Posts Tagged ‘Free Inspiration’

FREE! 1 whole month of personal inspiration

November 2, 2015

FREE! 1 whole month of personal inspirational quotes in your inbox. Just add your name and email.

Nothing to lose. A full month’s inspiration and if you don’t want to continue, that’s it, No reminders, no spam, no keeping of records. A pure 1 month trial that can only benefit YOU!


July 2014 ‘Useletter’

June 30, 2014

And here we are again, another month is behind us and the season is slowly starting to change again.

Many people emailed to say that my ‘Quotations on Time’ video didn’t work… hee-hee, I had a spelling mistake which was kindly pointed out to me – so I pulled it and fixed it. Here is the new link!

All new video links are at the end of this Useletter, and this month’s topic is Coping with Mistakes and you can watch the video version here.

I constantly question myself whether age is affecting my thinking, or whether the fast paced world we live in today is changing people’s thinking?

One of my biggest disappointments about humanity is that so few people are prepared to acknowledge and accept their mistakes, and forever find excuses to push the blame on others.

What puzzles me is why these people don’t realise that it is only through making and ACKNOWLEDGING our mistakes that we can learn and grow as human beings.

Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

How true is that?

Consider today’s world, then this quotation could not be more pertinent now than ever before. Reality is that the person who does not keep up with change will be left behind. Part of changing is to embrace the new and making mistakes – this is how we learn!

Think about it this way, if someone in your family, social circle or work colleagues makes a mistake which could affect your health and safety, would you be happy to hear about it two weeks later when much irreversible damage has been done? How would you feel towards that person? Or would you like to hear about it straight away? How would you feel about this person in this instance?

Personally I would respect anyone far more if they came to me immediately after the mistake has happened. I could then even assist it helping fix the issue at hand. As humans we intrinsically enjoy helping others and guiding them to success. The problem comes in when we are only told half-truths and asked to help in order to ‘cover up mistakes.’

Are you someone that has a hard time owning up to your mistakes? Do you feel embarrassed by your mistakes? Does it make you feel silly, or even stupid?

Guess what – everyone has these feelings, BUT not everyone sits back and accepts them. You need to do something and take action in order to gain back control.

Firstly, you need to learn to cope with your mistakes and deal with them in a positive way. This is only possible if you understand why we make mistakes. Hence I thought I would share a number of reasons with you why NOT making mistakes is bad for you.

1. Mistakes are stepping stones to happiness

You gain confidence, courage and experience every time you make a mistake. When you identify exactly what you want and can see this in your mind’s eye, nothing can stop you from moving forward, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams and allowing happiness to enter into your life.

2. Mistakes help us lead a life without regrets

How many older people have you met in your life that say, “I wish I had tried that when I was younger.” Today they sit unhappily retired and only have regrets about their lives. Here’s a reality check, if you only play it safe and do what is expected, and follow the masses you won’t make many mistakes, and you will always remain in the space you are now. Do you really want to look back at your life one day and wish you had tried or done some things? It is far better to try something and not succeed, than to never try something and also not succeed. Regret is the worst depressant on earth – do you want to let it control you, or do you want to take control?

3. Mistakes teach us forgiveness

With every mistake that you make, you learn how important it is to forgive not just yourself, but also those around you. Even though you want to be, you are not perfect! In fact perfection doesn’t really exist, as it is a subjective perception unique to each and every individual on this earth – we all see it differently. The closest any of us will ever come to the concept of perfection is by doing the best we can, at all times, in everything that we do.

4. Mistakes help us let go of our fears

Not making mistakes is the biggest mistake you could ever make? Remember, life isn’t about avoiding mistakes, but rather about embracing the idea that mistakes is a reality in your life. You just need to decide whether you are willing to learn from them or not!

5. Mistakes result in growth and progress

Without mistakes you cannot grow and evolve as a human being? Just think of your social circle and the people you know (including yourself) that have allowed the fear of making mistakes paralyse them? You cannot expect to learn anything new if you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to make mistakes?

6. Mistakes help us discover who we are

We discover more about ourselves, who we are, our limits, our capabilities, and what we can and cannot do. Mistakes guide us to be more compassionate and tolerant with ourselves and others.

7. Mistakes teach us valuable life lessons

You can learn so much from your mistakes, and the moment you see them as lessons rather than mistakes, you negate the fear of encountering them in your daily life.

