Featured Man – Global Man

Meet RR Haywood – The Bestselling Indie Author Fighting Back Against AI

RR Haywood is one of Britain’s bestselling independent authors and a passionate champion of self-publishing. But recently a threat greater than the zombie pandemic in his hugely successful The Undead series is giving him cause for concern: AI. Fearing that indie authors could become extinct in the face of bot-built books churned out by unscrupulous hustlers, he is fighting back with NO-AI.

Within just over a decade, RR Haywood has gone from aspiring writer to one of the UK’s most successful indie authors.

He’s amassed more than four million sales to date, is a Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and is the creative mind behind Britain’s bestselling horror book series – The Undead.

With more than 40 books to his name, nearly 30 of which are Kindle and Audible bestsellers, and a screen adaptation of The Undead in the works, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Haywood is looking confidently to the next 10 years of his career.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He genuinely fears that within as little as five years he — along with all other self-published authors — could well be “extinct”, muscled out of the market by a competitor that only a few years ago Haywood was happily writing about in his sci-fi smash, DELIO.

Now, though, DELIO’s big bad — artificial intelligence — doesn’t seem quite so fictional.

Sure, AI’s not self-aware (yet), and hasn’t expressed any interest in taking over the planet, but it doesn’t need to. The likes of Chat GPT are already sophisticated enough to turn the literary world upside down if used irresponsibly, and Haywood says he is already seeing the repercussions.

He says that Amazon, the go-to publishing and sales platform for indie authors, is being increasingly flooded with thousands of AI-generated books, dashed out by “unscrupulous hustlers” at the touch of a button.

And this is a battle of quantity, not quality.. They may not be great reads but with most bot-made books costing less to buy than titles by flesh-and-blood authors, and few indicating their AI origins, they pose an “existential threat” to DIY authors, who increasingly stand little chance of recouping their money, let alone turning a profit.

“On average, it costs someone a minimum of a few thousand pounds to self-publish when you take all the things required — professional editing, cover design, proofing, and formatting— into consideration,” explains Haywood. 

“And that doesn’t factor in the author’s time actually writing the book, which can take several months.

“Every book  published is, in fact, a record of the author’s blood, sweat, and tears, but the opportunity for all that hard work and financial investment to pay off is becoming slimmer all the time.

“AI software is now at the point that anyone can churn out books without any real talent or care, and unscrupulous hustlers have seized on this in a bid to cash in.

“Consumers are already struggling to identify what’s real from what’s not, and with thousands of new AI-generated books hitting Amazon and other sales platforms every week, the problem is only getting worse.

“Should this continue, all self-published authors will take a big financial hit while many will almost have no hope of ever breaking even or being able to write for a living.

“This may sound apocalyptic but we could see the extinction of independent authors within five years, which would be a terrible loss when you consider how entertaining, rewarding and breathtakingly bold and original self-published books can be.”

Within a decade, RR Haywood has established himself as one of the UK’s bestselling indie authors, with fans around the world clamouring for the latest entries into his The Undead series and other works.

The prospect of tomorrow’s talented indie authors never being able to break away from the nine to five is particularly galling to Haywood, who was able to retire from his career as a policeman in 2019 after almost two decades in service.

A voracious reader since childhood, especially works of horror and science-fiction, he had long dreamed of becoming an author but for many years thought it was a world “not for the likes of me”.

“The traditional idea of an ‘author’, certainly among mainstream publishers, was and still remains to a large degree someone from a middle-class background, with a university education and most likely an expensive creative writing course or two under their belt.

“That’s why the rise of self-publishing was a godsend. It finally took the keys away from publishers and meant that anyone stood a chance of making it.

“I decided to take the plunge after reading an amazing self-published novel bought off Amazon called Three Feet Of Sky by Stephen Ayres.

“There was no shortage of ideas for stories in my head so I thought I’d give it a go, teaching myself not only the mechanics of book publishing but also the nuts and bolts of writing at the same time.”

His first published book, Undead Day One, was by his own admission “as rough in the middle as around the edges”, but with each successive instalment, Haywood continued to hone his writing skills and build his audience.

He then collected the first seven books together in The Undead: The First Seven Days, which gradually took off, leading Haywood to secure a three-book deal with publisher 47North for his Extracted trilogy, which went on to become a global bestseller.

But while he has continued to release select new books through traditional publishers, his signature series, The Undead, has always remained self-published.

“I’ve always intended to keep self-publishing The Undead,” says Haywood. “Frankly, I love the total creative freedom that indie publishing gives me, along with the immediacy of connecting with readers.”

But his experiences with the latest eight novellas in The Undead series, collectively falling under the umbrella of ‘Series Five: The Rain’, have for the first time led him to question the long-term viability of self-publishing.

Each of the new books has gone on to top the Amazon charts upon release but Haywood says that he and other indie authors have experienced significant publishing delays via Amazon, which he attributes to a “flood of AI books clogging up the system”.

This, he adds, has “served as an early wake-up call” about the disruptive effect of AI.

And because bot-made books are exclusively sold online, it is a problem primarily facing indie authors. Writers whose books are released through mainstream publishers will be less affected as their titles are also sold in book shops and other brick-and-mortar retailers.

Haywood has joined a growing list of creatives who are calling for government and corporate intervention to help level the playing field against AI.

In the meantime, however, he has taken things into his own hands, creating the world’s first stamp of authenticity to show that a book has been written by a human and not by AI.

The ‘NO-AI label, an acronym for ‘Naturally Original – Authentically Invented’, now features on the covers of all Haywood’s books.

Bestselling indie author RR Haywood fears that left unchallenged, a flood of AI-created books could drive self-published authors to extinction within five years. In response, he has created the NO-AI label to make clear to readers that his books are written by a human, not machine. 

He has also made the label freely available on his website as a download for other authors and publishers to use.

“The NO-AI label is a line in the sand being drawn by genuine authors against the AI-exploiting hustlers,” he says.

“There’s strength in numbers. The more who use it on their books, the easier it will be for readers to instantly distinguish real from artificial.

“And that’s key because who willingly wants to read a story crafted by a computer, lacking the soul that authors pour into each and every book?

“I don’t think my readers have ever had any doubts that the gritty, darkly humorous, and character-driven fiction that’s become my signature is written by anyone or anything other than me!

“But all the same, the NO-AI label only makes this clearer and I’m thrilled that it’s really taken off, with over a thousand downloads already..

“It makes me feel justified in fighting back but, more than that, it makes me feel hopeful again for the future of independent publishing, the place I came from and where I’m proud to remain.”

RR Haywood’s books, including The Undead, are available on Amazon For more information, visit www.rrhaywood.com or follow RR Haywood on Twitter or Facebook.

Your Path to Natural Health: Expert Tips for Total Wellness

Embark on a journey to total wellness with expert tips from natural health advocate Tony Brown. This guide will provide you with a deeper understanding of how your body naturally heals and maintains health. By exploring the science behind natural healing, you’ll discover methods to support your body’s regenerative processes. Learn how proper nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management play crucial roles in enhancing your overall well-being. You’ll also uncover the benefits of alternative therapies such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Red Light Therapy and Bioresonance.. Tony Brown’s tips are designed to empower you to take control of your health in a holistic manner. As you implement these strategies, you’ll begin to see improvements in both your physical and mental health. This journey will help you achieve your personal health goals and maintain a balanced, vibrant life.

How did your childhood experiences shape your views on natural health therapies?

My first memories are of sunny days, and fields of daffodils, tulips and crocuses. I grew up on a flower nursery listening to bees buzzing around the flowers. The main road was a long way away and there was no traffic to be heard. I lived in a prefab with a railway cutting behind it where steam trains still ran. I grew up in largely natural surroundings undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of everyday life to which most are subjected.

My birth mother in contrast was a psychiatric nurse who worked in what used to be called an asylum in the 1960’s. On several occasions when I went to see where she worked, I would see people in a catatonic state, talking to themselves, or screaming. Those who screamed were further medicated to ‘calm them down’ or ‘keep them quiet’. She was a firm believer in ‘taking the medicine’.

What inspired you to pursue natural health therapies despite facing significant challenges in your life?

For many years I just kept taking whatever medication I was prescribed without question. It started with anti-depressants at the age of 15, going on to painkillers, and pills for a prostate issue. I was told I would have to take these forever. At. My lowest point I was taking 24 pills a day. I did not realise that these had a detrimental effect on my stomach and digestion. They upset my microbiome to such an extent that I had to take further pills for an increasingly poorly functioning gut, and that these also had an adverse effect.

Nothing seemed to help, in fact, I was becoming sicker. A coach I had at the time advised me to see a kinesiologist. This is someone who practises ‘muscle-testing’ to determine exactly what my body did and didn’t need. He concluded that my body did not like any of the drugs and advised me to give them up. (DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT MEDICAL ADVICE)

I shook and sweated for 2 months before getting some colonic irrigation to wash the years of medication out of my system. I was then introduced to Bioresonance which fixed my back and prostate issue.

How did your upbringing influence your educational journey and eventual career path?

Growing up witnessing my parents’ unhappy marriage turned me into a carer and listener from an early age. At the age of 10, my best friend’s mother told me that she had an affair and that is why they were moving away. This was the 1960’s and it seemed to my young mind to be happening a lot as attitudes towards marriage and divorce changed. This led to a curiosity as to why people behaved the way they did, and eventually to doing a degree in Psychology after leaving school. 

My initial thoughts were of entering personnel management, before becoming fascinated by advertising and market research. Unable to obtain employment in those areas I looked at other options. I had specialised in clinical and social psychology, and ironically applied to become a rep in pharmaceutical sales, and then confectionery. At the time I recall it was for the bumper salaries they paid, and a prestigious new car, rather than a particular love for either area. I was clearly even then not a good fit for these industries.

After a period of unemployment and homelessness, I got a job in the benefit office where I ‘signed on’, and eventually a job in local authority housing. I found I had a talent for this and quickly became a Director of Housing. After 7 years a change in political administration led to a period as a Housing Consultant and fledgling property investor

What pivotal moment led you to prioritize natural therapies over conventional medication?

This started one day when I ended up on the floor screaming in agony and unable to urinate. I then had a biopsy arranged to check for prostate cancer. It was also around this time that I had discovered Bioresonance. I went to the Bioresonance Practitioner and explained all my ailments. He gave me 3 sessions before my first biopsy. The Consultant told me I needed to be monitored as there was no definitive outcome, and that I was to return in a few weeks for a further biopsy. After that one, the Consultant told me the good news, which was that I did not have cancer and that he was discharging me.

Delighted and relieved, I went back to the Bioresonance Practitioner and asked him if he could fix my arthritis, sciatica and slipped disc. (I had been told that I would have to have my back sliced open and my vertebrae fused.) After a few sessions the pain went, I was able to go back to the gym, and I lost 2 stone. By now I was off all the pills and ecstatic. 

At this point I told him I never wanted to go back on those pills, and asked him to firstly, get me a Bioresonance device, and secondly, to teach me everything he knew.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

During covid, I was in the shower when a thought came to me. Those suffering covid had respiratory problems. What they needed was oxygen! I got out of the shower, researched oxygen chambers, sourced a supplier and went to see them. After trying one out, I understood more fully the benefits. It reduced inflammation which is behind many chronic illnesses. These include:

  • Arthritis
  • Brain injuries
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Sports injuries
  • Post operative surgery – reduced scarring
  • Healthy ageing: reduced lines and wrinkles.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, known as HBOT is used by sports people such as Ronaldo, to stay at the top of their game. It is also used by celebrities such as the Kardashians to maintain their youthful looks. 

