It’s Time To Go Back To Basics.

To achieve success, you need to put into practice 15 critical foundational factors.

1. Back To Basics: Have A Compass For Success.

Set a concise, clear, current, and challenging goal.

Goal-setting motivates you to improve your performance and achieve mastery over whatever is needed to achieve success.

Having a goal will act like a magnet to draw you to success. It will spur you to adopt the right knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits (KASH).

Goals will also act like a compass. They guide you on the right direction to the desired destination.

One of the keys to success is to constantly assess your progress in achieving a predetermined goal.

After every course of action, you also need to evaluate the outcomes and their impact on your life and others.

For example, don’t just set a goal for weight loss. Place a weighing machine at your kitchen and office.

Weigh yourself regularly and especially before you go for a meal. You will be more motivated and cautious about eating healthily.

It will do more to help you lose weight than just setting a goal for it.

With constant evaluation and improvement, you will be on the way to achieving your goal.

Question: How can you track your progress and boost your discipline to achieve your goal?

2. Back To Basics: Be A Self-Regulated Leader.

After you have set a goal, you need to be a self-regulated learner and achiever.

In other words, learn how to manage and control your inner life.

For example, practice self-monitoring and self-evaluation.

As you reflect on your performance and seek to improve on it, you are “sharpening your axe” so that you can “chop more trees.”

You are also engaging actively in self-motivation and self-instruction. In case you are not aware, all motivation and learning begin with a personal inertia.

To put this principle into practice, you should make the first appointment every day with yourself and our Creator.

Use the time to evaluate your life and improve on it.

Stretch yourself to set a higher quality and standards of living. Exercise self-control over every area of your life.

Discipline your thoughts, emotions, words, and action to achieve the required results.

These metacognitive skills are pertinent to survival and success in a fast changing world.

Just as importantly, learn to design and if necessary, implement self-imposed contingencies.

In other words, develop the capability, ability, agility, and tenacity to adapt to any situation and make a success out of it.

Explore all ways to learn, improve, and achieve better results, including attending seminars by world-class gurus and effective trainers.

In short, lead the way independent of whatever happen within you and without.

Question: How can you control your words, thoughts, and actions and direct them to help achieve success?

3. Back To Basics: Manage Your Emotions.

To be a self-regulated leader, you need to ask yourself, why do you want to fulfill your dream and be successful?

One of the underlying reasons is because you want to enjoy a set of positive emotions.

These emotions include love, joy, peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Emotion is one of the end results of your pursuit. It is also what predominantly drives your thought process, values, and behaviour.

Therefore, you need to manage your feelings, moods, and other emotions. Do not let your emotions manage and control you.

For example, when you are about to respond with negative emotions such as hatred, anger, or retaliation, force yourself to control your mood.

Reflect and contemplate over the consequences before you unleash your feelings.

Under control, your emotions are powerful tools to help you achieve desired outcomes.

Question: How can you manage your emotions and leverage on them to achieve success?

4. Back To Basics: Stay Optimistic.

Research have shown that self-efficacy, the belief in your ability to learn or accomplish a task at a desired level is a key to being successful.

It also has a major influence on your motivation, well-being, and success.

Your self efficacy is shaped by confidence and competence in performing a task. It is determined by your experience in learning and improving yourself.

In addition, it depends on the influences of people around you. It is also the result of your physiological and emotional state.

There is a positive correlation between self-efficacy and personal achievement.

For example, if you want to be an entrepreneur and if you do not have a reasonable belief that you are able to succeed in it, you will not start a business or have the passion to succeed in it.

In other words, if you are optimistic about yourself and the desired outcomes, you will be in a better position to achieve success.

Question: How can you increase your self-efficacy so as to put yourself in a better position to succeed?

5. Back To Basics: Exercise Responsibility.

If anything negative happens, bear in mind it does not happen all the time and it is temporary.

Don’t take it personally and remember, “This, too, will come to past.”

Never lay blame, justify, and give excuses.

Take responsibility.

Responsibility means taking charge and exercising your ability to respond to any challenge.

You can learn from the challenge, and leverage it to raise yourself to a higher level of accomplishments.

Every time you bounce back from a failure, you strengthen your resilient muscles.

You learn how to be in a better position to persevere through the unpredictable storms and dark clouds in life ( 天有不测风云, 人有旦夕祸福).

Lke an aeroplane going through a temporary turbulence, soon, you will see sunshine and beautiful clouds again. You will land shortly on your beautiful destination.

Question: How can you take full responsibility even if it is not entirely your fault and then, put yourself on track to success?

6. Back To Basics: Take Charge.

To achieve success, you must have a winner’s belief system.

As a winner, you must believe that our Creator has given you whatever you need to manage “the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

You have a tremendous amount of power that is beyond what you can ever think or imagine.

What stands between you and success is essentially just one factor – action.

Make no bones about it. You need to put in determination, effort and perseverance to achieve success.

Every now and then, you will need to renew and strengthen your commitment, grit and resilience.

Success is proportionate to the amount of what I call your “smart sweat.” The smarter you sweat to achieve your goal, the more successful you will become.

Therefore, take charge and make things happen.

Question: How can you tap your maximum potential and live up to your highest calling?

7. Back To Basics: Surround Yourself With Success.

Success is being in the right place and at the right time.

It’s about surrounding yourself with success stories and being at the best place to achieve desired success.

Learn from and model after successful people. Choose the people that you are going to mix around with.

Follow the footsteps of giants and improve on their footsteps, and you’ll end up in the same or even better destination.

Seek wise counsel and ask for help. Look for experts who can help coach and guide you.

Pursue useful sources of information to help you live out your dream life.

Position yourself in the right sociocultural setting, places that can only inspire you and propel you forward to success.

