The Los Angelas Tribune

How long have you been working on this book and why did you decide now was the time to finish it and share it with the world?

The book has taken only one month to write, but it has been written in my heart over a dozen years. And there is also a philosophical question as to when any book is ever ‘complete.’ However, a time did come when I felt it was ready, especially given recent events in the world. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that philosophy and reflection are vital to happiness. That might be the one good thing to come of it. I hope I can contribute to that awakening.

You have accomplished a lot in your life.  What accomplishments are you personally most proud of and where does this book fall in that list?

The great lesson about success in life is that when you fail, you start again. If you fall, you get up. When my first businesses failed, I began again, from the beginning. That was an accomplishment that laid the foundations for all the others. Discovering the Tao and studying it intently was a key event that allowed me to put all the changes in my life into perspective. After more than half of my life Journey has been covered, what makes me happiest is that at any given moment to have an equal attitude toward all and be kind to all. I believe that in this world there is a united system that contains us all, big, or small, humans and nature, without baseness and nobleness, correlating and depending on one other for growth and development. That’s the first. The second is everything can re-start again. Every inch of time is important. I went through many failures and defeats, I started again bravely and with ease. This is a big achievement. This achievement is foundation of all other achievements.

What do you want this book to do for you?

The book is an introduction to how I think, and why I approach business the way I do. From that, there may come a recognition of what we have achieved by applying the lessons of our ancestors in the present time. I’m very eager to exchange views and ideas against the backdrop of the global cultural exchanges. This is only a “rock attracting jade” with my readers. Only communications and exchanges of ideas with the global readers can this book fulfill its mission.

What do you want this book to do for the world?

I would like people to see that history is a circle, and that literature is one of the greatest gifts our ancestors have handed down to us. We are reading our own future. I hope to show how in philosophical terms I approach the various enterprises in which I am engaged, and to share my view that the beauty this world contains does not recognize where countries begin and end. The insights of ancient China are as relevant today as they were when first formulated. I feel that people generally are experiencing a detachment, a lack of identity. We all come from somewhere. 

With such a large market and so many connections in your homeland of China, why did you want it in English and in the US?

First of all, there is the challenge of real, which means translating ideas and conceptions, not just words. That is a big challenge. Words mean nothing unless connected in a real way to people’s experiences and desires. This book can be a testimony. It can create a sense of togetherness by showing the ways in which we think differently. The book brings up many subjects, for instance my upbringing, the Tao, and business affairs. The English edition is important because it shows that dreams can be translated, and that histories can be shared, directly from one culture to another. 

What are a couple of the big lessons taught in the book or what do you think people will most get out of the book?

People will perhaps view it as a book they return to again and again. A key lesson is do not put yourself above all others. We exist in the same global system and move together. Another is to value who we are by examining where and who we came from. We don’t exist in a vacuum. I see that tracing ancestry is becoming more and more popular in the West, as it should be. There is the importance of hiring from inside your own company rather than assuming that talent from outside is the automatic solution. Another lesson is the value of craft, of learning a skill and taking great pride in it. I also touch on our relationship to animals, and how eating less meat is desirable.

This book seems to be a part of a movement that has other parts to it.  I understand that you also wrote a song.  How does that correlate with the book?

The movement is an increasing awareness of how the Tao can change life for the better. How it can contribute to your wealth, your sense of completeness, and your relationship with the world. That relationship exists on many levels: finance, beauty, art, where we live, etc. The song is connected to the book because it connects wisdom with young people and makes it accessible. Words come alive.

What has surprised you more, all the views and attention of the song The Prayer or all the success of the book?

The view count for the song The Prayer is certainly inspiring! Any artist is happy when she shares a certain harmony with others, whether through music or words or painting.
Autumn Dialogues, after its coming to the Chinese world, has over 100,000 retweets and the song The Prayer had over 1 billion views. This is really inspirational! This means in the current global environment, there are 1 billion people who share the same rhythms with me, have the same care and concern of the common topics. This excites me! Be it music, literature, or painting, to share the thoughts and emotions with the others of the likeminded, it’s a great joy! My sincere gratitude to all!

What’s next for you?

We are opening a new movie studio in Hollywood called DYF Entertainment. We hope to attract talents from all over the world to create films that the entire family can watch and enjoy, which in turn create communication and harmony within the home. The Family Film Awards, born in 1996 in Hollywood, will be great again under my company’s management, and it will transform with innovation, vitality, and glory!

Madam Xiaoqiu Ma is the founder and President of China DYF Group and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Hong Kong listed multi-billion-dollar asset management firm (HK 612). As a self-made billionaire, her entrepreneurial spirit, and the unique management style she brings to DYF (Ding Yifeng) are detailed in her bestselling book Autumn Dialogue秋言物.

In her book A CEO Diary, Madam Xiaoqiu states: ‘If you rush, you lose investors’ money. No one has the right to do so’. Her collection of eighty-one essays details the hurdles she overcame in the twenty years it took her to turn a one-million-dollar investment into a multi-billion-dollar financial holding company. The story of Ms. Ma Xiaoqiu is not only the story of one contemporary Chinese woman CEO, but also a narrative for Chinese women entrepreneurs who collectively enable growth and success in their employees and clients. A noted Hollywood producer is currently adapting A CEO Diary for film.

Over the years, Ms. Ma has invested in technology, health, travel and resorts, fashion, and beauty. Last year, together with the Board of Directors, she decided to invest in the film industry, and established the Beijing Lishi Film Group. Its aim is to co-produce and promote sophisticated, family-oriented movies for a universal audience.

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