Having 24 hours in a day is something we all have in common. This means that we all have the same amount of time each day whether we are a homeless person on the street or Raymond Ackerman or Donald Trump.


A scary thought for me is that where I am in my life today, is a direct result of how I have been spending my 24 hours each and every single day, up to this point. Doesn’t that scare you?


Is your business thriving the way it should? If not, maybe you’ve not been putting enough hours into the correct activities. Please note: I did not say that you’re not putting in enough hours, I said not enough hours of the CORRECT ACTIVITIES. How can successful people like you get more hours in a day?


You need to become very good at saying NO! (and mean it every time you say it).


I’m going to give you three reasons why saying NO can make you more successful:




  1. Feed your own family first

If you’re anything like me, my family is the most important part of my life and spending time with them is not negotiable. My priorities in life are in the following order:

  • My family
  • Myself
  • Business
  • Friends

My family always comes first. There is nothing in the world I would not do for my family.

Next on the list is myself – I need to care enough about myself to ensure that I’m healthy, happy and living a good life.

Next, is my business. Why is this more important than my friends? Well, because of my family and myself. The success of my business depends entirely on me and the amount of time and effort I put into it – partying and having a good time with friends is not going to keep a roof over my head.


  1. By saying yes, you are saying NO to something else

Are you always agreeing to do things just because you’re too scared to hurt someone else’s feelings? Are you a people pleaser? Are you scared of what others might think of you if you just said NO?




Today is the day when you will take a bold step, make the change and JUST SAY NO! Why? Because you have probably been putting other people before yourself most of your life (like me). You deserve better. When you say yes to something, you are actually saying NO to something else.


How many times have you said yes to something (helping a friend during business hours, chatting on the phone about a rugby match, or, if you’re a female, talking about girly or mommy stuff) when you should be working on your business?


2013-07-02 14.26.26


  1. If you give them a finger, they will take the whole hand – have you ever heard this expression?

I don’t know about you but I’ve often experienced how selfish many people are and how often they take advantage of good-hearted people like you and I. Being the “go to girl/guy” is great, but does it bring in the money you need to keep a roof over your head?


I’ve loved being the “go to girl” all my life but the minute I hint that I’m going to start charging for my services, everyone runs a mile – just goes to show. I’ve built up a reputation of being the “go to girl” who almost always says yes to weird and awkward requests that no one else will help out with (not even their own family).  I’ve said yes too many times because I did not want to be the bad girl to say NO.


I’ve made a decision to push myself out of my comfort zone and started saying NO. How about you?


Now is the time to finally take your life back and stop living for other people.


Disclaimer: I just need to say that I don’t mean you should say NO to everything that comes your way. I just mean that you should become a lot more conscious of what you are actually saying YES to. You should be saying YES to requests as long as they don’t interfere with your list of priorities.


For example: a friend phones during business hours to chat about last night’s rugby game – do you chat or say “sorry, I’m just in the middle of something, can I call you back tonight?” and continue working on your business or do you spend an hour or more talking about THE GAME when you could have been earning money?




Always think about your priorities –

A before B, before C, before D, before E.


Get the point?


Successful people share and are generous, but seldom with their time. Why? Because they also only have 24 hours. They are more likely to donate to charity than give a random person a free one-on-one meeting. Why? Because although they have lots of money, they still only have 24 hours in a day.


Where do you find it difficult to say NO?


Drop me a note and let me know.




What mid-year targets have you set for your business and do you have someone who is holding you accountable to the targets you have set? Maybe a peer? Your business partner (s) or your life partner/spouse?

  • What have you accomplished for the past 6 months?
  • Did you meet or exceed your 6 month goals you set for yourself?


What about the next 6 months leading up to the end of the year?


  1. What sales targets have you set for the next 6 months? (The total amount you would like to bring in through sales over this period)


  1. How much do you need to sell each month between now and December to hit this target? (divide this by 6)


  1. How many products or services do you need to sell each month to achieve this? For example: X products/services per month equals Y per week. If you sell your time by providing a service, this would translate to X hours @ R____ per hour


  1. Where might these sales come from?
    • Existing Customers?
    • Do a promotion to attract new business?
    • Run a special offer for your newsletter subscribers?


