Michael Zakkour had no experience dealing with China when he began working for a company in New Jersey that manufactured leather jackets.
"My background was high-tech marketing," says Zakkour. "My stock broker said he had a friend in New Jersey with this business and I should go talk to him."
"I went to talk to this guy, and he explained to me what he was interested in doing, and I explained to him that I was not qualified," he says.
Three weeks later Zakkour was on a plane to Beijing where he learned how products are made in China and how they reach shelves in America. Eventually he established his own consulting firm and expanded on the business model.
His company helps businesses break into the Chinese market, and also helps Chinese companies take their products directly to American consumers.
Besides jetting around the world, China consultants do pretty well for themselves.
"A good China sourcing, marketing, manufacturing or business consultant with a couple years' experience can make in the $75,000 to $100,000 range," Zakkour says.
"But once you start moving up the chain to where I am, with eight years of experience running your own company, the sky is the limit," he says.