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Exploring Guanxi: How Relationships Shape Our Perception of Humanity
Episode 5523rd August 2023 • Elements of Community • Lucas Root
00:00:00 00:59:15

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On Elements of Community, join host Lucas Root and entrepreneur Ruoyun Xu Killian as they unravel the mysteries of Guanxi – the intricate web of relationships that shapes our lives. Trends analysts Ruoyun and Lucas delve into the tug-of-war between individuality and collective belonging, redefine success beyond wealth, and explore rebuilding modern, 'faceless' connections.

Tune in for profound insights that challenge norms and discover the keys to nurturing meaningful bonds for enhanced well-being in any era.


Lucas Root: [:

Lucas Root: Ruoyun, thank you for getting to know me and for hanging out with me and for, you know, banging big ideas back and forth over the last several months and also thanks for introducing me to Guanxi.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah.

Lucas Root: Agreeing to come on.

r nerdiness of extreme human [:

Lucas Root: I'm glad didn't disappoint you

Ruoyon Xu Killian: It wonderful. Yeah it's really fun cause it's like, I was talking, one of the things that I talked about is like, I can see, as someone that is really deeply in the trends worlds, especially people don't realize this was so my background is social media and digital marketing. And people were like, Oh, that's fun.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: It's you're just creative. And I was like no. Social media is a direct reflection of human society. And when I look at trends and analytics, I'm looking at the trends and analytics of human evolution, which as a history nerd is like, my jam, I'm like being paid to do it in real time. And so it's really fun in that space.

he human evolution nerdiness [:

Lucas Root: I didn't realize it, but I built this podcast a year and a half ago just for this conversation.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Oh, that's so cute. I love it. I like, it's like everything happens and unfolds at the perfect time and perfect place as the saying goes.

Lucas Root: As the saying goes.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes. Yes. I'm sure that is a meditation quote somewhere in the many things of combat. So I'm not going to take credit for that quote, but yes.

Lucas Root: I'm you know what? It's probably roomy.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Probably. Probably. That human is a very deep old soul of a human.

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: That sees the world. Yes. Yes. We love it. Yeah, Cool.

Lucas Root: Yeah, so you were, I mean you and I know each other fairly well, you were saying in the green room that you're in several different communities.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And that's the reality of being human beings is that we're multivariants. So we have multiple different interests and multiple different groups and my background for those of you that don't know me. I am Ruoyun. I'm a human centered marketing and business advisor and my real day to day life is like I mentioned being a nerd about.

very deep level of creating [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And that's what I do on the day to day. And that has evolved over the years of being a speaker to create the next evolution for me. It's funny that you were talking about human evolution and our personal evolutions. My next evolution is creating a community called humans behind the brand, because the philosophy is that in order to do human centered business and really connect at the human level, because people do business with people, not just business.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: We have to honor the human beings behind the brand and that includes ourselves as business owners, but also very specifically our team. And so human behind the brand is a community that allows creatives, marketers, content creators, all the people that make the brand come to live.

ong the way. So, it is going [:

Lucas Root: I love it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: That's the evolution. Yeah.

d out the class and said, Hey[:

Lucas Root: And this is not a joke. I grew up in the backwoods of Vermont and one of my friends sitting next to me said the supermarket and meant it. And here we are in the backwoods of Vermont, where you would expect them to actually know better. And he said, the supermarket, and he meant it. Like, that's where beef comes from, the supermarket.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: So completely disengaged from the whole entire supply stream and like how everything is interconnected. I mean, we're talking our intention of the theme today's talk about Guanxi and I want to give a very like Western modern tactical view of it is from the time you wake up till the time you go to sleep, or like, within the 1st hour, you actually interact with at least 20 separate different companies.

