WORD Issue 9 August 2021

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ISSUE 9

AUGUST 2021

1

Y E A R

B I R T H D A Y

That's what he said JOH N SA NE I

E D I T I O N


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Lisa Bell SENIOR COPYWRITER: Angie Bell DESIGN: ART DIRECTOR: Krystin Morgenrood COVER IMAGE: Marike Herselman Photography EDITORIAL QUERIES: Address to Lisa Bell, E-mail wordmag@thewordarchitect.co.za Tel. +27 82 466 4806 ADVERTISING SALES: Cape Town Tel. +27 82 466 4806

LEFT PAGE IMAGE: Freepik RIGHT PAGE MODEL: Lisa Bell PHOTOGRAPHY: Marike Herselman photography

What's your Story?


FROM THE E D I T O R

S

ince time gone by, people have told stories as a way to connect with others, teach others and keep a legacy going. Today, we still tell stories. Sure, the vehicles we use are slightly different. In this digital age, we use video, social media, and other platforms such as this publication. Storytelling lives strong. Don't let anyone tell you any different! However, whatever vehicle you're using and whatever story you're telling, you best be authentic about it. Authenticity shines through louder than all else. And, that is why we started WORD Mag - to help our client's tell their stories ... and with our publication 1 year old this month, we celebrate an interesting and exciting journey to date as well as thank all those who have contributed along the way! In our 9th issue, we let our amazing contributors tell their stories ... and leave their authentic legacy for you to learn from and carry forward. Enjoy! Yours in writing,

Lisa Bell


WHAT'S

INSIDE

30

08

Positive Vibes In South Africa, we have faith

Is it tho? 5 Myths about Business Storytelling

Andre du Toit

10

14

For The Children

That’s what he said ...

The Give Back CHOC Children Cancer Foundation South Africa

Q&A

John Sanei

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Feature What's your story? Angie Bell

32

The Bizz Buzz The Importance of your Business Story? OptiGrowth


44

Must Read

53

Kreatively Yours Professional Creative Mockups

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! ... when you have a book!

51

Recruiting ... Not A Swear Word Are You Having Crucial Conversations In The Workplace? Anthony Kettle

38

Coach Me! Think yourself into your next and better chapter Lady Jaclyn

54

The Enquirer Diane Boorman


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IS IT THO?

5 MYTHS ABOUT BUSINESS

What I do is too technical - can't put that into a story

My industry doesn't suit storytelling

My target market aren't interested in my story

I don't have a story

All lies! All myths! We are all storytellers and we all have a story - period! 8

IS IT THO?

IMAGE: Freepik

I'm no storyteller - wasn't born with that skill


IS IT THO?

9


THE GIVE BACK

10

THE GIVE BACK


FOR

the

A

t CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, we believe that all children should have access to cancer treatment. For 42 years, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation has cared for children and teenagers living with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders and their families. What started as a small parent-supporting organisation in 1979 has now grown to a national organisation with a presence in every region that is fortunate enough to have a paediatric oncology unit. CHOC is the only childhood cancer organisation that provides comprehensive services to families undergoing the childhood cancer journey.

C H ILD R E N es, one, or both parents, can no longer work because they need to take care of the child during the treatment cycle. If it were not for CHOC, these children would not reach a paediatric oncology treatment facility, and therefore their chances of survival are minimal. CHOC offers necessities such as toiletries, nutritional support (in the form of food parcels, padkos and grocery vouchers), bereavement support, transport

CHOC’s direct beneficiaries include children and teens living with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, as well as their families. Most families CHOC assist come from extremely impoverished areas with poor living conditions. In most casTHE GIVE BACK

11


reimbursements and accommodation to the children and their families. This means that children and their families who do not have access to necessities do and ensure they remain healthy and positive during treatment. We invite you to partner with CHOC to help keep hope alive for children and teens living with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders and their families. Any financial donation will ensure that all children living with cancer receive the support they need to successfully complete their treatment.

Account name: CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation PE Branch Bank: Standard Bank coordinatorpe@choc.org.za +27 41 464 0005 www.choc.org.za

Account Number: 083822216 Branch Code: 007205 041-464-0005 pe@choc.org.za

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Q&A

That’s what he said ...

John Sanei Interview by Lisa Bell

John Sanei is not only a best-selling author; he is a Singularity University facultymember, a global speaker and a trend specialist. He combines human psychology, business strategy, and future studies to offer a unique and holistic approach to achieving future-readiness.

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LEFT PAGE PHOTOGRAPHER: Marike Herselman photography

W

hat can one say about John Sanei; to sum up the man in all his energy, enthusiasm, and opinions? And, he has many opinions. And we applaud him for that. It is good that someone speaks out about those critical subjects in today's world, the subjects that affect us all, that mould us, that forge our paths into the future. John does have many opinions; however, they are not just ideas without thought. His open-mindedness and ability to tell a story so that he encompasses all we are thinking about every day is his superpower. Yes, many will not agree with all his ideas and opinions; however, when you sit down with the man, listen to what he has to say, and how everything he says leads to a more sustainable and successful future, then you cannot doubt the good intent behind the words.

ally, really well in my teens, and in my 20s, I became a multimillionaire by the time I was 25/27. I had so much money, girls and parties and travel, and I mean, I was just limitless, bulletproof.

