The Prop Forward’s Guide to Surviving School Cross Countries… Part One

November 24, 2010 at 8:49 am (Life in General)

Okay, now many of my posts here are about how I see life and are designed to help people move forward.

Today’s post is a little more light¬†hearted but still designed to help people – a particular kind of person.

Yup, TODAY I am writing for those of us who are built more for “comfort” than for “speed”.

It’s also going to be purely hypothetical ūüėČ . So, it’s a story – it never happened ūüėČ … well, never say never but you know what I mean!

Okay, so as this is a fable we¬†need to have a centre point. Something for people to relate to. In this case, I will just randomly pick up a name to centre this story¬†around…. How about the totally outlandish¬†name “Luap¬†Nosirrah” ? Sound good?

Okay, so our young hero is a “generously¬†build” individual who enjoy’s nothing less than having to run for long distances. Luap¬†always had the belief that he was never born to be a running and in fact¬†could be seen on Saturday mornings somewhat off the pace in the School rugby game. Quite often with his hands on his hips and very red-faced.

As they say though, what life takes away from you in one area, it gives to you in another and all the “red face jogging” to catch up with the more sleek back line players was all made up for in the tight exchanges where the power (and weight) was brought to bear¬†on the opposition loose head-prop and hooker (that’s¬†a rugby position, if my Mom is reading this…!!) and in the line outs where he could lift his lock, “Meat” (not real name) to “Nose Bleeds Heights”. This was confirmed by Meat’s dad at one game when bellowed “Sjoo! Yrrah¬†(Luap’s¬†Nick Name)! You are lifting my boy so high he could fart on his oppositions head!” Which was obviously met with the raucous laughter you would expect from South African school boys with “Toilet Humour”.

Anyway, our young hero getting a bit nervous prior to the day in question as it was rolling up to the dreaded cross country day. Now, Luap had managed to miss the past 4 years annual Cross Countries races due to nasty injuries that has mysteriously effected him about a week prior to the actual event. Everything from waterskiing accidents to sever food poisoning and notes from matron! Booha!!

Luap¬†is a man of some honour though and he felt that, as this was his final year at school, he needed to at least¬†“run with the boys” and “give it a go”. So he was preparing himself with some intrepidation – that basically meant eating less bread at dinner time.

He had no other plan that just to go out and make it happen. Incidentally, he had been psyching¬†himself up prior to this whole ordeal by listening¬†to the song “Bang” by Gorky Park , 5 times on his luminous yellow walk man attached to his belt.

The cross country was to be held on a Thursday afternoon after school. As the bell went to signify the end of double English lesson and therefore the end of the school day, Luaps heart sank. he knew that his impending mission of self-destruction was about to play its self-out in front  of 700 odd of his peers.

Being a bit outspoken at times, Luap¬†was never one to manage “going under the radar” very well so it had already been leaked to the rest of the school that he would be making an appearance at the cross country¬†start line. This was reportedly met with a combination of cackling laughter¬†and blatant¬†disbelief by all those “non believers”. People who had witnessed Luaps performances before and knew this was¬†certainly not his area of strength.

Luap¬†made his way out of English class, walking very slowly…¬†dragging his feet. If you didn’t know better you may have been able to hear the P.A. system ringing¬†out¬†“Deeaadd¬†mmaaaann walking….!

His anxiety at running the cross country,¬†finishing¬†way behind the rest of the¬†group¬†and being not just average but absolutely crap at something and the shame of it all was compounded by¬†a class mate, “Max”, a hard-running rugby centre with dazzling footwork¬†which at times mimicked that of a gazelle¬†: “So¬†Yrrah, rumour has it¬†that you are actually going to make the start line this year? ”¬†to this, Luap¬†flashed his fast speaking, fast running classmate a threatening glare that had hints of potential violence in it. Max saw the weakness behind the glare, gave a raucous laugh and trotted off like a prize pony.

Luap¬†got back to the changing rooms and readied himself to face his fears (which, in hindsight, are ALWAYS irrational) He donned his blue PT shorts, white sports vest and school track suit¬†top to try and look somewhat composed and semi like he “knew what he was doing” (which obviously was a complete and utter lie)

Getting down to the major rugby pitch which was wear the dreamed “death run” was due to start from, Luap¬†felt a combination of confidence and out right fear. The confidence coming from previous rugby games played on this hallowed turf¬†where his bulk, size and power had rewarded him with numerous accolades, bullocking¬†runs and tight head scrums. The fear was coming from his perceived impending failure and total ridicule at the hands of the rest of the school.

As he approach¬†the starting line, cheers and jeers went up as more and more of the other boys notice the “rotund outspoken one” making his way to join them. They concurred that the rumour was true. Yrrah¬†was indeed going to join them in the annual cross country…..

To Be Continued….


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The 3 Second Rule: A Key To Success

November 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm (Life in General)

There is something that I have to really identify as a “Key to Success”.

Whatever “Success” means to you.

If it’s financial success, success in relationship, just being happy in life, success with your children….