  1. What monthly salary are you aiming for and by when?


Marketing Ideas:

  • Social Media: What can you do on social media to create a buzz and generate sales?


  • Seasonal Events: Which seasonal events can you tap into? i.e. National Women’s Day, Heritage Day, 16 Days of Activism of no violence against women and children, Christmas or New Year?


  • Collaboration: Who could you team up with to do a joint promotion where you share the work and share the reward?


  • Speaking Engagements: Could you do talks or speaking engagements at local groups or business clubs where your ideal clients/customers would be, to raise awareness of your business/services you offer? If so, which meetings would you attend and where?


  • Existing client base: What could you offer your existing customers/clients that they would find irresistible?

Butterflies orange  in a row





Setting goals is usually reserved for the beginning of a new year (New Year’s resolutions), but do you review and check on these goals during the year or do you just push on to the end of the year and just make new ones for the new year like you do every year?


What about a mid-year review (in June, for example) and then again just before you shut down your business for the Christmas/New Year holidays?


Don’t you think it will help you work smarter and give you more focus? Won’t it help set better, more attainable goals for the next year?


Let me ask you this:

  • What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
  • Which goals have you failed to achieve?
  • Did you really give it you all this year?


If you have achieved your goals already or are heading towards achieving them by the end of the year, GREAT! Well done!

If you’ve fallen off the wagon a little and need a little inspiration, here are six steps you could take to get back in line.


  1. Review the goals you reached and missed this year

Physically write down a list of the goals you reached in the last six months or the last year (depending on whether this is a mid-year or end of year review).

Pat yourself on the back. Well done!

Ask yourself the question of how important those goals were for your own success on a scale of 1 – 10. For example: having the most expensive golf clubs in the neighbourhood may be a 1, while spending quality time with your family may be a 10.


Now, list and rank the goals you did not reach this year.


This will give you a good indication of how well you prioritized the most important goals for your success. If you did a good job, the highest ranking goals should be on the completed list. If not, you have some work to do.


  1. Ask yourself why you reached or missed those goals:

Look at the goals you have accomplished and write down the reason why you accomplished it. Possible reasons could be because your boss told you to do it, it was an important income generating task, your wife or children wanted you to do it, etc. Then do the same with what you have not accomplished. The reasons could be you didn’t have time, you didn’t feel like it, it was too challenging, procrastination, etc.


  1. Create your goals for this year

If this is a mid-year review, look at what you still need to accomplish for this year, write it down and rank it on a scale of 1 – 10. If this is an end of year review, write down the most important goals you want to accomplish in the new year and rank it on a scale of 1 – 10.

  1. Find your “why”

The main reason we don’t reach our goals is because we don’t really have a strong why. The stronger our desire to do something, the higher the chance of reaching the goal. Your “why” is your inner power that keeps you going.

Write down a strong “why” behind every single goal you want to reach this year. If you can’t find a strong why for your goal, then the goal is probably not that important to you, and you should consider finding another goal. Be realistic. If you’ve only reached 5 out of 20 of your important goals this year, you probably won’t reach 15 out of 20 next year, unless you suddenly have more time, or you start delegating or outsourcing some of your work.

  1. Create your plan

Create a plan for the goals you have set or still need to achieve with a specific deadline. What steps will you take to meet each goal? Having the goal is not enough. You must create actionable steps with specific deadlines to meet the goal.

 Stay focused

Once you have a strong “why” and a realistic plan on how to reach the goals, you will have set your mind to completing the tasks in order to reach your goal, no matter what, whether you feel like it or not.

Accountability partner – find a like-minded person who will hold you accountable and increase your chance of succeeding. With a plan and a partner, this year might just be the year that you will accomplish your goals.


How did you do with your goals last year?


What will you do differently this year?

sea star and shells on the sandy beach

Here are eight basic steps to follow when building a list of contacts by collecting e-mail addresses.

