these are the posts tagged ‘business’:


the long run

some time ago, we were talking with a friend who works with kids at risk — many of whom the parents seem to have simply given up on as “too much trouble”… and it got me thinking about the long run.

whether you’re raising kids or doing something else, the long run is always where it hurts. the beginnings feast on our initial enthusiasm, but keeping it up over time requires work and putting the hours in. it’s made of tears and struggle and the sheer boringness of maintenance.

i can get really enthusiastic about new ideas, so inevitably, i end up struggling with the long run, as i believe most of us do. our blogs are filled with links to projects that have disappeared, stuff that stopped being updated, and i’m guilty enough of giving up on stuff too. interests and priorities change, the enthusiasm dries up… and after the initial burst of energy is exhausted, things naturally come to a stop.

and yet, sometimes, they don’t. sometimes, there’s someone who won’t quit, who will put in the effort, day in and day out, because they believe in something strongly enough to pace themselves.

when you think about it, behind every kid that turns out great, or behind every project that turns 10 (or 20!), there are always humans who were relentless and didn’t quit — and that’s remarkable and worth celebrating.

lifestyle businesses

“There are more than 27 million businesses in the United States. About a thousand are huge conglomerates seeking to increase profits. Another several thousand are small or medium-size companies seeking their big score. A vast majority, however, are what economists call lifestyle businesses. They are owned by people whose goal is to do what they like and to cover their nut. These surviving proprietors hadn’t merely been lucky. They loved their businesses so much that they found a way to hold on to them, even if it meant making bad business decisions. It’s a remarkable accomplishment in its own right.”

from this nytimes article, via swissmiss.

we might not have a brick-and-mortar business, but this is us, word for word. :)

ps – plus, we’ve just hit 12 million registered postcards. another good day at “the office”!

the unwritten rules of chinese culture

“… cultural interpretation is a key business skill, as your writer points out. of course, that’s easier said than done. i have studied english for more than a decade, but I still become lost in some situations.

one time i attended a housewarming party held by a foreign friend. when asked whether i wanted a second helping of food, i replied politely in the traditional chinese way: “no, thanks” which actually means “yes, i do, but just a little“. needless to add, i went home hungry, and i’m sure many foreign businessmen have gone home “hungry” too due to miscommunication.

and so, when in china, it would be wise to “ask twice” when discussing matters of import. after all, for chinese, “beating around the bush” is a form of politeness, one that saves the face. “

spotted on a letter to the editor of a local magazine.