So much of our happiness in life, comes from other people. Yup, you heard me right. So often, the people we have around us will contribute or detract from our happiness.

You can have great positive mental attitude and all the rest of it but if you don’t have good interaction with others, you’re going to have a tough time.

Something that I have learnt over a number of years is that first impression’s count. Now I would never put it as such that I have ALWAYS made good impressions – the truth of the matter is that I have offended people too. But who hasn’t ? ūüėČ

One thing that really seemed to help me a great deal though, is something that¬†I call the “3 second rule” and it was derived in the clubs and bars I worked in for a long time. Basically, the idea¬†is¬†that anyone who comes into your company, you have a minimum of 3 seconds to make them feel better about¬†themselves when they leave your company than when they came into your company.

So even if you have just 3 seconds, sometimes a smile, a tap on the shoulder, a “have a¬†GREAT¬†day”¬†or just a bit of real positivity¬†can lift someone just a little bit and make their day a little better.¬†

Let me tell you this now, as a caveat to what I have said above РI need to make a point here, YOU NEED TO REALLY MEAN IT.

If you don’t it doesn’t carry the weight. If you REALLY mean it. They will feel it. They may not know¬†it cognitively but they will feel it emotionally.

This little secret has led to some other learnings for me. Firstly, even if I am having a real bad day, I try to do this because there is something very enriching about making an effort for someone else. It seems to make us feel better too.

Secondly, a MASSIVE learning that I have had from this is that you NEVER know what is going on in someone elses mind. Sometimes that little change that you can make for someone can be just the change that they need in order to PHire off a positive reaction for them in that day. I think this has got to be one of the key defining factors with Рyou are putting so much positive strategies, secrets and incites into your mind, it WILL start to take and help push you forward as an Aspiring Entrepreneur, Business Owner or Investor.

So there you go folks, the 3 Second Rule . Something that is very small but very powerful Рbut being powerful in its concept is not enough. You have got to use it in order to get the effect of it.

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness.

PH¬†<<<< ——- Elite Entrepreneurial Training Via Your Mobile Phone.

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Pain – your greatest key to success.

November 11, 2010 at 10:20 am (Life in General)

Now that heading IS a bit full on.

I am becoming more and more aware that some people are not keen on this kind of terminology and don’t see things the same what that I do – which is absolutely brilliant!

This came to my attention when I was recently sharing a few ideas with a fantastic group of aspiring entrepreneurs and I made¬†a comment along the lines of “And you will make liars of this bastards ( who said you couldn’t achieve anything!) …!”

As soon as the “B” word left my lips, there was a collective, sharp intake of breath which confirmed my assumptions that perhaps my outlooks and motivations were purely my own.

But then I gave it a bit more thought and came to the conclusion that the approach I had taken, perhaps wasn’t wrong.

I thought about the people who I aspire to be like and the incredibly successful people who I am lucky enough to call my friends. These people are in the position that they are in, due to a number of factors that all came together to put them into that position.

Firstly, they work bloody hard.

Secondly, they have a huge capacity to learn.

Third, they are not put off by making mistakes

Fourth, they actively look for good people to surround themselves with.

Fifth – they have MASSIVE motivation.

Now, the first four points I believe are teachable and anyone can learn them. The fifth point, in my opinion, is the most powerful point and the element that holds it all together. Without the motivation, you’re going¬†nowhere. Its like having your absolute dream car but not having any petrol in it. It doesn’t go anywhere.

People say that motivation is an “inside job”. It’s something that comes from with-in you and that it can’t be taught. I disagree with this to some extend. I believe that people can be inspired or motivated if they are put in an environment that is conducive¬†to their motivation – like using a service like . Once they are out of that environment, they are on their own.¬†

Then it comes to something deeper in you. Somewhere MUCH deeper¬†¬†in you. Somewhere that many people don’t want to go to because it’s¬†uncomfortable and you can get emotional over it. It can be dark and it can be unsettling… but it is VERY VERY¬†VERY powerful and it can be bridled¬†as a positive energy or a¬†negative one.

It comes down to your pain. People who have endure HUGE pain and learnt how to use it will never stop moving forward. Yes, from pain Рanger stems. Anger is a destructive force seen time and time again to hurt people Рbut it also carries HUGE power and HUGE benefit if used correctly.

So what is it? Is¬†it the pain of not being able to live the life that you want that’s¬†going to get you going and allow you to stop believing your “reasons why you can’t do it”?

Is it the pain¬†of people saying “I told you so!” when you come up short again and again? Is the¬†pain of labeling¬†yourself an underachiever¬†when you see others achieving more than you that PHires you up!?

Is the pain of knowing that there is something out there that you and only you can do to serve other people in a way that nobody else can – and if you don’t do it, nobody else will?

I was having a chat with a very good friend of mine who is an ex- heavy weight pro boxer and we came on to this subject. He¬†put it into a brilliant light for me when he spoke about his “pre-fight” state of mind.