  1. Use an e-mail marketing programme like Aweber (good) but Infusionsoft (better)
  2. Get a programme to create an opt-in-page. For example: (good) but Kajabi (better)
  3. Create an added-value deliverable such as a free report, template, E-book, audio or video training so people will happily provide an e-mail address in exchange for the value you provide.
  4. Ask your community about their desires. Send an email to your community with the link to a survey (use a free service like asking what they want or need help with in the area of value you’ve identified. Ask open-ended questions to help you later brainstorm or offer multiple choices if you’ve already thought about what you can provide.
  5. Create a solution: After receiving responses to your survey, get to work and create the solution(s). This could be a physical or digital product (a book, audio or video, written training programme, workbook, E-book etc), or a service (dog grooming, babysitting, coaching, consulting, speaking or training)
  6. Plan the launch: Turn the launch into an event. Build anticipation months in advance – make people WANT to buy your product or service. Read the book: “Launch” by Jeff Walker for more tips.
  7. Find a mentor: Find people who have already achieved what you want and copy their behaviour and make it your own. You could either have a relationship with a face-to-face human mentor, hire a coach, read a book or articles by an expert or do web research.
  8. Schedule time to begin implementing these steps, one at a time and within months you can be enjoying the benefits.


Was this information helpful?

Let me know how this helped you. I’m waiting to hear from you.

Brook_Water over rocks


According to an article recently published by BBC News, when Sir Richard Branson was a child, anytime he said something nasty about someone else, his parents would make him stand in front of a mirror and stare at himself for a full five minutes.


He was meant to spend this time contemplating the criticism he had dealt out, and seeing this wasn’t much fun, he supposedly stopped ever criticising anyone.


Read more here:



Owls on tree branch




To serve your rise to your best, I humbly offer you these 50 New Rules of Work with the hope that you quietly consider implementing them as well as discussing them at your next team meeting:


  1. You are not just paid to work. You are paid to be uncomfortable – and to pursue projects that scare you.
  2. Take care of your relationships and the money will take care of itself.
  3. Lead you first. You can’t help others reach for their highest potential until you’re in the process of reaching for yours.
  4. To double your income, triple your rate of learning.
  5. While victims condemn change, leaders grow inspired by change.
  6. Small daily improvements over time create stunning results.
  7. Surround yourself with people courageous enough to speak truthfully about what’s best for your organisation and the customers you serve.
  8. Don’t fall in love with your press releases.
  9. Every moment in front of a customer is a moment of truth (to either show you live by the values you profess – or you don’t).
  10. Copying what your competition is doing just leads to being second best.
  11. Become obsessed with the user experience such that every touchpoint of doing business with you leaves people speechless. No, breathless.
  12. If you’re in business, you’re in show business. The moment you get work, you’re on stage. Give us the performance of your life.
  13. Be a Master of Your Craft, and practice + practice + practice.
  14. Get fit like Madonna.
  15. Read magazines you don’t usually read. Talk to people who you don’t usually speak to. Go to places you don’t commonly visit. Disrupt your thinking so it stays fresh and hungry and brilliant.
  16. Remember that what makes a great business – in part – are the seemingly insignificant details. Obsess over them.
  17. Good enough just isn’t good enough.
  18. Brilliant things happen when you go the extra mile for every single customer.
  19. An addiction to distraction is the death of creative production. Enough said.
  20. If you’re not failing regularly, you’re definitely not making much progress.
  21. Lift your teammates up versus tear your teammates down. Anyone can be a critic. What takes guts is to see the best in people.
  22. Remember that a critic is a dreamer gone scared.
  23. Leadership’s no longer about position. Now, it’s about passion, and having an impact through the genius-level work that you do.
  24. The bigger the dream, the more important the team.
  25. If you’re not thinking for yourself, you’re following – not leading.


Bird Robin Colourful




  1. Work hard, but build an exceptional family life. What’s the point of reaching the mountaintop but getting there alone?
  2. The job of the leader is to develop more leaders.
  3. The antidote to deep change is daily learning. Investing in your professional and personal development is the smartest investment you can make. Period!
  4. It makes a difference.
  5. Say “please” and “thank you”. It makes a difference.
  6. Shift from doing mindless toil to doing valuable work.
  7. Remember that a job is only just a job if all you see it as is a job.
  8. Don’t to your best work for the applause it generates but for the personal pride it delivers.
  9. The only standard worth reaching for is BIW (Best in World).
  10. In the new world of business, everyone works in Human Resources.
  11. In the new world of business, everyone’s part of the Leadership Team.
  12. Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well.
  13. You become your excuses.
  14. You’ll get your game-changing ideas away from the office versus in the middle of work. Make time for solitude. Creativity needs the space to present itself.
  15. The people who gossip about others when they are not around are the people who will gossip about you when you’re not around.
  16. It could take you 30 years to build a great reputation and 30 seconds of bad judgment to lose it.
  17. The client is always watching.
  18. The way you do one thing defines the way you’ll do everything. Every act matters.
  19. To be radically optimistic isn’t soft. It’s hard. Crankiness is easy.
  20. People want to be inspired to pursue a vision. It’s your job to give it to them.
  21. Every visionary was initially called crazy.
  22. The purpose of work is to help people. The other rewards are inevitable by-products of this singular focus.
  23. Remember that the things that get scheduled are the things that get done.
  24. Keep promises and be impeccable with your word. People buy more than just your products and services. They invest in your credibility.
  25. Lead without a title.


