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24 Sep 2015

Nothing is Everything per Lao Tzu

In our previous blog, we talk about how to use our eyes to close every sale.  Over 84 techniques were shared in our courses How to Close Every Sale and Sales Power, today we will dwell on one tactic: Using Nothingness.
Nothingness is not to be confused with Nothing. Nothingness is also not the same as Emptiness. Nothingness is nothingness, nothing more or nothing less.
This concept of Nothingness is from Lao Zi’s Dao De Qing book 道德经. Lao Zi is an ancient Chinese philosopher who lived in China 2,500 years ago. His philosophies share much in common with India’s Siddhartha Gotama (or The Buddha) and Greece’s Socrates.  These wise men lived around the same time but far away from each other. The fact that they can say the same thing proves that this concept is universal, it has nothing to do with Eastern or Western.
Nothingness or 无 is defined as the state of being nothing, the state of non-existence of anything, or the property of having nothing.
It simply means that there is no inherent meaning in anything in this world. Everything that we see, hear, feel or understand to be something in this world is actually our own perception.  If we perceive something to be good, we will prove it right with our thoughts, speech and behavior. But if you were to examine it further you’ll realize that such something is actually nothing.
For example, in the current hazy weather, people find the haze unbearable. But this haze is actually nothing because to the businessmen that created the haze by burning forests indiscriminately, this haze is a profitable venture and definitely desirable, not unbearable.
How do we apply this concept of nothingness in our business?  Today I will just talk about sales.  
When your prospect gives you an objection and he did so in a negative manner, like being sarcastic or critical, most salespeople will act in one way - react. If you understand the concept of nothingness, you will know that such an objection is nothing in nature. It does not mean anything negative or positive. So it is up to you to make it something, like he does not like us or he is just testing us.
The nothingness concept means that you stop thinking about your prospect the wrong way.  Stop conceiving of him as being something that is bad from his side, and start thinking of him as an nothing screen.  What you see in him is just your projection of him, the projector is your own mind, driven by electricity called imprints from what you have experienced before.  The point is not to judge anything as good or bad, not to attach to any of your own feelings or emotions.  In short, see things and see people what they are, and you will have wisdom.  

If you see the objection as what it really is - an objection and nothing else, you will be wise enough to handle it objectively.  You will not react negatively to him, instead you will respond positively to such a neutral or nothing event.  This is what we call seeing things as nothing, and you can certainly use nothingness concept to sell the impossible.  Good luck!
Andy Ng (MBA CPA) is a Business Coach and Trainer with over 28 years of professional experience. He is currently leading a team of businesspeople in a billion-dollar global e-commerce business. Contact him at today! 

21 Sep 2015

3 Truths in The World

One day, the Buddha sat down in the shade of a tree and noticed how beautiful the countryside was. Flowers were blooming and trees were putting on bright new leaves, but among all this beauty, he saw much unhappiness. A farmer beat his ox in the field. A bird pecked at an earthworm, and then an eagle swooped down on the bird. Deeply troubled, he asked, "Why does the farmer beat his ox? Why must one creature eat another to live?"

During his enlightenment, the Buddha found the answer to these questions. He discovered three great truths. He explained these truths in a simple way so that everyone could understand them.

1. Nothing is lost in the universe
The first truth is that nothing is lost in the universe. Matter turns into energy, energy turns into matter. A dead leaf turns into soil. A seed sprouts and becomes a new plant. Old solar systems disintegrate and turn into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents, our children are born of us.

We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us, we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth, the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animal.

2. Everything Changes
The second universal truth of the Buddha is that everything is continuously changing. Life is like a river flowing on and on, ever-changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes swiftly. It is smooth and gentle in some places, but later on snags and rocks crop up out of nowhere. As soon as we think we are safe, something unexpected happens.

Once dinosaurs, mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers roamed this earth. They all died out, yet this was not the end of life. Other life forms like smaller mammals appeared, and eventually humans, too. Now we can even see the Earth from space and understand the changes that have taken place on this planet. Our ideas about life also change. People once believed that the world was flat, but now we know that it is round.

