by Patrick Liew on September 19, 2013

On 18 February 2013, I walked back into the office after lunch,  light-footed and almost floating as I passed by my colleagues. There was an inexplicable sense of happiness.

As I reflected about the day that was over, I realised there was a reason why I felt uplifted. It was a simple reason.

It started with an invitation for lunch by Ivy Low. She had asked me some days back about what I liked to eat.

Without hesitation, I had replied, “Ramen.”

So that was how I was introduced to Tampopo Japanese Restaurant. Right from the outset, I had insisted that as an old-school old man, I could not and would not allow a young lady to foot the bill.

Subsequently, she sneakily went to settle it behind my back. I did not feel good about it because she had not been doing well financially.

Over coffee, I asked her, “How are you doing in your business?”

Just some background, Ivy is a wonderful lady with a good heart. She had given up a stable career and a secure income stream to pursue an endearing dream.

She had started White Angels Caregivers Consultancy to help provide nursing and caregiving services to the elderly and physically-challenged clients.

That was about the time I met her at the inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Award 2010 competition. She was presenting her social enterprise model to a panel of judges and I was one of them.

Throughout the presentation, her passion and sincerity moved our hearts. The somewhat idealistic business model and heartfelt desire to provide a vital and much-needed service were some of the reasons that moved us to select her as the
overall winner.

However, the question at the back of my mind then was, ‘How is she going to monetize her services?’

As a part of the prizes, she could pick one of the judges to be her mentor for a year. I was honored that she chose me.

For more than a year, I coached her and responded to her queries. I counseled her and invited her as a guest to our seminars so that she could learn from world-class trainers.

I invited my friends who were domain knowledge expects to share
critical information with her. They answered her questions and shed more light on different aspects of business.

Still, it was an uphill climb for her. At one point, she told me, “I’ve been drawing down on my savings and it’s running low.”

I feared for her. While trying to help, I prayed for her more than I prayed for most of my business partners and close friends.

Finally, I advised her to look for a part-time job to ensure she could stay alive. Meanwhile, she continued to knock on doors until her business took off.

So, when I asked the question, “How are you doing in your business?” I did not have any high expectation.

With a beaming face, she told me, “Things have turned for the better. I don’t have to work on a part-time basis anymore.

“I can focus on my business again. In fact, I can’t even handle all the business calls and have retained a part-time staff and three part-time nurses to help me.”

Currently, Ivy is on National Neuroscience Institution, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and HCA Palliative Care ‘s list of home nurses. The managers are actively referring cases to her now.

That was what kept me happy until now. I’m happy she’s doing much better than before.

In the wee hours of the morning, she sent me a moving thank you note. Towards the end, she wrote,

‘I had to break your chauvinist yet gentlemanly self because this is the day you will remember receiving a treat from your very own mentee whose small yet potentially powerful success was contributed by your expert and thoughtful advices.

For God so love me, He gave me a impeccable advisor so that I can fulfil the work I’m called to do.’

I’m happy that I have been able to contribute in a small way to the initial signs of her success.

I’m happy that she did not give up. She persevered throughout all the challenges on the business journey.

I’m happy for her.

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

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 visit my website, www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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