A Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, Li Ka Shing has a story to tell, and Asia has a hero to admire. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of April 16, 2014 he is the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $31.9 billion. He is the Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings as of 2008; through them, he is the world's largest operator of container terminals and the world's largest health and beauty retailer.
Here are lessons from Li Ka-Shing:
1. Buy lunch for people more important than you.
“Always remember to buy lunch for people who are more knowledgeable than you, richer than you or people who have helped you in your career. Make sure you do that every month. After one year, your circle of friends should have generated tremendous value for you. Your reputation, influence, and added value will be clearly recognized. You’ll also enhance your image of being kind and generous.”
2. Become a bookworm.
“When you buy the books, read them carefully and learn the lessons and strategies that are being taught in the book. For each book, after you read them, put them into your own language to tell the stories. Sharing with others can improve your credibility and enhance the affinity. “
3. Learn to sell like a wolf.
“It would be great to find a part-time sales job. Doing sales is challenging but it’s the fastest way for you to acquire the art of selling and this is a very deep skill that you will be able to use for the rest of your career. All successful entrepreneurs are good salespeople. They have the ability to sell their dream and visions. You’ll also meet many people that will be of value to you in the later part of your career. Once you’re in sales, you will also learn what sells and what doesn’t. Use the sensitivity of detecting market sentiments as a platform for running your business and in the identification of product winners in the future. “
4. Don’t wear clothes you can barely afford.
“Try to buy minimal clothes and shoes. You can buy them all you want when you’re rich. Save your money and instead buy gifts for your loved ones and tell them your plans and your financial goals. Tell them why you are so thrifty. Tell them your efforts, direction and your dreams.”
5. Learn from others by offering to help them.
“Businessmen everywhere need help. Offer yourself to do part-time work for any kind of opportunity. This will help to hone your will and improve your skills. You will start to develop eloquence and soon, you’ll be closer to your financial goals.”
6. Start planning A.S.A.P.
“Life can be designed. Careers can be planned. Happiness can be prepared. You should start planning now. When you are poor, spend less time at home and more time outside. When you are rich, stay at home more and less outside. This is the art of living. When you are poor, spend money on others. When you’re rich, spend money on yourself. Many people are doing the opposite.”
7. Don’t let your ego rule you.
“When you are poor, be good to others. Don’t be calculative. When you are rich, you must learn to let others be good to you. You have to learn to be good to yourself even more. When you are poor, you have to throw yourself out in the open and let people make good use of you. When you are rich, you have to conserve yourself well and not let people easily make use of you. These are the intricate ways of life that many people don’t understand.”
8. Don’t ever flash your wealth to others.
“When you are poor, spend money so that people can see it. When you are rich, don’t show off, but silently spend the money on yourself. When you are poor, you must be generous. When you are rich, you must not be seen as a spendthrift. Your life would have come full circle and reached its basics. There is tranquility at this stage.”
9. Discipline yourself and stay focused.
“There is nothing wrong with being young. You don’t need to be afraid of being poor. You need to know how to invest in yourself and increase your wisdom and stature. You need to know what is important in life and what is worth investing in. You also need to know what you should avoid spending your money on. This is the essence of discipline. Try to avoid spending money on clothes but buy a selective number of items that have class. Try to eat out less. If you do go out to eat, make sure it’s for lunch or dinner and always foot the bill. When buying people dinner, make sure you buy dinner for people who have bigger dreams than you and who work harder than you.”