Lessons Learned

life lessons

Life’s tough, I’ve learned a lot the past year and I thought I’d take a moment to record and review a few of the bigger lessons I’ve learned recently.

Perspective: Opportunity or Threat

I’m particularly proud of this one. For most of my life I’ve dealt with life as a threat to my existence. I engaged it only when it was absolutely necessary and saw it only as a threat to my happiness and self-esteem. I understand a lot of why that was but before now it was difficult to find a way to change that. What I’ve slowly discovered in my experiences here in business and personally is that each moment you have, each day is an opportunity. An opportunity to grow, to be more, to learn, to fight for what you want. That is kind of a big thing for me. I can’t pin it down to one experience or another but it’s a lesson I’ve found in time – and one of the ones I”m most grateful for.

Shut Up

Behold the value of silence. I used to be – well I still am when I have the energy – an understanding and patient person even when people were wasting my time with useless words. I’ve come to realize the value of my time and that if I aim to be successful at what I do I need to capitalize on every moment I have by spending it listening to things and people that matter not accommodating those that add nothing to my life and business. I usually won’t go so far as to tell someone their wasting my time that is in tune with the next lesson.

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

It’s tough in a world where everything seems to go wrong and no matter how hard you try you can’t get the pieces together again just how you like them. It’s tough to be positive and to realize that there really is no benefit to anyone (primarily yourself) to wasting your breath speaking poorly of anyone or anything. Even when they/it are/is deserving of it. Now don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of constructive criticism and putting people in the their place when they do something wrong – I’m talking more about those of us that “vent” to others about the lackings or shortcomings of others and situations. Not only are you doing yourself no favors in terms of the relationship with the fellow your complaining about but your wasting mind power. Mind power that could be used to think about how to solve problems and make yourself a more valuable person to your customers and your friends. Complaining for the sake of personal release is a waste of time. Find something more constructive to do with your energy and stop wasting your friends time with complaints.

Cover your @$$

There’s no space in the world I live in for ambiguity and naive trust. I live in a world bound together by rules based on non-trust. Some Chinese would sell-out their own mother for a profit when large sums of money are involved. In a way I’m thankful because getting burned when I’m small teaches me how to position myself correctly so I don’t get into real trouble when I’m bigger. So my proposals are longer and wordier, my negotiations harder and less accomodating, and my results will be that much more secured. Though they may complain and some will go a different direction, in the end those customers smart enough to realize the value I’m giving them are thankful for it – the customer is always right but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. O and… if you don’t trust them with your baby don’t enter into a JV with a Chinese person – trust me on this one.

The Power of Guan Xi

This is another big one. I’m very thankful to China for teaching me the value of a relationship in business. I suppose it makes sense in a land where everyone is more than happy to cheat you out of anything they can trust means everything. Traditional marketing methods are far less effective in this country. It’s who you know, word of mouth is king, and if you have a strong relationship no one can steal your customer – they will fight to keep you. What does that mean for me? Now when I approach new professional relationships even if I can see an immediate opportunity between us I don’t talk business. I take an active interest in who they are as a person and get to know what matters to them as a human being. I approach business partners like I would an intimate relationship with care and genuine concern. Sounds a lot like what you read in all those good sales books doesn’t it ;) . Friendship first, business 2nd. Don’t laugh it’s really the best way to guarantee success here and I would argue everywhere.

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  • http://nikolaydanev.blogspot.com Pok Feekes

    Thank you for your article. It has given me very much to ponder. Thank you again!