“I Will Kill You!”

“I Will Kill You!”

I can still hear those words in my mind. Words that will haunt me to the last day of my life.

Zhen (not her real name) said those words to me over the phone.

I have no qualms that she meant every word she said, and she also made sure I heard her loud and clear.

At that point, she was in Hangzhou and I was in Shanghai.

Zhen was one of my company’s distributors then.

She was an up-and-coming leader of our distribution chain in China.

Tall, slim, good looking, very articulate and outspoken, Zhen had these and other qualities that would help her stand out in any meeting.

That was the impression I had when I first met her.

Many who had business dealings with her shared a similar impression.

As part of our business system, she was encouraged to attend a series of trainings.

That was how I first met Zhen when I taught in one of the classes.

The objective of the programme was to mentor distributors on how to conduct business presentations in public.

As part of the training, they had to learn how to create an impactful introduction for their presentations.

I told them, “If you don’t win the audience’s hearts and minds right from the beginning, you may not have their ears right to the end of your presentation.

“The audience might not support and buy into your message, let alone patronize your products and services.”

To ensure students cultivate the right skills, they had to practise presenting the introductory part of a speech to the class as well as to our guests.

When it was Zhen’s turn, she stood up confidently at the centre of the stage.

She had a commanding presence even as she scanned the room and attempted to connect with each and every one.

She looked into every pair of eyes as if she was sublimely crawling her way through their eyes and into their souls.

Finally, she spoke, and her words literally hit our hearts like an emotional tsunami.

Zhen said, “I was once a prostitute.”

After she spoke those words, there was an electrifying silence, a silence that spoke louder than words.

Subsequently, Zhen not only earned her rights to our listening ears, she kept us spellbound with her life story.

It was an inspirational story of how she literally fell into a deep pit in her life.

As part of an underground network in her town, she went through many struggles and battles to stay alive.

What impressed me most was the fact that she was a fighter.

She never backed down from a challenge, and she managed to find her place in dark shadows of the main street.

With the same can-do and will-do spirit, she fought hard to leave the red light district and establish herself in the business world.

Zhen committed everything she had into the business and was doing well at the beginning.

Unfortunately a very bad experience marred her fiercely determined quest for success.

She was cheated by her master distributor and the ensuing disappointment and resentment quickly spiralled to depths of hatred.

She became bitter and was looking for scapegoats to blame for her problems.

Tragically, Zhen thought that our company was involved in engineering her bad experiences.

That was why she made the call to us and threatened every key leader in our management team.

What do you think I did?

My response might surprise or even shock you.

I tried very hard to clarify that we had nothing to do with her issues.

At the heat of the teleconference, I told her, “I’ll catch the earliest possible flight to meet you and explain to you face to face.”

To say that she was surprised by my response was an understatement.

It stunned her into total silence for a while.

Then, Zhen repeated her threat, “How dare you even think of stepping foot into my territory.

“Perhaps you’re not getting it. Let me say it again.


When I offered to meet her, safety or security was not uppermost in my mind.

Protecting myself could be planned for at a later stage.

What was more important was the fact that my honour was at stake.

Honour is what gives every human a sense of pride and dignity.

Without pride and dignity, there will not be any true meaning, passion and joy for living.

Honour is an essence of life. It has to be defended at all costs.

For the sake of defending my honour, I was prepared to risk my life.

Make a trip to the unknown and walk into an unpredictable future.

As a child, I grew up in a tough neighbourhood and had to earn my keep as an honest hawker at the defunct Sungei Road Flea Market.

In the days of old, Sungei Road Flea Market was sometime known as the Thieves Market.

At a young age, I decided never to bow or bend to size, wealth, might, and force.

Never to run away from challenges, especially if they stood in the way of achieving a worthwhile dream.

As I study the lives of great leaders, one common denominator stood out in my mind.

The leaders who shaped their worlds and created new futures were defined by their indomitable fighting spirit.

As much as they preferred to pick their battles, at the same time, they were operationally prepared to fight against all odds to reach their desired destinations.

They knew full well that if they did not fight for a good cause, they might fall for anything and live for nothing.

When they fought for a good cause, they live out the essence of life.

On the other hand, when they fight for nothing, they might end up as a “living dead” – dead but not buried.

Therefore, quitting was never an option, nor should it ever been granted a space in their minds.

They lived by the saying, “The battle is never over as long as you don’t quit. When you quit, the battle is over.”

There would always be a way to overcome or go around any challenge.

The leaders who never quit would eventually lead their people to the promiseland.

Along their journeys, one of the greatest battles was the battle within themselves.

They constantly waged a war to direct and control themselves.

Transform themselves from what they were to what they should be, in order to be a great leader.

These leaders suffered many defeats.

Struggled through more than their fair share of traumas, pains and brokenness.

However, they chose to capitalize on these challenges to further strengthen their fighting spirits.

Grow bigger than their problems and fight more wisely to achieve a final victory.

Back to my story, it took us a while to pacify Zhen and come to an amicable settlement with her.

Sadly, Zhen decided to give up the business and when we parted ways, she was still reeling from hatred and bitterness.

Deep in my heart, I prayed that the fighting spirit that got her off the street would help her rise up from the pits again and soar to the stars in her dream.

As a company, we removed the master distributor.

To grow the business, we fought many more battles to set our house in order.

As I reflect on this episode, one key lesson is that the journey to success is not just about the final victory.

It is also about the way you fight your way to the final victory.


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

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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/

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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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