Immerse yourself in the right culture and community so that you will be filled with and will manifest all the goodness of life.

Question: How can you immerse and surround yourself with catalysts of success?

8. Back To Basics: Enjoy Your Journey To Success.

Along the journey to achieve success, find meaning, joy, and purpose in whatever you do.

Be grateful and thankful for all the wonderful things around you.

Show interest in everything that is beautiful and positive.

Be in awe over what our Creator has given to you at every given moment.

Make every one of your tasks creative, interesting, and reasonably challenging. Enjoy it and strive to do well in it.

Learn to operate effectively and efficiently so as to achieve the best outcomes.

When you enjoy the journey to success, it will motivate you to do more and do better in life.

Question: How can you maximise your enjoyment as you pursue success?

9. Back To Basics: Expand Your Capacity

What you get in life depends on what you desire, deserve and do.

Success does not just depend on IQ or EQ but also on DQ.

DQ stands for desperation quotient. How desperate are you to achieve success?

The more desperate you are to achieve your dreams and goals, the faster you will make them come true.

Desire is the fuel that can be used to combust dreams into a reality.

Desire that is well managed can lead to healthy desperation.

Healthy desperation can lead to definiteness of purpose.

Definiteness of purpose can result in unwavering perseverance.

Unwavering perseverance can lead to lasting success.

However, desire alone is not good enough.

You must also be deserving of the success. Know what our Creator wants you to do with your life.

Pay the price to enjoy the sweet and satisfying fruit of success.

For example, learn to cultivate and continue to improve on the right knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (KASH) to achieve success.

Finally, do the things that our Creator wants you to do. That’s the difference between successful people and others – Action.

If you do nothing, you will achieve nothing.

If you keep walking on the same pathway, you will end up in the same destination.

Once you have crafted your plan, strategies, and required activities, take massive action. That’s the crux of success.

Question: How can you expand your capacity for success?

10. Back To Basics: Create Luck.

Luck is directly proportionate to smart sweat. The smarter you sweat, the luckier you will become.

“Practice makes perfect” may not work.

Practicing a failure can only make you a perfected failure.

Run more miles in the right direction.

Run more than what your stakeholders expect of you, longer than your competitors, and further ahead of the market.

When you do that, you’ll find luck raining upon you.

11. Back To Basics: Fight For Every Win.

In Sungei Road where I worked as a kid, we fought for every customer. We fought for every deal and we fought for every cent.

The fighting spirit kept our fire burning.

It drove us to push the envelope and pressed for excellence in every area of the business.

Always remember there are lots of good fight inside you and you have everything it takes to win every fight.

12. Back To Basics: Change The Changes.

Develop fluid intelligence and a highly versatile organisation.

The Sungei Road Market taught us to be data-oriented and to develop divergent and critical thinking.

By being versatile and having more dots in our mind, we could connect them in different ways to achieve desired outcomes.

In the same way, we endeavoured to build qualities of adaptability, tenacity, and agility in our team.

By being flexible, we can change with changing times. We could capitalise on the silver lining in every dark cloud.

13. Back To Basics: Up Your Emotional Intelligence

In the Sungei Road Market, we needed to be not only street smart but also emotionally wise too.

Being emotionally wise begins with knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and especially in understanding and leveraging emotions for good.

In particular, you need to control your impulses and outbursts.

Emotional intelligence can help you enhance your ability, passion and energy. With increased vitality, you can be in a better position to fulfill your dream.

It will also help you understand and influence other people’s emotions. You will be able to relate to and lead others in a better way.

14. Back To Basics: Continue To Improve

Some of the best teachers in the Sungei Road Market were our competitors.

By studying them and even sharing ideas with them, we learned better ways to run our business.

In addition, we also learned from businesses outside of our market. By “copying” them wisely, we took our business to a higher level.

We were never shy to ask for feedback and were also thick skinned enough to ask for support and assistance.

As there were no assurance of three bowls of rice the next day, week or month, we had no issue eating humble pie and risking embarrassment to find a better way to success.

There was always a better model out there that we could learn from and adopt to improve ourselves.

Therefore, set up a personal research and development centre for your life.

As you continue to learn new lessons and develop better actions, record them and improve on them.

Challenge yourself to come out with a better model, value, service and other areas of your life.

If you improve continuously, at some point in the future, you can fly to your dreams.

Think first. Think well. Think fast. And keep thinking…

15. Back To Basics: Live Well And Do Good

Integrity is first and last. Never sell your soul for any price.

Do the right thing. Never do the wrong thing.

To avoid taking the wrong path, ensure that it is so much easier to do the right thing.

Make it very hard to do the wrong thing by establishing a positive culture.

Have competent people watch over you and ensure that you walk the straight and narrow path.

When you live well, achieve more, and do good, you will earn the respect of your friends, colleagues and customers.

They will prefer to work with you and be your friend.

Life will be a purposeful, exciting and fulfilling experience.

I hope the above series of foundational values will take you a higher level of achievement and result.

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

Failure, Oh Sweet Failure!

Amidst the travails of life

A kind teacher comes

With a wonderful lesson in hand

Her name is Ms. Sweet Failure.

Within her lesson plan

Are things we must understand;

Failure is part of life

A positive experience for man.

In failures we may find

Painful feelings and sorrow

But in these we mustn’t wallow

Instead build strength, improve, and our dreams follow.

Beneath every failure unearthed

Is a positive feedback to be heard

Which catapults us forward

With better skills and wisdom.

If we meet failures head on
In our life’s journeys we must go on.

Mere stopovers must not deter us,

From meeting our goals with resilience.

For the one who sees wisdom in failure,

Is the one who always succeeds.

For though his goal he hasn’t met yet,

He is endowed with humility, grit, and new skills set.

