My CNBC Africa interview on Business Networking

MANDLAKAZI MPAHLWA host Kaleidoscope CNBC AfricaOn Wednesday I will be interviewed for the 2nd time on the Kaleidoscope show on CNBC Africa. The focus was on business networking and social networking. Here’s some of the what I covered in the interview with Mandlakazi Mpahlwa:

MM: How does a delegate begin to Network?

RT: Learn to ask questions. You do not have to have all the answers but if you can ask good questions you allow the other person to open up and tell you what’s most important to them. Once you know what’s important to them you can link what you have to offer to that. And that could be another person in your social network (not something you are selling). Building trust should be your #1 objective.

MM: When and where should one Network?

RT: You should network everywhere. Therefore you must always, always carry your business cards with you. And don’t wait for the other person to ask for it. After speaking to someone for a few minutes give them your card. Now when they give you there card DO NOT put it away immediately. In Japan its customary to accept a business cards using both hands and bow. And then you keep the card in your hand UNTIL the other person puts it away. By glancing at the card you can begin to remember the person’s name before putting it away. And also looking at the info on their card you can make fairly accurate guesses on the nature of their business. I have networked with people in book stores, coffee shops, conferences, parties, the plane, buses, you name it. There is not perfect place.

MM: What are the No-No’s when networking at a function / conference?

RT: The biggest mistake is trying to sell somebody on your products or services. People are coming together to meet and network to help them solve problems not to buy something. That always comes later. You have to listen, ask questions and once you have an understanding of their pains you can make suggestions. The key is taking time to build trust and find out what’s most important to the other person.

MM: What tools does one require to successfully network?

RT: You can use online tools like LinkedIn, Facebook or MyGenius to manage your growing network of business or social connections. It’s important to touch base with people within the 1st week after meeting them and then once every 90 days. In additional your email software like Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook can help you keep track of birthdays and you can go as far as sending automated emails using a CRM system.

For me LinkedIn is the most powerful business networking website because:

  • it has very strict built in privacy management so you cannot spam people
  • it has very high quality members: many CEOs, Directors or Specialists
  • over 35,000 South African business people
  • A goldmine for research, competitive intelligence in the LinkedIn Answers

On the other hand Facebook floods your Inbox with more information than most people can handle, even though you can turn it off. Also many of my business connections are on Facebook, however, they use it to share more personal experiences like family photos, etc.

A Networking Example:

If I meet you at a function and you tell me you’re in the media and you have your own show, etc. I will tell you about some people I’ve met who I think will make good guests. So I’m not saying you should interview Me. I’m suggesting other people and other things in which I’ve have no vested interest. What I’m doing here is playing the connector role. I’m helping people connect the dots. I always play my own role, my own abilities down. I’m being humble.

You may be interested in my business social networking workshop.  You will learn how to become more interesting, improving your social intelligence, increasing the depth of your business relationships and most importantly substantially improving the results you get from business networking.


School for Scoundrels looses the plot

I recently watched this comedy and was only mildly entertained by it. The more important lesson is that its possible for a shy, nerdy, insecure guy to become confident, social and improve your success with women. So many of the guys who ask me about my coaching programme are infatuated with ONE girl. They miss the point that it is about improving your overall social success with women.

This is one of those few movies like Hitch which can give insecure, lonely or frustrated guys a glimpse of what’s possible. The basic plot of the movie is that Roger, a nerd, played by John Herder from Napoleon Dynamite fame, takes a class with a self-help guru Dr P, played by Billy Bob Thornton. Dr P is a real ass hole and treats all his students with disdain. He has a bad-add enforcer in the form of Lesher, played by the huge Michael Clark Duncan. You can read more detailed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

What I want to highlight is how stupid this movie ends. Roger basically wins back his girlfriend from Mr P, who turns out to be the biggest liar and a con-man. When you watch a movie like this you have to think about how realistic it is for a character as pathetic as Roger to build enough confidence to do what he does. What I mean is to actually pull it off. This kind of things never happen in the real world. It takes a long time to build up enough muster to challenge an authority figure like Dr P. There are no short cuts and you can throw luck out the window. Fake it till you make it just won’t cut it with women in the long term. If you want to supercharge your social success with women in South Africa, join the South African Seduction Lair and meet guys with more experience. Stop reading books or listening to audio programs from the Internet. Meet guys who can show you what’s possible.


