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Catherine Yan He, MPH. MBA.
Director of Equity Research/ Co Manager China Fund
Los Angeles, California
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How to Thrive in Business during Tough Time?

To share some of the secrets that works in developing a business.
Written Mar 27, 2009, read 5604 times since then.
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How to thrive in business during tough time? This question might sound insane when ‘survival’ has been the keyword for a lot of businesses in this economy. However, the answer is simple: Humanity.

According to Wikipedia,

"Humanity may refer to 1) the human species, the total world population of humans, or 2) human nature, psychological characteristics that all normal human beings have in common, compassion, altruism, or similar positive aspects of human nature, or 3) the human condition, the totality of experience of existing as a human."

As far as humanity seems to be far away from, as close as it is indeed to, the balance sheets, revenues, profits and losses, be whatever business you are in.

Business is about demand and supply. The transactions of the ones in demand and the ones who supply are to be translated into numbers on the balance sheets. Our clear understanding of and respect for who is demanding what during the tough time in our country is a critical starting point of any business ventures.

The market is the people, including you and me. In my apparel business, our market is the people: men, women, young, old… Different from the good time before mid 2007, people are faced with a lot more negativity than ever before: unemployment, tax hike, companies going out of businesses, bad economy, wars all over the world, violence, increased risk of cancers, just to name a few.  Of course, it is arguable that good things normally do not make good stories on the media in most cases, but when we are being told about so many bad things on the radio, on the internet, on TV, in newspapers, we the people are really facing an uphill battle against these negativities everyday in order to get our life going to the positive direction. The only effective ammo in this is our positive attitude and inner peace. That is why Bible has always enjoyed the top circulation in the world, that is why self-help books and chicken noodle soups are flying off the rack, that is why the affordable yet decent brands offered by us has become the top choices of people among some of the most popular brands, … Because our business is genuinely in touch with people and cares about people. Our products make people feel fully charged with positive energy when are they go to work, when they are hunting for jobs, when they take their significant others out for special events, when they are at their children’s graduation ceremonies or weddings, when they are on hiking trail…

Also, think of how we want our profits and our efforts to go into the well being of our fellow human beings. I am not saying that we should starve our family, neither am I saying that we should feel guilty for our success. What I am saying is that if we live up to the higher standard of human good and contribute our money and time for the values or causes we believe in, we are going to live above the obsession for profits and fear for losses rather, we are going to have the compassion for people, our customers, and we are going to be gifted with an eye for what other people really wants, and end of the day, we can produce the products and/or offer the services that people really want.

So, find a cause that you believe in and start contributing to it, try to find a few beneficiaries of those causes and get to know them, you are most likely to have a lot broader perspective for life and a lot deeper compassion for and interest in other people, you will be able to see the happiness grow within yourself and be passed along to others. Such positiveness is the soil that never dries out but always nourishes and helps your business flourish, in good times, and especially, in tough times

Learn more about the author, Catherine Yan He, MPH. MBA..

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