Such values Ms. Sweet Failure shares

Even her ward has long left her class

Such lessons in life we bear

When we receive of failure our fair share.

What then of failure must we do?

First, prepare for what it could do worst

Taking a proactive stance when failures loom

Wins half the battle,

removes the gloom.

Embrace the truth that life is in part

Setbacks, failures, pain, and hurt.

To have this compels us to prepare

On what to do in case we fail.

This way life then becomes

A series of successes,

failures none.

For when one door shuts,

there is another door

That opens to where bright hopes have gone.

Develop a mind geared to succeed

Despite failures we meet

Failure is no failure unless we say it is,

Let no grumble, gripe or grouse throw our dreams to pits.

Life is in fact a day-to-day test

That is a reality we shouldn’t detest

For while we cannot change our challenges

We can control our attitude and be our best.

What have you become when once you failed?

Indeed a failure, or a victor undeterred?

What becomes of us is what we make of us

Failure may try hardest, but we can choose to rise above.

So my friends, Ms. Sweet Failure reminds,

Life can be a sweet success

If but from failures
We do our best!

  • Patrick Liew

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

The Dream Maker

A dream is a preview to a story already etched
A craft in your heart that’s wired
To pass all the tests.

To tap that dream
Is the first step
To cross that stream
Will be next.

Dare to catch that train
And trace the tracks
Go beyond space and time
And try your luck
A new reality awaits
For the dreamer that knows
How to re-create.

The outline of a future
This only needs your nurture.

A dream is the mind’s freedom
From fear and worry
A light that dispels
Darkness and fury.

A compass that follow the lines
Of the Creator’s designs.

To dream is to live,
Each moment, we unpack
Pieces of the future that cannot stop.

So let the mind be the home
Of dreams far bigger than a dome
Boundless and full of greatness.

Pick one each day
To fill up the moments along the way
It’s ok if you choose small
For as long as you fix it right
Before the sunset falls.

It may come as a surprise
Tomorrow is another blessing in disguise.

The key to dream is to do the dream.

To continue building is to keep on living.

One after another, it gives brightness
Like every day in spring.

So never stop weaving
For dreamers are always redesigning
For a world full of light beings.

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

It’s Time To Learn From Your Childhood Experiences – Story #5.

Sungei Road market does not exist anymore but I hope it will not be relegated to history or forgotten.

The Authorities should consider ways to remind future generations about Sungei Road market and anchor some of its values in our culture.

These are the same values that have contributed to our progress and achievement as a nation.

During my school days and while growing up in a poor family, I joined many others to work in the Sungei Road market to earn additional pocket money to stay alive and pay for my education.

Sungei Road is a good reminder of the stark contrast between the lifestyle of the past and that of the relatively comfortable life that we have today.

A reminder of how tough our forefathers had to sacrifice, work hard, and improve to contribute to our nation-building process.

At that point, although many of us were hawking simple and second-hand wares in dinghy stalls and on floor mats but we had a dream for a better life.

Dreams kept us passionate about working hard and smart to build a brighter future.

In the same way, it was dreams that united our people and galvanised their talents and energies to transform Singapore from being a third-world to a first-world nation.

History has taught us that when people have a dream, they will rise up and beat a pathway to make the dream come true.

Besides having many honest entrepreneurs, Sungei Road market was also a flea market for petty thieves, pickpockets, and purse-snatchers.

It may be hard for our younger generation to imagine how dangerous and vulnerable Singapore was in the past.

How difficult it was to transform ourselves into a relatively low-crime and almost corruption-free society today.

Just as importantly, it was in Sungei Road and such places that we realized nobody owed us a living.

Nobody would fend for and feed us.

A good run in business was no assurance that the business would continue to be stable, secure and sustainable.

Customers would only be friendly to us as long as we could serve their needs and do it better than our competitors.

They would only be loyal to us until they find a better vendor.

In the same way, Singapore must never lose a sense of healthy paranoia and positive desperation to fight for a better future.

Sungei Road can remind us to strengthen our fighting spirit and constant pursuit of progress.

These values are manifested in the lives of many people working in Sungei Road.

Without building on the past, having a purposeful dream, developing a healthy and vibrant environment, and fighting for a better life, our growth in the future may be limited.

We may not fulfill our forefather’s dream of making Singapore an important and an exceptional part of the brave new world.

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

Why Waste Time With Energy Vampires?

A friend whom I’ve known for more than 20 years and I were reminiscing about the past.

There were a lot of pleasant things we could catch up on.

But somehow we spent some time talking about our sad experiences with Tom (not his real name), a mutual and ungrateful friend.

My friend had make a lot of sacrifices to help Tom and somehow, he never took it to heart.

In fact, Tom had backstabbed her on more than a few occasions.

While listening to her, I could not help feeling the same way about Tom too.

Tom was a friend I rather not have and was happy to from my life.

I first met him when he was a salesperson and his immediate superior reported to me in the company.

Tom never felt welcomed by his manager and if anything else, he felt that he was looked down upon and sidelined by his manager.

I spent some time befriending Tom and made him feel that he was an important part of the organisation.

At the least, I made him a little more comfortable in the office.

Subsequently, we both left to pursue different careers.

Tom joined one of our suppliers and once again, he felt that his next manager did not like and appreciate him.

We kept in contact and I was a sounding board for some of his entrepreneurial ideas and offered my listening ears to his grouses and gripings.

While Tom was keen to start out on his own, he never took the first step.

By then, I was running a business and was doing reasonably well.

I offered Tom a job to learn a relatively new business that I had painstakingly started and grown substantially.

I had overcome the initial start-up challenges to achieve a degree of success.

I was not willing to share it with anybody except someone whom I thought I could trust.

