Sometimes Opportunity Knocks ….Just at the Right Time!


Sometimes I write this blog and I cannot think of anything to say... and then some days.. like today… I have too many things to say.  So, these next couple of blogs may be pretty long… so bare with me….Please.

A few months ago… I had a former friend from China that lived in the States going to university.  I met him online and mentored him thru the internet to help him get thru his business classes.  Just me being nice to a young student, kind of like a big sister in my free time.   Well…. this friend contacted me and said he was finished with college and was back in China again.  Little did I know, but his hometown was only a couple of hours from me.   As we caught up with what we have been doing the past …4 or so years…. he mentioned he worked part-time for a company in the states… and he said he thought his boss would like to meet me.

I was like sure… I am always willing to meet new people.   Well, his boss just happened to be one of a partnership of  Harvard graduates that happen to run a company out of Chicago.  They were in the market for someone… American that lived in China full-time, that knew Chinese culture, Business sense, and had connections; that was willing to work with them to help grow their company in the Chinese market.   Low and behold… I fit the description and so much more.   We were introduced via email… and after that had many video calls and internet calls.  Just yesterday, they came to see me in China and meet with me and my husband.

The day started with Michael and I getting up early to make sure we had everything ready and knew where we would take them and where we could meet.  They arrived promptly at 1:30 via train, since this is a holiday weekend, Mid Autumn’s Day, there were people everywhere and I am sure they were not very comfortable and would not be very happy with the crowds.

I was a bit stressed to see if they were considering me seriously or if this was just a hoax.   I figured they were traveling all this way to meet me… it must be for real.    I saw the two men and a Chinese woman walk out of the train station and I could tell it was them right away.   They stood 6.1 or taller, very good shape, dark shades, suit coats and button downs in jeans.   Very attractive men, one blonde, short-cropped, curly hair … a bit Justin Timberlake-ish, and the other was a extremely attractive man of Indian decent.. with honey- colored, skin and smile that would knock you down.   They were  as fine and wine; I have been out of  America for wayyyy …to long.

We picked them up in our new car...(which by the way… I will do a blog on and post photos at another time). Since, they had never traveled to our fair city… we decided gave them a grand tour then went off to find some place to eat and talk.

Unfortunately, in China people eat at specific times…. lunch is at 10:30 to 12:30-ish only…. after that the restaurants close down and the workers sleep until dinner service at 4pm. (yes, I said sleep)  When I asked them what they would like to eat they said they would like to try local food….(not so easy to find at this time) …. I got frustrated when two of the restaurants we went too refused to serve us because it wasnt lunch time and the kitchen was closed.  (who turns down business..damn it ..????) So, we ended up in a beautiful, traditional teahouse, (even better) that served a buffet of traditional, Chinese appetizers.

After we got settled, they started talking about the plans and the goals for what they want to do in China.  It all sounded good, however, I had to inform them of some cultural differences that would prevent them from doing some of the things they were suggesting.   I gave them a little background on the city and the Province .. and gave them a little insight on how the locals tick.   Michael even impressed them all with his knowledge of business and his ability to speak more than 7 Chinese dialects from different provinces.   Even the local dialect from the Chinese woman, who was with them from North of China in Chengdu.   They were impressed … and actually so was I … I didn’t know he could do that.

They seemed very happy with us.. and we even joked around a little about learning Chinese and Chinglish.  They then presented me with some of their brochures, company information, background and other details… finally they presented me with business cards…. on the cards were…. Director of Business Development, China.…..Me…. the cards had my name on them…. and they were smiling all big to when they presented them…. You see….about two weeks before … I had sent over a proposal, salary requirements, and other details… and they had yet to reply.  But now I see that they had accepted my terms, actually they didn’t even bulk at my salary requirements or travel reimbursements.    They had a few requests from me… like a test or probationary requirement.  That I will have to complete… but I am confident in my abilities to achieve them.    I told them I would think about it and get back to them.  They told me to keep the cards.

The visit lasted until 5:30.. and then we took them back to the train station; laughing and joking about the crazy things they had experienced in China and looking at the very expensive cars has they passed.   We ended with handshakes and promises to follow-up with emails and phone calls.  They were easy going guys, not stiff or stuffy… for men in their late 20’s to early 30’s .. I guess, that had graduated from Harvard.

On the way home, Michael and I talked about the offer, and discussed some details.  I spend all the next day thinking and analyzing the situation.  I spoke with some Chinese business friends of mine to see their opinions and if they thought I could be successful.  Then came home and spoke with Michael again….  I thought to myself for a couple of hours then I made my decision to accept their offer.  I promptly send an email of affirmation and set up a time to discuss contract and terms.

As I set back and think about how far I have come in my life…I think…  who would have thought? … ME… the daughter of a 15-year-old mother, raised by my grandmother in a small mid west town…. with two grown kids and a grandson…. would move to China, find a wonderful man… and be given this opportunity to shine??