Guess what, if you do ‘go for it’ you won’t make all the mistakes you were scared of making, and when something does go wrong, the world won’t end and everyone won’t be pointing fingers at you. It will only be you that needs to come to terms with the mistake and learn from it.

So what happens when you do make a mistake? Easy, own up and acknowledge the mistake. Now talk to those close to you and ask for help in correcting it. Whether it is a family issue or a work mistake, as a team it is so much easier to resolve a problem than as an individual. Remember that other people may have made the same mistakes as you. By talking about it they can guide you to a faster solution. This also allows you to examine the mistake from various perspectives and discover the reason why it happened. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture! Mistakes are like stepping stones across a river, there are many of them, but the final goal is getting to the other side. The focus should be on progress, rather than fear of making more mistakes.

That’s it; I trust these tips will guide you to a more fulfilled life.

Talking about mistakes, many companies mistakenly attempt change that fails. Here is a great video on how to avoid the pitfalls of organisational change by applying a Force Field Analysis – it’s called ‘Planning Successful Change. Click here to view.

Brand new Quick Tip: The Roller coaster of Life. Watch here. Cool full roller coaster footage – play it full screen!

More people have asked to view some entertainment videos, so I have added 3 more of my classic routines for you to enjoy

Paper Bags over Head

Swallowing a Balloon

Appearing Helicopter

Have a great July

Warmest regards


PS! Do you want to be inspired daily and have access to tons of quotations, videos, and so much more? Visit NOW, as this ‘Useletter ‘ will soon be replaced by this site completely!

January 2014 ‘Useletter’

January 3, 2014

Welcome to 2014 and Happy New Year!

My first big change this year… my ‘Useletter’ is now going to be a transcript of one of my Quick Tip videos every month. Many people prefer seeing the message rather than reading it – so now you have a choice… read the ‘Useletter’ or watch it!

You can view this month’s ‘Useletter‘ by clicking here.

Also, if you didn’t know yet, all the subscriber’s to my website get SO MUCH MORE inspiration as well as quotations etc. on a daily basis. If you take being inspired seriously, then make a point of checking out (PS! Someone emailed me last month mentioning that ‘positiv’ was missing an ‘e’. Those domains were already taken. And hey – I think it’s different and kind of cool without the ‘e’.)

Also, in the last month I uploaded some very insightful Quick Tips (okay, they aren’t that quick… maybe around 10 minutes each! But very insightful and worth watching.

2014 New Year Resolution Tips

Who are you?

Family Relationships

Entitlement & Scarcity Thinking Attitudes

Overcoming Greed & Selfishness

It’s the New Year and time for New Year’s resolutions. In fact the 10 most common resolutions according to a google search are:


  1. Lose Weight

  2. Improve Finances

  3. Exercise

  4. Get new job

  5. Eat healthier

  6. Manage stress better

  7. Stop smoking

  8. Improve relationship

  9. Stop procrastinating

  10. Set aside time for self


The cool thing about all these topics is that if you have a smart phone, you can actually search for and download the appropriate app to help you maintain and achieve these goals.

Realistically I believe that many people look forward to the New Year for a new start of old habits! So that this doesn’t happen to you, I am sharing some relevant quotations in this ‘Useletter’ to help you make 2014 the most magical year ever.

I am not here to change the world. I am changing the world because I am here.” Unknown Author

~ Are you making a difference to this world in what you do? Are your actions making the world a better place? Are you adding value?

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” Unknown Author

~ If you doubt you can change and achieve new goals – look at what you have done in your life before. Granted, some people may not see their lives as that exciting and that full of achievement. BUT IT IS. No matter who you are, you have accomplished so much to be where you are today. From completing school to bringing up children to overcoming personal issues. Don’t just look at achievements by comparing yourself to economic success stories ‘out there’. Look at your personal achievements! We all have them! And realise that you are great and you can achieve anything you set your mind too!

Work for a cause, not for applause.
 Live your life to express, not to impress, don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.” Unknown Author

~ Plan your new year’s goals around your passion – not on what others expect from you. It is much easier to achieve goals if they are an internal desire and passion, than if they are the dreams of others, i.e. your parents, kids, etc. Your goals shouldn’t be materialistic, and just about you – but for the benefit of those around you as well. For example, I need to find more Work Life balance this year. Why? So that I can spend more time with my family and children. This type of goal has a bigger cause; it doesn’t just benefit you, but your family too. We have enough self-important people on this earth – we really don’t need any more. And when these self-important people/attention seekers (i.e. Politicians etc.) leave – do we miss them? No! In whatever you do, will others notice that you have stopped doing it and miss your presence, or will they be glad you’re gone?

