Does Money Buy Happiness?

Does money buy happiness or just a big mansion? This funny video by blogger Victor Pride reminded me to always think differently from what Bill Cooper called “the sheeple!” And so after watching this video, think about it for a while, and ask your friends to get their reaction. You will notice the clear bias against money in our society. There’s a built-in guilt that society places on people who want money. Remember “Greed is Good!” and how that became a negative stereotype from the first Wall Street movie with Michael Douglas?

Radio host Tom Leykis truly believes money does buy happiness. Not working and being a slave to the man. Professor Leykis sounds pretty happy when you listen to his old shows on YouTube or his new show, streaming daily via the Tom Leykis show mobile app.

What do you think? Is Tom Leykis right?

When you listen to one of his older shows, you may start to question this common falacy. Religion is not really to blame for this belief, instead I believe it’s our society’s belief in altruism. Ayn Rand was one of the biggest opponents of altruism in the history of the world. And she is still vilified about her books, interviews and opinions on helping others to your own detriment.

Do you remember the safety advice on your last flight? In case of emergency take the oxygen mask and put it on your own face first before you try to help children or anyone else like disabled people.

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5 Reasons for Gratitude before Christmas 2014

Watching a video by business coach Shannon Waller, I want to express my sincerest gratitude before Christmas 20RJ Thomas after speaking at IWE Conference in Hangzhou14. Gratitude is an inoculation against guilt or anxiety in your life. When you are grateful and you appreciate the people and things you have, you don’t feel bad about what you don’t have in you life. These are words to live by if you’re feeling lonely this Christmas season. Here’s my top 5 reasons I am grateful in 2014:

  1. Making New Friends – When I moved to China in September 2013 it was very difficult for me to adjust to the new culture, new environment and the Chinese language. Terry Jiang has become my best friend in Ningbo. I always appreciate how he helps me with simple and complex translation with other Chinese people, especially at the first business dinner I had with the owners of a Clothing Factory. It turned out these Chinese business people were speaking the local dialect in Ningbo, and since Terry was born in the same city, he could easily understand and interpret my conversion. Thank you for being such a great friend.
  2. Finding A Support Group – When you’re a stranger in a strange land, you can either go it alone or you can find a support group. Before I moved from South Africa to Ningbo, China I looked for a Toastmasters club and found only one. Just over one year later we now have 3 clubs and about 100 members. A special thank you to Ningbo #1 Toastmasters club and the immediate past president Vanessa Yang and new president Larry Kowk for your support.
  3. Support From My Mother – My mother has been a pillar of support my whole life. Having raised me by herself without my father, she did an amazing job. She was the one who kept in contact via Skype with me, sometimes on a daily basis, to give me encouragement. Mom I appreciate all those early morning or late night phone calls because of the time zone differences. A special thanks to my sister’s son Caleb and daughter Payton who often talked to me on Skype even though they couldn’t always see my video.
  4. Good Health – My father has had 4 heart attacks over 5 years; my mother has high blood pressure but no serious illnesses. So I am confident I have some good genes to keep me healthy, because I don’t exercise enough, hate jogging and never have enough time to go to the gym. Bad habits, like smoking, have returned while living in China, so I have to avoid other smokers to help me stop. Good health always includes eating healthily, drinking water and some exercise. However, I do have a good role model in the form of Uncle Andrew, who died at age 88 in 2015. He walked an average of +10km from the time I become conscious of his routines. So instead of reinventing the wheel and whenever possible, I plan to emulate his habits and daily routines which encouraged good health. Thank you Uncle Andrew!
  5. Relationships with Women – Whenever I was dumped, I used to believe I didn’t deserve it, I was such a great guy, and so on. Well now, I can easily say to all ex-girlfriends, thank you for breaking up with me, thank you for dumping or rejecting me. All the bad relationships with women in the past, makes my new relationships better because I learned how to avoid the same mistakes. As I always encourage other people who are trying to move on from past relationships, “You cannot open the door to new relationships, unless you close the door behind you.” Why? Because the draughty wind from the past will spoil the new opportunity in front of you. And as Tom Leykis taught me, the best revenge is to become successful.

