People have different definitions of the word ‘success.’ While some consider themselves successful once they have achieved a certain position at work, others view success as the status of having accomplished an aim or objective. For Dr. Pat Lim of the I C U Eye Care Unit, her definition of success is achieving the freedom she has always wanted while helping her patients the best way possible.
Discover the humble beginnings of I C U Eye Care and learn more about Dr. Pat Lim’s first-hand experience as a doctor and as an entrepreneur.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I was trained in the optometry field, and I think Eyes see you is an easier name to be remembered, so I started I C U Eye Care 32 years ago
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Naturally after few years of working, I think it was worth to try the challenges to be an entrepreneur, and if I failed, I was still able to be employed, simple thoughts as such, I was 25 years old then
How did you come up with the name for your company?
Dealing with eyes business, so started with Eyes see you or I see you, abbreviated as I C U eye care, people may mistake as intensive eye care also
Did you raise funding for your venture?
Yes, 10,000 loan from UOB
How did you build your customer base?
I started my practice at Serene Center, where the location was just nice for me to target at the right audience, highly educated with disposable income, who looked for quality products and services, the eyewear I chose was unique and niche to suit their taste, and I can communicate with them well, after a while, a customer base just built up naturally
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
I started with non- social media era, but I still got some media coverage on some Avant guard eye wear or eye examination equipment I used, while media publicities earned some curious patients, I think the most successful still lies on words of mouth publicities from my regulars at that time.
What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?
Dare to dream; always think outside of the box, many things can be done of simple challenges
How many hours a day do you work on average?
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
Will reach office around 10am, start seeing patients from 1030a.m, I tried to schedule my last patient to come in around 4pm latest, so I can leave at 5pm or latest 6pm
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Easier to schedule my time and my life, I went on to pursue different level of studies and qualifications during this period, did my master in Clinical Optometry in USA, and medical doctorate in Chinese medicine Ophthalmology, I can be away about 4-6 months in one period and my patients are still there
What motivates you?
I think my husband, both of us shared the same thought after working for someone for years and we decided to start our own
How do you generate new ideas?
Last time through reading and talking to customers, now just browse through the internet, and see what else I can try
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Health deterioration, tried my best not to overwork, eat well, sleep well, and be happy and positive all the time, exercise well, every day without fail
What are your ideals?
Get the best treatment for the patients, to solve and improve their condition as soon as possible
How do you define success?
Stay healthy and positive, be able to help people from my end, not to worry any financial needs and constraint whenever I want to do something
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Yes, a successful entrepreneur needs courage, flexibility, and strong physique and mind set
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Freedom to dream. It is very liberating.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
To see the business still be able to survive and developing after 32 years, especially during this difficult period
Tips and Advice for Others
What piece of advice would you give to anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
Need to have a strong mind set to face challenges, think of the worse scenario first, before thinking of the best
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Still on my own, but may be a writer or producer, so I can control all my time fully
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Perseverance, endurance, and passion
What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
Relaxation and exercises; must learn how to switch off from time to time, must learn how to sacrifice the money you may earn, to give you a better time of your own
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?
Skills and knowledge; must learn how to communicate well with people with your updated skill and knowledge
Miscellaneous Questions for Entrepreneurs
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Those seniors or successful entrepreneurs I have met
What business-related book has inspired you the most? (or, What is your favorite book?)
Wei Qi Pin’s Chinese medicine in Ophthalmology
If you had a magic wand, which are the three things you would change in the world?
Disease (COVID-19), poverty, wars,
What is the part of your life experience you would alter if you had the chance to?
Travel to the remote area again for life experiences if I could, I also don’t mind to be the globe setter again to publish my papers
If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it?
Actually I have published 12 novels/ short stories/travel stories under my name in the past, I would like to write one book under Chinese Medicine Ophthalmology
Pat Lim’s Chinese Medicine in Ophthalmology
Dr Pat Lim – I C U Eye Care Unit
Perseverance, endurance, and passion, are the top three characteristics a person should have to become a successful entrepreneur according to Dr. Pat Lim of I C U Eye Care Unit. One should learn how to treasure every challenge given, dare to dream big and think outside of the box. To keep you motivated, understanding how to take good care of yourself is of utmost importance.