't expect to have a business [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: I am very aware of Austin Energy and what they put out there and the way that they communicate, things like power outages and stuff like that and how they've done it and like the nuance of how they handle that conversation builds trust at the end and that's the point of it's not about points of connection is how trust is being built for it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: So yeah, yes, and that's the measurement of success in business Silence.

es it so easy for us to have [:

Lucas Root: I can't make a couch in a day. Like, I don't have the skills for it. I don't have the material for it. And yet, in a day's worth of labor wages, I can purchase a couch that cost me a day of work. Because we built this absolutely extraordinary machine. And one of the unintended side effects of that machine that we've created, that gives me the capacity to have anything I want, any time I want for the most part, even delivered to me, is that it takes all of those relationships and makes them faceless.

Lucas Root: And so we're more connected than we ever have been before.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: The more lonely than we've ever been before. Yeah. Yeah.

Lucas Root: Yeah,

he room from you. It's like, [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: There's no nuance. There's no conversation. None of that stuff. There's DMs like, private one to one messaging, you might have a side conversation in the common threads, but that is equivalent to like, you guys are waiting in line for coffee and you have a random 5 minute conversation that like, that's not deep at all in any single way.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And so it's the, people feel lonelier than ever and it's been put on a big stage like that was highlighted so much because of the pandemic of the loneliness that people occur to and then that brings forth the question of like, well, is it depth of the relationship or quantity of relationships?

. There's literally no brand [:

Lucas Root: Completely.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: It's

Lucas Root: useless. That's funny. I connected with somebody on LinkedIn the other day, and when I connect with people on LinkedIn, the first thing that I try to do is set up a Zoom coffee date. And you know, I call it various different versions of that, but really, I just want to sit down and get to know you.

Lucas Root: At one level of intimacy closer than the vanity metric of plus one on my LinkedIn follower count.

top of funnel and bottom of [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Again, entertainment, these apps are entertainment apps, so you're just landing on someone's feed for entertainment value, and then they like you, and they follow you, but you have to turn them into a fan of your show, and social media is designed to continue warming that, but like.

Lucas Root: That's it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: What is the in between, like if we're looking at the hourglass, right, if they're going and funnel in, go and funnel out, it's not just land and be my follower on social media, it's like there's an engagement point at the middle of the hourglass experience, right?

the service, experience the [:

Lucas Root: Buy the book, buy the course.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes, exactly. But it's more of like, not just like buying and consuming products, it's the experience of that, right? Like, diehard Harry Potter fans are like, Die hard Harry Potter fans, despite the whole JK Rowling issue, etc. Like, it was a fan, it's a fandom, true and true, to where like, there, I just saw trending on TikTok, a lady who completely made a Harry Potter themed realistic birthday party, like everyone, she made custom made wands for her kids and her kids like attendees.

he's prep, she works in that [:

Lucas Root: And the books several years before that.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Exactly. And the people, the reason why brands like that are so powerful is not because of just the experience of the book or the movie.

to interact with each other. [:

Lucas Root: When a host has empowered the community to self interaction.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Exactly. Yes. It's not a me show. It's a, how do we interact with each other and build something? That's a true powerhouse. Like think of your favorite party, like, if you go to any parties, I mean, we're both introverts, so it's not really easy for us to go to parties, but like think of like a party that you went to where you left feeling very energetically invigorated, like you were excited, right? Like you had solid interactions out of there, and it wasn't like, you probably went to the party because the host invited you, and you're like, okay, I know this person, but then you left making friends.

Lucas Root: Right.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right? That's what going into a community feels like, is I get invited to a party.

