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Self Development

The Resilience-Building Toolkit

Simply put, resilience is the ability to withstand and then to ‘bounce back’ from external pressures or stimuli (read: ‘stress’).

Richard Hawkey




If you have taken the Vitals© survey mentioned in one of the previous columns – “Stress self-awareness: identifying your stress levels & personal stressors” – you will have met the jelly babies – the coloured figures that summarised your current stress status.

Each figure is surrounded by a circle of varying thickness – think of this as a ‘force field’. The thicker the force field, the greater your resilience and ability to rise to meet life’s challenges. The opposite is also true – if your force field is damaged, even a relatively weakly thrown curve ball can sneak through and knock you out.

Toolkit time:

Most good toolkits contain a variety of tools for a variety of jobs – forgive the DIY analogy, but I am a hapless yet enthusiastic handyman. Similarly, building resilience is best approached with a fistful of tactics. So, put on your safety goggles, don your hard hat and let’s open the lid and take a quick peek inside:

Sleep: This is an active process and is as important as eating well or going to the lavatory (you know how you feel when you don’t do either of those properly!). Sleep is the body’s natural repair cycle and is one of those areas where quantity and quality are needed. Most experts recommend between 6 and 8 hours per night for adults.

  • Max two cups of tea/coffee per day.
  • Cut out caffeine 6 to 8 hours before going to bed.
  • The bedroom is for sleep and sex. Get rid of the TV.

Diet: What you put in is what you get out. We all know this but are possibly scared by having to go to the extremes most diets suggest. I need to make it clear: I am not a dietician and any radical changes to diet or exercise levels should be done under professional medical guidance, however, if you are reading this you have at least a modicum of intelligence and hopefully some common sense. Absolutely eat a little bit of what you like occasionally, just not all the time.

  • Eat more low GI foods.
  • Chew your food thoroughly and slowly – aids digestion and you eat less.

Exercise: Helps our bodies ‘mop up’ many of the so-called stress hormones and also releases others that make us feel good. It helps aerate our blood, burn fat and generally improve self-esteem. One of life’s great paradoxes is that the more exercise you do (within reason) the more sustainable energy you will enjoy.

  • Do activities you enjoy – walk the dog, dance, gardening.
  • Little and often – try and raise your heart rate and get a little sweaty 3 to 4 times per week.

Relationships: At our core we are emotional creatures and need the interaction of others to make us complete – hence the cliché “no man is an island”. Importantly we need to have a good relationship with ourselves before we can have similarly meaningful ones with others. The power of connecting with another human being is immense and we need to take the time and energy to invest in our relationships.

  • Treat yourself with respect – engage in positive self-talk.
  • Do one random act of kindness every day – what you put out, comes back.

Me Time: This is all about doing things for yourself just because they feel good for you. We accept the concepts of investing in our education, financial wellbeing, the ‘stuff’ that clutters our homes; but how many of us really invest in ourselves? We often abandon the joyful pursuits we engaged in as children and young adults – why? Because they won’t earn us any money? Look back to your childhood and take some cues from there; as long as it isn’t illegal or immoral, go for it!

  • To engage in guilt-free ‘me time’ make time for your family members and friends to do their own thing too.

You can’t fix everything with a hammer (as tempting as it may be to try!). Similarly, pounding away at the gym whilst starving yourself of sleep is not only unbalanced, but actually dangerous. Balance and moderation in all things. Slow and steady builds resilience – after all, your life is a marathon, not a sprint.

**In the next column we will expand on the concept of time & energy management before we delve deeper into the toolbox – you need to make space in your life cupboard so the toolbox doesn’t get lost and forgotten.**

Richard Hawkey is an anti-stress evangelist, author, speaker and productivity consultant. Having suffered from a stress-related breakdown himself, he has since combined this general management and leadership experience with the profound lessons he learnt from mismanaging stress and subsequently burning out. He is the author of Life Less Lived and the founder of equilibriumsolutions – which has developed the first online stress management tool aimed at both employees an employers. Richard can be contacted at


Self Development

21 Inspiring Quotes About Success, Persistence And What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur

Leaders of companies big and small share the mindset it takes to achieve your dreams in the face of all obstacles.




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True, being an entrepreneur can be exhausting, lonely, frustrating and terrifying. But it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears when you are pursuing your passion, turning your dream into a reality.

In an ongoing series called Real Entrepreneurs, we pick the brains of founders and leaders about what it is like to have every decision big and small rest on their shoulders and have compiled their thoughts on what it takes to succeed on the long, sometimes crazy journey of an entrepreneur.

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Self Development

The Mindset Strategy From The “Rock Star” Coach Can Turn Your Beliefs Into Results

William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths shares his mindset secret to ongoing entrepreneurial success.

Dirk Coetsee




William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths, is a coach to the coaches. His “Rock Star” attitude along with the deep driving desire to help others find their true selves formed the fabric of a highly interesting and entertaining interview.

The rolling thunder of his voice brought forth quote after quote, quip after quip and wisdom after wisdom. As a “peak performance coach” to professional athletes, celebrities,  entrepreneurs and corporate career orientated individuals, William believes that knowing who you truly are as an individual is the catalyst for lasting growth and useful change in business and in life in general.

His intense eyes and energetic hand gestures emphasized one of his core beliefs and that is that we all are nothing but our very own beliefs.

“Everyone is focused on Results”

Everyone is always focusing on the outcome – the results they want. But what creates results? Let’s do some reverse engineering. In order to achieve RESULTS we need to take ACTION. And in order to take ACTION we need to make a DECISION. To make a DECISION, we need to think about it – THOUGHTS.