And I often say, and I actually wrote about it in my second book, I said you know the most dangerous thing in the world is lots of money and high testosterone levels. That just really causes a lot of problems worldwide, and I think that most of our problems we have around the world are with men with high levels of testosterone and lots of money. Because you think you’re indestructible. But I went bankrupt at 30 something. I made some wrong choices; I signed some agreements I shouldn't have signed because I really did think I was bulletproof; I didn't think the money would ever stop. And, I went from high flying sports cars and houses to my friend’s second bedroom, no car, and in a depression. And the depression was a weird thing because I didn't know I was depressed. I was just very down; I didn't have any confidence; I was just out. I didn't know what to do. I was embarrassed to actually go out because I didn't want people to see me. I was pretty well-known in Joburg. I had six restaurants

Q A

Q1 - Tell me about your journey and how you got to this point? How did that all come about? Well, okay. I guess I've been an entrepreneur my whole life. Because I come from a single mom family, and I needed to make my own pocket money quite literally from a very young age, and that put me into the space of entrepreneurship and work. I did reQ&A

15


there, and people knew me. I then moved to Cape Town, and I just couldn't make money. So, I started doing extensive amounts of inner work because I realised that I was unhappy when I didn't have money because I needed a little more. And then I was unhappy when I had money because what I wanted was a little bit more. And then I was unhappy when I had no money, and I was like, okay, this equation is broken. I needed to actually understand what it is that internally I needed to fix.

success and I'm gonna restart it. As they say, life starts at 40, so I restarted everything and started talking, started speaking. And it was incredible because the minute I started speaking, doors just started opening, more and more people saw me, and my brand started growing quite literally exponentially. And I had no idea that the speaking world was that big or that lucrative. And then I thought, you know I'd love to make my first talk a book. So, I invited a copywriter to come and watch me give the talk, and we went through about six months of iterations and work on the book and then it became a best-seller after the book's launch. The book becoming a bestseller, and my speaking career doing really well, and I also became a singularity faculty member over that period of time, the combination of those three things have put me in good stead, and the rocket ship has left the mothership, and it's still going. Yeah, that's why I'm here with you.

After about two or three years of really intensive internal work, I popped out on the other side with quite a strong grasp of human psychology, trauma healing, emotional healing, and that sort of stuff. I started helping people understand the psychology of success, and I started getting people to understand the combination of human psychology, trauma, depression, and business strategy. And so, at around 40 years old, I got divorced, and that was also a huge, huge factor in my reality. I thought I'd be married forever and have kids. And so, when I came out of that sort of second depression, out of my divorce, I thought, you know what, I'm just gonna take everything that I thought was the idea of 16

"The minute I started speaking, doors just started opening" Q&A


Q A

PHOTOGRAPHER: Marike Herselman photography

Q2 – What do you think sets you apart? I think it's key that I only can teach you what I've learnt. I teach theory. I can only say to you, look, this is what happened to me in my masculinity, in my bankruptcy, in my divorce, in my all the issues I've had, and I've had to overcome them, and then so I'm able to bring a personal viewpoint. That's why I write a book every year because every year I evolve, and every year I learn new things, and in those new things, the best way to learn them is to teach them. My commitment to myself is 10 books in 10 years so I'm on number five this year, and I'm halfway.

Q A

Q3 - And the process of writing? Do you write it yourself, or do you have someone like a ghost writer to help you? I'm good at storytelling, I'm good at putting surprising stories together that my audiences don't expect to be connected to each other, so I'll talk about how ice disrupted spice. In other words, back in the old days, they used spice to get food to stay fresher for longer, and then the advent of ice disrupted spice and took the price of spice down, and then electricity disrupted ice, and then drones will disrupt fridges, and 17


so I start stuff like that. I build the keynote, and then once I've got the keynotes, I then start working with a copywriter, and we start a six-month journey in a relationship where we are continuously talking to each other; I’m voice noting her or him, sending links, and we build a map out of all the slides, each story behind each slide, a personal touch behind every slide. Then it's like a mosaic, you know, it's almost like a puzzle that we start putting together, and so it's all my thinking, it's all my processes, it's all my golden thread, but then I have somebody who is much better at chiselling words than me.

Q A

Q4 – How are you getting your message out there? What marketing are you focusing on mostly? Well, I've just started doing a whole bunch of TikTok things, and would you believe my focus has moved from LinkedIn to TikTok. So, I say to myself, let’s take this risk, right, because it’s the fastest growing. I think the future of education actually lies in TikTok and similar platforms. I think all universities and courses should be both like

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TikTok. TikTok has changed my life; in how I cook, and how I communicate. There’s Clubhouse; but there is now also Greenroom and other platforms that allow you to talk live. It’s where the world is going. People are looking for transparency and realness rather than perfection,


yeah, I think that's a good thing. The education process needs to change, and it's not just kids that are bored, adults too, where adults take those online courses that they never finished, and then they feel guilty because they haven't finished the course, so yeah, TikTok is the future. I'm actually building a school called School of Modern Wisdom, based on UNESCO's future literacy programme and my work. I call this Modern Wisdom because you need ancient truths of knowing yourself and understanding how to categorise, contextualise, and plan for the future. So, I've combined them, and I've partnered with Copenhagen Institute for Future Study, and we are starting to put subject matter out. I’ve actually briefed the videographer company that all our videos should be TikTok style. So, as we start going into high schools, it's going to be all TikTok style. We just got

our first video three days ago; not 100% yet, but it's on the right track, and so we're going to go to high schools with TikTok style education for Modern Wisdom, which I think is going to be huge.

