Revolution! A Clarion Call To Transform The Business World.

by Patrick Liew on June 21, 2012

On March 21, 2003, I received an interesting call, “Patrick, you better fly back right away. People are carrying things out of the office.”

This call started a series of events which changed my life forever.

Prior to that call, I had scaled down my personal involvement with the company and left its daily operations to a management team.

At the trough of the SARS outbreak, sales had dipped to its lowest point. Operational expenses were at an all time high.

Our competitors took the opportunity to head-hunt my management staff, and several of my key people literally left me overnight.

Subsequently, my colleagues, clients and suppliers began to leave me in droves. Vicious rumors circulated in the market and they were growing stronger by the day.

During that time, I lost an enormous amount of money. I was also carrying personal liabilities to the tune of millions of dollars.

I went through the darkest hour of my life.

At night, I slept with tears in my eyes, curled up like a little baby. I lived in constant fear, and anxieties cloud my mind.

I was worried about what would happen to me and my family. My life had virtually come to an end.

It was a daily torture to wake up, drag myself to the office, and face another day of pain and sorrow. I walked around like a zombie, not knowing what to do, say or believe.

I was totally helpless. I could not run away. No matter which way I turned, I would feel another huge wall collapsing on me.

I went through what the Chinese would call a half-death, an experience which is worst than death – 求生不得,求死不能.

I wanted to live but I could not live. I wished I could die but death was not an option for me.

It was then that I started searching my soul. I looked for wise counsel.

I looked up and asked our Creator for help. I needed a modern-day miracle to turn the tide.

In my spirit, I sensed a divine calling to rebuild my company into more than just a business, a company, or an organization. I was to go beyond personal profits and gain.

The initial instruction I received was to ‘Touch Lives’, to treat humans as humans. My job was to walk the journey of life with my colleagues and help them live a meaningful, exciting and fulfilling life.

Our company would endeavour to bring out the best from them and help them live the best life. Through them, we would touch lives, bless families, improve communities, and enhance society.

When I decided to take up this challenge, I felt our Creator saying that this step was only Part One – the easy part.

The most important and also the most difficult part of the message was to tell my people three simple words, ‘I love you.’

I knew that love is the most powerful force in business and in life. Sadly, I had barely scratched the surface to tap this awesome force.

I did not learn how to live and work with love from any business guru, school or book. (Most people would not even dare to talk about love in the workplace).

I had to learn how to rebuild my company on love and to live out the power of love.

I had to chart a new course. I had to pioneer a different way of running the business.

I decided to make my company the extended family of our people – and our office, their second home. I endeavored to transform my organization into a warm, dynamic and caring family.

Out of that major crisis, I was forced to re-create myself. I learned and am still learning to run my company with a heart and put soul back into the organisation.

Using the analogy of a computer, I realized there are four dimensions to a love-based management system.

In a nutshell, please let me share them with you.

Heartware (Operating System)

The heart of a business challenge is ultimately a challenge of the heart. It is the ultimate driver for motivations to run a business.

The heart can drive the enterprise in the right direction or towards destruction. It is from the heart that we can derive a soulful and sustainable solution.

The question that begs to be answered is, “Why are you in business? Why do you lead an organisation?”

Your ‘why’s will help you discover the ‘how’s. It is your purpose that will determine your performance and progress. It will also drive the productivity and help you form the partnerships in your organisation.

Where your heart leads to, that’s where your destination will be.


The best way to love your people is to build the best business. The character, commitment, capacity and capability of your organisation will determine its contributions.

The hardware of the company is essentially the business model of your operation – how you do what you do to enhance profit, advantage and growth. It includes the plan, structure, systems, processes, and resources to achieve results.

Results define the hardware of your business. It is the only true measurement of life and success.


Every business is a people business. It is the people who work in your business that will make your business work.

I have always said that I’m not just in the real estate business, I’m in the relationship business. I’m not in the property business but in the people business.

The software of a business is the way your team and you communicate, collaborate, and co-create solutions for your customers.

You must find the right people to do the right job and at the right time. The quality of your business is shaped by the quality of your leadership and teamwork.

People makes the ultimate difference.


In the final analysis, the purpose of a business is not merely to create products and services. It should also not exist just to create customers and profits.

Businesses should serve a higher purpose for helping people live a better life and make our world a better home. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become.

When you serve a higher calling and a worthier cause, you will attract more people and resources to help you build a stronger company. Eventually, your business should become a movement, a force for good that will do well and do good at the same time, all the time.

Back to my story, this near-death experience became one of the key turning points in my life.

Since then, my company has become a publicly-listed company in Singapore. It is arguably one of the market leaders and the largest companies in the industry.

HSR also became the most awarded real estate company, having won more than 39 prestigious business awards. It included winning the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award.

I have personally won more than seven business awards, including the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Of The Year Award and the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for social contributions.

The miracles continue…

Without realizing it, we were starting a Revolution of Love.

HSR was used to pave the way for a new love-based business model and to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs. I called them Enlightened Entrepreneurs.

Call me an idealist if you like, I believe if you and I live with love, our future generations will point to us and say,

“That’s the generation that finally got their act of love together. They eradicated poverty, brought about world peace, and made our world a better home for all of us.”

Will you be one of the Enlightened Entrepreneurs? Will you join me in the Revolution of Love?


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

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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