The best sermons are lived, not preached.” Unknown Author

~ Walk your talk – practice what you preach. Nothing upsets and disappoints me more than hypocritical people. Once again we have a world full of liars and hypocrites that preach one thing and do the opposite. Will they ever truly be content and happy? If anything, they aren’t just fooling others, but themselves too. Interestingly enough, when you walk your talk – you don’t have to preach to others to convert them. Those around you will follow you automatically as they can see and experience your sincerity!

What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.” Unknown Author

~ This follows on nicely with the previous quotation… be consistent. Consistency is an integral part of walking your talk. Think about it, will you ever respect someone that only does what they say once in a while? No – you respect people that remain constantly consistent in what they do. Only by being consistent will you achieve all your New Year’s resolutions.

It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.” Unknown Author

~ Here’s a reality check… things aren’t always going to work out the way you planned them. Sometimes you will reach your new year’s goals sooner, other times you will have to change them, and sometimes you won’t reach them straight away and will have to try harder to reach your final dream. You need to be OPTIMISTIC. Another great unknown author quote says that a Pessimist is: A person who says that ‘O’ is the last letter of ZERO, instead of the first letter in OPPORTUNITY. Of course you then have the OPPORTUNIST (That’s what I like to be! Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist, while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it! Sincerely, The Opportunist! Don’t waste time arguing and procrastinating either!

Some people develop a wish bone where their back bone should be.” Unknown Author

~ Stop dreaming! Go out and do it. Remember, every journey starts by taking the first step and all goals are journeys. Don’t look at the final destination as the whole goal. That’s only the final 1% – it’s the preparation, travel, changes, twists, etc. during the journey that make up the 95%. When you do all of this – the final goal is easily reached. Take buying a new house as an example. The actual act of signing the papers to buy the house takes ten minutes. But the preparation in deciding what type of house, what price range, which area, and researching affordable mortgage rates, plus actually driving and looking at homes all take time. However this is all part of the goal of buying a house. Most people forget this. By doing all the preparation – 95% of the goal is already achieved. Therefore, in the New Year – make sure you prepare properly so that all goals can be achieved!

Visit and tell your friends about it – in fact I share 5 more tips with my Useletter subscriber’s there!

And remember, if you need a trainer, speaker to inspire your staff for the year, I have just launched my first talk where I combine magic & motivation. (Never did this before) This is incredibly powerful as delegates from all levels see the concept visually and understand every aspect. I tested this for the first time end of last year and couldn’t believe the long-term effect and visual power of combing the two.

Have a great 2014!

Warmest regards


October ‘Useletter’ from Wolfgang

October 1, 2013

Welcome to the October 2013 ‘Useletter.’

Firstly, there are five New Quick Tips this month and you can simply click on the topic below and the hyperlink should take you to the applicable You Tube video. Do enjoy.

Quotations for City Dwellers

Quotations on Change

Quotations on Friendship

Quick Tips on Nature

Quick Tips on Family values

What a month! Between speaking at events in Munich, traveling through Europe and now in Cape Town, it’s been a whirlwind of experiences and insights during the last four weeks.

What I noticed more than before is the amount of people I met ‘selling’ themselves as someone they are not! Creating a false front and trying to ‘fit in’ and be part of the clique! In fact an old friend of mine shocked me, in a nice way, by commenting that he so enjoyed my company, as he always knew where he stood with me. He mentioned that it was such a ‘fresh’ change for him to spend time with me as he always got an honest direct response as to my feelings on various subject matters.

As honored that I was by this, I was nevertheless shocked that someone should compliment me on something that I assume to be normal behaviour. Once again life has taught me that what I take for normal is not always the case with others. I look at all the economic upheavals, the greed, the fighting and the issues around me and suddenly I realize why this is all happening. Most people are not being honest about who they are and what they feel, hence everyone’s reactions to what is being said and done are reactions to lies. No wonder there is such a mess in the world today.