Q A

Q5 - If we could go back in time, and we could meet John of 18 years old. What would you tell him? Calm down. Look, I am so happy right now. And I'm so content in who I am that I wouldn’t change anything that happened, not the pain, the anger, the frustration with my father, the bankruptcy, the divorce - all of that stuff is part and parcel of what got me here, you know. So, it’s created a very holistic approach because I know the empathy I have now for certain sectors of life because of the pain that I've had. So, 18-year-old John, I love you, man, you're doing your best, keep going, calm down, everything's gonna be okay, you're good, don't take so many drugs, but other than that, you’re good, bro!

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Q

Q6 - Tell me your what's your motivation for getting up in the morning, what's your thing, what gets you going and why?

A

So about five years ago, I made a very clear emotional decision only to do what makes me most excited and never do anything arbitrarily. Outsource anything that you don't like doing, or that you’re not good at doing.

me excited is the decision I made about only doing things that make me excited.

Q A

Q7 – What did lockdown (the big one we had), what did it teach you? To mourn my future memories. That's what it taught me. I had to mourn the success that I was going to have. I went from global touring with the world's biggest organisations to sitting on my mom and dad's farm and not making money for three months, and, like, that's it.

Try not to figure it out because you've got other people with the know-how and who love doing it. So, I made this decision a few years ago, and I said, look, I'm not good at copywriting, for example. It's not my skill. Or accounting or TikTok or any of these things; I outsource it. I only do what I love doing. So, when I wake up in the mornings, the decision, the demarcation of where my focus is going to go, excites me because nobody owns me, nobody's paying me to own me and my time. If I only want to work with that client, I do; if I want to write that piece, I do; and I'm in a privileged position to be able to do that, but that was a decision I made.

I became a farmer overnight, and I thank God I had the farm - I didn't want to be stuck in an apartment in Dubai for three months by myself. It taught me; it forced me to reinvent my business; how I speak, when I speak, what I speak about. And it's taught me, I think, more contentment. It's taught me patience. Here we are again - you know you asked me what I would tell my 18-year-old self, calm down. Guess what, I'm telling my 46-year-old self, calm down, relax, relax. It's fine, it's fine. You don't have to take over the world. I think it's just helped me be more patient and more content, more than anything.

You know, some people call it selfish; I call it self-first because it's my joy, my happiness first, and then that will exude into other people, so what gets 20

Q&A


Q A

Q8 – What would your Superman superpower be, and what is your actual human power? I think interdimensional would be my big superpower, to pop in between different dimensions because we live in a multiverse. We are confined into our reality through our five senses, so anything out of our senses we don't really trust, but really that's what I love. It’s what's happening on the sides. And my real-life superpower, I think, is being aware of nuances and patterns that other people don't see. So, I think what happened to me in the restaurant world, where I had so many restaurants. They were all very big restaurants; I had to be able to tell what was happening on table 14 with the family of six with their facial expressions and the 18 waiters standing around and the three barmen, and the kitchen. So, I have full awareness of my restaurant plus the lights and the music and all that sort of thing. And so, I'm able to bring that awareness into understanding, the awareness of patterns, how people react. And that is what a trend specialist is. You're looking for patterns, and then you're jumping into these patterns, and you're saying, look, here's a pattern. If the pattern plays out like it's supposed to and has done so for those oth-

er 85,000 times, this is what's going to happen next. So, yes, I think that's my superhuman power. I wrote about it in my third book, FOREsight. It’s about connecting some invisible dots. Our life journey and mission is to find out what invisible dots we can join that nobody else can join and then share that with the fabric of human society. And, so, yes, that is my skill set. I don't know why but since I was a very young kid, I could predict and now do predict, for example, what brands are going to do.

"I'm able to bring that awareness into understanding, the awareness of patterns, how people react."

Q A

Q9 - Do you only do speaking, or do you actually consult with corporates like one-on-one type of scenario as well? So, I don't like babysitting, and when clients say, come in and work with us as a consultant for six months, I'm like, no, I'm not going to do, but I will come and help you shift your question.

Q&A

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So, for example, DeBeers asked me to go and talk with them. To speak to them about the future of luxury, not the future of diamonds, because diamonds are becoming glass. Diamonds are falling out of favour with about 30% of the human population, called the Mature Awareness Market, who think diamonds are swear words. They were losing a huge chunk of humanity so I went in there and helped them shift their question, focus on building the teams to answer these new questions, and then was out. So, my engagements are Masterclasses, all-day workshops, and of course, the talks. I don't do long term consultancy because I'm not going to babysit you.

You know, one of the hardest things about lockdown is not getting any feedback from our work. So, every time I remember getting off stage, every time I'd have, I don't know, a dozen people around me; saying thank you so much; that helped me; can we take a photo; can you sign this? - that feedback loop was gone, for nearly two years, and, as an egotistical speaker with daddy issues, I've been craving that, and the energy exchange. So, those things are starting to come up. My new book comes out in September - it's called Trans.For.Motion. In this new book, I'm trying to explain that this transformation is unlike any other, and the skill sets that we will require for this new world are much more about intuition than intelligence because of automation. Intelligence is not a game we're going to win at any time moving forward. Our only superpower moving forward

Q A

Q10 - What's coming up in terms of speaking events, and what can we look forward to? I've got a couple of trips overseas planned after receiving my vaccine on the 16th of July. In September, I'm speaking for the Latvian and Lithuanian Governments. They are doing a Euro Innovation Conference of sorts. I'm speaking in San Francisco at Singularity University on my new talk called Purpose for Futures. So those are starting to open up again. I'm very excited about that. I'm very excited about travelling again.

