Having talked about doing business internationally in previous posts the opportunity to do business in China is too alluring to pass up. Sure I came to visit my great friend but in the back of my mind I also wanted to figure a way to have our company offer its marketing expertise to Chinese companies looking to market their products and services into the United States.
Before you roll your eyes on why someone would WANT to turn a holiday into a business trip keep in mind that I have been in Asia for a week already and have had an amazing and inspiring trip. But I woke up yesterday (Monday) morning and had the itch to engage and connect with the business world of Hong Kong and China. I had already scheduled to attend the Rotary club luncheon in Wanchai at the Grand Hyatt in HK. I’ve been a Rotarian for nearly ten years now (contrary to the belief of some there is no secret handshake – check it out if you have minute or two – www.rotary.org and our club www.wiltonrotaryclub.org) Rotary is the only service organization to have a permanent seat at the United Nations and it’s tenets under the ‘Four Way Test’ http://bit.ly/5Wfzse are simple and can be appreciated by anyone regardless of their religious or other affiliation. ‘Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
I had never attended a Rotary club meeting outside of our club in Wilton. At yesterday’s lunch I met a remarkable group of professionals – all highly accomplished, all highly motivated to help others and all interested in what I was doing and what was going on at our club. I received advice on how I might go about setting up our company to do business in Hong Kong and China from several people. I also met a Rotarian who owns a business that is to market Chinese-made products into the U.S. – and we are going to discuss ways in which we might work together.
Another suggestion I received was to join the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong – one of the largest American COC’s in the world outside the United States. I am a member of our local Chamber of Commerce in Wilton but rarely attend any events as the focus is mostly local to Wilton and we do little if any business locally. So today I am going to attend another lunch (the lunch yesterday at the Grand Hyatt was a full Chinese 7 course deal and was truly excellent) and will aim to meet more people to learn about what they are doing and how we might work together. My biggest issue – I did not bring enough business cards (very important in Asia)! After all this was supposed to be a holiday. But I am way past that now.
First rule – if you want to do business in Asia (or anyplace else) – you have to go there and look around and put yourself into what some people might consider uncomfortable situations. I don’t consider meeting new people in new places uncomfortable in any way. It drives me and makes work seem like play. I cannot wait to come back to Asia.
I’ll next post from the other side of the planet. What a world we live in.