“Be Bold to Make Mistakes”, first book written by Andrew Fan, Regional President of NU SKIN Greater China. (December 3, 2014)

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“Be Bold to Make Mistakes”, first book written by
Andrew Fan, Regional President of NU SKIN Greater China.
Andrew recalls the profound influence Grandma
had on him with “Six Life Lessons Grandma Taught Me”.

December 3, 2014


Being brought up by his grandmother, Andrew was profoundly influenced by his grandma’s discipline method, which emphasized “Example is better than precept”. In the book “Be Bold to Make Mistakes”, other than sharing his unique growth process and life experience, Andrew related in detail the six life lessons his grandma taught him in his childhood, which had a profound influence on his later life. As mentioned in his book, Andrew said, “Nothing happens without a cause. This is an eternal truth. Therefore, elders always teach youngers by example, rather than by precept. Our behaviors today will be the deeds of our younger generation.”

The book will be available at the bookstores in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan soon. Please stay tuned. For more brilliant content, please read the book for yourself.

A sneak peek at the marvelous content:

Lesson 1: The visible integrity
Our home was a small incense store on Ko Shing Street. At the far side of the less than 4-tatami (around 6 m²) store, was a long wooden cabinet. In those days, incense was a daily necessity. Every household burns incense every day to worship their ancestors, the Earth God and the Kitchen God. Therefore, our customers were mostly residents in our neighborhood. Many neighbors came to buy some incense while they went to the market to buy food for the day.


I started watching Grandma doing business at the front desk when I was slightly over one year old. I was always lying on the long wooden cabinet, taking a nap with fingers in my mouth. Grandma often said I was always quiet at the store. When I got enough sleep, I would sit on the cabinet, waving my little hands and feet and smiling at aunties and uncles who came to buy incense. Seeing my lovely smiles, some customers would stay a little longer at the store and have a small talk with Grandma. Certainly, they tended to buy some extra powdered incense or incense sticks at the store. In today’s terms, I have started doing “customer service” since I was slightly over one year old.

When I turned 5 or 6 years old, I started helping Grandma with giving change and keeping account. Usually, when a customer bought incense costing one dollar and 30 cents and paid 5 dollars, Grandma wouldn’t simply give 3 dollars and 70 cents back to the customer. Instead, she would say out loud to the customer while ticking off beads on abacus, “You paid me 5 dollars. Deduct 1 dollar and 30 cents from 5 dollars, the change is 3 dollars and 70 cents. Here is your change. One dollar, two dollars, three dollars, and 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents….and 70 cents.”

No matter customers pay in paper money or coins, Grandma would give change slowly dollar by dollar and cents by cents. Even with a very small amount, Grandma would still tick off the beads on abacus slowly in front of the customer and mumble about the amount received and the change due to give back. As an impatient person, I thought it was too troublesome. One day, I couldn’t help but ask Grandma, “Grandma, why are you doing this? Isn’t it too troublesome? You could have given change very quickly. Why do you want to count slowly dollar by dollar?”


Grandma explained, “Silly boy, even though you are honest, if you give change too quickly, customers may not see it clearly. Not everyone does arithmetic calculation every day like us. Customers may not calculate as fast as we do. Besides, if we are scrupulous about giving change, in the course of time, when the words spread, customers will have confidence in us. They will know that we won’t cheat them a penny. This is called the word of mouth.”

Grandma knew clearly that since our customers were mostly neighbors, the word of mouth and integrity were particularly important. Grandma’s words made me realize that doing business was not simply a matter of receiving money and giving change. As the proverb goes, “A grasp of mundane affairs is genuine knowledge; an understanding of worldly wisdom is true learning”. As it turns out, in the world of earthly affairs, knowledge is everywhere. And these ideas cannot be learned in class.

The first lesson I learned from Grandma was “integrity”. The word “integrity” is easy to pronounce, but really hard to fully practice. What does integrity mean? The integrity I learned from Grandma means “It is not enough to announce integrity for yourself. You’ve got to let people see and feel your integrity.”

In our neighborhood, it was popular to establish the Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA). Grandma was always asked to play the role as the organizer. With Grandma as the organizer, neighbors were eager to join the ROSCA and particularly assured of their money. The reason was very simple. It was because everybody recognized Grandma as a person with integrity.

Therefore, although with a wild and free personality, I was lucky enough to gain the trust of my boss in my first job in life. I was allowed to work at home. There was no need to punch in and out every day. But I didn’t take that trust for granted. I voluntarily reported to my boss every day to inform him about my work progress.

The way of integrity I learned from Grandma – “Let people see and feel your integrity” has always won the greatest trust of my boss for me along the way. Even today, I talk with my boss through international calls every few days to inform the Head Office about my work progress. In the process of an important project, I even report to my boss every day.

Today, many fresh graduates are used to a free and unrestrained lifestyle. When entering the job market, they tend to have difficulty to make adaptation. The most common complaint from them is that the boss is a micromanager. However, they tend to forget that freedom doesn’t mean indulgence. Before enjoying real freedom, you have to become an independent and responsible person first. More importantly, you have to let other people or your superiors feel that you are trustworthy.

Excerpts from “Six Life Lessons Grandma Taught Me”
For whole content of the book, please read “Be Bold to Make Mistakes”.

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