Allied to this are breathing and other lifestyle hacks to reduce stress.

Red Light Therapy

I then saw a large spherical contraption on the other side of the room and asked what it was. I was informed it was a Red-Light Bed which delivered blue, near infra-red-, and red-light waves to the body. These helped:

  • Relieve skin issues such as psoriasis and acne
  • Alleviate aches and pains in the muscles and joints
  • Mitochondria which help the body create energy.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as it replicates the mood boosting effects of the sun.

We ended up getting both an HBOT Chamber, and a Red-Light Bed to go with our 2 Bioresonance devices, and the clinic was born.

What role did your wife, Anoma, play in your journey towards natural health and recovery?

The first thing she did was change my diet, and make me eat healthily, including increasing my intake of vegetables. She also coped with and supported our transition from being employees to starting our own business, and significant changes in me from the person I used to be.

How does your clinic, Total Body Health, provide personalized health plans for its clients?

It starts with an in-depth consultation which looks at all aspects of the client’s life. This includes vitamin and mineral diagnostics, an energetic scan for imbalances, allergies and intolerances, in addition to sleep, hydration, exercise / fitness, diet, stress, relationships and medication. We work with a range of both holistic and allopathic practitioners to empower clients to take charge of their own health.

What are some of the achievements and awards you have received throughout your career?

Survived suicide attempt, addiction to opioids, hospitalisation , and chronic mental and physical health challenges to become a champion of Holistic Health

First Afro-Caribbean Local Authority Housing Director, and youngest at 34, managing over 20,000 properties and 500 staff.

Interviewed by Amazon No.1 Podcaster, Ellie McKay

  • Runner-up: Best Holistic Healer, High Net Connect Awards

How do you plan to democratize holistic health and educate people on good health habits?

In addition to Total Body Health, I am involved in a partnership, Elixir Health which also aims to democratise holistic health by educating people on good health habits, diet and lifestyle. I advocate the combining of traditional western (allopathic) medicine with holistic health to deliver the best outcomes. This involves always starting with gentle synergistic therapies before moving along the continuum towards allopathic intervention when required. 

I believe strongly in the mind/body connection and bring together knowledge and qualifications gained in Psychology, Holistic Health, ‘lived experience’, and the modalities mentioned above. We will also be adding others such as: Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), Homeopathy, and the new area of Astro-Medicine combined with Functional Medicine. Watch this space!

What message do you convey through your life journey from hardship to healing?

‘My message is in my mess’.

 Never give up, you never know what is just around the corner when you remain open to possibilities and have the right intentions.

PRIORITISE:

  • Sleep
  • Hydration
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Stress reduction
  • Purpose, Positive People and Influences

How can individuals contact you for appointments and personalized health plans at Total Body Health in Wimbledon Village?

www.total-body-health.com (website currently under reconstruction)

Email: info@total-body-health

Intsa: totalbodyhealthwimbledon

Linkedin: total body health ltd

FB: Total Body Health Wimbledon

Phone: 020 8090 0995 / 07957 591283 (m)

Unveiling the Path to Holistic Well-being: Journey into Transformation

Step into a realm where the mind becomes a canvas for transformation, energy becomes a guiding force, and archetypes illuminate the path to self-discovery. Philippe Jaspers, a passionate psychologist and well-being guide, beckons you to embark on a journey of profound exploration. With an unwavering dedication to unlocking the power of the mind and nurturing the spirit, Philippe’s approach transcends the ordinary, offering a holistic tapestry of insights and practices for personal evolution. Join him as he bridges the realms of psychology, spirituality, and human potential, inviting you to rediscover your inner essence and embrace the transformative journey ahead.

 Can you share a brief overview of your background as a psychologist and your journey into the realm of energy management?

 I commenced my professional journey as a work psychologist within a corporate setting, where I engaged in various facets of human resources. Subsequently, I ventured into entrepreneurship, establishing my own recruitment and headhunting firm. Having the right job, a job that fits you is a substantial element of your overall wellbeing and happiness. Currently, my focus has evolved to collaborating with both individuals and companies, specializing in fostering well-being and happiness. This transition reflects my progression from traditional psychology roles to a more holistic approach centered around energy management and overall positive experiences.

What inspired you to focus on the intersection of psychology and energy management in your keynote and workshop?

 I found inspiration during my post-COVID work in a hospital, where I as a psychologist specialized in enhancing resilience and burn-out prevention for the workforce. Observing a prevalent lack of energy among employees and witnessing overall fatigue, I became deeply aware of the crucial link between psychology and energy. This realization led me to explore and integrate energy management strategies and the profound impact that energy has on our psychological well-being and overall success. This exploration led me to integrate insights from various thought leaders, ultimately shaping my focus on helping individuals and leaders optimize their energy for their overall wellbeing and happiness.

How can we understand energy how do you define “energy” in the context of psychological well-being, and why is it crucial for individuals and leaders?

In the context of psychological well-being, “energy” represents the dynamic force influencing our mental, emotional, and physical states. It encompasses vitality, motivation, and resilience. Energy is crucial for individuals and leaders because it directly affects our ability to navigate challenges, make decisions, and sustain high performance. Lack of energy leads to Burnout and depression. Optimized energy leads to enhanced focus, productivity, and effectiveness in both personal and professional realms.

In your keynote, you discuss the impact of vibrational frequency. Can you share some insights on how understanding and aligning with this frequency can positively influence one’s life?

 In the keynote, I explore the impact of vibrational frequency and how aligning with this frequency positively influences one’s life. Everything in life is vibration. Even our thoughts and feelings are in a state of motion. This motion generates energy or vibration. Your thoughts, your emotions, and your attitudes all carry specific vibrations that influence the course of your life. Your energy and the energy of others is even very contagious, it’s very influential to other people surrounding you either positive or negative, and shaping your whole world! The Energy Pyramid concept provides a practical guide for managing energy effectively. It visualizes layers of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy, offering a holistic approach to personal and professional development.

What can participants expect to gain from your workshop on energy management, and how does it differ from traditional approaches?

Participants can expect to gain practical strategies from the workshop for managing their energy in daily life. It differs from traditional approaches by integrating insight with a holistic approach by combining insights from Western and Eastern science and wisdom. It acknowledges that our well-being is a dynamic interplay of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energies. By weaving together these threads, I aim to provide a more comprehensive understanding of energy management that can profoundly impact personal and professional development. The workshop empowers individuals and leaders with the necessary insights and tools to create a personalized energy management plan, fostering resilience, success, and happiness.

How do the concepts of internal dialogue and yoga play a role in energy management, and what techniques do you recommend for transforming internal dialogue?

The concept of internal dialogue plays a significant role in energy management. Transforming internal dialogue positively impacts mental and emotional energy. Also, the Yoga wisdom, influences emotional and mental well-being, providing valuable insights for individuals seeking a holistic approach to energy management.

What are some common challenges people face when trying to implement energy management practices, and how can they overcome these challenges?

People often encounter challenges when integrating energy management practices due to our innate inclination toward habits. As creatures of habit, even when we recognize that certain habits are detrimental to our well-being, breaking away from them can be a persistent challenge. Additionally, our minds act as containers for limiting beliefs, hindering us from tapping into our true potential and exploring the vast possibilities available to us. Overcoming these challenges involves a concerted effort to disrupt ingrained habits and address limiting beliefs, ushering in a transformative journey toward embracing positive energy management practices.

Real-life examples showcase successful applications of energy management principles, demonstrating the transformative impact on individuals and organizations. Common challenges involve implementing energy management practices, which can be overcome through awareness, consistency, and personalized strategies.

How do you see the field of energy management evolving in the coming years, especially in the context of mental health and workplace well-being?

 Are there emerging trends or technologies that you believe will play a significant role in advancing energy management practices?

The field of energy management is likely to evolve, especially in mental health and workplace well-being. Emerging trends may include technology-driven tools and deeper integration of energy management practices into mainstream health and wellness approaches.

In today’s globalized and interconnected world, how can energy management contribute to broader societal well-being and collaboration?

 In today’s globalized world, energy management holds immense potential for contributing to broader societal well-being. By fostering awareness and practices that optimize energy, we can enhance collaboration, empathy, and resilience on a global scale. This approach recognizes the interconnectedness of individuals and communities, highlighting the significance of positive energy dynamics for creating a healthier and more harmonious world.

For readers and listeners who are intrigued by the concept of energy management, what practical advice or steps would you offer to help them get started on their journey?

I advise starting with small, manageable steps. Begin by incorporating mindfulness practices, exploring areas of personal passion, and gradually building self-awareness. The key is to embark on the journey with an open heart and a willingness to explore the profound impact of energy on overall well-being.

How do you define “energy” in the context of psychological well-being, and why is it crucial for individuals and leaders?

In the context of psychological well-being, “energy” refers to the dynamic force that influences our mental, emotional, and physical states. It encompasses the vitality, motivation, and resilience that drive our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Energy, in this context, is not just a physical phenomenon but a holistic concept that encompasses our entire being.

For individuals and leaders, energy is crucial because it directly impacts our ability to navigate challenges, make decisions, and sustain high levels of performance. When our energy is optimized, we experience greater mental clarity, emotional balance, and physical well-being. This, in turn, leads to enhanced focus, productivity, and overall effectiveness in both personal and professional domains. Recognizing and managing our energy becomes a cornerstone for maintaining psychological well-being and achieving sustained success.

Could you elaborate on the Energy Pyramid concept and its significance in personal and professional development?

The Energy Pyramid concept is a framework that visualizes the layers of energy influencing our well-being. It consists of four key layers: physical energy, emotional energy, mental energy, and spiritual energy. Each layer interacts and contributes to our overall energy profile.

– Physical Energy: At the base of the pyramid, physical energy is the foundation. It involves aspects such as sleep, nutrition, and exercise. When our physical energy is optimized, we experience vitality and resilience.

– Emotional Energy: Moving up the pyramid, emotional energy encompasses our feelings and emotional well-being. Managing emotions positively contributes to greater overall energy and well-being.

– Mental Energy: This layer involves cognitive functions, focus, and mental clarity. A well-managed mental state enhances decision-making and problem-solving capabilities.

– Spiritual Energy: At the pinnacle of the pyramid, spiritual energy involves a sense of purpose, connection, and alignment with one’s values. It provides a deeper meaning to our actions and contributes to a fulfilling life.

Significantly, the Energy Pyramid is crucial in personal and professional development as it offers a holistic approach to energy management. By understanding and optimizing each layer, individuals and leaders can create a sustainable foundation for growth, resilience, and success. It serves as a guide for self-awareness, helping individuals align their actions with their energy sources for a more balanced and purposeful life.

Tanner H. Hicks: Private Investor, Multiple Business Owner, Business Coach

Greetings to Tanner H. Hicks, a distinguished figure in the global arena who boasts a multitude of titles. Revered as an investment guru, a versatile owner of multiple businesses, and an exceptional business coach, Tanner exemplifies versatility within the entrepreneurial sphere. His distinctive investment methodologies, adept risk management, and keen eye for identifying talent and business potential have been pivotal in his journey towards success. This article delves into Tanner’s unique strategies, spotlighting his adeptness in juggling diverse investments, steering businesses towards growth and prosperity, and navigating the complexities of mergers and acquisitions. His expertise predominantly lies in the realms of real estate, construction, and engineering sectors. Within this piece, this multifaceted business professional generously imparts advice gleaned from his personal experiences, offering insights into strategic integration, value engineering, and astute investment practices.

