I love this quote by Aristotle Onassis “The secret to business is to know something that nobody else does.” 

In today’s information age with 24-hour television, mobile phones and the internet, people are exposed to more data in a single day than the average person in the 15th century consumed in a lifetime.

Estimates show it amounts to over 200 newspapers worth, or 6.9 million gigabytes, of information every single day.

That’s A LOT of data!

It’s far too much for the average person to consume.

However, if Aristotle is correct, you don’t have to. To be successful in business, you only need to know a few things that others do not, and then use that knowledge to help others get what they want.

The challenge is uncovering the “something” or “secret” you already know – or can learn – so you can help your target market achieve success.

As a team of International Aviation Consultants, we posses many market secrets that the average company seeking to expand internationally does not have.

This expert knowledge is crucial for companies who want to avoid stumbling around foreign countries like Bill Murray in his movie Lost in Translation.

The movie is a packed with hilarious clips of Bill struggling to understand cultural differences on a business trip to Japan. He blunders his way around Tokyo attempting to communicate and finds himself in several precarious situations.

International business expansion can be similar.

When operating in international markets, it’s easy for communication to get “lost in translation.” It doesn’t matter whether it comes in the form of a printed brochure, a conference call, or face-to-face meeting; differences in language, culture and mannerisms can obscure meaning.

Even the best efforts at translation can leave you scratching your head in confusion.

None the less, in business it’s critical to take multi-cultural communication serious as perceptions will vary greatly. Even seasoned communicators can get stuck in a ping pong game of misunderstandings and hurt feelings if a message is considered too harsh to one audience while too fluffy to another. This conundrum can unnecessarily disrupt business transactions.

International business communication requires a delicate balance of formality and informality. Knowing what to say, and how to say it, is a matter of intimate experience within a culture. It’s a skill learned by spending a great deal of time in foreign markets and not something attained by visiting a country once or twice.

Our country of origin will forever influence the way we communicate with the world. As we move toward more globalization, those differences should become more transparent and incidental. However, knowing the nuances that make us different and showing appreciation for them when working in international markets will go a long way in building relationships.

When expanding business across borders, it’s important to work with an International Aviation Consultant  with in-country experience. A great consultant knows the secrets of communicating within a particular culture.



Ana Fontes is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of Blue Sky Innovations Group. Ana is a multilingual native of Brazil and an American citizen. She has been working in cross-cultural markets for 27-years providing marketing and consulting services to many international and US-based companies. Ana can be reached at 972-294-5811.

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