How Not To Run An Organization – From Mission to Mausoleum

Most organizations start with a Man and his vision to change the world around him.

This man then crafts a Mission to enroll likeminded people to help fulfill the shared mission.

As the team grows, the passion, commitment to, and perseverance for the Mission become diluted.

Some team members become distracted.

They are more engrossed with developing bureaucratic structures, systems, processes and procedures.

The organization now becomes a Machine that aims to fulfill the Mission.

At the same time, it tries to satisfy different personal and group agendas, aims, inclinations and outcomes.

The work gets done but the original fire is slowly being extinguished.

The initial momentum is slowing down.

Soon, like many organizations, it becomes a Monument.

It may be large, profitable and even growing, but somehow the X factor is gone.

There is no more oomph factor in the organization.

People go to the office and say, “It’s just another job.”

Many of the leaders and people in the organization just go through the motions in the workplace.

Slowly but surely, they start to create unnecessary paperwork and rigid procedures to protect their jobs.

They start to be involved with politicking and fight for their turfs.

Meanwhile, the customers’ needs are not properly met.

Competitors start to overtake them.

Eventually, it becomes like a Mausoleum, with people who are psychologically dead but simply not buried.

The organization becomes a case study of what not to do as an organization.

People who know them and know of them begin to shake their heads.

They will say some of the saddest words that can come from a mouth, pen or keyboard:

“How it might have been…”

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Advertisements

Living The Way

Imagine two adults leaning on the edge of a swimming pool – deep in a conversation.

You have to imagine the scene because that swimming pool, which was located in what was known as the Pinetree Club, doesn’t exist anymore.

The Club, including the pool, had been demolished to make way for an upmarket residential development.

That two adults, totally strangers to one another, had just met while swimming after office hours.

Both of them were living in two different worlds.

Yet, in their own different ways, they were trying to change the future.

One of them was a hot-blooded and starry-eyed entrepreneur who was deeply engaged in the early stages of a new era.

That entrepreneur was yours truly.

The other person, whom you would call a money man, was looking to finance the next entrepreneurial breakthrough.

That year was 2000. Prior to that fateful meeting, the world had become more and more mesmerized by an invisible force.

There was no name for the force but many believed that it had the power to affect almost anybody, anywhere, and at any time.

There was no appropriate name to describe the force. Some call it the “Dot-com boom”.

Historians can argue over many of the issues during the dot-com boom.

However, they cannot deny that it had played a part to influence the start of a “tsunami”.

A tsunami that can potentially change the landscape of the global economy and society – right down to possibly the last person in the remotest part of the world.

At that point, my friends and I had developed arguably the world’s first multimedia online learning platform.

This platform is to ensure that learning from world-class gurus and accessing their knowledge and expertise areavailable, accessible and affordable to ordinary persons on the street.

Within a relatively short period of time, we had thousands of fee-paying customers in more than seven countries.

To say that we were breaking all previous records forbusiness growth during the dot-com boom was an understatement.

We were literally blazing new trails and chalking up unprecedented achievements.

By comparison, most of the pioneers of the dot-com boom were burning warm tender cash while trying to attract more and more eyeballs.

They were giving away all kinds of freebies in the hope of eventually winning loyalty from a critical mass of targeted customers.

By doing so, they hope to impress the next round of investors to finance their “world-changing” pursuits.

Every entrepreneur during the dot-com boom was selling his own version of a life-changing and world-beating dream and business model.

Sadly, many of them were not able to raise the oft-repeated “just a little more money” to turn their dreams into reality.

Almost on a daily basis, there were reports of start-ups crashing and going belly up.

The dot-com highway was strewn with broken dreams and in some cases, broken lives too.

Our company was one of the few companies that was ahead of the game.

We were achieving exponential growth – but we also had our fair shares of fears, uncertainties and doubts.

And so it came to pass when I was at the swimming pool trying to “drown” my worries, stresses, and fears when I met “Mr. Financier”.

I gave him the title in my mind and I was not giving him the accolade lightly.

After sharing with him our dream of transforming the world, he offered to invest in our company.

Subsequently, I realized he was the second man in probably the largest investment company in Singapore and also, one of the largest of such companies in the world.

Mr. Financier eventually became one of the most respected and influential leaders on both national as well as regional levels.

At that point, our dot-com company had achieved phenomenal growth.

However we were still losing money even though we had reduced our burn rate to a relatively low level.

Still, the losses were eating into our diminishing savings.

When Mr. Financier offered to invest in our company, we were jumping for joy.

However, we faced a difficult and a painful choice.

If we had accepted Mr. Financier’s investment, it could help us strengthen the capacity and capability of our company, and helped us improve its edge and growth.

