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Weekly Feature, CEO Wang Yanming, Houhai English

This week, we speak to our CEO, Wang Yanming. He tells us about his life and his impact on others.

What were your earliest dreams and aspirations as a child?

"My earliest dream was to be able to eat chicken every day. True story. In primary school, I wanted to have enough good food to eat. I grew up in a poor mountainous area in China's countryside. I only ate meat once every month. I was hungry a lot. I wanted to eat meat with every meal. The most exciting time of the year was the Spring Festival. For Chinese people, it's the time for a big feast. And eating meat with every meal was my dream."

How do you wish to impact those around you?

"I treat my staff as sisters and brothers. I am older than most of my staff. So I want to treat them as family members. I want to help them figure out what they want in life and what they dream about becoming. I want to help them realize their truth and achieve goals. I wish to assist them in becoming a better version of themselves. I want them to love their job, be in happy relationships, continue learning, and teach them how to be honest with themselves. If someone isn't happy here, I support them in finding something that will make them happy. Ultimately, I want to see them become the best version of themselves.

What has been one of your most educating and inspiring travel experiences?

"The first picture to come to mind was in 2009, about 12 years ago. I went to Paris to visit Vincent Van Gogh. Why? Previously, I was reading his biography,' Lust for Life,' written by Irving Stone. I was impressed and shocked. I was shocked by Van Gogh's life story. I was impressed by his passion for painting. He was penniless, so he borrowed a lot of money from a brother to help pay for his living expenses. I did relate. I also have an older brother who funded my university tuition for four years. Van Gogh reminded me of myself in that regard. He gave me a lot of power when I was low. I was lost about what to do and what I wanted in life. I felt I had some talent, but I didn't get the recognition. After reading his book, I realized you could live the life you want, even if you are poor. You can pursue something you are genuinely passionate about. He had a more miserable life than I did. So in 2006, I made a wish. I wrote a blog and wished to go to Paris. In 2009, I went to Paris with my wife solely to visit Van Gogh's tomb. It was a foggy, muddy, and cold morning. We rented a car and drove down to a small town about 20 miles north of Paris, where Van Gogh is buried. First, we went to a small coffee shop, and then we went to visit his tomb. There were a lot of wildflowers and plants. I took two leaves that I have since laminated into a unique bookmark. That bookmark is in Van Gogh's biography, which now sits in my bookshelf."

What is something you're passionate about outside of work?

"Staying fit is my passion outside of work. I want to pursue my ideal body. I like to participate in all kinds of various sports. My father is a basketball coach. So last year, I started to learn tennis. This year, I am learning to play golf. I also like to go to the gym. I've run eight marathons. I aim to continue to build my stamina. Eighty-six pushups in one minute is my record. I focus on reaching my highest potential with my body.

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