(Minghui.org) Mark Hutchison, an entrepreneur, founded a timber flooring company in Western Australia in 2002 after graduating from the university. The products were manufactured in China. With his outstanding talent for business and innovative ideas, his flooring business grew rapidly and he quickly stood out in the industry. He won many awards, such as the Western Australia 40under40 Award for business leadership in 2006.
His company became a leader in the industry. He holds two Australian patents for product innovations, which he sells exclusively through his retail business.
Despite becoming a multi-millionaire, Hutchison did not revel in the aura of success. In fact, he was examining a question in his heart that he could not avoid: As a businessman, how should he deal with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is hostile to the universal values held by the international community?
“The bravest move I ever made was when COVID-19 came. I said, ‘Mark, this is your time to get out of China!’” Hutchison recalled. No one expected that his decisive move would help his business amid the global turmoil.
Be the Best Version of Myself
Seventeen years ago, tall and ambitious Hutchison lived a happy life. He had money, a reputation, prestige, a loving wife, a nice house, and everything else. Among the business elite, who really cared about the truth and justice in the world outside of his social circle? Back then he was a heavy drinker and an “egomaniac,” but deep down inside he wanted to be the best version of himself.
He grew up in a poor single-parent family. Hutchison said, “When you grow up on a concrete floor with a mom who couldn’t feed you, you end up being super resilient.”
He was quite broke as a youngster and was determined to prove himself, thinking, “I’ll become a multimillionaire, I’ll prove all of you wrong.” He became a multimillionaire when he was 32 years old.
At the pinnacle of his business success, he became seriously ill. He found that having money and status was not the most important thing. “I realised that my life was out of balance,” he said.
He had developed a very serious intestinal disease and lost about one-quarter of his body weight. He went from 212 pounds to 154 pounds.
“From Western medicine’s point of view, it was incurable. So Western medicine had given up on me. I tried everything,” he said, “If this disease had gotten worse, I might have even lost my life.”
His brother practices Falun Gong and encouraged him to learn about it.
When Hutchison opened an English version of Zhuan Falun he was shocked. “My goodness, this was an opportunity for me to be the best version of myself. But this was the true way to do it, not the materialistic way, the show-off way, the self-promoting way that I had adopted. I had become quite obnoxious. So it was time for me to become a real human again,” he said.
After studying the Fa and doing the exercises, Hutchison’s illness was cured. Through cultivation practice, Hutchison found the root causes of his life being out of balance. “I was an egotistical, materialistic egomaniac. While I was very successful, it was an unbalanced situation. Practicing Falun Gong gave me an opportunity to genuinely improve myself from the spiritual side and bring myself back into balance.”
Returning His Business to a Traditional Way of Working
Hutchison not only regained his physical and mental health after practicing Falun Gong but also gained greater fame and achievements for himself and the company. In 2010, Hutchison won the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and his company was shortlisted for the Australian Enterprise of the Year Award, Family Business of the Year Award, and Telstra Enterprise of the Year Award. In 2014, his flooring company won the Australian Timber Flooring Association Showroom of the Year Award.
“The reason we’re famous is because we have a heart. We always endeavor to do the right thing,” Hutchison explained, “We’re always following these principles to be kind, truthful, and tolerant. It means you have to be very strong in this day and age because people’s morals are very broken. You have to be very patient.”
He is also kind, patient, and tolerant with his staff, promoting and helping them develop. “If you can get your staff to be the best versions of themselves, you can genuinely believe in them. You encourage them and you be tolerant when they make mistakes. You can be firm with them in guiding them, and then they will see that you actually care about them.
“And then they will produce something wonderful. So what we produce is something very beautiful for society. Our products and our services are something very special for society. And those are in fact the manifestation of Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
“Society needs business. But most business owners are only concerned with their own self-interest,” he said. As a business owner, Hutchison pays attention to having good moral character, cultivating talent, and innovating products and techniques. He believes that his company’s ultimate goal is to help clarify the truth, benefit society, and promote Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
“Everything we do is very well considered so that we don’t damage society, and we return business communities to their traditional ways of working,” he said.
The Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance practiced by Hutchison has deeply moved the people around him. His employees have supported Hutchison in defending human rights and have spoken out for Falun Gong. “If I ever need to go somewhere to do a Falun Gong event, or if I need to talk to politicians, they’re all behind me,” he said. Perhaps his employees sense that Mark is on a mission, and they actually feel the mission themselves, so they are very supportive.
Out of a Crisis
Though it has taken time, countries around the world have gradually come to see the true nature of the CCP and want to withdraw their industries from China as soon as possible. “The persecution of Falun Gong in China is outrageous, and the CCP is evil in nature. They harvest organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, which exposes its cruelty and evil,” Hutchison said.
By 2019, Hutchison had been doing business in China for more than a decade and he began to examine his business and his conscience.
Sometimes he made excuses for himself. “I was making money in China, and I didn’t want to leave that alone, but I knew I shouldn’t be there. To some extent, it was tantamount to supporting the CCP in persecuting Chinese people,” he said.
The COVID pandemic in 2020 was a crisis, and he knew that it was time to move his business out of China.
At that time, Hutchison’s company was the largest and most successful bamboo flooring company in Perth. “At that time, the product I was operating with was patented bamboo flooring. If I were to withdraw from China, I would have to give up this patented product.”
He loves bamboo flooring and the sustainability of bamboo, but looking deeper, supporting an evil regime is not sustainable. For him, it was not feasible. “I made a difficult and important decision. I had to drop that product which meant that I lost about $3 million (Australian) dollars a year,” he recalled. “Get out of China and get the truth out, because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the biggest crisis I’ve ever faced.”
His managing accountant told him that he only had six months of stock, so if he couldn’t find a substitute manufacturer in six months, he was going to go bankrupt. He was in Perth in lockdown, the state was in lockdown, and he wasn’t even sure if his company was going to be able to survive. He had to ship logs to other South Asian countries. He couldn’t go there. He had never met these people but he had to ship them raw materials and train them how to make his products via the Internet.
“It was extremely nerve-racking. It’s a complicated product to make. It’s a patented design. And it takes six months to make it from scratch. It was my greatest danger, and at the same time a new opportunity,” he said.
As soon as he got out of China, the Australian and CCP regime had a disagreement. The Australian government called for an independent investigation into the source of the COVID-19 virus, and the CCP retaliated against a series of Australian export industries.
The CCP banned the import of Australian wood materials. So if he hadn’t of gotten out of China, he would have gone bankrupt anyway. The factory in Shanghai that he had bought his materials from was also shut down.
After moving manufacturing out of China, Hutchison focused on developing wood flooring products and renamed the company. The company’s business increased by 20 percent year-on-year. “The company has continued to grow because we did that very brave act,” he said.
“The Chinese character for crisis is made up of two words: danger and opportunity,” Hutchison said.
In August 2023, his company won the ATFA Excellence Innovative Product of the Year Award. Hutchison did not expect that his decision would save the company from bankruptcy, but his choice based on kindness and integrity saw him through the crisis.
Chinese version available