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Saturday, 4 April 2020

What’s your Social Distancing Score?

Like many people, I’ve had a little extra time lately and I came to wonder if I am doing enough social distancing to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.

I thought I was doing pretty well. I made my own hand sanitizer before our president even addressed the nation for the first time. My husband and I avoided contact for a week before he moved out to care for his mother, who is a primary target for Covid-19, having reduced lung function due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We shopped for essentials, and tried not to overdo it. I hand sanitized and washed hands multiple times a day. I continued to go to work in line with policy and observing hygiene protocols. Then I chatted to a friend.

He has been self-isolating too. He had made an online grocery order and had it delivered. He had avoided contact with the courier and sanitized after the delivery. He had sanitized all items delivered before putting them away. I realized that I hadn’t actually been doing that well after all.

I then remembered listening to the audio book of The Four Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling. While I am no expert at the Four disciplines, I remembered the principle of Lead measures and Lag measure in the execution of any goal.

I realized that a many of us are focused on the lag measures (the statistics that are spread on every news channel and social media network) and while we are given lead measures by governments who are scrambling to implement the advice of the World Health Organization while trying to save their countries’ economies, we aren’t even sure how well we as individuals are doing in the fight to slow the spread of the virus.

I figured that we need a scorecard to measure ourselves, to quantify how we are performing on a day to day basis. This scorecard is another concept from The Four Disciplines of Execution where they talk about creating a compelling scoreboard.

Since there is a limitation on testing available in different countries and often testing is done once symptoms show, we must assume that any point of contact is an opportunity for the virus to spread. Our aim must be to minimize points of contact. So we score ourselves according to how many points of contact we expose ourselves to on a daily basis and how long we can maintain below a certain threshold (ideally zero, but practically probably somewhere low but positive none the less). I have come up with the table of scoring through extremely rough estimates. Anyone who decides to use this can adjust it accordingly as it’s a tool for you to use to evaluate yourself. This also applies to family units or groups of people who isolate together. Each person who accumulates points affects the score of the whole group since the whole group will be affected.

Start each day at Zero.
Full Quarantine = 0 (Absolutely zero external contact)
Receive a delivery = +10
Sanitize each item delivered = -5
Leave the house = +10
Every person whose 2 meter space you enter = +1
Go to work = 50 + number of people who also attended work.
Sanitize work space = -25
Visit a hospital = +400
Go to a Pharmacy = +300
Go to Gym = +300
Go to a store = +200 (Adjust for how large the store is/how well they are sanitizing)
Sanitize on entering the store = -10
Sanitize when leaving the store = -20
Sanitize when getting home = -5
Sanitize each item purchased when getting home= -10
Wipe down surfaces at home = - 10
Every time you touch something that someone else has touched = +2
Sanitize immediately after touching it = -1
Cough/Sneeze without cover/on hand = +20
Cough/Sneeze into shoulder/elbow = +10
Cough/Sneeze into face mask = +5

I’m sure many people think they are doing their bit in this fight, as I did, and are simply not aware of the extent to which we need to be going. I hope this tool will help.

Friday, 20 March 2020

How to beat Covid-19 by acting as a united community and being an example to the world #StrongerTogether.

In this time of uncertainty, the concept of looking after one’s own perceived needs at the expense of others is acutely highlighted. The world is in suspense with regulations relating to curbing the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) resulting in widespread panic shopping and vendors taking advantage of their ability to provide perceived essentials at exorbitantly escalated prices. 

I draw the comparison of lanes merging on a highway with congested traffic. Most drivers adhere to the rules by merging at the designated point and remaining in the demarcated lane. A few individuals use the emergency lane to pass those waiting and force their way into the traffic flow as close as possible to the point of congestion. Where the lanes merge, most drivers allow space for the other traffic to merge, while a few drivers close the gap to ensure that no-one fits in between them and the car ahead. 

What the drivers who attempt to bypass the traffic or stop others from merging in do not realize, is that their very actions are making the situation as a whole worse. By by-passing the stoppage and fitting in close to the front, it forces other vehicles to have to stop and wait longer to get through the congestion point, thus worsening the congestion, and by not allowing an orderly merge, the traffic attempting to merge must stop and be held up to wait for another gap later on.

I use this example to highlight a situation that is common in most spheres of life. If we act purely in our own interests, at the expense of others, society as a whole suffers and we end up worse off. If we act together in a common interest, and focus our efforts on uplifting others, society as a whole benefits and we all end up better off.