On a personal level, we might even be able to draw a better salary, reduce our stress levels, and hang on to our business for a longer period.

Truth be told, we were not sure if the investment could help us stay alive on a sustainable basis.

The business world was changing so fast and technology was advancing at such a rapid rate.

We were beginning to see many similar companies, including copycats, competing with us.

They added a variety of features to their business models to differentiate themselves from us.

What if we took Mr. Financier’s money and then the company bit the dust?

How would we give an account to Mr. Financier and his shareholders and investors?

Would we be able to appease our conscience, maintain our reputation, and face the world subsequently without feelings of regret and remorse?

How would our families, our friends and the market feel about us?

Could we sleep well after losing other people’s money?

These were some of the questions haunting us and causing us many a sleepless night.

In the end, my partner and I were not confident that with the fresh injection of capital, we could achieve success, let alone survive the bloodbath ahead of us.

We could not assure ourselves that we could generate an equitable return for the investment company.

After considering the decision from many angles, the draw of good money couldn’t move our hearts and minds.

We turned down the investment.

Our decision was driven by what our forefathers hadtaught us – a value that was embedded within the Chinese culture.

We aimed to be a “jun zi” (君子) or to translate it loosely, an honorable and exemplary person.

In a nutshell, a “jun zi” is a moral, responsible and knowledgeable person. He is a trustworthy person who upholds positive values and conducts himself properly.

Moreover, the “jun zi” is disciplined in addressing social injustice and contributing to the wellbeing of his community and society.

He seeks to serve the interests of the others instead of serving his own interests.

The ways of the “jun zi” run contrary to the “xiao ren” (小人) who does not appreciate and live out the value of virtues.

The “xiao ren” seeks his own gain, without considering both the intended and unintended consequences of his actions.

In addition, he forges ahead at the expense of others and has no concern about leaving them behind in life.

At the core of being a “jun zi” is integrity.

Integrity is the state of being whole or complete.

In other words, to have integrity is to seek to adhere to the highest possible level of moral, ethical and performance standards.

A life of integrity is a life that’s based on values and the good of others rather than on personal pleasures, interests, or benefits.

You should not settle for anything less than what is the right thing to do.

What you do in private should be in alignment to what you do in public.

By doing that, you can live your life with confidence because you can be honest and true to yourself as well as to the people around you.

Should your life be published in the newspaper or made into a movie, you have no need to feel guilty or worried.

Your family or your friends will be proud of you and happy to know your life story.

Your children can only think well of you and want to grow up to be like you.

As they say, the best way to be trusted is to earn it.

The best way to earn trust is to not only walk your talk. You should also walk the walk that will earn admiration and respect from others.

As a leader seeking lasting success, you need to live the dream and show the way.

You need to say what you would do and do what you said you would do.

Be the kind of a leader that you want your colleagues and followers to emulate and a leader that they are happy to emulate too.

Continue to learn, change and improve yourself so as to exemplify the pursuit for higher standards of performance and results.

In doing so, you live out the qualities that will continue to win their cooperation, respect, affection, and loyalty.

Without integrity, what you have built will not last long. It’ll eventually fall apart and lead to failure.

Therefore, Integrity is first and last. It is the underlining drive for all your actions.

You should never compromise on integrity and sell your soul for any price.

It is sad that these values are not being taught and passed down by many leaders, teachers and elders and being enforced as a way of life.

In today’s world, we see many who are pressing on towards meaningless pursuits without achieving lasting purpose and significance.

As the Good Book would say, “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mark 8:36 DBT).

In the end, what you may be left with are your memories, satisfaction, pride and fulfillment for what you have done, achieved and contributed to the world around you.

At the end of your life, how would you want memories of your life to be?

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Bullet-Proof Yourself.

“Patrick, get ready to fight the mother of all battles in your lifetime.”

Those words were spoken by my lawyer.

At that point, he had spent months to help prepare my company to become a public-listed company.

Towards the end of the project, he had a warning our management team.

When our corporate aspiration was made known to the public, we could be stirring a hornet nest.

In a nutshell, anybody and everybody could lodge a complaint about us to the relevant authorities and they can do it anonymously too.

These complaints can be raised on cyberspace as well as through many different channels.

What’s more, the relevant authorities can direct us to investigate every complaint, even if it meant delaying the listing process and spending a lot of money to clear the air.

This warning was confirmed and repeated to us by our banker, accountant, and other professionals working on the project.

My lawyer told our management team, “These complaints can be largely divided into two categories.

“First, allegations that you did not meet the high legal, ethical and moral standards to list on a credible securities exchange.

“Then, there are frivolous complaints to hold you back or prevent you from a successful listing.”