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As someone with a diverse investment portfolio, how do you approach the decision-making process when choosing between debt and private equity investments, and what factors do you consider most critical in making these choices?

Fundamentally, investment comes down to risk management. Understanding and assessing the risks, as best as you can, upfront and structuring any investments to maximize upside while minimizing downside is the art. However, with the type of investments that I make, most of the risk effectively sits with the people involved. Understanding who the key decision-makers are, what their experience and knowledge are within the sector, is crucial. For example, do the people in the driving seat possess the right credentials, mindset, and capability to drive and sustain growth? Are they high-risk takers, or risk-averse? When it comes down to the crunch as to deciding what to proceed with or not, much of that decision-making process is, therefore, based upon gut feel for whether I can trust the decision-makers to deliver the results, push the business forward, and have the right attitude and focus.

Your bio mentions that you help business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses through strategic integration and value engineering. Could you elaborate on some specific instances where your expertise in these areas led to significant growth and success for your clients?

I have been working closely with one client for the past 4-5 years. At the time of onboarding, he operated a small project management business, carried out the occasional small property development, and had a small property portfolio. His primary income source was via PM fees on commercial and residential projects for external clients. His overheads were high, and it just wasn’t a scalable model. He was the business. After looking at his wider business activities, I noticed he had a small portfolio of holiday lets that did well, but he was paying way too much in management costs. I suggested he pivot his focus and effectively forward integrate the management of his portfolio, then create a business that offered niched management of serviced accommodation – a market that was and is still growing in the UK. He leaned everything down, moving some existing staff on and retraining and integrating others into the new model, and has since built a highly successful property management company in Shropshire that specializes in serviced accommodation units. In 2023, he began franchising the business around the country, and I introduced him to his first franchisee in Hampshire. At the time of writing, he is currently in discussions to open his next two branches, and we are working together on a subsidiary that will help attract and educate further franchisees.

Investing in lower mid-market companies across various industries can be challenging due to the diversity of sectors and market conditions. How do you stay informed about industry trends and economic factors to make well-informed investment decisions?

In the modern day of information overload, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and almost impossible to stay informed across all fronts. That’s why my focus is primarily within the real estate property, construction, and engineering sectors. I attend a lot of networking events, as well as subscribe to a handful of industry-specific publications.

Property investment is another area you have mentioned being involved in, both in residential and commercial sectors. How do you balance your focus between business investments and property investments, and do you see any synergies between the two?

In the simplest terms, my focus is balanced financially. I target a 30/70 split between business investment and property investment respectively, reflecting the risk profiles of the two investments. There are many synergies between both as many of the businesses I like to invest in often service the property, construction, or engineering sectors, as these are the industries I know, have an extensive network, and also have personal experience in.

Mergers and acquisitions can be complex processes. When evaluating potential acquisition targets, what are the key qualities or characteristics you look for to ensure a successful investment?

The mandate focuses on businesses with turnovers more than £1m and which are at least 3 years old in either the property, construction, or engineering sectors. Ideally, there will be fixed assets and/or stock as this presents finance opportunities, and there must be a small team already in place. We look for businesses that perhaps do not have great systems in place or a lack of structure as these target companies present good opportunities to either absorb into the wider group or to flip within 3-5 years. We try to find businesses that are looking to sell primarily for retirement, as these also present great opportunities to structure a phased buy-in and/or a share retention, minimizing the upfront financial risk.

As an investor, you likely encounter both successes and challenges. Could you share a memorable experience where a particular investment taught you valuable lessons that have influenced your approach to investing since then?

A good number of years ago, I invested a small amount of money into a start-up Forex company that was started by a couple of guys I was introduced to. I was incredibly naive and didn’t know the next thing about Forex or trading on the markets. But the projections looked incredible, and I took much of what they said as gospel. It didn’t take long for that ignorance and naivety to come back and bite me when the two of them lost all the cash and did a runner. There definitely is such a thing as “too good to be true.” This taught me a big lesson about understanding the business model and getting to know who you are fundamentally investing in.

Bafl Sarhang: My Symphony of Multi-Media Creativity

Bafl Sarhang

With the Global Man Club launching just yesterday, and at a prestigious location, we have a lot to celebrate in the magazine, not least of all the personalities of the men who make up our club and who are trailblazing success all over the world.

Global Man shares a peek into the life of a pro in the media field in this article. We celebrate the originality and dedication of Bafl Sarhang, diving into his teamwork with respected names like L’Oreal, RTL, SBS, and CNN.

We follow his job journey, underlining key tasks, trials conquered, and regular creation of top-notch content. We also spotlight his love for movie making, shaping engrossing tales on diverse platforms, marking business wins on big TV channels, and gaining praise for brief films. Most of all, Bafl stresses how crucial it is to stay loyal to your creative vision and to showcase the skill of storytelling.

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You’ve worked with renowned brands such as L’Oreal, RTL, SBS, and CNN. Can you share some memorable experiences or projects that have had a significant impact on your career in the media industry?

Working with renowned brands has been an incredible journey in my media career. One of the most beautiful projects I’ve worked on is my film “Radio Freedom.” It was my second film that we had to start entirely from scratch – the story, finances, casting, and crew, among other aspects. Such a substantial project takes years to complete, and, in the end, it’s challenging to let go of it. You become one with the story and the project. This was my second film, which I created and wrote alongside my dear colleague, Ismar Vejzovic. It holds a special place in my heart. Additionally, this year, I launched my own series on RTL 4, titled “Let’s Visit,” where we explore and showcase the most beautiful items and places in the world. It was co-produced with Claudia Gatland, and I had the privilege to direct and edit it myself. It’s another project of which I am very proud. There are many beautiful ideas and dreams, and hopefully, they will come true someday. Ultimately, work is only a part of your life. Complete satisfaction cannot be entirely derived from it. You need more for that.

Producing weekly TV shows for the largest TV network in the Netherlands is a remarkable achievement. Could you tell us about the challenges you’ve faced and the strategies you’ve used to consistently deliver quality content?

On the outside, it may appear easier than it is. It has its share of challenges. The key to consistently delivering quality content is a combination of meticulous planning and a dedicated team. We face tight deadlines, diverse audience preferences, and the need to stay relevant. To overcome these challenges, we must adapt to changing trends. It is a lot of work, often going hand in hand with missing sleep and very tight deadlines. When you look at my work on TV, you might think there’s a large studio or a multinational corporation behind it, but the truth is, often I film everything myself and handle the editing as well. This allows us to keep costs low and continue producing high-quality TV on RTL 4, indeed, the largest media network in the Netherlands. I’m proud that I’ve been able to create great TV for many years.

Bafl Sarhang

Your short films have received critical acclaim. What inspired you to delve into filmmaking, and how do you approach storytelling in the short film format?

My journey into filmmaking was inspired by a deep love for storytelling. Short films provide a unique platform to convey powerful messages in a concise format. When approaching storytelling in the film format, I believe in the importance of crafting compelling characters and emotionally resonant narratives.

I am a refugee and have been living in the Netherlands since the 1990s. My family fled the atrocities of Saddam Hussein. As a child who experienced years of war and migrating from one country to another, you build friendships you may never see again, lose family members, and learn to cope with the impermanence of everything. Along the way, you gather not only life lessons but also stories that stay with you. I engage in many activities as both work and hobbies, but my greatest talent is creativity. Thus, I try to provide an outlet for these stories by writing and filming them. It brings me immense pleasure that the audience and festivals appreciate our films because everything I write comes straight from the heart. I do this through my music, poetry, TV work, and, of course, films.

Participating in the Cannes Film Festival is a dream for many filmmakers. Could you share your experiences and key takeaways from this prestigious event?

Participating in the Cannes Film Festival was a dream come true. Our film “AMEEN” was part of the Short Corner at the festival. It’s an incredible platform for filmmakers to showcase their work to a global audience and connect with industry professionals. One key takeaway from the festival is the value of networking and building relationships with fellow filmmakers and industry experts. Additionally, the experience taught me the importance of perseverance and believing in your artistic vision, even when faced with challenges or rejection. This motivated us to put even more effort into our next film, “Radio Freedom.”

“Radio Freedom” was selected as one of the best shorts at the Netherlands Film Institute. What inspired this particular film, and what message did you aim to convey through it?

“Radio Freedom” was inspired by our interest in exploring themes of freedom and expression. My colleague had once come across a brief newspaper article about an amateur radio broadcaster during the war who attempted to connect people when many communication methods were rendered ineffective in the midst of a brutal conflict. It’s a true story, and we used that small piece of information as a starting point to develop it into a film. I am proud that we were able to secure top actors like Zana Marjanović for this project and film on location in Bosnia, where it truly took place.

The funny thing is, after working for years on such a project, it was ultimately my lovely wife who came up with the title for the film. She is also artistically inclined and has a great eye for film and writing. This just goes to show that you always need good people around you.

What personally inspired me for this project is the life I led as a child. I am originally Kurdish, and we Kurds have been striving for freedom and the right to self-governance since our existence. So, we have plenty of stories to tell.

Bafl Sarhang

In addition to your work in TV and film, you’re involved in music production and have directed numerous music videos. How does your experience in these various media forms influence and complement each other?

Music has always been, is, and will forever be my first love. At the tender age of 6, my parents gifted me my very first miniature piano, right in the heart of a war, as we sought refuge in the mountains. Amidst the thundering explosions that surrounded us, I found solace in teaching myself to play the piano, with a child’s laughter as my only companion—Ha-Ha. I have to laugh because there is no other way to deal with it. When life makes it tough for you, the best response is to smile and believe that everything will turn out fine. And somehow, it will.

Life’s challenges can be met with a smile and the unwavering belief that things will somehow work out. And they do.

My journey through various forms of media, be it TV, film, or music videos, has been a harmonious symphony. Each medium offers its unique storytelling canvas, and the skills I’ve honed in one realm have enriched my abilities in others. For instance, my musical adventures have gifted me an intricate understanding of soundscapes in film, while my television escapades have fortified my storytelling prowess in the realm of music videos. This cross-disciplinary approach allows me to compose more captivating and innovative narratives.

Ultimately, all art forms are but notes in the same melody. They originate from a pure place, for without purity, it cannot truly be art. Music, words, melodies, visuals, and dreams converge, crafting something profoundly beautiful. The art form itself matters not; as long as it’s created with a sincere heart and boundless passion, it’s the only path to creating music. Sound & Visuals are one and the same. In whichever art form it manifests, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is pure and created with a full heart and passion. There is no other way to make art.

Could you share some insights into the creative process behind directing music videos? How do you ensure your videos effectively convey the artist’s vision and message?

I have produced and directed over 50 music videos. Some of them go beyond being just a video clip. I don’t like that word; it diminishes the work. Because some of them are more like short musical films. Directing music videos is a collaborative process that revolves around translating the artist’s vision into a visual narrative. I work closely with the artists to understand their message, style, and desired impact. It’s essential to find a balance between creativity and practicality, ensuring that the video effectively conveys the artist’s message while remaining visually captivating. Attention to detail, strong communication, and a passion for music are key elements in this creative process. You could describe my style as modern, fast, and dynamic. Nothing irritates me more than a dull or pretentious, entitled work.

Bafl Sarhang

Working with a variety of media and platforms, how do you stay innovative and adapt to evolving industry trends and technologies?

