Life – Page 3 – Global Man

Adam Strong-Women are better communicators, negotiators and analysers

By Reem Soliman

Adam Strong is without a doubt, the man to be talking right now in the world of business development. As an ultra-high personal productivity authority, a former elite athlete, author and entrepreneur, he has evidently mastered the art of productivity and high performance. I got the pleasure of speaking to him and asked him to tell us more about what drives him, the challenges he has faced, his future plans and more! Read on for my interview with Adam.

You seem to have merged your love of athletics and health with high achievement in business; What advice would you give to those trying to find their passion?

Firstly, you need to have clarity and purpose. When I was younger, one of the main reasons I was so successful in my athletics career is I wanted to win and be the best. Do something that you enjoy and makes you happy. In order to gain clarity, ask yourself these questions:

“What is the goal?”

“What is it you want to achieve?”

“What is your purpose?”

Secondly, you must condition your mindset on a regular basis with positive affirmations. My advice is to read personal development books for at least thirty minutes a day, attend regular business conferences and reverse engineer the process the goals you want to achieve.

Thirdly, in order to get a head start against your competition, learn about the mistakes of people that are more successful than you, so that you won’t repeat any yourself, it will save you time and money years from now.

Fourthly, is to do your research! Create a business idea based on solving people’s problems. Richard Branson launched Virgin Atlantic because he was frustrated about the poor service that customers were receiving when flying abroad, or American businessman Vernon Hill, that launched Metro Bank to disrupt the banking industry in the UK by offering extended opening hours, great service and a pet friendly environment.

What new idea do you have? What industry could you disrupt? What problems can you solve for society? Once you have your idea execute it quickly through speed of implementation.

Lastly, you should never chase money. Create a higher purpose and you will reap the rewards in the future to come.

You’ve been named a ‘serial entrepreneur’ as you run 5 businesses, how do you keep the balance in your life while maintaining such high productivity?

You are a great advocate for supporting women; Can you tell us more about why you choose to do this, and the importance of this in today’s world?

I think that women in business are often better than men. Women have great attributes and bring a lot of different skills to the business world. One of the advantages that most women have over most men is their use of empathy and optimism, crucial in business.  Empathy in business can help you grow trust in relationships with partners, clients and customers. You can use feedback to improve and make things better. I’m a big supporter of gender equality. One of the first countries to recognise the need for gender equality was Norway. They brought in the gender equality act in 1978, giving men and women equal opportunities. In 2013 they also introduced a new act stating that both sexes shall be represented on company boards by 40%. Also, Iceland introduced a law recently that states men cannot be paid any more than women.

There is still a long way to go before we see a fair balance of gender equality. However, did you know that twenty of the top Fortune 500 companies have a fifty percent balance of men and women on their board of executives? With women like the amazing Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo), Arianna Huffington (Co-Founder of the online newspaper ‘The Huffington Post’) and Indra Nooyi (CEO and chair of Pepsi Co), they are transforming companies and achieving phenomenal results.

Women are also better communicators, negotiators and analysers. They often get into the nitty gritty details of any matter, analyse it and come up with ideas promptly. This is instrumental, as this often brings more profits for the company by making more sensible deals and profitable decisions. Unlike most men, they also allow employees to share their point of view before making any decisions. Improved communication with employees increases business relationships, retention and loyalty factors.

If support of women in business is good enough for these successful and most profitable companies, then it’s good enough for any organisation.

What gives you a sense of purpose to live the life that you do?

Being a previous elite athlete has given me a great platform to transform me into results driven individual. I get really excited when I use the same skills I learnt as an athlete to deliver the same results for business owners and entrepreneurs.

I love to solve problems and come up with new and innovative ideas that help business owners become unstuck. I also love to empower people and help people achieve success, whatever I feel and look like to them. We all desire and deserve happiness in our lives and I believe becoming an entrepreneur is one way you can achieve your vision and ambitions.

