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20 May 2017

7 Reasons Why I Like China

With the current craze on Belt and Road Initiative, many people have taken a serious look at China again. From my several trips to China in the past one year, there are 7 reasons why I like China:

#1 - The people are friendly, although they may not be courteous or wanting to please you. But they get things done.  And from my interactions with them, people in China seem to be happy.

#2 - The food is delicious and cheap. A good meal for me costs about 10 to 20 RMB, which is very cheap and good, for they often include rice, soup, meat and vegetable

#3 - Safe. Crime rate is low in China, and risks of terrorist attack is low due to the tight control of the government over everyday life in China

#4 - Transport is cheap and good. Public transport by bus, train and high speed trains are cheap.  Metro starts at 2 RMB while Uber-like taxis (Didi) is often half price of taxis, which starts from less than 10 RMB. 

#5 - Abundant business opportunities due to the high growth rates over the past few decades and not showing any serious slowdowns as of today (May 2017). Whatever business you are doing in your home country you can bring it to China, except for media that is not under government control

#6 - Vibrant, lively, and endlessly entertaining. The night never sleeps and the morning starts as early as 6.30 am

#7 - Thousands years old and ultra modern Art, culture, history, architecture - FANTASTIC!!

19 May 2017

Using Your Smartphone During Our Training

Most trainers will ask their students to not use their mobile phones during training. Not for us at Asia Trainers. Our Chief Trainer Coach Andy Ng does the opposite: we require all our students to continue using their smartphones as follows:
  1. Use our free wifi and put their phones to silent mode
  2. All can check updates on their mobile phones every hour. People that need extra time may request for it, with the condition to stay back a little to make up for lost training time
  3. All are given free links to further learn on their smartphones via Udemy, Youtube and blogs (eg www.AndyNgTrainer.blogspot.sg) and sites like www.changingminds.org 
  4. We incorporate hands-on exercises using smartphones (eg colour personality analysis, handwriting and numerology) FOC
  5. We provide free training on how to use WeChat effectively (15 minutes demo session)
  6. Optional: students may take another 15 minutes to learn FOC on how to create and create professional videos with only their smartphones and nothing else (using tools like Magisto)
  7. How to tap into FREE online education streamings

15 May 2017

Belt and Road Initiative Grand Plans

On 14th May 2017, China’s President Xi Jinping sought to attract countries to join his ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative” at an international forum on Sunday.
Xi’s massive trade and investment grand plan seeks to connect nations along the new Silk Road routes through economic cooperation and infrastructure development.
We sum up Xi’s key offerings as covered in his keynote speech at the Belt and Road summit on Sunday morning.

Boosting funds

China’s Silk Road Fund will increase funding by 100 billion yuan, Chinese banks will extend 300 billion yuan in overseas capital, the China Development Bank will splash out 250 billion yuan, and the Export and Import Bank of China will add 130 billion yuan in special loans to Belt and Road projects. In all, China pledged at least 780  bllion yuan for this grand belt and road initiative plan.

Countering protectionism

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is based on the historic roots of the Silk Road, it focuses on Asia, Europe and African continents, and is open to all friends,” Xi said.
Speaking against the rising trend of protectionism characterised by some of US President Donald Trump’s policies, the Chinese leader said that two millennia ago, the ancient trade routes used to be open, tolerant and strove towards win-win cooperation. The modern world today, being more interconnected than ever, was in a position where difficulties could be resolved in many different ways, he said.

“We are living in a world with constant challenges: The world economy needs new growth drivers, its development needs to be more balanced and universal, the wealth gap should be narrowed, while some regions are plagued with turbulence and terrorism,” Xi said. “Peace, development and governance are challenges for all human beings. This is what I keep thinking about.”

Enhancing cooperation

“History is the best teacher. The history of the ancient Silk Road showed us that we can move along with mutual respect and development and towards the future of happiness, peace and harmony if we bravely walk the first step.”
“The countries along the ancient Silk Road were once places with milk and honey, but now are full of turbulence, conflicts and crisis. Such conditions must be addressed. We must have mutual cooperation and a sustainable security outlook, try to tackle hot issues and insist on political resolution.”
China would work with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank and the World Bank to support Belt and Road projects, Xi said. An international import fair would be held in China next year. Beijing would also set up a liaison office for follow-up activities generated after the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Reaffirming China’s objectives

During his speech, Xi reiterated Beijing’s objectives for the Belt and Road initiative.
“We will not follow the old way of geopolitical games during the push for the Belt and Road Initiative, but create a new model of win-win and cooperation. It will not form a small group undermining stability, but is set to build a big family with harmonious co-existence.”
“China’s construction of the Belt and Road Initiative is not to make a new start, but to connect development strategies of different countries and complement each other’s advantages ... China is willing to share its development experience with all the rest of the world, but we will not intervene into other nation’s internal affairs, export our social system and development model, nor force others to accept them.”