Well, this is crucial in the ever-changing media landscape. How does someone stay relevant nowadays? I make it a point to stay updated on the latest developments, whether it’s in camera technology, post-production software, or distribution platforms. Continuous learning and a forward-thinking approach are essential to remain competitive and offer fresh, cutting-edge content to our audience. But despite all of that, the only thing you can do is to remain original and true to yourself because everything else can be learned by anyone. If you have a talent, it’s nothing more than inherent luck, but what you do with it is what matters. Always strive for continuous development and aim for greater heights. You must have an insatiable hunger and never be satisfied, never settle for just okay.

This is what sets an artist apart from other people. These are qualities that can break a person if they don’t have a strong foundation. To share something so personal, to expose yourself, you must delve deep into your heart and reveal your most vulnerable self. No other profession demands that. This makes you incredibly sensitive to all the pain and misery in the world and in everyone. You must have a big heart to handle it and accept what everyone thinks of you. A true artist remains honest and dignified at all times, towards fellow humans, oneself, and, above all, their art form. If you can muster all of that, you can’t help but stay relevant and original.

Being featured in Global Man Magazine is a notable achievement. How do you see your work contributing to and shaping the global media landscape, and what impact do you hope to have?

Being featured in Global Man Magazine is an honour, and I see my work as contributing to the global media landscape by telling diverse and compelling stories that resonate with a broad audience. I hope to have an impact by inspiring others and fostering a greater understanding of the human experience through the power of media. I have spent my entire life doing nothing but trying to bring a smile to my fellow human beings. It’s also the only way of life I know and have mastered. I always have more than enough ideas, stories, melodies, and creations in my mind and in my heart that are seeking a path to freedom outside. The way they express themselves ultimately depends on them. Some may find it too early to be born. All I can do is patiently wait. But until that time comes, I hope that I am a good person, and hopefully, I’ll be remembered as such. I hope I get many more opportunities to work on beautiful projects and tell and visualize my dream stories. But the biggest impact I want to have is for them to say, “Hey, that Bafl, he was a genuine guy. A good man.”

As someone who has achieved success in multiple creative fields, what advice would you give to aspiring media professionals who are looking to make their mark in the industry?

Passion and dedication are paramount. Pursue your creative endeavours with unwavering commitment and continuously refine your skills. “Working hard, and you’ll get there” is nonsense. The “American Dream” is nonsense. Don’t believe in miracles and fantasies. The only way is to ensure that you are seen and known yourself. It’s not easy, and you occasionally need help and luck. But if it’s your calling, and you do it with passion and heart, you’ll get there one way or another. And then comes the day when you no longer need to introduce yourself.

In everything I do, I am self-taught. I have received an education, yes, but in every aspect and in every field of what I do, I’ve had to teach myself everything. There is nothing more satisfying than learning. Furthermore, it’s essential to network. It is crucial, so build relationships within the industry, be open to feedback, and embrace challenges as learning opportunities. Don’t make it too hard on yourself, remember that perfectionism is another word for insecurity. If you don’t fail, you also don’t know what mistakes you shouldn’t make. Learn, learn, learn. Stop trying to be happy. As cliché as it may sound, the journey is what matters. It’s much longer than the destination. That should be your satisfaction; happiness is just the icing on the cake.

Finally, always remember that your unique perspective and voice can make a significant impact in the world of media. Don’t be a parrot, stay humble, and be yourself.

Bafl Sarhang

You can find more of Bafl Sarhang’s content, information, and contact details online:

Bafl Sarhang | LinkedIn

YadMedia – YouTube

YadMedia – Instagram


Check out our upcoming events. With the Global Man Club having launched successfully this week, we hope to see you at one of the following events!

Click the image, or follow the links below!

Frankfurt

Bucharest

Newyork

Graham Rowan: The Beaufort Society — My Exclusive Approach to High-Net-Worth Investing

Graham Rowan

In the realm of investments and wealth management, we explore the captivating tale of Graham Rowan. Once the head of a division at Texas Instruments, he unexpectedly found himself immersed in the world of investing during the 1990s. What began with trust soon turned into a costly lesson. This journey led Graham to shift from relinquishing financial control to assuming personal responsibility, igniting his passion to empower others in navigating the intricate landscape of investments.

Graham emphasizes the utmost importance of financial education, shedding light on the complex regulations within the industry while recognizing the significance of consumer education. He advocates three key areas for investors: private equity, private debt, and private money. These potent instruments serve as drivers for both wealth creation and protection.

Looking ahead, he identifies opportunities in commodities, renewable energy investments, and the pursuit of financial independence amidst global geopolitical risks and economic uncertainties. His practical guidance focuses on starting early, making wise diversifications, and taking control of one’s financial destiny.

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What initially sparked your interest in the world of investing, and how did you embark on your journey in this field?

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you. I was running a software division of a big American company called Texas Instruments, selling multi-million dollar billing systems to telecoms companies around the world. I was making good money and I didn’t have the time or inclination to worry about investing my spare cash. On the advice of a colleague, I appointed a professional wealth manager who put my savings into the Nasdaq. This was the mid-1990s and the raging bull market meant that, every morning, I woke up thousands of dollars richer than when I went to bed. Until March 2000 when I noticed that the market had gone down by a few points. I asked if we should take some money off the table but they sneered at me and said ‘don’t be such a wimp. Don’t you recognise a temporary blip in a raging bull market?’

I left them to it and returned a year later to find that the market had crashed and they had lost me £160,000. They then took me into a room and said ‘I’m sorry, Mr Rowan, these losses take you below the net worth at which we look after clients so we’ll have to let you go.’ I was fired by my own wealth manager and realised that I hadn’t just delegated my investments to them, I had abdicated all responsibility. It was an expensive lesson, but an important one. From that moment, I took personal ownership of my financial future and vowed that I would help others to do the same.

Many individuals face challenges when it comes to constructing a robust investment portfolio. What advice do you have for those struggling to build their investment portfolios effectively?

Firstly, it’s not your fault. We simply aren’t given a financial education at school, at university or in the workplace. Money remains a taboo subject that only a minority of people engage with.

One of the things that annoys me the most is that we live in an age of ever increasing regulation of every aspect of our lives, including the financial services industry. Every year there are some new and more arduous rules to be followed, often in the name of ‘consumer protection’. But there’s never a move to increase financial education so that people can make their own informed choices. That leaves people at the mercy of an industry that does not always have the best interests of its customers at the top of its agenda.  

From your extensive experience, what are some of the most common mistakes that people tend to make when investing, and how can these mistakes be avoided?

The first is the one I made – leaving the investment decisions to someone else. For example, if you are in a pension fund with your employer, do you have any idea what sectors, countries or companies you are invested in? Another mistake is that people think too parochially. Many Brits have way too much exposure to the UK stock market but far too little to the Middle East or Asia where much of the growth is happening today.

A third mistake is to assume that the next ten years will be the same as the last ten years. We’ve had a prolonged bull market which is now showing signs that it has run its course. It’s been possible to get great returns from passive funds that track the market without you having to do any thinking. The result is that firms like Blackrock and Vanguard have bigger portfolios than the GDP of many countries. I struggle to believe that this strategy will be so successful in the 2020s now that we have inflation, huge geopolitical risks and a simmering debt crisis to deal with.

How to address these problems? We focus on three areas, private equity, private debt and private money. Private equity is buying shares in companies that are not yet floated on public stock markets. We focus on providing growth equity to companies with a proven business model who are looking to grow their team, develop their products and enter new markets. This is where the most wealth is being created right now, and that’s why, if you look at the portfolio of the family offices of the ultra wealthy, there is more allocated to private equity than to any other asset including real estate. In our own portfolio we are seeing our original investment grow by anything from 4 to 30 times as the companies deliver on their plans.

Private debt includes bonds and loan notes issued by companies which can provide real, above inflation returns. The problem with private equity shares is that they are illiquid and you need to be ready to invest for anything from three to seven years before seeing a return. Private debt enables you to put food on the table and cover your everyday living costs while waiting for your private equity shares to mature.

Private money exists outside the current fiat system with the aim of avoiding the deliberate inflation and currency debasement being implemented by politicians and central banks around the world. I speak to people every week who have a million pounds or more sitting in High Street bank accounts. Not only are they earning miniscule rates of interest, not only do they have the counterparty risk of the bank going bust, but they are losing at least 10% a year in the purchasing power of that cash! One of the counter-intuitive learning points that I reinforce to our members is that cash in the bank is one of the most dangerous ‘investments’ of all!

There are three types of private money – gold, silver and Bitcoin. We believe there is a place in your portfolio for all three. In our Model Portfolio that we share with our members we suggest a 10% allocation to gold and a 5% allocation to Bitcoin. 

Looking ahead, where do you believe the most promising investment opportunities will emerge in the coming years, and what should investors be keeping an eye on?

I’ve already mentioned private equity and private debt, but they are only available to people who qualify as accredited investors. In the UK that means an income of £100,000 a year or an investment portfolio of £250,000 outside of your home and pension. If that’s out of reach there are many ways you can get started including some great tax breaks. In the UK you can invest up to £20,000 a year in an individual savings account (ISA) and the growth inside the ISA is tax free. You can then research the sectors and companies that you think will do best in the years ahead.

Try to resist the temptation to jump on bandwagons like the big U.S. tech stocks which were the darlings of the last decade. Some of the biggest bargains we’re seeing at the moment are in the commodities and natural resources sector. For all our sophisticated, digital, twenty-first century lives, much of what we take for granted relies on stuff being dug up out of the ground.  Competition for energy, rare earth minerals and food is going to drive these companies much higher in the years to come.

It’s always worth trying to follow the money – for example, politicians with green agendas are throwing vast sums at companies in the renewable energy space so investors can ride the wave of spending by backing the companies most likely to benefit from this torrent of cash. Some of my best sources of information on new opportunities are Money Week magazine and research by firms like Bytetree and George Gammon’s Rebel Capitalist team.

In the context of investments, what do you perceive as the most significant risks on the horizon, and how can investors mitigate these risks?

How long have you got? I recently spoke at a Beaufort live event in London on the risks to our freedom on many levels. Most people are way too complacent after eighty years of peace, prosperity and social mobility. It’s incredibly naive to assume the next eighty years will be a simple action replay. We have three situations that could trigger World War 3 – Ukraine, the Middle East and Taiwan. We have increasing threats to our freedom of movement and freedom of speech. We have the serious probability of governments introducing Central bank Digital Currencies, (CBDCs), programmable money that would bring Orwell’s 1984 to full fruition. And we have the arrival of AI and robotics threatening not just factory jobs but white collar professions in the legal, accounting and even the medical sectors.

There’s an inexorable shift of economic and political power from West to East, a realistic threat to the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency and a rising level of taxation as fewer productive workers support an ageing population.

How do we respond to all this? As citizens, I think we have to take every legal action that we can to push back against the forces that are reducing our freedoms. As investors we have to take a leadership role in our families and accumulate as much wealth as possible to maximise the choices available to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. And, most of all, we have to have a Plan B. And this is where most people slip up. I encourage our members to acquire at least one second residency or citizenship so that, if the country where you live becomes unbearable, you have somewhere else to go. You only have to look at Mirela’s life story to understand the importance of this.

Back in 2018, when I thought the UK was going to end up with a Marxist government led by Jeremy Corbyn, I bought property in Montenegro and obtained residency there. Boris Johnson surprised us by winning the next election, but he must have accidentally picked up Corbyn’s manifesto because the Conservatives have moved so far to the left that they might as well call themselves Socialists. So I moved again, this time to Portugal where I can enjoy more sunshine and less tax! 

