Huan Ming, ‘The Sun King’ – an en­tre­pre­neur pros­per­ing from his pur­pose

China’s lead­ing so­cial en­tre­pre­neur. A man, mo­ti­vated by love for his daugh­ter, is set­ting out to change the world.

Living Now - - Contents -

8am, Chi­na­town, Syd­ney. I am ner­vous.

Hav­ing nav­i­gated the over­crowded pave­ments, honk­ing cars, men push­ing bar­rows of fruit and fowl, and noisy kitchens echo­ing Man­darin, turn­ing the bar­rowloads into sump­tu­ous steam­ing feasts.

I am now sit­ting in the foyer of a 2-star ho­tel. I don’t think the concierge speaks English, but he has a warm smile. That’ll do. I am about to have break­fast with a bil­lion­aire. I’m ner­vous. I’ve never met a bil­lion­aire be­fore. I had ex­pected 5-star lux­ury, piped mu­sic, a ret­inue of as­sis­tants, plush sur­rounds. He trav­els sim­ply, and alone. I am ush­ered into the dining room, plain lam­i­nated ta­ble tops, no ta­ble cloth, no waiter.

I am here to meet the glob­ally revered Huan Ming, ‘ The Sun King’ from China, a world lead­ing pi­o­neer of re­new­able en­ergy. He has trans­formed China’s ap­proach to en­ergy con­sump­tion. He is con­sid­ered a ge­nius by many who know him.

Suc­cess leaves clues. I am keen to hear his suc­cess for­mula. He comes into the room, sees me, and a cheeky grin springs to his face. He looks at ease with smil­ing. He is diminu­tive, and a tad di­shev­elled. This puts me at ease. His English is bro­ken; grab­bing words and twist­ing them into sen­tences, that some­how make sense. He comes to Syd­ney reg­u­larly; his daugh­ter stud­ies here. I am struck by his open­ness, hu­mil­ity and in­quis­i­tive na­ture. He wants to know all about me, loves Maori cul­ture, pok­ing his tongue out to prove his point. We start to talk about his global mis­sion to turn the world to­ward so­lar power, and re­new­able en­ergy sources. A dark cloud de­scends over him. He be­comes dis­tracted, fid­gety. It feels like there is now an ele­phant in the room. As a coach, I can­not re­sist ask­ing him what is so dis­con­cert­ing.

“I need help”, he says. “I travel all over the world, at­tend­ing and speak­ing at in­ter­na­tional Sum­mits on Cli­mate Change. I meet lead­ers, Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia, pres­i­dents, past pres­i­dents, lead­ers of in­dus­try; they all wel­come me, and are so ex­cited and shake my hand say­ing, “Marvel­lous, marvel­lous. We’re go­ing to get be­hind cli­mate change”, and noth­ing hap­pens. It makes me sad. For ten years it has been this way”. A sad pause fol­lows. “Can you help me?” My brain freezes. I have a pri­vate, qua­ver­ing, mo­ment, ‘Can I help a bil­lion­aire?’. I feel a coach­ing mo­ment de­scend. I ask, “How long have you been in busi­ness?” “Twenty years.” “How was the first ten years?” “It was so easy. So much hap­pened. Every­thing flowed. There was no strug­gle. We were all so happy.”

“What were you do­ing then, that you are not do­ing now?”

A long, deep pause en­sues, fol­lowed by a sheep­ish smile. The dark hov­er­ing cloud dis­ap­pears.

“We worked with pure in­tent, and with joy in our hearts. Our motto was ‘Blue skies and green fields for our chil­dren’. It is what got me out of bed, and al­lowed me to work very hard, but for the last few years we have been lost in try­ing to achieve, and change peo­ple, and sell our ideas.”

A soft pause fol­lows. In a quiet tone he says,” I am go­ing to re­turn to pure in­tent”.

His pos­ture shifted, he sat up straight, em­bold­ened – a man re­stored.

We both shared how it is so easy to get lost in the pur­suit of ‘stuff’, and how im­por­tant it is to come back to what works for you, and ef­fort­less­ness is a big clue. We both left smil­ing. I am not ner­vous of bil­lion­aires any more.

What is the pure in­tent be­hind your work? You might have a bil­lion dol­lar idea sit­ting in­side you.

RE­SOURCES: Link to So­lar Val­ley in China, fea­tur­ing Huan Ming. watch?v=qt3g3­fozuhoas ■

Ju­lian Noel, mas­ter coach spe­cial­is­ing in en­trepreneurs, pur­pose and pros­per­ity. Founder of Shine, where he cre­ates events that show­case en­trepreneurs mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the world.

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