In this excerpted article, “Why are Chinese Entrepreneurs Successful?” by Wilson Lee Flores of philstar.com, we will learn the business success secrets of Chinese entrepreneurs. We will also discover their secret tips and tricks on how to make a successful business and how to become a successful entrepreneur.
Why are many Chinese entrepreneurs worldwide, from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other places quite successful?
I believe the traditional Confucian values of hard work, self-discipline, delayed self-gratification for the sake of long-term future benefits, frugality, a high importance placed on education, xiao-sun or filial piety of total obedience and reverence for ancestors and parents, are important factors in entrepreneurial success. The only times when ethnic Chinese societies floundered economically were those times when the governments were extremely corrupt, causing political instability, or during the radical anti-business periods of Mao Zedong’s leftist Cultural Revolution, which tried to suppress personal initiatives and entrepreneurial spirit.
Can non-Chinese Filipinos be similar to the Chinese entrepreneurs of Asia?
Yes, because all of us are Asians, and I believe traditional Filipino values should exorcise the negative cultural influences of the Spanish colonizers that are very bad for free enterprise, such as the notorious “mañana (tomorrow) habit,” the wrongly labeled “Filipino time,” the excesses of the siesta or fiesta habits. Proof that cultural and attitudinal change can be possible are the eight million or more overseas Filipino workers and migrants scattered worldwide who are diligent in their professions. I hope the Philippines as a society will not forget that we are geographically in Asia. We should rediscover our Asian roots and learn from our many neighbors in East Asia.
What are some of the practices of Chinese entrepreneurs?
There are many age-old Chinese business practices, some of them written down thousands of years ago by ancient taipan Tao Zhu Gong. One favorite Chinese business principle is the strategy of being content with low profit margins and aiming for high sales volumes. This requires infinite patience, perseverance and dexterity. Look at SM, Sun Cellular, Jack n’ Jill, Jollibee, Bench, Mang Inasal and the popular 168 Mall in the heart of Divisoria, Manila — low profit margins for high sales volumes.
What can people without capital learn from Chinese entrepreneurs?
We should encourage frugality in the Philippines, we should promote a higher savings rate nationwide. The Spanish and American colonizers of our society tended to have the free-spending “fiesta” and credit-card mentality, unlike traditional Chinese communities that value thrift. As long we can save money, there is better financial security in the future; there is the possible option of doing small business.
Another challenge is to avoid too much debt. Taking on credit is not bad and the wise use of loans is very good, but we should also be careful not to get into too much debt. Whether in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines or Europe, Chinese entrepreneurs who still retain traditional Confucian values are by habit frugal and prefer to save money. Whether startup entrepreneurs, housewives, students, employees, professionals or even governments, it is not healthy to spend more than what we earn, it is not healthy to have deficits, it is not good to have too many loans. We need to save for a better future.
Source: Wilson Lee Flores of philstar.com
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