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Self Development

Break free from Corporate Monotony

How to check out of the hamster hotel and pursue your dreams.

Tracey Foulkes




Hate your job? Living from paycheque to paycheque, dreading Mondays? Dissatisfied, frustrated, feeling trapped? I hear it all the time:  “I’d love to change but can’t – I have bills to pay, mouths to feed….”  The big black hole of job dissatisfaction has sucked you in; you’re trapped. You want to check out but don’t know how.  Sound familiar?

There is something about a corporate environment that breeds a culture of excuses. We get trapped by the shiny perks of a car allowance, medical aid benefits, security (I use this word really loosely), flashy salaries and annual increases. Paid leave, fast technology and on-going training are other ‘carrots’ dangled in front of us disguised as opportunity. Now I am not saying that everyone in a corporate environment is unhappy – but for those of you who are … perhaps now is time to for a change. Stop the wheel … I want to get off!

  • Find out what will makes you happy

For the next 2 weeks, write down everything you do at work that makes you happy. Think back on your day and identify when you felt satisfied, happy and like you achieved something.  Reflect on your list to see what you really enjoyed and question how you can be doing more of the ‘happy’ things on a daily basis.

  • Play to you strengths

Marcus Buckingham in his book Go Put Your Strengths to Work talks about a strength being something you both enjoy and are good at. The strengths revolution is about playing to your strengths – this is really the key to making work fun.

  • Set goals

A goal is a dream you wrote down. Take a trip in your mind to 5 years from today and allow yourself to fantasise about all the amazing things you have done (work, relationships, spirituality, self). Dream without restriction.  When you are satisfied you’ve surfed all the possibilities, write down what you thought of and plan how and when you are going to bring that something into your reality. Do something towards reaching your goal every single day.

  • Have an exit plan

Cold turkey might not be the ideal solution for you. You might need to negotiate reduced hours while you get your new venture off the ground or hang on to your current position while you build a financial buffer.  Choosing happiness and changing jobs or starting your own venture might mean you consolidate for the short term.  If your plan is clear, it will be easier to make it through the mundane.  Downgrading your car or your home for the short term might be easier to do.

  • Get educated

To be an expert in your field you need to guard against complacency and read/watch/listen to information in your area of interest every day. Set time aside for this and plan to invest 3% of your earnings into your education, starting today. While you might not yet be able to attend the international conference, you might well be able to invest in the conference audio.

Tracey Foulkes wows audiences with her sharp wit, quick reactions and personable sense of humour. She speaks about procrastination, business productivity, personal motivation and time management. . If you want your team to be inspired to operate outside of the box, contact her for a complimentary productivity assessment, email or find her on Twitter as Tracey Foulkes or on LinkedIn as Tracey Foulkes.


Self Development

How You Can Make Failing Part Of Your Growth Strategy

Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.





The concept of ‘fail forward’ basically means that it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes. Once you shift your mindset regarding failure, it becomes an asset to your growth. What’s not to like about learning?

Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.

1. Take risks

If it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from it, then it’s okay to embrace the idea of taking more risks. Try new things and see if they’ll work. If they don’t, then at least you’ve tried and learnt.

Related: Flourishing Through Failure And Finding Fortune

2. Learn constantly

Failing and learning shouldn’t be one-offs or isolated incidents. They should weave together in a constant stream of learning that builds and rewards as we move forward. That way, we can improve and eventually succeed more often than we fail.

3. Search and reapply

Learn from each other’s mistakes. Marketing is a spectator sport — you can learn from watching each other’s brand activities — both the wins and losses.

4. Accept failure

This one is the hardest step. It’s not easy to fail. It’s not something we’re taught to do. It distracts us from our mission and it takes time away from being successful. Or does it? If you start failing forward daily, not only for yourself, but for your teams as well, you will create an environment where failing forward is accepted and embraced as part of a learning culture that seeks continuous improvement. That improvement includes actively learning from your individual and collective mistakes.

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Self Development

Listening To These 8 Audiobooks On Success Is A Better Use Of Your Long Commute

Commuting is mostly just unpaid work, unless you make an effort to learn something along the way.

John Boitnott



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Commutes are getting longer, and in some cities they’re up to two hours each way. I have a friend in Los Angeles who does this. He passes the time with audiobooks. Now that’s still a lot of time to be stuck in transit, but he doesn’t view it that way. He says it allows him plenty of time to feed his personal and professional goals.

I’ve spent years listening to literature in the car while commuting, but somewhere along the line I switched over to books on business and personal improvement. I mostly gravitated toward amazing people who built their success from scratch and who experienced tremendous hardship. It stands to reason that if you’re dealing with hardships like a long commute, it’s important to hear motivational words that can help you transcend the difficulties.

Here are eight audiobooks that will help grow your success, both personal and professional, on your next commute:

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Self Development

3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

Erik Kruger



3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.

Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.

Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:

  • The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
  • They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
  • Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
  • They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.

What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?

Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.

But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:

1. What does better look like?

The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.

  • What does better health look like?
  • What does a better business look like?
  • What does better customer service look like?
  • What does better leadership look like?

By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.

2. What can I control?

Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”

Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.


Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.

3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?

One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.

As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win


What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.

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