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Q&A


will be social connection and emotional cohesion, based on our specific genius that we will need to access. So, the whole book is about asking the question: how can I access my genius; how do I help automation improve what I do, and not compete against it. And then how do I start to share this with the world and my tribe around the world - it’s something called the Creative Economy or the Passion Economy, rather than the Industrial Revolution Economy, which is starting to die and fade away because of automation, because it's made itself so efficient that the efficiency in its system, in itself, it has pushed off more profitability and has become commoditised. So, for example, photos, you can take 1000, share 1000 in two seconds; communication, we can talk to people around the world, 1000 people around the world for almost nothing; education going the same route; entertainment - going the same route. So

next will be transportation and energy, as we'll start living in a world called the Zero Marginal Cost Society, which means that everything will become digitised and will be repeated for almost free, which means our access to things will become almost free. And so, we need to start focusing on where is it we can add value when automation takes away so much of the value that we once used to have. It's a pretty distinct new ideology we need to start talking about.

Q

Q11 - Would you say that this way of thinking is your differentiator? If anyone had to say, why should we choose John to come to speak to us above some other speaker? Would you say that this way of thinking is your USP?

A

Well, look, I think very few speakers and authors combine the topics I combine. The topics I combine are not expected in corporate circles. I talk about quantum science. I talk about neuroscience. I talk about our responsibility with keeping our trauma. I talk about how we are living in our memories and not in our vision of our future. And then, I talk about business strategy and about the flows of business shifting from globalisation to

Q&A

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digitalisation to dispersion. I talk about all these other patterns, but then I also talk about the responsibility that sits within us; heal ourselves, heal our lineage and our ancestral stuff. Ultimately, you can be successful on paper and have all the money; have all the trappings, as I had, and be desperately unhappy, addicted to drugs, alcohol, women, and whatever else it is that you think you need; and we begin to repeat a pattern of old behaviours. And so, what's the point, what's the point of having that success when you're not really that successful. And, so my idea is how do we create a more holistic, elegant, emotionally aware society while still being profitable. I'm not a hippie, but I also think that we need to become more mature in the way we start thinking about the world and stop this dick-measuring contest, that sort of masculinity. I speak about this quite a lot; that the people in power are baby boomers and they don't understand collaboration. They were brought up with war. So, if we had to reframe relationships. Think about the most important relationship that we could reframe: China versus America. Imagine, America and China said, look, let's be friends, let's add our power together to im24

prove human society. And of course, there will be differences like every relationship, but our focus would be on what's working between us and not what’s not working. And guess what, both those leaders are old men who have been in wars and trained in KGB. We've got a problem; we've got to actually wait for the people to die. That's what's happening with the world, and that's what I'm here to do; to help them alleviate that pressure on themselves.

Q

Q12 – Tell me about your daily routine. What does it look like? Do you have a routine, or do you pretty much go with it as it flows, or do you have that specific something that you do that kind of sets you up for the day?

A

It changes every day. I'm an avid meditator, but I've also realised that we often meditate out of religious guilt. We've been brought up in a world that says, if you don't do X, you're going to hell, or if you do this, then you're going to be in trouble, so we've always had this like very divisive way of making decisions. So, for the longest time, I would meditate because I had to meditate, and now I'm like, no, no, no, I'll meditate when I

Q&A


PHOTOGRAPHER: Marike Herselman photography

feel like meditating. And when I feel the urge, then I pray. I've even built an altar in my house. Sometimes I want to journal, sometimes I gym, sometimes I cycle, sometimes I swim. So as long as I'm doing something emotionally and mentally, and physically throughout the day. I'm happy. I used to be very, very dogmatic about it - I just finished the Iron Man, so the training there and the meditating with Dr Joe and trying to meditate for two hours a day, and this is what COVID has done; it's almost made me very feel very fluid. If I feel like doing stuff, then I do them; if I don't feel

like doing stuff, then I don’t; I'm not a robot; I'm a garden. I saw this the other day; you're a garden - sometimes you need more water, sometimes you need less water, sometimes you need more sunshine, sometimes you need less sunshine. You’re not a robot. And so, I think it's also like the evolvement and maturing that I'm feeling for myself at 46. I read somewhere the other day; men only fully mature at 43. I kind of feel that’s true. It gave me a sense of me and not wanting to beat other people. I can just be happy within myself. My routine isn't based out of anxiousness, it's based out of comfort, and I guess, some maturity to a certain extent.

Q A

Q13 - If you could have dinner with anyone tonight, who would it be? Madiba. He became a global icon for one thing - forgiveness. The apartheid government had no idea the mistake they made by putting him on the island because mother nature healed him; he was around the sea and nature. I'm a massive fan of his approach cause he was a thug, rightfully so. I almost think if I was black and I was in South Africa in the 60s and 70s, I would also be a thug, like this is bullshit; what is going on here?

Q&A

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F E AT U R E

WH AT’ S YO UR

Story?