He said to me “Paul, when I used to go into the ring, I had so much hatred towards my opponent. I¬†put myself into a place where he¬†is trying to hurt my kids, he is trying to take the food off their table, he is taking the clothes off¬†their backs and trying to condemn them to a life below what they deserve. When I get in there Paul, I am a raging beast with only one thing on my mind” ¬†¬†¬†

I nodded and took a quick sip of my coffee, trying to mask the way I was shaking from being emotionally moved by his shift in frame of mind.

Then he looked across at me and his expression softened. He said ” That pain-filled hate only stays with me for about the first 3 rounds. After that, the pain and anger goes away. It then is a very different frame of mind, Paul. The hate goes and it’s replaced by love.”

I looked at him with a bit of a smirk as if he was setting me up for a “Gotcha!” but he continued :

“Into the 3rd round, when we get into what we call Deep Water, that’s when the anger goes and we are driven by something very different. We are driven by LOVE. The love for what we do. The love for our family. The love for the contest. Even the love for our opponent.”

I had to cut in there and exclaimed “The Love for your opponent?” You mean that guy who has been trying to take your head off for the last 3 rounds?

He laughed and said “Yup! You see, that guy who has been trying to take my head off, he has taken the absolute best that I have given him and he is STILL standing there.

He is giving as good as he is getting and that means that he had to train through the same trials and tribulations that I did. You have to respect a guy like that. I know how hard I have trained to get to where¬†I am and the sacrifices that I have made. He has done the same and as such, is the same human being as me. Therefore I have a respect and a love for him.”

He left me with this thought, “That pain and anger is a great fire starter. A great element that will get you going. The thing is though, pain and anger causes burn-out. You can’t be running on adrenaline for too long or it will totally burn you out. Anger starts the fire and it gets you going but love is what keeps you going. The love of what you do and why you do it. Anger starts the fire. Love keeps it burning.

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness.


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Are YOU also Holding out for a Hero…?

November 9, 2010 at 9:17 am (Life in General)

Bloody Bonnie Tyler….!!

She sang that song back in the 80’s, didn’t she? It was hailed in the same “disco” notoriety as “Walk like an Egyptian”, “Tom’s Diner” and “Eternal Flame”.

Not only that but it was also the theme tune for “Onder Die Dek Mantel” which was a series on South African TV about a male model who goes around solving crimes – agreed, not totally believable but when you are 8 years old, living in a country that was boycotted for so many years, you take what you can get….!

I will openly admit here that I LOVE that song. I am secure enough in myself to admit that it takes me back to some very happy memories ( not that I ever deluded myself into thinking that I was going to be a male model who solved crimes… but there we go)

I found myself¬†humming that tune waiting for the train a few days back and thought, “You know what, maybe Bonnie Tyler wasn’t the only one who was holding out for a hero. Perhaps we are ALL¬†holding out for a hero?”

My fertile mind then set about trying to justify the question¬†it had just asked it’s self and then stumbled onto the assessment that as humans, we are “pack animals”. We, by nature, look for strong leaders to follow. I believe this goes for pretty much all of us. We all aspire to something greater. Something bigger than ourselves.

I have had the very good fortune to work with and be in the company of some absolutely GREAT leaders and certainly have amoungst my friends and peers some absolutely brilliant leaders.

Be it at school where a man like Chris Botha would have to receive praise on this. A man who could galvanise a group of rag-tag boys into a somewhat civilised and agreeable unit. Uniting so many different personalities and finding common ground for them all is no easy task.

To the¬†rugby pitch where¬†truly one of the best school boy captains I had the good fortune to play for, Craig Banks, could unite a team of guys to go “Over the Top” with him. A true leader of men.

To the Hostel where Steve Teasdale stood out for being able to control rowdy, strong and restless Std 9 year in the face of conflict with the Matrics¬†(The names Jooste and Kemp come to mind for some reason ūüėČ )

To working the nightclubs where Gavin Jones has got to receive¬†recognition for being aware enough to know what was going on but had enough emotional intelligence to have faith in his people in positions to “keep things right” !

I recently read a book about the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and how influential Nelson Mandela had been in securing the international stage for South African people to watch their rugby team on.

This man is a true and unique leader.

To be able to come out of imprisonment and give the people who put him in jail a large degree of their identity¬†back, that being¬†the world stage to have their pride and joy, the Springbok rugby team, compete on. He was also then able to walk out onto Ellis Park rugby pitch to the chant’s¬†of “Nelson, Nelson, Nelson” and TRULY unite a nation – THAT IS A LEADER, THIS IS A HERO.

In the corporate business world, I have worked with some great leaders but possibly not as greater leaders as I have outside of it. I put this down to a lot of compliance, checks and balances and the HR department and company ethics for keeping people in line.

The Entrepreneurial world is slightly different. Smaller companies, fuelled by the passion of an entrepreneur is a great environment to be in. Many entrepreneurs have a high degree of social intelligence , are largely gregarious and often charismatic. Many of these people are natural leaders and often pretty alpha. They also love what they do and this them to  be passionate in their work.

I then thought about how I would define a great leader Рor in this case, a Hero. This gave me some challenges as I am of the opinion that leaders come in all shapes and sizes and from all different backgrounds. I am also aware that I would not ask a leader from a theatrical background to lead an army platoon into battle and visa versa.