The interesting thing about humans is that we do not create our thoughts, we can only control them. So what does create your thoughts? Your BELIEFS creates your THOUGHTS. So ultimately your BELIEFS creates your RESULTS.

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”


It is our very own limiting beliefs, such as for example that “I am not good enough” and “I am not deserving” and “I’m not worthy ” that creates barriers to our own success in entrepreneurial ventures and in our lives. In order to reach our limitless potential we must find and remove the self-created barriers that hold us back.

Although he loves the interaction and benefits of social media he is quick to point out that it also has created a fantasy of who and what we should be. He advises to not to adopt such fantasy as your desired reality but to instead be who you really are as an individual and goes on to quote the famous Greek philosopher Socrates:

“Know thyself, Be thyself and Love thyself”

You always end up falling back on your beliefs -whether they are empowering or disempowering. The challenge with that is that a large number of your beliefs are unconscious especially when you have not put in the work to find out what your belief system truly is.

Related: Osteostrong: An Exploding Global Movement Of Positive Change

Through his vast experience as a coach he realized that a large number of people veer away from self-awareness as they are afraid of being judged for whom they truly are.

Have Faith

The conversation naturally evolved into the exploration of the true meaning of the concept of faith and William’s mind grasped at a Quote from the apostle Paul:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

He went on to explain that faith is evidence of true-self which creates certainty which in turn is equal to confidence. Confidence brings a certain state where everything flows. He calls it “Peak State”. He further advises to search for evidence of who you really are and gain belief in yourself.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

William’s thoughts on self-development for entrepreneurs are to get a Coach. If you are already in business and don’t have a Coach – get one!  Begin with taking extreme ownership and responsibility of everything in your life. And when you do that you win.

Stop blaming everything and everyone around you. Stop complaining about circumstances. You are in control and it is up to you to make it happen.  There are no un-resourceful people, there are only un-resourceful states. Go where you are celebrated not tolerated and love yourself unconditionally. Remove the very unrealistic expectations of what and who you should be and authentically be yourself. Believe in yourself and go all in on YOU!

Related: How To Conquer Your Fear Of Becoming an Entrepreneur By Being Disciplined

Become the best form of yourself because as an entrepreneur you are the business. Play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses. You do not need a title to lead, have massive self-belief and others will follow.

Have an attitude of constant learning:

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”

And then yet another quote rolled off his tongue that put me in a self-reflective mood:

“A person that shines from within does not need a spotlight”

William Badenhorst, the father, the coach, the entrepreneur and key note speaker left the author and the reader with a question of mesmerising depth:

“What if you woke up this morning with only the things that you were grateful for last night?”

Gratitude is everything!

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Self Development

How You Can Move From Your Potential To Your Purpose

“Value isn’t in opinion, it’s in perspective” – Wes Boshoff

Wes Boshoff




Let’s face it, we all know that when wanting to achieve something different, you need to do something different. The challenge isn’t in wanting the different, it’s in doing the different!

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why”.

I love that because it highlights the importance of knowing that you have a purpose, and that you need to find it or design it, then live it, love it and look after it.

You have heard it said or said it yourself…”that person has huge potential, if only they would…”. It’s great to have potential but potential doesn’t equate to purpose. They are like elastics, just sitting there on the desk, and it’s not much good to anyone just sitting there. You see there is a gap between potential and purpose and that gap is called ‘The Stretch’.

Related: Founder of Five-Star Wes Boshoff Weighs In On Becoming An Entrepreneur

For that elastic to move from potential to purpose it needs to be stretched, and only once its stretched and put round a bunch of pens does that elastic really move into its purpose. We are a lot like elastics, we need to be stretched to move from potential to purpose. The stretch isn’t always easy because we tend to get twisted out of shape when we need to do something different. However, the stretch is not designed to change who we are, just change how we are.

Here are a few ideas to help you in The Stretch.

Think about what you think about – it’s all in your perspective

Things are achieved or not achieved depending on how we think about them. Do you focus on the obstacles or the opportunities? It’s easy to see the obstacles, the key is to choose which one you going to focus on. Obstacles will always get in the way of opportunities if you let them. So, remain attentive to the possibilities that opportunity brings.

That means you need to position yourself in the way of opportunity, get in its way – make something happen, don’t just sit there! There’s a catch to this one though, opportunity never travels alone, it always comes with responsibility. Do you have the ability to respond to the opportunity? Are you taking responsibility, often we are given it, but we don’t really take it! You need to take and own the responsibility to maximise the opportunity!

Beware of distraction

‘Dis’ – a prefix meaning reversal, or the absence of action and traction refers to grip. When you get distracted you lose grip and that’s dangerous. Imagine driving, suddenly, you’ve lost traction, you are heading in the wrong direction, you may even end up going backwards.

Make sure you stick to what you need to do, create daily productive habits that will help you achieve in the long term. Grow your capacity and increase your footprint. Gain traction by repeating what works for you, that way your practice becomes repeatable and your brand becomes reputable. Don’t stop moving, its easier to change direction while you are still moving, than it is to start moving.

Related: What Building A Mini Car Taught Me About Leadership

Things don’t always work out

Employ the “What’s Wrong – What’s Next?” philosophy. When things go wrong with people, products or plans, we can get caught up in drama. There’s no time for drama, simply define what went wrong and decide what needs to be done next to fix it. Once fixed, then deal with the doer of the wrong, but deal with them in the right way too…you still don’t need drama!

“Value isn’t in opinion, it’s in perspective” – Wes Boshoff

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