Our investor relations consultant further added, “Some of these complaints may be leaked to the public.

“As a result, they will haunt you and shame you, your company, or any or some of your senior executives for a long time.

“Furthermore, these complaints can be raised by almost anybody, including foes, fools, friends, or even family members.

“They can be anybody who has crossed your path, including a disgruntled ex-colleague, an unhappy ex-lover, or an unethical competitor.

He can also be a dissatisfied customer, a hateful enemy, or even a friend who is jealous of your achievement.”

Our banker did not help in lessening our worries. He told us, “Before being listed, 99% of companies has received such complaints.”

Obviously, I asked about the 1% of companies that was spared from the anguish.

The banker laughed and said, “I do not know of any company that has not received any complaint.

“I have to assume that there may be such companies out there.”

In other words, no company is spared.

After hearing the warning, every single executive in our management team was deeply concerned.

All of us have our fair share of enemirs in our lives.

In the final stages of the project, I had to search my soul.

I revisited past experiences and reviewed how I have conducted my life.

If I was worried, the worry did not last long because my conscience was clear.

Right from the first way I walked into the business world, I knew I wanted to do the right thing, to do well, and to do good.

At the end of the journey, I aimed to look back and be proud of myself. I would be able to give a good account of myself to our Creator.

And so I was able to lead my team to complete the listing project without being distracted and without carrying unnecessary emotional baggages.

Right till the day we rang the bell and became officially listed on the securities exchange, we did not have a single complaint.

If the relevant authorities had received a complaint, they must have felt that the complaint was too frivolous and unsubstantiated to warrant a response.

Moral of the story?

As you go through life, whether you are on the right track or on the wrong track in life, there will always be enemies.

In fact, if you have no enemies, you may have to search your soul. Chances are you are not on the success track.

You may think that by doing nothing, you will have lesser or no enemies. Unfortunately, there will be people who will still hate you for doing nothing.

Throughout the journey of life, I’ve met many people who are fond of criticizing others and throwing mud at people around them.

Why do they do it?

Let me hazard the following guesses:

1. It makes them feel that they are better than others. They feel that they have a right to pass judgements on them.

They feel good and superior about themselves.

2. They do it as a way to escape from themselves.

Instead of confronting their own weaknesses and feeling bad about their weaknesses, they redirect their attention on others

3. They do it as a revenge and to spite others.

They don’t have the courage to straighten things out with the other parties and they consciously or unconsciously decide to bring others down.

4. It is also possible that they have good intentions to help others to change and to become a better person.

They have a mistaken notion that the more they criticise others, the more and faster these people will improve their lives.

What are the consequences of being judgemental?

1. If you are a judgemental person, you will eventually paint a poorer image of yourself than the person you are criticizing.

In fact, you may already have unknowingly built up a negative reputation for complaining, criticizing and condemning others.

2. Nobody likes a self-righteous person.

People will avoid you if you continue to play ‘god’ or ‘judge’ in their lives.

If you persist, eventually there will be nobody to judge as your friends would have abandoned you.

3. When you judge others, you will have no space in your heart and mind to see the good in others and build a positive relationship with them.

You may end up living a lonely life and the only person left to criticise is yourself.

4. When you pass judgements on others, you are also inviting others to pass judgements on you.

It’s fair game.

If you expect others to be perfect or to set a high standard, others will also expect you to be perfect and to set a high standard in your life too.

5. People will hold you to your yardsticks in life and are inclined to expose you if you don’t walk your talk.

In fact, they may become more conscious about the downsides in your life.

As a result, you may bring unnecessary attention to your weaknesses and magnify them for the world to see.

6. When you point a finger at others, four fingers will be pointing back at you.

People will soon notice that your fingers are not entirely clean and innocent too.

7. When you judge others in their absence, they may also judge you in your absence.

If you don’t give them a chance to defend themselves, they may also not give you a chance to defend yourself.

8. Soon the people who genuinely want to help you will stay away from you for fear of being judged by you.

As we are all frogs in the well to different degrees, you will suffer the Johari Window syndrome.

Nobody will help you see your downsides and help you improve yourself.

You’ll be none the healthier, wiser, and better as a person.

Judgmental persons should realize that throwing mud at one other will only make each other muddy.

Spewing poison at one another will only cause each other to die of poison.

Leverage On Criticisms

Besides being judged, you’ll come face to face with people who will criticize you.

The number of criticisms is frequently proportionate to the level of your success.

In other words, the more successful you are, the more criticisms you will attract to your life.

Criticism, like many other challenges in life will also come to pass.

However, you should never allow its meaning, purpose and significance to go to waste.