It just shows that hard work does pay off… no matter .. what color, race, nationality, size or gender you are.   Believe in yourself and you can Achieve anything…..


until next time … .. when you see how I did with my mountain climbing experience…ohhh.. yeah there are photos…



22 thoughts on “Sometimes Opportunity Knocks ….Just at the Right Time!

  1. Yolanda

    Are you sure it’s safe to post something like this for everyone to see?

    “Who would have thought? … ME… the daughter of a 15-year-old mother, raised by my grandmother in a small mid west town…. ”

    Be thankful you are in China and not in South Korea. The South Koreans would have a field day with this information!

  2. Pingback: Guest Post: China Dolls By Meggin Sanez « Life Behind The Wall

  3. moongoddess

    I’ve been following your blog for a while, and have decided to break my ‘lurker’ status to comment. This entry really inspired me!!! I mean, your whole blog inspires me!!!!! Congratulations!! Continue shining your light in the world, and showing us that when one follows their heart, serendipity happens. I really needed this reminder today…
    One love!

  4. mira

    Your journey started with your 15 year old mother and your inspirational grandmother and it will continue through you, your husband Michael, your children and grandchildren. Congratulations it’s a warm and inspirational story tyo us all and well deserving for you.

    Your blog will take on a new twist and it will be interesting to read about your new adventures

  5. Congratulations!!!! it also goes to show that showing a little kindness to someone can do. I teach etiquette and the word etiquette means “ticket” in french and etiquette is the standard by which good manners are executed. Your kindness to this young student became a “ticket” to a great opportunity. I rejoice with you. I pray it leads to BETTER opportunities!!

  6. zizi_west

    Congratulations on this wonderful opportunity! Your husband sounds wonderful, very supportive of you and his language skills are impressive. best wishes for the next steps.

  7. Sharon

    I am so happy for you. I went to college at Mizzou and grew up in Jefferson City and know how it is in central Missouri. Jo, you are an inspiration to all who follow you.

  8. Wow this is very inspiratinal. I just moved to South Korea last week and I have been really trying to set out a plan on how I want to grow out here. I am a 22 year old black woman who just graduated with my Bachelors in Fashion Marketing. My main reason for coming out here to Asia is to break into the fashion market. I knew basically the only way to get out here to even start was to teach english. Now my english is excellent so I fit well for the job but I knew teaching was not what I set my life out to be. Of course the first obstacle for me to overcome is the language (which im learning now). I am from Kansas City and of course theres not much diverstiy there. Number two obstacle I know face is being a little far from Seoul. Im about 3 hours away by bus. I hadnt realized until I got out here that I was so far. It kind of dampered my abitition but after reading this it gave me more hope and encouragement to keep striving. One thing I have learned in my life is nothing is acomplished without Hardwork. If it takes me taking a 3 hour bus ride to seoul every weekend to reach the goal, then so be it. Its all about making connections and showing what I’m made of. I have my portfolio in hand and am ready to break into a market few young woman that look like me have ever dreamt of taping into. To some I might sound crazy but im used to people thinking that. Folks thought I was crazy for going to school for fashion, or dressing the way I do or, wanting to move 3,000+ miles away from Kansas to a place I had never been in my life. But you know what Im here in South Korea typing this as we speak. I know to never take no for an answer and keeping God first. Thanks so much for this post. Its reminded me that I dnt know whats around the bin or what God has in store for me. I wish you much success with your new job and God Bless! I love reading your blog!

    1. @pinkfashionninja…I little know fact is that I was born in Columbia, MO. … So I understand where you are coming from. I want to tell you to keep you head up and keep pushing… I know you can get a foot into the fashion world over there… I know Korea is big on fashion trends… and those people over there will wear just about anything…hehehe….. so just keep going girl…. when your rich and famous… dont forget about your girl….hehehehe…. Thank you for reading my blog… and when you start producing clothes… you should sell them in China.. they are always copying Korean styles… then i can do a blog on .. “i knew you when”….good luck.

  9. I’m taking a moment to really soak this in. It’s so important to share happiness and happy news. And those on the receiving end should really take in the joy of the other people because when something great happens to someone we know, it has the potential to transform us too! so relieved to hear some happy news today!

  10. John Lee

    this sound like a dream that came true, I’m happy for you and that what happen when you help others they remember you and they will repay you back

  11. Oh my goodness, that’s great news! Congratulations, Jo! From the sounds of it, it seems like you’re the perfect fit and you’ll do great. I was also impressed by your husband’s knowledge of over 7 dialects. Can’t wait to read the rest!

  12. PhillyFox

    Congratulations! So glad to hear such great news. And Michael, what a guy. It takes humility to keep such language skills all to yourself and not even your wife knows. Lol I know people that after meeting them, that would be the next thing you would know about them. Kudos to you both.

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