On Friday 23 Sep, I had the opportunity to attend a business luncheon with Paul Ji organized by the Marketplace. It was my first time attending a business luncheon and I found it to be insightful though I didn’t have much networking to do. I even went under my yet-to-be-registered company heh.
From the Marketplace’s website:
Paul Ji (季小立) started his business at the age of 11. By the age of 24, he was already making USD 1 million dollars per day, buying a new car and starting a new outlet per week. He could afford almost anything that money could buy except the very woman he loved. He prayed, “I am willing to lose everything to win her heart…” This one prayer changed his life…
Paul Ji, 38 years of age, a Mainland Chinese, was once the wealthiest Chinese in Brazil. His current project is building the largest multi-billion-dollar mall in Zhejiang, China. Come and learn from a man’s amazing journey of love and entrepreneurship.
Paul’s family migrated to Brazil when he was very young, I think during the revolution? Coming from Wenzhou probably gave him a leg up with entrepreneurial DNA implanted in him. There was once he wanted to sell a certain kind of shoes, but he had no cash, and as he borrowed cash from his mum, his mum would only permit him to buy a different type of shoes. So he went with his mother’s option, made profit from that, and then bought his own stock after that. I guess that must have been his first business at 11.
Later in life he had a girlfriend whom he didn’t really enjoy because she was always keeping tabs on him. However there was this girl whom he really liked, so he decided to take her out in a car with two doors because 恋爱里面是没有第三者的. His previous girlfriend would bring her dog along sometimes. He then took the girl he liked on an around the world trip, during which there were some problems with the business, but it didn’t matter to him.
The main talk was about branding. In ancient days, when an agreement was made, the parties took a cow, cut it in two, and walked between the two parts signifying that should anyone violate the agreement, then let that party be as the cow. People later used wax seals, branding an item as theirs. This later evolved into signatures, and the weight of the agreement rested on the reputation of the parties.
The most important thing is the brand concept, the DNA. The brand is a commitment to the buyer about the product. China is a 1.5 billion marketplace of love.
Luxury comes from the word lux, meaning light, love.
Branding is a dream. Do you have faith for your dream? Or is it just a daydream? 可靠、可信的爱的原则。
Question 1: What does it mean to brand oneself in the context of working in a company?
Answer: 我们必须顺服，有真诚、智慧. Submission -> follower of a mission.
Question 2 asked by a lady who had refined herself over the years: I work in the construction industry, and sometimes colleagues do not have the same standards of character. What would branding mean in this context? Should I lower my standards?
Answer: Let your dream lead you. If you come to see a place saved, is it necessary to maintain high standards in all areas? Choose one dream for life. Jesus Christ. The church is here for society. 我们现实的梦 -> 王所看见的！我们是嫁给王子的。
Question 3: As a social entrepreneur, what can I do about the conflicting impressions of others? Some see us as a social unit, some see us as a business.
Answer: If you are a prince, even if others think you are a beggar, you are still a prince.
Care about how others feel. If you are a prince, you can lower yourself as a beggar and servant too!
Question 4: Husband and wife teams?
Answer: Depends on the mission. Is the wife equally committed to the mission, or may she be reaching her limits of what she can contribute? Relationship comes first.
The business grew 50x with his wife around, and another 5x after firing her.