Some moments, always remembered, are peak, never forgotten, spots that become crossroads that alter the direction of our lives…forever. Sharing such a memory from 30 years ago may help others gain greater freedom now.
I was jogging along Bowen Road, in the mid-levels of Hong Kong during the early 1970s. This narrow path flowed through the middle of a thick boscage that loomed above the most crowded city in the world. A low rumble was rising from the crowded city below, muffled through thick foliage and vibrations over a thin ribbon of asphalt that wound, flat as a snake, through the jungle ahead. Warm fog swept from the South China Sea was hanging like a humid blanket in the air. The green, freshness and cacophony of birds brought me here each morning, running amidst amahs that stretched on bent iron pipe handrails, ancient wrinkled men carrying caged sparrows and all types of early risers moving like shadows against the verdant forest in their motions of Tai Chi.
This was the real beginning of my international business because the stock market in the early 70s had crashed and burned much as it has today. The similarities are remarkable. The market had risen for 30 years, then collapsed. The super heated economy headed south just as it has in the early years of this decade. And there were innumerable corporate and accounting scandals. Plus many young business people had worked in the new economy mainly for stock options. I was one who starting at age of 21 for a new, hot international company in their Hong Kong office and had watched my stock options make me a paper millionaire at age 24. (And a million dollars was worth a lot in the 70s!)
However just as I turned 25 I learned I had just become broke. I did not have the sense or experience to sell. Suddenly my portfolio was nothing but worthless paper, a story too many investors today know all to well. (Sound familiar?)
Fortunately I learned the lesson while young and on that same day read an article about a great Hong Kong shipping magnate who told how he got in the shipping business because he loved travelling the world because. He said, “The sun always shines somewhere!”
That statement that day formed a huge impression and led me to living and working all over the world. The sun always does shine somewhere. In the seventies when Wall Street was a dirty word (full of scandals-just like now) the Hong Kong, Japanese, German, Swiss and Australian stock markets were just taking off. I was able to travel globally and spread this good word.
Over the years a wonderful global business grew, taking me to more places than I could imagine. Every time things would drop off (or mature) in one place a new opportunity would evolve. This process slowly lured me around the world from Portland, Oregon to Hong Kong to Europe and the U.K. and back to the U.S. and down into South America. I lived and worked on every continent, but always as a small businessman, usually just Merri and me working together (sometimes with our kids).
Having these worldwide businesses expanded my horizons enormously and helped me see distortions between countries, currencies and economies. This made the business very fun yet extremely profitable bringing Merri and me a lifestyle only a few dare to dream. We have lived and owned in Hong Kong, London, Isle of Man, the Caribbean, Ecuador, on white sand beaches as well as mountain tops and in the most cosmopolitan cities. We have had all the cars, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Mercedes, BMWs, Audis and such and every imaginable creature comfort. Yet these material things are the least of the benefits we gained from our global quest.
Perhaps the way our children have gained such enhanced outlooks (one works for human rights at the UN in Geneva, another is a pop singer in London and another works at saving wildlife everywhere) is one of our greatest fulfillments. The kids have had such expanded experiences to help them live wherever their hearts lead them.
Plus we have been able to help many others gain adventure as we have explored this remarkable globe. Thousands of people from 82 countries have joined us in our travels which have reached every continent. They have told us repeatedly that these trips have been life changing in good ways.
Our health has improved enormously as we have gained life-giving insights (that are virtually unknown in the Western world) from every culture we have enjoyed.
Our international journey has helped Merri and me learn more new ideas and thoughts (some which have helped cultures survive for thousands of years) than we would ever have gained had we lived in just one country. This has brought us an inner confidence and peace. We are as comfortable in presidential palaces talking to top government officials as we are living in primitive huts without water or electricity in deep jungles and on high mountain tops.
Plus our worldwide process of commerce has allowed us to help the poor in many places. Currently our import business that brings the Amazon food supplement BIRM (Bio Immune Response Modulator) to Western countries helps employ the indigenous of the Andes.
Our Amazon lodge offers a totally natural experience to westerners into the deepest rain forests and supports a primitive Amazonian tribe of only 42 remaining people so they do not have to sell their land to the oil companies.
We offer Vedic Astrology from India in Brhama Varta on the Ganges River. This helps provide gainful employment to nearly 100 Indians that might otherwise be left on the sidewalk selling fruit or begging. We don't give them handouts, we bring them honest work and in the process help them learn our ways as we learn theirs. The Center that is under construction there will allow westerners to stay for PanchaYoga, meditate and regenerate along the Ganges.
Hopefully this process helps expand the global view and develops understanding between cultures in some small way.
One final benefit, being global keeps expanding our horizon as the world changes at a faster pace. Seeing and being involved beyond our borders allows us to rise above the fray of the daily mundane. After more than 30 years of global business we are not in a rut (which I believe is just a grave with the ends kicked out). We still have so many new things to learn and unknown places to see. At a time when most start to think of retirement, Merri and I feel we are just getting started and cannot wait to begin our next adventure.
I feel truly blessed to live in this time and space when it is so easy to do business anywhere and encourage anyone who loves to travel to consider having an international business.
Having an international business has never been easier! One day Merri, and I were sitting on a huge veranda, overlooking a vast expanse of lush, green, countryside in the Dominican Republic watching our kids ride their horses joyfully up the mountains. A tropical breeze flowed over the porch cooling the sunny afternoon. My portable laptop computer sat before me. Working, I had dozed off, lulled by katydid songs, the soft breeze and my lost thoughts. At about this minute, the origins of a special course on how to have your own international business, which could be operated from anywhere was born. This course has since been used by thousands all over the world, to improve their lives, giving them greater independence, strengthening their financial safety and dramatically increasing their freedom to lead the type of life they desire.
The sun does always shine somewhere, in weather, in business, in economics and all of life. The human condition is to grow or die and we all fortunately live in this time when time and space no longer count for much. To have a global business is to be able to go wherever you want, help others worldwide and return with more money than when you left. This is one of the greatest freedoms on earth. The thrill of meeting, growing and doing business with other cultures all over the world is challenging and exciting! When we think of where should we invest next, we always come up with the same answer, “We should invest in ourselves and an exciting new business idea that is good for us will be good for others and the planet.” Perhaps studying International Business Made EZ in Ecuador this January will be a peak experience that becomes a crossroads for you.