Sadly, my trust was misplaced.

To cut a long story short, a short while later, Tom left my company and took some of my staff with him.

Although his business did not quite take off, he ended up working for one of our vendors.

He was eventually caught red handed trying to cheat the vendor.

All these years while I was helping Tom, he was never appreciative about it – not that I expected it from him.

What I did not expect was that he spread vicious rumors about me as part of a deliberate plan to sabotage me and take some of my businesses away.

As I reflected on Tom and the harm that he has done to me, I asked myself, “Do I hate him?”

I searched my soul and I know the answer is, “No.”

Do I carry any resentment against him?

The answer is – also “No.”

Do I wish for the worst for him? Again, “No.”

I actually prayed and wished him well.

There must be reasons why Tom did what he did. He has to bear responsibility for his life and the outcomes of his ways.

Also, he’s a family man with children.

I pray and wish for the best for Tom so that his children will not have to suffer and be set back in any way.

I have learned that there is no need to waste any energy on people like him.

If I carry any negative emotions against him, it will only affect me.

In addition, it will distract me from pursuing positive values and fulfilling my dreams and callings in life.

People like Tom strengthened me. They made me wiser in dealing with others and managing relationships.

Moreover, they softened me. Instead of being cynical, I want to channel more love, kindness and compassion to needy and deserving people.

Finally, they enlightened me. I endeavor to fight for the right causes and help to bring about a better world.

I pray that my children will be wiser in their dealings with others and they’ll know how to resolve the negative aspects of worldly ways.

At the same time, they will continue to see good in others and help to turn the world right side up.

I’m grateful to our Creator for the valuable lessons from past experiences and for watching over me.

Thank you one and all, including Tom for teaching me and helping me go and grow through the vicissitudes of life.

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

Heartbeat Of Your Dream

I dream to be awakened
To see a different life
A preview of what could be.
I dream to feel no limits
To free the mind, the soul,
The life in me
Find that possibility
Beyond this space, time and energy,
There is a future.
A new reality.
A vibrant new me.
Waiting to happen,
Young and boundless.
This dream has once built a world
And again it will
Navigate me, take me
To a new creation,
A living direction.
Released from darkness
And inhibitions.
I stretch and I swing
I dance and in delight
I charge this electrifying dream
Light up
The living that’s lying within.
This dream spreads the seed
The visions of abundance
Of fulfillment.
The richness
Of achievement.
I begin to see the design
The Creator has meant for me
The mirror of my own beauty.
I dream to give birth
To courage
To fight for this life
To give meaning to victory
Already set for me.
Today, I dream again
I weave the carpet once again
That rolls over the path
To a new journey.
Each day, I spin the needle
I add, I give
My time, my energy
I do. I act. I explore.
I learn, I move.
I am part of that everyday tapestry
That redesigns the world.
I play my role, mine and uniquely mine.
I dream again. And I dream
A greater dream.
I am the mover, the light,
The energy,
The power.
I am the heartbeat
Of my dream.
Photo credit to @Jennice Ong

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

It’s Time To Learn From Your Childhood Experiences – Story #4

The love story I’m about to share with you started with a smile. A smile that stayed in my mind for a long time.

It came from a dream girl from my past life. She had stared right through me and given me the sweetest dimpled smile.

At that very moment, I felt like my heart had stopped beating. My legs were about to crumble to the knees right in front of her.

The girl that refused to come into my life and leave my mind had finally taken note of me.

She had finally responded to my unrequited puppy love.

That incident happened in 1968 and I was barely 11 years old then, a teenager with almost uncontrollable hormones raging through my skinny frame.

The romantic experience happened at Sungei Road, or what the people of old might sometimes called the “Thieves Market.”

At that point, I was helping my grand aunt sell jeans and all kinds of clothing in a highly competitive marketplace.

They were generic brands and the only selling point was that I could sell it cheap or cheaper.

At the beginning, I was less interested in the business.

I was more keen to “hook” the girl who worked for the third stall along the same road.

You could imagine I pulled out every trick to catch her attention. I would have stood on my head if that was what it took for her to give me a fleeting look.

If she would only give me just a quick smile, my life would have been completed – or finished, depending on the outcomes.

I might be able to fly to the sky and explore the expanse of the universe or to be more exact, that was what I dreamt I would do while holding her.

Then the fateful day came.

The passers-by had suddenly dwindled to a trickle and the marketplace became almost like a mini ghost town.

In the twinkling of a moment, I had turned and came face to face with her.

It could have been destiny that made her stare in my direction at the same time.

The world around me just disappeared.

Time stood still.

Then, she smiled right through me. I felt like I was wrapped in magical hue.

The stars converged above my head.

No, there were no birds chirping and circling around my head. What…! You think this is a scene from a cartoon?

In the next moment, she started to open her mouth.

I waited with abated breath for the moment of truth.

I was hoping upon hope that she would say something like, “I cannot hold myself back anymore. My heart, my mind, my soul have been captivated by you.

“I cannot live another moment without you. I’m ready to elope to the ends of the galaxy with you.”

No, those were not the words that came out of her mouth.

In fact, her words were completely and totally different from what I had in mind.

She said the most unromantic words, “You’ve got a great new delivery of jeans?”

Then it hit me. There was no new delivery to my stall.

I turned around and saw the boy who worked at the next stall behind me.

He was my biggest competitor in more ways than one and he was smiling quite clearly at her.

His look?

From the green eyes of an 11-year old, he looked like his face was caught on fire and someone had tried to put it out with a fork.

He was so ugly that I was sure when his mama dropped him off at school, she had a fine for littering. Lol!

Ok, that was not true. I had to say that and you would soon find out why.

The boy replied to my dream princess, “Yup! Just arrived an hour ago.”