Reiterating the focus of the Belt and Road

“A country’s opening-up is like the creation of butterfly from cocoon. It brings rebirth with short-term pain. We must orient the construction of Belt and Road Initiative on opening-up and try to solve problems concerning economic growth and balance.”
“We will build an open platform, defend and develop an open world economy, jointly create an environment good for opening-up and development, and push for a just, reasonable and transparent international trade and investment system so that production materials can circulate orderly, be allocated with high efficiency and markets are deeply integrated.”

Development is always the key to solve any problems. So, the construction of Belt and Road Initiative should focus on this fundamental issue of development, drive up growth potentials of participating countries and achieve the economic integration, interaction and sharing.”

7 May 2017

Most Useful Quotes from Taoism

As China’s only indigenous religion, Taoism’s influence is found in everything from calligraphy and politics to medicine and poetry.
It represents the unknown, and inspires us to go to places to discover more about our nature.
Taoism has achieved an incredible resurgence in the West in recent years, and for good reason. It’s full of wisdom on how to live a life of passion while remaining detached and free of the ego.
Here are my 5 favorite quotes from Taoist spiritual masters which provide a great introduction to mindfulness and the Taoist way of life.

1. Be faithful to your nature

 “The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.”
― Ming-Dao Deng

2. Know yourself

“A man who knows how little he knows is well, a man who knows how much he knows is sick. If, when you see the symptoms, you can tell, Your cure is quick. A sound man knows that sickness makes him sick and before he catches it his cure is quick.”
― Lao Tzu

3. Let go of love and hate

“When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the slightest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.”
― Hsin Hsin Ming

4. Be like the Tao

“Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity. Be like the Tao. It can’t be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honored or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.”
― Lao Tzu

5. Rest in inaction

“You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless.”
― Zhuangzi

6 May 2017

Future is This Different

An interesting talk by the MD of Daimler Benz a bit mind blowing really.

An interesting concept of what could lay ahead.

In a recent interview the MD of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said their competitors are no longer other car companies but Tesla (obvious), Google, Apple, Amazon 'et al' are…… There have always been the 3 constants ... Death, Taxes and CHANGE!

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

In the US, young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.

So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don't want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver's licence and will never own a car.

It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last. Technology will take care of that strategy.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.

It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.

Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.

At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.

In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: "in the future, do you think we will have that?" and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?

If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.

Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as "alternative protein source" (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you're in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed when they're telling the truth and when they're not.

Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency ... Of the world!

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.

Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child needs to learn at school in First World countries. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English app for free, so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English and that could happen within half a year.

Ladder of Persuasion

In my over 17 years of training with Asia Trainers transforming tens of thousands of people in 15 countries in sales, management, and finance, people often asked me, Andy, how do you get people to believe in you?  

To me believing in me is the lowest level, for I don't want people to just believe in me, but also do what I believe. There are 7 levels in this ladder of persuasion, courtesy of author Andy Ferarri Norman:

Level 1: Literature. This includes the vendor's posters, flyers, brochures, write-ups, e-mailers, websites, videos, slides and any posts from the vendor in social media. It is the lowest in terms of persuasion because it is biased as it comes from the vendor. No customer will be believing this 100%, right?

Level 2: Social Media. Nowadays people believe and trust social media more than vendor's literature, but this can get overkill. Social media is more powerful not because of its reach, but because social media is read at a casual way and people are less on guard when they are relaxed, thus its persuasion is more effective.

Level 3: Salesperson personal Story Telling. This is more effective in persuasion because there is a personal touch in the form of a story.

Level 4: Customers Recommendation.  People that have bought and enjoyed the product will be the best people to persuade others, right?  Wrong!  This is only level 4, for although it is good, it still lacks objectivity. Reason is it comes from an interested party.

Level 5: Experts and Authority Recommendation. We will not doubt them because they have a certain standing and are often seen as independent, though they could also be interested parties! Just look at the smartphones unboxing videos on YouTube and you'll know what I am talking about. 

Level 6: Third Parties Recommendation.  People that have no vested interests, people that are not customers and people that strangers to the whole situation will enjoy more persuasive power naturally. 

Level 7: Enemies. If people that hate you say good things about you, it speaks volumes. This must be the highest level of persuasion. Note that enemies are not just competitors but competitive that will do anything to harm you. If they say good about you, that is most unusual and most persuasive. 

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at AsiaTrainers, details of courses at www.asiatrainers.com