- Posted December 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What’s your secret spot in Beijing?
Starting a Business and Family in China
What started off as a long vacation changed the course of my life and future. In 2009 I was broke and out of work due to the financial crises, an ex-mortgage banker from Chicago was about the find a new purpose and life in the far east.
I was 29 years old and out of luck, not knowing exactly what to do to make ends meet and losing my newly purchased condo in down town Oak Park, Chicago. I moved to Canada to help some friends with their Church in the Montreal vicinity "Church of the Harvest" and I worked for Safe-Tech Security just doing odds and ends kind of a mercy job for me in my predicament. While helping Safe-Tech hire a home alarm system installer from Wuhan, southern China I was first introduced to the idea of visiting the "Middle Kingdom".
I took the spring of 2009 to travel since my Canada visa with the Church was about to expire I planned to spend a month or two in Beijing site seeing and do some English tutoring part time to support myself. To make a long story short I fell in love with my Human Resource recruiter at a language training center that I interviewed with on July 1st, 2009. After many denials I finally convinced her to get a date. After a few months teaching ESL I began to observe the market in Beijing which lead to me launching My Globe Consulting, my business was offering Chinese organizations and schools ESL Teachers, and English native speakers TESOL or TEFL qualifications and processing Visa for China. Our site is www.myglobeconsulting.com
Within 6 months of meeting my future wife I proposed and we got engaged (also after a week of denail), I had never met anyone like her before and couldn't imagine life without her. July 2010 we were married and a month later we were expecting a child. By Spring 2011 our son was born and our company was employing a full office and held a slew of contracts from large and small companies alike.
Shortly after China Radio International (CRI) did a profile on our company called Expat Tales that opened even more doors to our family business and has put my life on a positive path helping create a bridge for the 1st and second largest economies in the world to trade culture, talent and education.
These days I spend much of my time traveling throughout the USA and Canada sharing my experience in China and encouraging people to travel in China, study work and live there with My Globes' help, giving North Americans a chance to experience the ancient history and the beautiful culture of the orient. I love China, and because I live there and I am married to a Chinese woman I am not as negatively biased as some may be in regards to politics and human rights in China.
There are many things that I don't like in China, but also in the West yet I don't think any one country has all right, and with a population of 1.35 billion it is not easy to manage. Being from Chicago I have seen a lot of political corruption, from the historic Al Capone to Rob Blagojevich his type of corruption happen in all societies its just multiplied by the population and under-development of China.
At the end of the day, China is making a careful and progressive reform to improve society and manage a very delicate social dynamic in the midst of rapid growth, they are trying to do in 30 years what the USA has done in a hundred years. With that said I have many Chinese middle class friends who make a good salary have a great life, travel eat, drive and live in comfort who were born and raised in China, with no plans to leave.
So my experience and outlook on China is very positive, the only thing that would make me consider leaving is the air pollution. Air pollution is a dilemma, I have been directly affected by the pollution in Beijing and often get a sore throat. I went to the China Japanese friendship hospital to get a look at my throat, and they told me "don't smoke, don't drink, don't talk too much and don't eat spicy food" I often joke and say "they told me to leave China basically".
However with all fairness many areas in the USA also had pollution issues during the development and industrial era of American history. Unfortunately for China it is the by-product of being the worlds manufacturing haven and the fastest developing nation in the world. So to sacrifice industrial development would be at a high price that many of the citizens understand will and must come at the cost of their environment. Despite this catch 22 the government is working very hard to find a win win situation where they can continue to develop and minimize the negative side effects.
In the mean time, I manage my business helping people find jobs in the midst of our economic hardships in the US, I focus on time with my wife and baby, enjoy learning Chinese. Worship and teach the Bible at our international Church in Beijing and continue serving Chinese companies needs with through My Globe Consulting.