As individuals’ portfolios grow over time, wealth protection becomes increasingly important. Could you share some strategies or tips on how people can safeguard their wealth as their investments appreciate?

This brings us to the fundamental question, what is the purpose of wealth? Is it really just about Rolls Royces and private jets or does it go deeper than that? For me, wealth is all about choices. Living where you want to live, with the people you want and having the choice of if, how and when you work.

The two biggest threats we face today are a move towards totalitarian government and ever increasing taxation. Sadly, many of our fellow citizens seem willing to surrender their freedoms to governments who promise to ‘keep them safe’. These freedoms were bought with the blood of our parents and grandparents so it pains me to see how easily they are surrendered.  People need to ask themselves what kind of country they want the future generations of their family to live in and research options on where best to go. The good news is that more and more countries are looking to attract higher net worth citizens so, as you build your wealth, more options should open up for you.

The tax burden in many countries is now at its highest level since World War 2, so tax mitigation strategies become central to wealth protection.  On a simple level you can use ISAs and pensions to shelter your investments from tax. But, if you have a more sophisticated portfolio that includes property, businesses, shares and bonds, you will need the services of a tax expert to set up the correct structures in your country. It becomes even more complex when you have assets and income in multiple countries. Don’t be afraid to pay the fees but make sure you have a recommendation of the expert from a trusted source because you will be in no position to judge them yourself.

Beaufort Society plays a key role in the world of high net worth investing. Could you describe how the organization serves its members and what sets it apart in this space?

Right from the start we wanted to do things differently, mainly driven by my own appalling experience of the financial services industry! So, while our company is called Beaufort Private Equity, we operate as a private members club and refer to our investor community as the Beaufort Society. We provide lots of financial education content including videos, podcasts, newsletters and webinars. All brought together in one place, the Beaufort Academy, which is both a desktop and mobile phone app.

Most private equity firms operate as a fund, so their clients have no say in the individual investments. We provide direct investment opportunities, so that our members can choose which companies they buy into and at what level. A third difference is that we provide a unique financial planning service, the Wealth360, where I get together with a regulated financial adviser and we each take a look at your portfolio to see if it is going to meet your objectives. I am not allowed to provide advice, but I can and do express opinions!

We’ve also grown a hand-picked panel of subject matter experts to help our members in areas where we are not qualified to do so. This includes regulated financial and tax advisers, sources of property finance, specialist insurance and the world’s leading experts on second residency and citizenship by investment programmes. We now have 800 members in 37 countries and the feedback we receive is that we are very much helping our members to achieve their goals.   

When thinking about a typical Beaufort Society member, what characteristics or profile traits do they tend to share, and what value does the society provide to individuals with these attributes?

Great question. By definition they are successful because, in meeting the requirements of a High Net Worth investor, they are already in the top 5% of the population. Many are business owners who have built and sold an enterprise and are looking at how to invest the proceeds. Some are professionals like doctors and dentists, others are property investors looking to diversify out of bricks and mortar. What they share is a willingness to look at alternative investments that are not available from High Street advisers, such as private equity and private debt. Like me, they are slightly ‘renegade’ and suspicious of Big Government and its increasing attempts to restrict our freedom. 

They tend to be the most financially astute members of their families and take their leadership role in wealth creation, wealth protection and wealth transfer seriously. Most of all, they enjoy being able to mix with like-minded people because we are very much in the minority!

For those interested in becoming a member of Beaufort Society, what are the criteria or steps they should consider, and how can someone go about joining this exclusive network?

We deliberately try to remove as much friction as we can from the process. We don’t charge membership fees and we don’t make any charges when people invest. Our fees are paid by the companies for whom we raise capital and, where possible, we take part of our fees as equity so we can go on the journey with our members.

If someone meets the High Net Worth criteria I mentioned earlier, they can fil in the application form and self-certify their status at Beaufortprivateequity.com 

In the context of your work, both as an author and a speaker, what key messages or insights do you hope to convey to your audience, and how can individuals benefit from your expertise in the realm of investments and wealth management?

Our core philosophy is that we each need to take ownership of our financial future because, as I discovered to my cost, no one else has your financial wellbeing at the top of their agenda! The financial world loves to use complicated jargon to justify their fees, but there’s no secret to building a successful portfolio. Live within your means, save some money then start investing. If you study the legendary investors like Warren Buffet or Sr John Templeton, their key messages were ‘buy cheap and diversify’. So, if you combine buying stocks when they are cheap and spreading the risk across multiple sectors, you should see significant growth in a five to ten year time horizon.   

The most important point of all is to get started and make it a habit. As someone smarter than me once said, the best time to do this was twenty years ago. The second-best time to get started is today.

Graham Rowan | LinkedIn

Beaufort

Dr Chopra: The Divine Feminine Empowered — Women for a Harmonious World

Interview by Mirela Sula

In a world that is constantly changing and facing numerous challenges, the resurgence of Divine Feminine energy holds great significance. Renowned authority Dr. Chopra explores the transformative power of this energy, which helps shift us away from predatory male energy towards qualities like empathy and cooperation – qualities essential for addressing global issues. This interview delves into harnessing the Divine Feminine’s attributes in leadership, examining the seven Goddess archetypes and empowering women with diverse talents to collectively drive positive change. Drawing inspiration from luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Chopra highlights the importance of self-reflection in achieving success while navigating multifaceted roles. Ultimately, it presents a compelling vision of a harmonious and inclusive world where financial well-being aligns with personal values and passions.

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Can you please share your insight on the current rise of the divine feminine energy and why it is considered to be of great importance in our world today?

The rise of the Divine Feminine is significant because it represents a shift away from the dominant, predatory male energy that has shaped our history. This shift is essential as we face numerous global challenges, including climate change, violence, and more. The Divine Feminine embodies qualities like nurturing, empathy, and cooperation, which are necessary for our survival and a more harmonious world.

In the context of leadership, how can the qualities and principles associated with the Divine Feminine be harnessed and utilized in a positive and effective manner to inspire and guide individuals and organizations towards a more harmonious and inclusive future?

Effective leadership can be achieved by embracing the acronym “LEADERS”: Look and listen deeply, develop emotional intelligence and empathy, cultivate awareness, set smart goals, empower oneself and others, take responsibility, and create synchronicity. These principles, when applied, lead to a more harmonious and inclusive future by promoting empathy, compassion, and collective empowerment.

Would you please share and explain the concept of the seven Goddess archetypes and offer guidance on how those here can access and embody these archetypes in their lives for personal growth and empowerment?

The seven Goddess archetypes represent different facets of the Divine Feminine. They are:

  • Hera (leader),
  • Mother (nurturer),
  • Athena (wisdom and culture),
  • Aphrodite (love and creativity),
  • Artemis (nature and conservation),
  • Persephone (healer and alchemist),
  • and Hestia (homemaker).

It’s possible to relate to multiple archetypes, but identifying your major strengths is key. By recognizing your dominant archetypes, you can align with your true self and find people who complement your strengths to create a harmonious balance.

For women who feel a strong connection to multiple archetypes and possess diverse talents, how can they navigate their journey effectively while embracing their multifaceted nature?

Women with diverse talents and connections to multiple archetypes should focus on their major strengths while appreciating their multifaceted nature. By identifying and prioritizing their dominant archetypes, they can lead more effectively and seek collaboration with others who complement their skills. This way, they can navigate their journey with balance and purpose, using their various talents to create a harmonious and fulfilling life.

How can women harness their multifaceted talents and archetypes to contribute positively to their communities and the world as a whole?

Women can harness their multifaceted talents and archetypes to make positive contributions by recognizing their unique strengths and finding alignment with their passions. They should collaborate with others who have complementary skills to address community and global challenges. By embracing their diverse talents and archetypes, women can create a more inclusive, compassionate, and harmonious world.

In a world where women often juggle various roles and responsibilities, what advice do you have for them to maintain a sense of balance, well-being, and inner harmony?

Finding balance, well-being, and inner harmony is essential for women juggling multiple roles. They should prioritize self-care, practice mindfulness, and set boundaries to prevent burnout. Embracing their archetypal strengths can also help them align their actions with their true selves, fostering a sense of balance and fulfilment in all their endeavours.

How can women collectively harness their strengths and diverse talents to create a more peaceful, just, sustainable, healthier, and joyful world?

Women can collectively create a better world by recognizing their collective strengths and diverse talents. They should come together, share their visions, and collaborate across different areas of expertise. By focusing on shared goals, practicing empathy and compassion, and leveraging each other’s strengths, women can drive positive change and contribute to a more peaceful, just, sustainable, healthier, and joyful world.

In your experience, Dr. Chopra, what qualities, and archetypes have led to the success of powerful female leaders like Oprah Winfrey?

Oprah Winfrey embodies several powerful archetypes. She’s a storyteller, a nurturer, and a builder. She listens to and validates people’s stories, which has been key to her success. She’s also a feminist and focuses on empowering marginalized women, making her a role model for many.

How can women who identify with the mother archetype and aspire to be leaders navigate the apparent contradiction between these roles effectively?

Embrace the contradiction and ambiguity. Paradoxes are sources of creativity. Being a mother and a leader can coexist. Oprah Winfrey herself is a motherly figure to many and a successful leader. It’s about finding a balance and understanding that people want to tell their stories. Listen and validate them, and you can succeed in both roles.

You mentioned the importance of validation and listening to people’s stories. Can you elaborate on how this approach can contribute to success, as Oprah exemplifies?

Validation and active listening are keys to success. Oprah’s ability to genuinely listen and validate people’s stories has made her a remarkable storyteller and a successful journalist. When you focus on what you can do for others, it can lead to great success.

Oprah Winfrey also engages in philanthropic work, such as educating thousands of children in South Africa. How does her nurturing and giving nature contribute to her impact and influence?

Oprah’s nurturing and giving nature is a significant part of her impact and influence. She has nurtured thousands of children in South Africa, showing that being a nurturer and a leader can go hand in hand. Her philanthropic efforts align with her values and empower others, making her a role model for many.

In the discussion, you touched upon the idea of embracing contradiction and ambiguity. How can this approach benefit individuals and organizations striving for success?

Embracing contradiction and ambiguity is essential for creativity. Without paradoxes and conflicts, there’s no room for growth and innovation. It’s crucial for individuals and organizations to embrace these challenges, as they often lead to breakthroughs and unique solutions.

During the meditation session, you explored the concept of “Who am I?” and encouraged self-reflection. How can this practice help individuals in their personal and professional growth?

Self-reflection, as practiced in the meditation, can lead to self-awareness and personal growth. It helps individuals understand their true selves and their desires. Knowing oneself is crucial for making aligned choices in both personal and professional life.

You mentioned the importance of financial well-being as part of overall well-being. How can individuals achieve financial security while also pursuing their passions and values, as discussed in the conversation?

Achieving financial security while pursuing passions and values requires aligning your work with your purpose. It’s about finding ways to contribute to the world while also ensuring financial stability. This balance can be achieved by understanding what success means to you and recognizing that true success includes financial well-being alongside other aspects of life.

Mirela Sula & Deepak Chopra

Dr. Bilal Kola: A Lawyer In The Mission To Change The World

Dr Bilal Kola

In a world filled with stories of resilience and triumph, Dr. Bilal’s life journey is a testament to the power of determination, dreams, and the pursuit of justice. Born in an Albanian communist concentration camp, his early years were marked by hardship, but they also sparked a deep desire for success drawn from the pages of Western novels.

