When The Tyre Hits The Road…

It was a delight to get a call from a long term customer, one whom I have been serving for more than ten years. From being a customer, he has become a friend and our interactions have gone beyond just professional matters.
We met at the business centre of the Grand Hyatt hotel and spent some time catching up on each other. Finally, he turned to me and said what every entrepreneur would love to hear, “I have some money and I’m looking for a good investment”.

I shared with him what I believed to be the best investment. In fact, I was even prepared to put my wallet where my mouth is by co-investing with him.

However, as a responsible salesperson, I gave him my usual disclaimers. It went something like, “You don’t have to believe me. Let me work through the details with you. You can get your advisors to run through the numbers and see if it stacked up. We…”.

Before I could complete my usual pitch, he told me, “I don’t need the usual caveat from you. I have to try very hard not to trust you”.

That compliment brightened my day. I felt elated until right now.

I have decided from the first day I stepped into the marketplace, ‘I will never compromise with my integrity. Integrity is first and last. If customers do not trust me, they will never do business with me’.

I have painstakingly done my very best to live by this principle. And there is a powerful driver for me to do it.

If you have been reading my blog, you would know I was an accidental entrepreneur. My original plan was to be a social worker, to live a simple life so as to help others with complicated issues.

By an usual twist of event, the manager who offered me a social worker job suddenly resigned. It got me thinking at that point in time if I would be walking into a potential minefield.

After due consideration, I turned down the offer and decided to take my friends’ advice to become a salesperson. I was adviced to chalk up real world experience before “trying to change the world.”

On the other hand, there were other some well-intentioned friends who discouraged me. They told me that I would have to lie and cheat as a salesperson.That really freaked me out.

I did everything I could to prevent myself from doing anything that was wrong. I would even script my presentation, literally word by word because I did not want to ignorantly or unintentionally say something wrong.

I would constantly check my soul to make sure it was still intact.

I went on to put in place other systems and procedures to ensure that not only myself but also my team would say on the straight and narrow. Let me give you an example.

At the trough of the Asian Crisis, real estate salespersons resorted to all kinds of underhanded means to close a sale. In fact, there were many who believed that more than 70% of deals, especially in the HDB sector were transacted in an unlawful way.

I am proud that I never had to do any of such deals. In fact, I put in black and white that our company would never be involved in any business that was illegal, unethical or dishonourable.

I told my people many a time, “I will personally drive you to the police station if I ever catch you breaking the law. I’ll personally lock you up and throw away the keys into the deep blue murky sea.”

You may not realize the gravity of my decision. I was literally walking away from a large segment of the market, with no clue as to whether I could win any part of the remaining segment, let alone survive on it. Obviously, my company and I suffered for it.

Have I ever regretted living by the principle of integrity? Not for a single moment. If I have to sell my soul to earn money, not only my business is not worth running, life is not worth living too.

At the end of the day, I have realized that integrity might not benefit me in the short term. In the long term, it will be a critical part of the foundation for success. It will help me earn loyalty, trust, respect and affection from my customers.

Today’s experience with my long term customer proved once again that I am on track. I hope to stay on this straight and narrow track till I see my Creator.

Life should be seen from the perspective of eternity.


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

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

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

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 https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg 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/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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