The challenge of international business

4 12 2007

I love international business.

It’s difficult, time consuming, requires more resources than selling in the national market, it’s complicated, frustrating, complex and incomprehensible at times.

It opens my eyes to new cultures, new ways of doing things, new languages and amazing people.

It has made me realize that there are many paths to a solution, and all of them are valid.

It is a highly competitive arena.

There are no second chances.

The people in the business of selling or buying products or services across borders live with this on a daily basis.

We like it.

It drives us crazy too.

It’s the same mentality that drives people to do crossword puzzles, go rock climbing, or take on huge tasks.

It’s about the challenge, the complexity, the rush of adrenaline when it all goes well and we succeed.

I realized how different I am from others, in my desire to be involved in global trade, during a conversation between three friends.  Two of us are involved in international commerce and the third lives in the local national market.

We stumbled on an idea that involves the consolidation of various local products (overstock and outdated inventory) and selling it via an auction process to international buyers.  It was a response to a very costly and real problem  that our friend lives with daily.  As we discussed it, our blood pressure rose, our hearts quickened, we got excited.

“Sounds like a lot a work, forget it, exporting is too much trouble” was the reply of our third friend.

I’ve heard the same comment many times before.

I watched the potential solution wither and die before us.

My friend is ready to live with a problem and loss of  income because he didn’t want to work harder.

He didn’t even consider hiring others, using specialized outsourcing, to work for him.

“It’s a lot of hard work.”

Of course it is.

Planning on exporting, importing or working internationally?

Find people who are genuinely interested,excited and turned on by the challenge.

The ability to embrace adversity, problems, and constant change as part of the daily working environment is key to working across borders and cultures.

Related Links

Looking for New?  It’s in another country

16 essential questions, the international business traveler’s quiz 

7 tips for doing business internationally   

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