To Be Somebody, Prepared To Be Loved…And Be Hated | Personal Success | Success tips and life stories from Adam Khoo, Asia's top success coach.

To Be Somebody, Prepared To Be Loved…And Be Hated

Wow! I am surprised at how much attention and reactions I have gotten from my post on ‘The Expats Will Rule Singapore‘. I guess it must be a very sensitive topic to many people. I got over 50 comments from that post. Some people agreed with my views while others disagreed. That’s fine. It’s great to have different perspectives. What surprised me was that some people got pretty nasty and resorted to threatening, verbal abuse and name-calling.

In fact, my article has been posted on and discussed in some of the most popular forums in Singapore like CNA forums, online citizen, etc… How did I find out? A reporter from the New Paper called me and told me that my views stirred up a heated debate on all the forums. While most people generally agreed, there were a number who were ‘ flaming me’, calling me ‘crap’, ‘stupid’, ‘traitor’, ‘idiot’ ‘sucking up to PAP’ and accusing me of exploiting the poor. Basically, I was being defamed left right and centre.

Here are some of the nasty comments I got… I even got nasty comments from the post I wrote on ‘Never Giving Up’…



The interesting fact is this guy didn’t even do his research to find that I only employ 4 foreigners out of the 120+ staff I have in Singapore.


Then of course, I had my supporters…




I also got a little support from an ex-employee of mine


It’s these words of appreciation and support that give me the inspiration to keep on sharing my ideas through my books, blogs and seminars. Thanks guys!

Many people think that I am so ‘successful’ and confident that I am immune these criticism. To tell you the truth, it definitely hurts to read/hear anything nasty people say about you. One thing I have learnt to do is to accept the fact not everybody is going to like you. If you want to stand out in society and make a stand, you are got to be willing to be shot down. You have to be willing to take the hits. It’s all part of the game. Instead of getting angry and nasty myself, I usually reframe it in my mind to feel empathy and compassion for these people. Maybe they had a bad day. Maybe they are suffering inside. Maybe they need help. In a sense, I get myself to also feel thankful that they are giving me a chance to learn and become even better.

If You Want To Stand Out, You Have to Be Willing to Take Massive Rejection.

One thing I have learnt about life is that if you want to stand out of the crowd and be somebody who makes an impact in the world, you have to be willing to take massive rejection and criticism. It is the price you have to pay. In fact, you know that you are making a positive difference in the world when you are loved by people, while inevitably hated by others. The important thing is to of course be loved by alot more people than you are hated. If nobody hates you, it means that what you are doing isn’t big enough to make a mark in the world.

Think of these people who have shaped the world: Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr, Barack Obama and Mahatma Gandhi. Of course I am in no way comparing myself to them. However, I admire them and their story gives me strength to deal with the rejections I get in my life.

Jesus, the founder of Christianity and the son of god ( according to Christians) came to earth to preach love and salvation. It is no doubt that he made a huge difference to mankind. But what was the price he had to pay for it? He was not just rejected by nasty comments on his blog. It was worse. He was persecuted, beaten, stabbed and crucified by the Jews. However, instead of getting angry at them, he forgave his distractors.

It’s the same thing with Mahatma Gandhi. He made a huge difference to not just India but also to the world. He liberated India from the British and united his people. He was one of the most peace loving guys on earth. Yet he was also hated and assassinated. Martin Luther King Jr, fought for civil rights for blacks and had a dream that blacks could live in peace and equality among whites. Because he lived, a black man can become the President of the US and a poor black girl can grow up to become a billionaire (Oprah Winfrey). Again, not everybody accepted his views. He was hated so much by radicals that he too was assassinated.

To Be Successful in Anything, You Have To Take Massive Rejection

The lesson I would like to share here is that if you want to be a successful and exceptional person who makes a mark in the world, you have to be willing to take lots of rejection. You have to be willing to be criticized, hated and laughed at by the thousands of jealous critics out there.

Many people in life have tremendous potential to make a difference and live their dreams. So why don’t they? I have found from coaching thousands of people that the main thing that stops people from setting goals and taking action is their FEAR of rejection. They fear being rejected by customers, so they don’t make the phone calls. They fear criticism, so they dare not volunteer and take up leadership positions. They fear being rejecited, so they dare not approach the man/woman of their dreams. They fear rejection, so they dare not voice their opinions.

The Only Real Prison Is Fear, And The Only Real Freedom Is Freedom From Fear- Aung San Suu Kyi

If you have allowed this fear to stop you in the past, think about this… If Jesus, Martin Luther king jr, Gandhi, the Dalai lama, Nelson Mandela could face persecution, jail, intends hatred and murder, why do you let the fear of petty rejections from people stop you from going for your dreams?