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By Angie Fraenkel

O

ur imaginations would run away with us as children! Our stories were elaborate, and every detail in the story was highlighted, fine-tuned or exaggerated and sometimes, very often even made up!

IMAGE: Freepik

So why then, as adults, do we not remember the importance of storytelling? The invention of the lightbulb has a beautiful story! And we know it because the inventor told it with enthusiasm. But, sadly, as time has progressed and the world has moved to “everything quickly”, our ability to tell a story has been diminished to a one-liner. Here are some advantages of slowing things down and going back to the basics of storytelling.

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Perhaps your idea was created to solve a problem, to add value, or maybe your idea is a product. Letting your market know the story behind how it came about could give you the edge over your competitors? It could personalise your product, service or brand for a potential client and they may more easily relate and prefer to buy your product or use your service because they know and understand the story.

IMAGE: Freepik

When we tell a story, we can show empathy; we can express gratitude and relay enthusiasm or excitement. As a result, your customers will feel they are not just another number. Instead, they will think that their spending is genuinely appreciated and, in turn, will refer you or your business as they are confident of the brand. They will believe they are part of it and enjoy the feeling of inclusion. Storytelling in your business is also essential for increasing employee efficiency and engagement. It is a dynamic strategy for empowering employees to understand and embody the businesses core values and vision. No matter the size of the business, leaders at all levels can learn how to use storytelling to educate, inform, motivate and inspire their employees. 28

FEATURE


5 Key elements to storytelling • T here must be a protagonist and an antagonist (yes, even in your own story – e.g. the protagonist is your business or you and the antagonist is the challenge/s you have had to overcome) • Keep it simple but engaging – conversational

IMAGE: Freepik

• Keep it real – embellishing for the sake of storytelling can feel unreal to the reader/ listening – yes, use creative words, but they must be authentic to you and your brand • M ake it visual – words can do that if you do them right – paint the picture • E nd it with a triumph – Afterall, the story of your journey, whether personal or business-related, must end with a HEA (a Happy Ever After) – we all want happy endings

Come on, tell your story!

www.thewordarchitect.co.za FEATURE

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POSITIVE VIBES

IN SOUTH A F RIC A,

It is almost a week since the start of the violence as I am writing this, and I have the benefits of hindsight. It is astounding how quickly these things can escalate and how completely unprepared our security forces were, and how fear can consume you in 30

To i t

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hat a week! The country is in the throes of the third wave of COVID-19, freezing cold weather gripping most of the country, and the icy fear of what initially seemed like isolated incidences of violence slowly escalating into massive scenes of looting, carnage, and senseless violence.

du

we have faith

e

By A nd r

moments. A few shocking high(low)lights: The inability of steel bars and reinforced windows to stop a determined rabble wanting to break in; this was not only about food - the looter who smiled at cameras after stopping at a shopping centre, followed by him taking out a basket from the boot of his Mercedes, entering the store, filling his basket as if he were shopping and popping out again - the CEO of a wealth management company stocking up on a washing machine, braai, and alcohol, utterly oblivious to being filmed. But, as the violence started

POSITIVE VIBES


their suburb - the sight of a man in a wheelchair sweeping the floors of a mall brought many of us to tears. As I write, today is Madiba’s birthday. I am reminded that for us to live in a just and fair society requires that we care for each other, but above all, it requires bravery. Every one of us should be doing our bit as we are all blessed with skills.

settling, more stories emerged of bravery and courage, community members standing up and defending what was theirs; and, extreme bravery in the face of the looters. For example, a retail manager was defending his store by pouring cooking oil and water on the mall floors so that they could not enter without slipping. Genius! It is clear that this kind of situation just needs a few to stand up to the bullies before others join.

I want to remind you that we, as South Africans are a unique bunch. We expect only the best and want it all, but when the chips are down, and it really matters, the real South Africa wakes up. The silent and positive majority rises, stamps its collective feet, and reminds us of the struggle we have endured to get here. Be brave, my fellow South Africans; we will learn, rebuild, and not only survive but thrive in this beautiful country of ours.

The people who had barricaded themselves in their houses came out with ‘weapons’ of their own: brooms and black bags to start up a clean-up of POSITIVE VIBES

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LEFT PAGE IMAGE: Marike Herselman Photography IMAGE: Freepik

THE BIZZ BUZZ

THE

I M P O R TA N C E OF YOUR

By Da m

BUSINESS STORY?

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n io

Stander

THE BIZZ BUZZ


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business is often started by identifying a need or want in the market. Then, for most of us, we mould and adapt the business to address the needs and wants for many reasons, from pure survival to a sense of purpose.

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What we tend to not focus on or ignore completely is our Business Story. This is often avoided because we struggle to articulate it into words or feel like we’re bragging, asking ourselves like ‘Who really cares?’. However, your business story should form a big part of your Marketing Strategy and therefore, also influences your Business Strategy.

We are all told at some point about the 30-second elevator pitch. But are those 30 seconds better spent giving your audience a list of “things” you do or rather the benefits of these “things”? Or, how about telling the story of your business and how you got it to where it is today? Would that not be more impressive and have them asking more?

Consider This: Storytelling is effectively how history is created, a means of building longevity and legacy. As a human race, storytelling has been how we have shared life experiences or how we entertain. Storytelling is part and parcel of human evolution. So, why don’t we share our business story then?

In marketing, if your audience or market wants more information, your chance of closing a sale increases substantially.

