Five Ways To Feel Up When You're Down

Littlefinger schools Lord VarysChaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” Littlefinger, Game of Thrones

Recently I’ve been obsessed with this quote from the fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones. I’m not about to discuss analogies to the show or life lessons from the Lannisters. What I want to share with you is something very personal.

As I moved to China in 2013 to do an MBA degree. This meant an investment of at least two years in China to complete courses, learn the language and do an internship. There’s been times when I’ve been very lonely, there’s been times when I was frustrated. There were also times when I felt it wasn’t worth the effort and I’ll give up.

Some people I met after arriving didn’t last and went back home. Now I’m older than most of the students at Ningbo University, and I suppose that gives me some life experience. What life experience also does is, it gives me more memories, more people to miss. You feel down, and you think about all the things you don’t have, and the spiral continues downwards.

Here’s Five Way To Feel Up, Even When You’re Down

  1. Avoid Being Alone – This often difficult because when you feel low, you don’t feel like talking. The trap is that your mind will play games with you. So if you can find someone very talkative, hang out with them or call them. They will chit-chat and hopefully their energy will help lift you out of whatever is getting you stuck or down.
  2. Practise Gratitude – Sometimes we don’t realise what we’ve got until we don’t have it any more. Many people teach practising gratitude like Dan Sullivan. You can read a great book on this like Choosing Gratitude.
  3. Take A Walk – Sitting at your laptop or looking at your Smartphone doesn’t help. I found a great path outside the place where I stay that goes past a river and takes about 1 hour to walk. Once I jogged the route with German Professor of mine and it took 30 minutes. The point is to get out of your room, out of your apartment and walk.
  4. Listen To Great Music – Music can make you feel happy or sad. I have a playlist of upbeat music for those times when I feel low. So I put my headphones on and turn up the volume. Music can change your internal state faster than almost anything else.
  5. Keep On Climbing – I used to quote Napoleon Hill, “Keep on, keeping on…” to people who are despondent. Sometimes I wishes they would tell me something similar. At least I remember this for myself and now with the quote from Littlefinger I think about it daily.

THRIVE: Entrepreneurs Organisation invitation

Recently I was invited to submit a video for the selection committee of the Vancouver chapter for Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO).

EO is a dynamic global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, the year 2012 marks EO’s 25th anniversary. With its transformative experiences and unparalleled peer network, EO transforms the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Membership in one of EO’s 120 chapters is by invitation only; the average member is 41 years old with annual revenues of US$17.3 million.

For more information on EO website visit or call +1.703.519.6700


Dan Sullivan, discusses advantages of iPad

Small business coach, Dan Sullivan, says how the iPad can help an entrepreneur’s business. The Applei iPad sales are about 10 times that of the 2nd runner up and the stats all back this up. So it’s a very good time now to begin developing content for the iPad instead of other platforms.


Listen To Gary Halbert And John Carlton For 6 Hours!

Here is a good way to start 2012 with a bang.

Did you know direct response copywriter, Michel Fortin, offer over 6 hours of free audio online? This audio was first published a few years ago and I have since listened to it numerous times and shared it widely in my training courses.

His friend, the late Gary Halbert (who recently passed away), was — and still is — known as the best copywriter in the world. He’s often referred to as the “prince of print.”

John Carlton comes in a close second and still continues with the legacy he formed with Gary Halbert and the infamous Operation Moneysuck adventures they discuss in the interviews.

These guys are not only friends and associates, but also my mentors and extraordinary teachers in their own rights. They know their stuff, and know how to teach the power of sales-inducing, eyeball-grabbing copy.

Recently, for a whole 6 hours, they openly shared with me their most coveted strategies in a special series of teleseminars I offered to my members and clients.

Want to hear them? And for free to boot? (Yes, FREE?)

Well, you can. Simply go to this page on the Michel Fortin website.

P.S.: A word of warning from Michel Fortin, though. Gary Halbert is very much a nonsensical person who holds nothing back. He can even be a little direct at times. But that’s his teaching style.