World Entrepreneur Day launch in South Africa

World Entrepreneur's Day[China-South Africa, 12 August 2014] – Ramon J. Thomas in association with Alliance of International Business Associations (AIBA) invites everyone to join the launch of World Entrepreneur’s Day in South Africa on 21 August 2014.

“ WED creates awareness for entrepreneurship and innovation as viable careers.” declares Thomas, a South African in China, and the organser of this first of it’s kind event from his temporary home in the world’s 2nd largest economy. “This is the perfect day to celebrate entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators who are the new role models in the 21st century.”

Thomas has just completed year 1 of his 2.5 year MBA on a full scholarship from the Chinese government at Ningbo University. Ningbo, the 2nd biggest port in China is located in the prosperous Zhejiang province near Shanghai. It turns out Nelson Mandela Bay, where Thomas was born (Uitenhage), is the twin-sister city of Ningbo. Mr Hong Jia Xiang, Vice Mayor of Ningbo Municipal People’s Government last visited Nelson Mandela Bay in 2013.

During #WED2014 Eastern Cape-born Thomas will interview 10 entrepreneurs via Google Hangout, and this interactive event will be live streamed via Youtube to the world from 15h00 to 17h00 GMT+2. Anyone can join via Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop with an Internet connection. Each entrepreneur will do a 10 minute Q&A on an area of expertise or experience.

World Entrepreneur’s Day 2014Among the notable guests include Farah Fortune , PR guru, who started her Celebrity & Corporate PR business on R1,000 – a laptop and cellphone in her bedroom. She was selected as one of Mail & Guardians Top 200 South Africans in 2012. Ms Fortune finds herself more and more on the front stage, as she was the only Keynote speaker at the Sanlam Woman’s Day event.

I wish South Africans were more entrepreneural and willing to take risks,” says another guest Irfan Pardesi , who’s company ACM Gold, a forex broker, made R350 million profit on a R400 million turnover.Most of them want to get at the end of the tunnel without the first step!” Launched in Pakistan, the business’s head office then moved to Dubai, before settling in Sandton, South Africa.

Adding international flavour, Thomas recruited Tom Leykis , an American talk radio personality turned Internet entrepreneur to the guest list. Leykis earned a 7-figure income from CBS radio before a format change forced him off the air. He started The New Normal Network LLC, which broadcasts several Internet music streams including his epic Tom Leykis Show . #MoneyMondays is the best segment by Leykis, a self-made millionaire advising listeners, “making money – not sexy, having money – very sexy!”

AIBA recommends Managers, Entrepreneurs and Government officials take their time and invite young people to teach them about entrepreneurship and innovation. A widely known fact in South Africa is that the unemployment rate among young people below 35, is almost 50% and it has had severe socio-economic consequences in the post-Apartheid South Africa .

GUEST LINE-UP for #WED2014 Google Hangout

  1. Douglas Kruger (Kuala Lumpur), author, speaker – How to own your own industry!
  2. Beverly Langley, jewelleyr store owner – How to leave Corporate world
  3. Steve Banhegyi, solar energy advocate & social entrepreneur – Solarpreneur business model >> 073 698 1537
  4. Tuming Lee, publisher – Kickstart business magazine stories >> 084 575 5120
  5. Irfan Pardesi, forex entrepreneur – Risk taking behaviour in Entrepreneurs >> mobile +92 3218292881
  6. Farah Fortune, PR guru – How publicity helps your business >> +27 79 826 1955
  7. Unre Visagie, social entrepreneur – Bottom up career guidance >> +27 83 663 3366
  8. Melanie Burke, Country Manager for Common Purpose in Cape Town
  9. Paseka Kalaku, insurance entrepreneur, author – Why do Entrepreneurs need insurance?
  10. Tom Leykis, Internet talk radio entrepreneur in Los Angeles – Money Mondays segment on his show


Cost: FREE to anyone with broadband Internet connection

Download Google Hangouts app, or go directly to RSVP


— ENDS —


To interview any of our guests before #WED2014 call or SIMS 087 732 8665 or Skype: ramon.thomas

After the FIFA Soccer World Cup, entrepreneurial activity in South Africa has dropped to an alarming new low. Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in the country dropped to 7.3% from a high of 9.1%, an almost 20% drop from the previous year and the lowest in four years.