I realised she was smiling at him all these while. Looking at their body language, I could tell there was something going on between them.

There and then, I felt all the embarrassments of the world pouring down on me and soaking through every part of my being.

I quickly turned back into the stall.

At that moment, I wanted to dive through the floor. And bury myself in the deepest and the hardest-to-be-found part of the earth.

I thought to myself that I would never want to see another human again in my entire life.

My business you could imagine went down the drain for the entire day.

Fortunately, as a kid, it was not difficult to get over any failure and disappointment.

I did not carry them in my heart for long – maybe for about one day – and I was back on my feet again.

I was glad I did not marry out of puppy love. I would be living a dog’s life.

After burying my romantic defeat, I decided to unleash my passion to help out at the stall.

After making the commitment, I gradually discovered the passion, the excitement, and the possibilities of being an entrepreneur.

Through the business, I could develop an almost infinite number of new ideas and initiatives to achieve better results. There were so many wonderful experiences that could also enrich my life.

My elderly grand aunt eventually set up a mini operation to produce jeans with our own brand, Cote d’Or.

I went to make the first sales call to one of the biggest emporiums in those days.

Looking back, the experience at the Thieves Market opened up a new world of dreams and opportunities for me.

That’s why you could take me out of Sungei Road but you could never take Sungei Road out of me.

It was there that I first fell in love with entrepreneurship.

It was a love story that survived the ebb and flow of life and the romance with it remains strong in my heart.

In the process of going through the entrepreneurial journey, I crafted my own version of the Law of Attraction:

What You Get In Life Depends On What You Desire, Deserve, And Do.

Success does not just depend on IQ or EQ but also on DQ.

DQ stands for desperation quotient.

The more desperate you are to achieve your dreams and goals, the faster you will turn them into a reality.

Desire is the fuel that turns dreams into reality.

Desire that is well managed can lead to healthy desperation.

Healthy desperation can lead to definiteness of purpose.

Definiteness of purpose can result in unwavering perseverance.

Unwavering perseverance can lead to lasting success.

Desire alone is not good enough. You must be deserving of the success.

Know what our Creator wants you to do with your life.

And you have to invariably earn the rights to enjoy the sweet and tasty fruit of success.

For example, Iearn to cultivate the right knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (KASH) to achieve success.

Last but not least, you have to take action.

That’s the difference between successful people and others – Action.

If you do nothing, you will achieve nothing.

Do the same thing, and you will achieve the same results.

Walk on the same pathway and you will end up in the same destination.

Once you have crafted your plan, strategies, and required activities, take massive action. That’s the crux of entrepreneurship.

That’s why, you will always hear me say, “Go4It!” because it is my way of inspiring you to have appropriate desires.

I hope to help you deserve the fruit of success, and do everything possible to go far in life.

Go4It!

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

It’s Time To Learn From Your Childhood Experiences – Story #3

I left Sungei Road which was also known as the Thieves Market many years ago.

Since then, the landscape of Singapore has gone through a lot of changes.

While there are some legitimate flea markets, they are not quite like the wild wild Sungei Road flea market.

Many of the thieves that used to operate out of Sungei Road are either too old or are living in taxpayers-sponsored accommodation in Changi Prison.

Some of them are still on the run.

I was told that some of the peddlers from Sungei Road have their own shops now.

A rare few have gone digital, moving their wares to e-commerce sites.

To the best of my knowledge, there is only one old blogger, reminiscing over the good ol’ Sungei Road days.

That person – ahem – is me.

I am trying to capture nuggets of wisdom passed down from one peddler to another for the benefits of my children, nephews and nieces.

Here are ten “bonus” lessons I’ve learned from selling clothing at the Thieves Market.

1. Success starts from the top.

Great businesses succeed or fail because of leadership.

In the Thieves Market, we know that opportunities are rare and fleeting.

Therefore, we have to exercise leadership.

Great leaders make the right things happen in the right way.

We need to be brave enough to act decisively so as to capitalise on every worthwhile opportunity.

The body rises or rots with the head.

2. Practice leadership as an ongoing journey.

In a highly competitive environment, we were compelled to learn all the time so that we can improve our business models and operations.

In addition, we help our team members set a higher vision and enhance their performance.

As leaders, we aim to change and conquer the market by building what could be called, in street language, a bullet-proof business.

A bullet-proof business press on and on towards success. Even if they fail, they will rise from the ashes and press on again.

3. Build a bulldozer team.

The most effective person cannot be more effective than the most effective team.

In the Thieves Market, we knew that a strong gang would rule the territory.

On the legitimate business side, we believed that a great team was unstoppable and would eventually get its way.

We therefore built a sense of belonging for our stakeholders. In a conducive environment, we catalysed creative and innovative ideas constantly.

Together, we raised the bar in what we saw as a life and death business game (生死的游戏). In our mind, we were always cooking “The next initiative to take our competitor down forever.”

Teamwork works.

4. Don’t tolerate politicking.

In the Thieves market, there was no time for office politics. No time to be “Yes men,” mollycoddle each other, bend with the wind, or backstab one another.

Don’t be mistaken. We argued, debated, and even screamed our views at one another but we didn’t take it personally.

We built a healthy sense of criticism, dissent and conflict in our operational culture.

By doing that, we sharpened each other’s minds and ideas so that we could ensure our survival and success.

Don’t kick the ball into your own goalpost.

5. Fight for every win.

In the Thieves Market, we fought for every customer. We fought for every deal and we fought for every cent.

The fighting spirit kept our fire burning. It drove us to push the envelope and press for excellence in every area of the business.

There are lots of good fight inside you.

6. Change the changes.

Develop fluid intelligence and a highly versatile organisation.

