Here are my favorite moments from listening to Jack Lee at the SociaLIGHT Conference in Vancouver earlier in September 2015.
Jack Lee, co-founder of T&T
Jack Lee is a pioneer who ventured into a jungle that has now built a bridge between East and West in the blossoming multi-culturalism society of Canada.
President of President Canada Group, Jack Lee is a modern day legend and the incarnation of the Canadian Dream whose rags-to-riches stories are well-known to the teeming Chinese-Canadian Community. His mission besides continuing his family legacy and supporting the next generation, is his burning zeal to link all Chinese merchants in the world to work together for prosperity and the advancement of commercialism.
As I was reading one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books earlier this week, the aspects of how we learn reminded me of what Jack shared at SociaLIGHT. When was the last time you heard a business-owner share about their business failures? No matter what industry and culture, people are often hesitant to share about their mistakes. In an ever-changing and competitive world, we need to view mistakes as not obstacles to avoid, but how do we get better and learn from them.
One of the moments that deeply resonated with me was when Jack Lee shared about his experience in his first failed business. He spent so many hours, working like mad, and realized he wasn’t “making ends meet” with all the money going into operations and overhead.
He asked the audience, “If you were in my shoes in that moment, Do you Give up or Change Your Stance?”
Through conversations with his father, he made a decision to close down his large warehouse. He shared how humiliated he felt to close down the warehouse in order to save on overhead costs. He restarted from working out of his basement to find a different way for his food import/export business. After 3 years of very focused hard-work, he turned things around.
One piece of wisdom that instilled with us was about finding and serving the needs of customers. Truly understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors while building relationships with customers will lead you to finding their needs that you may be able to solve through innovative products or services.
We all want the best for our families and communities. When we start out on the path of entrepreneurship and business-ownership, we may not be able to spend all of our time with our loved ones, but we will always find a way and make the best of the time together.
Jack reflected on moments where he worked together side-by-side in all his ventures with his wife Cindy. We chuckled when he told the audience about how much his wife cringes when he shares his love for her in public, especially one time when he tried to sing a love song for her in front of a very large crowd.
From the back of the room, you may have heard me go “Awwwwwwww” when Jack Lee revealed where the innovative ideas of certain T&T products and departments came from. From a very thoughtful and considerate point of view, the team made T&T Hot-Deli areas to help very busy wives and husbands have the ease and accessibility to bring home a warm, cooked meal for their family.
SociaLIGHT provides empowerment, inspiration and support to early stage startups, leaders and entrepreneurs through conferences, a membership platform and educational media content.The brand, SociaLIGHT, is a spin off the modern day “Socialite” with a new spelling, meaning and acronym. The new SociaLIGHT is a “L.eader I.mpacting G.lobal H.umanity T.oday.”
Our mission is to serve 100 million startups, entrepreneurs, and leaders to build thriving and sustainable businesses that have a positive global impact, and to foster systemic leadership and innovation that embodies the quadruple bottom line “Passion. People. Planet. Profit.” SociaLIGHT is a for profit corporation that operates in Toronto and Vancouver. The annual SociaLIGHT Conference features international and local speakers and past contributors include Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Tony Hsieh and more. Over 1000 attendees come together to learn and connect and the event has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and called “The Mecca for Emerging Entrepreneurs” by You Inc.