That “stuck” feeling

Untitled designSo I am at the end of my lovely three week leave from work… And you know what? It has been a very self-reflecting leave of absence.

For starters,  until I went on leave, I didn’t realize how stuck I felt in both my personal life and in my job. I am the kind of person that enjoys life – going on adventures, challenging myself, improving my skills, self-educating… Somehow, I have lost my motivation to live life to the fullest; to follow my goals and my dreams. That young, ambitious woman that wanted to start her own book cafe business with the best coffee and atmosphere in town, would be very disappointed in the person that I am today. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful to have a good job and for the experience I have gained, but it is so far from what I have always wanted to achieve.

Billy Cox said that life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.

And boy was Billy Cox right. Life doesn’t make it easy to follow your goals and dreams. We have bills to pay, families to provide for, responsibilities. Most of us, when we find a job that pays well, making it easier to adhere to our responsibilities, work for the pay check every month because it is comfortable. We forget about what we wanted to do one day when we are big and we fall into our comfort zones where our lives have some sense of security.

It shouldn’t be so easy to settle for comfort and security… I suppose of it makes you happy, then by all means there is nothing wrong with living in your comfort zone. But to me it is a slow and miserable death. Why? Because, I honestly belief that my part to play is much bigger than a nice pay check, a nice car or a nice house.

One day when I am big, I want to be able to truly say that I have changed lives, that I motivated and influenced my community. I want to wake up every morning with a smile on my face because I know that what I will be doing today will take me a step closer to where I want to eventually find myself. And that is me running my own little business promoting exceptional coffee, providing access to great literature, and educating my customers in poetry, fine art, creative writing and whatever else goes with coffee and books! It might sound like such bit silly dream, but sometimes you have to risk everything for a dream no one can see but you.

We all have our own idea of how we should live our life. Some are brave enough to drop everything and run after that vision, and some choose comfort. We tend to forget that where we are now, is not necessarily where we have to get stuck. After all, we are the creators of our own destiny… Just ask yourself “what do you want to be one day when you are big?”

Never stop. Never stop fighting. Never stop dreaming” – Tom Hiddleston


Why so negative?

Life just isn’t fair, right? There is this constant competition between people and brands with negative messages everywhere you look – the radio, TV, web, print, outdoor and social media. It is driving me mad…

I get it though…that negative marketing works. Focusing on negative feelings resonate with people – it makes them feel like they are finally understood…

  • Brand A is always breaking and never reliable, so try Brand B for the quality you deserve
  • Your projects are always failing because you still use paper and pen to manage them, rather try our ABC software and watch your productivity soar
  • Stuck in a dead-end job? Come to our career fair and open the door to new opportunities

Really? Selling by putting down your competitor and exploiting people’s fears and struggles… I can think of a better way to sell: it is called give your customers a positive experience

“Customers shouldn’t just think of your business as a place to buy a product; it should be a fun place to be.” – Richard Branson

With negative marketing you have to take away something from someone for it to be effective. So basically it works on an emotional level. We are all bombarded every day with negative experiences, thoughts, interactions and news. Why would you as a business add to that? Why not rather be the kind of business that adds value, puts a positive message out there, give people hope? When you keep on throwing negative messages at people, they will eventually develop negative feelings towards your brand. You will just provoke negative feelings and frankly, you won’t get a lot of good results from it. Messages that are negative shout desperation. Not a good way to creating long, lasting customer relationships.

At the end of the day, if your product is great, you wouldn’t need to spend time criticizing your competitors. In a negative world like this, we need to be different and start spreading positive vibes…

When you are making a decision about how best to serve your customers, your own experience is often a better guide than a more sophisticated analysis of the market.” – Richard Branson



Keep calm & dream big!

A lot has cDreamshanged for me lately. In a way it has forced me to take a step back and relook my life. Being successful, being brilliant at what I do, it is a big part of my life – I want to one day look back and be proud of what I accomplished, the differences I was able to make in the lives of others… To some this might sound silly, small-minded and perhaps even self-centred. To me, it means that my time spent on earth meant something and I was able to leave behind my own legacy.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it is what inspired me to write a new post today.

I suppose in a way there are a lot of you that might share my outlook on being successful. But can I tell you something? Becoming successful and even maintaining success is not a 9 to 5 job Monday to Friday. Success requires a lot of sacrifice – working longer hours, giving up your weekends and public holidays, even cutting down on family time… It doesn’t really sound like much fun… Yet again it actually depends on your situation. Are you working yourself up the ladder, proving your worth to the company and building a strong reputable reputation for yourself? Then good for you – that could really pay off in the future! However, along the way you might feel challenged, you might even become demotivated, feeling stressed, and even depressed. When you start feeling down like this all the time, you have to ask yourself the question “Why?”.

