Learnings from my Old Bean

I call my dad “Old Bean” which is the English translation of 老豆. Dad was born 9 October 1944, 方昭泉,Peng Chian Chua. Humble beginnings and in his lifetime, built a career in Texas Instruments, AMD and local Singapore businesses, started his own businesses, lived and worked in different countries – Baguio (Philippines), Scotts Valley (USA), Bandung (Indonesia) and Wuxi (China) to name a few. 

Old Bean ensured that mom, brother and myself never had to worry about the next meal and that we know no limits to what we can achieve. He also helped support the extended family and gave many a leg up during his busy 45 work years and rise to CEO. The latter was shared by many who came to his funeral… the things you only know after your dad has passed.

Old Bean would have turned 79 years old (80 in Chinese years) tomorrow but he’ll stay 73 years old forever since he left in 2017. Today, I want to share 3 memorable teachings from my dear father.


“Don’t be afraid of spending money, be afraid if you can’t earn money”

This phrase shaped much of how I view money as a resource that is to be used and can be earned. Spending on what is worthwhile and at times frivolous; while confident in my ability to receive and deliver value in the work I do. 


“If it was so easy, why would they hire you to take the job?”

Dad first said this to me when he heard me complaining about my challenges at work and blaming people I worked with. His simple yet profound response stopped me in my tracks, reminding me of the responsibility, privilege and aptitude I had to turn things around.  

Slowly Slowly Catch The Monkey

This is all about patience, staying the course and not taking your eyes off the prize. We hear this often on the mahjong table, among hope, disappointment and always, laughter. It taught me not to give up or doubt myself, that some outcomes just need time.

Dad loved good food (good is defined by taste and quality, not price or accolades) and would travel for “World Best” food as he called the select few. He would also queue up willingly for something he really wanted to eat. He will always overorder for the table and never hesitate to pay. He also loved fine liquors and was generous to a fault. In fact, it was Old Bean who taught Erin how to say “干杯!Cheers!”when she held her sippy cup at 1 year young while he had his favorite Macallan single malt whisky. Whisky well downed, I say.

Cheers from Blue Bay, Mauritius to my dear Old Bean, you are missed.

Salt of the Earth