I’m Sorry

Pride, self-preservation and fear of rejections are often the destroyers of good things. Especially relationships.

At some point we were taught that the very worst thing that could EVER happen was rejection.

Doesn’t that word just make you cringe? R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.

May I suggest instead that you learn to love and embrace that word? Firstly because in the hands of a wise soul you’ll find that it’s quite a fantastic thing. Used correctly it could lead you to wonderful things. Secondly understanding rejection and learning not to fear it may deal with the inability to use those two very important words: I’m sorry.

But “I’m sorry” is pretty useless when not backed by action.

I know some spectacular apologisers. The problem is after the umpteenth time of receiving the most remarkable apologies from them, without remorseful action to back what their saying, their apologies fall flat and in fact add insult to injury.

So what spurred this post on? This morning I visited a bank – more like stormed to the bank if I’m honest. I was fuming because I’d realised that I was being charged ridiculous fees on an investment account I’d been led to believe would NOT HAVE CHARGES!

The bank manager on duty fueled my anger by being a total ass!

She was dismissive in her responses to me – eventually I blew my lid.

I told her she had no right – absolutely NONE – to be treating me in the manner she was – I had every right to be asking the questions I was.

Did I not read the “terms and conditions?” she asked condescendingly. And I was quite honest with her: “How many people read those? And on top of that I trusted my banker to be giving me the right information.” OK this is a whole other blog post – in short: read the damn terms and conditions people!

Long story short she then called someone else to help because she said she couldn’t do the math I was requiring of her. That I won’t even get into.

The gentleman who came next was truly gentle and the biggest difference between him and her: He acknowledged that I had been wronged – apologised and said he would ensure the problem was fixed. That banker is the ONLY reason I chose to stay with the bank.

Isn’t that what we need sometimes? To just be heard. For our feelings to be validated.

There are times I’ve had fights with my husband, and after a while of “You said… you did… you made me feel… You don’t…” and every other argument there is – there have been times I realise perhaps the point isn’t who’s wrong or right – maybe the point is for us to validate how the other feels. Sometimes I’ll just say, “I don’t need you to understand why this would hurt or upset me. I just need you to get that I’m hurt. Just please acknowledge that.”

In business, in friendships, family bonds and other crucial relationships we sometimes miss the ball when we insist on being right.

When that customer rages because they feel they’ve been wronged – the worst thing to do is dismiss them and tell them about your rules, regulations and policies. And for crying out loud don’t be an idiot and ask if they read the fine print!

When a loved one fumes – don’t tell them they are being unreasonable and fling accusations in return. Even when they are mad (and some of us are) – give them the room to fume, to hurt and to say how they feel.

I leave you with this: Years ago I was watching Dr Phil talk to a woman who was desperate to show her husband how wrong he was at every single turn. She had a way of doing things and she wanted, nay needed, him to do things as she wanted. Eventually Dr Phil asked her, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

In my opinion being right is not always worth it.

A person who feels seen, heard, validated is more likely to bring their defenses down and more often than not – they become putty in your hands. Putty I tell you.

The Power of Generosity

Giving is powerful. So much so I believe it kick starts wealth that last generations.

On the flip side of that: being stingy has the exact opposite effect.

By giving I mean everything that is worth giving: be it time, resources, knowledge or skills… all these are gifts. And gifts that don’t carry the “now-you-owe-me” tag.

There’s something incredibly fulfilling about giving. And there’s something so heart filling about meeting a real need that makes life so wonderful and beautiful. It is an honour to give and a wise person grabs the opportunity as though it were gold because in essence it is.

I’ve observed the pattern of people who try to amass stuff for themselves. They never win. And by win I don’t mean they don’t have anything to show for their stinginess – sometimes they do. But every now and then life is such that it shows you what’s truly happening behind the scenes.

Joy is a very good indicator of whether someone is successful or well on their way to success.

So before you stomp feet and say “look that person’s stingy and they’ve got…!” check their joy barometer. How joyful are they?