The Thieves Market taught us to be data-oriented and to develop divergent and critical thinking.

By being versatile and having more dots in our mind, we could connect them in different ways to achieve desired outcomes.

In the same way, we endeavoured to build qualities of adaptability, tenacity, and agility in our team.

By being flexible, we can change with changing times. We could capitalise on the silver lining in every dark cloud.

7. Kill the ego.

The ego has no place in the Thieves Market. It lived in a make-believe world, so full of itself that it has no space for improvement and growth.

The ego fed on itself and made itself out to be bigger than what it ought to be.

To make matter worst, it would look down on others and repel customers from the shop.

In the Thieves Market, the ego could drive an entrepreneur to become overconfident, blinding him to factors that were impacting the business.

The ego could over-stretch the entrepreneur and cause him to over-extend the business.

He might have a tendency to underestimate pitfalls, portholes and puddles in the journey. And might even overestimate value of achievement and success.

By the time the fault lines and cracks were discovered, it might be too late to arrest the situation.

Kill the ego or the ego may kill your business.

8. Up your EQ.

In the Thieves Market, we needed to not only be street smart but also emotionally wise too.

It began with knowing our strengths and weaknesses, and especially in understanding and managing our emotions.

It would help us to control our impulses and outbursts.

Emotional intelligence could also help us develop ability to enhance our passion and energy. With increased vitality, we could be in a better position to fulfill our dreams.

It would also help us understand and influence other people’s emotion.

We would be able to relate to and lead others in a better way.

Emotional intelligence helped us to find favour with our customers and put us at an advantage over our competitors.

Up your EQ now.

9. Be the best by taking the best from the best.

Some of the best teachers in the Thieves Market were our competitors.

By observing them and even sharing ideas with them, we learned better ways to run our business.

In addition, we also tried to learn from businesses outside of our industry.

By “copying” them wisely, we could also take our business to a higher level.

We were never shy to ask for feedback and were also thick skinned enough to ask for support and assistance.

As there were no assurance of three bowls of rice the next day, week or month, we would have no issue to eat humble pie and risk being embarrassed to find out a better way to success.

There’s always a better model to “copy” out there.

10.________________________________________________________________________

We ran a research and development centre in our brain all the time.

As we continued to learn new lesson and develop better action, we captured it on imaginary lines in our mind.

We challenged ourselves to come out with a better business model, product, service or other areas of the business.

We knew that if we improved a little at a time, at some point in the future, we could fly to our dreams.

Think first. Think well. Think fast. Keep thinking…

I hope these lessons will help take you a higher level of achievement and result.

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

It’s Time To Learn From Your Childhood Experiences – Story #2.

On a good day, hundreds of people would crowd around different stalls at Sungei Road otherwise known as the Thieves Market.

Average entrepreneurs saw a crowd.

Astute entrepreneurs saw a precious human with dreams, fears and struggles.

Many would just “window-shop” to while away their time.

To true entrepreneurs, these window-shoppers could be convinced to make a purchase. They can make a difference for that business day.

Entrepreneurs sold good products at good value.

They would do everything possible to make the sale happen. Not a single opportunity would be wasted to close a sale.

These entrepreneurs inspired me and taught me useful lessons at the start of my business journey.

As an “ah boy”, I look forward to meeting every one of my customers. And building a lifelong friendship with them and learn from them.

I love my customer. That will always be a key to building and growing a business.

When a prospective customer walked into our retail outlet, he would be served by an “A Team.”

The team comprised of my uncle, aunty, and the most handsome, charming, charismatic, and sharp 11 year old-entrepreneur.

Ahem, that was me. Ha!

Our merchandise included mainly jeans, shirts, and other clothing.

They were targeted at working adults from the lower socioeconomic segment.

To passersby, our shop was a shack, put together with wooden poles and run-down canvass. To us, it was a “retail palace.”

I knew intuitively that the future belonged to those who dared to dream great dreams and they pressed on to turn the dream into a reality.

So what if we didn’t even have enough space to set up a changing room. Big dreams and achievements always start in the mind.

It may sound funny to you if I tell you my prospective customers would strip to their undies and try out the jeans.

For ladies, one of us would hold up a dark cloth to set up a temporary changing room.

One of my favourite sales closers was, “Wow! You make our jeans look good.”

I could say that with all sincerity because I’ve learned to see the good in every person.

There was not a single human I’ve met that didn’t look wonderful to me.

Those days at the Thieves Market were some of the happiest days in my life.

More importantly, I learned many powerful lessons about entrepreneurship.

  1. Know the customers better than they know themselves.

At the Thieves Market, I planned to keep my customers for life, not just as a customer but also as a friend.

That’s why I asked questions professionally and politely so that I knew the customers well and understand them deeply too.

I was purposefully curious because without customer data, I would operate like a blind and deaf entrepreneur in the Thieves Market.

I aimed to know customers better than they knew themselves and better than what their loved ones knew of them.

I didn’t just go for market share but also for a share of the customers’ hearts and minds too.

After building a wonderful relationship with my customers, I believed they would not even want to buy from my competitors even if their products were cheaper and better. Obviously, I wouldn’t stop them.

More importantly, the more I knew my customers, the clearer I knew what my business was all about. I was in a better position to take the best action and in the best possible way.

  1. Create and arouse customer needs and ignite combustion for action.

I endeavoured to know customers’ needs and wants intimately.

I found out their current requirements as well as anticipated how these requirements might change over time.

It went right down to how they use our jeans and dispose of them.

To me, customers’ needs included personal needs as well as needs for their jobs, teams, and companies.

I also believed customers might not know their needs and how to meet them.

My job was to highlight needs to the customers.

And educate them about urgency of satisfying their needs and potential challenges of not fulfilling them.

