It’s coming up on our eighth year in business this year in Taiwan. And I’m always surprised that we’ve come this far. It’s taken quite a lot of effort, but a few days ago, I was chatting with some friends who really thought that what we did was amazing.

I always have the sense that when I am in a conversation like that, there’s a kind of pessimistic resignation to the participants who talk about our actions. They really take their fears over losing money and run with them. They say things like: “You started a business without marketing (so?); you didn’t have any business funding (so?); you didn’t have any customers (so?); you gave up your job(s) and your security (yep!) and so on…” it gets a little tiring.

What we knew: Taiwan had a very established market for our service; that market was very mature in some respects, but seriously underserved in terms of quality and scale. So, there was risk that we wouldn’t succeed. But I worked in quite a few businesses that failed, and my wife worked in several small businesses that succeeded.

Between us, we thought we had as good a chance as anybody, and better than most. Most of all, we enjoyed what we did; we are much less worried now than before and feel we could cope; and we are excited by the future.