They may have the big corner office – you know the one with the stunning view and lush furniture – if they are not sharing their knowledge and other valuable skills you may notice that this person may constantly be looking over their shoulder – jealous of other colleagues and every new arrival they feel may threaten their position…

A giving person is not bothered by competition because they live from a place that says “there’s more.”

There’s more money, more promotions, more business, more friends, more great connections, more wonderful projects, more, more, more.

For giving people there’s always more. For stingy people, though, no matter how well they do or how much they have it’s never ever enough.

If you’ve learned the lesson of giving and sharing and see these bearing fruit in your life please share these valuable gems with others. Generosity is liberating and precious beyond what I can fully explain there.

A word of caution: be discerning in your giving.

I know in my own life there have been times when giving has become a burden I’ve come to loathe. This happens when giving becomes a chore. And usually this chore has been to meet frivolous wishes of others and not real needs.

Be careful of people who use you as an ATM.

When you’re generous it’s almost guaranteed that there will be some who will grab the opportunity to abuse your desire to give. Be prudent.

Giving that leaves you feeling used and abused is not fulfilling its draining. Guard yourself against this.

Give in love. Give for the sole purpose of giving.

I dare guarantee that when you give from a genuine place your joy barometer will go off the charts.

Inspire You

I’d promised to write about how passion alone is not enough to create an empire.

Among the things you may also need: knowledge, experience, guidance, guts, a determination to do what you love and enough humour to want to have fun in life and make serious cash doing it… hehehehehe- c’mon laugh – don’t take life too seriously 🙂

Ok let’s get serious now-

I’ve been writing a lot about passion, courage, a change in how we think and an overall shift in how we do things.

For the past two weeks I’ve been faced with a tremendous challenge: Articulating my dream and writing the vision down.

Dreaming is great but it’s so important, SO important, to write the vision down.

When I went on maternity leave last year, on the very first day of being at home preparing for my son’s arrival – I knew my life was forever changed. I knew that I’d stepped into a new way of being and nothing would ever be the same.

I was excited by what lay ahead but I couldn’t articulate it.

I knew in my heart I didn’t want to go back to my then current job – but the thought terrified me.

What terrified me even more was that I’d decided that I would not be looking for another job. I was done building empires for other people.

The animal instinct in me was growing into more than just the desire to protect my son who was cuddled deep within me. It was ballooning into a ferocious appetite to create a world for him I hadn’t had the pleasure to enjoy.

I wanted his life to be different.

I wanted him to have financial freedom so he wouldn’t have to choose a career for financial security the way I had done.

I wanted him to pursue meaning and joy in his life rather than plough precious time in projects he felt compelled to so he could pay the bills.

I decided that life for my son would be different.

I wanted him to travel the world- if he wanted to.

I wanted him to revel in adversity and learn that fear was an emotion he could overcome.

I wanted him to have the opportunity to explore and adventure.

I wanted him to be bold enough to have the courage, from a young age, to dare to do something spectacular. Or not. But to have the freedom of that choice – what bliss!

I had lived from a shell of fear for most of my life- my son’s path had to be different.

I don’t mean sheltering him from life – but rather allowing him the freedom to enjoy life in ways so many people don’t because we’re far too busy making a living to truly live!

My son’s life within me strengthened me. I had a new resolve in life. I didn’t know how to articulate what I was going through and at times I was scared to verbalise what my mind and spirit were conjuring up.

As the time drew closer for my son to move from my womb to my hands – the anxiety grew. My world had changed. He had changed it. What would life be like on the other side of my pregnancy?

Since we’d been together my husband and I had always lived on two incomes. We both had family that depended on us – how would we manage on one salary?

At first this was a difficult conversation to have and I was terrified of even raising the issue with my husband.

Slowly as my bump grew bigger and our son’s arrival drew ever closer I began to hint at my desire to stay at home and raise our son.

When our little guy was finally in my arms – nothing mattered.

My mind continued to be anxious but in my heart I knew that the path was clear. I could see it in my spirit.

Every moment I held my son, smelt his beautiful scent, caught him look at me as though he knew every ounce of who I was and still loved me – oh! I knew that the miracle of his presence in my life meant that anything was possible.

