Practical advice for foreign trainers in China

Please form a single file line and wait for your turn to click the image below if you’re interested in reading my short paper about adapting to cultural differences as a foreign corporate trainer in China.  Get in early before this starts trending!

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Golf is destroying your business

I just finished Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing by George Cloutier. His rant on golf was one of my favorite bits:

“Most of the business owners I’ve dealt with over the years love to hit the fairway. There’s just something about donning those plaid pants and driving those little carts that invigorates the ego and makes people feel like they belong to a special class of fat cats. They tell themselves they have to be out there. They’re schmoozing for business and honing their reputations with the rest of the big players. But when you’re running a small business, how much time can you afford to spend away from the office? It’s time and money you should be putting into your business.

Look at it this way. If you joined a place like the Bay Hill Country Club in Orlando at, say, a $25,000 initiative fee, and became a member for twenty years at $5,000 in annual club dues and $150 for green fees, you’d be out $300,000. Do you expect to reap that much in profits from frolicking in the grass? And I’m not factoring in the price of all the post-game Scotches and the opportunities you missed while you were on the links instead of working the phones to drum up new business.

And yet, well over half of our clients are addicted to golf. They knock off work early and play tournaments in the middle of the week. Maybe if you’re golfing with Bill Gates, there’s something in it for you, but unless someone of that caliber wants to be your fairway friend, don’t bother. Most of the time you’ll find yourself putting alongside your bank manager or loan officer. Believe me, they’ll almost always accept an invitation to midweek tee off times. They’ve got nothing to lose. It’s not their payroll. If anything, they’re looking to cash in on what they can get out of you!  The bank pays their salary either way. But if you don’t qualify for a bigger credit line, those nine holes aren’t going to help.”