Posted by: changholt | September 14, 2009

Four Ways to Suceed Internationally

In the crazy world of international business we can either work too hard … or not work enough! Balance is the key, if you are in the game for the long run.

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, simply puts balance in perspective. You can succeed in international business if you have a happy, balanced life (working hard, playing hard…is okay) Ruiz’s main beliefs/ “agreements” are:

Be impeccable with your word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean and avoid gossip about others. This is a small world…

Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. Let everything roll off your back. What others say and do is simply their perception. You can’t control their perception…so don’t worry about it.

Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings. International success and failure can often be summed up in mis-communication.

You all know the old adage about “assume”! (If you don’t, email me and I will tell you). For example…the time in China where you negotiated a contract for weeks, and once the contract was signed, the Chinese client kept negotiating. Most Chinese perceive that signing the contract means “let the negotiations begin” vs westerners think once the contract is signed, the negotiations are complete….otherwise it’s called a purchase change order.

Always do your best – Always try your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. For example, when I first moved to China I could have done anything I wanted. My Boss was in New Jersey! However, had to look myself in the mirror everyday! I worked hard and I felt good about it.

This is a “holistic approach” that helps one deal with the dynamic challenges of the international marketplace! Remember if you really want to succeed over the long run, make sure you maintain balance.


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