I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in June 1982, and am the youngest of three boys. I was significantly younger than my two elder brothers (11 and 14 years younger), which, in South African vernacular, is known as a “laat lammetjie” (late lamb, pronounced “laat lummakee”).
I attended the oldest school in the country, SACS, and like both of my brothers, attended Grade 1 to 12 at the same school. My main interests in school were music (I played clarinet and saxophone in the school bands, and sang in the choir), drama (I was the lead in the school production in my final year), and cricket (2nd team). Following school, I studied at UCT (University of Cape Town) for 4 years, obtaining a Bachelor of Business Science (BBusSc) with honours in Accounting & Finance.
My Roaring 20s!
Severely disillusioned with the political system in South Africa and after repeated rejections by big companies, I decided to bury my head in the sand and do what most ‘previously advantaged individuals’ my age and demographic did…I moved to London! While it was partly a decision based on a poor attitude, it has proved to be one of the best decisions of my life, as the other part was based on a desire to travel, but more importantly, to escape a frustrating environment!
It was in London that I started discovering who the real me was. Free of the shackles of parents, familiarity, political uncertainty and blessed with the incredible opportunities that Europe presented, I worked my way up the corporate ladders in various companies and industries, mainly in the care sector and then in banking. I meandered along this path, without much of a plan, but more with a desire to a) learn some valuable business skills and b) earn enough to afford regular travel. I also started blogging for The South African, an expat publication, and started my own rugby column for them, entitled “Mind the Ruck.” I will always be grateful to them for that opportunity as it opened a lot of doors with Saracens RFC, and also the Springbok Supporters Club UK, where I was the Communications Officer.
In April 2010, I was fortunate to meet an incredible girl named Charisse, and followed her back to her homeland, Australia, 6 months later. Our coming together was fortuitous to say the least – something out of the movies! She was due to leave London permanently 2 days after we met, but the Icelandic volcano (Eyjafjallajökull) had other ideas and a large ash cloud grounded her flight and she luckily stayed another week. I decided at the end of that week to move to Australia, and I haven’t looked back!
After 20 months in Melbourne, we decided that while this was home, it was not home right now, and we ventured back to London for another stint, which ended up being 15 months followed by 5 months of travelling. During that time I did some work as the Sports Editor for The South African, and covered the Olympic Games 2012, interviewed some massive names in world sport, as well as struck up a partnership with well-known sports presenter, Graeme Joffe, and appeared monthly on his radio show, SportsFire.
Charisse and my stated goal for that period overseas was to travel and experience as much as possible, as we did not want to be back in Melbourne with any regrets. And we certainly achieved that goal, with the end of the London era culminating in our engagement in August 2013.
After travelling the USA and South America for 5 months, we arrived back in Melbourne in February 2014, I got a job back in banking (bah humbug) and got married on Phillip Island a year later. I did take a positive step towards a career in sport when I was asked to be the Communications Manager for the Australian Rugby Business Network, a position I still hold today. However, it was after the wedding that my life has taken the most incredible turn upwards, and it is the main inspiration for sharing my story and lessons on this website.
Having transitioned into the eCommerce industry 6 months prior to the wedding, I was enjoying working with some of the leading retailers in the country in a fun and engaging environment, and not in the stale and stuffy banking industry. However, something was missing in my life. I was unhealthy, had unfulfilled ambitions by the bucket load and was letting the years pass by without a plan. Basically, I was wasting my talents – indeed, I had no clarity on what those talents were!
I had always been a good networker (or so I thought!) and someone who connected with successful people to find out what they were doing so that I could potentially mirror their path. But in most cases, these people were creating their own destinies and didn’t have the time to invest in me properly (I really don’t mean to sound insincere to them!).
One person did, though – Andrew Jobling – and I am proud and privileged to call him one of my mentors. We clicked immediately as our passions and interests were so similar, and he had the results I was after in health, wellness, being an author, speaker, mentor and creating a life by design not by default.
The Future is Now
Since April 2015, I have achieved the following:
- Lost 7kg and 14cm around my waist, and maintained it, and gained significant energy and clarity of thought;
- Left my eCommerce job (on good terms!) to pursue a number of business interests;
- Read more books in this period than in the previous 3 years;
- Spoken in public a few times (baby steps!);
- Started to write my first book in earnest (had flirted with it for 3 years);
- Surrounded myself with business mentors and positive, proactive people;
- Together with Charisse, saved enough money to build our first home;
- Learnt the art of priority management over time management;
- Joined a Crossfit box to get and keep fit (you won’t find me posting about it on Facebook, though!);
- Had a baby with my dear wife (August 2017) and therefore changed a nappy;
- Started this website and built 3 others (years in the making!).
And it still feels like the journey has only just begun. I have a vision and clarity for my life and it is something I am very passionate about helping others to achieve.
I look forward to sharing it with you and to inspire you, and to show that you really can be an ‘average person’ who can achieve extraordinary things.
“Believe in everyone; wait for no-one.”