Sadly, I can’t blame those responsible for their behaviour, as I am sure it is based on fear. Fear of what will the others think if I really tell them how I feel, or, if I really tell them how bad my business is doing? Whatever happened to caring about each other enough that we actually have trust in those we meet to really say what is in our hearts? And if it is bad, that the other person actually cares enough to offer guidance and understanding in order to help us overcome these obstacles!

Let me highlight this with my own quotation on the subject… “The seed of all rumors is originated by greedy haters, then spread by fools, and finally believed by Idiots. But truth is shared by sages.” 

So, which one are you?

Sitting on planes this last month gave me lots of time to philosophize and think about this sad state of affairs and eventually I came up with a few solutions to stop people from being so greed, hate and jealousy focused.

Most people are afraid that others won’t like them! Why? Do you really think that everyone you meet will like you? Do you like everyone you meet? Let me put it another way… how about foods, are there certain foods you don’t eat? If yes, what did these foods do to you? Nothing! You just don’t like them. End of story. So why lie about it? But, I guess you could learn to like them if combined with certain other foods? It’s the same with people. We have been conditioned, and this inbred conditioned belief makes us judgemental. If we took the time and honestly connected with these individuals, I guess we may end up liking each other, but we simply don’t take the time to do this. Yet we feel insecure when people are judgemental about us… huh?

There’s a great saying by an unknown author… “Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself & the right people will love the real you.”  Maybe it’s my age, but I have learnt in life that if I don’t like something, I say so. If you have an issue with me over my honesty, the issue lies with you – not me. So why should I worry about it. If you tell me that you don’t like my approach or attitude and you think I am a Schmuck, guess what; I will shake your hand and thank you for being honest, and leave. At least I know where I stand with you and therefore won’t carry on wasting your or my time.

We are all different and we all like different things. That old saying of ‘opposites attract’ is kind of defunct – if anything today, like-minded people are attracted to each other. If opposites did attract, then apposing political parties should be best of friends… I don’t think so!

Stop worrying what others think about you – odds are you won’t change that view then and there. Learn to live with it and be comfortable with who you are within yourself. Also, stop saying what you think others want to hear. Say what is in your heart. If people won’t like you because of this, they are not worthy to be your friend or colleague. The reality is that everyone wants happiness and nobody wants pain. However, you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain. Think about it.

Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.” I love this saying by an unknown author – and this pretty much summarizes my points above. Are you going to define your happiness by being part of the false society out there and carry on lying just to fit in? Who are you fooling? Yea, maybe you are fooling the ‘others’ out there, but for how long and at what price? Let me put it another way… if you put a small value on yourself, rest assured the world will not raise your price. You need to know your own worth! Guess what, I know what my worth is! Do you know yours! If not, don’t you think it’s about time you did something about it? Remember, you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it – so start living! And the first step to start… Is to be honest!

Finally, by being part of the jealousy, greed, hate and lying game, what are you accomplishing? Surely you are only creating dissatisfaction within yourself. Isn’t life too short to spend time on nonsense? How about we all make a new goal for October that we will ALL be HONEST with everyone we meet and say exactly how we feel. Granted, some people may not like this much, but I am sure many will. And at the end of the month you may know exactly who your real friends are!

Have a great October!

Important notice:

This is the last edition of this ‘Useletter’ as sadly my stats are still indicating that less that 35% of subscribers are actually reading this email.

Should you wish to join a group of PositivPeople and receive a daily quotation as well as this ‘Useletter’ once per month, plus have access to many more positive insights, you can re-subscribe for 1 per month at

Quotations on Success

August 5, 2013

Great quotations by unknown authors on success!

Quotes for Teens

August 5, 2013

Teens! Check out this kwl video with quotations by unknown authors just for you!

July 2013 ‘Useletter’

July 4, 2013

Here we go again – less than 6 months to Christmas! I’m sure the earth is spinning faster as time is going way too fast. Welcome to July and a super interesting ‘Useletter’ that is a bit different and maybe even controversial. But before we begin, much has happened in the last month and I am curious to see who reads until the end, as there is a LOT of exciting news at the bottom of the page!

Firstly, I understand that there are a number of people not on the social media websites, and therefore many people don’t receive my daily quotations, questions, etc. Two weeks ago I launched a brand new website called and YES, every day I update the site with a quotation, a funny one liner, a crazy question and at the moment a new Quick Tip video every week. So if you are looking for a daily smile and positive charge, visit for your daily dose of inspiration. It gets updated around 09h00 GMT. You can even view older updates too.