Everything since then and now is a story too long to jot down here. But what a journey!

For all my life I will be grateful for how my son’s presence changed me and thus my life.

Your life cannot change until you do.

I started a freelance gig last month. It was a tough month. For six months, prior to that, I’d carried my son with me everywhere I went. And then that gut-wrenching-moment I had guarded against came – and I got into my car and left my son- to go to work. Aaaaaaaah!!!!!

For every mom and dad who’s gone through this- is it not just one of the worst feelings?!

Mid-way through Feb I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. Even though I was gone for only a few hours each day I felt I was missing far too many precious moments with my little mogul. Added to that there wasn’t enough time to pursue my empire building plans.

And then came the time to make the decision. And here’s what helped: I asked myself what my life’s goal was. What did I really, really and I mean really, want from my life? Where did I want the path I was on to lead?

I knew it was truly crunch time to come up with an honest, truthful and uninhibited answer.

And finally I was able to articulate my dreams and write my life’s vision down.

What I discovered resolved the anxiety and raging conflict within me.

I will share with you what I found:

  1. Time with my son was of the utmost priority
  2. Being happy by doing what I loved and truly believed in was more important than money
  3. Money was not as important to me as my joy and time with my family (especially time spent helping my son develop).
  4. I was not willing to compromise time with my family nor my joy and peace for money.
  5. The purpose behind my utter resolve and desire to create an empire was this: So I could have the freedom to, above all, educate my son in the way I believed would prepare him to fulfill his purpose in the world- but even more than that educate him so he could discover himself and savour the joy that is his life. This would require tons of time on my part. Added to that I wanted enough free time and money to travel the world and show him the splendour of our planet – what God had given us and what man’s ingenuity had created.

As I think of how far I’ve come in the past few months – I think of how far I’ve come since I was a child.

For the most part my brothers and I grew up really tough.

In those times when it seemed everything was stacked against me and I’d come to a dead end – what kept me going was the vision.

It sustained me through the times I couldn’t go to school because we didn’t have the money, the times I worked odd jobs to make ends meet, the times I ploughed through unpleasant experiences to get to where I wanted to…

The vision empowered me to ignore my current circumstances and see me in the future. Me in a place where things were as I’d dreamed all my life. And that empowered me to get through whatever I was going through with confidence that things would change.

Inspire you with your vision. Hold onto it. Protect it. Nurture it.

I’ve decided to build an empire. For my son. For my legacy. I hope you will too.

But like I said in the beginning it takes more than just passion to build an empire. You have to know how to build.

To learn how I read almost every single day. I search for guidance and strategies that have empowered empire builders before me. Every single day I make a conscious move to broaden my horizons by broadening my mind.

I’ve failed many times. And really successful people I look to tell me so have they. It’s only in failing that we learn.

I’ve lost many times and almost given up. And those same people tell me that so have they.

And we go on. Because the alternative is soul-destroying.

It takes more than passion to create an empire.

You will have to invest in your mind and in your skills.

You will have to look at fear in the face and choose to overcome it.

You will have to have the kind of courage and guts that scare even you.

You will have to learn how to overcome the sometimes destructive nature of hampering emotions.

You will have to dare to do what everyone else seems too scared to.

You will have to take a whole lot more action that you’re doing now.

You will have to persevere.

You may have to change company.

You will have to change.

As Wisdom would have it, as I was writing this post, a facebook friend shared something quite special I thought might be valuable here:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

The world has changed

And it’s a dangerous thing to deny it.

In fact the world has changed WAY more than most of us have realised. It’s changed in ways we never ever dreamed imaginable just a few years ago.

Remember the time of Ford, the Rockerfellers, the Johnsons… in that era the moguls were those that produced a product you could buy in a store etc. You took the product home – and as time passed you’d probably return buy another product… but who are the moguls now?

Would it have been fathomable as early as the 90’s that a self-confessed member of the hacker culture would be one of the richest men on earth?