Lucas Root: I should feel like.

right? There's a lot of that [:

Lucas Root: In the content, real time. Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah, like that's the, so that's like the western sphere of what is evolving. And I think, if you're listening to this, if you're a viewer following Lucas for a long time, you probably already got the memo that success is not based on materialistic gains, but based on legacy and impact.

iterate this is that what is [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And that's like, and that is a concept that's been around for thousands of years before money was a thing, right? Cause that's how people were comfortable with trading in the beginning of civilization, right? Like money, like coins didn't exist. Currency didn't exist for a long time in evolution. So, which is trust. Right? And we're slowly like, to your point earlier of like, we have everything so easily accessible where there's a saturation.

ival access things no longer [:

Lucas Root: Beef comes from the supermarket.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes

Lucas Root: Now, me personally, I've taken that concept and turned it on its head. I personally have a direct relationship with the farmer that raises the cows that I eat so much so that I actually go meet the cows a couple of times a year, sometimes as often as once a month. Because I consider that to be an important part of me feeding into, pun intended, feeding into the supply chain that feeds me.

want that concept to just be [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right. I was like, well, you don't, it's the same thing of like, when we talk about social justice for companies and brands, right? Like so many people are like, you have companies need to be more socially aware and they have a voice. They need to say something. And I was like, okay, well, just like how we don't expect average any human in general to like, do everything all at once because there's just no capacity or bandwidth to that.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Why are we expecting these companies to do the same and it's all about progress at the end of the day. So it's that question of like, instead of spreading ourselves thin and only like hitting bare surface, what if they focus on the things that we actually care about?

himself and in turn feeding [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And cause I live in Texas and I am very lucky that I live in Austin where we have good recycling systems and certain areas of composting. And then I go out to East Texas and there's no recycling.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And I'm like just crying inside and I come out of like, I lived in multiple different countries, both in Europe and Asia and here, and I would lived in Korea and Japan where it's like 12 styles of recycling, like ultimate use of like, they import trash from other countries because they don't have enough to feel the way that their systems are done.

n't consciously be confident [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: I switched into using a period cap, menstrual cups, versus traditional tampons, which for any woman out there who's questioning on it, you save hundreds of dollars. I have saved at least probably close to a thousand dollars now in the last five years of adoption that I've switched over. And you never have that moment of, shoot, I have to go to the store to buy tampons. Like as a female that's awesome.

being who's trying to adapt [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Because even if you start there, It's gonna be nothing.

Lucas Root: Start with one thing.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. And just being aware. I think the biggest thing that came out of that earlier conversation of beef from the supermarket is like, to your point, they're just not aware of the intercanality, intricacies of it. I think people are starting to slowly be aware of the intricacies.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Like the supply chain, like everybody's like everything is more expensive and I was like, welcome to trade wars fueled by gas which then makes and then I was like, let's actually question how inefficient our distribution systems could be.

Lucas Root: Right?

cally, eat seasonally, like, [:

Lucas Root: It is very cool that we have avocados from Mexico available in our grocery store all the time. It's really cool.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah, it's a lot. It's unseen oversaturation though. I like I have friends that I used to have a lot of friends from Japan because we were, I had a, in my university, we had a sister city in Japan and I was part of their exchange system program. And so I just remember distinctly one of my friends coming to the U. S. for the first time and we went into the bread aisle and there was like, you know, 30 different versions of bread and she was just like, I've never seen this much and she's coming out of Japan and that is like product marketing central and she was even shocked.

e the level of saturation as [:

Lucas Root: Yeah, go down the cereal aisle.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Oh, God, I mean, I appreciate it.

Lucas Root: How many different ways are there to corn?

Lucas Root: Diabetic

Ruoyon Xu Killian: friendly cereal. Yeah. I mean, like, I appreciate it. Right? Like, I have diabetic friendly cereal that's now available to me, although it costs like triple the price of my favorite thing. But like, and then we questioned why do we eat cereal? But that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Lucas Root: We can go there if you want. I'm there with it.

e people don't recognize the [:

Lucas Root: This amazing machine that gives me anything I want whenever I want, right here at my doorstep, and it's faceless.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: On steroids, like, look at Timu, Xian, there's a lot of ethical problems in association to why that is so cheap, but that aside, like, that is, like, capitalism on steroids.