Showing gratitude on a daily basis is important to me, as I wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for the opportunities and knowledge given to me by my coaches, clients, friends, family and mentors. On an annual basis I participate in  challenging sports events and raise money for my preferred charity, such as the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice or The Debretts Young Achiever Programme, a great cause that teaches gifted teens from poorer backgrounds business and life skills.

I owe it to myself and to the people that have touched my life to keep going, keep evolving and more importantly to keep learning.

You’ve been named a ‘serial entrepreneur’ as you run four businesses. How do you keep the balance in your life while maintaining such high productivity?

One of the main advantages that I have is the ability to focus, which is a skill that has taken me years to master through regular training and discipline. I developed this skill from a very young age when I became an elite athlete and now use this skill, years on in business. I focus most of my time inspiring people around the world and consulting with companies that want instant results. Through relationships and social media I continue to help people with their energy management. And finally, on a daily basis, I use my time in the morning studying business trends and creating innovative business ideas (I call this strategic thinking) that I want to build for the future.

In order to eliminate distractions and procrastination, I block activities into 30-minute segments and co-ordinate my calendar with my assistant.  I estimate how long each activity takes and then allocate my activities into segments. These may include meetings, networking, writing articles, sales calls, reading, time for family and hobbies. The night before my day, I take my notebook and write down the ‘Top 5’ things that I need to do on the left-hand side of the page and the less important tasks on the right. This allows me to deal with the most important activities first. The reason I do this the night before is it allows me to have a day that is more organised and less chaotic. I feel more excited and less stressed and I’m able to eliminate procrastination throughout the day. I can get a large amount of work done in one day compared to the average entrepreneur who can only achieve the same amount of work in a week. However, if you follow my advice, you too can achieve a work/life balance as well as high productivity.

When I first started my journey as an entrepreneur, I made the mistake of wearing too many hats, whether it be sales, marketing, web design, finance, you name it I did it. I simply didn’t see the point of getting help, I just kept on using money as an excuse not to take action. If you want to achieve some balance in your life you have to understand the importance of valuing your time and being paid your worth. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of building a strong team, to be able to focus on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. Even if you have just started in business, you should always be thinking of how you’re going to recruit your first employee, intern or consultant. You will save valuable time and money by learning this skill early on.


What advice would you give to women looking to pursue a career similar to yours?

Be prepared – there will be ups and downs. When you’re down, just step away, refocus and try the next day, and when you’re up, keep the momentum going. Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy thing and is not for everyone! If anyone tells you its easy, it’s a lie. There are three things you need to follow for the same path to success.

Firstly, you have to develop your ability to be mentally tough and this enables you to be able to adapt in hard times.  

Secondly, to be consistent in everything you do enabling you to work smart and not hard.

Thirdly, the most important thing, which is having a coach or mentor who can help guide you and give you some much needed hand holding, which is crucial, especially at the beginning.  

When I first started out in my athletics career, I needed to know the key ingredients. I needed to make a recipe for success. Coaching to me is as important as oxygen. Developing a coaching culture will enable you and your team to grow together. No matter how ambitious you may be, everyone needs a coach or mentor in his or her life.

What has been the most challenging aspect you have faced in your career, and how have you worked through it?

When I started my first business, I became a fitness coach and loved helping people achieve their health goals, seeing a transformation from beginning to end. However, as the years passed, I fell out of love for my passion and needed to find something new. I started by coaching other health coaches on how to grow their business. In a short period of time they were getting more clients and making more money than they ever had done before. One of my toughest periods was transitioning from a fitness coach into a business results coach, as I still couldn’t decide if this was the right route to achieve the success I wanted.  This is when I made a decision to invest in a coach, someone who was more successful than me and be able to advise me. He gave me exactly what I needed, which was a winning formula on how to build my consultancy empire.

Who has been your role model and has supported you on your journey?