There’re many positive lessons that you can learn from criticism to help you become a better person.

Learn to differentiate negative criticism from positive criticism. One is destructive while the other is constructive.

Negative criticisms will damage and destroy you while positive ones will educate and enlighten you.

Never let negative criticisms take toxic roots in your heart and mind. It should not grip you and prevent you from moving forward.

You can create cemeteries anywhere on the road to success to bury and forget such criticisms.

When people throw stones at you, use them to build highways to help others and help yourself travel farther and faster in life.

Learn from criticisms but don’t let them stand in the way of your progress.

On the other hand, don’t let praises inflate your ego and trap and trip you in life.

Positive criticisms can be a valuable input to strengthen you and improve your game in life.

If you’re wrong, the best thing that others can do for you is to tell you that you’re wrong. It’s a necessity to help you reach a higher level in life.

It’s better to learn how to handle criticism as early as possible in your life. Take it objectively and not personally.

And continue to improve your criticism-handling skills because there’ll be more and stronger criticisms as you become more successful.

Learn to humble yourself and accept positive criticisms.

If you are not open to criticisms and learn from them, you would have closed the door to success.

Since you will always have criticisms, don’t let these criticisms go to waste.

Leverage on them wisely to keep you on the toes and do well in life.

Learn to find lessons, purpose and significance from even your worst enemies.

Their criticisms and attacks can strengthen you and help you become a better person.

Just as importantly, ring fence yourself so as not to give your adversaries a chance to affect you and bring you down.

Be prepared at all times to respond effectively to their wily ways.

The best way to do so is to stand on high moral ground.

Walk the straight and narrow path to live well. And do the right thing for the good of society and the environment.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

I Have Failed And Failed And Failed And Failed…

Failures are part and parcel of life. They are signposts on the journey to success.

Without confronting failures, we would never have truly lived and succeeded in anything.

Failures are good servants but bad masters. They act as feedback to help us learn, improve and achieve better results.

Without preventing, resolving and learning from failures on a proactive basis, we cannot have truly lived and succeeded in anything substantial and on an ongoing basis.

Failures can act as experiences and feedback to help us learn, improve and achieve better results.

They help us develop major values that can strengthen our character, commitment, competence, and compassion.

These values include mental toughness, discipline, focus, perseverance, grit, resilience, empathy, and teamwork.

As mere detours on the journey of life, they serve to correct us and help us live wisely and better lives.

Many of the lessons from failures can stay with us even long after we have forgotten the academic content taught to us in school.

They can become a vital and integral part of our lives even long after we’ve gotten over the emotions and exhilaration of celebrating successes and victories.

It’s wise to remember that failure is not final unless we fail to learn from it and leverage it to attain a higher level of achievement.

We can learn how to fail successfully so as to achieve sustainable successes.

In short, we can successfully fail our way to success.

Part 1 – I Failed.

In 1990, Richard Tan and I started a business together.

Richard is not just a partner, he is also a good friend and a living inspiration.

Unfortunately, we were conned into selling a new product in an untested market. We were kept in the dark about its side effects.

Within a short period of time, we had many unhappy customers at our doorsteps. The company was inundated with a growing number of complaints, threats, and even potential legal issues.

Every single cent we had was poured into trying to dig the company out of the ever-deepening pit of hell. It was almost impossible for us to turn the corner.

Meanwhile, we could not start a new business nor look for a job. We were painted into a corner and there seemed to be no way out of it.

When I reflected on this and many other failures in my life, I realized every one of them carried seeds of meaning, purpose and significance.

Our Creator placed it there to mould and shape me so that I could be prepared for a higher calling and greater achievement.

Of course, I can grumble, grouse and gripe about them, which will only make me view life negatively.

On the other hand, I can choose to see failures not as problems but as opportunities for success.

That was what happened to Richard and me. When we could not look outward for a solution, we looked upward and inward.

Thankfully, by a stroke of divine inspiration, we decided to totally transform our business model.

Instead of feeling depressed and wallowing in sorrow, Richard and I started to dream again.

In fact, we started to dream big dreams.

All my life, I am passionate about dreams. I choose to have the courage to dream dreams.

My fear is that I may join the throngs that have lost their dreams and desire for dreaming.

Perhaps because our desperation quotient (DQ) was at its peak, we dared to dream what many would call an impossible dream.

We wanted to change the world.

More specifically, we wanted to change the world through education.

Education is one of the greatest equalisers in life. It is a fast track to help people expand their potentials and develop their personalities.

It can enhance their performances and help them achieve their pursuits.

At that point, we made a commitment, “As we do our part to contribute to the education industry, we will turn our awesome dream into a reality.”

We had a big dream but a simple plan.

