MUC Lunchtime Lessons: Rayney Wong

3 Top Business Principles To Survive & Thrive

The Millionaire Underdog Club (“MUC”)
(Singapore) had the pleasure of hosting lawyer and savvy property investor Rayney Wong.

Besides really sharp international property investing insights, it was also highly informative and thought-provoking from a business point of view.

I learned so many things and here are the 3 top business principles that stood out for me and they centre around survival:

1. The importance of not accepting failure as the final state of things. Resilience and tenacity are difficult lessons to learn but are extremely important.

When Rayney first started his own legal practice he did not have much experience and it was extremely challenging. What ultimately enabled him to succeed was his refusal to accept failure.

2. Any business is tough and competitive – succeeding just depends on what you are prepared to do to ensure the business succeeds.

Deciding that he was not going to fail, he built his business from the ground up by visiting the hospitals to get personal injury clients and also found a way to add value for these clients. His business grew from there.

3. Evolve, find your niche and dominate.

Rayney mentioned they recently had to change the way they did business because of how competitive the legal industry is. Now they only take specific type of cases at his law firm because it provides better profit margin.

Learning about property investing & business

As a young lawyer, I never thought about the business side of running a profitable law firm because I was more concerned about how to be a good lawyer. All I needed to do was my boss’ bidding.

But it’s necessary for every lawyer to learn about business eventually – whether it is to add value to their clients and/or run a successful legal practice.

It was really interesting for me to have a glimpse of what it is like for a senior partner in a law firm. Besides being an accomplished excellent lawyer so that you can attract the right clients and command and justify your higher per hourly rate (usually at least $800/hour and up), you’d also need to be competent in business to make the practice profitable.

I wonder – where do these lawyers get their business education from and is it enough?

That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed myself during this lunch just listening to Rayney talk. His network is really incredible and in my opinion, something to aspire to – I mean, how many people can say they felt a little embarrassed telling some people in their network that they made $200,000 on 1 property deal, because these people just made millions on their own property deal? And how many people have access to a network of people who are able to invest $50 million in a deal and call it a “small sum”?

Well, I’m one step closer to that now because Rayney’s now part of my network too.



The Importance of Being On Time.

Be On Time!

If you’re in  Singapore, you’ve probably already read about the High Court Judge who dismissed 4 applications to partly call 4 Practice Trainees to the Singapore Bar because their supervising lawyers were late.

This is the same judge who admitted me to the Singapore Bar.

For those who are not familiar with the legal industry in Singapore, Practice Trainees are trainee lawyers and to become a full fledged Advocate & Solicitor, your supervising lawyer will need to move your call in court i.e. they basically are the ones who tell the Court you’re ready to become a lawyer because you’ve completed the necessary training.

However, this instance was a part call, which allows these Practice Trainees a limited audience before the courts before being fully qualified for the  Bar.

For a judge to dismiss these applications to shame the supervising lawyers actually means the Practice Trainees will have to do all the paperwork to apply, again. And whatever responsibilities that were initially intended for them to take over after the part call would have to wait.

The supervising lawyers actually don’t have to do anything much but show up on time in Court. But I suppose the punishment is in making them give up their time, again. And of course, because of this newspaper article, shame them, publicly.

It’s actually not uncommon for lawyers to be late for Court because of scheduling conflicts. But I suppose the Court’s stance is that’s not a good excuse, which is also true.

Well, hang in there, TheUnfortunateFour Practice Trainees. The part call will roll around soon enough.

Read the article here.

The Past, The Present & The Future

As I write this post, I’m expecting my third baby, running a business with a few new businesses in the pipeline and I’m happily married.

It all seems so easy, but it wasn’t at first, and it still isn’t at times. It’s difficult sometimes to find that happy equilibrium, but not impossible.

Life couldn’t have been more different when I was in my 20s. It was about me and what I wanted, and then when I got married, I had to also make room for my husband and what he wanted.

When I got called to the Singapore Bar and became a full fledged lawyer, it was still about me and what I wanted, and what the husband wanted. He understood when I had to pay my dues and work the long hours because he’d been there as well, so he’d give me space to grow.

My life changed most drastically when my first baby, Kaius, came along. It was the toughest thing I ever had to do, putting this little baby ahead of all of my needs and wants because he needed me first.

When Allegra, my second baby, was born it wasn’t too much of an adjustment because I’d been through all the difficult changes of becoming a parent with Kaius. But of course it got busier. I got busier. The business got busier.

I start off with this as my first post not to complain or boast. It’s more of a stock take of my life – where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I want to go.

To say that becoming a mother has not affected me at all as an entrepreneur would be a lie. I’d say it has changed the entire way I look at life, business and my WHY for doing what I do.

This is why I decided to use the term “The Supermamapreneur”. Because to me being a mother and being an entrepreneur is an inseparable reality.

I don’t profess to be “super” every day, and there are days when I feel completely unspectacular, ugly and unaccomplished. But being super is a goal I strive to reach every day.

Besides the fact that I had to learn to put most of my needs and wants second to what my children need and want, I learnt that there are many things that a mother would do for her children.

It’s not that the husband has become unimportant. No. My husband is my life.

But my children occupy a very sacred part of my heart and I was surprised at first at what becoming a mother did to me.

When my son had to be admitted to the hospital for jaundice when he was only 3 days old, it broke my heart. It was so painful, watching him half-naked under the UV light and leaving him in the hospital for 2 nights.

I also remember tearing when my kids would scream in pain during vaccinations when the needles went into their thighs.

I would have gladly bore their pain.

See. Being a mother has ruined me forever. But I believe it is this change that will help bring me to greater heights and propel me to where I want to go.

There are so many things that I want to do, but maybe could not be bothered if I was doing it for me. But if I put it into the context of doing it for my kids and their future, it changes everything. I would gladly bear whatever pain I’d have to go through to get to where I want to be, for them. I’d want them to be proud of me.

This is not to say that I would not have gone after my dreams and ambitions if not for them. I probably would have, but doing it for them as well gives me so much more fulfilment and they are the extra push when I need it.

Being a Supermamapreneur is who I want to be, every day. And this blog is meant to be a reminder to strive to do so, and proof to myself that I.did.just.that. 

Sunshine, crayons & Christian Louboutins,

Lise Chew