Another great example is President Barack Obama. In order to become the President, he had to face tremendous criticism because of his colour and his ‘Osama- Sounding’ like name. Even after he was threatended with assasination by white supremists, he went ahead and fought for the presidency and to bring about change in the United States and the World. After putting in so much effort to save the US economy, create jobs, fix health care and regulate the financial sector, there are still people who hate him enough to call him ‘a socialist’, ‘evil’, ‘deceptive’, ‘nigger’ etc…

So if the most powerful man in the world takes crap from people, don’t worry so much much when people do the same to you. Focus on the great you are doing in the world and keep doing it. At the end of the day, the person whose judgement counts most of all is the person staring back in the mirror!


19 Comments so far

  1. Malaysian Minority on February 5th, 2010

    Guys, no matter u all agree or disagree,
    i still feel that all of u Singaporean’s bottom line is light years beyond better than the best v can haf here in Malaysia.

    Be grateful that u all haf Adam Khoo on ur side..dun envy his result of being a rich man..

    Being a capitalist is the best way to survive, if u r incapable of being rich, blame urself..not adam..

    As a fresh grade here with 1st class honours, im getting 800 sing dollar y u all complain?
    and how come i din c anyone complain when doctors
    are charging ridiculous amount just bcz they can save life?
    Adam Khoo is saving life too but in another form..the intangible forces type like how Mahatma Gandhi did which are the strongest force of all..
    Y no one is screwing doctors then?
    Capitalist n being rich is crap to u guys?
    Dun tell me that u all wont pick tht 100 sing dollar that is on the floor? Or u wud rather write a book to earn it? so who is cheapskate now?

  2. Kevin-HZH on February 5th, 2010

    We gotta be honest with ourselves if we wanna get further ahead.

    For example, I’m a 22 M from SG with little financial achievements because I have taken action ineffectively and am not resourceful enough yet. My “Why” is also lacking from the picture.

    What I see from the responses are pretty interesting – some are honest about themselves and some are honest about their circumstances. Don’t take my word for it: If you are always honest with your situation but never with yourself, your situation will always own you. Again, don’t believe what I said. Reflect and see if this is true.

    PS: This is just a generalisation, but most young people (~16-25) blame their situations and are “always” the “Victims” 😉 But then I always question, why is it that others were given a more unfortunate circumstance, but still manage to do better than them? Hmmmm… (Think Nick Vuijijic)

    PPS: One of the attributes of rich people is that they admire and model rich and successful people. Can you become someone whom you despise? 😉

    PPPS: I still have a lot to learn.

  3. Leonard Liew on February 6th, 2010

    Hi Adam, no success can come without a preceding failure. If you do not get flamed, you are sitting on your rear and not doing anything!

    I admire and respect you because you have the guts to stand up for what you believe in.

    In most societies, whoever stands up for the truth and the light will be hung out to dry. That poor dude on the cross is one good example.

    Keep up the good work. I love ya!

  4. Sean Seah on February 8th, 2010

    Without You, Adam, i will probably not have been able to use so much of my God Given Potential! To write a book, create passive income, have great relationships and many more.

    You really broke all my limiting beliefs, so i really pity people who choose to have a “limiting mind” and try to gun you down.

    I pray that one day, they may just decide to take a closer look at what you have to share.

  5. Bryan on February 9th, 2010

    Yes, People that only know how to complaint without taking any action will remain the same, complaint complaint.

    Adam, I truely agree with your point of views here.

  6. Ben on February 11th, 2010

    What Adam is stating is the ugly truth that is going to reveal soon. Getting a normal routine education route and getting a stable job is never enough in singapore this competitive country, our ppl need more financial knowledge to help us tide through various recession that are going to hit us in our lifetime.

    So instead of whining about the employment of this expats that are affecting the rice bowls of our locals, why not try thinking about how to use them efficiently to your own advantage? It is just that whether you accept your destiny or you choose to change it 🙂

    Anyway, wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year and huat ah ! 🙂

  7. Yong on February 18th, 2010

    Anyone know how much is the pattern of excellence price ? The current price. Do tell me. And include the service or the products AKLT will provide as well. I am interested in that course.

  8. Adam on February 28th, 2010

    someone will email you

  9. shirley on February 21st, 2010

    Dear Adam,

    I feel very sorry for you. I am certain that these nasty comments affected some part of you inside. Take care and I hope it made you stronger. I am a migrant myself in NSW. I work harder than I would have in Singapore. I was too sheltered back in town and now that I am thrown out in the wilderness with all the migrants from everywhere. I had a whole different perspective of life too. The aussies hated us too, the same way singaporean disliked the expats. But I think foreigners are necessary to stimulate economy growth as singaporeans are getting too complacent in our little comfortable haven.