Birds under umbrella (raining)

Communication: Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes



Today is the fourth and final of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


Storytelling . . . did you know that the gift of storytelling can be one of life’s most powerful and envied skills? A well told story can make us laugh, weep, swell with pride or rise with indignation. A story badly told can be boring and uncomfortable and also positively painful to experience. As human beings we seem to be fundamentally hard-wired to tell stories. Stories are how we record both the monumental events of our lives and the small, everyday moments.


Become a Master Storyteller:

Ancient philosophers recognised that expert communication had to have two parts working together: Logic and Rhetoric.


Logic involves getting the facts right and making sure that the speaker knows that what they are saying makes sense and follows sound reasoning.


Rhetoric is all about how things are said, how emotion is used, and how convincing one is in the way they tell the facts so as to have maximum influence on others.


The Greeks recognised that both logic and rhetoric had to be combined and that too much of one without the other would diminish the impact a person could hope to have. Storytelling focusses on the rhetoric part and it’s a skill that recognises that there is more to influence than just intelligence.

Although it is incredibly useful and important to be smart and correct, facts on their own rarely move people to action.


Influence comes from being able to tell an engaging and moving story that captivates an audience and wins them over with its power. Example: why do movies have so much more effect at bringing world problems to people’s attention?


We need stories to move us into action and people who own the room need to be able to move others into action, which means we have to become Master Storytellers.

  • We need to use vivid language to tell our stories “Imagine the worst flight in the world . . .”

There is power in injecting emotion and drawing out the detail – instead of just saying “yeah, so my flight sucked today.”


Are you a good story teller?


Was this post helpful? Let me know in the comments box below


Communication: Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes






Today is the third of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


Do you just talk for the sake of talking?

Do you talk because you think it is expected of you in certain situations?

Do you sometimes allow others to do the talking so you can just listen?

Do you really listen to others when they speak or are you preparing your response in your head while they are talking?


Adopt a Value-Delivering Mind-set (and let others praise you for it):

If you just talk hot air and never really have any meat to your conversation, you will lose your audience very quickly. This is why you should never take your position (as speaker) for granted, and treat every new opportunity as though it were the first and only time people are going to hear what you have to say. This applies not only to situations where you are the speaker at an event but even applies to one-on-one conversations you have with individuals. This means


  1. Not being complacent, and
  2. Being prepared to sell your ideas as though no one has ever heard them before


Always focus on over-delivering, make everyone feel like by listening to you they have been hit with so much value, whether it is through entertainment, intriguing ideas or a fresh perspective on an old problem, that they cannot believe you are giving it away free.


That makes people want to hear every single thing you have to say – when they feel like they are always going to get gold no matter how many times they hear you speak.


People who have impact know they can never depend on how good their previous talk/presentation/conversation was. They have to be as ready and excited to deliver and re-deliver every time as if it were their first opportunity.


Was this post helpful?


Leave your comments in the box below

lake in the forest with reflection


Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes

  • Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand –

    Communication: Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand

  • Learn how to be an “Emotional Conductor” (and become resistant/unreceptive to insults, criticism and mockery)
  • Adopt a Value-Delivering Mind-set (and let others praise you for it)
  • Become a Master Story Teller


Today is the second of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


How do you deal with insults, criticism and mockery?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have maybe delivered a speech or a talk and had insults or criticism thrown at you? Maybe after the talk or speech while networking with the group you heard some negative comments/criticism about you or your talk or speech on the other side of the room?