I feel that there is not enough ‘giving’ in the world today and most sites that offer anything positive, always have costs involved. This is totally free and you can download and share everything on the site – it is my way of giving back. However, I would like to add many more items including daily videos, plus interview people globally and make it a massive world-wide free site that inspires everyone everywhere. To fulfil this dream I need your help with my campaign! PLEASE visit this link by clicking here.

This month I have uploaded a few new Quick tips, simply click on the title to view!

5 Tips on Networking 

5 Tips on Forgiveness 

If you don’t have access to my You Tube channel – these and past videos can also be accessed on

To this month’s topic… is the ‘F’ word!

A word that many of us use daily without realising the impact of what we are saying. Misuse of the word can even result in resentment, hatred and wars. Weirdly, for such a well-known word, it amazes me that most people don’t understand its true meaning. The word is ‘forgiveness.’

Rather than also repeat everything on the Quick Tip Video, I will let you watch the five actual extra tips, so make sure you check it out here. In this ‘Useletter’ I want to cover ‘forgiveness’ on a deeper level. As a speaker I have seen and understood the power of personal examples and stories, as well as issues people can relate to. Therefore, in order to clarify exactly what forgiveness is, I would like to talk about Nelson Mandela. Having lived in South Africa for many years, he has always been a topic of discussion, especially his capacity for forgiveness.

Have a look at the world and at the hatred that exists right now! How many wars are being fought at this very moment? Hatred goes back such a long time, I sometimes wonder if people actually know why they hate each other. The world cannot continue the way it is going on at the moment. Hence my little attempt at starting this positivpeople website.

Nevertheless, what lessons can we learn from Madiba?

As life is, you always get two points of view on any matter. Actually my dad always told me that there were 3 points of view; yours, mine and the truth! Mind you, there is even truth in that! If anything my international travel has taught me, it is to respect and accept every person no matter from which country or culture they originate. If anything, I feel that the world-wide web and international TV channels such as Discovery and National Geographic are helping people discover the world and promote tolerance. But that’s not enough! Hatred still exists because people do not understand the meaning of forgiveness! Hey, my parents left Germany as young children after WW2 and I have people still calling me a Nazi – just shows you the sadness of reality out there.

So if we look at Mandela and his life – all the odds were stacked against him! However, here we have a man that spent most of his life in jail, fighting against an unjust oppression. Now to highlight how complex forgiveness and humanity is, we need to consider two views of this man. Firstly he stood up against what he believed was wrong, and fought to change it. Yes, one man can change the world – here is the proof! Then there are those that criticize him and the ANC for the violence they used to achieve their goals. Not forgetting that right now there are still ANC members today that hold grudges?  Hey, doesn’t that sound similar to other parts of the world too?

Remember that saying, ‘If you want to kick a dog, you will always find a reason?’ Forgiveness will NEVER happen if you hold grudges and don’t let go. Nelson Mandela is living proof of the fact that WE CAN ALL forgive and let go. What is the problem with so many people that they cannot do this?

Saying I am sorry is not forgiveness! It is merely a verbal utterance. Forgiveness means starting fresh and not holding grudges or throwing the past in someone’s face. How often have couples fought and the past keeps on being brought up. You did this – you did that! Forgiveness will NEVER come about if you do this. The world and the political upheavals are living proof of this!

I hear you say that it is difficult to do? Really? Now back to Nelson Mandela. Guess what, he also grew up with nothing, in a disadvantaged community, but he NEVER had an entitlement attitude and blamed everyone else for his situation. Do you know what he did?  He stood up and took RESPONSIBILITY for his own life. His picked himself up and stood up for his beliefs. Yes of course circumstances dictated the conditions he lived in at the time. But the difference was that he didn’t lie down and expect everyone to feel sorry for him. He stood up and made himself heard. He cared enough for all his brothers and sisters that it was NEVER about him, but about what was right for humanity.

That was it – that was the secret we all need to understand about forgiveness. It was never about him! It was about all of us and making the world a better place to live in! Those of us that met him will all tell you – he radiated a love and warmth that few people have. He genuinely cared about his people. We all need to care about those around us – then they will care for us too. It’s that basic law of what comes around goes around. He cared enough to change the world. Today not only South African’s, but the entire world celebrates this man’s greatness!