With comprehensive and detailed information, I could present a total solution and explore possibility of providing a more complete package of desired values.

The complete package would also include emotional attachment to my business and emotional fulfillment from my product.

I saw myself as a catalyst for prompt action and ensured that every customer is a happy customer for life.

Our “A Team” was a growing needs-arousing, customer-creating, and satisfaction-building organism.

  1. The sale is first closed in the mind.

Many of my competitors would prime themselves to fail even before they started a business day.

When the prospective customer say “No” to them . They would tell themselves, “I knew it. I knew they won’t buy my product.”

Some would go on to blame their products and justify for their failures. They gave lots of excuses.

I’ve learned if the sale was not first closed in my mind, it would not be closed in real life.

That’s why I would imagine all kinds of sales scenarios.

I could see clearly in my mind how I would lead my prospective customer.

I would use all my senses to visualize step-by-step, word-by-word, and action-by-action how I would close the beautiful sale and start a wonderful relationship with my customer.

  1. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Even if the customer didn’t buy from me, I would still love him. I made it a point to listen to customers even if they bring bad news to me.

More importantly, I asked myself a series of at least 5″Why”s.

Why did I fail? Why did I not close the sale? Why did I not convince the prospect?

Why did I honestly not close the sale? Why did I really fail?

I’ve learned the quality of results depended on the quantity of quality questions I asked myself.

When I asked the right question, our Creator would send me the right answers.

  1. The first “product” to sell is myself.

Before the customer bought my product, they must “buy” me first.

I was the first and most important living, walking, and breathing advertisement for our business.

The Thieves Market taught me if customers didn’t like, trust and respect me, they would never step into our “retail palace,” let alone buy our clothing.

Before a new business day, the first step I needed to do was to go to the mirror and asked myself, “If I were the prospect, will I buy from myself?”

That was why I made it vigorously sure that I put on the best image. I reflected the best outcomes of a sale to my customers.

I aimed to make sure that if anybody walked into our “retail palace,” they would never forget me. It would be a pleasure to do business with me.

  1. Marketing is a transference of passion.

Closing sales is a transference of my feeling and emotion to my customer.

In the Thieves Market, I knew if I was not enthusiastic about my product, my customer would not be enthusiastic about buying it too.

If I was not passionate about using the product, the customer would not be passionate about using it too.

Before I sold to my customers, I must sell to myself first.

If I didn’t believe in my product, I would not sell it, otherwise I would be a HYPOCRITE.

If you have a chance to look at my childhood photo album, you would know that my favourite jeans was from our shop at Sungei Road.

Boy! I really love that jeans.

  1. Brand the experience.

Branding is not about buzz words, advertisement and promotion.

It’s not even about being recognized and remembered, especially for the wrong or less-than-optimal impression.

In the Thieves Market, my face was my brand. My name was my logo.

My thoughts, words and action was the best branding equity and deliverables.

Branding was therefore, the ongoing experience that my customers have with me. That’s why, I aimed to make customer experience meaningful, fun, exciting, fulfilling and memorable.

It has to be a lifelong love affair.

  1. The proof is in the references and referrals.

In the Thieves Market, we didn’t operate like many of the advertisers and promoters in the modern age.

We didn’t just toot our horns and blow our trumpets.

The only worthwhile proof that our business was good was when our customers promoted us through worth-of-mouth marketing (WOMM).

They continued to buy our clothing and brought new customers to us. That was what total quality meant to us.

  1. Maximize benefits and values.

In the tough and highly competitive Thieves Market, I was compelled to have the right mindset and behaviour.

The days under the hot sun taught me that as an entrepreneur, I must ask myself every day:

“How much more strengths, advantages, benefits, values can I provide to my customer?”

“How can I earn the customers’ trust, respect, affection, and loyalty on a lifelong basis?”

” How can I earn the privilege to be their “freehold” friend and serve them and their family for the next three generations?”

Customers are for life.

  1. Customers gave me my life.

When I was working in the Thieves Market, my customers helped me to earn extra pocket money.

I could use the money to buy food, acquire books, play games, and go out with friends. I owe them a debt of gratitude.

At a later stage in my entrepreneurial life, customers helped me put food on the table. They helped me to have a roof.

In an indirect way, they paid for most of my bills. They supported not just me, but also my family and colleagues.

I’m mindful they can stop doing business with me. They can take their business elsewhere.

I owe customers my life.

They may not always be right and I may have to correct them in a proper way.

Still, it’s cheaper to retain a customer than find a new one.

I’m willing to go on my knees and thank them for their business. Anytime.

I have left the Thieves Market behind me. But the lessons I learned from the Thieves Market have not left my heart until today.

They have helped me achieve many successes and will continue to do so throughout my entrepreneurial journey.

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
My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz
My YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgyRa8WbYXHTtr39OUPCB2w
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!

