Last night, I dreamt I was in Vietnam, having an authentic meal with my Vietnamese associate by the Mekong River. I noticed the trees and buildings along the river bank were covered in mud and asked the locals if the river often overflows. Indeed, they said when the tide comes in, the water level would rise and engulf the trees and buildings around us, sending shivers down my spine.
In my dream, my business associate looked like a movie star. He must have undergone massive cosmetic surgery because he looks nothing like that in real life. Anyway, the reason why I dreamt of him had nothing to do with his looks but everything to do with business. I was there to resolve some business matters.
I seem to be doing nothing but solving problems lately. A ship carrying some of our containers to South Africa had suddenly gone bankrupt. Our containers had been seized and my South African customer is now working on the recovery process.
Another customer in India who is not complying with custom formalities is also giving me sleepless nights. My UK principal has flown down to Mumbai to deal with them at this very moment.
While it is exciting to conduct business beyond our shores, the risk is very real and often very unforseeable. Then again, if everyone could gaze into the crystal ball, the world wouldn't be hurting today.