Lost and Founded Series - Joe Lee

"There are so many things to do in a day, how can I not jump up from bed?" - Joe Lee from Echelon Minds tells us what drives him to empower others.


Author: DBS BusinessClass, Administrator of DBS

"There are so many things to do in a day, how can I not jump up from bed?"

Joe Lee isn't spilling any of his darkest secrets in this interview. He does however, intend to climb Mt. Everest, camp on a cliff and swim with the sharks. All things considered, it's safe to assume that the dynamic co-founder of Echelon Minds- a unique sales training methodology that equips people for business success - is, amongst many other things, a thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie. An ardent believer in the power of self-education, Joe Lee holds close to his heart a famous saying that ‘it is in your moments of decision that your destiny is being shaped.' We talk to Joe Lee and find out what drives him to empower others - and why he feels our lives will be changed by Echelon's Science of Sales™ seminars.

People say you are "Joe Lee, Co-Founder of Echelon Minds".  Who do you say you are?

I am an adventurer who loves the thrill of taking calculated risks. I am always willing to test out new strategies and hobbies. In the past 10 years, I am like a beacon, which emits light for those who walk in darkness, empowering those who like to excel. I empower by giving them self-belief so that they can be out there to make a difference. In fact, I would want them to be better than me. 

What was the best moment in your startup life. It was so good you wanted to fly BusinessClass somewhere with someone, and pop open the most expensive bottle of champagne there.

The best moment was when a classmate of 25 years who has no sales experience created superb breakthrough results after attending our Science of Sales™ Program. This is the ultimate affirmation when a friend acknowledges our training program. 

Have you ever cried?  Or what was the lowest, crappiest moment in your start-up life.  You wanted to give up everything. You wanted to kill someone. (During your startup career of course) 

I cried many times. Not necessarily because of stress or low moments in life. The first time I cried as an adult was in a seminar called Money & You®. The discovering of myself, my limitations, my responsibility and the possibilities broke me. After that, I am absolutely comfortable with crying in front of people. 

There were times that I wanted to let go of everything to find a job as a production line worker. I felt tired and lonely, and was asking myself, "How come it's so tough?" Fortunately I did not, as it always turned out that good news would be just right around the corner. 

What secret did you hide from your co-founder or partner or parent for the longest time?  Why?

If I spelled it out here, then it wouldn't be a secret. Hahahaha! I don't have secrets that I hide from them. They probably already know all my darkest secrets. 

What's the most eccentric thing about you? If VCs found out, they won't have signed the term sheet then. But hell with that now.

I have an appetite for thrill and adventurous activities. If someone were to tell me there is a dramatic roller coaster somewhere, I would be there to take the ride. I want to climb Mt Everest, swim with the sharks, camp on a cliff. That probably made me spontaneous as well. An idea may pop up spontaneously, and I will be on the way to execute it. This may not happen in the business-context only. The idea of going to KL popped up suddenly, and the next moment I am on the coach to KL.

What are you up to today? What gets you up in the morning?

I am still expanding the outreach of the business. We are systemising all our training as we prepare for the next phase of the business, which is to license the training program and train up new Trainers. 

The finishing line gets me up every morning. There are many things to accomplish, and I am very far behind. Furthermore, I'm not someone who is all about business only. I run, swim, play soccer, sing, provide free training, hang out with friends etc. I am an ordinary guy who just happens to be running a business, and who loves to achieve mastery in what I do. 

There are so many things to do in a day, how can I not jump up from bed, right?

How do you keep yourself physically and mentally fit for start-up life?

I visit the gym 2 - 3 times a week, jog / swim once a week, play soccer once a week. I don't just run the business, I also train in the program. Exercising regularly keeps my energy level high. Well, soccer is not really to keep my energy up. I have been enjoying soccer since my teenage years, and I will play until I cannot play anymore. 

I am in a Mastermind group where the members will keep each other on our toes. This keeps us mentally fit to push ourselves to the limit all the time. Due to the support in this group, many miracles have happened. 

Offer a life hack (or two) to a young founder

Learn, learn and learn. Read books, find mentors, attend seminars. All these will cut your learning curve by 5 - 10 years. Pay to attend seminars. You get to tap into the brains of the smart people when you attend seminars and training programs. And the returns can be many folds. 

Attend Money & You® to gain clarity of your direction. Many people think that they know their direction before attending Money & You®, but then realised that they do not during the program. You get to know so much about yourself and your business in the program.

After knowing your direction, learn sales. Business cannot sustain without sales. Attend Science of Sales™ to learn the proper process of sales. Many start-ups lack the sales processes and the proper steps in sales. This is why they find it hard to hire good sales professionals. The new sales professional would not be able to succeed if he/she is not trained in a proper way of selling. 

Have integrity in running your business. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is watching. People are always watching and observing. They will take mental note of you, whether you are striving to live in full integrity or you are willing to let it slip. Businesses without integrity will not be sustainable for the long term.

What's the movie or song that best describes you?

For movie, it'll be Remember the Titans.

Favourite quote.

It is in your moments of decision that you destiny is being shaped. ~ Tony Robbins

Today is cruel. Tomorrow is even more cruel. The day after tomorrow is beautiful. But most people die tomorrow night. ~ Jack Ma

Who and what inspires you?

Mr Lee Kwan Yew. He turned a fishing village into a cosmopolitan city. He is more concerned about doing the right thing rather than being popular. His passion, drive and determination is something that I admire. The challenges he faced in the 60's made my challenges seems so small.  He's truly a leader that I look up to.

Tell us about Joe Lee in 2030.

He's someone who inspires the younger generation through his life. Someone who gives selflessly to the community by sharing of knowledge, coaching the young people, doing charity work. Joe Lee has transformed one million lives, making this world a better place. 

Name 1-3 startup founders in Singapore you'll like to hear answer these questions.

Amos Teo - Hark Music

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