Lucas Root: Yeah, it's amazing.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: It is, but also like the and it's faceless. Well, I invite you to look at there's a if you ever get a chance you could look at the Swoop documentary on Xian.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: I think I sent you the link for it there's a reason why because you can always the reason why it's faceless points back to the intention of the owner.

ut another part of it is how [:

Lucas Root: All of that needs to be shipped to Taiwan where they're all assembled into a pencil and then they're shipped here. It's not even practical for it not to be faceless. There's so many moving parts, it is actually impractical for it to not be faceless.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right, well, there's also a difference of like, there's like one single pencil coming from the Taiwan manufacturer then gets rebranded into 20 separate brands. There's also that point too, right? So there is like, literally no tracking at all. But all of that is like classic industrial era thinking, like the reason why it's faceless is because it was designed in the industrial era. Whereas.

y beef is no longer faceless.[:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: True, you get to talk to, yes, and I mean, like, my eggs are no longer faceless. We buy, like, the really fancy eggs, because my husband went down the research realm of, like, Omega 3 eggs. So we use this specific brand, and they literally, in every box, has a hint of the week. Like, as Peggy loves to run around in the sun, like full on descriptor, which from a marketer, I was like, I appreciate what this is cringy.

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: But it builds brand trust and loyalty. Right. And so it's like, it's a difference of that. But it's also interesting to think about like how much trust it took to build that because yes, while it is faceless, it is massively powerful.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Like think of the volume of materials that goes in the amount of dollars. That's a billion trillion dollar industry, at least.

Lucas Root: Yeah. It's amazing. So.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: In that space. Yeah.

Lucas Root: [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right. Well, it's actually funny that we like, it's a great segue into talking about Guanxi because...

Lucas Root: It's almost like we plant now.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: We eventually tangent our way back into topic at hand. If you think about these the weight of impact built in these business deals plays a huge amount of role. So Guanxi is, in Chinese, the concept of relationships and when you deal with collectivist countries, like China. And different places, like relationships is the key.

n that took at least five to [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: That is being decided over, it can't be done in 2 sales calls. People need to know them and trust them because it's shifting and building a whole industry infrastructure. Like, think of the millions of lives affected by this, not just as consumers, but the employees, which is the most important factor because we are humans.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: We are consumers as much as we are employees. And that is the factor, so Guanxi is huge in the sense that Guanxi in English means relationship and the reason how we got on to the subject of Guanxi is because we were talking about the meaning of humanity and I was like, you know, English does not have a sufficient enough word to describe the meaning of connected humanity quite like the way that you could hear it in like a 4, 000 year history language.

lian: Like, if we need it in [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And it really came from kōng zǐ, which is going back to Confucian, and I'm looking to the side, so basically from Confucianism, it's like they're, a human being's identity comes from both who they are, but also who they are in relationship to others.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Now, in Confucianism, it literally boiled it down to, you are, there's the saying that you are the average of the five people that you surround yourself with.

ls down to, which applies in [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: It is what really it boils down to is what we talked about earlier, which is, how we, as an individual is contributing to our society through the relationships that we are building with our friends, our family, our business and everything in between. And that would be a more modern take on Guanxi today, using both an individualistic and a collectivist lens, like, if you use Guanxi to recap and cliff notes, if you're looking at Guanxi from a collectivist standpoint and viewpoint.

ely look at it from a human, [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: So that is Guanxi in a nutshell, and we've talked a little bit up to this point. About how it shows up in the Western world, like all the way that you touch a single decision of having a direct relationship with your beef provider or deciding to purchase from a smaller good company is huge. Small businesses in the U. S. is actually what drives the economy, not the trillion dollar businesses.

Lucas Root: Yeah. Well.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: But everybody only talks about the trillion dollar businesses.

liant, horrible psychologist [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: To World War II. I am here for it because I'm a nerd.

Lucas Root: Your here for it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah.

Lucas Root: I I love this. But I love it for a reason that's not immediately obvious.