The Coronavirus Pandemic provides and acute example of this principle. As an over simplified example: 

The entire economy is under strain, yet greedy vendors appeal to the sense of panic and escalate hand sanitizer prices to make a quick buck. Those that can’t afford the high prices don’t sanitize and are more susceptible to the virus. The rate of infection increases unnecessarily further increasing the strain on the economy and more businesses close, more people can’t afford to sanitize and the cycle continues. Eventually the vendor contracts the virus because too many people who have been exposed visited his store. The store has to close, the staff lose their jobs and family members with compromised immune systems succumb to the disease. Everybody loses. 

Equally, if prices are controlled and consumers panic buy all available stock, it still leaves other people without the resources to prevent the spread of the virus, again increasing the rate of infection so that in the end, everybody loses.

We need to work very carefully together to fight this pandemic. We must take personal responsibility for ensuring that we avoid contracting and spreading the virus and assist others in ensuring that they are able to do the same.

When provisioning for potential isolation, buy enough for yourself and your family, avoid overstocking or clearing out the shelves. If you buy more than you need, you are creating the problem you are attempting to prepare for. 

As with all situations in life, opportunities present themselves. The challenge is to respond to the opportunity in a way that benefits the most people, rather than in a way that benefits a few people at the expense of others. 

As a country, if we can limit the negative effect of this pandemic by minimizing potential exposure and opportunities for transmission, we can provide guidance and assistance to other countries on how to best manage and mitigate the risks. In order to do this, we must make optimum use of our resources and be as proactive as possible. We could still show the world that we are leaders if we as individuals work together towards the common goal of overcoming this Pandemic. As we showed in the Rugby World Cup we are #StrongerTogether

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Feeling Inspired!

Hi... Its been a while since my last post on consistency... I guess I didn't really buy into that one.

I have been feeling more inspired lately and I can attribute this feeling to having started reading again. More specifically, I'm reading Robin Sharma's book, The 5AM Club.

What I am really enjoying is the way he repetitively emphasises the idea that any of us can be great and inspiring people and achieve amazing feats by following a simple procedure. Whether or not the procedure that is prescribed is specifically relevant to each individual on the planet or not, there are some great insights on building new productive habits to replace old unproductive ones, along with anecdotes about embracing our individuality to achieve our incredible potential.

If not anything else, the book has brought me back to this blog, and I intend to post more regularly with a new aim:

To share my thoughts on ideas and concepts South Africa as a Country needs to embrace to achieve its incredible potential. Some ideas are practical steps specific to our problems as they arise and some are more general ideas that I believe are universally applicable.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas and hearing yours for it is through open minded productive debate that we expand our minds and grow, not only our knowledge, but our collective Wisdom.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The first law of Blogging... be Consistent

I'm Back...

It has been a long absence and I finally decided that I need to continue what I started, and what better to blog about than one of the most basic principles of success at ANYTHING...


Over the nearly four years that have passed since my last post, I have had different levels of success with the many areas of my life that I have applied myself to, but the trend I have identified is that the most successful areas are ones that I applied myself to consistently.

It is easy to acknowledge this kind of statement and I almost feel people reading this, gently nodding their heads and agreeing with me. Think of your biggest goals that you have had some success with and you will realise that you applied yourself to them consistently over a period of time.

I find it frustrating that it seems like such a simple formula... Apply myself consistently over a period of time and I will achieve what I set out to do... And yet there are so many other things that seem to have fallen by the wayside.  Sean Covey and Chris McChesney refer to "The Whirlwind" in their book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution. I understand "the whirlwind" to be that stuff of everyday life that we are so busy with that we can't find time to get to our goals...

So what makes the difference?

John Demartini's teaching relates your tendency to apply yourself consistently to a goal to how that goal fulfils your highest values. Which is why I included ADD VALUE as one of my Seven Steps to Success. Relate your goals to your highest values and you will find yourself spending more time on them naturally.

What remains is to KEEP spending that time on them... Consistently. Elements of all of My Seven Steps to Success will lead to consistency in following your goals. Creating Accountability is a powerful way to ensure consistency. Whether you hire a life coach, or ask a friend for or associate to check in with them on a regular basis as an accountability partner, the process of sharing the goal with another person and giving feedback on progress is incredibly powerful in creating consistency and ultimately succeeding.

Looking forward to connecting with you all again... next time sooner, and more CONSISTENTLY.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Feedback on the goal...

