With one revelation after another through just a lot of common sense, the music finally stopped. But life in general follows this rule, when one door shuts, another book gets published!
This romantic business book is the very virgin idea birthed out of this discourse of “Chris first rescuing Freda”. The viable reminders of whether the partnership is commercially feasible, the partner’s intention versus actual, the recourse available when something goes wrong, all these and more were the noise that sounded the idea for Romeo & Juliet to come together.
There are also some surprise inclusions in the book like the story of Dato’ Michael Tio battling the mindset of his well respectable father and founding director of PKT Logistics Group to turn the already successful ship around and why they are engaging their personnel at all levels through Facebook; the story of husband and wife team, Sheila Tan and Daniel Ho, and their nightmares in a previous partnership before leaving it all to reconstruct their professional life at IQI; the Joan “Anabelle Co-Martinent” of Arc in venturing solo into a greenfield pursuit of La Juiceria; the origins of Grab the ride sharing app and how they had to overcome the old world habits of Malaysian cab service, and more. The wisdom within lends weight to the matter they discuss, sometimes close to the very hearts of fellow “lovers” in the business world. It also pierces through the fog of fancy startups and channel their focus back to the fundamentals rather than unicorns, raising funds, the one billion mark etc.
“Even from the people I interviewed, they are caught up about fund raising like how much I raised and how much you raised, stuff like that. So whether it’s a solid business time will tell,” explained Freda. As a counterbalance almost, Shake & Spear have handpicked to only talk about self-funded enterprises or those who grew organically through their very own means, very Malaysian too at that.
I asked also of the lot Freda had interviewed, who she thought had been most inspiring. She thought about this carefully, “Everybody has inspired me in a certain way.” They were all good but if she had to pinpoint one that moved her immensely, it was Nick Vujicic and it was after the interview when he said, “Can I pray for you?
“And even the words he spoke of is like he knew me.”
That you could say was a divine moment because when pressure points of life are met with a prayerful touch, it helps to loosen the cork that has bottled up all those times. It was divine too because amidst all the speaking and media engagements, strangely the BFM interview with Freda was the only interview Nick returned to Malaysia for on that trip.
“Always remember you’re not that good, someone opens the door for you.” – Freda
For Chris, he finds his personal soul searching as an inspiring motivator and sees the search as fitting into the big picture; the very fountain that drives him forward. He also admitted to liking the “villain” role as he ages.
“Villains tend to be more direct and proclaim directly about what they want.”
You can’t fault the man given his public appeal. Most would clamour to have his time for his brainy legal opinions and if he had to entertain them all, we wouldn’t have had the chance to read this story because Shake & Spear would never have been published, yet.
Still the diligent man is everything that he is, the many hats he wears is as impressive as they are recorded on paper. You’d wonder really how he does it all, but does it he will rain or shine, relentlessly and motivated thoroughly; as thorough as even toying with the idea of quitting his legal profession.
“Yes I want to give up law, until my brother (Jeff) asked me, “You sure you want to give up law?””