JT Foxx (“The world’s number one wealth coach”) – is a great role model. He has gone through a lot of hardships and seems to understand how a lot of people in business feel. Also, Jason Gilbert (a former eight figure CEO and philanthropist, who is – my current coach. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now.”
What plans do you have for the future?

I’m very excited this year as I begin to grow and scale my consultancy practice; we will be recruiting new coaches and consultants to help more people take their business to the next level. Also, we will be setting up business and health retreats, that will help business owners accelerate their results through the knowledge and experiences from other successful CEO’s and coaches. I want to create further business opportunities in a learning environment through high-level networking and partnerships.  I’m also going to be advising and investing in more growing companies, so they can see higher returns by working with shareholders and investors that want to eventually exit their companies. And finally, IAdam haveopes to execute some plans to launch a new business venture with myhis partner in the energy, health and organic food industry.


Ben Chai- The Success Magnet

Ben Chai

Sometimes enthusiastic extrovert but mostly thoughtful introvert

By Trevor Clarke

Ben Chai is a man of many parts, who has lived a full and varied life through an eclectic mix of activities, from IT to property, to acting, writing books, as a speaker sharing the stage with the biggest names, and more. Ben has achieved great success in many fields and has made his wealth through smart property investing and deserved good fortune in the beginning. He was featured recently in a BBC TV documentary about landlords living in one of their tenant’s properties, on a low budget. Yet, as you will read here, Ben’s early life was a less happy one because of bullying, something he has overcome to grow from a person of low self-esteem to be the outgoing and confident person he is today.

What was your childhood and upbringing like and how has that has influenced who and what you are today?

I grew up in London and was bullied a lot. Later, we moved to Singapore, but the bullying continued due to my being very tiny and very different from the rest of the children. At the time, I decided that the concept of race was very divisive and elected to be a citizen of this planet. Being bullied you learn a lot about people, about survival and develop a sense of when something is not quite right.

You also develop very low self-esteem, which results in a vicious cycle – the lower your self-esteem, the more you distance yourselves from others, the less you develop social skills and become a target for more bullying. Being bullied also taught me much about “isms” sexism, fatism, classism, ageism, and all varieties of exclusivism. My parents had their own challenges to deal with, which made it difficult to get much support in this area. Life was pretty dark in those days.

When I graduated, my parents did not feel I would amount to much due to my shyness and lack of confidence. At the time I had just scraped a degree, and my dad tried to get me a job in government through one of his contacts, where he thought I would be safe. I found the whole thing very disheartening and demeaning and said I would find my own way in the world. Today I realise that nobody was really taught about being good parents and he was only doing the best he could.

For the first few years I did not earn much. During that time, I cycled ten miles to work and slept on a friend’s floor with several other people. My diet consisted of porridge for lunch and corn flakes for dinner. For treats, I had a pot noodle and would suffer from pot noodle rage if someone had eaten one from my supplies.

Due to the bullying, I became mostly a recluse, or would only spend time with retired folk. The retired folk used to teach me to play games, shared their life stories with me, and educated me on how to avoid problems they faced when they were younger. Their life stories would later help me become successful in any venture.

As a young boy, playing games was a way to escape. I learned that if I helped the retired folk complete their chores faster, they would have more time to teach and play games with me.

At an unconscious level, winning at these games taught me how to be successful in life and business. For example, the Game of Diplomacy taught me that the only way to consistently win was to tell the truth without offending others. The game of chess taught me to think five, ten, twenty moves ahead of everyone else. Scrabble taught me how to maximise any situation no matter how bad.

You are a man of many parts and roles, and mystery. Your LinkedIn profile states: Actor; Author; Speaker; Business and IT strategist; Content creation specialist; Property specialist. Tell us more about these.

My very first acting role was as a baby in a James bond film. Since then I’ve been in media in most places I’ve lived either for technology, cyber security, gaming, dance, theatre or other television and films. My great aunt and uncle were members of an acting union and used to get me parts with famous people such as Madonna and John Cleese. We didn’t have selfies and the internet in those days, otherwise my celebrity album would be bursting!