I eventually game to the conclusion that a great leader or “Hero” is someone who can identify the unique strengths of those people around them and inspire and empower them to use those unique strengths to the benefit of the greater team. If someone can¬†do that, and galvanise the unit into a productive entity, they will always have people holding out for them ūüėČ

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness


P.S. In relation to what I said earlier, even the greatest leaders have someone¬†or something that¬†they aspire to. If it is not another human being then it is a faith,¬†a purpose or a higher calling that keeps them moving PHorward ūüėČ

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Whats the opposite of “Good”…….? I’ll give you a hint, its not “Bad”

October 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm (Life in General)

I was listening to an audio book called “Good to Great” but Jim Collins where the author has reviewed a number of companies that had enjoyed PHenomenal success year after year after year. In fact, for more than 15 consecutive years.

The author goes on to argue that the opposite of “Good”, is “Great”.

He argues that if a company is “Good” then it has very little chance of becoming GREAT.

I was speaking with a group of people this week on Wealth Creation and the challenges facing people who are trying to achieve it.

We came to the same conclusion that it was very difficult for someone to go from having a “Good” life to go on to have a truly GREAT life.

The reasoning behind this was that so often, when people live in a world that is “good”, where things are comfortable enough, they will seldom have the drive and desire to push to something GREAT.

Why should they? If life is good, why would they go out and endure a fair amount of adversity to get to a GREAT life.

Numerous people in the group that I was speaking with were sighting things like “Not enough time” or “not focused enough” or ” don’t have the motivation”.

In my opinion, these are all symptoms of not having a big enough “Why”. The reason “Why” you want to make the changes that you have to in order to live the life that you dream of or desire. To put this in context, I bet they would find the time, motivation and focus to do it if you held a gun to their heads.

If that desire is not strong enough, people won’t push through to the next level…

So is the level of someone’s success based purely on their “Why”? No, I won’t say “purely”. I think that it has a bit to do with where you come from, your personality, how you were bought up and obviously who you associate with.

However… I DO believe that if you have very little else but a HUGE reason WHY you must do something, there is very little out there that can stop you.

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness.

PH ūüėČ

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Great out the blocks … but not much for Stamina ….??

March 10, 2010 at 10:49 am (Life in General)

This was a line from one of those real cult movies, Road House, with Patrick Swayze in the lead role.

Well, it was a cult movie for me, and all my mates had seen it and we all agreed that it was a brilliant movie, especially considering that the last role we saw Patrick Swayze in was Dirty Dancing, that loads of guys were dragged to kicking and screaming by their girlfriends, wives, mothers or mother’s book club group!

Anyway, for those of you who have not seen Roadhouse, it’s about a nightclub “Cooler” (Head Bouncer) who gets recruited by the owner of a very tough nightclub to keep out the “bad element”. Swayze’s character, Dalton is the cooler and the¬†comment comes from one of the “heavies” that he brings down to help him clear up the Bar.

The scene was set in¬†one of those¬†“trucker stop” kind of¬†fast food places that you see in the movies. Normally with a guy wearing a greasy apron¬†or a waitress serving bottomless cups of coffee.

They had been drinking all night and Dalton has to go home, to which his compadre¬†says to him, “Great out the blocks, not much for stamina…” basically meaning that he starts with the intensity of a champion but doesn’t finish strong.

That comment stuck with me and came back to me years later when I was sitting in a presentation being made by a self-proclaimed expert in Negotiations.¬†He was standing there presenting to a room of people who it must have cost the company tens of thousands of pounds to have away from the business end of the¬†Financial Sector. He was telling us that, according to statistics,¬†after¬†a few days, 80% of us would not be¬†thinking about or using any of the new negotiation strategies that he was teaching us. That we would “slip back” into our old habits of doing things. He believed that there would only be 2 percent of us that would¬†continue to use the strategies he was teaching.

I thought it a bit strange him saying¬†that¬†and was¬†now convinced that¬†he had been paid upfront for the presentation and the cheque had cleared as I doubt¬†the sales director would have hired him if he had said THAT¬†in the initial meeting…

Looking back though, I DO believe he was right. I DO believe that so often we have such great intentions about making a change in an area of life that, at some stage, we know HAS to change.

New Years resolutions¬†are a great example of this. I know gyms that have a¬†200%¬†growth of new members from December to January but come mid-Jan, most of the¬†“New Regulars” have slipped back into their old routines and are back to doing what they used to be doing (not going to the gym)¬†– and therefore getting the same outcomes that they have always got. Ironically, the exact reason why they made the resolutions to begin with.