Motivated by his family’s legacy of resistance against oppression, he made a vow to study law and fight for justice whenever given the opportunity. His journey took him from Albania to London, where he pursued law studies and specialized in international business law.

Completing a Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership further enhanced his understanding of leadership and shaped his career in both public and private sectors. As Dr. Bilal embarks on a new journey as a motivational speaker and life coach, his story remains an inspiration for those who truly belie­ve in lifelong learning and pursuing their passions.

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Can you share more about your early years growing up in a communist concentration camp and the impact it had on your perspective and drive for success?

Ever since I started to understand and experience the reality it became more and more obvious to me that being treated unfairly and most importantly being treated differently to other kids was something that I had to get used to, as there was nothing I could do to change the reality of it.

Throughout my childhood and adolescence, the phenomenon that caused me the most bitterness, low self-esteem and insecurity was comparing myself to others. I could not even be compared with my peers at the concentration camp. Since the vast majority of the kids at the concentration camp had their father at home, while my father was locked away in political prison.

Other kids at the concentration camp had some of the basics (like food and clothes) while most of the time I went hungry and was wearing ravaged clothes. Then in adolescence, as if putting the seal to everything in relation to comparing myself with others, at the age of 14 as I was prohibited to go to secondary school – I was ordered by the authorities to do heavy labor work in agriculture (during communism internees were categorically prohibited to go to university or college, but they were allowed to go to secondary school – so my case was a special exemption from the exclusionary rule itself).

To this extremely burdened emotional state (due to comparing myself with others) it just thankfully happened that I found the ‘cure’ through what I now call the phenomenon of ‘escaping into books’. So, by reading various novels of western authors (which were indeed very hard to find back in communist Albania), I was inspired and aspired to become like their characters.

My desire to achieve success (to become knowledgeable, articulate, polite, famous, rich, etc) has been a deeply ingrained mindset that I have cultivated since my childhood in trying to emulate my role models exemplified in the characters of western authors.

Your family’s history is marked by opposition to the communist regime. How did your family’s experiences influence your academic and career choices, especially in the field of law?

While in the concentration camp, during my early teen years my biggest and wildest dream was to flee Albania and go to the US to study law and become a lawyer. My grandfather had been shot without trial by the communist dictatorship just for being a good patriot and collaborating with British SOEs against Nazis (even though he was someone who had been graduated as a student in Austria), my dad was locked away in a political prison (just for being courageous enough to speak his mind) since I was two years old, my family was exiled in various concentration camps since May 1945.

All these injustices had me fired up inside, instilling a deep passion about law and justice. So, I had sworn to myself – if I ever got free there was no other choice for me but law.

Tell us about the pivotal moments or individuals who inspired you to pursue a career in law and international business law, considering your challenging beginnings.

As I said before, the severe injustices that my family had been subjected to and all the deprivations that I had experienced throughout my childhood and adolescence, had me deeply fired up inside for justice. So, I’ve always felt that given the chance, studying law and becoming a lawyer was the right tool how I could give my contribution to my family and my people.

Thankfully, when communism fell, I was so adamant to fulfill this dream of mine. In 1993, Lord Julian Emery (a friend of my grandfather) came to Albania receiving a medal from the Albanian president of that time. My father met him and thereafter my dream started to become a reality.

So, I started my law studies in London. After finishing my bachelor studies, living in the financial capital of Europe led me thinking that focusing on international business law would give me a competitive edge when I returned to Albania (the scholarship I got with the help from Lord Emery had a condition that after finishing school I had to return to Albania, so I had to honor that commitment I took in front of him).

Your academic journey is quite diverse, from law to international business and aviation law. How did these different areas of study complement each other in shaping your career?

Ever since I returned to Albania I’ve engaged in various interesting projects and works, but all of them revolving on commercial and corporate law. I had the opportunity to study international aviation law while I was working as director legal for the German company operating Tirana airport.

I think that I’ve always held an interest in expanding my professional knowledge and whenever an opportunity has arisen, I’ve never had any hesitation to go for it.

You completed your PhD in Strategic Leadership. How has this advanced degree contributed to your leadership roles, both in the public and private sectors?

Again the PhD in Strategic Leadership was something of an opportunity to me. When I was director legal at the airport company, it just happened that I was went to Vienna very frequently as I was representing my company in an international arbitration case.

In Vienna I’ve met a lot of interesting and influential people and one of them introduced me this opportunity to study for my PhD. But instead of paying the tuition to the university, I could contribute in kind (like a barter transaction) in giving lectures at the same university for its undergraduates in business law.

My PhD degree in Strategic Leadership has been a massive help in structuring and refining my practical knowledge about leadership and making significant strides in my career (I believe leadership skills have a tremendous impact in all walks of life, both professional and personal).

Could you elaborate on your motivation for enrolling in the Executive Coaching program? How do you plan to integrate coaching into your career trajectory?

In the last couple of years I felt that I have taken and given as much as I could in my legal career. So, without saying I’ve felt bored with law it may be worth saying that recently I’ve felt that I have so much more to contribute – beyond being a lawyer – to give and share with enthusiasm and passion with the world about my professional and personal life experiences.

So, as a blueprint for I plan in my career I’ve written a book in the genre of personal development, titled: ’12 MINDSETS to improve life radically’. My career goal now (for which I have a tremendous passion to share with as many people as possible) is to become an international motivational speaker and life coach. However, given the fact that throughout my career I have worked with executives (being one myself for many years) and knowing what motivates them, knowing theirs challenges and goals, I think makes me much more suitable to initially coach them.

Hence, enrolling onto an accredited ICF Executive Coaching program I feel is the right approach for my credentials as a life coach and motivational speaker.

Starting your own law firm is a significant achievement. What were the biggest challenges you faced during this entrepreneurial journey, and what advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Judged by my experience, I believe that the biggest challenge an entrepreneur faces is making the decision to start out (when I’ve took the decision to start my own law firm I had a very well-paid job, but I also had much higher ambitions that I somehow wanted to fulfill).

My advice is simple (but maybe not easy): (i) focus on your passions, talents or skills; (ii) come up with a well-structured SMART goal; (iii) be courageous to take that crucial first step; (iv) persist no matter what, because perseverance is always associated with the ‘lucky breaks’; (iv) work very hard until your expertise and reputation will make you work smart.

Then you will most likely experience the true self-actualization. Just like Confucius said: ‘when we do for work something we like, we never work a single day in our life’.

As a motivational speaker and coach, you inspire others to improve their lives. Can you share a few of your key “mindsets” for personal development that have resonated most with your audiences?

On a personal development level I love to share with my audiences how they can cultivate and practice the concepts and wisdom associated with: acceptance and Amor Fati, forgiving everyone and anything, equanimity, gratitude, etc.

On a professional development level, I love to share with them how they can learn and apply the soft skills of leadership, emotional intelligence, public communication, persuasion and negotiation – combining them with the mindsets of ‘every failure is stepping stone to success’, not comparing our first chapter with somebody’s tenth chapter, Ikigai (purpose), etc.

Your involvement in organizations like the Albanian-British Chamber of Commerce and the International Lawyers Association is impressive. How has networking and being part of these associations influenced your career?

Life has taught me to truly believe in this wonderful and wise saying (not only in a financial sense but in its entire dimension): ‘your network is your net worth’.

So, I’m truly blessed to know so many wonderful, kind and talented individuals as a result of my professional networking. It gives me great satisfaction to acknowledge to them (or sharing with others) any contribution (no matter small or big) that I’ve had from anyone of them in my career advancement.

You’ve been an external university professor in Business Law for many years. What aspects of teaching and mentoring students do you find most rewarding, and how does it complement your other professional endeavours?

I love teaching and mentoring for two main reasons: (i) because of the direct positive contribution I have on the life of the students (I actually experience the so-called ‘giver’s high’ when I teach and mentor); and (ii) because I firmly believe in the saying ‘who teaches others, also teaches himself’.

So, my teaching and mentoring always keeps me updated, ‘on my feet’, and what I truly love to be for myself – a life-long student.

Dr Bilal Kola

Simon Alexander Ong: The Energizing Force Behind Modern Business Strategy

Simon Alexander Ong

In the dynamic world of business strategy and personal development, few thought leaders command attention quite like Simon Alexander Ong. With his work being featured in prominent outlets such as Forbes and the Harvard Business Review, and his debut book ‘Energize’ receiving high praise from renowned authors like Simon Sinek and Marie Forleo, Ong’s impact on the field is undeniable.

In this exclusive interview with Global Man Magazine, Ong offers unparalleled insights into his unique journey, the influential experiences that shaped his outlook, and the key principles that continue to guide his work in helping others unlock their full potential.

As he speaks about overcoming challenges and simplifying complex strategies, Ong’s passion for his craft, his understanding of media’s role in amplifying thought leadership, and his wisdom gleaned from extraordinary career moments, all coalesce to create an inspiring narrative filled with invaluable lessons for any aspiring business strategist.

Dive in as we unravel the energizing success story of Simon Alexander Ong.

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In your book ‘Energize’, what inspired you to write it, and how do you believe it contributes to the field of business strategy?

In the first chapter of the book, I share a personal story of how I reached this point in my life where I was burned out—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was lost, and I would attempt to avoid facing this reality by bingeing on television shows, drowning myself in alcohol, and gambling my money away. The journey from that point to what I now get to do today—speaking on stages across the planet, coaching those in positions of leadership, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs—was something that I wanted to share in my book Energize. I wanted to share with readers that when you take responsibility for where you are today and where you want to be, life can unfold in the most magical of ways. Because when you have the courage to channel your energy towards what matters most, you step onto the path towards fulfilment and begin to show up differently in the world.

New York Times bestselling author Simon Sinek described my book as “exactly what we need in this moment,” and I believe it is because many businesses across the planet are currently experiencing a human energy crisis. In surveys conducted by organisations such as Gallup, the majority of respondents share that they are struggling with their mental health, are feeling burned out, and are disengaged. This matters because people are the driving force behind every business, and if they possess little to no energy, then the business as a whole will suffer. It can easily be forgotten, but the first customer for a business is their employees, because the happier and more energised they are, the better the experience for the clients that interact with them. When it comes to productivity and creativity, therefore, energy really is everything.

Can you share some unique insights that you discussed during your visit to 10 Downing Street and how it may have influenced your approach to business?

I am fortunate to have been involved in visits to the likes of 10 Downing Street and the House of Lords. With regards to the former, it was thanks to Enterprise Nation and Emma Jones, CBE, who helped to make it happen.

They set up a meeting at 10 Downing Street between those in government involved in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a group of business owners, of which I was one. The main points of discussion during this meeting revolved around the challenges faced by SMEs across the country and how the government could offer better support for them in areas such as hiring, international trade, and access to funding.

What was clear during the meeting is that whatever stage of your entrepreneurial or business journey you are at, you will always face challenges. Challenges, however, are important because they set the stage for your personal growth. As the author Haruki Murakami said, “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.” “That’s what this storm’s all about.” There will be things that are in your control and things that are out of your control. When you focus on what you can’t control, it is easy to become paralysed by overthinking and negativity. When you focus on what you can control, however, you feel energised and empowered to take action.

One insight that I experienced during the meeting that has influenced my approach to business is the importance of surrounding yourself with business owners from a diverse range of industries. It creates an environment where you can learn from each other’s different perspectives, lessons, and insights; it allows you, for example, to bring successful ideas from another industry into your own or partner with other businesses to create something unique.