It’s nevertheless immensely potent.

Plus, there’s nothing to buy. Listen online, download the MP3 recordings, or read the transcripts. All free!


Why you should *spend money* on marketing…

Marketing spend Ramon ThomasThis came via a newsletter I receive on writing…

Let’s say the majority of your business comes from word-of-mouth. Good for you!

It means that most of your past or current clients like your product or service. So you’re doing something right. But what you’re not doing is any other marketing… So it’s possible that there’s no other way for you to get clients. And that’s not good.

Here’s a brilliant message, by Peter Carruthers, on the subject:

Whenever I talk to some intrepid entrepreneur about finding clients…they assure me they don’t need to do any marketing because all of their clients arrive by word-of-mouth.

This is a prime example of a problem known as confirmation bias.

Of course all of their clients arrive by word-of-mouth. That’s because they’re not doing any other marketing, so there is no other way for clients to arrive.   

Just in case this isn’t obvious, it is very unlikely that a person will call in response to the ad my intrepid friend did not arrange, or the magazine advert he didn’t place, or the flyer at the traffic light he did not hand out, or the website he doesn’t have.

That’s not the way he sees it. Rather, he interprets the results to mean that he is so darn good that his past clients are referring him.

It is easy to make this mistake. After all, 100% of his new clients are indeed the result of word-of-mouth, even if there are not enough of them to cover the watery soup and gruel he has come to enjoy.

Relying on word-of-mouth is, I think, a dreadful way to sell your services and products. Especially at a time when the world economy is tightening, and the competitors are getting a lot hungrier.

I think this is the universe telling us to bring our First Team to the market…

– Peter Carruthers, PetesWeekly.Com

I completely agree with Peter. What’s more, I think that there’s never been a more important time to spend real money on marketing.

[This isn’t, believe it or not, a con job to get you to use me as your copywriter. It’s just a strong encouragement to put some cash aside for marketing – whatever form that might take and whether you use my services or someone else’s.]

We (me included) can’t leave it all to word-of-mouth anymore. The world is changing…


The Secrets to Email Marketing Success: Marketing Panel

This is an excellent presentation from, the leading online CRM company, on email marketing: Don’t waste your marketing dollars—or your credibility—on email campaigns that don’t produce results. Our panel of email marketing experts shares the secrets of success and answers your questions on list-building techniques and email marketing. Hear the latest trends, evolving opinions, and newest strategies—and take home tips for improving your email response rates today! For help with your email marketing don’t hesitate to contact me for a consultation. GroupMail – Bulk & Group Email Marketing Software


Toyota crisis shakes hometown, and Japan Inc. too

As a driver of a Toyata car this news is sad indeed…

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura (AFP)

There is a saying in Toyota’s hometown that when the auto giant sneezes, the whole city falls ill. But the symptoms of its recall crisis look set to be felt far beyond “Japan’s Detroit”. No flashy signs or advertisements are necessary to remind visitors to the company town in central Japan that it is the birthplace of the world’s largest carmaker. The name — Toyota City — speaks for itself.

But the group’s influence extends well beyond the city limits, and concerns are mounting across Asia’s biggest economy that Toyota’s massive global safety recalls will tarnish the brand image of Japan Inc as a whole. Japan’s biggest company — which employs more than 300,000 people around the world — has long been a source of pride for the nation.

Its cars dominate the roads, used by millions of Japanese including the royal family and the prime minister. Toyota’s success mirrored the country’s post-war economic miracle, driven by the success of its carmakers and other exporters. Nowhere are the company’s woes felt more keenly than in the eponymous city, renamed in 1959 in recognition of Toyota’s growing importance.

Continue reading “Toyota crisis shakes hometown, and Japan Inc. too”


Top 10 Mistakes Made In Business Plans

It’s very important for everyone who’s attending my next Internet Cafe workshop to study this list in great detail. Develop a basic business plan as part of your preparations for this unique training we offer at NETucation that combines the best black business and technology expertise in Southern Africa.