Lucas Root: Although anybody who's a veteran of mine already knows where this is going. What Goebbels said in German effectively was, if you tell a lie loud enough, often enough, it becomes the truth.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Inception.

on of me Separate from those [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: No, I think it's more of like, it's a combination, right? Like going back to my earlier saying, human beings are multivariant.

Lucas Root: That's right.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: So, you are equally in connection, like, if I asked you to describe yourself, like, or if I describe myself, I'm like, I'm Ruoyun, I'm an entrepreneur, which puts me into one community, I am a wife, which is to my nuclear family, I am a friend to some of my closest friends in that space, so like, there are multiple things, I'm also a K pop fan, which Puts me or specifically a Mamamoo fan, which was me in a very specific fandom and that space, right?

ainbow shows up out into the [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And then how it shows up tactically is the rainbow of which we do, right? And so like, think of Oprah. Oprah owns, Oprah 50 things. Richard Branson owns Fifth Virgin, 50 different thing things, right? Like they are equally themselves as much as a collective version of all those things that they owe.

Lucas Root: But the point is it's neither in isolation so you can't be collectivist Isolated from individual, and you can't be individualist isolated from collective. It actually, like our safe, healthy existence requires both of them in balance.

contributing into the world [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And hear and listen from others in your evolution. Right? Like, so again, like, you can't be like, I'm all about evolving myself. Nobody's opinion matters because that's how World War Two actually probably started, if we really think about it.

Lucas Root: Think of how it happen.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah that's like, if you really look at the mental health of the the Nazi party leaders, that is quite literally what happened and they're like, well, they're in the collectivist, they average themselves with other sociopaths, so it was literally an oligarchy of sociopaths and psychopaths which relevated into that, and I was like, yes, and this is also why we say, culture problems don't happen because of the culture and environment as a whole. It happens because leadership needs therapy because they're not ready to face the different things that happen in there. Right?

Lucas Root: George Washington said anyone qualified to take the job would probably say no to it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Accurate, [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: You can actually be a leader in your own right, because the definition of a leader is someone who inspires others to own their own power, which is very different from managers.

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: That's a totally different thing. Managers manage people. Leaders inspire people.

Lucas Root: So, take the facelessness one step further. I don't think that managers manage people. I think managers manage tasks and there are people who complete those tasks.

bserve the end goal progress [:

Lucas Root: Yeah.

ad or you have a very strong [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Like, think of like the gold struts. There's actually a concept of emotional strands, which is about energy use, which is a whole other kettle of fish. But people are built on connections of that thread, and that connection is equal, right? Like, you hold one end and I hold another end. That should be the proper way of a relationship versus power dynamics. Yeah, no one should have a hook inside of you. And if you have a curiosity what that means in power dynamics, I suggest people go watch the Colleen Ballinger.

sexual stuff. But it's like, [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: His end goal and intention is power. And he just decided to choose the worst ways and he managed to do it.

Lucas Root: Yes. And you should read it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes, you should. There's a reason why it exists. There's a reason why it's not banned. People are like, why is this still available? It should be censored, da blah, blah, blah. And I was like, if you actually go into a library and look at the manifesto, they actually have the manifesto. And there a lot of the published works are, here's the Hitler Manifesto, and then here are all the historical notes on the side.

able of the Hitler Manifesto [:

Lucas Root: Well, we are forgetting.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: won't realize it.

Lucas Root: That's why you and I are having a conversation about Guanxi.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes, because I'm like, yeah, like, because it's like, again, like, if you are lonely, that means that, you have not had a chance to invest in deep relationships and If we pointed back to the biggest lesson that we learned from the pandemic, which is there's a chance of not existing in 72 hours, because that's how deadly COVID was, what would you regret?

that they didn't spend with [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yup.

Lucas Root: So what's the opposite of louder and more frequent? So let's say somebody is saying something, even if it's not a lie, let's say somebody is effectively filling the air around you with the same message over and over again. How do you step into a version of truth that's different from that noise?

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Critical thinking. I mean, people are, I always say if people are willing to be a little bit more compassionate.