After university, I managed to get a lowly paid position as an administrator in an IT company. My manager told me it would take two years to learn his position. Due to my early gaming days, I created a strategy to learn everything he knew within a month. The game of Diplomacy taught me not to demonstrate this accomplishment for another two months just in case he felt threatened. I soon took over purchasing and was able to get great deals due to collaborations with other IT companies. This joint purchasing put me in front of many CEOs of small to medium IT companies.

In the eighties, the phrase “knowledge is power” was rampant. The technical department would not tell me how to repair simple computer problems, such as the type of cable, because they felt their jobs were protected if people didn’t have their knowledge. The engineers blocking behaviour incensed me so much that I said to myself, one day I will share your entire knowledge with the world. I spent my evenings learning every single software the company was selling. After a while customers would call me for technical help.

One day the company trainer fell sick and I volunteered to train the course. They were surprised about my software knowledge but declined my offer and said they would get a freelancer. Unfortunately for them no freelancer was available and the customer had flown their executives in to learn the software and were threatening to sue the company. Opportunity met preparation and I got to give my first course. Afterwards, the customer requested that I be the only person to teach their entire organisation. This began my speaking career and since then I have spoken to audiences of up to 14,000 for Microsoft and large churches.

My degree is in mathematics and computer science. As a young boy, I was the only one in my class to beat the computer at chess. At the time, I had a much better understanding of computers than anyone else. A new manager was impressed with my ability to learn and train the software, and trained me in sales. Because my knowledge of computers was superior to the competitors and I was spending until 5:00am learning software and hardware, we were able to quickly grow the business. Another IT company headhunted me to run their entire sales and technical team. Being the CEO’s right-hand person taught me much about running a business. Later the CEO would ask me to run further businesses with him.

From there, I moved to a senior executive position at Kodak, in charge of the marketing and training of new IT products in EMEA. This position involved the creation of marketing strategies, educating and speaking to all Kodak sites, distributors and outlets on how to use and market the products. The role also involved authoring all their product and training manuals. Which is where I began a new skill in authoring. Later this content creation combined with my film, TV and radio experience would later blossom into a skill which would make me a seven-figure income as a content creation specialist.

As a systems and business speaker and educator for Microsoft and Learning Tree International, I’ve had the good fortune to rub shoulders with, teach, coach and mentor many diverse companies, from small single entrepreneur companies to global multi-nationals in banking, pharmaceutics and many more.

What drew you to such an eclectic mix of activities? Were they all part of your intention? In my twenties, I decided to be retired by my mid-thirties. To be retired you need ongoing income. At the time, I thought about what businesses would provide residual income or what is known today as passive income. These businesses included Rental properties, royalties from film and music, licenced intellectual property, network marketing, a great pension, royalties from books, royalties from games and merchandising. To make my plan fool-proof, I created several related businesses which would provide passive income.
Property was fantastic as there weren’t many property investors in those days. My parts in films with people like Madonna and John Cleese used to pay repeat cheques on every broadcast. My time at Kodak, taught me how to write books and create training manuals for technical educational companies. These training manuals were written about the most popular software of the day and provided me with a large amount of passive income whenever the training manuals were used.

How and why did you get into becoming a property landlord?

In the late eighties, there were hardly any property investors to learn from. My initial thought process, was if property prices always go up then all I needed was to buy four or five properties and create a strategy to hold all the properties as they appreciated in value.