This doesn’t just pertain to¬†the promises that we make ourselves over 31 December. I have seen this¬†happen in so many different incidents. People who go on a diet, people¬†considering setting up a new business, people trying to develop new¬†wealth creation skills… the list goes on. ¬†

Now, the reasons for the “relapses” are quite numerous. I do not for a moment believe that the individual in question wants to go back to their original way of behaving. They¬†want to make and maintain the initial changes and therefore get the results that they intended to originally.¬†

The¬†problem is that when we make these initial commitments to “make that change”, we are normally doing it after experiencing¬†a significant degree of pain. Maybe we couldn’t fit into an old pair of jeans, we had a look at our personal finances and got a bit of a shock, we climbed a set of stairs and were a bit out of breath at the top, we lose a client to a competitor because they¬†had a better sales technique…. It’s at that moment that we¬†feel enough “pain” to commit to ourselves, “To Make The Change”.

The problem is, that feeling of pain is only temporary Рor at least, the degree of pain is only temporary. This obviously impacts on our commitment to the end goal.

What happens next? Something else comes into our busy lives and we are distracted.

That “change” leaves what we call “Front of Consciousness”¬†which¬†basically means, the “change”¬†is no longer “on your mind”. If something is in¬†front of consciousness¬†for you then you are going to act on it. It’s almost like we need constant reminders to act in a certain way, to achieve what we set out¬†to originally.

If we have those constant reminders to act in accordance with our new changes and we continue to act like that, our behaviour becomes a habit and if we start habitually doing the things that we know we should, we will get the results we initially set out to get.

This problem was really the reason that we started sending out mobivation text messages. It all started at the back-end of 2006 when I was lucky enough to meet 4 other lads. All of us were wanting to improve our financial situation through learning to Trade and Invest . Those 4 other lads were none other than Silas Lees, Gary Shaw, Dan Pamment and Craig Conway (remember those names, folks ;-))

We had all been to a course and we wanted to stay in touch and “Keep The Momentum High” whilst we were going through the “beginners stage” of learning to trade and invest in property. It seemed to do the trick as, back then, all 5 of us were employees or in positions that we knew were not really what we wanted.

Today, 3 years later, every single one of us is either a full-time investor, a business owner or a combination of the two . I am sure that all 5 of us, and all the others who joined us later, will admit its been one Hell of a ride, certainly not always easy, never boring but most importantly INCREDIBLY WORTH IT.

What we have done is nothing that any normal person can’t do. None of us are particularly “intellectual” (forgive me, lads..!!) but we have kept good people around us and also kept our goals on front of consciousness.

I am sure that the original 5 will agree, as will all the other members¬†of the FFN¬†(Financial Freedom Network)¬†who joined us, we have so much further to go but, at the same time, the last 3 years have taught us so much! This is including people who¬†you may already know, or if not, I am sure you will soon as I believe them to soon be very well-known and top of their fields. People like Haydn Ellwood, ¬†Jaye Hargreaves, Liz Evans, Matt Matteu, Paulo Da¬†Silva¬†, Sonia da Silva, Sam Lawton, Talisa Watson,¬†Ross Walton, Nina Petrie-Orvos, Lucy Caswell, Lee Weller Ferns, Joe Cook, , Andrew Sellars,¬† Andy Papa, Ann Mullins, Bentley¬†Kalu, Craig Richmond, Grant Massam, Morris Dixon, Thomas Emanual and¬†Toj Ali. Sorry for anyone that I missed out folks….!! If I did, let me know and I will update it…. ¬†¬†ūüėČ

If you want to make some kind of change, keep that change or that goal on “Front Of Consciousness” and¬†ACT on it. It’s that simple.

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness ūüėČ

Paul Harrison

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“Too Stupid To Fail….”

February 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm (Life in General, Sales and Business)

Now you may think that’s a mis-print…? Surely its “Too Bright To Fail” ?

Not in my line of thinking ūüôā

But then again, we are¬†often raised to believe that only the most intelligent of people become top achievers. This is so largely build around, as our impressions have it, a high academic qualification….

I beg to differ…

Let me take you back to Somerset West, Cape Town about 20 years ago. Sheesh, that sounds like a long time ago – and I still consider myself young!

The incident that I am talking about centered around two very interesting characters. One of which being a new puppy that the Harrison family had bought or been given.. I forget which. But the thing was, like most kids, we love our dogs and puppies were even more special.

This puppy that we had newly acquired¬†was something of a cross between a Ridgeback and a Mastiff, if memory serves correctly.¬† The fact of the matter was that it¬†was¬†a big puppy. She had the big paws that always symbolises that the puppy will grow to be of significant presence. She was also a bit, for lack of a better term, “Dopey”

The second “interesting character” was indeed an “interesting character” . He was, at the time, a work colleague¬†of my fathers. He was, and no doubt to this day, still is “One of a kind”. This man, who’s first name is Julian was more affectionately¬†known as “The Ferret”. Where that name came from exactly, we will never know but on inspection, he always seemed to be up to something. He¬†always had some deal on the go.

I believe that he had ridden with a motorcycle gang, been involved with stock-car and powerboat racing and also served in the South African Police Force in the late 70’s, early 80’s.

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with what the SAP was like at the time, it was no walk in the park and very inclined to leave someone with memories that stay with you for the rest of your life …. and not always in a good way. Enough said. If I recall correctly, at the time, he ran the workshop at the same company that¬†my¬†father worked at.