Lucas Root: I'm gonna tease you, because the answer is Guanxi.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Oh, like trust, like.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: The

u're surrounded by loud noise[:

Lucas Root: So you with your husband, you with me, you with the revolutionaries.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right. That is, if we factor in the variable of the, if that person who seeks this advice is actually hosting healthy relationships.

Lucas Root: So we must.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right. Most humans don't know how to foster healthy boundaries and relationships.

Lucas Root: That's why we're having a this.

we use that emotional strand [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: You look at yourself and you're equally holding your end and then building relationship with the other person that you're holding on, that makes sense. But if there's a power dynamic difference, if someone has bad boundaries, and the stealthiest one is a family member that you grew up with and then they lost their privilege to be on your one inch by one inch advisory Council, aka that close niche list, you have to make that decision to decide if you want them on that list or not.

any names that exist on that [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah, I'm saying that, I'm calling that, not even religion. Because usually religion is dictated by a messenger, and that is another human being that may or may not have privilege. Now, how you perceive the actual written text is different. But, yes, not everyone has privilege to that. Now, yeah, so to your point, like, to get out of the noise, being very intentionally clear of who you add into that is huge.

re's that filter of relevant [:

Lucas Root: I like it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Boundaries.

Lucas Root: Boundaries.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Everything starts with boundaries. I mean that's what builds a very powerful relationship, a Guanxi, is boundaries.

Lucas Root: First we don't do any business until we've had dinner five times. Like that's the first boundary.

t if shit hits the fan, then [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Because adversity and challenges will always appear. Can you trust that person in good faith to do that?

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: So, mhm. The same thing applies for interviews. I feel like people go through this very transactional experience of interviewing someone to work under them, or work with them, and I'm like.

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Like, think about it. It's very transactional, and I'm like, but why?

Lucas Root: Never thought about it this way.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah, like, it's so, like, transactional in the recruiting world, but I'm like, if this is your business, babe, so like, say you're a business owner and you're hiring, like, your first 20, your first 40, right, like, this is your baby, and you bring some aunties and uncles who are gonna be helping you nurture this baby, are you gonna, like, do you trust them to do that? That's why the interview process should be intentional.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And

Lucas Root: some of [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Exactly. So like, can you actually handle them? And it's also, again, based on your mental health prowess, right? Cause culture problems exist because leadership needs therapy as it goes. And so it's like, if you heard us say that and your instant reaction is okay, well, I'm going to hire people that I vibe with and not hire people that I contradict with.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Okay. Then that is a reflection of your mental capacity for change.

Lucas Root: Listen, I have a difference of opinion with my wife at least once a day.

my background and depression.[:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And that's why I come across as confident, but he's just content and thriving. And my goal in life is like, how did you do that? And then how do we replicate it for our future kids? So they don't go down my route and go more real route. Like, how do I reduce the suffering for my future children? That is my goal in life.

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah. And that's, we're different, but we're also like at the same time, that's kind of the beauty of it.

Lucas Root: And you have your difference of opinion you have your disagreements and like you work through it.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Right.

Lucas Root: All the time.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes, and what gets created is way more powerful at that point too. Yes.

Lucas Root: And you've had dinner more than five times.

that there's this like rush [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Rome doesn't get built overnight. Like the creation of the pencil and the easy accessibility of the pencil is a hundred years. Yeah.

Lucas Root: It's a hundred years old and it took decades to get there.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And so, and I feel like people only think in like two year timeframes at most in the U. S.