Once they had appreciated, I would sell one to pay off all the others and so be financially free, by having incoming producing properties which fitted in my residual income model. At the time, I never thought to make income from rental. The rental would just pay for the mortgages. It is probably why I still have the lowest rentals in many of my investment areas.
When I graduated, I asked for a loan from my parents to buy an investment property. I was categorically told that property investment was a stupid idea as my parents had always lost money whenever they moved. I never got that loan. I was still too young and naïve to realise that my parents (and the rest of the world), didn’t really understand property.
In the late eighties, a couple in their mid-thirties knocked on my door and asked for a cup of tea. I thought they were the Mormons coming to convert me, but it turned out that they were the grandchildren of a dear old lady from next door. Apparently, their grandmother had passed away. She used to tell them many stories about how I used to mow her lawn, have cups of tea and do the odd handyman job when she needed someone. The grandchildren said that they would like to bless me for looking after their grandmother and asked if I would like the house at a price substantially below the estate’s valuation.
My reply was “no” because my parents told me investment property was not a good thing. They said it was my decision, but they would give me a week to think it over. At the time there was no concept of buy-to-let mortgages, so I could not get a mortgage on the property, however my brother agreed to take the mortgage and we had a signed agreement that the property belonged to me.
When my parents found out I’d bought the house next door, they were very angry with me as I had no knowledge what to do next. For a while, I just used the house as an extended house. I was so naïve at the time that I thought, if I bought several houses in a row I could convert them into a hotel.

You were featured recently on a BBC documentary, The Week the Landlords Moved In. What can you tell us about the experience overall and including the off-camera moments?

There are some things that I’m not allowed to talk about, but it was a fantastic experience.
My coaches advised me and many others not to do the show. There were many discussions in the property forums that said the show is designed to make landlords look bad. My attitude was that there is no such thing as bad publicity. If I was doing something wrong as a landlord I’d rather find out, plus I hoped it would put me in touch with some producers, as I’d like to resurrect my film and acting career from my early days.
According to the camera crew, I was one of the more authentic landlords they’d met but a conflict was required to make the episode watchable. There are many unpublished parts. One unpublished part was my reaction to the £47.00 they gave me to live on for the week. My response was to thank them for their generosity, I could live on less if they wanted. It turns out I was able to live on £14.47, so I was asked what I would do with the rest of the money.
My response was to invest the money. Either create a nest egg and invest the larger sum, or invest in a sponge and bucket and create more wealth by washing cars.

Who is the real person inside of Ben Chai?

Firstly, there is no real me. All of me is real and false at the same time. We grow, and we evolve. Who we are today is not necessarily who we are tomorrow. I am literally the person you see. Sometimes an enthusiastic extrovert but mostly a thoughtful introvert. As one person commented “Ben when I first met you, you were so quiet. I didn’t think much of you…but when you got on that stage you had so much energy and education, you blew every other speaker out of the water. How is this possible?!”

You have written a book called Social Magnetism. What are your top secrets for social success that you would care to share with Global Man readers?

No….but okay you twisted my arm. My top tips are:
-Don’t be boring – look at their eyes. The eyes glaze over when you are boring someone, or they begin to look away from you. You don’t need to explain everything because they aren’t listening anyway. Their heads are nodding but inside they are far away from the conversation.
-Add value and don’t be a douche bag. Being a douche bag worked when you were a kid but the older you get the more others want authenticity.
-Learn to walk from people who don’t care about you.
-Give so much value but don’t give to a level where people abuse your time or feel guilty because you won’t let them give back to you.
-Learn to receive.
-Understand that you are a wonderful person and learn to properly love that wonderful person. If you love yourself in a healthy manner you would treat everyone else in the same way.

Herman Chow – Helping Women Look and Feel Their Best

Herman Chow – Helping Women Look and Feel Their Best


By Gulia Lucci

Herman Chow was born and bred in Singapore, but now he lives in Amsterdam. He felt in love with photography about ten years ago and now he makes beautiful photos for social media. From the beginning of 2016 he started running his own portrait photography business

Your passion for photography seems to take up most of your time – how did you start your career?

Yes indeed – too much time! I fell in love with photography about ten years ago. At that time, I had a 9 to 5 full-time office job. I actually started with landscape photography as a hobby. One year later, I was drawn to fashion photography. That’s how I began working with model agencies, makeup artists, designers, stylists and models on fashion photography.