My Toastmasters speech on reducing technology stress friend Ronnie Apteker published a book 1999 called “Do you love IT in the morning?” and this was a great play on words because it could imply “it” as in perhaps sex or “IT” as in “Information Technology.” Sadly this book is now out of print and I remember picking up over 50 copies a few years ago for R5 each when CNA was clearing their old stock.

Anyway his central theme was called the progress paradox. What that means is the more technology we invent, the better it becomes, the more it supposedly improves our lives, and yet we find we have less time to do things than we’ve ever had before. Professor Barry Schwartz also confirmed this in his 2005 book, The Paradox of Choice.

Why am I reminding you of something you so inherently know to be true? Because I would like you to join me in my campaign called “Switch IT Off” – which advocates ONE, just ONE Technology FREE day per week. And I’m very, very serious when I mean that you switch off ALL technology that is based on computers from your cellphones, your iPod, your PC, your laptop and maybe even your television and your hifi. Perhaps you can imagine being on a camping trip for that one day where you only have access to the bare necessities.

In case you find this difficult and secretly suffer from an addiction to technology here’s my solution:

The 12-STEP programme to reducing Technology Stress:

  1. I admit I am powerless over my cellphones and without it my life becomes unmanageable.
  2. I believe that only a Power greater than Eskom could restore my sanity.
  3. I made a decision to turn my backups over to the care of Google.
  4. I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of downloaded TV shows.
  5. I admitted to myself and others the exact nature of my mp3 collection.
  6. I have Microsoft remove all these defects in my character.
  7. I humbly asked Bill Gates to remove my shortcomings.
  8. I made a list of all persons spammed, and I became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. I made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. I continue to take personal inventory and when I was wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. I sought through meditation to improve my conscious contact with Google, praying for knowledge for me and the power to carry that out.
  12. I am having an spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, an I forward this message to all my friends to practice these principles in all my affairs.

On a more serious note, research from the Journal of Marriage and Family in 2005 found that cellphones increasingly blurs the line between family time and work time for both men and women. So what typically happens is that work related stress spills over into family time and the opposite is also true for women, where family problems spill over into work time. This decreased family satisfaction and increased stress over a two-year period. The researchers said that as the use of cell phones becomes increasingly prevalent, the line between family and work life will continue to blur.

You know in life your parents likely taught you how to cross the road by looking left, right and left again. But think about it, nobody teaches us how to cross the information superhighway. This 12-step programme is my way to bring order to the chaos, and helping your choose between the ONE (True/Yes) and the ZERO (No/False). So which one will it be?


Jonathan Brunton on the Kevin Carter story

I am honoured and inspired by you. We are truly kindred spirits, rallying to make this world a better place. A place that is better for you, for me and for everyone! It takes one small gesture to change the destiny of humanity. Wayne Dyer once said ‘Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change’

Once upon a time there was a band of photographers that travelled the length and breadth of Africa taking pictures that highlighted the plight of humanity in Africa. Idealistic men they were, they had worldwide recognition for their art, nerve and daring.

And then, one of them took a photo of a little girl. Let’s imagine her name is Desta. She could have eventually grown into young Sudanese teenager dressed in eye catching gear with the latest iPod tunes and cell phone in her shoulder day pack taking the time to check her appearance in the mall window after netball practice. She joins her family for dinner before she completes her assignment for her final matric exams. Sadly this life was never destined for her! Her life was to serve a higher purpose. Her life is a call for you and I to take a stand for humanity.