Stories emotionally connect your business to your market; it effectively becomes the foundation of your brand and is essential in creating Brand Loyalty. A story communicates and is understood in a far more meaningful way when compared to facts, datasets, or a slide show. A good story can also isolate your business from your competitors. 34

If having a business story is so beneficial, why are most businesses not actively telling their stories? The simple answer is this; it’s hard to put the story together. I have spent many sessions with clients where we work, sometimes over multiple sessions, just to get the one-liner of why their business exists – their WHY!

THE BIZZ BUZZ

IMAGE: Freepik

THE 30-SECOND ELEVATOR PITCH


YOUR STORY IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING So, start putting something down and let it evolve organically. Then, start sharing your story and test it in your market to see how your market responds. When developing your story, think about your customer's need and how your business was started to fulfil this need. Our story? OptiGrowth was realised after we left a business where we were managing 200 staff, supporting recognisable blue-chip corporates and, servicing about 60% of the South African market, and knowing we still were learning.

When we left this company and reflected on the value of the sale of shares from the business, the key areas affecting that value and how hard we worked in this business, we realised that many business owners were going through the same struggles we had just experienced. If you take a step back and assess your business, what you’ll realise is that what you’re struggling with is achieving the goals that you as the founder set out to accomplish when you started your business – the ability to control your own time, wealth creation, supporting your family and an establishing an exit plan. This could be because of either a lack of business knowledge or

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just not taking a step back and objectively viewing the business. As OptiGrowth, and a collectively holding over 60 years of experience, we can package those experiences and share wisdom with our clients. As a result, we effectively help business owners on their journey of building the business structure that leads to them taking back control, giving them the opportunity to grow and ultimately freedom.

business’ values and culture. Effectively your business story becomes not just a critical part of your marketing strategy but also your business.

BUSINESS OWNERS, HELPING BUSINESS OWNERS. You’ll notice we haven’t shared what we do or how we offer our services. We instead focused on sharing the purpose of our business. As you read our story, you may have felt that you could relate to a few of the aspects shared. Furthermore, you’re hopefully also wanting to reach out and find out how and what we do. That’s what your story should do; help your customer relate to your business and emotionally connect with you. Lastly, once you have developed your story, you’ll pull bits and pieces out to build marketing content and plan a strategy to build and generate a following. Your story also helps your team buy into your business and personally relate to the 36

One of my favourite sources on why it’s essential to connect with your market emotionally is Simon Sinek’s Ted Talks about the Golden Circle and your “Why”. Give it watch. Otherwise, feel free to contact us, and we can share more about this and other aspects on how to build and relate your business story.

THE BIZZ BUZZ


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COACH ME!

THINK

YOURSELF

&

INTO YOUR NEXT

BETTER CHAPTER

By The Lady Jaclyn

W

hat can you do today that can get you closer to where you want to go and who you want to be? You may have gotten to that point where you feel like you can’t take another hit. You have been knocked down far too many times, and you are struggling to dig deep to find the motivation to carry on. Have you found yourself speaking these out loud? “What’s the point?” “It’s never going to change.” “I have tried EVERYTHING & still I do not see those results.” 38


Jaclyn is a Human Behaviour Change Consultant, Leadership Coach & Speaker who guides leaders, professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs to step into their greatest power; Self Awareness so that they can confidently move through the fear of challenging times and amplify their impact - offering 1:1 coaching sessions, Human Design Assessments, Corporate Group Coaching and Awaken Leadership Programme.

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I see you, and I know it’s tough!! I feel your frustration and hopelessness. But, I am here to remind you that you have come this far because you are meant to! There is a point in all of this, in every experience and every challenge you may face. You may not see the bigger picture right now because sometimes it’s only after you go through an experience, and live out the lesson to become wiser, that you can then look back and watch all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

Journaling is by far the best practice to clear your mind and find clarity. Amongst the +-70000 thoughts, you have a day; it’s impossible to control them all. And by nature, thoughts are spontaneous, so trying to avoid thinking something is actually the quickest way to think more of that specific topic, ultimately influencing your behaviour. Let me share a personal

IMAGE: Unsplash

Things only change when you are outside of your comfort zone! Sometimes it takes the smallest steps in the right direction to act as a catalyst for

massive growth and transformation. What are you doing today that can get you closer to where you want to go? What story can you hold onto that inspires you to believe that change is already taking place?

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COACH ME!


example: I first started cycling in January this year, hopped onto the bike and down the road I went. It was a new experience and one that involved an immense amount of concentration, as expected when trying something new for the first time. Cycling down the road, I was trying my best to avoid the traffic, staying inside the yellow lane, on the look out for ditches and trying my best to avoid those cat eyes. It’s amazing what those small reflectors on the road can do to your balance on a bike (LOL). But sure enough, every time I focused my mind on avoiding the cat eyes, I hit one. It was like the more I focused on missing the next cat eye, the easier it became for me to hit each one precisely on point, like a moth drawn to the light. I then realised that I should focus on where I wanted to go instead of where I didn’t want to end up. So, I focused my mind on 10cm inside the cat eyes ... can you guess what happened? That’s right! I missed each and every cat-eye. The more you focus on what you don’t want, the more you programme your mind to bring you exactly that. If you feel like you aren’t manifesting the things you actually want, check-in with the story you keep telling yourself. Even though thoughts are

"Eventually, you end up thinking better feelings & thoughts that align with a more authentic ref lection of who you are." spontaneous, you have the control to reprogramme the types of thoughts you think. Instead of avoiding certain thoughts, try to focus on introducing a better and new feeling or thought, a thought that is a true reflection of the perception and experience you wish to have in your life and business. The more you catch yourself in the moment of thinking something that isn’t serving you and replace it with a better feeling or thought, the more it becomes a habit. Eventually, you end up thinking better feelings and thoughts that align with a more authentic reflection of who you are.