As you get older you begin to question the purpose of your life. I guess Mandela knew his purpose – he changed an entire country – if not the world. Why can’t you do the same? What is holding you back?

Dare I say… lack of forgiveness in the true sense of the word? I know I am being ‘hard’ in this month’s ‘Useletter’, but sometimes this is what is needed. We need a kick in the rear end and we need to be reminded that it isn’t always about you and you alone! It’s about your children, your friends, your country – it’s about the future of this world. What world are you leaving behind for our children if you cannot forgive and promote the spirit of Ubuntu? Let me put it another way, if Mandela didn’t do what he did and forgive those that wronged him, I think the world would  have been far worse off than what it is.

So I trust that you have a little more understanding of forgiveness and the true power of the word. There are those people on earth that really embrace the true meaning of forgiveness. Why not be one of them and lets all start fresh and make this world the fantastic place it’s meant to be… for all of us!

Lastly, I have launched many of my courses on almost like an online university. Right now I have all my courses on a HUGE opening special and only 10 such vouchers available for each course. They are below with the voucher links as well. The first 10 people will get them at that price… will you be one of them? ONLY VALID UNTIL 14 JULY 13. All I ask is that you give me a review on the course when you have completed it – all online.

PowerCharge Your Memory – awesome, easy memory skills: Normally $79 = now only $29!

Easy Advanced Maths Skills – learn easy and practical math formulas and skills: Normally $79 = now only $29!

Easy Magic Tricks. Cool magic tricks with household items – easy to do. Normally $19 = now only $7!

Have an AWESOME July!

Coping with Envy

June 4, 2013

Mind Shift Guru, Wolfgang Riebe shares 5 tips on coping with envy.

Self Image

June 4, 2013

Mind Shift Guru, Wolfgang Riebe talks about self image and attractiveness, plus shares 3 tips for you to feel good about yourself.

May 2013 ‘Useletter’ from Wolfgang

May 5, 2013

I have re-written this month’s ‘Useletter’ 5 times!

The first 4 attempts were admittedly a little negative, due to the global events that took place in May, and me trying to make sense of it all. Then I stumbled across one of my favourite sayings by an unknown author:

Do not wait for ideal circumstances nor for the best opportunities; they will never come. Go look for them!

So simple, yet so powerful! Hence this month’s ‘Useletter’ has now found a new direction. I am tired of waiting for the world to change! I am tired of everyone waiting for the right circumstances! Screw that! I am going to make it happen, I am going to stand up and be heard. I am going to be that change!

It all starts with me/you! Are you going to continually let yourself be manipulated and conditioned to be negative, or are you going to take responsibility for your life and take the first step yourself?

It’s not that difficult! Really! Many of us have heard opportunity knocking at our door, but by the time we have dressed, combed our hair, unhooked the chain, pushed back the bolt, turned two locks, and shut off the burglar alarm – it was gone. Stop waiting! Stop making excuses! Make that positive change now!

Wow… that was a mouthful and in reality, all much easier said than done! Or is it? Firstly, check out my Free Quick Tip video on Patience by clicking here, as I believe patience is a big part of thinking straight and keeping a positive mind-set. In fact there are so many topics I can cover, that this ‘Useletter’ could become a book. Thus in the interest of keeping it short, positive and effective, I will spend the next few months covering individual topics to help you find the strength and skills to take action and live the life you deserve.

Is there really an economic recession – or is this just another lie that governments and the media are shoving down our throats to keep everyone in check? No I am not a conspiracy theorist! I am a realist! The most awesome part of my job is that I travel and often end up speaking in countries and places that aren’t affected by the negative media that most of us are burdened with on a daily basis. In fact I also end up in places where people have nothing, yet they smile and they have passion for life and go out of their way to close a deal. They don’t have complex corporate policy directives on how to sell, or how to make bottom line profits – they just go by their gut and they have passion!

I applaud such people. Look at our lives; look at your colleagues, family and friends – how many have passion? As a speaker, my focus is always on storytelling, as I believe through stories and experiences we can all learn and grow. Hence I would like this first lesson to come from a true story that my wife and I experienced back in the 80’s. To this day, no matter what anyone throws at us, no matter how tough they say the economy is, we both always remind ourselves of this one story; and it’s amazing how the passion flourishes.

