Came to Hong Kong this morning from Shenzhen, crossing the border, taking the bus to Wan Chai, knowing where to get quick food, stopping off at boot hk coworking space, preparing which booths I would visit, walking in, already being pre-registered for the show (therefore skipping the long line), going directly to the sections I am interested in, shake hands with suppliers I have known for years.
Doing this made me realize…..wow, I had no clue when I first landed in Hong Kong back in 2007….or I am just an experienced Hong Kong / China businessman veteran now – probably a mix of both….But yes, I am ripping through these trade shows like there is no tomorrow. I used to waste so much time being polite and talking to so many booths…now I know what I want, I know what to ask, and I find what I need. Why waste their time and my time?
About 1 hour ago, I stopped by one of my India suppliers and saw my old friend Shwetabh, he and I met that first time in 2007 when I arrived to my first Hong Kong fair. We just sat down for a cup of coffee and discussed business and life. This is why I love international business…I am talking to an Indian supplier, in Hong Kong, about his travels in Rio, Brazil. He says Brazil is his favorite country to visit and I should definitely take a trip. Yes…I do have this on my list of places to travel too….so many places on my list to travel to.
But Shwetabh said I look so tired….he suggests I take some more time in America. He reads my blogs sometimes (wow, I blush) and he says I have to calm down the traveling a bit. How can I have a base, a life, solid friends if I am every day moving from one city to the next. While I do agree, I believe my base is this travel. I have been bushwhacking these connections, bridging people from various cities, various cultures, various backgrounds….trying to find opportunity and make something different.
I don’t want a normal life.
But anyway, the trade show has been rather slow actually….all the vendors I have talked to mention each year the attendance is lower and lower. I suspect it’s a reduction in buyer’s travel budgets, also suppliers no longer wish to go to such lengths to find buyers, and the internet is making communication and connecting easier and easier.
Yet wow, I realize “what a little boy” I was a few years ago, but am amazed at how I even am still standing at this point. Just keep on going, sure my friends may tell me to slow down, but this is just the beginning.
So many more places to go – India, Brazil, Australia, Russia, Eastern Europe. I thrive in Chaos, and I am more experienced and equipped then ever.