Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy

Dancing with a Black Swan

Chin Ying Yang    2019-02-22

Chin Ying Yang poses at a London station.
My company has been doing clothing business with British customers for over 40 years. In 1997, my company established a branch in Guangdong Province of China. With the expansion of my business there, I have worked in China for 20 years. In August 2017, I returned to Taiwan and was very fortunate to attend the XXIX Summer Universiade in Taipei and a Tai Ji Men’s event, which filled my heart with boundless positive energy. When I watched Tai Ji Men’s powerful Sword Dance, the gloom in my heart dissipated, enabling me to look on the bright side of the challenges I faced. In the summer of 2016, because of a “black swan event”--the Brexit--my company encountered a major crisis.

In 2016, the incident of Brexit caused the British currency to devalue by 30%, which in turn caused my customers to decrease or even cancel purchase orders. My company couldn’t make ends meet for 5 months until an old customer came back to us for a quote. We immediately sent him samples for his review. Soon a small order was placed, and we soon shipped him our products.

The customer was very satisfied with the products and soon placed another order with the quantity doubled this time. Due to the larger quantity, the products were split into two shipments. When the first batch was delivered, the customer refused to accept or pay for it because he was not happy about its quality. He also demanded huge monetary compensation from my company for the contract breach. At the time, the second batch was close to completion, but my company couldn’t get any payment from him. To add fuel to a fire, my company was asked to pay the compensation.

My colleagues and I spent a few days investigating the problems on our end and negotiating with the customer. He was persistent in his claim for the compensation and didn’t want to make any compromise. We were locked in a stalemate at the point. I had been practicing Tai Ji Men Qigong for over 20 years, and I thought of what Shifu had frequently reminded me: Think positively. Seemingly bad things could turn out to be good. So I told myself to calm down, put myself in the customer’s shoes, work out a way with the supplier, and then find a solution that would be satisfactory to all.

After the stalemate had lasted for a few days, one night while meditating, I reflected upon myself, which my Shifu had reminded me to do regularly. I reconsidered the positions of both sides and decided to let go of my prejudice against the customer. I realized that I should have been more understanding about his eagerness to introduce new products in the market. He treated us strictly because he had high expectations for us.

Before I expressed these kind intentions to the customer, a miracle happened. When I resumed the communication with the customer the next day, he seemed to better understand my previous concerns, had become more considerate, and agreed to my proposal: He would pay us the original amount on the contract and withdraw his claim for damages as long as we guarantee the quality of our products and ship them on time. We corrected the flaws in our products and immediately started the mass production. The customer was very satisfied with the results and placed another purchase order soon after.

We successfully shipped the order by the Lunar New Year, and the customer sent us a letter of appreciation afterwards. My colleagues and I felt honored to receive such a letter from him. My colleagues and I thanked one another for bravely overcoming the difficulties together. We all had a well-deserved New Year break afterwards. This year, we received an early purchase order from the customer with an even larger quantity comparative to that last year, and the order has been successfully delivered.

I attribute all the successes to Tai Ji Men. I have practiced Tai Ji Men Qigong for years and have learned from my Shifu’s example and words. When there was a crisis in my business, I was able to handle the situation calmly, think from my customer’s perspective, resolve the problem, and eventually regained the customer’s confidence in us.