Do You Need A Chinese Mother For Your Business?

In a stunning piece just released today – Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior (PDF here in case) – the author, Yale Law School professor and Chinese mother Amy Chua makes some observations about success and specifically,

how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too.”

Since that’s her story with her own two girls, it’s worth a listen. Talk about a brain reset. Treat this is like a Harvard Business School Case Study and see what applies. There’s no “one fits all” which is why Harvard uses the case study method. But I suspect some folks might benefit from a Chinese mother in Network Marketing.

Some insights and research findings from her piece:

1. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be “the best” students, that “academic achievement reflects successful parenting,” and that if children did not excel at school then there was “a problem” and parents “were not doing their job.”

Another VERY big difference:

“Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.”

Here’s a key insight for anyone who has decided to learn anything new, like how to be an entrepreneur when you’ve just been laid off…

“What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

“This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle.

“Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America.

We all know everything is the hardest at the beginning, and most people just quit. But if you keep going, good news awaits you…

“Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it’s math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.”

This is exactly what the 901 page Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance concluded: The willingness (or ability, discipline or whatever you call it) to practice is what makes a person excel. After one reaches a level of competence, more enjoyment comes. And when on is so good that others comment, that becomes its own motivation.

So while the author suggests a parent can “override their [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][child’s] preferences,” as adults we have to override our preferences (to skip out of the practice calling, for example), and that is much harder. No one’s there “making us do” what we ourselves said we wanted to do. You know what I mean.

Personal tidbit. When I first got started in the business, well, actually, the second time around, one of my wonderful and very successful sponsors came to “live with me” for about 4 weeks. She had a hotel nearby, and was with us each day from 10AM to about 8PM when we’d crash for dinner…(there were two of us doing the business).

She and Jeff did not just tell me do this and that and then call in to whine each month to ask why I hadn’t placed any orders or brought in any people. They hovered around us until. Granted, I was motivated and excited to be learning and doing something I thought was super cool. But I had to learn it. Having her there 24/7 was a wonderful experience and got us off the ground.

The second month’s check was in the mid 5 figures for my friend an me (together), and that motivated us even more. We were pretty blown away since neither of us had experienced anything like that before. That was some 20 years ago.

Note: I have taught for years that it takes hundreds of hours of time to learn to do any business where you have to bring in sales and recruits to make money. That’s why I urge you to put your time into those things that are YOU, and focus on those. Yes, even then you’ll want to goof off now and then. But stick to the learning of those skill sets that are the most you to begin with. If that’s belly-to-belly, do that. If it’s door-to-door, to that. If it’s Heal-Ins, do that. If it’s cold market, do that. If it’s online, do that. Focus on something that you like, and then begin the process of mastering it.

I am now teaching an eight week “How to Create a Wow Experience” to a wonderful group using the Napoleon Hill mastermind approach. The results people are experiencing because of the many “Chinese mothers” who are helping each person are so cool that I may offer it again. The mastermind is like having lots of caring Chinese Mothers – with no tantrums. All focused on creating a wow experience for their prospects.

Anyway, food for thought, huh? If you need a Chinese Mother to get your business off the ground, comment below! I might consider the job.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Hi Kim!

    This is a very interesting analogy. Although, personally I am bound to take the Western thinking of not really stressing kids academically, I really appreciate the dedication that Chinese mothers put into their child's education. This virtue of fortitude that eventually leads to success is a great one to have in our industry. And that correct practice, not just practice, really makes perfect.

  • This one concept is a such a crucial element to success! Not only for business, but for life in general. Desire to accomplish, in the beginning of any new endeavor, becomes unattractive when the effort put out starts to feels like work.

    We all could use a Chinese Mother snuggled somewhere in our heads to help us with the discipline needed to get good at something. I have never had an outside influence like that; mine have all been Motivational Mothers and Inspirational Mothers and I would continue my efforts until my inner drive ran out, or an impasse arrived which I was unable to move. I am wondering if a real Chinese Mom outside of myself would have made all the difference…

  • A very interesting and insightful post! I have had the pleasure of being friends with a Chinese immigrant family and watching how they related with their young children. It was an eye-opener and very refreshing compared to most American parents.

    One key practice that I saw that was not mentioned here was the way the son and daughter were talked to and listened to as adults in the Chinese family. None of this incessant, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" that American children do and many American-born moms seem to ignore.

    (Of course, this is not strictly a cultural thing, but is greatly influenced by the level of education and maturity of the parents.)

    I also liked your notion that we should all approach network marketing in our own preferred way. My upline is less than half my age and seems to believe that "friending" people on Facebook is the only smart way to market our opportunity. He can't be bothered to reply to my phone calls requesting training in how best to duplicate his FB success, so I am doing things "my way" through the construction of a content-focused Web site that attracts some leads interested in product, but not the biz.

    I am still trying to understand the online market's aversion to anything sold by MLM, and I would be very interested in any Banana Marketing product that would help me "crack the code" for a modest price.

  • G'day Kim, Great article. Now, can anyone work out who's going to rule the world within 2 generations? And it won't be any Western country.I suggest #1 China, #2 India. Reason? DISCIPLINE!!
    The Western world will pay big time for our namby pamby child rearing, where we are not allowed to give our kids a little tap on the bum and say "No" to their demands and tantrums. I fear for my grandchildren, because their parents (My Kids!) will not impose basic disciplines on them. Love your work Kim, Regards, Gerry W, Aussie.

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