I have since made diversity of relationships a priority in my entrepreneurial journey and, as a result, have been able to learn from the likes of film directors, Michelin-starred chefs, CMOs, property developers, and hoteliers. Some of these have contributed to unique collaborations, such as the partnership with The Connaught hotel in London’s Mayfair district to create a cocktail inspired by my book, with a metaverse educational platform to host one of the world’s first book launches in the virtual world, and with illustrators to visualise my teachings and insights.

How has being a keynote speaker at high-profile organizations like Salesforce, Adobe, EY, Bain, and Oliver Wyman shaped your perspective on international business?

It is always a blessing to be invited to high-profile organisations to share my work, and what these experiences have taught me when it comes to international business is just how important it is to understand your people and audience, from showing those that you lead that they are supported and appreciated through recognition programmes and culture alignment to modelling the behaviour that you would like your organisation to embrace.

Regardless of location, the businesses that ultimately thrive over the long term are those that have a clear and compelling vision that people want to be a part of, that are focused on developing those in positions of leadership into good coaches (a Google study, “Project Oxygen,” discovered that the most effective leaders within their organisation were good coaches who didn’t micromanage), and that cultivate a culture of belonging where everyone feels they are part of something bigger than themselves and where they feel safe to express their full human selves. 

Your work has been featured in prestigious publications such as Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. How do these platforms help amplify your message, and how do you determine what insights to share?

Getting featured in well-known publications is a fantastic way to help amplify my message to new audiences because everyone consumes their content through different channels. It’s why, for example, I’m present on different social media platforms (most of my energy is on my two favourite platforms, LinkedIn and Instagram), because I understand people will have a preference on where to consume the majority of their content from.

The readership for Forbes tends to be high-net-worth investors and consumers, as well as entrepreneurs, while the readership for Harvard Business Review is more geared towards those in executive positions within organisations. These platforms help because they act as a conduit for getting my ideas and work onto the radar of people who may never have come across it otherwise. They may, in turn, lead to business opportunities such as coaching and speaking or invitations to media outlets to learn more about what I do and the messages I have to share.

In fact, one article that I was featured in for a national newspaper led to me receiving a call from Sky News, who invited me to their studios for an interview. That opportunity wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for being featured in a publication. With regards to what insights to share, these are driven by the questions I am asked and the audience that will be reading my words. My primary objective with the insights that I share is to always deliver them in a way that is digestible and where everybody can connect with them. 

Considering the endorsement of your book ‘Energize’ by renowned authors like Simon Sinek and Marie Forleo, how did their feedback impact you personally and professionally?

Getting endorsements from renowned authors like Simon and Marie was a surreal moment, and it reminded me of the saying that “if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.” It was an incredible honour to have them support my first book and for them to see value in what I had to offer.

Simon’s endorsement was particularly special given that he doesn’t appear to do it for many books. And they certainly helped in the leadup to the book’s publication in April 2022 for people to see the calibre of names gracing the cover of my book. 

Each of the endorsements I received for the book had unique stories of how they were achieved, which illustrate the importance of building your network and nurturing the relationships you have. A great example of this is how Marie Forleo’s endorsement came about. One of the habits I have when attending events is that I like to arrive early and get a spot on the front row or as close to the front as possible. At one of Marie’s book launch events for Everything is Figureoutable, I noticed a guy sitting on the front row who had a certain energy about him. Once the talk ended and a queue formed around Marie to get her to sign copies of her book, I approached this guy for a conversation.

It turns out that he was Marie’s hair stylist! We ended up in deep conversation about their trip to the UK to promote the book and how they were finding the experience. I shared tips on places to visit and restaurants to eat at while they were here in London. Before we wrap up, we exchange contact details and decide to stay in touch. Two years later, at the end of 2021, my publishing team reached out to Marie to see if she would like to provide an endorsement for my book.

We heard nothing back—understandable given how many inquiries she and her team must receive every week! I therefore decided to drop her hairstylist a message to see if he could put in a good word for me. Just a couple days before we finalise the list of endorsements for the book, I get a message from my publishing team saying that Marie has provided a blurb.

This was followed by a message from the hairstylist that I had met and stayed in touch with that said, “I kept pushing them! “And then I sent a final push last week reminding them how timely it was, and then I heard they were talking to your publisher!”

As Terence McKenna beautifully said, “Nature loves courage.” You make the commitment, and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. “Dream the impossible dream, and the world will not grind you under; it will lift you up.” 

How has your experience on media outlets like Sky News and BBC influenced your understanding of the media’s role in business strategy and thought leadership?

My experience with media outlets such as these reminded me about just how influential their role is when it comes to highlighting issues and bringing thought leadership into the public’s awareness when it comes to business, life, and general wellbeing.

By helping to raise awareness around the work that I do, it acts as a great platform to get my work out to a larger audience. It’s why one of my goals in the coming years is to do more work with media outlets that can help amplify my message to people who may not have come across my work before. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your début book, ‘Energize’, and how did you overcome it?

Writing “Energize” was one of the greatest challenges that I have experienced. I received the offer to write the book with Penguin Random House in April 2020, which was the same month that I became a father for the first time and the UK entered into its first lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the planet.

To balance running a business, writing a book, and looking after a newborn at a time when our families weren’t able to visit was tough. There were moments where I wasn’t sure I could even get across the finish line with regards to finishing the book, which is why holding the first printed copy of it in my hands a few weeks before its publication was such a beautiful moment that I will never forget.

I believe that we never get far alone, which is why the support that I had around me throughout the book-writing process was so important in helping me navigate the challenges I have shared. My wife is the first person that comes to mind because of her incredible support during what was a difficult period for us both.

I was then intentional about being in regular conversation with other authors who were in the process of writing their own books so we could support one another, as well as getting involved with a mastermind group to keep me focused on the writing journey and to seek help when required.

Setting up this environment around me during the coronavirus pandemic years was crucial in helping me accomplish what I wanted to do. It’s why I believe that one of the fastest ways to make meaningful progress in any area of our lives and careers is to design an environment around us that makes it impossible not to succeed.

Simon Alexander Ong

Given your broad range of experiences, how do you approach the process of simplifying complex business strategies for different audiences around the world?

Simplicity is key in the work that I get to do; if people find it difficult to understand what I have to say, then it’s impossible to get my message across to them.

My experience of being on stage, on radio, on TV, and in podcast interviews has helped me understand how to distil my thoughts into language that can be easily understood by all and the importance of storytelling. And this begins with understanding the audience that you are speaking to; it helps inform the stories, case studies, and analogies that you draw upon.

When talking to an audience from the film industry, for example, I will use Christopher Nolan’s film Inception as an analogy for how the coaching process works, and when talking to an audience from the executive community, I will draw on case studies with clients from the corporate world and how other leaders and organisations have demonstrated or embraced the lessons I share.

Having a broad range of experiences and insights does make this process easier, though, because it allows you to connect the dots in interesting ways to better engage with different audiences around the world. 

Can you share a unique or surprising moment from your career that significantly influenced your outlook or approach to business strategy?

One of my favourite books within the field of business, which I come back to again and again, is The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It’s a relatively short book with a simple yet powerful message: the secret to success is giving.

Reading this book heavily influenced my approach to business and life. It taught me that our value as humans is determined by how much more we have given to the world than we have taken from it. As a result, money is simply an echo of value; the more value that you bring into the world through your products, services, and presence, the more money you get.

A question I therefore ask myself each day and encourage others to also do is the following: How can I add value to someone’s life today, however small? 

If you were to mentor a young aspiring business strategist, what three key pieces of advice would you give based on your experience and success?

A common characteristic amongst the most successful is a strong bias towards action, and so the first piece of advice I would share is to collapse that gap between idea and execution because, while ideas are common, the ability to execute on a consistent basis is less so.

We can sabotage our progress by overthinking and giving in to fear and doubt. The value of any idea, however, is only realised once action is taken. As the actor Denzel Washington shared when receiving an award for his performance in the film Fences, “Without commitment, you will never begin; more importantly, without consistency, you will never finish.”

When you commit to taking at least one step forward each day in growing your business, a year from now, that becomes a minimum of 365 steps forward. Just imagine where you could be and what would now be possible.

The second piece of advice I would share is to design an environment around you that makes it impossible not to succeed—from who you spend most of your time with to the books you read, from the events you attend to the places you spend time in.

Your environment has a significant influence over how you see yourself and what you see as possible, so when you are regularly reviewing and optimising it, you are increasing your odds of success. The third piece of advice I would share is to believe that you have value to bring to the world and that you have what it takes to succeed in the long term. There are always two sales that occur: the second is selling you to others, and the first is selling you to yourself.

And until you can succeed with the first, the second will always remain a challenge. When I started believing in what I had to offer the world, I showed up differently and with more energy in the form of commitment, persistence, consistency, and focus. You will quickly notice this difference, and so will others.

Simon Alexander Ong

Dr. Fab Mancini: Shaping a Healthier World — An Exclusive


As a publication devoted to the modern, ambitious, and globally-minded man, Global Man Magazine is excited to bring to you a thought-provoking conversation with a man who embodies these very characteristics. We present an exclusive interview with one of the world’s most influential figures in wellness and integrative healthcare – a consultant, a best-selling author, a speaker, and a powerful advocate for self-healing and healthy living, Dr. Fab Mancini.

From advising governmental and civic organizations, including the White House Commission for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, to transforming organizations’ approach to wellness, Dr. Mancini has made waves across different sectors and continents. He has served as the President/CEO and President Emeritus of Parker University, and his bestselling book, “The Power of Self-Healing,” has become a global phenomenon, inspiring individuals to tap into their body’s natural ability to heal itself. In this insightful interview, Dr. Mancini takes us on his remarkable journey, sharing the challenges, opportunities, and powerful stories that have shaped his career and the field of integrative healthcare.

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As a global executive and consultant in wellness and integrative healthcare, what do you consider to be the most significant challenges and opportunities in promoting self-healing and healthy lifestyles on a global scale?

When it comes to promoting self-healing and healthy lifestyles on a global scale, there are both significant challenges and incredible opportunities that lie before us, especially for high achievers. One of the most significant challenges is shifting the mindset of individuals from a reactive approach to health, where we wait until something goes wrong before taking action, to a proactive approach that prioritises prevention and self-care.

Imagine your body as a finely tuned instrument, like a sleek sports car. Just as you invest time and resources into maintaining and optimizing your car’s performance, you must do the same for your body. The opportunity lies in recognizing that your body is a self-healing marvel, capable of restoring and rejuvenating itself when given the proper conditions and care.

To seize this opportunity, I recommend starting with small, actionable steps that align with your busy lifestyle. Begin by incorporating mindful moments throughout your day, whether it’s a few minutes of deep breathing or a brief meditation session. Cultivate a nourishing relationship with food, choosing whole, unprocessed ingredients that fuel your body and mind. Engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy, whether it’s a dance class, yoga session, or brisk walk in nature.

The science supports these practices, showing that mindfulness reduces stress levels, proper nutrition strengthens immune function, and exercise releases endorphins that boost mood and overall well-being. By prioritizing these practices and integrating them into your daily routine, you can gradually transform your life and inspire others to do the same.

You have worked with various organizations and individuals to transform their approach to wellness and healthcare. Could you share a particularly memorable success story that highlights the impact of your work?

Let me share a memorable success story that exemplifies the impact of my work. I once worked with a high-powered executive, much like your readers, who was constantly under immense pressure to perform and deliver results. She had neglected her well-being for years, sacrificing sleep, healthy eating, and exercise in pursuit of professional success.