Lucas Root: At best.

get there. And that's okay, [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: A lot of people also think like create the goal and set to the goal and stay forever to the goal. And as a J admires Briggs, I 100% get that. And I also 100% get the anxiety that comes with not being able to hit that. And what I find really powerful in older countries and brands, like Toyota does this really well, is like they have a goal, they have a system, but they were always okay to say it, stop and always okay to call pause, to say stop to adjust and tweak.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And I think that's really powerful to learn from and that's like Guanxi is about like building relationships and they do it but it's like constant relationships, right? Like the U.S is like one or two sales meetings done Make the experience and never come back again.

ke, did you just waste money [:

Lucas Root: A vendor.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And a vendor, all things. So let's say. Exactly.

thing from it. Like if they, [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: But if you never rebuild that continuous Guanxi or relationship with them, or even think about it through that lens, you only get 400 from them, but if you focus on rebuilding that relationship, they come back again and again. So that builds and they bring a friend, which is the free most powerful and brand resilient form of marketing ever.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And that's actually how businesses build. There's a reason why there are hole in the wall restaurants that do zero marketing. Word of mouth.

Lucas Root: Bring a friend.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Bring a friend.

Lucas Root: My experience was so good that the next time I go, I can't go without sharing this with somebody. My wife, my best friend. I have to share it

profit [:

Lucas Root: And it happens at about 3, 000 a month, by the way.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes.

Lucas Root: You're all wondering.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah, it is 3, 000. I did 600 for easy math, but it is usually more than that.

Lucas Root: Thank you.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah. Thank you for having me.

Lucas Root: I like to close my interviews with three questions. The first is, for the people who have been inspired by you, what's the one best way they can find you?

platform, or they can go to [:

Lucas Root: Yeah, awesome. Second question, this is a curveball. What is the one question you wish I had asked?

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Maybe what is the one step a human being can take to start activating Guanxi? Because I feel like our conversation has been about explaining why Guanxi matters, which honestly has been the thesis of the last three years is like, why does it matter to humanize humanity? Yes.

Lucas Root: It's a fascinating conversation. Like, it never occurred to me that when I grew up, I'd be trying to tell people how to human better.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes, because we take it for granted. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's like the beef in supermarket, right? Never in a million years will we have to explain like, yeah, you should have a relationship with who you purchase from.

Lucas Root: And [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah, it goes to the starting part of our conversation is boundaries with people that you vibe with. I think the biggest thing when you're talking about building Guanxi is like, are you clear on your boundaries and intentions of how you choose to build relationships?

Lucas Root: I like it. Now let's remind people that the first and most important boundary that we talked about was five dinners. So boundaries aren't just about stay away. They aren't just about don't cross this line. Boundaries are also about, as I am bringing you in, this is the path that I'm going to bring you in on. You want to get close to me. If you want to take the next level with me, we're going to do five dinners.

rs, but it's a friend quest. [:

Lucas Root: Yeah.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Just because they got the privilege on five years ago doesn't mean they have the same privilege five years later.

Lucas Root: Completely appropriate. Maybe there's like a time horizon to the five dinners. Like, two months, one of your dinners has expired.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Well, it's just checking in with people, right? Like, people go through deep self discoveries. Like, I had a friend who's like, I'm going through this deep self discovery, and she's like, Okay, now what? How do I build this business? And I'm like, You literally did this for like your last iteration of your business.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Go back to those same people and update them.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: You already got the trust built. Why are you trying to do cold calling? Yeah.

Lucas Root: Do you have [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: You are Operating at your own unique pace, if you are watched all the way to the end, you've heard Lucas and I talk about how his podcast has evolved perfectly to the perfect time for this conversation, how my community is coming to fruition in the perfect time and perfect place. Those are each of our own unique paces and is now defined by society.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: It's defined by what we're aligned to. There's no right or wrong to that.

Lucas Root: What a lovely message. You're operating at your own unique pace. We all do.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: And that's what makes you, yeah. And that's what makes you awesome.

Lucas Root: Amazing. Ruoyun, thank you. I appreciate you. Thank you for coming.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Of course. Thank you for having me and having a chance to nerd out about all the things. We've covered a lot of layers.

as Root: We covered a lot of [:

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yes, humans are like onions and we've filled off quite a few layers. Yes.

Lucas Root: Awesome. Thank you.

Ruoyon Xu Killian: Yeah.