After some failed attempts, Willis Lau gradually got to where he is today by believing anything can be achieved if you attack it relentlessly. He enjoys muay thai, swimming in his spare time.
What’s your story?
I was an extreme introvert, especially during my younger days. I can still remember the period when I chose to go hungry & had to pass people handwritten notes because I did not dare to order food from the counter. Fast forward to today, I am in the financial advisory industry, a sales & marketing role. It involved a huge mental shift for me in order to be where I am today. I wasn’t very good at the start and after my initial years, as I failed more, I won more gradually and it was through these failures that shaped my belief that success can be achieved if you attack it relentlessly.
What excites you most about your industry?
The sky’s the limit. In my industry, we determine how big we want our business to be. We determine how we want to grow the team and infuse the right culture. Through this process, we are able to bring a positive impact to many families by ensuring they are able to brace through the financial impact when unforeseen circumstances happen.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Currently, the bulk of my business activities are conducted in Singapore. I recently made a trip to Myanmar and could have potential business connections moving forward.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
If I was to expand my business overseas, I will pick Myanmar as it’s currently considered a developing country and financial literacy level there is pretty low. That gives me more opportunities in the long run.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A wise man once said to me that we have to know the difference between opinion and advice. An opinion comes from someone who has not been there, done that whereas advice is a piece of information shared by someone who has been there, done that. There are many people who treat opinions as advice and advice as opinions. If we fail to see the difference, we will fail.
Who inspires you?
There are a few people that I draw inspiration from in varying industries. In the business world, Gary Vee walks the talk by ignoring the noises from the opinions of people that do not matter in the first place. Ray Tan & Norman Pang are legends in the insurance industry who have built successful & productive insurance agencies with a strong sense of agency culture within a short period of time. Eric Feng impresses me with how he constantly creates content to add massive value to the financial advisory industry through his influencer-based strategies.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
A championship team is better than a team of champions.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I will spend less time studying and more time working on my business by recruiting & building the team earlier.
How do you unwind?
I do muay thai, swim and sing in the car when a long day has ended.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. It has beautiful beaches and nice resorts which allows me to reflect and be in the moment.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Shameless plug for your business:
How you LIVE tomorrow depends on how you INVEST today.
How can people connect with you?
They can follow me via Facebook (Will Lau) or Instagram (@willislaubx)
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
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 of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.