Here’s the thing I’m learning: not only has the world changed and thus the demand that we do things differently – it is utterly dangerous now to follow in footsteps.

Change is happening at a more dynamic and more rapid pace than it’s ever done before. So if you follow someone’s footsteps you will surely fail. Simply because by the time you’re done following you’ll find that the path led to a place that’s redundant. Learn from those that have gone before you but do make your own path.

There isn’t time to just follow. Innovation is the path. For now.

So here’s the challenge and perhaps one of the hardest things we as humans have to do: change your thinking.

It’s either that or sure failure.

For parents here’s the even greater challenge – how then do we prepare our kids for a world (in their future) we cannot even imagine now?


Name it, claim it, and frame it!

There are Christians my husband calls the name it, claim it and frame it bunch.

And it’s not just in Christian circles… You may have come across non-Christians who religiously believe in what The Secret teaches…

If you’re not familiar with either, or even similar philosophies – here’s the crux of it: “Believe you’ll get what you want strongly enough and you’ll get it.” What nonsense!

And I can say that because I once believed in that whole claim it and it’s yours drivel… I also bought The Secret and tried it out. Power to you if it worked for you – for the rest of us we may need to follow a different teaching.

Here’s a summary:

If you want money – you’ll have to learn how to get it.

If you want success – you’ll have to work your way to it.

If you want fantastic relationships, you’ll have to work at them.

If you want a wonderful partner you’ll have to put yourself out there.

If you want to lose weight you’ll have to stop scoffing so much food down and embark on some kind of weight loss program.

If you want a better job or business you’ll have to go through the paces…

The list goes on.

So that’s the point of this post – you can stop reading here if you like. If you want more detail you’re most welcome to continue reading.

About the name it claim it and frame it  bunch- I’m a happy clappy too and I believe in miracles – I believe that there are some things that happen purely on faith – but it is the wisdom of a loving God that has made is so that most things require a journey to acquire. And for the most part success and money are two things that don’t come just by wanting them bad enough.

I’m currently reading Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW Quadrant (which I highly recommend). It proves that money and success cannot come by chance. And they surely don’t come by “just believing.”

Money and success have certain paths – you have to learn those paths to acquire them.

There are things that rich people do that make them rich. They are things successful people do that make them successful. They do not sit around wishing and hoping, visualising and merely expecting – they do.

You want to be successful, learn how. You want money, learn how to get.

I’ve come across so many people who think “somehow” money will just come to them.

They either don’t learn the principles of getting money or hear about the principles and for some bizarre reason think these principles don’t apply to them.

I’ve seen people get into debt – knowing they cannot meet the debt demand – and then pray that “somehow” their debt will be paid off. Really?

Is it not common sense that R20 can never pay off R100! And yet somehow there are some people who will know they only have R20 but get into R100 debt – or even more! In their mind prayer will pay off what they can’t afford. Good luck on that one.

Often I hear rich people say the more you give the more you get. It’s a simple principle that’s hard to put into practice when you feel you don’t have enough. But it will only be enough if you step out and start acting on the principle.

I remember visiting a relative once. They lived in a very poor area. On the day I visited they had no running water in the house so they had two young boys draw water from them.

The boys were no older than twelve and all day they worked drawing water. Now for most people the thought of children so young working is ghastly – unfortunately the world is such that in some places poverty is so rife that this does happen.

I remember my heart feeling so ill inside with how horrible it was for people to be so poor. But the two kids didn’t seem to mind- this was a way of life for them. After their work I gave them each some money to spoil themselves. My relatives were LIVID with me. How, they asked, could I give those kids money when they needed it! I was shocked.

“Those kids were working all day-“ I tried to explain. “I just thought it might be nice for them to get something nice for themselves-”

But my relatives weren’t listening. Each came with a list of needs they had and how the money I’d spent on the two kids would have served them better. This kind of thinking saddened me.

I was so disappointed. But worse still I left my relatives’ home knowing they would never leave the realms of poverty. They would always be poor because they could not practice the simple principle of giving.

Becoming successful is a learned path. Being rich is a learned path.

