The Ideal of Green Sugar Merchant
Traditional services have now become a commodity liking the service provider to a sugar merchant.
As a professional service provider, I adore the life of the “Green Sugar Merchant™”! Not only have we sold sugar but GREEN sugar in fact.
Being Green Sugar Merchant means
- Having a high energy level as we try harder and being willing to invest time to go the extra miles (We pursue further when everyone else has stopped).
- Having fresh ideas and a willingness to test the limits instead of relying on past precedents and current norms (as most of the time we don’t have any; and most of the time people are looking at us from the way the world is and not what the world is going to be – we are of course more interested in the latter).
- Being flexible – ready to adapt to enable a common solution.
- Being receptive to new ideas and technologies; take it on and do it!
- Being new age! Do not go into a battle in the classic manner used by the experienced and tested by time (You will never win if you have started late.)
- Focusing and triumphing on the “Greenfields” as these new frontiers are level-paying grounds for both the new and the old, and chances are the new shall prevail over the old with less of an historical burden. Design your battlefield before starting a fight.
- Being environmentally friendly – we believe in Solutions; NOT papers (or unnecessary red tape that suck the daylight out of everything!)
Idea originated a few years back in 2006
and revisited from time to time in 2010
by Chris Tan (Of Course!)
Turning Green Pitching
It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover when you pick up a copy of ‘Turning GREEN’! The colour scheme couple with the title, you are absolutely forgiven to think that we have yet another book on the trendy GREEN agenda today. But then again, the playful design of this book also hinted to you not to take it so seriously as it also resemble a product sitting perfectly at the Games section next to Sudoku or the classic Snakes and Ladders.
It is not environmental but rather environ”MENTAL”! It aims to address the soft part that the ultra superficial GREEN agenda today tends to neglect. While driving Hybrid and eating Organic with nominal carbon footprint are both important for a sustainable living of human civilisation in honour of mother earth, little effort has gone into having a sustainable attitude towards the softer things that are more important in your life.
What about the sustainability of your relationships? The one you have with your businesses, your friends, your teams, your loved ones, your family, your children, your siblings, your parent, your spouse and the most often neglected – YOURSELF. ‘Turning GREEN’ aims to address all these through the 38 isolated chapters of sharing by the Green Sugar Merchant!
The book is designed to resemble a stack of playing cards. The message is simply that life is like games of cards. You cannot control which card you draw next but you can certainly decide what to do with the cards in your hand depending on the name of the game that you are playing. Having the best cards does not guarantee success; while having the worst cards is not the end of world either.
In ‘Turning GREEN’, Chris shares with you how he made the most out of the cards in his hand and you can bet that he did not have the best of cards. Otherwise, there is no point ‘Turning GREEN’!
If you draw the next card by pulling the book out of the box, congratulation! It’s a BLACK JACK! But if you are playing POKER, you are not even half way through the game!
‘Turning GREEN’ is designed with a Box to cover the book proper. The motion of removing the Box cover from the book is an action that reminds you to be ‘Out of the Box’ before you can have FUN with the book. This is not your ordinary book!
This Box design also seeks to reinforce the fact that YOU are the ONE that gave strength to the boundary of the comfort zone that trapped you within. The Box is strong when the book (YOU) is in it completely and supporting it as well as keeping its shape. The moment the book (YOU) is moving outward, the Box becomes weaker and out of shape as you move out of the Box. You are therefore the master of your own destiny; the size of your comfort zone is entirely up to YOU! You make the call!
Closer to the heart is the Title of the book, why GREEN of all the colours in the world? The fact remains that most of the peoples are too close to the RED that hold you down, from the comfort to complacent, from emotion to perceived problems – the boiling frog syndrome if you may. By being magnifyingly close, you allow yourself to be consumed by the RED that represents both the beauty and danger at the same time. Chris therefore invites you to take a step back to make the RED smaller and allow you to look for the GREEN to move forward!
‘Turning’ being the first half of the title is not there for any reason. Looking at the green motive side of the Box, it will be a challenge to tell the head and tail. The fact is that it looks perfectly fine no matter how you turn or place it. Hence, ‘Turning’!
Similar effect can also be traced on the other side of the Box. There is no tail but with two heads mirroring each other instead. Hence, ‘Turning’ again!
Furthermore, you will also find it difficult to be objective as to which side of the Box is the front and which side is the back. The determination is so subjectively driven by the perspective of the beholder that you can never be 100% sure! Hence, the entire Box is ‘Turning’!
Then as you explore further by pulling out the book from the Box, you find a glimpse of hope in the Spade that suggest the book is not ‘Turning’ after all as it clearly shows the head and tail. Just when you are quite certain that the Ace of Spade represents the front cover, you only discover as soon as you open the book to find the texts written upside down. You are fooled by your own reasoning again! So, you will attract suspicious non believers when you read the book proper notwithstanding that you know exactly what you are doing. Isn’t it part of life that you will not get full endorsement from the world that mostly see things the way it is rather the way it can be? That’s what ‘Turning’ is all about.
There is no right or wrong but rather a set of parameters based on the accumulation of individual or collective experiences (that come in the forms of norms, values, culture, morality and even religious practises etc all in the name of control and efficient administration or even for the sake of communication). The truth is that you set new standard with new experience as you encounter them.
This ‘Turning’ metaphor confirms that the only constant in life is CHANGE. There are many ways to skin a cat, the choice is up to you and nobody defines right or wrong, but YOU! ‘Turning GREEN’ is the Lady Gaga of the book shelves and set out to be the Outlier from day one.
The content of the book can best summed up in the ancient tale of the Blind Men and Elephant that tell the story of the blind men touching an elephant for the first time and the subsequent argument they had in defining the elephant.
The fact is that they have all touched the same elephant and yet they cannot agree with each other. They are trapped only by their respective experience. Can you imagine the danger if the subsequent argument does not take place at all? These blind men will continue to be trapped by their own experience and they might not even know they next encounter with another elephant when in fact they did.
Here is another take of the same tale – you are the one who determine your happiness. Let’s say you are the blind man that touched the tail in the first instance and you now touched the trunk instead. Immediately you have two choices:
You can choose to be sad by telling yourself that you did now meet an elephant; or
You can choose to be happy by borrowing the experience that one the blind men that you argue with the other day who have described the elephant trunk that he touched.
Can you imagine how sad you can be if you keep your experience to yourself without having the argument with the other blind men?
This is exactly why this book is written. Chris is nobody but one of the blind men that wish to share his elephant with you. The Green Sugar Merchant in Chris truly believe that sharing is the best way to learn and ‘Turning (YOU) GREEN’ is the best way to take a peep into your elephant.
Once you start reading, there is no turning back, only ‘Turning GREEN’!