  10. Priscilla on February 26th, 2010

    Dear Adam:

    As a person who had gone through a lot in life – some are easy paths, but more are very difficult that one can be thrown out of balance and lose the beautiful meaning of one’s existence, I can understand how you feel with these nasty remarks. But I would like to follow a great woman who became a saint and one of the first doctors of the universal church: “Let nothing disturb you,nothing afright you, . . everything is passing, patience endureth everything. God alone sufficeth.” All these nasty things said about you, are opportunities to grow deeper in your relationships. Continue to wish your detractors well, and ask that you be enlightened in the ways of the Lord. All these are passing.You know what you are and you know who you are (based on the seminars and trainings you are conducting!) then take all these in stride. God loves you unconditionally. Your concerns are well-defined. For yourself, for your family, your people, your institution, your company and your country. God just have to take a center stage. Everything will come out fine for you. I wish you all the luck. I, too, give workshops on personal empowerment and it is so rewarding to realize that you have facillitated lives of people especially in their transformation. Move on Adam. Be happy, be cheerful and be positive! All the best. God bless you and your family.

  11. Adam on February 28th, 2010

    Thank you for your words of love and encouragement

  12. flash toh on February 26th, 2010

    Hey Adam, how do i become a trainer if i want to. Do drop me a email.

  13. Clive Tan on March 10th, 2010

    A little late to this sharing, as I do not check out your blog regularly.

    To others,
    I am a graduate of Wealth Academy and his MBA program. I am a business owner and investor, also a trainer in the same industry.

    In my interaction with Adam, I truly feel that he is giving his all in his sharing. What he has created is, in my opinion, astounding. It is not easy to be running a business, balancing all the various interests between shareholders, management, employees and customers.

    I may be a “competitor” *in a certain sense* but I truly respect and salute Adam, not so much for what he has achieved but more for who he is and his contributions to society.

    The cynics can say all they want, but my (and many others) opinion of him has skyrocketed upwards since I met him personally in his program.

  14. BAH on March 19th, 2010

    Feel so honoured that my comment caught your attention. BTW I’m one of your BizAd juniors. no doubt you are successful and worthy of admiration, but your support for foreigners and lack of empathy and understanding for locals and their predicament really make me feel ashame. You can come up with consoling words and reasons to make yourself feel better and justify whatever you’ve said in your expats post, and I’m nobody to debunk you of your personal views.

    It is not incorrect to say that some Singaporeans expect high pay but are not hardworking and motivated to deserve it, but don’t all societies have such people? I have many Bizad friends who deserve reasonable pay and decent benefits but they are still struggling to achieve them. Why? This country is filled with not only foreign workers who do the jobs we won’t do, but now is also filled with highly “educated” FTs like MBAs and PHDs who can accept pay as low as $2k. You tell me how to survive with 2k in Singapore? most of us graduates are not born rich, we have tuition loans to pay and parents to feed. Yet these FTs enter our homeland and snatched away jobs we studied 18 years for. Can you really understand how it feels? Not everybody can be entrepreneurs you know.

    I would like to suggest with my utmost sincerity that as a true blue Singaporean you should read alternative media like temasekreview. As sensationalized as it can be, it never fails to highlight important social issues that upper-class residents do not and do not want to know.

    Learning about real issues not covered by the govt-controlled mainstream media like ST would broaden your perspectives which you can share with your kids and educate them to be hard-striving intelligent yet down-to-earth citizens who have the heart not only for themselves but for their family and their nation.

    You can take this as another hater post and ignore totally. At least I tried. 🙂

  15. Julianto Cahyadi on March 28th, 2010

    Dear Adam,

    I like the way you handle this; “Instead of getting angry and nasty myself, I usually reframe it in my mind to feel empathy and compassion for these people.”

    I believe it’s easier said than done, but I am 1000% sure that you can handle it!

    Cheers and have a good day, Adam!

  16. Suhardi on April 2nd, 2010

    Hi, Adam. Everything we do is is a risk. When we do something, even it is for good, we will still receive positive and negative comments. No one will ever kick the dead dog. The bigger the dog, the louder the barking, the more the people are willing to kick it (My analogy). Even Buddha or Jesus were threatened because of their views, even they were for goods.

    Even though I’m from Indonesia, I agree with you. It depends on what we give meaning to it. If those who read this post are having positive thinking, they will make it as a whip to fight for more success, more happiness and more achievement in their life. Those who are having negative thinking, those are their choices. Life is full of choice, and we can choose to feel humiliated by circumstances or to feel challenged to prove our own true potential.

    Success for u…

  17. Bao on April 9th, 2010


    Hi All,

    I believe everyone has something they can control. That is the freedom of Choice and Decision.

    We can’t really stop people from commenting positively or negatively. Just like Adam has the choice of whether he wanna to post this “sensitive” issues.

    But one thing for sure we can DECIDE and CHOOSE for ourselves whether it will affect us empowerly or disempowerly.

    I believe most know this, but like to say it again: That is we can’t really fully control the events happening to us. But we SURE can control the MEANINGs (how we intepret) attached to it.

    This is truely a gift that is free to use.


  18. Khoa on July 29th, 2010

    Could you send me some more info about becoming a trainer?

    Cheers mate


  19. petrcech on January 16th, 2011

    WisH me luck to become a Billionaire

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