Yesterday I saw a young boy barely in his teens begging on the side of the road. At some point he learned that this was how one acquired money. Will he ever be rich?

How about the millions of low-income earners around the world who feel it makes absolute sense that they should, at the very least, be compensated as much as their more learned counterparts. Will they ever be rich? How about if they instead chose to find out to learn the paths of the rich than fight for something that would never happen?

One of my friends works for a man who has no formal education and yet has a thriving business that employs more than 25 people. Would he have ever become rich by just strongly believing it would happen without working at it? Would he ever have acquired his wealth thinking someone owed it to him? What if he’d waited for that someone to “show up” to give him the wealth?

Of all the successful people I know I admire this man the most. When he started his business he was poor, the wrong colour (at the time), with no education, he could hardly string an English sentence together and yet there he is now – literally making millions a year. He embodies what I’m saying here.

It all starts with thinking right.

After years of being on a list to receive a government house my assistant at home decided she was going to build herself a house. Despite her minimum wage income she went on an aggressive saving campaign. After years of sound financial management she finally managed to build herself a three bedroom home. I’ve only known her for a few months but she inspires me and reminds me how little can be made much with the right mind-set. Last week she and I started talking about how she can start investing for a more sound financial future for her and her kids.

Instead of loathing the rich for having money – I think it wiser to ask them how they came to that state. Coming to that state requires a change in thinking patterns. To change the thinking requires the acquisition of valuable “rich-making” information and knowledge.

And here’s the thing – there are some very successful people who are so passionate about sharing this valuable information they literally give it away for free. Robert Kiyosaki does it in on RichDad.com. And there are many other resources like it.

And even if you have to buy books or attend seminars to find out about how the rich operate I think whatever they charge is a pittance compared to the knowledge you acquire from these resources.

The only success you’ll frame is the one you journey for. All the naming and claiming in the world is only a waste of time.

Doing something that matters Matters

So my all time favourite blogger Seth Godin speaks A LOT about changing the status quo.

He talks about how the world has changed and to a very large extent how people need to change the way they act, react and interact particularly when it comes to business.

If I could sum up the main theme that run’s through most of Seth’s work –  it’s this: doing something that matters Matters.

And it does. Doesn’t it?

Gone are the days when we, as consumers, just take on whatever we’re given.

I think more and more people are being nudged to the reality that we don’t have forever on this earth. Time is so precious. And as we care more for our time we are becoming increasingly stingy about how we spend it.

What does this mean for you if you’re in business? It means you can no longer rely (only) on creating a product that’s aimed at bringing in the cash. It means you need to truly think about what really matters. What do people need to connect with? Can you fill that need? And how will you achieve that? With compassion or with the arrogance that you’re super at what you do?

What matters to people?

My next blog will be about how passion alone isn’t enough when it comes to business.

It takes more than just passion to create an empire.

Excerpt from Cashflow Quadrant

by Robert T. Kiyosaki

This Book is written for people who are ready to change quadrants, especially for individuals who are currently in the E (Employee) and S (Self-employed) categories and are contemplating moving to the B (Business) or I (Investor) category.

“This book is for people who are ready to move beyond job security and begin to achieve financial security. It’s not an easy life path, but the prize at the end of the road, financial freedom, is worth the journey.”

Short Description

Why do some people work less, earn more, pay less tax and feel more financially secure? Simply because they know which quadrant to work from and when.

Many of the brightest graduates want to work for dropouts like Ted Turner and Bill Gates – why? Material comfort is no longer assured by a professional qualification. This book will help you find your own way to financial freedom.


You do know

Don’t mistrust your gut – and don’t mistrust your ability.

So often I hear myself saying “I don’t know what to do.”

Most times I do know what to do but one of two things is blocking the wires from connecting: I’m too scared to do what I need to because of what it could mean and/or I don’ trust that my solution is the solution.

So here’s a suggestion before you decide you don’t know what to do–  give yourself some credit. You didn’t get this far riding on other people’s “knowledge” and advice. And if you did, maybe, it’s time to rethink this growth strategy.