This is a story on selling. You may not think you are a sales person, but in reality, each and every one of us is. In everything we do in our daily lives, we are selling. Whether it is to seek favour with our partner, or whether we want our kids to do the dishes, we are forever going through a sales and negotiation process in order to achieve an outcome that makes us happy. Part of being unhappy is losing that skill to do this properly, and hence not achieving all the outcomes we desire.

The best sales skills I ever learnt were in Turkey, in Kusadesi. My wife and I were working on a Cunard cruise ship called the Vistafjord. It had docked in Kusadesi and we were doing the typical tourist thing of window shopping. As we entered the main street, a young chap asked us where we were from. I wasn’t going to say Germany, USA or England, as these were the majority of tourists that made up the passengers on the ship. So I said that we were from Cape Town. I must add that at the time, very few South African’s travelled, so it was a curve ball I had thrown to put him off bothering us.

Guess what? He replied, “Wow, what a great place, I was there last year and have photos, plus I have a bottle of Zonnebloem Gewurztraminer from the Cape Winelands.” I didn’t expect that answer!  Having lived in the UK for many years and yearning for some Cape wine I took him up on the challenge and replied, “Prove it!”

He took us into a leather store, and pulled out a photo album of himself in Cape Town. We started chatting, relaxed and a connection started forming. His name was Apollo. Then he brought out the bottle of Zonnebloem Gewurztraminer and there we were, in Turkey, drinking South African wine and reminiscing about Cape Town with a perfect stranger. At the time there was no Internet. In fact fax machines had just become the rage. Working on a ship, communication with home was infrequent and expensive. At one point Apollo even insisted we send a fax home from his office, for free!

As I took the last sip of wine, Apollo looked at me and said, “I have a great leather jacket to show you.” How’s that for timing? To cut a long story short, both my wife and I ordered a tailor made leather suit each which we picked up 2 weeks later. Apollo became a good friend and to this day, Benny’s Leather shop will always hold a special memory for me in Kusadesi.

What’s the moral of the story?

Apollo could have sat inside the store and waited for his customers to come inside. How much business would he have done? Instead, he stood out in the street and spoke to potential customers walking past the store. Furthermore he informed himself about different people and cultures and could say, “Hello, how are you?” in about 20 languages! As part of his training he visited differed cultures and countries with the aim of understanding how they think. He genuinely was a people’s person.

When we were (for want of a better word) enticed into his shop and started connecting with him, what had he achieved? Trust! He made us feel comfortable. He questioned us about our needs. He knew enough about us to realise we worked on a ship and didn’t have much contact with home – hence the free fax. He found out we had been away from home for many years – hence the free wine! He also knew that leather was expensive in our country and hence he focused on offering us a good deal.

Today many people complain of tough times. Why? Here’s my answer… people stopped taking responsibility for their own lives! Everything revolves around them! It’s only once you start opening your eyes and ears and finding out what other people need and want, that you realise how much opportunity exists out there. Back to my original quote: Do not wait for ideal circumstances nor for the best opportunities; they will never come. Go look for them!

That’s why I have huge respect for the Turkish. Everywhere I went in Turkey, people stood outside their shops and tried to pull me in. I never once saw someone sitting inside with a sad face saying, “Feel sorry for me, come support me!”

They took responsibility, went out and looked for the best opportunities. They did NOT sit on their butts and complain about life and everything around them! They found out about other people and cultures. They made an effort to connect and build trust.

There are 3 types of people in the world today:

1.) those that make things happen,

2.) those that watch things happen

3.) those that have no idea anything happened at all!

Which are you! Get up and start making a difference!

FREE seminar 27 May Cape Town Durbanville Golf Club 19h00 – 20h00. Due to an unprecedented demand I have decided to offer another free seminar at the end of the month as part of my commitment to follow by example and practice what I preach. The theme will be, ‘Potato Wedges for the Heart’ (which is also the title of my new book!) and consists of various anecdotes and stories to bring across life changing messages and skills. It’s a first come basis and seats are limited. RSVP by 22.05. Click here to email your reservation.

Free Magic Tricks: On a completely different note. I launched a website for adults and children alike on learning easy magic tricks. It’s a work in progress and more tricks will be added over the next few weeks. It’s funky – it’s fun – check it out at

Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor: Some of you know that I am a Sage with Rock Your Life and they will be presenting their X-Factor in Johannesburg on 27 May and in Cape Town on 31 May. If you visit the links and want to book, quote xfactor010.