South Korea’s second-richest man on the three habits behind his success
Suh Kyung-Bae says it’s about reading, reflecting and asking questions
Curiosity is a quality that has always helped in his leadership of one of Asia’s biggest cosmetics companies, according to South Korean billionaire Suh Kyung-Bae.
That quality eventually led him to develop three habits through the years that he says are behind much of his entrepreneurial success, Suh told CNBC.
Suh is the chairman and chief executive of South Korean beauty company Amorepacific, and the second-wealthiest man in South Korea. Forbes values his worth at US$8.4 billion.
Amorepacific is the largest beauty company in South Korea and the seventh-largest cosmetics manufacturer in the world, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The company counts popular South Korean brands like Sulwhasoo, Laneige and Innisfree as part of its portfolio.
The first of Suh’s three habits involves picking up a book whenever he can. The billionaire said reading is like a vicious cycle that continuously encourages him to expand his horizons.
It’s also a habit he shares with other billionaires — such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
“Reading allows me to acquire new knowledge that I previously did not know, and this motivates me to learn more,” Suh explained.
Another easy habit Suh adopted is spending some time at the end of each day in reflection of the time that had just passed.
“(I) spend five minutes reflecting before going to bed. (I think about) what I did during the day and how productive I had been,” Suh said.
Research shows that employees who spend time reflecting on their performance during the day perform 23 per cent better compared to peers who did not, according to the Harvard Business Review.
The last habit Suh advocated for is staying inquisitive and asking questions.
“By asking questions, you know what you’re doing well, and where you can improve,” he added.
As for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build global businesses, Suh advised being curious about people and their cultures in different markets — and staying respectful.