Key To Success.

I once invited a billionaire to my office to share his ‘secret’ for success.

Prior to the talk, I joked with him that he would be sharing with participants from the ‘quick-fix generation.’

There won’t be time for a long speech. In fact, he had to share his formula for creating wealth within the span of just a few minutes.

It was not the easiest of task but I was confident my friend could do the job.

If you were there, you could feel the enthusiasm of the audience as they listened to him literally with abated breath.

After all, how often do you get to learn from a billionaire.

What’s more, the participants were told that he would be distilling his years of experience into a simple formula.

They could apply the same formula and if they did so, they would also enjoy the same results.

That rich and very unassuming businessman started by detailing the challenges in his life.

He went on to share how he built his business empire – step by step – until it became a success story.

Then came the most exciting part.

It started when he told them, “As I look back on my entrepreneurial life, I realized there is only one key factor that has helped me achieve whatever success that I have.

“In fact, it’s the same factor that has helped many people achieve amazing feats in their lifetime.

“I learned to…”

After saying those words, he paused for a reflective silence.

He established eye contact with the audience, probably to prepare them to learn the last and most important point.

The participants responded with complete attention.

Besides their ears, their hearts were also open.

They were ready and were deeply desirous of finding the pot of gold.

Silence was somehow helping to hold and freeze everybody to their seats.

That silence could only be broken by one person, the person standing in front of that class.

My billionaire friend spoke slowly and clearly.

He repeated the last three words and completed the sentence.

“I learned to work hard and smart.”

After he completed the sentence, you could almost hear a lot of hopes tumbling to the ground with a loud crash.

Many participants had expected to hear a much more complex advice, one that they did not know of or know very little about.

As for me, the more I thought about that ‘secret’ for success, the more I realized how powerful it was.

I had an ‘aha!’ moment which continued to grow in its intensity.

Please let me share with you my take on working hard and smart.

Life is fair.

It gives you choices to change your destiny.

Besides choices, you are also given capacity and ability to work hard and smart.

You have what it takes to level any playing field and win in the game of life.

However, instead of making right choices and implementing them, many people choose to lay blame, justify, and give excuses.

They tell themselves stories about why they did not make it and worst, why they will never ever make it in life.

They see themselves as victims rather than victors that have the capacity for self-determination and action.

Rather than take responsibility, they throw their destiny to winds of change.

They look for entitlements rather than for enhancements to improve their knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (KASH).

As a result, these negative actions hold them back from taking life by the horns.

They are prevented from living out the dream in their hearts.

Beware of such enticing traps.

Never blame anyone for whatever challenges you are facing.

Instead, take charge of the situation.

Don’t justify your fears and failures.

Instead, take full responsibility to resolve them. Develop yourself so as to fulfill your goals and vision.

Avoid giving excuses for not achieving the desired outcomes.

Instead, take massive action to achieve sustainable success in your life.

When you work hard and smart, it can never put you or anybody down.

It will expand your potential and enhance your performance.

It can help you excel in whatever you choose to pursue in your life.

You may not be the most talented person or have the right experience.

You may not even have the best resources.

However, if you are willing to work hard and smart, you can develop strengths to help you capitalise on opportunities.

Like muscles that need to be stretched to perform well, you can become more disciplined, knowledgeable and competent.

You can mix with champions to follow their footsteps to become a champion.

Their work ethos can inspire and influence you to make full use of your life.

With continuos improvement, you will become more productive.

With higher productivity, you will achieve better results.

Soon, you will achieve ever better results with ever less resources.

When you press on in pressing on, you will eventually overtake the rest.

You will stand out from the crowd and lead the field.

If you feel like working hard and smart, do more.

If not, push yourself even harder until working hard and smart becomes a habit and a way of life.

You will never know how much you can stretch until you stretch yourself.

Soon, you will learn to enjoy your endevour and become more effective and efficient in your performance.

You will learn how to direct your life towards the desired destination.

Along the way, don’t let anything hold you back from working hard and smart.

Fight it with all your might.

Learn to fire up your engines when you get out of bed to start a new day and to start it right.

Develop grit and perseverance to take the right action and in the right way.

Keep striving and stretching and soaring to accomplish better achievements that will help you reach for the stars in your life.

I believe if you stop working hard and smart and enjoying the process, you stop living.

Taking responsibility to face challenges is our Creator’s mandate for us to manage life.

Therefore, make working hard and smart a vital and integral part of your life – starting from now.


By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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