In short, we told ourselves, “We will persuade world-class gurus and engage them to train ordinary people on the street.

“What’s more, we will make the lessons available, accessible and affordable.

“By doing that, we will improve standards of performance and quality of life. We will strengthen communities and make the world a better home.”

The rest as I would like to tell you was history but history was not that easily crafted. Richard and I faced many seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Along the way, we had more than our fair share of discouragement, even from those who were close to us.

At that point, training was provided on a business-to-business (B2B) basis, and hardly on a business-to-consumers (B2C) basis. The fees paid were mainly by the government, employers, or parents.

Many told us that nobody would pay for themselves to attend a seminar. They will not apply for leave to improve to attend a training programme.

As a result, we went through many deep-seated fear and painful failures to change mindsets and pioneer a new industry.

I realized while I may not be able to stop many failures from happening, I can prevent it from affecting me negatively. If I cannot change the circumstances, I can change myself.

There is nothing wrong with failure. It’s how I respond to it that makes it good or bad.

I may not be able to change the challenges. However, I can change my responses to them by finding meaning in these experiences and values from them.

I may not be able to change the situation but I can look for the purpose in the situation and rise above it. I can take massive actions to live a better life.

Instead of giving up as a victim, I can rise up to become a victor in the journey of life.

I did not realise that at that point, my beliefs would be subjected to severe tests and reinforcements.

Part 2 – I Failed Again.

In our innocent minds, we thought that with our noble dream, we should have no problem getting support and gaining traction for our life-changing enterprise. It looked easy until we hit the first roadblock.

Our first long-distance call was to Mr. Tom Hopkins, an internationally renowned trainer. We had rehearsed a well-crafted script to win him over to our altruistic mission.

It did not take long to convince him to fly all the way to Asia to be our first keynote speaker. In fact, he sounded very passionate about helping us.

Our goal was almost accomplished until he quoted us his professional fees. When we heard it, we felt like a meg truck had smashed into our hearts.

Our dream almost died on the spot.

He was asking for far more money than the projected revenue for the seminar. In fact, it was even more than the profit that we could earn in a year.

To make matters worse, his fees did not cover his traveling, accommodation and out-of-pocket expenses. It was almost impossible to pay him and keep the company afloat.

However, our mind went on an overdrive.

Failures forced us to think and decide on the desired outcomes. It spurred us to learn how to overcome whatever challenges to achieve success.

When we took the proverbial bull by its horns and responded to it positively, it changed us and improved the situation. We could leverage on failures to become wiser and stronger persons.

We decided that we would never run away from a failure.

For Richard and me, our desire to fulfill our dream was stronger than the fear of failure. Our determination to succeed was greater than paying the price for it.

We spent many days and nights exploring all possibilities but every one of them could not work. That was true until Richard came to me with an almost-impossible idea.

He told me excitedly one day, “Why don’t we book the Indoor Stadium for the Congress?

“If we can fill up the stadium, we can afford to pay Mr. Hopkins. At the same time, we can make it affordable for every working person to attend our life-changing programme.”

My immediate response was, “Are you crazy? Nobody has ever used the Stadium for training purposes.

“Besides, it’s too expensive. There are too many risks and it may end up killing our business. We may even become bankrupt and never recover from it!”

You can imagine I was putting on the best persuasion cap. I must have exhausted all reasons to stop him from committing commercial suicide.

Richard just stopped me midstream and asked me a simple question, “Why not?

“Why can’t we have the courage to dream and turn the dream into a reality?”

That question stunned me for a moment and caused me to reflect over our mission.

I was reminded that Success Resources, the company that Richard and I founded was built on a vision to touch lives, bless families, enhance communities, and improve society.

The questions that haunted my mind was, “Why am I not prepared to stake my all to turn the vision into a reality? How can I not get out of my comfort zone to transform lives?”

Truth be told, it is not failure that has stopped many people on their journey to success, it is fear of failure. It is unfortunate that when they run away from fear of failure, they also run away from the fruits of success.

Failure is only a temporary setback. It will only become terminal when they give up trying and believing that they can succeed.

Tragically, many people are defeated before they leave their houses and experienced a failure. They have already failed in their minds and that is one of the worst failures.

Life has taught us that the person who usually wins is the person who never give up trying.

Richard and I decided to burn our bridges and invested literally everything we owned to book the Stadium and organise the Congress. Many people thought we had gone off our rockers, including the manager running the Stadium who was visibly shocked by our endeavour.

We discovered when you have an electrifying dream, many people will rally behind to support it. Within a short while, we sold about 1500 tickets.

Excited with the initial results, we called Mr Hopkins to share with him the good news. That was when we had another shock of our life.