How do you deal with insults, criticism and mockery? Do you act or react?


Learn how to be an “Emotional Conductor” (and become resistant/unreceptive to insults, criticism and mockery):

We all have to learn how to be strong in the face of criticism. Criticism gives you a chance to show what you are made of in the way you respond. This is possible when you have mastered the art of being an Emotional Conductor. It is especially great when facing intimidating and urgent scenarios in which you have to respond on your feet.


Being an Emotional Conductor means being able to be the emotional centre of any situation. It’s being the person who controls the mood, instead of simply reacting to it. It’s the ability to turn a negative into a positive, instead of meeting a negative with another negative and end up embarrassing yourself and losing control of the conversation.


People who don’t have impact are easily flustered and become emotional when they are attacked or when things go slightly wrong. They fall to pieces. They complain. They get upset, or worse, they respond in anger and end up looking like the nasty one themselves.


Being in control isn’t about avoiding these difficult or dangerous conflict situations, it’s about being calm and knowing how to deal with conflict, difficulties and criticism. One way to do this is by leading the energy in the room where you want it to go.


There is a Japanese martial art called Aikido which embodies this idea beautifully. Aikido is translated as “The Way of the Harmonious Spirit”, and its main philosophy is based on the idea that we must never meet force head-on, but instead re-direct the force of the attacker to where we want it to go. This means that Aikido requires very little strength. Instead it requires us to be more sophisticated and “lead” our opponents momentum and either turn it in another direction, turn it into something else, or dissolve it completely.


There are three ways to master this technique whenever you face criticism:

  1. Remain calm: If you panic, you lose impact. Whatever is thrown at you, remain calm and assured that you are able to deal with it in a reasonable way. This already makes you more powerful than anyone in the room.
  2. Decide your own mood: Choose your response and set the tone yourself. Never let other people’s moods influence your own energy. The more in control you are of your mood, the more others will be led by you.
  3. Re-direct criticism to something positive: Very few things in life warrant an angry or emotional response. Some better responses are to either (a) calmly explain why a criticism is incorrect, (b) laugh it off and take it in your stride, or (c) ignore it completely (because sometimes the strongest response is no response at all).


Now, when you are faced with tough questions you will look forward to them and enjoy those moments of tension. It becomes like taking a remote control into your hands and deciding how to play the situation any way you choose.


Was this post helpful?


Let me know what you think in the comments box below.


Communication: Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes


  • Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand
  • Learn how to be an “Emotional Conductor” (and become resistant/unreceptive to insults, criticism and mockery)
  • Adopt a Value-Delivering Mind-set (and let others praise you for it)
  • Become a Master Story Teller


Today is the first of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


I don’t know about you but I’m absolutely terrified of walking into a room full of people and even more so when I need to get up behind the podium to deliver a talk or when being interviewed for radio or television.


Well, one way to overcome this fear is by being a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand.


Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand

In order to own the first five minutes of any interaction, you need to be proactive instead of reactive. The Conversational Sleight-of-Hand is a technique which helps you do exactly this. The principle is simple:


Always answer the question you wish you’d have been asked


This technique guarantees that no matter what situation you’re in, YOU get to control the dynamic of the conversation. You always get to tell the story or make the point you want to make. When you learn how to do this well, it’s so subtle and indirect, that even the people you are speaking to will feel like they are in charge, when in reality you’re pulling them toward exactly where you want them to go.


The secret of the most influential people is that they know not to wait for opportunities, but instead know how to turn any situation into an opportunity.



  • Politicians do it all the time – some try but fail hopelessly and others are masters at getting their points across no matter what questions are asked, or whoever the audience is.
  • Clever advertisers and marketers do this as well. They are able to slip their message under the radar in a way that makes it look completely cool and spontaneous.


Two easy ways to practice this technique:

  • Always answer the question you wish you have been asked
  • Tell a story that lets you indirectly smuggle in your real message. For example: when an actor tells a funny story about something that happened to them on the set of another movie, which then allows them to seamlessly have a conversation to promote the new movie.

Point number (2) here is also very useful when you are on a date – when you want to show off or display a particular characteristic you have without coming across as bragging or being self-indulgent, for example: telling a story about when you were adventurous, spontaneous, brave, generous, etc.


Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments section below.