desperately trying to sneak in a few more rounds of snowboarding before the season if officially over.

Connie is a Level 2 CASI snowboarding instructor so she’s pretty crazy about this sport.  Me?  Well, I just love to be on the mountain as it was the only place where I didn’t have to worry about work in my previous job (prior to moving to Hong Kong).

When I used to snowboard, I didn’t check work emails on my Blackberry.  Happy times… until I was done with the mountain and have to check emails to see if I had to respond to my bosses or clients right away (which I had to most of the time).   Crappy way to enjoy my weekends.

Even when I wasn’t snowboarding, I was constantly checking my work emails to see if I had to deal with any issues that arose during weekends.  If you had seen me with my blackberry, you know exactly what I mean.  There wasn’t any peace, and it was very disrespectful to people around me.  I definitely traded all my time for my job back then.  Just another reason why I eventually got fed up, and had to get out.

What About Our Business?

How do we manage to run our business while we’re in Whistler?  We have business goals so we try not to let fun get in the way of work (and vice versa – which we still need to improve upon).

We’re working in some way 7 days a week, as our business runs 24/7, 365 days a year.  While we’ve automated a lot of it, we still need to tend to it as we need to help our customers troubleshoot, or answer any pre-sale questions they may have.

While one may make an argument that we should just hire someone to deal with emails, we much prefer to interact with our customers / visitors in a very intimate way as we grow our business, so we can understand what’s working for them, and what needs to improve.

It’s really quite important that we handle this in a very hands on way, especially when understanding our what our customers / visitors want is one of the key ways to growing our business.

Our days on the mountain goes something like this:

  • 6am – Wake up to work
  • 10am – Head up the mountain
  • 3pm – Drag our tired asses back into the hotel, shower and clean up
  • 4pm – Stroll around Whistler village to “warm down”
  • 5pm – Work
  • 7pm – Dinner (there is a small kitchenette in the hotel room)
  • 8pm – Work
  • 11pm – Sleep

It does take a lot of discipline, but I’m a bit crazy when it comes to holding us accountable for this work-life split.  Personally, I think for entrepreneurs to succeed, one of the key things we must be able to control and master, is our ability to convince ourselves to work even when we don’t “feel like it”, especially when there aren’t any bosses looking over our shoulders and cracking their whips.

It’s not as if we’re not having fun.  Most people are sitting in their cubicles fearing their bosses, while we’re snowboarding at a world class mountain resort, having the ability split up our working hours.  Having the flexibility to re-arrange our working hours is really a benefit from running an online business.

Self-Discipline and Consistent Execution of Our Business Plans are Not Easy

Self-discipline is hard, but a necessary trait.  No matter how much we don’t feel like working at times, we have to, and we must.  It’s a commitment all entrepreneurs must make, or risk losing what we’ve fought so hard to accomplish thus far.

It’s all about execution – executing our plans and vision to achieve what we want in life.  Everyone has his/her own vision of an ideal life, but a lot fail to “get there” not because of bad luck, not because of the lack of brains or money, but because of poor and inconsistent execution of tiny little steps to get them to where they want to be.

It’s a slippery slope though.  If we slip once (e.g. “I know I have to get these priority items done today, but I’m feeling a bit lazy so I’ll wait till tomorrow”), we’ll slip again.  We both can’t imagine going back to working our day jobs….

It’s something we still struggle with from time to time, and we’re by no means perfect.  It’s a continuous learning process but I think we’re getting better at this every day.

It’s definitely worth it.  Being able to engineer our own lifestyle is one of the key reasons why we run our own business.

Korean Food

So a few Korean snowboarding friends came up with us to Whistler, but they’ll be heading down the mountain at the end of today (Sunday).  Connie and I will stay here for a couple more nights.

They rented a small townhouse with a full size kitchen, and cooked up a storm.  Connie and I LOVE authentic Korean food.  We’ve been to Seoul Korea a few times, and we go absolutely nuts about their food.

Our Korean friends are ridiculous awesome cooks and so we went over to their townhouse for dinner last night.  We’ve never had the privilege of enjoying authentic Korean home made food, so we gained about 5 pounds each after last night.

Here are just a few pictures:

Korean Food - Topokki

Korean Food - Veggie Pancake

Korean Food - Spicy Chicken


Not to mention that Koreans are hard drinkers.  I could be over-generalizing but this is just based on my own experiences as I’ve worked with a few Korean before, and this seems to be a consistent trend.

These 2 guys polished off an entire bottle of Johnnie Walker (1 liter) over dinner, and probably had around 8 cans of beer at the same time.  They were both still making sense at the end of it, as if they were drinking water.    We’re probably just getting too old…. oh wait, they’re older than us….

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