Having a full-time office job seemed like a career for me. I have never thought of running a business, let alone portrait photography.

At the end of 2015, I began to realise that I could bring this beauty to “everyday women (no-models)” because I felt that the whole fashion industry is a little too fake. So, I fired my boss in December 2015 and started running my own portrait photography business from the beginning of 2016.

 Please describe your earlier years before your career started.

Well, I’m not sure how you define “career.” When I had my full-time office job working for an employer, I thought that was my “career”. I was not an ambitious person. As long as I have a secure job, that will be my “career”. To be honest, it was really boring working for someone else. But I persevered because of the monthly income.

What are the main challenges that you have had to face during your personal and professional growth?

By nature, I am an extremely quiet and an anti-social person. Maybe I was allergic to people. It’s not my style to socialise with people anyway, especially strangers.

Ever since starting my photography business though, I have had to come out of my comfort zone to meet people. I have to admit it was very tough. “What do I say to people?” I thought.

I’ve learned that in order to bring my business to the next level I need to meet and network with people. So, I started going to network events. It’s still rather daunting to me, but I am slowly feeling more comfortable when ‘talking’ to people. Also, there’s a lot of struggle in running a business. And I really mean “a lot”.

After all, I have no clue or experience in running a business. So, I watched videos, talks, from successful gurus and learned from them.

What advice would you give to women looking to pursue a career similar to yours?

Ask yourself if that is what you really love and then, if it is, be prepared for some hard work.

You seem to have merged your love of photography with high achievement in business. What advice would you give to those trying to find their passion?

My advice is to never be afraid to ask, ask, ask, including asking for help if needed. There will be times when you just want to give up. You must learn to persevere and not give up. If you think of giving up, ask yourself why you started this journey in the first place.

Through many years of working, which are your ‘’sweet memories’’, the most incredible pictures that you have ever taken? It is about a man portrait or a woman portrait?

There were two memorable incidents with a female customer.

*One of them lost her father before the photoshoot and had a difficult time in life. After her photoshoot, she told me that she has now gained her confidence back because of the entire experience. Now, she puts on make-up every time she walks out of her house.

* The second one was a lady who has lost about 54kg of weight. She wanted to feel beautiful again. So, she convinced herself to do a photoshoot. She was over the moon with her images. One week after her photoshoot, I received a surprise note from her husband, thanking me for making his wife look beautiful again.

How can people use their passion for photography to build a photography business? What advice would you give to them? The first step is passion, but what is next?

  1. The first important step is always to find your “why”. Why do you want to do this?
  2. Knowing your ‘why” will help you find your purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.
  3. Once you know your “why”, you will also be able to figure out how to achieve the goals that excite you. You will also find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead and stay motivated

What are three things that women need to know about the photography business?

  1. Again, know your “why” (why do you want to go into the photography business?)
  2. It’s not just about taking photos with your camera. It’s important to educate your customer (the subject) how they pose and connect with you to get the best out of them in a photo shoot.
  3. Also, how do you want your customers to see you as a photographer?

How do you see the role of women in business, now and in the future?

The roles of women are changing every day. From being a house-wife to getting out of their shell to run a business. Women are becoming more independent nowadays.

What are your plans for the future?

Herman – I want to help every woman on this planet to feel more comfortable in their own skin, especially with their body image and to believe that they are beautiful.  I want to educate them that it is essential to ‘exist’ in photos, not just for themselves but also for their family and children. I want to be their “go-to” photographer when someone needs a portrait photoshoot.

I want to open a huge and beautiful photo studio so that my customers can have an awesome experience during their photo session. My studio will have several departments which includes a video section to record my marketing stuff, a kitchen area to serve healthy food, a make-up room for make-up, a wardrobe changing area, a few photoshoot areas with different backdrop setups and a walk-in gallery displaying my beautiful art pieces. That’s my dream.