He told us, “I will not and cannot speak at your Congress. The reason is, we did not have a contract. I may be engaged during that period.”

Having brought up to believe that ‘My word is my bond’, I could not believe my ears. We had gone through the details and gotten a verbal agreement from him, how could he walk out on us?

Okay, that was an excuse. I had to blame someone and justify my failure in conducting my business properly.

That was the way of losers.

Fortunately, I recovered fairly quickly and returned back to the straight and narrow way.

You may have realized that failure does not happen accidentally. It is usually the result of a bad decision and negative behaviour.

More often than not, a failure is a culmination of a series of small mistakes.

Nothing wrong with that, after all, major discoveries got their breakthroughs after a series of errors. Destinations are often reached through a series of missteps.

Problems start when these errors are ignored and not responded to in a positive way.

When we do not learn from a failure, we have failed a second time and in one of the worst ways.

Take full responsibility for the failure. In other words, develop and exercise your ability to respond to it.

Some of the saddest words that I have ever heard or read are, “I could have done something about it”. These regrets could not unwind the clock and put to right the final outcome of a failure.

Instead of walking away, Richard and I decided to confront the odds. We took the next possible flight to negotiate for the “life buoy” to save our business – a contract with Mr. Hopkins.

To cut a long story short, we invited not just one but eight other world-class speakers to inspire and influence thousands of hungry minds.

The National Achievers Congress became the first and still, the only series of personal development seminars to be held at the Indoor Stadium.

We took the company to heights that no other company has been able to reach. Not only were we able to consistently fill the Indoor Stadium and the other convention halls that were subsequently made available, we went on to achieve similar feats in many other countries.

More importantly, we have lost count on the thousands of participants who melted our hearts with words such as, “Thank you. Your seminar changed my life”, “I became rich and wealthy”, “You guys saved our marriage and family”, and the frequently heard, “Our business and profits took off after the seminar!”

We are proud of the fact that we became one of the pioneers in lifelong and life skills training for adults. Many of our participants became renowned authors, trainers, coaches and eventually, our partners and ‘competitors’ in the exciting talent-development industry.

These achievements and many other concrete examples of how we were shaping lives motivated us to increase the stake and expand our dream. We took on even more and bigger challenges.

The more we focused on our dreams, the less formidable the challenges became.

The growth of our company could only be described as phenomenal.

I wished I could tell you that there was a fairy tale ending to the story but life had many other shocks and surprises in store for us.

Spurred on by the success, we continued to reinvest all our profits to press on to ‘change the world’.

Just when we were about to see a glimpse of the ‘promised land’ that we have created initially in our mind, tragedy struck.

Part 3 – I Failed Again.

Richard was diagnosed with cancer.

When I heard about the sad news, I confess that I had harboured thoughts of closing down the company. I could not bear to see my friend suffer in the process of managing it and worst, to see the fruits of our labour go down the drain.

No, I did not want him to fail.

Later, I realized the only certain way not to fail is to live for nothing and do nothing with our life. Life will then not be worth the living.

If we live without facing the potential of failures, we have failed to live. In fact, we should expect to fail every now and then, otherwise, chances are, we are not stretching ourselves to go farther and faster in our lives.

The only way to be a winner in life is to go and grow through every failure.

When I know I’m on the right track and should I fail, I know it’s time to press on even more.

When I fail, I’ll just call it version 1.0. An improved version is on the way.

Richard’s sickness could not have happened at a worse time. We had expanded into many countries by then and we had launched a range of new products and services.

Richard had to undergo chemotherapy treatments while at the same time, keep up with a heavy traveling schedule to keep the company going. With his two young children in tow, it was an uphill battle.

The company’s future was doomed.

To make matters worse, we were organizing the National Achievers Congress at the Hong Kong Coliseum and it had a total seating capacity of 12,500 people. At that point, only 250 tickets were sold and we were left with only 8 weeks to make it a success.

Richard pleaded with his doctor to let him continue the chemotherapy treatments in Hong Kong. In-between treatments, he led the sales force to knock on door-to-door and worked from early morning to the dead of the nights to increase the number of customers.

I would never forget what he once told me. He said, “When I set out to accomplish a goal, it means the world to me.

“Goal-setting is an integral part of my self-esteem. I put in my honour as a human to make it work.

“I’m willing to die to achieve my goal. If I set a goal and do not believe in achieving my goal, life is not worth living.”

These shocking statements originally did not sit well with me.

Over the years, I have seen Richard breaking one record feat after another and leading our company from strength to strength. I realized there was a tremendous amount of wisdom and truth in his work ethos for winners in life.

I learned that when winners fail, they failed gloriously and successfully.

