Fan Li (Founder of the Chinese Business School of Thought)

Fan Li (Founder of the Chinese Business School of Thought)

by Ruo Mu 

Section 1 : 激流勇退: 深明形势, 艰难创业
In China’s history, there were many stories in which the Chinese emperor killed those outstanding officials who contributed a lot to the empire.  Hence, some outstanding officials in history tried to portray themselves as being less ambitious in order to save their own lives.

Fan Li was known as outstanding official. He served the Yue Emperor faithfully. When the Yue Emperor lost his empire and served as a servant for 3 years, Fan Li helped the Yue Emperor to regain his empire. After the success of regaining the country, he quickly left the Yue Emperor and went off to different places to trade. He was very successful in all his trades and business, hence he is also known as “Cai Shen” God of Wealth in some books. 

Section 2 : 应时而变: 练就成一套做生意的妙招 

Fan Li believed that a person must think actively to open up more streams of income. It is important to have foresight and look for new streams of income. Otherwise, if one can only see the current business, one may not even be able to do well in the current business in future. When you have think about one stream of income, go ahead and do it fast, do not wait and procrastinate and give up the opportunity.Example Fan Li wanted to open a chinese medical store, however he has not much knowledge in the field. Hence he worked together with Liu Ying Cai to set up the business. 

A person must look ahead far in his business. If you can only think and see one yard for your business, the max. potential for your business is one yard. According to the book, Fan Li is adventurous to go ahead and understand more about the specific trade. There are some areas to understand in a business, example how to differentiate good and bad stocks. When will the price of the stocks be cheap? What is the price cycle etc? What are the main players in the market which determine the price? Understand some areas of importance in the specific business. 

Section 3 :以苦为乐:惨淡经营,富甲一方 

Hardship in life can be a kind of wealth. Without hardship, there will not be happinesses when one reaches the peak. Without hardship, there is no meaning in life successes. Fan Li believed that if a person is willing to go ahead and do a business properly, this is considered an outstanding person. 

Section 4 : 诚信为本 

It is very important to be honest in business.Do not cheat. It is important to build a personal reputation of being honest. 

Section 5 : 见微知者: 看落叶而知天下秋 

In learning how to do a business, there are many things to learn. Hence, it is important to be cautious and ensure continuous learning. Look from a bird eye view, manage things from the small matter, do not be overly ambitious, stubborn and one will have a more successful life. Fan Li is a kind and forgiving man even in business.  

Section 6 : 把理财视为第一要务
A businessman must be alert. If wealth visits you, you let it go away, even the Wealth God will get angry and will not take care of you. When Fan Li want to set up a bank, a sernior of his advised him to help take care of money for the army. During those times, many banks wanted such business, as it ensures the bank will have money and secondly the bank will be able to lend others money to get interest. However, there is a request, he has to put in $20,000 to cover up for the losses of an official who is retiring from office soon. The old official will help to ensure that Fan Li’s bank has continuous stream of referrals for army money.

This is a risky business, as the old official may just take the money and run away. However in business, sometimes it is better to make small losses in order to do bigger deals. 

Section 7 :  


You must be stable and steady. You need to have new ideas and thinkings that is in time with the pace of modern society, do not be scared of new technologies. 

Section 8 : 先会做人方生意通达 

不为钱而做人,要为人赚钱。You must earn money for the benefit of others. People favours are more important than money favours. If you ask someone for help, the help rendered by the other party is more important than money. You must remember to return it or be the person who help others.

Section 9 : Be patient

Patience is not the same as tolerance. Tolerance meaning to say you must tolerate being abused, humilated etc, being a weak person in life. Patience has greater meaning. To achieve a goal, the person is willing to endure the sufferings thus is being referred to as being patient.

Section 10 : Beautiful women

Most mens are easily enchantered by beautiful women. Hence, sometimes when one is unable to defeat another person in the proper way, the other route is get him fall for a beautiful woman, thus slowly ruining his reputation and career. 





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