Richard Lukaj : Women need to invest in themselves to succeed

Richard Lukaj :

Women need to invest in themselves to succeed

By Fati Gorezi 

Richard  Lukaj has more than 20 years of investment banking experience having originated, structured and executed more than 200 deals totaling over $100 billion of transaction value. He is a founder of “Bank Street” and aspires with his partners to create a premier middle market investment banking franchise focused on growth sectors of the global economy. Mr. Lukaj has executed hundreds of transactions over the course of his successful investment banking career, ranging in variety from mergers and acquisitions, underwriting of debt, equity and derivative securities, restructurings, exclusive sales, and other financial advisory mandates. During his career at ‘Bear Stearns’, he contributed meaningfully to the development of one of the strongest investment banking franchises on Wall Street. Although heavily weighted towards the Media, Communications and Technology industries, he also has a very broad industry experience in Industrial, Consumer, Retailing, Energy, Aerospace, Specialty Finance, Real Estate and Natural Resources arenas.

 ‘’What’s wrong with men?‘’ seems an  important question for our times. Is it even controversial to say that there is a major problem with the men of the world? What is your opinion about that?

I feel the question is deliberately provocative and a bit amusing at some levels.  Despite some despicable headline making individuals, I believe there are many serious topics that warrant discussion about the evolution of relations between the genders, recognising that there isn’t one correct paradigm that solves problems for all cultures, geographies, etc.  Men and women are a by-product of their life experiences, gender role models and personal development.  As such, their gender expectations will vary but generally within socially acceptable norms in their environments.  While these norms may be very different in Japan, Nigeria or Brazil vs the UK, that’s not to suggest that adjudication is appropriate of one society upon another.  Each must approach the other with respect to find better understanding of the variances among these social norms.

Today the traditional and historical kind of masculinity is no longer necessary for a healthy and functioning society. What are the challenges for men in these modern times?

I am not sure how traditional masculinity is defined but I do believe there are, and will remain, beautiful differences between the sexes in every society.  However, there are some societies that still subjugate women, which the global community must do more to pressure progress towards affording greater protections and respect for the rights of women under generally accepted legal principles on the world stage.  The UN and other organisations can, and perhaps should, make an effort to create a more even handed legal standard for the well-being of women in less developed parts of the world.

What are three ‘hidden costs’ of being a man?

Not sure what that means exactly but I certainly believe that ‘life’, as a male or female in this modern society, is filled with blessings and we have much to celebrate in terms of progress in the evolution of relations between the genders. But that path remains still evolving and personal for all.

How can men and women have better communication between each other?

I think the communications between men and women have never been better for most societies on the world stage but much work is still needed in some areas.  I believe affording access to education for women and opportunities to contribute to theirs – and their family’s economic development – will continue to be a priority for the world to progress.  I am optimistic though, that many countries will no longer allow half their populations to be excluded from the collective desire for prosperity.

What advice would you give to women looking to pursue a career similar to yours?

The financial services sector has never been more available and receptive to women around the world.  I would highly encourage women to do so.

How do you think that we can get the best out of women in business?

People in competitive global industries generally apply best practices, which dictate that focus is increasingly on ability and performance, not gender, race, religion or anything else.

What is happening on a global scale with women in business and what does the future hold for women?

I tell my two daughters that theirs is the generation of women!  I look forward to the world with women as even more meaningful contributors to their societies.  We will all benefit from that.

Adam Markel – PIVOT Your Way To Success

Adam Markel  

PIVOT your way to success – reinventing your life and your business

By Gulia Lucci

Adam Markel is a speaker, author and entrepreneur who inspires, empowers and guides people to achieve massive and lasting personal and professional growth.