In 1995, he stood on the stage – without hair – at the National Achievers Congress in Hong Kong. He inspired participants with his indomitable spirit and fierce determination to make dreams come true.

He told the audience, “Don’t quit until you win. You’re not out of the race until you quit.

“It can be a long corner but it’s just around the corner.”

After that amazing success, there were celebrations and jubilations all over the company. Little did we know that it was but only, the calm before the storm.

In fact, what hit us subsequently was more like a tsunami.

Part 4 – I Failed Again.

Prior to the heat of the Asian Crisis, we made a very bad investment and lost everything. We were at the brink of bankruptcy and needed millions of dollars to bail ourselves out.

That’s when we discovered that Professor Failure is a much better trainer than Professor Success. In fact, he can offer the best tests for commitment, attitude, character and behaviour and through it all, bring out the best in us.

If we learn from Mr. Failure and act on his powerful lessons, the deeper we fall, the higher we can bounce back from any setback. After every fall, we can rise up as a wiser and stronger person.

At that point, we needed to rake in more than $4 million within four months or else our world would come crashing down.

We decided to change our business model again. We asked ourselves, “If education can change lives and help achieve exponential growth, can we accelerate the technology transfer and results for our clients?”

The resulting epiphany helped us to redesign our game-changing architecture and innovate a completely new way of running seminars. We were happy to note that our model has been adopted by many of our colleagues in the industry and it has been a blessing to them.

Currently, Success Resources is arguably the largest seminar organizer in the world. Our personal development seminars are probably the longest established and most successful series of such seminars in the market.

We represent some of the biggest names and the most respected experts in the industry.

From T. Harv Eker, President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Robert Kiyosaki, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Michael Porter, to Anthony Robbins, we are now organising seminars for such experts all over the world and changing lives through their words of wisdom.

Through various programmes, we have helped to share cutting-edged knowledge and expertise online and through bricks and mortar, to individuals from more than 60 countries. No other company in our industry has been able to match our record in terms of global reach, influence and results.

Success Resources has been helping people from different cultures and through multiple languages to achieve greater successes in life. We have helped to transform many lives and earn the admiration and respect of many people all over the world.

Looking back, if Success Resources had not failed and clung on to the verge of corporate death, we would not be compelled to reinvent the company. Our dream would not have become a worldwide movement.

Throughout my life, failures had become stepping stones to success and not millstones around my neck.

It had softened me, strengthened me, and enlightened me.

It had softened me in the sense that it had humbled me and made me more of a human.

I can better understand and feel for people who are facing challenges in their lives.

It made me a more empathetic and approachable person.

Failures strengthened me to become a wiser and better person.

To overcome failures, I had to put in more effort to strengthen major life skills.

I had to improve my knowledge, attitude, skills and habits – all of which made me a stronger person.

In the process of resolving downsides of failures, I had learned how to persist and persevere so as to achieve desired results.

I developed grit and became more resilient in facing other challenges in life.

Failures had enlightened me to realise that there are many ‘Patrick Liews’ out there who are facing different kinds of challenges.

I want to inspire them with how I had turned failures and downsides into advantages of a higher order.

I want to serve them so that they will not be left behind on the highways and byways of life. Instead, they will become leaders for the good of society.

In short, without confronting failures, I would never have truly lived and succeeded in anything.

In conclusion, please don’t let any failure go to waste.

There is a proverbial phoenix that can soar to the stars from failures – and that winner can be you.

Success can be the next step after a failure. It may be just around the next corner.

Fight On!

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Dear Robots

Dear Robots or whatever name you will be called in the future,

Our Creator has designed us for higher causes and implanted within us the power of imagination and values to achieve greater moonshot accomplishments.

We can think how to think – in far greater ways than what can be programmed in a machine.

You have artificial intelligence but you can never codify artificial wisdom.

As humans, we can continue to improve and transform ourselves in response to different kinds of changes and challenges.
If we can develop robots, we can develop far better innovations.

These innovations can help us manage robots and do what robots cannot do, what robots cannot do as well, and work with robots to do more and do better in life.

Never underestimate the power of the human spirit.

As a human race, we have overcome challenges in the past, rose from the ashes, and pioneered new horizons.

We will not be beaten. Neither can we be devalued, disrupted, and disintermediated.

Our battle to press on forward – efficaciously, exponentially and impact-fully – starts NOW.

– The Human Race

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Lasting Beauty

The organiser of the Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2017 has to be held responsible for many of the brickbats from the public.

Besides not attracting a better slate of contestants, it could have better prepared the contestants to put up a better show.

Why is there a need for such a pageant? What’s the motive, means and ends of the organiser?