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.”

My point… working hard and proving yourself is good and all, but your why must be 100% clearly defined. To become successful you must truly love what you do – it has to make you feel good; you go home happy and proud because today you gave 110% doing what you love. Going home feeling tired, drained, stressed out and depressed…you are clearly not following your dreams.

No matter how hard it is, you should never ever settle for a job or a career because it pays the bills or it makes you look good when you around your friends. No, you have to keep your drDreams3eams alive – to go after what makes you feel happy and proud. How else are you going to achieve your goals? Practice a healthy work-life balance. You can work towards becoming successful and still have a life along the way. And if you are currently not enjoying your job and its dragging you down, well then quit. Don’t ever be afraid to start over and create the life that you have always wanted. Remember that it is never too late to improve the quality and standard of your life. Life is just too short…

“Whatever it is that stirs your soul, listen to that. Everything else is just noise.”




Lately I have been thinking a lot about time. How I am spending my time; with whom I am spending my time. Life has become just so busy that I am finding time to slip away – time is becoming an enemy. I just never have enough time anymore.

Just imagine how customers feel, when I, as a marketer, am finding time to hardly be on my side? We as marketers need to work hard to get the attention of a customer. With the busy lifes we all live, as a brand, we need to change our mind set and rather find a way of earning a customer’s attention – developing a brand strategy that makes your customer feel likes his or her time have been well spend. Again, it all comes back to the experience that you offer and it is that experience that will hold customers’ attention and motivate them to offer up some of their time to pay attention to your brand.

Don’t deliver a product. Deliver an experience.

Offer an experience – that sounds easy, right? Well it could be…it just depends on how well you know your target market. What it comes down to is asking three basic questions when creating an experience:

  1. Would you care about this?
  2. Should you care about this?
  3. What is the quality of the content you are providing?

Always put yourself in the shoes of your target market. If you don’t care or enjoy the content of the experience you are creating, what makes you think your customer enjoys it?


For a lot of people time is limited, it is precious. Nobody wants to waist their time on an average brand experience that is just the same or as similar as its competition. Dare to be different, because that is what most customers want. If you aren’t just a little bit different than your competition, you are in trouble.

The 6 most expensive words in business are: “We’ve always done it that way.

Time…don’t waist it by doing what has always been done. Get to know your target group and then adapt your brand experience to suite their needs. That is how you will capture their attention. Always be willing to adapt and remember that everyone lives a busy life, so be creative and offer the best brand experience that will make your customers feel like they have just spend their time well engaging with your brand.







Love. Time. Death.

I recently watched Collateral Beauty. Really an amazing film, I would recommend you to watch it some time. It left with me a message that I just cannot seem to get out of my head:

“Love, time, death. Now these three things connect every single human being on earth. We long for love, we wish we had more time and we fear death” – Will Smith as Howard Inlet

One can argue that these three messages are exactly why a business has customers and why customers support the purchase of products and services. We can even take a few life lessons out of the above quote…

Let me see if I can explain myself.

I can imply that love, time and death should be implemented in our own lives, in a certain manner, to ensure that we always stay on top of our game when it comes to our jobs; being the best you can possibly be.

Let’s start with LOVE. Love is intended as love for what we do. Nobody explains it better than Steve Jobs:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

That is what will make you a great at your job. Love for what you do will provide you with the strength and passion to generate inspiring ideas and give you that I can change the world kind-of feeling. Love what you do…

TIME. How important it is to live your life right now, in the moment. There is no sane reason for you to always be thinking about work. Yes, you have to work hard to prove yourself, to climb the corporate ladder, but you also have to have a bit of fun along the way. Just remember that the most precious things in life you cannot buy with money, you gain it by spending time with your family, friends, or even just hanging by yourself; making memories, ticking off things on your bucket list. Use the time that you have to live your life right now. You will never get time back to do what is most important to you.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

And then there is DEATH. Life’s change agent is death. It is the one abstract with enough power to force you to make the best possible choice when it comes to how you want to live your life. You have to be willing to go after your goals, to follow your dreams, to fight to promote your ideas, till death – to built your own legacy by giving your life a true purpose. What are you living for? To just pay bills? There is more to life than just working, just keep that in mind, okay?

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” – Jim Morrison

Love, time, death. The most important tool to help us to make the biggest choices in our lives, is remembering that we will soon be dead. Death is inevitable. So use that remembrance as a tool and remind yourself that there is no valid reason for you not to follow your heart. That is how you become great at your job: you LOVE what you do, you make TIME for the important things in your life, and DEATH, well just live your life to the fullest.

