You Can’t Be Brave… If You’re Not Well!

My favourite meme over the time has been the woman standing on the pavement looking up the road saying “What chapter of Revelations are we dealing with today?” 😉 We’re all going through a lot!

What’s helping me in these challenging times: 

  1. We brought out Tal Ben-Shahar, the Harvard Happiness Professor to South Africa 13 years ago and I’ll never forget the analogy he used. He said life is like a complicated jigsaw puzzle- if you were starting a 100-piece puzzle you’d start with the corner pieces. His corner pieces were:  
  • Exercise  
  • Meditation  
  • Gratitude   

And I’d add on the fourth one as Sleep 

The middle of the jigsaw puzzle represents the things in life you can’t control- Covid, the war in Ukraine, floods, rising inflation and loadshedding.  

When we practice Exercise, meditation, gratitude and sleep we can expand our bandwidth and coping mechanisms to make us strong and resilient, regardless of how tough the environment is.  

  1. Don’t switch on your phone as you wake up  

I wake up early at 5.30am- I make a cup of rooibos tea and sit on my patio watching the first glimmers of the sun. I then meditate for 15 mins using the Insight timer on my phone- I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth rhythmically and slowly. Only after that do I check my WhatsApp, email, and news. That 30 mins that I have to myself in the morning is a complete game changer. I’m calm and clear when I start my day.  

  • I’d strongly encourage you not to use your phone as an alarm- get an old-fashioned alarm clock   
  • Keep your phone in the kitchen at night   
  • Make airplane mode your best friend 
  1. My book “Mindfulness: How to stay sane in an insane world” has been in the news  

I’ve loved hearing stories about how my book is helping people navigate these tricky times- you can listen to my interview with Bruce Whitfield here

Our team has doubled over Covid- we’ve never been busier and doing meaningful practical work that is changing people’s lives and helping them take their careers to the next level. Lots to be grateful for!
P.S. Missing from this pic are Cindy (our Business Development Manager) & Gabriella (our Graphic Designer).

Great Books I’ve Read

Magda by Magda Wierzycka

I’m officially girl-fanning. I’ve been completely inspired by Magda’s story arriving as an eleven-year old Polish refugee who spoke no English in South Africa, to becoming the wealthiest self-made woman 40 years later. 

I learned great lessons around being an entrepreneur, investing, parenting and partner lessons and the BIGGEST one was “Never play small!”

She was also instrumental in breaking the stories of NET1 and the SASA grant scandal, as well as the leaking of the Gupta emails. Everyone should read it!

Fresh Water for Flowers by Valerie Perrin

This is such a beautifully written book set in France about how a woman takes her power back after a heart-breaking tragedy. It’s that good .I don’t want it to end 

Audible Book of the Year So Far

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. The narration is so good and I’m just loving the story line.

Keep warm, rest and take great care of yourself,   
Much love 

Build Your Virtual Presence

The world has changed dramatically. One of my biggest concerns over the last 15 months of Covid has been that people’s personal brands are becoming invisible. People run the risk of becoming known as their MS Team circle with their initials in the middle.

We are very visual creatures and 70% of people’s impact is visual. This is still the case across a screen. So what do you do to stay relevant and visible:

  • Whenever you speak during a meeting, make sure your camera is on
  •  Dress up, and show up (at least above your waist ;-)!

 I recently presented to a senior group of partners across Africa. The session was at 4.30pm in the afternoon, and the person who introduced me was sitting on her bed with her unmade bed behind her. I’m not sure that was the most career-advancing look!

  • Buy a halo light so you have good lighting. We used to buy new shoes- your halo light is your “new shoes” in the virtual world.
  • Ensure your camera is at eye level. I wish politicians and medical professionals on news briefings across the world during Covid, would take this advice. We’re either looking up their noses or seeing half of their heads across the screen.
  • Smile more and you need to increase your energy by 20% online, especially when meeting people for the first time.
  • Use Mentimeter if you’re presenting to a group to promote engagement. You need to give people something to do every 10 minutes otherwise they disengage.

 I strongly believe that your ability to package your value, build your personal brand in the crisis and leverage your network are the skills you need to survive and thrive during this time.