The Ferret was also a man who could handle his Brandy and Coke. For all of you familiar with SA and the drinking culture out there… again, enough said. He was a bit of a legend.

Now, how the two of these “interesting characters” came together is that this puppy that we had was¬†seemingly brought up in a very comfy environment. She did like to be inside the house. This clashed a bit with the “No dogs in the house” regime that the Harrison family had. The puppy didn’t comply with that.

I had taken the puppy outside the back door, put¬†her on the ground, told her to stay and walked backwards slowly to ensure that she didn’t follow me. I got back inside the house and closed the door so there was no way in for her…. Or that, at least, was what I thought….

Dogs weren’t the only animal the Harrison’s had at the time. We also had a couple of cats. As we had cats, we had a cat flap on the back door. A cat flap that was only big enough¬†for the puppy to get her head through.

Now,¬†as I securely closed the back door of the kitchen¬†to keep the¬†puppy out,¬†the Ferret entered¬†with an empty log glass in his hand and bellowed the words “Paul… Pour!!” which was¬†normally the prelude to a heavily¬†poured Brandy with a splash of¬†Coke (I¬†enjoyed Coke and therefore I figured that the less poured for the Ferret, the more I could enjoy myself!!)

As The Ferret grabbed the bottle of¬†Klipdrift Brandy and started to pour a “Three fingers measure”, the puppy put her head through the cat flap and gave me¬†one of those “puppy dog¬†looks”. I wasn’t having it though and shouted “out”.¬†

In an act of total defiance,¬†she continued to push her way through the cat flap! First she wriggled her one shoulder through, then her other shoulder. Then she stretched her back, sucked in her¬†stomach and dragged herself further though the cat flap…

I looked at the¬†Ferret who now had at least¬†5 fingers of Brandy in his tall¬†glass and he¬†was also watching the¬†pup pulling herself through the cat flat. There was a look of pure amazement on his face too¬†(and that’s saying a lot, considering what he has seen before!)

As¬†she wriggled her first hip and popped it through the cat flap and then¬†her second one and actually got¬†her¬†entire body through the¬†cat-flap… I was stunned!! I looked at the Ferret and he¬†was now shaking his head in disbelief. As he put¬†in two blocks of¬†ice , he said to me “That blerrie dog is too stupid to know when its beaten“. I had to agree!

This provided me with a unique insight. If that puppy was not intelligent enough to know that it was not supposed to be able to get through the cat flap, perhaps this is true in life and in business too.

I have seen people who are seemingly very intelligent and have the qualifications to prove it, psych themselves out and believe that something is impossible to do. Once they believe that its impossible, they don’t try – or they try half-heartedly and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because they don’t achieve¬†the desired outcome. But¬†then I have seen people who don’t know, or¬† don’t acknowledge their limitations. They believe that they¬†are capable of whatever¬†they¬†want to do and they keep trying and trying and trying until they find a way to do it.

I guess that imagination, persistance and a blatant disregard for the impossible,¬†will quite often get the outcomes and results that huge intellect won’t.

Have a blatant disregard for the impossible!! ūüėČ Quite often, its only impossible for “other¬†people”.

Feel Free to leave a comment.

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“I want to go to Heaven… But I don’t want to die…!”

February 5, 2010 at 10:40 am (Life in General, Sales and Business)

Pretty gritty heading eh?

Now, I have nobody to quote on this particular heading to give it additional¬†credibility as I can’t remember who said¬†it but I have a funny feeling it was one of the great people I have around me who no doubt caught me bitching and moaning about something when I was feeling “less than resourceful”.

The meaning that I received from it was that if you want something that is really, REALLY worth it, you have got to be prepared to go out and get it and endure things that are going to make you very uncomfortable.

I see this from time to time in people that¬†are aspiring to greater things but become very frustrated and sometimes even resentful when they have to “feel a bit of pain” to get to the ultimate goal.

I also think that our generation are more inclined to expect “more reward for less effort” than previous¬†generations due to the situation we have grown up in. Times are easier right now¬†than they have ever been before. I am sure we have all heard our parent or grandparents going on about “When I was YOUR age, I used to have to WALK to school… IN THE SNOW…. BACKWARDS… AFTER MILKING THE COWS….. ***PUT IN ANYTHING ELSE HERE THAT FITS YOUR EXPERIANCES**** and perhaps, like me, you rolled your eyes and said “Oh boy, here we go again…!”

Also, we are children and grandchildren of people who lived through World Wars where life for everyone was much tougher. Conscription meant that sons, husbands and fathers all had to go out to defend their countries. Without exception.¬†And for the¬†women and children left at home, food rations, black outs, the constant threat of air raids and the calling to arms to work in the munitions factories¬†led to a very different¬†“life experience” to what we have today. I have often asked myself how¬†my generation would have survived a World War like that…. I am left undecided.¬†

In 2010 we live in a world of “instant gratification” and certainly a world of more choice than ever before. This is due to a few things including the internet, technology doubling every 6 months, the commercial world becoming more and more competitive (giving the consumer more and more choice) and I am convinced¬†that this has had a knock on in the type of people we have become.