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” – Steve Jobs


Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.

I thought this headline to be very appropriate for what I am about to share with you today. You see, I have this friend, who is really passionate about being strategic and marketing. So passionate actually, that him and his partner are trying to make a difference through an initiative they call TOUCH. So without any further ado, here is their story:

Two young men, Jason Tuohy and Jabulani Sibiya started playing around with the idea of starting their own agency whilst they were still students a few years ago. You see for them it was a challenge to fully grasp the type of industry that they were going to enter once they have completed their studies; the kind of pressure and challenges that they would have to experience… Usually the first thing that comes to mind when considering an entrepreneurial path is the question “Do I have the right amount of experience?”.  And this is where I have just have to just pause the story and quote Steve Jobs…

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

And they finally did just that! TOUCH was born. So what is TOUCH? I am so glad you asked! The aim is bring the industry and a wider scope of work to current students – preferably second years and upwards as they are likely to be happy with their chosen patch and have already gained a good idea of where they would like their career path to take them, perhaps just the “how” is still unclear. This is where TOUCH comes into play. It provides students with the opportunity to network, to connect with industry practitioners, industry leaders and business owners. Each TOUCH session takes place once a month, usually the last Wednesday of every month and only consists of 35 individuals at maximum so as to keep the sessions intimate.

“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” – Steve Jobs

Do yourselves a favor, get in contact with these guys and attend a TOUCH session. Go and see what it is all about – you might just make the right connection or find the right fit for your. Their next session is taking place this Wednesday, 31st May, with Mike Sherman, co-founder of Retroviral as their speaker.

Jason Tuohy – 083 545 8715 /
Jabulani Sibiya – 072 804 8617 /


Don’t be one of those brands that aren’t really who they “post” to be.

So, surprise…working and trying to be a blogger – well a bit more challenging than I honestly thought it would be. Why? Well, I have a demanding job. But I won’t use that as an excuse. I will prioritize or at least try.

Anyway, this week, for some reason, social media as a topic really stuck with me. Even though social media is not a part of what I do in my daily job, I do think it has become a very vital part in a lot of companies strategic planning. Now, I personally am not a fan of using social media for business, but I do see how it can assist with brand awareness and generating buzz and engagement. I will be honest, social media has become a strong platform for companies and brand to express themselves.

“Don’t use social media to impress people, use it to impact people” – Dave Willis

I tend to agree with Dave Willis. When you use social media platforms for your company, you need to use it in such a way that your content makes an impact. I think most of the time companies just dive into social media without any real planning because every other brand is doing it. Publishing images, videos, and info-graphics, hoping that it would encourage engagement with fans and followers and ultimately holding thumbs that they would end up interacting with the brand or at least take some sort of an action. No, I don’t think it will work like that – you can have thousands of followers but what are you trying to achieve by using social media? I mean, what is your end goal?

“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.” – Anonymous

Your content needs a strategy – it needs to be link to an end goal. Your brand needs to stand out somehow, right? You have to leave an impression or encourage engagement, otherwise you are just another picture or video on somebody’s Facebook newsfeed…

For social media to work for your brand, you need to change your communication style…you are not a person, you are a brand, so start to create a social network. This simply means that you create a platform and content that encourage followers to talk and for you as a brand to listen to what they have to say. Don’t just post about your brand and toot your own horn – take the time to listen and engage with others. Show your followers that your brand has a broader interest, an interest that goes beyond itself, like what goes on in its community. Show your followers you are aware of the issues, struggles and how you as a brand can help make a difference.

“A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what the customers tell each other it is” – Scott Cook

Social media is like dating. It is time consuming and it takes a lot of work and effort to really make it work. But with the right content and the right strategy in play, it can be worth it in the end. Just remember, social media is not all about posting pretty pictures and getting as many likes as possible. You as a brand on social media need to show your followers what you stand for, what you support and how you as a brand can make a difference. That will spark interest in your brand and it will generate engagement. Perhaps not always online, but people talk among each other.

Moral of the story, a good social media strategy takes time and effort. So don’t rush your content and don’t focus so much on the “how many likes per post” and “how many followers your have”. Rather focus on the value of the content you post. It is always a good idea to go back to the roots of your brand, the heritage, its values and the impact can have on its surrounding community. Show your followers the bigger picture. If it helps, put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and think about what you would like to see from and read about your brand.

“Maybe don’t call it social media. Just be human and tell your story.” – Gary Vaynerchuk