An unsuccessful foray into an area of business he knew little about was the catalyst which incentivised Brett Lu to start in digitally marketing his skills to others.
What’s your story?
I had an antique business at age 28 and made a small fortune. I then expanded into the furniture business at age 33 not knowing the fundamentals of retail, lost most of my savings and hit rock bottom. With nothing left I obtained a taxi drivers license but never got to driving one. The entrepreneurial spirit in me borrowed $6000, restarted the antique business online, made a fortune, bought multiple properties, invested in stock and now I now teach others how to do the same using digital marketing to enrich their lives. I am semi retired.
What excites you most about your industry?
Being in non traditional education, teaching businesses and sales professionals the soft skills needed to prosper online excites me when they achieve results and live a meaningful life.
The digital marketing and business climate is more dynamic than ever before. New platforms, software and different ways to distribute information mean we have to explore and innovate. An environment where the only constant is change fuels my passion to ever evolve and improve.
What is your connection to Asia?
I grew up in multi racial Singapore and have been traveling frequently to the Indo China region for business. Besides English I also speak, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Thai at a fluent level and am in the midst of learning Burmese and Tamil. I’ve admiration for, and interest in, Eastern cultures and religions especially minority ethnic groups such as hill tribes in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Bangkok, there is not much red tape. Anyone with a laptop/phone/wifi can start a business with little or no money and can quickly amass a small fortune. The never say die/cannot attitude of Thai people is admirable and one can learn a lot observing both street vendors and the more corporate business practices.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be slow to hire but fast to fire.
Who inspires you?
Traveling the world to see how people do business/trade; this comes with the opportunity to visit nice places and enjoy food from all cultures. Perhaps the human connection.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Life is impermanent and we should treat each day as our last, and say many ‘I love you’s to people who matter on a daily basis.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Keep educating myself at a younger age; I did not discover the importance of learning until I hit 39 (I am 40 this year).
How do you unwind?
I make videos and play mobile games.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand – Great people, pretty ladies, great range of climate and holiday backdrops from mountains to beaches and city life if that’s more your thing. It is also very affordable and not too far from home.
Everyone in business should read this book:
How to turn words into money – Ted Nicholas
Shameless plug for your business:
How can people connect with you?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.