My Dad and my mum’s way of treating relatives and friends shape up my siblings and my own of livings in a large extend. My Dad is a very honest person and he always under-charge his customers on the goods sold. I remember my Dad only charge about $2/$3 for every 50kgs of goods sold and this only can cover his business expenses. During those days, $2/$3 can only afford a bowl of noodles and I always think they are not smart as they can afford a better lifestyle by charging maybe $5 or even $10. Over time and especially after I started my self-employed business, I start to understand how can they afford to adopt this way running their business.
As a self-employed and a business person, the key is not about profitability. Our society might have measure the business in term of profitability, and it is really up to everyone to choose the kind of life we want. We could choose a more humanity way of living a better life. Yes, better life in counting our happiness not money. It’s about having a better sleep every night and able to contribute to this world so that everyone live a better life.
We know it’s easier to say than doing. It’s really my parents’ belief and behaviours that show us the way if they can do it, we can also do it as well. My parents have been sincere as a person and always ready to help anyone. My Dad never become angry or hate his customers for refusing to pay their debt. This is valuable only after I started working. I misunderstood him when I was young. I can not understand why he didn’t raise his profit margin and go after his debtors when my family are surviving many many meals of porridge with soy sauce. I used to ask why my mum need to buy a bigger pair of shoes so that I can wear it for a few years, why there is mended holes on my school uniforms and why I can only afford one canteen meal every week.
Being sincere no matter what kind of circumstance we have is something rare to come by these days. Many of us have become selfish or maybe we defend it as self-centred or we call it “me first, no choice lah”. I was tested on this in a big way some time ago. My business shrink by more than 50% and I put in a lot of resources to help everyone in my team. I always believe, synergy, high morale and having the right attitude are the most important elements in team building. After a chain of events, my team seem to lose that attitude about two years ago.
After many sessions of feedback and my assessment, I realised that I can rebuild my team with my leadership and leadership simply mean two things. First of all, I need to lead by setting an example. I started with cold calling some the retail shops about 18 months and I manage to sell three insurance policies after two days of cold calling. Then I work on high net worth and I became the first few in the company to sell high net worth product. My second action was to load tons of activities for my team and engage everyone with team activities. I did my very best to ensure everyone in the team celebrate their success last year so that everyone can carry on with better attitude. When I reflected what I have done, I realised that I learn this from my parents’ way of running their business.