During our coaching sessions, we discussed the importance of self-care and how it ultimately enhances productivity and effectiveness. We explored practical strategies to incorporate wellness into her demanding schedule, such as creating a morning routine that included exercise, setting boundaries to ensure adequate rest, and adopting healthier eating habits.

Over time, she began to experience profound changes. She had more energy, improved focus, and a renewed sense of purpose. She became an inspiring example to her team, advocating for work-life balance and prioritizing employee well-being. This cultural shift resulted in increased productivity, reduced turnover, and improved overall company performance.

The transformative power of this success story lies in recognizing that investing in our own well-being not only benefits us individually but also has a ripple effect on our organizations and the people around us. By prioritizing self-care and leading by example, we can create a positive and thriving work environment that supports the holistic health of all.

With your expertise in executive leadership, what advice would you give to aspiring leaders in the wellness industry who aim to create a vision for growth, profitability, and value?

First, it’s essential to clarify your purpose and define your unique value proposition. What makes your approach to wellness distinct? What specific problems do you solve? Understanding your unique contribution will help you stand out in a crowded market and attract clients and partners who resonate with your vision.

Second, embrace a growth mindset. View challenges as opportunities for learning and expansion. Stay curious and open to new ideas and research, always seeking to integrate the latest evidence-based practices into your offerings. Continually educate yourself to remain at the forefront of the wellness industry and position yourself as a thought leader.

Third, foster collaboration and strategic partnerships. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals and organizations that share your values and complementary expertise. By joining forces, you can amplify your impact and create a collective movement towards a healthier world.

Finally, lead by example. Walk the talk and embody the principles you espouse. Your personal well-being and success serve as a powerful testament to the effectiveness of your approach. By living a balanced, purpose-driven life, you inspire others to follow suit and become ambassadors of wellness themselves.

As an author, speaker, and media personality, you have been influential in educating and motivating others to improve their health and wellness. How do you ensure that your message resonates with diverse audiences across different cultures and languages?

As a global author, speaker, and media personality, my aim is to ensure that my message resonates with diverse audiences across different cultures and languages. I achieve this by focusing on universal principles and values that transcend cultural boundaries.

One of the key principles is the acknowledgment of our shared humanity. Regardless of our cultural backgrounds, we all aspire to live a fulfilling and healthy life. By emphasizing this common goal, I create a bridge of understanding that allows my message to resonate with individuals from all walks of life.

Another strategy I employ is the use of relatable metaphors and personal examples. I believe stories have a unique power to connect people, and I often share narratives that illustrate the transformative potential of self-healing and healthy lifestyle choices. By providing vivid and relatable anecdotes, I tap into the emotions and experiences that are universally understood and appreciated.

Furthermore, I prioritise the translation and adaptation of my work into different languages and cultural contexts. By working with professional translators and cultural consultants, I ensure that my message retains its authenticity and relevance when shared with diverse audiences.

Ultimately, the key lies in approaching each interaction with empathy and cultural sensitivity. By recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of each individual and community, we can create a more inclusive and empowering dialogue around health and wellness.

Having served as President/CEO and President Emeritus of Parker University, what strategies did you implement to transform the institution into a growing accredited university meeting the evolving needs of the healthcare industry?

First, I focused on fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration. By encouraging interdisciplinary partnerships and creating platforms for knowledge exchange, we harnessed the collective intelligence of our faculty, staff, and students. This collaborative approach allowed us to stay ahead of emerging trends and adapt our curriculum and programs accordingly.

Second, I emphasised the integration of technology and cutting-edge research. We invested in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, ensuring that our students had access to the latest advancements in healthcare. By embracing technology, we expanded our educational reach beyond traditional boundaries, offering online courses and virtual learning opportunities.

Third, we cultivated strong relationships with industry leaders and practitioners. Through partnerships and advisory boards, we gained valuable insights into the evolving needs and demands of the healthcare sector. This allowed us to tailor our educational offerings to align with real-world requirements and provide our graduates with a competitive edge.

Lastly, I prioritised the well-being and personal growth of our students. Recognizing that healthcare professionals must embody the principles they teach, we incorporated wellness and business education into our curriculum. We empowered our students to embrace self-care, resilience, and a holistic approach to health, ensuring that they were not only knowledgeable practitioners but also exemplars of well-being.

By implementing these strategies, we positioned Parker University as a leading institution that not only met the needs of the healthcare industry but also prepared compassionate and empowered healthcare professionals to make a positive impact in the world.

You have advised governmental and civic organizations, including the White House Commission for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. What role do you see for complementary and alternative medicine in the future of healthcare, and how can it be integrated effectively?

When it comes to the future of healthcare, I firmly believe that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has a vital role to play. CAM offers a holistic and patient-centered approach that complements conventional medicine, focusing on prevention, empowerment, and the body’s innate ability to heal.

Just as diverse ecosystems thrive with a wide range of plant and animal species, our healthcare system can flourish by embracing a diverse array of healing modalities. Integrating CAM effectively requires a shift in perspective, from a narrow focus on disease management to a broader understanding of health promotion and well-being.

To achieve this integration, I recommend three action steps:

First, we must foster collaboration and open dialogue between conventional and complementary practitioners. By creating forums for knowledge exchange and mutual respect, we can bridge the gap and establish a cohesive and comprehensive approach to healthcare.

Second, we need to prioritise research and evidence-based practices in the field of CAM. Robust scientific studies and clinical trials are essential for validating the effectiveness and safety of CAM modalities. By supporting and participating in research efforts, we can build a solid foundation of evidence that allows CAM to be integrated into mainstream healthcare.

Lastly, education plays a critical role. We must equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to understand and appreciate the benefits of CAM. By incorporating CAM education into medical and healthcare training programs, we empower future practitioners to embrace a truly integrative approach and provide the best care possible.

By integrating CAM effectively, we can create a healthcare system that harnesses the best of both worlds, optimizing patient outcomes, and enhancing overall well-being.

Your best-selling book, “The Power of Self-Healing,” has inspired countless individuals. Could you share a personal anecdote or testimonial that exemplifies the transformative power of self-healing?

A few years ago, I was approached by a high-achieving executive who was struggling with chronic stress, anxiety, and burnout. Despite her professional success, she felt trapped in a cycle of exhaustion and disconnection from herself and her loved ones.

During our sessions, we explored the power of self-healing and the importance of addressing the underlying causes of her stress. We delved into the concept of self-care and the transformative potential of simple practices like mindfulness, gratitude, Chiropractic care and conscious breathing.

Over time, she began to incorporate these practices into her daily routine. She set aside time for self-reflection and self-care, nurturing her body, mind, and spirit. Gradually, she noticed profound changes. Her stress levels reduced, and she gained a newfound sense of clarity, resilience, and joy.

But the transformation didn’t stop there. As she experienced the profound benefits of self-healing, she became an advocate within her organization. She implemented wellness initiatives, created spaces for mindfulness and stress reduction, and encouraged her team members to prioritise self-care.

The impact was remarkable. Employee morale improved, productivity soared, and absenteeism decreased. The organization became a beacon of well-being, attracting top talent and earning a reputation as an employer that truly cared about the holistic well-being of its staff.

This personal anecdote exemplifies the transformative power of self-healing. When we embark on a journey of self-discovery and prioritise our well-being, we not only transform ourselves but also have the potential to create a ripple effect of positive change in our personal and professional lives.

In your experience as a consultant to businesses, governments, and non-profits, what innovative strategies have you recommended to expand market share for product-driven companies while reducing healthcare costs?

Here are a few actionable steps:

First, emphasise prevention and wellness. Shift the focus from reactive treatment to proactive wellness by creating products and services that support healthy lifestyles and preventive care. By targeting the root causes of health issues and providing resources for self-care, companies can reduce the need for costly interventions down the line.

Second, leverage technology and data analytics. Embrace digital solutions that empower individuals to take control of their health and well-being. Develop smart devices, wearables, and apps that provide personalised insights, tracking, and guidance. By leveraging data analytics, companies can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends, allowing them to tailor their offerings accordingly.

Third, prioritise employee well-being. Recognise that healthy and engaged employees are the foundation of a thriving organization. Implement comprehensive wellness programs that go beyond traditional healthcare benefits. Offer mindfulness training, stress reduction initiatives, Chiropractic care and resources for work-life balance. By investing in the well-being of your employees, you foster a culture of productivity, loyalty, and innovation.

Lastly, cultivate strategic partnerships. Collaborate with other organizations in the wellness and healthcare industry to create synergistic solutions. By combining resources, expertise, and networks, companies can expand their market reach, reduce costs through shared investments, and provide comprehensive solutions to consumers.

By implementing these innovative strategies, product-driven companies can differentiate themselves, attract a broader customer base, and contribute to a healthier society while reducing overall healthcare costs.

Your radio show, “Self-Healing with Dr. Fab,” has reached a wide audience. What motivated you to start the show, and what impact do you believe it has had on promoting a positive lifestyle and self-healing practices?

The motivation behind my radio show, “Self-Healing with Dr. Fab,” stems from a deep desire to empower individuals and promote a positive lifestyle rooted in self-healing practices. The show serves as a platform for sharing knowledge, inspiration, and practical tips for cultivating well-being.

I believe in the power of education and the transformative potential of information. Through my show, I aim to reach a wide audience and provide them with actionable tools and insights that they can apply to their daily lives.

Each episode of “Self-Healing with Dr. Fab” is carefully crafted to engage, inform, and inspire. I incorporate stories, metaphors, and real-life examples to make the content relatable and accessible. I invite guest experts from diverse backgrounds and cultures to offer a wide range of perspectives and expertise.

Moreover, I actively encourage audience participation. I invite listeners to submit questions and share their own experiences, creating a sense of community and shared learning. By incorporating their voices into the show, I foster a sense of ownership and empowerment, reminding individuals that they have the ability to take control of their health and well-being.

The impact of “Self-Healing with Dr. Fab” extends beyond the airwaves. Listeners have reported positive lifestyle changes, improved mental well-being, and a newfound sense of purpose. By providing a platform for education and inspiration, the show acts as a catalyst for personal transformation and a gateway to self-discovery.

With your multicultural perspective, what lessons have you learned about the importance of cultural sensitivity and inclusivity when delivering wellness and healthcare services to diverse populations around the world?

Here are a few key insights:

First and foremost, it’s crucial to recognise and respect cultural differences. Every culture has its own unique beliefs, traditions, and practices related to health and well-being. By approaching each individual and community with curiosity, openness, and humility, we can learn from their wisdom and integrate culturally relevant strategies into our offerings.

Second, effective communication is essential. Language barriers can hinder understanding and trust. It’s important to provide information and resources in multiple languages and utilise interpreters when necessary. Tailor your messaging to resonate with different cultural contexts, ensuring that it is relatable and accessible to diverse populations.

Third, foster partnerships with local leaders and organizations. Collaborate with community leaders, cultural influencers, and grassroots organizations to understand the specific needs and challenges faced by different populations. By working together, we can co-create solutions that are culturally sensitive, respectful, and impactful.

Finally, continuously educate yourself and your team about cultural diversity and inclusivity. Invest in training programs and resources that promote cultural competency and sensitivity. By nurturing a diverse and inclusive mindset within your organization, you can provide better care and services that honour and embrace the unique backgrounds and perspectives of each individual.

Remember, true wellness encompasses physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and it should be accessible to all, regardless of cultural background or socio-economic status. By prioritizing cultural sensitivity and inclusivity, we can create a world where everyone has equal access to the transformative power of wellness.