What Tai-Chi Taught Me for My New Business in the US as a Solopreneur

IMG_2182What Tai-Chi Taught Me for My New Business in the US as a Solopreneur

The Beginning of the Journey

A few years ago I started practicing the ancient Chinese moving meditation art of Tai Chi which   for centuries has been performed as an inner martial art and as a form of health exercise for longevity. At that time I was running my own law office and translation agency in Munich, Germany. However, when my wife’s professional relocation to the US came up, I started thinking about my next career move. I wanted to stay self-employed, but was not too keen on taking the bar exam and practicing law in the US. Would I possibly have to go back to school and get an MBA from an American University to get the necessary skills?

The Influence of the Chi: Balancing the Forces of Ying and Yang in your Business

In the meantime, with a continuous Tai Chi practice I became not only more relaxed but also more interested in its underlying philosophy of Ying and Yang. My Tai Chi practice and the study of its underlying philosophy gave me two vital virtues for my start-up business in the US:

  • Patience, and
  • Endurance

Applying the Virtues of Patience and Endurance to my Start-Up Business

Every starting freelancer is familiar with the unavoidable “feast or famine” syndrome, which means you are either drowned in work, or you are eagerly waiting for days for new jobs to come in. This cycle can be very dreary and daunting.  My Tai Chi routine however enabled me to cope with the stress in the high times, and to simply enjoy the extra time for myself during low times.

When you practice a Tai Chi routine, you have to invest repetitive effort to fine tune the form and your movements.  Over and over again. Eventually, if you persist, you will improve and master movements that seemed out of reach when you first started.  The key is to just keep doing it. On the days were you don’t feel like it and on the days were you feel silly for investing your time in moving around in “slow motion”.

I started applying this Tai Chi training principle to my start-up business: I constantly practice and work on improving my translation and writing skills; if I feel like it or not. I continuously study how to market my services. Not in one the these  marketing crash courses like “How to Become a Marketing Champion in 12 weeks”, but in a continuous “slow motion” and steady approach. Over and over.

The Difference

To me incorporating the Tai Chi principles to my business approach has made all the difference when starting out in a new country. In my mind, patience and endurance are the main ingredients for my business success in the US, and Tai Chi helped me tremendously in realizing and shaping these virtues.

Like Lao Tzu said: “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”

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2 Responses to “What Tai-Chi Taught Me for My New Business in the US as a Solopreneur”

  1. Your comments remind me a bit of Sun Tzu and The Art of War and that paradoxical nature of Asian (ancient Asian?) thought. It’s a classic on the “psychology of conflict” and is also applicable to business – or so I am told.

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