When you know who you are

You will not outthink your competition. Neither will I. None of us will. We will never outsmart or even outrun them. We will not outmanoeuvre, outguess or outdo them either. The truth is competing is a zero-sum game. We succeed when we make peace with the fact that we don’t need to compete when we…

Post smartphone era weekends, a way to measure success

A way to measure success in post smartphone era weekends is to ask: how many times did you forget where your smartphone was?  I found myself forgetting about my phone for hours at a time on memorable weekends. The best weekends are those where I don't remember where my phone is. So, I have begun starting…

Keeping up with the Khumalos

We were in conversation recently about a situation that involved people making life decisions in an attempt to keep up with the proverbial Joneses [or the Khumalos]. Around the same time, I was reminded of this note from a Dale Carnegie classic: “People are not thinking about you and me or caring what is said…

Why This? Why You? Why Now?

Three simple questions we are often reluctant to answer. When you sit with the discomfort of reflecting on them before you embark on a project, you will be clearer about what the world needs from you and why. You will also have the beginnings of the story your customers wants to hear. Why do the…

The watch and time

Someone I know recently spoke about the significance of a watch he received from his parents. Aside from the fact it was gifted to him by his parents, he spoke about what it had taught him about time. In addition to reminding him to respect time and be punctual, he spoke of the idea that…

Reading the fine print

The fine print never seems to make the offer better. Maybe perhaps that’s why we rarely read it.The fine print will never say: “Win R5,000” and then upon reading the fine print it’s R6,000 and on top of that they are going to cover all the taxes.It is never: “Win an autographed guitar” and then…

How much do we need to end extreme poverty?

The “Our World in Data” team has a great blog post on the cost of ending extreme poverty. It is highly recommended. Here are 5 things I took away from the post: 1. Simplifying the economics, the post asks one question:  How much money would we need to lift the incomes of all poor people up to…

When to fall in love….

.... With your ideas? This past week in our session of My Biggest Blunders, we had the privilege of listening to an award winning film and commercial director sharing his biggest blunders. Producing brilliant films and commercials is about having and executing brilliant ideas. So you have to be an ideas-person. However, some of what…

The Jobless Einstein

Albert Einstein was unemployed for two years following his Diploma. He was rejected from every research post he applied in Europe. He came to believe that a part of it had to do with the fact that his impudence [not showing due respect for another person] had annoyed his thesis adviser. The rejections were tough for him to stomach…

The Love Tranes

"When John said that he wanted me to play with him on piano, I told him that there were many others who were qualified. He said: 'I want you there because you can do it." Quote by Alice Coltrane, a remarkable and amazing pianist and adoring wife of Jazz legend John Coltrane. She later said:…

Strong character and the painful failure

Character is the set of mental and moral characters that are unique to a person. And, it shows up as a composite of our daily habits and behaviors. Every once a while, we have the pleasure of meeting people with a strong character, the sort that seems to thrive in adversity and never lose sight…

A Story About Perseverance.

Several years ago, my Uncle Nick went to see the great American author Richard Ford give a talk at a bookstore. After the reading, a middle-aged man in the audience stood up during Q&A, and said this: "Mr. Ford, you and I have something in common. Just like you, I have been writing short stories…