We now suffer more obesity¬†in Western Societies than ever before. People are starting to develop injuries and sicknesses, such as RSI (repetitive¬†stress injury)¬†that have never been seen prior to the last 30 years.. I guess though, on the plus side, leprosy¬†is something we have all but conquered – so it is given and take ūüôā

Now this brings me back to the heading of this post, “I want to go to Heaven… but I don’t want to Die”. I have a concern that, as an instant gratification generation, we have forgotten a bit about what got us to where we are. Through things like “Get Rich Quick Schemes, “Miracle Weight Loss Programs”, The Lotto, Reality Song Contests ( If Suzie Boyle can do it.. I think I might give it a go!! ūüėČ ). We believe in overnight success.

We are often led to believe that there is a “Quick Fix” Solution out there. However, it is my conviction that expecting “something for nothing” goes against one of the natural laws of the world.¬†Anything¬†of worth takes time to achieve.¬†If you look into nature, it takes 9 months for a baby to go from conception to birth, it takes¬†years for a tree to grow, it takes months to¬†get fit enough to run a marathon…¬†so¬†what makes us believe that we can achieve¬†something of great¬†status in a very short time without going through¬†some discomfort – of at least getting out of our comfort zones….?

When you are out there, working on your new business idea, working on hitting your sales target or designing, testing and retesting your new direct response market strategy, if its going to be¬†of any worth, I guarantee¬†you that you are going to hit frustrations. You are going to hit road blocks and you are going to run into people that¬†laugh at your idea. Your faith in yourself and your¬†objective¬†is going to be tested. You are going to feel like you want to give¬†up. The strangest thing is – most people¬†DO give up….. JUST BEFORE THEY WERE¬†ABOUT TO BREAK THROUGH.

Have a GREAT weekend folks ūüôā

Please leave a comment.

Paul Harrison

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“Ugg!! I told you NOT to re-invent it! Round wheels work fine….”

January 29, 2010 at 9:38 am (Life in General, Sales and Business)

“…..square ones don’t..!!

This is something I am sure I have seen in a Gary Larson Far side Comic Strip (if you are not familiar with the Far side, Google it!)

The image I get is of the young apprentice caveman, “Ugg”, ¬†trying to be¬†“entrepreneurial” and re-inventing the wheel and then getting chewed out by his “mentor” for being stupid and wasting time.

This brings me on to one of the major keys for progression that anyone who is very serious about becoming one of the greatest in their field, should have. A Mentor.

Now Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and different contexts¬†but in my opinion, to define a Mentor, it needs to be¬†someone who has gone to where you want to go and will now help you get there. They have actually¬†DONE what you want to do. The difference between a mentor and a coach is that a coach¬†hasn’t normally “been there” and “done that” , they are normally there just to hold you to account and make sure¬†that you are able to meet the goals and deadlines that you are going to achieve.

I have also heard some debate over whether or not a¬†Mentor should be¬†paid as many people consider their parents as¬†Mentors but given todays highly commercial focus and the fact that¬†there are professional mentors out there, I guess its safe to assume that just because someone is paid for their¬†Mentoring services,¬†doesn’t¬†exclude them from being a¬†Mentor.

For anyone who has ever tried to do something way outside their comfort zone with only the¬†“theory” on how things should be¬†done will attest to the fact that its one of the most difficult things to do. An example I can use here is¬†teaching people to trade the Stock Market, which is one of the roles that I perform in my consultancy business.¬†

If you say to someone, the way to make money in¬†the¬†Stock Market is to “Buy low” and¬†“Sell¬†high”, it sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Sure it does.

But if you try to get into trading, trying to find the low and get out of the trade at the high, it’s¬†pretty¬†close on impossible to predict. Now tie this in with a complete change of mentality when it comes¬†to money and trying to get into a frame of mind that “every trade you get into, you must be totally emotionally unbiased” ( which is VERY tough when your last trade either made you money or lost you money).

If someone tries to do this themselves, they are going to have a very tough time becoming a consistent trader but if they have the guidance of someone who can relate to what they are going through, see the situation from the outside- without the involvement of the emotions, who genuinely has their best interests at heart and can reassure them that they are on the right track, the experience is second to none.

If you take on a Mentor, you will not have to go through a learning curve characterised by “Trial and error” – or at least¬†“less Trial and Error” – The Mentor can teach you from their mistakes and this will save you a huge amount of time and frustration.