What purpose does the pageant serve and how does it contribute to society? How do the judges evaluate, measure and compare level of beauty?

What sustainable values are the organiser aiming to inculcate in the contestants’ lives? How will the contestants become a better person as a result of participating in the pageant?

The truth is every person is beautiful in his or her own unique ways.

Some will discover their own beauty and use it for the greater good.

On the other hand, many will be distracted and misled by the world’s frill, fad, fetish, or fashion about beauty.

Sadly, they will not find their beauty within. They will continue to chase after the winds of commercialized beauty, and eventually reap a whirlwind.

As a property investor, I believe that looks and appearance to please others and yourself is like a leasehold property. They won’t last.

Looks and appearance are deceiving. They are like a show flat, pleasing to the eyes but they may not reflect the reality of a property.

True beauty is a lifelong asset.

It’s not captured by the eyes or a photo but felt by the heart.

It’s not evaluated by reflection from a mirror but the reflection of the people you touch around you.

Take a leaf from the beautiful things of nature.

They do not compete and compare with each other. In their own ways, they brighten and enlighten the world around them.

Beauty therefore does not come from outward physical appearance but from a shining light in your soul.

It cannot be seen by the eyes but felt by the souls of the people around you.

Beauty does not need attention. Yet, others will not get tired of looking at you.

The paradox of beauty is that the more you chase after it, the more illusive it becomes.

When you start to be yourself and like yourself, you start to become beautiful.

Look for the beauty in others and they will start to see the beauty in you.

Beauty comes out from deep within you and expressed in the way you think, talk and act for others.

Do you focus on your own looks or on the beauty you find in others?

When you live up to your best self and live to serve others, they will see beauty in and through you.

That’s far more important than looking at a mirror or a photo, and definitely more worthwhile than the judges’ score cards in a beauty pageant.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Living The Way

Embarrassment can occur anytime. It happened to me recently.

Once I invited some of my students to my house. It was part of a course that I personally conducted in my company.

The objective was to show them how I lived, worked, played and learned in my house.

Prayerfully, it would help them avoid my mistakes and improve on my strengths.

It was one of the scariest things to do in my life.

Sometimes, I feared they would use my openness and private information against me at a later stage.

So, why did I do it?

I did it as a way of showing my gratitude to the people who have so generously shared their personal life with me.

Their act of friendship and authenticity have enriched my life and helped me to be a better person.

They have paid it forward and I was hoping to do the same.

I hoped that others could learn from my successes as well as from my failures.

There was another reason for me to open up my home.

I read somewhere that pride can come about when people are uncomfortable under their skin.

Their unhealthy self esteem can drive them to seek unnecessary attention and acceptance.

It can also drive them to believe their views are always right and they are better than the people around them.

When I invited my students to my home, I hoped that by being transparent, I would strengthen self acceptance and be at peace with myself.

In recognising my weaknesses, I would learn to be humble and be more motivated to improve myself.

You can imagine I received my students that day with a degree of trepidation.

At one point in the training, I wanted to show them my kitchen, refrigerator and cupboards.

I took pride in my endeavor to live healthily and wanted to inspire them to do the same.
Usually, I would not prepare for this part of the lesson. I aimed to be real and transparent about my lifestyle.

To my surprise, I found many chocolates, candies, cookies, and ice cream in my kitchen.
I had forgotten that in recent times I had received many of them as presents.

My students might not have realized the feelings that was going through me.

Fortunately, I had a divine inspiration to turn it into a learning lesson for myself as well as for them.

I told them, “Do I eat them? Of course.

“Am I constantly tempted by them? Most definitely.”

“How did I overcome these issues?

I went on to share how I’ve set up systems to ring fence myself. How I would ensure that I would stay on the straight and narrow in living a healthy life.

While reflecting on that training, I relearned a powerful lesson for effective leadership.

You will influence your people more effectively through your life than through what comes out of your mouth.

Whether you like it or not, you will lead by example.

Your people will follow what you do more than what you tell them to do.

How you live your life will eventually become the main curriculum and method for training and influencing your people.

By your deeds, you will mould and shape your people and the direction of your team.

They are more impactful than all the beautiful messages that you can craft and communicate to them.

If you cannot lead yourself, you cannot lead others.

The quality of your personal results will determine the quality of your team’s results.

Live the way.

Be the kind of a leader that both your people and yourself will want to look up to, emulate and follow.

To rephrase the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the leader that you ought to be in both the internal and external worlds.”
People will never follow a leader if they don’t like, trust and respect him.

In short, aim to be the living lesson for your team. Do what you tell them to do and aim to do it in a better way.

Your life should be the real-life example of your messages.

How then should you set good examples?

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Follow me on:
https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!