South Africa’s pool of intentional entrepreneurs is only 14% – far below the average of 27% among similar efficiency-driven economies. Of particular concern is that only 5% of South Africans in the 18-24-year age group are involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity.

SOURCE: GEM 2012 South Africa report



Tom Leykis interview about Internet radio

Tom Leykis is an American talk radio host. His primary audience has always been men and I started listening to his show in 2008. There is more to this broadcasting genius than meets the eye. Comparing him to Howard Stern is how I often describe him to South Africans who’ve never heard of him. His is both entertaining and direct in talking about real issues for men. This hits me very deeply when I consider the politically correct world we live in today, especially this country.

The main reason I’m re-publishing this interview is because he is pioneering a new format for talk radio using the Internet. This is motivating me to do something like he does and the Alex Jones show. Recording or broadcasting my own audio channel on the Internet is not complicated. However, the production quality and multi-platform access by the Tom Leykis show is what’s pioneering. Anyway I hope you enjoy these insights into the future of radio and broadcasting by the Professor of Poon 😉

Tom Leykis Show Internet Radio

* What has it been like going from hosting a radio show on FM radio to online? Has there been a transition involved?

Technically, and from a production standpoint, we have strived to make the show sound as much like our previous radio show as possible. After seven weeks, the biggest difference is in which topics draw an audience and which ones generate phone response. One major difference is that we know the exact number of listeners at any moment, and so we can adjust what we do on the fly. We found that serious news topics, which generally get less phone response, actually draw a large audience when we do them. Silly topics, such as an hour of unscreened calls, get the most phone response.

And, when you do a show for the internet, you are doing it hand-in-glove with social networking if you want to succeed in today’s digital world. Radio has a lot to learn in this area.

* Do you miss being on FM radio? Why or why not?

The only thing that FM radio has that I would like to have is a large, built-in base of users who know how to find their content. We have to spend a lot of time and effort to explain all the ways people can hear us. In actuality, we can be found in many more ways and on many more devices than most radio stations. We can never be so arrogant as to believe that most people know that. Yet.

We don’t miss being regulated by the government or being told what to do.

* What are the benefits to being on online radio? The benefits of terrestrial?

One benefit of being online is that we now have total flexibility. There was a time when, if something happened in the news at 8 in the morning, we had to wait until 3 in the afternoon to have our say. Nowadays, our show appears 24/7 (through continuous replays) and so we can go on at any time if something interesting is going on. We have no limits as to what topics we discuss, how long we discuss a topic, or what guests we can have on. We are not slaves to the clock, which means we can bail from a topic easily if we’re not happy with the response. We can end a show early or we can stay late. We know immediately how many listeners we have and whether or not people are digging what we’re doing in any given hour. We give the audience the show they want and actively vote for, rather than the show that is dictated by a corporate headquarters or a political party that is two or three thousand miles away.

The main benefit of being on terrestrial radio is that radio is an old school appliance that everyone knows how to use.

* What have you found to be the greatest differences between the two?

The audience online is 20 years younger than the average radio audience. We spend our time doing our show for the most passionate P1 fans as opposed to radio’s constant obsession with trying to appeal to P2s and P3s. There are less people tuning in by accident now. There is no scan button for internet radio. Someone has to invite a listener to get them into the fold.

* Do you think terrestrial radio will ever go away? Why or why not?

No medium ever completely goes away. The old media become the province of the older user, the technologically challenged, or the economically disadvantaged. The US Mail is still there, but those who use it are more likely to be grandmothers who like to send greeting cards than to be younger or more economically lucrative users.

