“If you think, then you will be prepared. If you are prepared, then you will have no worries.”


“You can believe in Fung Shui if you want, but ultimately people control their own fate. The most important thing is to improve yourself and give it your best. Then many things previously thought to be impossible will become possible.”


“When I was young, I appeared humble but was inwardly very arrogant. Why was I arrogant? When my colleagues went to play, I went to study. We’d all had very little education. But they remained the same while I was becoming increasingly knowledgeable. We were doing similar work, but I was striving for improvement all the time. So when I went into business, I reminded myself that if I allowed myself to be arrogant, I’d fall one day. And so I named my company Cheung Kong.”


“I may not be very talented but I can say that I’m like a small tree that’s grown in storms and among rocks. You go to the hills and see. To uproot a little plant that’s grown among the rocks takes quite a bit of effort.”


“I was once an employee myself, so I know what employees want.”


“The first year, as I didn’t have much capital, I did everything by myself, including the first set of account books. I needed to go the Inland Revenue Department, and I asked my auditor if my accounts were correct, since I had no experience doing accounting. He said that it was complete and that I could take this to the government. I had no experience, but I learned by reading books on accounting. When you want to understand the balance sheet, you needed to know a little bit about accounting. I did so many things by myself, which kept my overhead low. I have made a profit every year since 1950. I have never lost a penny in any year.”


“I also have some strengths. First, I have a thirst for knowledge. Second, I work hard, which can compensate for some of the weaknesses. Most importantly, I know what’s right from wrong.”


“As for father, there’s one thing that’s remained comforting to me. One day before he died… he turned things around. Instead of saying something to me, he asked me if I had anything to say to him. Think about it and you’ll find that very sad. But with a lot of confidence, I talked to him and comforted him, saying ‘The whole of our family will have a good life.’ I promised myself that after saying those confident words to my father I must work doubly hard for a future.”


“You must know and understand your business like the back of your hand. Otherwise, your company would be here today, gone tomorrow.”


“I want to build a corporation that not only the Chinese are proud of, but that even foreigners are impressed with.”


“If you allow your partners to benefit from the deal, they always come back and want to do business with you. There will never be a shortage of opportunity.”


“In the competitive world today, you give more in order to get more. It’s like the Olympics. Look at the runners that come home first. The winner has won but he is just a bit faster than the first and second runners-up. If it’s a sprint it may be less than a second, just a tiny bit. You run a bit faster and win.”


“The most challenging issue raised by globalization is how we can all get along with each other in our race against time. Corporate leaders must possess far-sighted vision, detailed action plans, macro-thinking, and a global outlook. To get ahead in the race, they must also possess a deep understanding of their own organization and that of their competitors.”


“A good reputation for yourself and your company is an invaluable asset not reflected in the balance sheets.”


“On working hard at 70 years of age: First, it’s a challenge. Second, I’m in charge of several listed companies and want to maximize profit for my shareholders. When you are rich, you suddenly think of doing meaningful things in life, things you can do with money. If you try to make money only when you need it, it’s very difficult.”


“When times are tough you need to ask yourself if you’re up to it. During tough times I’ve always thought I’m up to it.”


“Some morning I was trying to get my car key from my pocket and accidentally dropped a two dollar coin. It rolled underneath the car, if the car was moved, the coin would fall into the drain. So I squatted down to try to get the coin back, not wanting to lose it. The guard saw me doing that came up to ask me, ‘Mr Li, what’s up?’. I said I’d dropped a coin. He then gave me some help. The coin was picked up, I got two dollars back and gave him one hundred dollars. Why did I do that? If I hadn’t picked up the coin, when the car moved the coin would drop into the drain and would be lost forever. But I got it back and gave the guard one hundred dollars, which would not be lost because he would make use of it. In a word, money may be spent but never squandered.”


“Broaden your vision, and maintain stability while advancing forward. That is my philosophy.”


“It doesn’t matter how strong or capable you are; If you don’t have a big heart, you will not succeed.”


“A company is built on the efforts of many individuals, and not just on one person.”


“I would like to do more meaningful deeds. I don’t care how much money or how much energy it takes. I have very simple needs. With the blessings that I have received, I have no need for more wealth. But if I can do more for mankind, for our people, and for our country, I would be more than happy to do so.”


“If you are not honest and sincere, people will leave you sooner or later.”


“Once you’re in sales, you will also learn what sells and what not. Use the sensitivity of detecting market sentiments as a platform for running your business and in the identification of product winners in the future.”


“On a customer cancelling an order: I said, there were plenty of buyers for the goods and I didn’t need him to compensate me for my losses. I also said that if another business opportunity arose, we could build an even better relationship. I’d forgotten the whole thing when something strange happened one day. I’d just started doing plastic flowers… about 1956-57 it was. Unexpectedly a foreigner came looking for me. He said a certain company had introduced him. That company had said that mine was Hong Kong’s top plastic flowers factory, a factory commanding a huge area. I was dumbfounded because my factory was not huge it was in fact small. But later his American client ordered a lot of things from me. Placing at one time all the orders for six months. I later discovered the man of that trading company knew this foreigner. The foreigner was a senior executive of another trading company. He had told the foreigner about me, saying that I was completely trustworthy to deal with. He had said all the good things about me. I believe everything good that could have been said had been said. The moral of this is: something that seems to be a loss can often turn out to be a gain.”


“I took jobs, not matter how lowly they were. At any rate what could a 14-15 year old boy do? But I did my best at work and at increasing my knowledge.”


“Your life is meaningful if you can honestly say that you have done your best to do some good.”


“You have to prepare for the worst-case scenario. If nobody buys your property, can you support your debt? For 56 years, especially after we went public, Cheung Kong has never had any financial problems.”
“Successful managers should also have a keen eye for talent. They not only select people who are smarter than themselves, but also avoid picking corporate superstars whose reputation precedes them.”


“Businessmen must move with the times…the correlation between knowledge and business as the key to success is closer than ever.”


“A company needs a good infrastructure, good organization, and good people. If everyone works in concert, then you can succeed.”


“First of all, I am an optimist. When you study hard and work hard, your knowledge grows, and it gives you confidence. The more you know, the more confidence you gain. When I was 10 years old, I lost my schooling, but I still had plenty of hope to return to school.”


“Knowledge changes fate.”


“The more you know, the more prepared you will be when opportunity knocks. If you are lazy and wile your time away, you would not know how to take advantage of opportunities even if they stared you in the face.”


“Knowledge is not a guarantee of a life of riches but it does open the door to more opportunities. And recognizing more opportunities is really the best that you can expect.”


“Simply speaking, you are the commander in chief, the head of a group of armies. You can never be better with a machine gun than a machine gunner or better than a gunner at operating a cannon. But as commander, you don’t do these things. Your job is mapping out strategy. So good organization is very important.”


“I made a lot of money in 1957 and 1958 and was very happy. But does having money mean real happiness? I was beginning to wonder and felt the answer was ‘not necessarily’. Later I had the conundrum thought out. I should make more money and use it when opportunity arises. Only making money like this has any meaning.”


“Information and communications technology unlocks the value of time, allowing and enabling multi-tasking, multi-channels, multi-this and multi-that.”


“Though a universal formula for success is difficult to come by, caution signs for failure are posted everywhere. Establishing a structure that serves to minimize failure will prove to be a shortcut to success.”
“I have always enjoyed a simple lifestyle. I have very modest needs in terms of material comfort.”