Some time ago I was introduced to foreign brothers who had come to Hong Kong for business. They had their dreams, ideas, principles, and work ethic. Once they settled and deepened their roots, they consolidated their resources and started working towards their dreams.
When they decided to put their business operations together, they reached out to all their connections, from general contacts to other travel agents in Hong Kong, and began a travel agency. Sourcing their clients from Hong Kong, and taking them to their home country. Then with the remainder of their savings they invested in a local retail operation along with other contacts they had made.
They told me stories about growing up, where they had to sell fish early morning at the market in the freezing cold just to make a living. From such humble beginnings they worked hard and started taking small baby steps towards their bigger goals. Working with them was a pleasure because of their mentality, whether I was providing more contacts to expand their business or support to bounce their ideas off, their old-fashioned attitude of hard work and frugal expenditure was the foundation of their success, instilled by a tough upbringing and a rough childhood.
Currently the economy is on a downturn, with the receding tide dropping all boats. I know people that are struggling financially, and businesses around me are going bust more frequently. Yet many are still partying frequently, spending extravagantly, and living on borrowed money. It’s a recipe for disaster with people just pointing the finger at the economy and not pulling the thumb at themselves. This is where the brothers are thriving, with their disciplined mind set, less lavish lifestyle, and friendships beyond any prejudice. It comes to show no matter how hard the economic cycle drops us, if we are able to live within our means, practice self-discipline, and grow our relationships beyond any class or race, we ourselves will be able to withstand the tests of time.