On 1 October 2014 I set a goal to accumulate 2 Million Rand in 2 months. The deadline was 30 November which was 3 days ago. I said I would hold myself accountable to the readers of this page, so here is the feedback as promised.

My intention was to set up a blog and generate income through advertising and online marketing. My strategy was provide value and inspiration to my readers and thus increase the traffic to this blog. I then signed up for various advertising and affiliate programmes and placed adverts on the  blog.

In terms of results, I have learned a lot about blogging and how to increase views. I have found out more about what statistics are more and less relevant. I have set some small goals along the way, like getting 100 views in a day, which I achieved twice. I have had over 2000 views on this blog in just over 2 months, which I think is pretty good, but not earth shattering. I have started getting shares and learned how to set up a share bar like to one at the bottom of this post. Feel free to use it if you feel there's value.

As far as generating income is concerned, I joined a number of affiliate programmes and if you follow any of the links on any of my posts, you will be redirected to a site that is referenced to my affiliate programme. If you ten buy something there,  I will earn a small commission.

I have also placed adverts on my blog for which I got paid per click.  I was fairly convinced that the income would come streaming in.....

But it didn't... so now what?

I missed the goal of 2 Million Rand in 2 months.... yet this blog is about turning your dreams into reality. I believe I have made a positive difference in at least a few people's lives and this is a fulfilment of one of my dreams.

As for the 2 Million Rand... I'm going to keep at it. One of the most common principles I have read and heard about in personal development books, audio programmes and seminars is persistence. Now is the time to look at what I've done, figure out what I've done well and do more of it, and look at what I could have done differently and make that change.

I am definitely more valuable to myself for having gone through this process and I commit to sharing my continuous growth and improvement with you. I would love to hear your stories.

If you have been inspired in any way, it's time to share...

Friday, 28 November 2014

What do you do if you have a 3 Million Rand idea that you want to sell to Google?

I have done a little bit of research on this topic and I haven't come up with an answer yet. 

There seem to be a lot of developers out there who claim that getting a large company to buy your idea has similar odds to winning the lottery. I say that if you want to win the lottery, the first step is having a ticket. So if I want to sell my idea to Google, I have to at least put it out there. 

It seems as if Google have purposefully kept their contact details as private as possible because so many people out there believe they have the next big thing. If they advertised, they would be inundated with calls and emails and their servers would constantly be full, so how do they find out about new ideas. They would be silly to ignore the potential of the world of knowledge at their finger tips. What they do have is access to what everyone searches for and the sites that they visit. So by now I guess they know I have something I want them to consider. 

The next question is how do I get the idea across to them without giving away the idea completely. This is the problem with an idea, its just that until someone does something with it. There are also probably hundreds if not thousands of other people who have come up with similar ideas. What makes my idea better than theirs? I have looked a little into patenting and it seems as if its not really worth the money that would have to be spent on it to ensure that it is no-one else could reproduce it with just a few small changes.

I guess the guys at Google have to risk the fact that most ideas will already have been developed in some way or another... but what if my idea is in fact that one that is unique, or at least there is a feature that gives it enough of an advantage over whatever else is out there that could make it the next big thing. What if my idea could make the difference that would take Google+ and make it surpass any other social networking platform available?

The only way they could ever find out would be to find some or other post like this and read into the belief of its writer and contact him to ask about it, set up a meeting, get the details and enter into an agreement with him...

Am I living in a dream world?????

Lets see.

Friday, 21 November 2014

R1 999 999.98 in 10 days... This challenge is getting real.

As you will see,  I have started generating income from my site. I'm a bit behind schedule, yet super excited about it.

Throughout this process, I have been adamant that it's not about the money, and that it's all about adding value and making a difference. One of the points of setting a money goal was to prove that the process works and provide inspiration to anyone who wants to follow My 7 Steps to Success. So I've had to up the ante a bit and start asking some more hardcore questions.

So the questions I have started asking are: "What do I have that is worth 2 Million Rand?" and "How do I get someone to agree that it's worth that and pay me for it?"

That one idea that came to mind was for a social network type application/website. (Details not included ;) I believe the idea is worth more than the 2 Million I'm looking for in the long run, and I could develop it myself or find developers that would take on the project for me.  I would prefer to sell the idea, contract for a royalty and let the guys who have the resources do what they do best and make it awesome.

I would love to hear from some more experienced online entrepreneurs to find out the best way to approach this. Mail me at