Even after a fifteen plus hour flight from Hong Kong back to Newark, I’m strangely not tired although I’ve not been to bed in more than 30 hours (and that’s after a 4 hour night’s sleep). My mind is buzzing with ideas and thoughts related to my travels to Japan, HK, And China.
The last two trips to China have had occasions where people strongly encouraged me to move there to do business and live in an exciting place in an exciting time. While there have been signs of an economic slowdown and possible burst in the real estate market, a China-revised economic growth rate of 7.5% is something Americans would sign up for in a heartbeat – not to mention nearly the entire EU. I’ll admit that I’ve toyed with the idea of moving to China more than once or twice over the past year, but I’ve realized that for the present where I am at (being U.S. based) is the very best place for me to help accomplish the mission of helping Asian companies expand their market in the United States and helping American companies expand into China and beyond in Asia.
While I’ve been to both Japan and China numerous times and do study as much as I can, there’s so much more to learn. In the process of traveling around China I’ve visited somewhere between ten and twenty factories (there are days when we visited four or five and I’ll admit they sometimes blend together). I’ve met people in various positions at those factories and have learned how different they think and behave from the harder charging businesspeople of Beijing and Shanghai.
I’ve made so many new connections in Asia, and have gained many new friends that I like and work at keeping in touch with, that I feel as if I am straddling twelve time zones all the time. And at my age doing a split would be a catastrophe.
What makes it work is that (not uniquely) our team knows the market here in the United States, and has been successful in growing and sustaining audiences and customers for many years. I think what is unique is our being truly interested in helping Asian companies in the United States. This takes work – learning the language and customs so that we can better understand and communicate the cultural differences that impact marketing strategies and executions.
In turn we are learning about doing business in Asia (and I get to travel to cool places on business) and what has resulted from my multiple trips to Asia over the past twelve years is a developing network of friends first, and those friends and their associates are already helping me help American companies get things accomplished in China, Japan and Vietnam for example.
The goal has always been to make it work both ways, there to here and here to there, but it takes time and the best place I can help make things happen right now is to stay U.S. based. Besides that I am totally enjoying the ride along the way. Maybe that’s the best part.
And yes, despite the cacophonous rancor of the current U.S. political season (if you watched news reports from Asia on things in the U.S. you’d be totally depressed) – it’s good to be home.