Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chinese Proverb

“Only if you endure the hardship of hardships will you become the man above men” –Chinese ProverbI just read a very educational and inspirational piece on Forbes’ website titledWhile Americans Indulge In Over-Consumption, Chinese Move Up By Enduring Hardshipby Helen H. Wang.As I’ve mentioned before, most recently in a post about Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich’s wealth: from growing up in the tail end of America’s Red Scare, I’m fascinated at how the Communist Russians and Chinese are so adept at capitalism.In a visit to a Beijing massage parlor, Helen Wang made some astute observations about how China musters a large pool of unskilled rural people into a labor force, through the service and life stories of the massage parlor workers and owner.I was more than impressed by everything I had experienced so far—the tasteful interior design, the courteous staff, and the excellent service. “Who is the person who started this company?” I asked.“He was a poor boy from Henan province,” he said [her masseur]. “His family was so poor that he never tasted meat before he was ten years old. He started out selling barbecued food on the street when he was thirteen years old. He had done many things, including selling fish, trading clothes and running a restaurant, before he opened his first foot massage business in Henan. It was 1997 and he was twenty-seven years old. Since then, the business has grown quickly, he opened many branches and made it into a franchise. Beijing has seven Liang Zi locations, and many want to join the franchise. Now he is rich. He has a big house and two cars.” So here’s where we get to the part of how the “Communist” Chinese are kicking our butts in our own game of capitalism.Many rural Chinese must undergo mandatory military training“What did you do at the military training?”“We got up early in the morning for running and exercising. During the day, we took classes, learning about acupressure points in the human body, and also the company history, corporate culture, and team building.”I was taken aback to hear such things at a foot massage salon. “Corporate culture and team building? Tell me, what is your corporate culture? And what is the team building?” Here are the lessons that help transform rural peasants to a labor and entrepreneurial force

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