Lenders and investors may see hundreds of business plans in a single day. Make your business plan stand out against the rest, and avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Not proving that you have the management expertise to make it happen. The quality of your people will lend credibility to your ideas and even to your financial projections. If your management team is not as strong as it could be, join forces with a great board of advisor’s.
  2. Not demonstrating where your revenue will come from – what customers pay you and why they pay you. Do not be too aggressive in setting revenue projections or you will undermine your credibility.
  3. Not proving that your business model and long term cost structure is good enough to make a real profit. How will your business make money – what is your margin structure, what are your costs?
  4. Not being clear enough in your product description to allow the reader to quickly see the need and the niche for this product. It may seem obvious to you, but not so to the reader not educated in your business.
  5. Not proving that the market opportunity is big enough to get interested in. How big is your market now and what will it look like in 5 years?
  6. Not adequately acknowledging your competition. Investors know that if there is no perceived competition, there may be no market for what you are offering. The better you can describe your competition, the better you understand your market, and the more likely you will dominate it.
  7. Not writing for the target audience. Although the core is the same, the plan should be written for the perspective of banks, equity investors, and others. Go as far as you can to tailor each plan to the audience’s specific interests to show you have done your homework and know to whom you are talking.
  8. Starting with a boring, unenthusiastic executive summary. This is the first section to be read, and if it is not exciting, the rest may never be seen. Make it fun and be enthusiastic. It should stand-alone and generate interest for more. It deserves all the thought you would put into a professionally done promotional piece for your customers.
  9. Poor presentation. If you have typos and grammatical errors in your business plan, the reader will assume the work you do in your business is sloppy too.
  10. Saying too much. Keep the entire plan to a maximum of 30 pages, with an executive summary of three pages or less. If investors are interested, they will ask for any other information they need. Amateurs talk in the business plan about unimportant details because they do not know what they should say and what they should not. Hire a professional editor to reduce the page count and help you emphasize your strengths.

source Jan B King


FNB CEO Michael Jordaan’s open letter published in Beeld

This seems to have been a good idea in principal. It’s a pity Michael Jordaan does not have the spine to resist the pressure from trade union Solidarity or white staff. My own experience with FNB since the age of 5 years old has been mostly good. That was until I started my own business in 2004 and that’s when the shocking truth of how banks see entrepreneurs in South Africa began to emerge. They are all part of a global cabal who has nothing better to do that charge high interest, ridiculously high banking fees for even depositing cash into your bank account. No wonder black people mostly withdraw the full amount of cash after they get paid to avoid paying bank fees on this or that 🙁

FNB CEO Michael JordaanFNB CEO Michael Jordaan’s open letter published in Beeld today on the issue of FNB’s equal access to educational assistance:

Eerste Nasionale Bank het die afgelope week of twee onder kwaai kritiek deurgeloop oor ’n beursskema wat vanjaar vir die eerste keer beurse gaan uitbetaal aan die kinders van die bank se swart werknemers wat ingevolge die voorwaardes van die skema vir die beurse kwalifiseer.

Continue reading “FNB CEO Michael Jordaan’s open letter published in Beeld”


Understanding Sasol’s BEE offer

Some advice to a would-be Inzalo share scheme subscriber from a Riaz Gardee.

Riaz Gardee
11 Jun 2008

Dear Aunty Kay,

You seemed to be very interested in the Sasol Inzalo BEE offer during our last visit and mentioned that you had read very little about it in the press. You also thought the prospectus was too lengthy, had a print which was too small and filled with jargon that you did not clearly understand. I have set out some of the key matters for you to consider prior to making your decision.

Sasol has been under pressure from the Government and various stakeholders about its empowerment status and recently put forward the Inzalo scheme to the black market. By this I mean black people (African, Indians and Coloureds) or companies owned by black people and not the ‘black market’ where your last cellphone ended up!

Continue reading “Understanding Sasol’s BEE offer”