Happy Mother’s Day (Sunday, 11 May 2014)

by Patrick Liew on May 11, 2014

To the Best Mother in the World – my Wife

If life is a marathon – and most people are sprinters – Callie is an ultramarathon runner. She has been running this exciting race purposefully, consistently, and successfully.

Callie grew up in poverty. Her parents had to work very hard to support ten children.

She recalled how they had to literally lived from hand to mouth. She had to work during school holidays to supplement her pocket money.

According to Callie, “The experience of growing up through great challenges has softened, toughened and enlightened me

“It helped me to be humble and to understand and relate better with people. I learned to develop compassion for others, especially those who are in need.

“It toughened me to build a never-say-die attitude and build a resilient spirit to turn challenges into opportunities.

“It enlightened me to feel for those who are weak, in need, and disadvantaged. I want to be able to help them live a more fulfilling life.”

Shortly after graduating from her studies, Callie worked in a legal firm for a short period of time before deciding to “mind her own business.”

“Since young, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. To me, an entrepreneur is someone who can help to create a better world.

“While adding values to people’s lives, I can maximize my potential. I can have the freedom to pursue my dream life.

“I can also make our world a better home and leave a positive legacy behind”.

Callie chose to establish a real estate business in response to her passion for properties. She was one of the few ladies to head a company in one of the most competitive industries.

Since young, Callie loves to look at properties. Until today, she is still in awe about the “beauty and wonder of real estate.

“Real estate meets a basic need. It is also a determinant of health, happiness, and overall wellness of individuals, families and organizations.”

Callie’s leadership skills were groomed during her school days. She was one of the fastest to be promoted through the rank and file in the Girls Guide.

At 14 years of age, Callie was a Patrol Second. She became a Patrol Leader a year later and by the third year, she was already a Company Leader.

“It was through the Girls Guide, “ Callie said, “I learned that if I don’t have a heart to love and serve my people, I don’t deserve to be a leader. I must set an exemplary conduct if I want my team to soar.”

Callie was one of the finalists in the Miss Singapore Universe Beauty Contest. This is a secret that she would rather keep for the rest of her life if I did not leaked it ‘accidentally’ as her proud husband.

She said, “Beauty is skin-deep. What matters most is to develop an honourable character. A personality that will reach out and help people to be the best they can be and enjoy the best in life and work.”

Callie graduated as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma with an MSc in global business and marketing from the City University of New York.

Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society serving business programmes accredited by The Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership of Beta Gamma Sigma is a prestigious recognition received by a student.

To earn this honor, she has to prove to the professors through many project presentations and class participations.

“Callie believes that learning is the only real edge in business and in life. Only through learning can I creatively ‘destroy’ and reinvent myself so that I will always be relevant, at the cutting-edge, and be a plus factor to others.

“Only by learning, improving, and getting better results can I live a meaningful and fulfilling life. That’s why I always say, ‘Learn or die!’

“I’m committed to be a lifelong student. Learning and achieving better results is the uncompromising basis for achieving success in life.”

Callie went on to break many records in the real estate industry.

During the first year in business, she brought in more than S$400,000 in gross commission which by today’s term is worth a few million dollars. It is an amazing record considering that property prices were much lower.

To me, Callie is one of the best entrepreneurs I have ever known in my professional life. She painstakingly developed the necessary skills to be an effective and a well-balanced business leader.

Callie went on to lead the largest team of advisors that were remunerated on a fixed allowance plus commission basis.

As a fighter that never gives up, Callie overcame many challenges in the business journey. She faced painful barbs and seemingly insurmountable challenges to help build one of the largest and most awarded real estate companies.

Callie helped to create a love-centered culture in the company, in the hope of sending ripples of love – first to the colleagues, then to the customers, the communities, and finally, to other countries.

The company was not just a market leader, it was also a pace setter in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charitable causes. It probably ran more charity programmes than many charity organizations.

As a result of Callie’s achievements both in the business world and in the charity circle, she won the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award and the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for social contribution.

Callie said, “It is sad many people told me they will only give back to society when they are successful and financially sound. That should not be the case.

“We can start to make giving back to society an integral part of our life. It is a universal law that when we give, more will be given to us.

“But, of course, please don’t give just to expect a return. Do it out of a good heart and you will be blessed.

“I hope to inspire a new generation of what we call Enlightened Entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs will use their businesses as platforms to transform their industries for the good of the world.

“At the same time, they will leverage on their resources to resolve many social issues, including abuses that are causing our planet to be sick.

“I believe the best way to live our life is to live our life for others. The more we reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better our life will become.

“If we join our hands together, call me an idealist if you will, I believe we can eradicate poverty, wars, and unnecessary conflicts in our world.

“Our children will point to us and say, ’That’s THE generation that finally got their act of love together and united the human race as one loving family. They left a better world for us, for our children, and our children’s children.’ ”

Callie and I obviously share the same philosophy. However, I will pale when I compare myself to the sacrifices and the effort she has made to help others.

Since I’m in a good mood to share other people’s secrets – not mine of course – I will let you into Callie’s private life.

For years, I have personally witnessed how generous she was in giving to worthwhile causes. There were personal cheques that she has signed to give away more than our combined annual salaries.

Let me state another example.

Years ago, she co-owned three shop houses in ‘Little India.’ She donated; in kind, part of it to a group of volunteers to counsel and help foreign workers and especially Indian workers.

I have seen Callie literally crying hour after hour in prayer for people who are in need and suffering in pain and sorrow. She has travelled to many countries to help people overcome spiritual and emotional struggles and to plead with our Creator to bless their communities.

Callie spent a lot of time in some of the poorest communities in India, helping to start orphanages and teaching in the villages. In fact, one time she even asked me to allow her to spend part of her time to live among the poor in India.

It will always be one of my greatest regrets that I held her back. I told her I needed her. Our family needed her, and the business needed her.

Callie spent some years serving in Church – living simply and working very hard with little resources – helping many individuals and families who were going through difficult times.

There are many people who will testify how she has gone out of the way to help them through some of the most challenging times in their lives.

More than anything else, Callie is a great mother. While balancing her work and service, she has also devoted a tremendous amount of her life to bring up two beautiful children (who still refused to be featured in my fb. Ha!)

She did everything a mother should do and more. It was therefore not surprised when my eldest daughter sent her a bouquet of flowers and called her among many other accolades, “my best friend.”

Sometimes, I think I’m not joking when I told my friends, “Callie picked me up from the rubbish bin of life.”

I have personally learned a lot from her. She made me a better person.


By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

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

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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