Should You Run Your Business Online?

by Patrick Liew on September 13, 2014

Many brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs are grappling with the issue, “Should I run my business online?”

I submit to you that’s not the question to confront anymore.

The right question is not about whether they should do it but when should it be done.

The business world is increasingly becoming a networked village, a community where online and offline channels are changing, converging, and creating new models.

They are transforming markets, industries, and society.

The resulting dynamics have made a permanent shift on how entrepreneurs can relate to customers and cultivate their respect, trust, affection, and loyalty.

As such, bricks-and-mortar entrepreneurs have no choice but to establish an online presence.

Let me suggest three reasons for doing it and doing it as soon as possible.

First, the online presence will help them shift from having periodic to perpetual and proactive engagements with customers.

Through constant communication and collaboration with customers, it can also help them co-create appropriate business models.

These changes will help them meet evolving needs, stay competitive, and achieve best practice.

Secondly, the online presence will help entrepreneurs shift from developing a short-term to a sustainable trust level.

All businesses are in the business of building trust.

In other words, if customers do not trust the entrepreneurs, they will stop doing business with them.

In a networked village, trust level can be raised or lowered much faster than entrepreneurs can launch a new customer loyalty programme.

Therefore, the first and last line of defence to sustain trust level is in cyberspace.

Through proactive online engagement, entrepreneurs can monitor and influence customers’ “chatters” about them.

These “chatters” include lies, half truths, and misinformation.They  are being transmitted through formal and informal forums and comments.

These “chatters” can create an online tsunami that can change the market and impact ongoing customer relationships.

Thirdly, the online presence will help entrepreneurs to meet not just customers’ current but also changing and future needs.

Customers’ needs are constantly changing even as the world around them are changing.

In many instances, they may not even know that their needs have changed or should be changed. They may not even realise what their business is or ought to be in the new world of disorder.

Besides earning customers’ trust and engaging them proactively, the online presence can help retailers to map out and meet customers’ multifaceted and multidimensional diversity of needs and requirements.

It ranges from their personal and professional needs, functional needs, business unit’s needs, to organisational needs.

Let me conclude with a warning.

Entrepreneurs that are not operating effectively IN cyberspace will soon be OUT of business.


Visit my Inspiration blog at

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

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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What’s In A Name?

by Patrick Liew on September 13, 2014

In September 2014, I participated in an interesting forum with a group of educational leaders. They hailed from different parts of the world.

The topic of the forum was essentially about “What’s the story behind your name?”

Simple theme but it opened up a good door to understand each other.

More importantly, it helped us to appreciate how our name might have influenced us in more ways than we could possibly imagine.

Whether our name was given to us or chosen by ourselves, it played an important part in shaping and moulding our personality, behavior, and aspiration.

Please allow me to share with you the story behind my name. I shared about it with my group of friends at the forum.

My name to many people is Patrick Liew. Actually, my full name is Liew Siow Gian Patrick.

To help my Hokkien friends to remember my Chinese name, I tell them that when you turn my name the other way around, i.e., “Gian Siow,” it will tell you in Hokkien that I love to be crazy.

I’m better off than my brother. His name is “Siow Kee.” He has gone crazy – that’s what it sounds like in Hokkien. Lol!

“Liew” is my family name but please don’t ever call me Mr Liew.

Whenever my wife calls me “Mr Liew!”, it means I’m in big trouble. Ha!

Therefore, if you call me Mr Liew, it may trigger fear throughout my being. I may just shudder right in front of you. Ha!

“Siow” (绍) is a name to represent the generational difference between members of my tribe.

Actually, my middle Chinese name should be “Wan” (萬).

My grandmother and father decided to skip the “Wan” generation. They named my male siblings and me after the next generation which is “Siow”.

The reason is because my elder sibling passed away when he was a baby.

Out of superstition, my grandmother and father named us after the next generation.

It may sound interesting to many people that when I meet another male member of my tribe, just by knowing his middle Chinese name, I will know if he is my grand uncle, uncle, cousin, nephew, or grand nephew.

“Gian” (园) is my Chinese name. It means complete, balance, or wholesome.

The English word that best describes the meaning behind my name is integrity.

Perhaps because of my name, I’ve always held the essence of integrity as an absolute organising principle in my life.

Integrity is at the first and last part of everything that I do.

I strive to live by my words and will do what I say I will do.

To use a financial trading maxim, “My word is my bond”.

You can count on me to deliver according to our agreement.

The western name “Patrick” was given to me by my father.

He was in awe about the British Empire, arguably the greatest empire in history.

He adopted British names for his children, including names of different members of the British Royal Family in time past.

I did not fully appreciate the meaning of “Patrick” until I became a born again Christian on 1 March 1972.

Subsequently, I did some studies and found out that the root word of “Patrick” is patriarch. It also stands for nobility.

Now you know why I look so grand and have so much class. You may knee in front of me and kiss my ring. Ha!

I’m not sure how I can live my life with nobility. If there is a word that’s a close cousin to nobility, it should be honour.

To me, being honourable is to live at a higher plane than even fulfilling legal, moral, and ethical obligations.

It is to uphold a respectable image and reputation through one’s thoughts, words, and conduct.

In closing, I want to say I’m happy to be given my name. I’m also proud of the meaning and significance behind it.

I endeavour to live up to it throughout my life.

Question: What’s the story behind your name? How has it influenced your life?

Please share with me. Thank you.


Visit my Inspiration blog at

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

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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Part 9 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

Teachers hold the key to our future. They are invisible hands that mould and shape society. They are pillars of the nation-building process because they help to influence the next generation to become moral, responsible, and productive members of our community. Their daily work in the classroom will impact the well being of society and [...]

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Part 8 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

I remember this incident as if I was still there. And it happened a long time ago. I was 14 at that point in time. Our class was looking forward to learning about Chapter 7 in the Biology textbook from the teacher. The lesson – Sexual Reproduction. Mr. Tee Kok Liong, our Biology teacher was [...]

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Part 7 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

Teachers have a tough job. Unlike most jobs, they invest in human lives and that’s why they cannot detach themselves from their work. They constantly carry in their minds the educational needs and overall well being of their students. They have to put in their commitment, hearts and minds to do a good job in [...]

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Part 6 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

On April 13, 2012, I took a trip down memory lane. I was invited as the Guest Of Honor for Anderson Secondary School’s 42nd Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony It felt so good to return back to my alma mater. While driving to the school, I had goosebumps all over my body. I felt [...]

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Part 5 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

Have you ever felt so crushed in your spirit that your entire being just shut down? You wanted to cry but the pain was so deep that it could not reach the tear ducts? I had such an experience many years ago. More specifically, I was 11 at that point in time and it happened [...]

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Part 4 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

Have you been strongly condemned before? More importantly, have you allowed negative words to take root in your heart and let it affect your self esteem and become an emotional burden in your life? I’m sure you have. Many people carry these condemnations – whether from external sources or within themselves – as baggages throughout [...]

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Part 3 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

If you are a school librarian and you are passionate about reading, the sweetest words from your students are probably, “Teacher, can I have the key to the library? “We are having a lesson break and we like to spend our time in it?” In 1972, as a student of Anderson Secondary School, I frequently [...]

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Part 2 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

September 5, 2014

I am very much the product of the lessons from all my teachers. As I reflected on the teachers that have shaped and moulded me at different points in my life, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratefulness. Without them, I am nothing. The teachers who taught us in schools gave us [...]

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