From Startup Founder to Book Author: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Wall Street to Business in China


I remember Startup Mondays hosted by StartupsHK back in 2010/2011 days in the Hong Kong startup scene.

Each week awesome stories from awesome entrepreneurs.

I was invited to speak at one and was so nervous.

I was known as the “Shenzhen guy in Hong Kong” hopping back and forth in across the China / hong Kong border. I spent time making a full powerpoint slide deck showing how I came to Asia knowing nothing, hustling at the Hong Kong trade show and Canton fair. Learning how to hire, to setup a company, deal with Chinese fapiao receipts.

Discussed the factory quality control problems, the attempted law suits. It was an edge of your seat 2 hour chat I shared with the audience of about 30 people (quite a few for those of you who know how small the BootHK coworking space was in Wan chai! After the sharing session, a lot of people really enjoyed the talk and I was asked to present it in other events in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and eventually in Los Angeles, Florida, and Shanghai at various events.

This became the outline of the book I published today – Destination: China is a book about my story quitting my day job working at a trading assistant on Wall Street in 2007 and moving to the other side of the world to do factory sourcing and e-commerce full-time.

Here is an outline of the book and what to expect:


Interested to move to China and start your business? Or maybe you’re already here and looking for inspiration and an adventure to read. Destination China is a story about a transition from working on Wall Street in New York selling on eBay and websites part time turned into quitting the day job a trip to China that was supposed to be 1 month and turned into seven years (and counting)!

Who Is This Written For?

This book was written to the “Mike in his early China days”, the entrepreneur venturing over to China to start his or her own venture and make it big. To strike gold in China. I wish this book existed when I was first coming to China – it is written by a young entrepreneur for a young entrepreneur. Each chapter I share the story and adventure, then to close up each chapter I write a few tips and recaps for takeaways you can plug into your toolbox when coming to China for your business.

Not an entrepreneur wanting to come to China but still want to read the book? Great, it is a fun one where I hold nothing back and share the the challenges, highs, lows, and horrible mistakes I made when coming to China. Keep you on the edge of your seat and ready to laugh at my ignorance, hope it is entertaining!

Also I hope professors and teachers of business and entrepreneurship can take a good read at this to understand their younger generation students. We learn by doing, but listening to stories and case studies. Theory only gets you so far from the classroom, but actually going out there into the wild, a student of entrepreneurship and business can blossom. So I welcome teachers and other educational instructors to give this a quick read.

If you’re a parent and your child has decided to move to the other side of the world to grow their business this may be helpful for you to come to grips on why. I remember my mom crying in confusion when I told her I was moving to China, as she felt why would I leave America when there are so many opportunities here?


What You’ll Learn By Reading This Book

Chapter 1:

  • Leading Up To China Wall Street Get An MBA? Find a New Job? Do My E-Commerce Business Fulltime? Start a Franchise Saw China as the Future New Opportunity – Sourcing from China

Chapter 2:

  • Take a Trip to China Arriving in Hong Kong
  • Cross Borders – Going to Mainland China Day in Shenzhen Confirming Which Cities In China To Visit Which Cities Did I Cut? My Shenzhen Trip Was Too Short First Taste of Internet Filtering
  • Head to Shanghai
  • South vs North factories
  • Finding Chinese E-Commerce Sellers Learning About Agents and Factories Halloween in Shanghai
  • Wall Street Connection
  • So Much, So Fast
  • Culture in Beijing

Chapter 3:

  • Where to Live in China? All About Getting Things Done Faster
  • Departing Flight to China Tip
  • Deciding Where to Live
  • First 6 Months Living in China
  • One Night with Mr Wang
  • My First Hire
  • How To Incorporate my China Business? Localizing My Name
  • Chinese New Year Caving Kick Off New Lunar Year With Shanghai Trip
  • Start Building Internet Marketing Team Chinese E-commerce
  • Creative Warehousing
  • Watching the Olympic Torch
  • Setting up Chinese Company Better Investment than an MBA
  • First Online Sale in China – a Knock on the Door Ningbo Trip & Chengdu Earthquake Sticking To Business
  • Beds and Foreigners New Product Idea

Chapter 4:

  • That Feeling When You Go Home
  • Hardest Is Leaving Family & Friends

Chapter 5:

  • Rocky Road – Keep Pushing Back to the China Hustle Hiring and Firing Fallout with an Employee Am I Just Profiting off Cheap Labor? Understanding Grey Chinese Business Quality Control Nightmare
  • Emotionless Factory Owner
  • Starting a Blog in Chinese
  • My Passion Is the Internet Matchmaking
  • My Visa – Business or Work Permit?
  • Trip to a Chinese Hospital


What It’ll Save You:

This book isn’t a cure-all for your China and international business needs, but it should give you a good overview. Read on, and remember life is an adventure and while should be taken seriously, we only grow

Download the book, Destination China, on Amazon for free until midnight tonight! (correction: timezone issues, seems midnight was Seattle time on Monday, free promotion has now ended – Mike)


Michael Michelini (@michelini) is co-founder of Social Agent – see his profile on

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