COACH ME!

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SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY THAT CAN GET YOU CLOSER TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO AND WHO YOU WANT TO BE? You have been given the beautiful gift and power of choice, so choose to rewrite the story that no longer fits into the narrative of who you are. Do this by introducing positive, better feelings and thoughts into your now moment.

HERE ARE SOME JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR YOU:

Then notice the shift in how you behave, how you express yourself, and the impact an empowering story has on the way you make decisions in your life and business.

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IMAGE: Unsplash

• What do I believe is possible for my life? Am I thinking thoughts that make me feel good, or do they continue to take me down the spiral of negativity? • What are the thoughts that I continuously think? • Are those thoughts actually true? • What do I believe about myself, the situation, money, relationships, my business? • Am I open to exploring the possibilities that are readily available to me? • What do I feel is currently standing in my way? COACH ME!


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MUST READ

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

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MUST READ


OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! ... WHEN YOU HAVE A BOOK!

Image Source: Freepik

Moonshot by John Sanei John Sanei explains how to ask the bigger, bolder, more courageous questions that will help you thrive – rather than merely survive – in our exponentially changing times. With a future-focused victor mindset, Sanei decodes the mega-trends that are reshaping human behaviour and the way we do business – not to mention, the way we live our lives. He then explains how to innovate your business with the ultimate aim of becoming the new type of billionaire: someone who positively affects billions of people. RECOMMENDED BY Lisa Bell

MUST READ

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Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo Whether you want to leave a dead end job, break an addiction, learn to dance, heal a relationship, or grow a business, Everything is Figureoutable will show you how. • T he habit that makes it 42% more likely you'll achieve your goals. • H ow to overcome a lack of time and money. • H ow to deal with criticism and imposter syndrome. RECOMMENDED BY The Lady Jaclyn

Think again by Adam Grant Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, the most crucial skill may be the ability to rethink and unlearn. Recent global and political changes have forced many of us to re-evaluate our opinions and decisions. Yet we often still favour the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt, and prefer opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. Intelligence is no cure, and can even be a curse. The brighter we are, the blinder we can become to our own limitations. RECOMMENDED BY

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John Sanei

MUST READ


The Stories We Tell by Juanene Frydman Being conscious of who we are, what we do and who we’re becoming is one of the greatest gifts we can afford ourselves and those around us. Finding out what your animal personality type is, discovering your strengths and the areas you need to work on, and recognising these traits in those around you, will enable you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life, in your personal and family relationships, and especially in your work life. RECOMMENDED BY Diane Boorman

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Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon Nothing is original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix and reimagine to discover your own path. Follow interests wherever they take you - what feels like a hobby may turn into you life’s work. Forget the old cliché about writing what you know: Instead, write the book you want to read, make the movie you want to watch. And finally, stay Smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring in the everyday world so that you have the space to be wild and daring in your imagination and your work. RECOMMENDED BY Lynne Gadd-Claxton

FOREsight by John Sanei John breaks down the four types of seeing - HINDsight, PLAINsight, INsight and FOREsight - we humans use to guide us through the world and into the future. Then, with 20 shots of vivid, eye-opening FOREsight, he gives listeners the opportunity to peer into what that future could be and ask the types of questions that will allow us to embrace it with optimism. RECOMMENDED BY Angie Fraenkel

*As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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MUST READ


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RECRUITING ... NOT A SWEAR WORD

Are you

W

hen people first hear the term "crucial conversation," many conjure up images of presidents, emperors, and prime ministers seated around a massive table, debating the future of the world. Although

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such discussions indeed have a lasting impact, they are not the kind we have in mind. The crucial conversations we're referring to are interactions that happen in the workplace daily.

RECRUITING ... NOT A SWEAR WORD

IMAGE: Freepik

Having Crucial Conversations In T h e Wo r k p l a c e ?


They're the day-to-day conversations that your business relationships and your office environment. Understanding why and how to have these conversations is crucial for developing an open and honest culture among staff, encouraging dialogue instead of counterproductive sniggering. Some helpful tips to consider before and during a crucial conversation: • Change your mindset, approach the conversation positively! • Breathe, being calm allows a better perspective • Plan the conversation, but don't script it • Acknowledge your counterpart's perspective often • Be compassionate • Slow down and listen • Give something back • Reflect and learn

Ask Anthony

Anthony Kettle Anthony Kettle is a true serial-entrepreneur always taking on new business opportunities with passion and zeal. He is the co-owner of West Coast Personnel, a successful recruitment agency that has been around for going on 21 years in the Table View, Western Cape area. He co-founded Skills Café, an online platform for Recruiters and corporates looking for Manufacturing and Engineering staff. He is also co-owner of Equip-Yourself, where job seekers can increase their chances of finding their dream job by up to 80%.