Continue reading “Jonathan Brunton on the Kevin Carter story”


Blog Action Day 2007 – More efficient living in Johannesburg

A while ago I joined the Blog Action Day campaign and I wasn’t sure what I may write about. However, as I’m in Durban, sitting in my hotel room, I’m feeling exceptionally relaxed. You see in Johannesburg the stress levels are likely to be among the highest in the world.

Crime is one of the biggest culprits for the cause of stress and next to that I reckon traffic problems is a close 2nd. Personally I am extremely averse to being stuck in peak hour traffic and working from home is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And having lived in Johannesburg I can avoid most of the highways and using back routes to find my way to my destination when I do have to go and meet someone.

On the dating front I’ve set-up my relationships so that my girlfriends come over to my place most of the time. This has been a real logistical triumph because so much time is wasted go out, having drinks, dinner, and trying to get a woman to come back to my place. So when I got to the point where women come over to my place I retain the power. You can read being more efficient in your dating life from dating coach Brent Smith.

Anyway back to Joburg traffic my advice to you would be to find a way to work from home, or to begin early and leave early. Worldwide there is a trend to more and more teleworkers and this should be encouraged in South Africa as well. I’m keen to hear your ideas about more efficient living in Johannesburg.


Get Ahead in your Career, Work and Job Update

My friend Yusuf Mahomedy invited me to join his next seminar: WORKSUCKS, MAKE WORK WORK EXPRESS 2007.

Get Ahead in your Career, Work & Job like never before.

Do you really want to take charge of your career before 2007 ends?Are you ready to create your work success with stuff that is not available to 99.99% of South African employees? Do you want to break free of a dissatisfying job? Are you job hunting? If you are serious about getting ahead in your working life and wondering what more can you do, this experience could be a turning point in your life. For over 3 years, Worksucks has been covering the SA Market through a unique lens and assisting individuals create their work success.

This one of a kind presentation for career seekers, employees and students, will cover

  1. The Realities of Working in SA
  2. Work Success – Fulfilment, Fame, Fortune
  3. The Job Hunting Game
  4. From Employee to Entrepreneur
  5. Real Life Opportunities
  6. Finding your next job using online Social Networking (Ramon Thomas)

The experience includes hard hitting strategies, examples from SA companies, playing the recruitment game (gain the upperhand over agencies), analysis of employment documentation (packages, contracts) and stuff that you can apply immediately in your career. No B.S. No motivational drivel. No Hype.


  • Yusuf Mahomedy – In the past decade, Yusuf Mahomedy (CA(SA), CPA(SA), AdvTax)) has accumulated a wealth of expertise around the new work economy. His professional background combined with experience in a small practice, tax consulting in a ‘Big 4’ firm and heading the remuneration department at a telecoms group; provides a multidisciplinary lens on the business of work. He founded WORKSUCKS in 2004, a unique venture to assist corporates, small business and employees, ‘Make Work, Work’ in rather unconventional ways. A self professed ‘Work Radical’, he wears several hats – reward consultant, employees tax specialist, coach, futurist and sometimes, undefined ones.
  • Ramon Thomas – At the forefront of a new breed of professional speakers emerging from South Africa, my unique ability is always communicating the big picture to help my clients solve problems and make better decisions. My speciality is in the Psychology of Technology.

Date: Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Time: 18h00-20h00
Venue: Sandton Library (Tel 011 881 6440)

Fee: Career Seekers/Employees – R80 (including VAT) or Full Time Students – R30 (including VAT)

Guarantee: If this Express Event does not demonstrate value in your working life, claim a full refund. Register: e-mail Yusuf Mohemedy with your name, address, contact number and student number (if applicable)


Mystery Pickup Artist Live Training with Women – Indicators

The world’s greatest pick-up artist Mystery has recently come into even more public attention through his reality show The Pick-up Artist on VH1. Here’s a great clip where he’s explaining social dynamics to women and the women themselves start to respond to the old adage attraction isn’t a choice…


