The Rules of Business in China: Rule #0

The Rule of Zero Hair
You’ve read the articles, watched the news, done the research and made up your mind.  China is the golden opportunity of the century and it just makes good sense to do business there.  Let me be the first to congratulate you on what could quite possibly be a wise and critical decision.  I’m in your corner and I know you can do it.  You are a brilliant entrepreneur and good things are going to happen.  Before you make the move though let me offer one tiny bit of advice that is guaranteed to save you pointless pain in the future.  Are you ready?  Write this down.

Pull all of your hair out now.

Seriously.  Find a comfortable place where you can be alone and one handful at a time pull out your hair.  When you have no hair left to pull spend some time banging your head against the wall.  No need to overdo it.  Two to three days should be about right.

China is, no doubt, a golden opportunity but gold diggers lead very frustrating lives before they find their treasure and most of them discover that striking it rich does nothing to alleviate their anxiety.  The research is in and it all says the same thing.  China is the number one destination for global business and the number one most challenging place to do it. 

Businesses in China rarely fail because of the size of the challenges they face.  More significant is the size of the gap between your expectations and reality. The reality is you’re going to pull your hair out.  You’re going to feel like you have worked harder than you ever have and accomplished less than nothing.  Everything that is built into your core will be blasted and the volumes of business knowledge you have in your head will be reduced to coloring book status.  Your way of doing things won’t work the way it used to and grasping that will actually set you up to do quite well.

So go for it.  Move ahead with your eyes wide open and your bald head held high.  

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