AM radio is the province of older males and listeners who are deficient in speaking English. Old-school talk radio is now moving to FM, which has the oldest listeners it’s ever had, and they will continue to get older. Some people still play vinyl records on turntables, but I wouldn’t try to build a business based on that user base.

* What do you think will be radio’s future?

Let me say first that I am not happy about what I’m about to say. Radio is my oldest friend. We’ve had so much fun together for so many years. When I was a little kid, it kept me company when it was dark and I was afraid. It brought me an amazing music revolution. It was the center of my world, and one that I wanted very much to be a part of. And I have lived my dream. Now, however, my old friend is very, very sick. In fact, I miss radio as I would miss a very sick or even a dying friend. Years of private equity consolidation and draconian budget cuts have left radio weak and increasingly irrelevant.

Today’s broadcasting companies love to quote big numbers about how much revenue they still bring in, but a quick look under the hood will show that the biggest companies are so overleveraged, they can’t make a profit, even with revenues in the billions. In the most recent fiscal quarter, Clear Channel, Cumulus and CBS Radio made zero profit. At the same time, thousands of talented people have been put out of work, young people are listening less than ever, and as a result, young people don’t think of radio as a future profession any longer.

I believe that radio will continue a long, slow decline, ultimately culminating in billions of dollars of destroyed equity and, in the way that TV went to digital broadcasting and handed back its analog spectrum allocations, I do believe that a day will come when radio content ultimately does en masse what we have just done and moves to IP delivery.

Then, when everyone is on an equal playing field, the best content will win. Some of that may come from the remaining big companies. And some of it definitely won’t.


Who is the Millionaire Next Door?

Chris Rock once explained the difference between being rich and being wealthy very succinctly. He said Shaquille O’Neil is rich but the guy who signs his cheque is wealthy. When you are rich you can loose all the money when you’re a big spender, live beyond your means or try to keep up with the Jones, also known as conspicuous consumption. The education system creates a society of consumers and that is a fact. Nobody in particular is to blame except yourself. When you stay blinded to the reality of life you continue to suffer. The signs of success can be overt and people may pay attention to you for a little bit longer. When it’s not over they may ignore you completely.

This leads me to Millionaire Next Door. The person who recommended this book was non other than Tom Leykis, the American talk radio host. He is a self-made multi-millionaire and brags about it often. In fact it only seems like bragging when it’s taken out of context or when you are jealous of his success. I’m not. I’m a admirer. He speaks honestly and directly about the reality of the world we live in. So I recently picked up a copy of this book, ordering it online as do most of my shopping these days.

This is not an easy read because it has heavy emphasis on numbers, statistics. Something which you may not enjoy reading because again the school system creates a society that dislikes mathematics in any shape or form. Now the research has been done by two Ph.D’s and you can’t fault the depth of their analysis. They surveyed large groups of millionaires and high income producers for several decades. This book is a very good snapshot of the research and you can start to see the common sense almost boring methods by which the millionaires become millionaires.

Here’s the most common denominators of millionaires:

  1. They live well below their means.
  2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
  3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status!
  4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
  5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
  6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  7. They chose the right occupations.

In South Africa you may be interested in the Who’s Who list of Wealthiest South Africans.

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My Next Car: Mercedes-Benz SLK

Mercedes-Benz SLKI’ve been dreaming about an SLK for many years now and the day I’ll be able to purchase my own is coming closer and closer. Especially after watching a film, The Secret. I started using some visualisation techniques like pasting a photo on my wall, and also making it my Desktop background photo. I missed out on a test drive two weeks when I was stupid enough to forget my drivers license at home 🙁 Well I’m going to do that test drive within the next few weeks. What’s amazing is how frequently I’ve been seeing one on the road. So its a fitting tribute that its the 10 year anniversary of the SLK.

Tom Leykis makes the following analogy: A man drives the most expensive (best) car he can afford. No boy dreams of driving a Toyota or Volkswagen growing up. Boys dream of Ferrari or Lamborghini’s growing up. So in reality, boys do not grow up dreaming of the average girl. They dream about Playboy playmates or the young hot actress in the latest teen comedy. The same may apply to women. Read this article here.