It’s Time To Learn From Your Childhood Experiences – Story #1

The Sungei Road market, once known as the “Thieves Market” has been around for more than eighty years. It has given way to a proposed modern built environment.
According to the Master Plan 2014, it will be replaced by residential buildings, shops, parks, and a brand new MRT station that is scheduled to be opened in 2017.
Sungei Road will be gone but it will always have a special place in my heart.
I used to work there during school vacations, right from a tender age of 11.
I did it to earn extra pocket money as I came from a poor family.
That’s the good news about child labour. Without it, I would not be able to earn an extra income to live and study properly.
In the days of old, there was a flea market at Sungei Road. You could buy almost everything you need in your home and workplace, and at a bargain price.
During some school vacations, I was helping an elderly couple. They were distant relatives on my grandmother’s side.
My grand aunt cum lady boss was an unforgettable character. For example, during every meal, she would eat a bowl of rice for lunch.
Nothing strange about that – except that my seemingly invincible boss would pour a bottle of Guinness Stout over the rice.
She would make sure it was stirred, not shaken before eating it.
We ran the second dinghy stall in front of the defunct ice factory and at the fringe of Sungei Road.
In the old days, there was a flea market at Sungei Road. You could buy almost everything you need in your home and at a bargain price.
It was also a trading hub for petty thieves, pickpockets, and purse-snatchers. Those were exciting times.
If you lose the hubcap of your vehicle, you could buy one at the Thieves Market for a fraction of the price. And get a second-hand hubcap within minutes.
After you have fitted the hubcap on your vehicle, when you go to the other side, guess what? The other hubcap might be missing.
At the Thieves Market, I got to know many ethical, hardworking and creative hawkers. They struggled to eke out a living by offering different wares and services.
Some of them broke the poverty cycle and became very successful. And made a good living for themselves and for their loved ones.
I remember a 17 year old orphan. He was a student from Beatty School who supported his entire family by selling second-hand shoes.
He made anywhere between $1000 to $3000 months per month. It was considered a princely sum of money during those days and was equivalent to the salary of a senior executive.
I was helping my grand aunt to sell jeans and all kinds of clothing for working adults in a highly competitive marketplace.
They were generic brands and the only selling point was that I could sell it cheap or cheaper.
When you walked into my shop, the first question I would ask you was, “What is your size?” In my stall, there were only three sizes of jeans: small, medium or large.
If you had replied, “Small,” which was the most common size for people from the lower socio-economic class, I would have given you a pair of medium-sized jeans.
The reason was simple. After you washed the pre-shrunk jeans, it would be reduced to a small size.
If you continue to wash it, the long pants would become a pair of shorts. The last line was a joke that I used to tell my customers. (Please laugh. Thank you).
Looking back, it was in that tough and highly-practical “business school” that I first learned about entrepreneurship.
Let me share some of the salient lessons that I learned at Sungei Road market.

  1. Start small. Dream big.
    Serious peddlers at the Thieves Market started with a simple profit-generating idea.
    However, we harbour big dreams. They kept us learning, improving, and strengthening our performance and results.
    On a stormy day, when the crowd dwindled, the big dream would warm our heart and kept our spirit up.
    2.Stay desperate.
    What kept us going was the fear of going through hunger in the following day, week or month.
    Desperation compelled us to become self-regulated learners.
    We had to develop perseverance, grit and resilience so as to make more than three bowls of rice per day.
  2. Find out the truth from Mr Market.
    In the Thieves Market, I learned the map is not the territory.
    Never assumed anything.
    “Assume” meant making an ass out of you and me.
    Before launching a new product, we
    studied what the customers wanted.
    We had to find out if there were enough of them who would buy it at a reasonable price. A trial run had to be run to iron out the kinks before launching the full-blown campaign.
    Every cent counted and every effort had to be targeted to achieve best results.
    Ultimately, results is the only true litmus test of business.
  3. Sharpen the edge – all the time.
    We monitored our competitors like a hawk, including studying their garbage bin.
    The battle cry was – Out-sell, Out-perform, and Out-service them.
    We were constantly looking for gaps in the market that were not served or under-served by them.
    We would do everything possible to dominate it profitably and sustainably.
    If we didn’t eat their three bowls of rice, they would eat ours.
  4. It’s about the CBV, not just the USP.
    Business is not just about creating a unique selling proposition (USP).
    It has to be compelling. To do that it has to be distinctive, be differentiated, and more importantly, be desirable to the customers.
    They must have an emotional attachment to the product and a memorable experience with it.
    It was not about what we sold or wanted to sell, it was about what the customer wanted to buy.
    It was also about their emotional fulfillments.
    To us, selling our products was only part of the proposition. We endeavoured to sell the strengths, advantages and benefits of a total experience.
    They could be quantified and measured in terms of real values.
    Hence, it was not just about the USP, it was also about the compelling buying value (CBV).
  5. Innovate or die.
    In the dog-eat-dog world of the Thieves Market, we needed to constantly reinvent ourselves and redesign our operation.
    It was not unclear in our mind, if the customers didn’t pay more money for our “brilliant” ideas, it was time to up the ante.
    Innovate or die, it was as simple as that.
  6. Create luck.
    Luck was directly proportionate to smart sweat. The smarter we sweated, the luckier we would become.
    “Practice makes perfect” might not work. Practicing a failure would only make us a perfected failure.
    We ran more miles in the right direction.
    We ran more than what our customers expected, longer than our competitors, and ahead of the market.
    Along the way, luck kept raining upon us.
  7. Work for the love of the business.
    We worked for the love of the business and not just for the money. And our love for the business brought in the money.
    That was what make the business meaningful, fun and exciting.
  8. Fail successfully.
    I learned never to underestimate values of failure.
    In the same way, I didn’t overestimate and over-celebrate success. It contained seeds of failure and could accelerate their growth.
    Entrepreneurs see opportunity in every failure and danger in every success.
    Failure can be a friend and a great teacher.
    It is a great feedback and learning experience.
    If we never fail, we may not be compelled to learn and improve.
    Failure mold and shape us to exploit more opportunities and achieve bigger success.
    In short, fail gloriously. Fail successfully.
  9. Live well and do good.
    Integrity is first and last. Never sell your soul for any price.
    Do the right thing. Never do the wrong thing.
    To avoid taking the wrong path even if it done ignorantly and accidentally, ensure that it is so much easier to do the right thing.
    Make it very very very hard to do the wrong thing by establishing a positive culture.
    Enroll people with honorable values to uphold it.
    Set a good example and catch your employees setting high ethical standards.

Go4It!
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.
Life is FUNtastic!