By Helen Nicholson, CEO & Founder of The Networking Company-

10 Reasons to Master Your Networking Skills

Networking is not only about trading information, but also serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits. Continue reading to find out why networking should be at the core of your career.

The importance of the saying “no man is an Island” has been proved to be the reason why many of us need to make a collective effort in the bid to achieve professional success. For many individuals that have succeeded in their career, the causes have largely been contributed to the strong networking channels they have created over time.

But the question of who you network with and their relevance to your career matters more. This way, you don’t have to network with everyone. Rather, first study how you can contribute to their success, in addition to how you stand to benefit from their knowledge.

Here are some reasons why networking should be an essential aspect if you truly want to build your career.

1. An avenue to exchange ideas

You never can tell how much you know without listening to other people. Success in a career is largely attributed to the pool of information or ideas you have garnered over the past. When networks have been created, it fosters a trade of ideas to sustain long-term relationships and mutual trust. When you are receiving ideas, it helps both in your place of work and out, in addition to instilling best practices that soothe your career.

2. It makes you noticeable

Individuals that seek publicity either for business, politics or even fame leverage more on networking. People quickly notice others that have stronger capabilities to make them relevant. When you stand out in both your expertise and the services you offer, it creates room for partnership which in turn builds a career. Many professionals have been able to understand how to nurture their networking strength and create more visibility for different associates and clients in their career path.

3. Avenue for newer opportunities

When people start noticing you, it opens the door for newer opportunities. Business and career-minded individuals who have networked over time have been able to expand with minimal effort because of the avenue of newer opportunities opened to them through networking. Opportunities like meeting the right clients or even meeting people that are superior to your career path could be a stepping stone that could change your life for the better.

4. Reassessing your qualification

Networking is one thing. But to be able to utilise it is another. You might think that your current level in your discipline might be the greatest height you could ever achieve. But have you ever taken an in-depth look at the different levels of your chosen career and how other people with similar positions have attained their present height? But let’s be very factual here; admiring certifications is allowed, but the roadmap to that height can be reached if only you have a strong network and a good relationship with others.

5. Improves your creative intellect

Aspirations and great innovations are most times form the external factors around where we find ourselves. The intellectual ability in different careers is significantly improved upon from contacts we have built with other persons over a period. Even a simple interaction with one person can transform a year-long research work and result in a breakthrough. Likeminded people that have been able to share ideas have strongly developed their intellect to foster growth in their career path and unleash the creative talent in them.

6. An extra resource library

Some websites are built specifically to address different questions under different niches. These avenues can be used by an individual as an extra source of information. The same thing applies to networking. A platform that is designed specifically aligned to your career can be an extra resource library for you. This provides you with updated information on the latest career trends relevant to you. This network resource also grants you access to tap into them whenever the need arises.

7. Support from high profiles individuals

Everybody has one way or the other passed through some hurdles in their career development. This can be as a result of the lack of materials available, or even the lack of financial aid. However, good networking with high profile individuals from the same career path can serve as support whenever there is any eventuality at any time. These high profile individuals can help you manage your challenges effectively by either giving you advice or linking you to the right financial support.

8. Growth in status

Developing your career status is a long-term process depending on how you focus on your networking path. Top career individuals that are where they are today is a result of the status they have grown in networking. The contacts you keep are largely attributed to your growth. They largely influence growth in your status and pave the way for better opportunities in your career. Your connections are powerful!

9. Growth in self-confidence

Networking is the key tool to growth in a resourceful career. Training and certification garnered from networking builds self-confidence and promotes self-esteem. The self-confidence that has been built over time can help put you on a positive spot whenever you interact with like minds in your career. This also gives you an opportunity to excel well during interview sessions for a job opportunity. So the more effectively you network, the more self-confidence you build over time.

10. Develop long-lasting relationships

If networking is a mutual relationship, then having a right networking channel can help build your career. Though networking might not be an easy and fast approach to building a long-lasting relationship. But making it a two-way process of giving and taking and can open the door for a firmer relationship. People that have made networking their sole priority have been able to build careers relevant to their set down goals.

Article from Forbes: