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?


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

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

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

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– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

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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