Many Chinese companies wish to expand business internationally. Some are already operating overseas and some are new explorers. Looking, seeking and finding good opportunities and cooperators that can supplement existing business or create opportunities for new business revenues is desired by oldsters and newbies alike.

When you were a child, your parents often shared good simple life advice with you. As we get older, many of those childhood lessons take on renewed wisdom. In looking back, as the world is often so complicated, it is sometimes worthwhile to return to the basics and consider that childhood wisdom. Now we appreciate that simplicity is clarity. In kindergarten, we learned simple truths. Good and bad were easily understood. Maybe it is time to reflect on some of that simple wisdom.

One good piece of advice was my parents gave me was:

When you cross the street, always look in all directions before stepping into the cross-walk.

Another good piece of parental advice was:

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Safety first.

In American grammar schools, the first word they teach is the biggest word of all; that word is “LOOK“.

That was the first word because the letters in the middle appear to be two eyes carefully examining the situation.

The word LOOK and the two good pieces of parental advice above all go together.

Today, company managers who wish to go out realize that LOOK is the place to start.

But in truth, before we LOOK, we must THINK about what we want to FIND and WHERE we want to GO.

Only then can we know what we are LOOKING for.

Only then can we RECOGNIZE and FIND something that we seek.

In guiding foreign companies who come to China, Pamir are often engaged to hold their hands, cross the street safely, help them understand themselves, what they have to offer and the best profile of target cooperator BEFORE they start to LOOK. How can they find the best match business partner or opportunity if they do not complete this thought process?

When considering Africa, one realizes that the continent has 52 countries, with thousands of languages. When one considers Europe, one sees so many different societies. When one considers the USA, one sees 50 different states, each with its own laws. Where does one begin to LOOK? Different languages, societal structures, systems, values and decision-making processes make it difficult to comprehend; it is even more difficult to know what the potential partner/counterpart is thinking. That makes it hard to design or find a win-win deal.

Holding hands with someone who has crossed this heavy-traffic street before is good basic parental advice. It was wise then, and it is probably wise still. Safety first. Find good Outbound Direct Investment (ODI) advisors to help your company cross the street safely.