When I look at the progress (and mistakes!!¬†I could write an entire book on¬†my mistakes¬†) that I have made in my life, the last 3 years have been crucial in the opening of my mind and starting¬†to see what life can really offer if you are prepared¬†to go out and take¬†the opportunity. Much of my learning, and inspiration has come through¬†being¬†Mentored. I have been fortunate enough to receive¬†guidance from Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, “The Google boys”, Dr Maxwell Maltz,¬† Malcolm Gladwell and a whole host of others.¬†

For those of you who suspected that perhaps I haven’t been jetting off all over the world (and sometimes even doing a bit¬†time travel – as some of those names¬†aren’t with us anymore), you would be correct.¬†I haven’t sat with “The Donald”¬†at the Trump Plaza, I haven’t been invited into Silicon Valley to play ping-pong in the “break out room” with the great minds of Google and Malcolm Gladwell¬†is certainly¬†not one of my Facebook friends but I have leant so much from these people and their experiences¬†through their¬†writings that I know¬†how they do things – to some degree at least. I have an understanding of how their minds work and what their regular habits are…. If “success leaves clues”, then I am much closer to understanding those clues by virtue of their writings and their stories. I confess to being a “learning junkie” right now and am always reading something or listening to an audio book.

Back to the real world, a place of two way¬†communication ūüėČ I have been fortunate enough to be mentored¬†by a number of different¬†people. Great people who have opened my mind to so much out there, in so many different¬†areas. Many of you reading this right now have been a mentor¬†to me,¬†even if you didn’t know it. ūüėČ

In closing folks, Mentors are all around us. They can teach¬†you so much –¬†IF you are prepared to go out and find them and prepared to¬†learn.¬†

I would love to hear your thoughts on Mentoring….So please leave a comment.

Have a PHantastic¬†Weekend folks. PHire it up!!! ūüôā


Paul Harrison

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“The street teaches what you learn at school …..” Or does it?

January 22, 2010 at 10:44 am (Life in General, Sales and Business)

For some reason, this was one of those little gems that I picked up as a youth. It was a line from a Russian band called Gorky Park, from a song called “Bang!”¬†( VERY 80’s!!)

This was my favorite¬†“Pre-rugby-psych-up-song” and anyone who knew me back in the “School Daze” will attest to me having it on a tape (that was the thing that preceded CD’s for you younger folks!!) 6 or 7 times, one after another.

I don’t know why exactly I remembered THAT line but my guess would be that because I was not very academic¬†at all growing up. In fact, I had to attend extra studies classes in junior school and was in all the “streamed” (a nice way of saying “slow”) classes in high school. I¬†could spell “F.E.E.F.E.E” with my final¬†years results.¬†So perhaps I had to hold onto¬†that line¬†and keep faith in it to believe that I would still be able to¬†learn the life skills that I needed to be successful.

Straight out of school, I went looking for manual labour work. Being a “generously built” lad, I had little trouble finding occupation in warehouses, construction sites and nightclubs. After about 7 year of what could be¬†broadly termed as “manual labour”, I started to develop an urge to get a job where I was using my mind more than my body to keep the landlord at bay.

If the truth be told, I believed deep down that I could do a lot more with my mind, personality and passion¬†than perhaps my school results had shown me and after about two and a half years of trying, I eventually managed to get a job as a filing boy for a large Brokerage in the City. I guess I was still doing manual labour but I kept saying to myself that “at least¬†I was in the environment where people could spot my talent that I believed¬†I had..” and I was getting to wear a suit which seemed to illicit a better response from people than a hard hat, visibility jacket and safety boots did.

Eight years later, I am very glad I put the effort in to get into a different environment and actually believed that I was able to do more than a piece of paper said I was capable of.

The more I research some of the most successful people in the world, I am coming to the conclusion that perhaps schooling is not the be-all and end-all for success.

If we look at some of the greatest business people in the world, these are not all people who have MBA’s or masters degrees¬†from big name universities. A lot of them are people who didn’t complete university or even make it to the lecture hall.

I read recently that over the last 40 years, there has been a significant shift in the background of people who are running big multinational companies. This shift was basically that previously¬†most of these companies were run¬†by people who tend to think in a very structured fashion such as Accountants,¬†Engineers, Doctors and Professors¬†but as time goes on, more and more “out of the box” thinkers have been given the reigns. Mainly¬†people from a Sales or Marketing backgrounds. The reason for this is said¬†to be¬†that as we move into more and more competitive environments, the more creative you can be, the more advantage you will have over your competition. I am still to find a junior school or high school that teaches Sales or Marketing….

Henry Ford said about¬†his Model T : ” You can have it in any colour, as long as its black”. Now, Mr Ford was no doubt a great thinker but can you imagine any producer being that inflexible to their clients demands now-a-days? It wouldn’t happen – the competition out there is far too great.

In my opinion, a good school education is very important, but not only because of the academics. I believe that school is also very important to develop more and more of ones social skills, to create friendships, be involved in team play and a greater understanding of what it takes to be successful in a situation Рmost of which is taught outside of the class room.

I don’t believe anyone’s success is going to be¬†based on how many¬†numbers they know the square root of, how many historical dates¬†they can remember,¬†¬†or how to find the location¬†of point “X” using a mathematical equation. I believe that success going forward is going to come to people who have the ability¬†to see a situation for what it is, have a vision¬†to work from, be creative in the achievement of the outcome and the passion to inspire others to follow them.

Therefore, I¬†do believe that, “The street teaches what you learn at school” …. and then some ūüėČ

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness.

Paul Harrison

P.S. Please leave a comment and a rating.

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