When it comes to investing in a business, Liew says returns are a secondary concern for him.
“I don’t think of the money first. I have to have an interest in the business, my heart has to be in it. If not there’s no fulfilment for me,” he says.
Many years ago, his father passed the reigns of their family steel construction business to him. And he had to learn the industry and processes from the bottom up.
“I had to deal with contractors, welders and everyone in between. I had to get hands-on with everything. That was one of the toughest parts of my life, and the most rewarding.
“I’ve learned that if you don’t put your entire being into a project, it’ll never be as good as it can be,” he says with finality.
Little by little he built his business acumen and instincts.
He tells me about his first property investment. “I followed the same formula. Ask intelligent questions and observe those who’ve been in the business longer. When I was reasonably confident, I booked five units of a particular property in Kota Kinabalu, but only got loan approvals for three.
“From there, I’ve never looked back,” he adds.
His decisiveness and faith in his own judgement has enabled him to indulge in motorsport, his other passion. His current drive is a Ferrari 458, but tuned and enhanced by renowned Swiss company, Mansory. His next car is looking to be a Lamborghini.
“In Chinese we have a saying, since we work under the sun like horses and bulls, I think it’s appropriate that I get myself a ‘prancing horse’ and a ‘charging bull’,” he says with a sly smile.
I ask him about the most important lesson he can pass on.
“Always be happy when you make mistakes, because you can only learn from mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the smarter your future decisions and the better your choices.”