Have the conversation, it's a must!

anthony@wcp.co.za

westcoastpersonnel.co.za 51


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Kreatively Yours by Krystin Morgenrood

PROFESSIONAL C R E AT I V E MOCKUPS

IMAGE: Freepik

Ever wondered how that new brand will look on your car door or window? Tried to visualise your logo onto those set of coffee mugs you bought for client gifts? Well, nowadays, with the help of digital tools, you don't have to wonder.

is used to display how a design will look in real life. Much like trying on a wig to see whether long hair suits you, we can place a design/logo/brand, image onto any object in order to show you how it will appear once implemented. Reach out if you're needing professional mockups created.

A professional creative mockup

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THE ENQUIRER

As

k Di

an eB

oor man

W

hether you’re navigating a multi-million-dollar business or just starting up, you will have burning questions. Diane Boorman is here to answer them.

"How do I know I am ready for an investor? Will this help grow my business?" - Anonymous IT Company Fourways

A business has a life cycle. It usually starts with the research 54

and investigation into the product or industry. Then, if there is significant market share available, plus the owner has the knowledge and a passion, the start-up phase begins. Usually, at this stage, you have used your money or friends and family have supported you. They will be your biggest cheerleaders, so don’t fall into the trap of asking their opinions unless you need an ego boost.

THE ENQUIRER


IMAGE: Freepik

Once your business has gained clients and sold products/ services, you will refine the process, innovate, and keep adapting until you find the perfect way of gaining clients and of solving their problems of tomorrow today. You will also be doing everything; this is exhausting but also so exhilarating at the same time. Success and achievement are ultimately what keeps business owners going.

clients and your products and have started to get sales – this way, you know what documents are needed and what the expectations are from the funding houses. It also allows you to streamline from an early age. The best options are to get a 100% grant that is not paid back but helps you grow: marketing projects, product launches, product development, and testing.

Suddenly, you notice you are making some profit, suddenly you can define processes, and suddenly you are a true business owner who is growing. You might even employ. This is when you need to plan and start delegating. It will also be the time to start getting compliant and all your documents ready – because if you can prove the demand, angel investors, joint ventures, government grants, and so much more will be at your fingertips.

Never be afraid to take on investors, or grants or opportunities. But make sure they are linked back to your values and your business plan – where do YOU want to take your business in the future?

If you decide to take on an investor linked to equity, make sure they have the correct networks. Make sure they can connect you with the market you want to expand into. It's not only about the money – the money needs to be used for machines, marketing etc., the real growth opportunity. My advice to any business owner is to start with applications for funding once you know your

It is Maturity and then decline from this stage, so you need to have started innovating before the decline. Watch your numbers!

"I have one large corporate and no other clients; is this a good or bad thing?" - Corporate Gifting Company in Bloemfontein

THE ENQUIRER

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Almost all business owners dream of only serving one client, knowing that client intimately, innovating just for them. There are loads of pros and cons behind this. The biggest con is what happens to your client if an industry shift or economy starts affecting them – what happens if they close their doors? This used to be unheard of, but in today’s times, this is possible. Keeping your eggs in one basket is always a risk – I would suggest employing a General Manager who can either manage and serve this client or start putting feelers out to find new clients. If you can grow with one client, imagine what you will do with 5 or 6 or more clients. You have a stunning reference, testimonial, and referral opportunity right there with this one client. Ask your client to refer you to others – explain you want to grow and employ; I am sure they will be very complimentary and want you to succeed – just don’t forget about them and underserve them. There is a fine line here. Make sure you have processes to grow, make sure your staff know what is expected – communication is key. Good luck, as this is very exciting. This is a chance to expand and take your business to new heights. 56

Diane Boorman Every business owner expects to be successful in their business, BUT how many have achieved their most significant potential of business growth? As a business enabler and growth accelerator and global guest speaker, Diane Boorman uses her 55 000 hours of entrepreneurial and corporate success to help uncover the hidden opportunities and future potential by identifying business areas often forgotten. Diane is a Board Member of the Cape Chamber of Commerce, Accountability Accelerator for Circle of Excellence and Columnist at Word Magazine. Further, she is President for BNI Edge, International Networking Organisation, and the CEO for Brand Analytics. www.brandanalytics.co.za

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THANK YOU

for indulging us with your time ... ... Issue 10 with you 1 October Does your business have the X-Factor?

DISCLAIMER Despite the constant care and attention that we devote to the structure of this magazine and the information it contains, The Word Architect and it’s various contributors (hereinafter collectively referred to as: TWA & Contributors) cannot guarantee the completeness, accuracy of the data and content of the magazine, nor that it is up to date at all times. TWA & Contributors, therefore, accept no liability for any direct or indirect damage of any kind whatsoever that arises from or is in any way related to, the use of the content or its accessibility or lack thereof. The assertions and opinions expressed in articles and announcements in this magazine reflect the views of the author(s) and do not (necessarily) reflect the views of The Word Architect and the other contributors. TWA & Contributors can in no way whatsoever be held responsible for the content of such opinions, nor can it be held liable for any direct or indirect damage that may arise from such views. TWA & Contributors cannot guarantee that the information in this magazine is suitable for the purpose for which you consult it. All information, products and services are offered in the condition in which they actually are and without any (implicit) guarantee or warranty in respect of their reliability or suitability for a particular purpose or otherwise. The information in this magazine is regularly supplemented and/or modified. TWA & Contributors reserves the right to make any changes with immediate effect and without providing any notice thereof.

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