Eben Pagan's Secret Weapon: the Mastermind group

Eben Pagan also known as David DeAngelo is the creator of the Altitude programme for business owners and entrepreneurs. In this video he discusses the Mastermind concept originated by Napoleon Hill. The Double Your Dating business is a blueprint for online success. I have bought many of the products he produced under the pen-name David DeAngelo. So few people even begin to understand the value of a mastermind group but this video spells it out in plain and simple language.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month Fundraiser Event

Learn the Secrets about Cancer the Pharmaceutical Industry does Not want You to Know About

Join me for an informative and entertaining video screening at the Preview Theatre. I will be screening two interviews from Conscious Media Network to raise awareness on Cancer and raise funds for Women of Vision.

You will learn about alternative treatments for cancer from two world-reknown experts. You will also receive copies of these interviews on DVD to share as widely as possible at your own discretion. The money raised at this event will go toward Women of Vision, a charity that helps abused women and children. Sophie Okeke, founder of Women of Vision, will be the guest of honour.

You will receive a glass of champagne on arrival.

The 1st interview is with Dr. Lorraine Day, an internationally acclaimed orthopedic trauma surgeon and best selling author who was for 15 years on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine as Associate Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics. She was also Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital and is recognized world-wide as an AIDS expert.

We will break for 20 minutes to enjoy tea and coffee before we continue…

The 2nd interview is with Burton Goldberg, the publisher of a series of books on alternative medicine. He has spent over 30 years carefully researching every aspect of holistic medicine, from California to Israel, Mexico to Russia. But it?s taken only a few years for this self-made businessman to emerge as ?The Voice of Alternative Medicine.?

The venue for this event is The Preview Theatre, run by Italo Bernicchi, who managed the Victory Theatre in Orange Grove for 35 years. Parking is outside his house and champagne will be served on arrival in the beautiful rose garden. Call Italo on 011 640 1061 for directions.


  • Cost: R40 pp, 2 tickets R60 or 4 tickets for R100
  • Date: Saturday, 20 October 2007
  • Time: 4h30 for 5pm (duration 2 hours)

It’s easy to book for this event: Call Mandy on 076 890-8687.


Calling for a Business Blogging Conference in South Africa

Early in September I was a speaker at the 2nd Digital Citizens Indaba. Last year this conference was immensily valuable to me because it presented an opportunity to meet many of my fellow bloggers from across the African content. This year for me I realised the greater need to teach people how to use blogging to generate income. In 2006 I spent many, many hours discussing this with Emeka Okafor, before he was selected by TED to host the first TEDAfrica conference, which may turn out to become an annual conference.

So this year I spoke with Mathew Buckland and Laurien Clemence on spoke on the Marketing & Moneytizing panel. The problem with DCI is that the bulk of discussion is about online activism and citizen jouranlism. This is not a conference about serious business blogging. So I’m making this public call for a conference that would focus on business blogging. This conference would propel blogging to a new stratosphere in South Africa and Africa as a whole. TEDGlobal’s Fellow’s who included many, many bloggers are a testament to the value we can add to business. Such a conference would appeal to large corporates to introduce them to social media, and web 2.0 business strategies, which will be an imperative by 2010.

My dream panel of speakers would include the following Technorati 100 heavy weights:

  1. Darren Rowse
  2. Steve Pavlina
  3. Guy Kawasaki
  4. Seth Godin
  5. Michael Arrington
  6. Robert Scoble
  7. Brian Clark
  8. Steve Rubel
  9. Jeniffer Jones
  10. Leonard Brody (I already know him personally)

I’m looking at doing this during September/October 2008. It would take 4/6 months to secure sponsorships for this event. And another 6 moths to do all the planning and organising with sufficient marketing and public relations building up to the event. These two activities can run in concurrently to some extent.

Who’s your international business blogger of choice for this conference? And how can you help me organise this conference? Post your feedback or contact me privately.