3. Law of Cause and Effect
The third universal truth explained by the Buddha is that there is continuous changes due to the law of cause and effect. This is the same law of cause and effect found in every modern science textbook. In this way, science and Buddhism are alike.

The law of cause and effect is known as karma. Nothing ever happens to us unless we deserves it. We receive exactly what we earn, whether it is good or bad. We are the way we are now due to the things we have done in the past. Our thoughts and actions determine the kind of life we can have. If we do good things, in the future good things will happen to us. If we do bad things, in the future bad things will happen to us. 

Every moment we create new karma by what we say, do, and think. If we understand this, we do not need to fear karma. It becomes our friend. It teaches us to create a bright future.

The Buddha said,
"The kind of seed sown
 will produce that kind of fruit.
 Those who do good will reap good results.
 Those who do evil will reap evil results.
 If you carefully plant a good seed,
 You will joyfully gather good fruit."

18 Sep 2015

How to Recession Proof Your Career with a Strong Why

The Business Times on 18 Sep 2015 reported that because of falling August domestic exports, Singapore could be entering into a technical recession soon. Many people asked me what they should do. 

We have already seen a large swing towards the ruling party in the just concluded 2015 General Elections. Singaporeans sent a strong mandate to the ruling party as they want the government to be strong in handling the recession that may come.

So it seems that a recession is imminent. Instead of panicking when the recession comes, why not we ‘prevent’ the recession from happening to us?  In other words, can we ‘recession proof’ our career? 

The proven way to recession proof your career is to go for upgrading courses, for when you know more, the easier your job will be. Some will tell you to stick to your current employer, for at least you may get some retrenchment benefits in case your employer gives you the pink letter. Recruitment firms advise employees to look out for other job opportunities while still holding your current job so as to ‘get some insurance’.  There are some that will tell you to go and start your own business for this is the permanent way to really protect your career.

The above advises are definitely rewarding, for they are from many years of real-life experience. But today I will teach you something that very few people teach: know your ‘Why’.

When you know you ‘Why’, your ‘How’ will come out easily. With ‘How’ you will get ‘What’ you want.

Your ‘Why’ is the strong reason why you need your job. Many people have the following reasons:
·       I need the job to support my family
·       Without this job I cannot survive
·       My vocation is my vacation (I love my job)
·       The people in my job are like my family
·       I have many mouths to feed
·       I have tons of debt to repay

The above reasons are good, but they are not strong enough as they lack one thing: longer term perspective.

When you hold on to your job with a short term perspective like need to balance your bank account, how can you ever have a long term job or career?  It is like you walking into DBS Bank and the bank told you that they need your deposit to pay for salaries for the bank. Would you feel safe with such a reason?  

It is obvious that we need a longer term ‘Why’ if we too want to have a long term career. With a long term ‘Why’, we will have the stamina and tenacity to surmount the challenges that may come along the way. For example, DBS’s vision is ‘Living Breathing Asia’, that’s why DBS can overcome the 2008 financial crisis that even banking giants like Royal Bank of Scotland cannot overcome.

What would be your long term ‘Why’ in your career?  It can include the following:
·       To fulfil your dream of (whatever it is)
·       To realize your childhood ambition
·       To see your children into university of their choice

As a guide, your longer term ‘Why’ must transcend your short term goals.

Examples of successful careers with a strong long term ‘Why’
·       Facebook’s founder Mark Zackerburg ‘To connect everyone’
·       Microsoft’s Bill Gates ‘A computer at every desk’ (1980)
·       Air Asia’s Tony Fernandes ‘Now Everyone can fly’
·       Asia Trainers’ founder Andy Ng ‘World Abundance through Business Re-education’
·       Jenuesse Global’s top leader Ms Kim Hui “Strive to make your dream a reality’

By Andy Ng, a Business Coach and Trainer with over 28 years of experience. Andy specialises in short but effective courses that helps people to be more empowered and effective in their career and business. All his courses are subsidised 60% by the government’s PIC scheme. Email to or visit now!