Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to You! (English)

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to yooooouuuu, Happy Birthday to you!

That song, sung once a year, reminds us of our happiest times. It is the time when everyone’s attention is on us, and it feels like they are acknowledging us as well.

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a very distinguished business person speak about how he grew his business. He talked about how he built relationships from scratch by approaching complete strangers. But more importantly, he talked about how he managed those relationships.

One of the things he mentioned was the simple act of wishing people happy birthday. He said that everyone appreciates having their birthday remembered- it makes them feel special. Even if you hadn’t kept in touch for the entire year, a simple happy birthday automatically helps you to reconnect with the person and to let the person know that you are still thinking of them. In this way, you will create a lot of goodwill with that person.

His simple statement started me thinking that he was probably right. With today’s technology, Facebook and Google automatically reminds us when it is our friends birthday. All it takes is the simple effort to greet them by messaging them, dropping an email or posting on their timeline. I also thought about the time when it was my birthday and people wished me. Of course I appreciated being greeted- but the ones that made me smile the most were from people that I thought I had lost touch with. Seeing their greetings made me feel like they still considered me a friend, and that made me happy.

I started making this part of my life by getting in touch with all my business partners and asking them when their birthdays were. A lot of them were surprised I even asked. I logged the dates into my contact list. I did the same for friends as well as their spouses and children. And each time their birthdays popped up on my calendar, I dropped them a personal message wishing them a happy birthday. It could be a simple birthday greeting, or a heartfelt message thanking them for being a part of my life. I made sure I did the same to all the enterprisers that added me on Facebook as well. They are all important to me and the least I could do was to wish them a very Happy Birthday too.

Though it was a small gesture on my part, I felt really happy to be able to reach out directly to everyone. In case you were wondering- the response was amazing! People thanked me for it, was happy that I reached out, I even rekindled old friendships and made new friends because of it. All because of a simple gesture of wishing people happy birthday.

I urge you to try it too. Make it a point to keep track of the birthdays of people that you know and to greet them on their birthdays. Just like you would like to be greeted on your birthday, wish them the same. After all, what you are doing is showing appreciation for them being who they are and saying “Hey, I’m really glad you were born!”. I’m sure you will begin to change the way people view you too.

What I learnt from this was that the smallest gestures can often have the biggest impact. And this is just one example of how a simple greeting can transform a relationship. I’m sure that there are many more ways to do this, so if you have something that you can share with me, please drop me a message here or on my Facebook account.

Have a wonderful day!



Brandon Chia, 37 has been the Chairman and CEO of HDI since 2013. He was named CEO in 2011 and Chairman in January 2013. He succeeds Peter Chia, Founder and Chairman Emeritus as the 2nd generation business owner. Born in Singapore with a Degree in Law from the National University in Singapore, Brandon has championed consolidation, streamlining and efficiency of the various businesses within the group. He was also instrumental in driving double-digit growth of the organization’s revenue and profitability. In 2013, he led the organisation in rebranding itself from High-Desert to HDI across all the countries and business units. He created the vision, mission, values, purpose and legacy for the brand and also reorganised the portfolio of products, segregating them under different categories each with their own market position and target audience. He also worked to develop a turnkey franchise system that would allow the organisation to grow rapidly in emerging markets. Prior to being appointed Chairman and CEO, Brandon served as the International Operations Manager, jumpstarting the Philippines offices and focussing on growing the Outdoor Advertising, Finance and stock brokerage industries. He also started up two new businesses, Resource and Systech, successful spin offs from the Shared Services division of the Philippines. Brandon’s personal philosophy is about growth and evolution of mankind. His vision is to create healthy, open communities of people that share their knowledge readily and are able to live, learn and love beyond themselves.

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