As anyone who has followed this site (www.taikongren.net … not the family blog, although some of you are reading this on the family blog and some on Facebook) for a while can tell, the site sort of died. And that is in part because I am no longer a consultant.
Basically, I like being a consultant in China. I like learning about business and sharing what I learn with my customers. I like problem-solving my customer’s organizational development problems. However, after much reflection, I came to the obvious conclusion that I’m not necessarily very suited to be a management consultant. My communication style tends to be direct and somewhat aggressive, which puts some people off. I often take the corporate back-stabbing personally and react with extreme impatience. As a consultant, I’m often in the middle of people who want to backstab each other; thus I’m an easy intermediary target.
More importantly, to be a consultant for factory managers, I need to develop relationships with said managers. Sometimes this works out great and leads to long-ish relationships which benefit both my clients and myself. However, even if I develop a great relationship with a General Manager of a company or factory, often he/she will move on to another position outside of China. Then the replacement manager will not necessarily like me. This happened at my last “gig” and it happened repeatedly over the last six years. Furthermore, I really don’t like to form relationships for the sake of doing business; I like forming relationships because I generally like someone. Often the people I like- who also like me- have some personality, temperament, or values similarities to myself. This means they don’t always last long in any given corporate environment.
So I have *mostly* left the consulting business. At least, Management Consulting in China is not my main occupation at the moment.
Now I’m the CEO of my EOS (www.eos-sama.com), a small publisher which publishes table-top hobby games and table-top Role Playing Games.
He started EOS about eight years ago. He published two or three role-playing game books, a card-based game, and a few supplements. Then stuff happened to him (military service, marriage, divorce, video games, etc) and the company died for two years.
This year, we are going to publish a Role Playing Game (RPG) book and board game in May (Nobilis and Trail of the Brotherhood), and an RPG (Legends of the Wulin) and a Nobilis supplement book in August. That’s all for the USA market. If everything else goes right, we will also be publishing an Wuxia-genre card-based game in Hong Kong and Taiwan in July and September, followed by Mainland publication in November. And we hope to publish a 5 part graphic novel set and a third RPG book this year too.
Next year, it is my hope to publish Japanese language versions of many of our products. Japan is the second biggest market for RPG and boxed games. And once in Japan, we can start also selling special hobby toys, like paintable Wuxia-action figurines modeled after Japanese adult video star, wearing school-girl costumes.
My long-term goal is to introduce RPG games to China. Because I think Chinese young people could use this a tool to increase their creativity.
On the other hand, everything might fail, in which case, I would have blown the savings from my last year of work as a consultant, and I will have no career. As I write this sentence, I start getting pains in my stomach. Fortunately, I have several excellent (and one chewable) antacid medications available.
As for my former business blog site (www.taikongren.net) … I’m thinking about keeping it going, but start blogging more about the developing “game” market in China. There really is no such thing at the moment… Its not a Chinese cultural norm to play Monopoly with the parents (although Wei-Qi / Go is pretty big). But there are some things happening here. And if I start blogging about this now, I guess my blog would be the first English-language blog about this market and industry.
That’s all for now. One blog has come to an end. A new blog at the same URL will begin. And for those of you reading this on the Covners’-in-Asia family blog (www.taikongren.net/hard-boiled-shanghai/) … life goes on. Miss you all.