A recognised expert in the integration of business and personal development, Adam speaks and mentors around the globe in the areas of business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and transformation. His latest book is the best selling “PIVOT: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life”. Adam also hosts the ‘Conscious PIVOT’ podcast, where he shares his insights on pivoting in today’s fast paced market and interviews experts, innovators and influencers to share their stories and wisdom in the areas of business and life. Adam is the CEO of “More Love Media”, a Company dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to re-imagine, refocus, and capitalise on change in order to thrive.

How would you describe your early life?

I grew up in Queens, a borough of the City of New York and I had a wonderful childhood. We didn’t have a lot of physical space or privacy in our little four room apartment (where my younger brother and I shared a converted dining room space as our bedroom), but we had lots of love, good food in ample supply, and encouragement to speak freely. I was sensitive to my surroundings and remember not wanting to step on the dandelions that stood between me and the grass field leading to Public School 169. That sensitivity could be sensed by other kids who were finding their way as well. It resulted in bullying and I was on the receiving end from time to time. Slowly I figured out the process of survival – fight or flight was not an abstract concept for me between age 6 and 14. I learned what it took to stand my ground and also how to avoid conflict. I loved my small world and the few friends that I could truly be myself around. Through sports and some pivotal moments of self-trust I developed self esteem and confidence to speak up and out and even defend others that were not ready to do so themselves.

 How did you go on to become a motivational speaker?

After spending a few years as a middle school English teacher I returned to school and studied to become a lawyer. I spent 18 years as a litigation attorney and represented the side of the underdog and disenfranchised many times. After several years of doing “ok” my practice became financially successful representing more businesses and banks. At a certain point though, I could sense that my enthusiasm was disappearing and in its place was anger and impatience. I would wake up in the morning feeling dread and anxiety about the day ahead and I felt out of control. At a certain point, when I could not stand those feelings any longer, I picked up a book called “The Road Less Travelled” by Dr. Scott Peck. When I was done reading that book my life was different. I could see options including not settling for the way I was feeling. I knew I had a chance. I knew I could make it to the next peak even though I didn’t know how. I devoured book after book and eventually invested in coaching and workshops to take my new energy to an even higher level. I had increasingly more frequent moments of clarity and eventually decided that what I was experiencing could also help others. I set a goal to become a transformational speaker and trainer and over the course of two years I reinvented my career and became a lead trainer and later CEO of a large personal development training company in San Diego. I wrote a book about the process of career transition called “Pivot: The Art & Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life”. The body of work that has been developed from Pivot has enabled me to speak all over the world.

What are your secrets in terms of motivating people?

I love people with all of my heart and soul. I tell them what most other people won’t say to them. I see them. I hear them. I respect them. And I don’t accept their limiting beliefs or limiting behaviors as the truth.

 What has helped you to become more effective in growing your business?

I have showed people how to create clarity and make better decisions, how to take baby steps so they can get into momentum and how to take better care of themselves so they can be resilient as they continue to pivot into a business and life they can love.

‘’The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life’’ is your latest book. Can you tell us more about it?

Pivot is remarkable in its usability. The book details the “process” of making small changes that lead to massive growth and even transformation over time. The book is foundational because it provides a detailed program to create clarity, take action, and plan for the road ahead. The book also helps people to create powerful new rituals or master habits to find greater self-love and self-trust. There is a 21 Pivot Plan to further support the process and provide continuity for the reader’s journey.

What are your three top tips for personal development?

My three top tips for personal development are (i) It is so important to both learn and practice unconditional Self-Acceptance and Self-Love. This means taking excellent care of your body, your mind and your spirit. Find fun and new ways to keep it exciting. When teaching about relationships we call it ‘FLY’ or ‘First Love Yourself’. (ii) We must all continue to develop master habits which include gratitude, presence and forgiveness. I personally have both a morning and an evening ritual, which I find are the keys to my Inner Peace.  (iii) To continue to be a constant and never ending learner we must make sure our minds are the fertile soil that we nurture and garden with tender loving care – everything grows from there.

What would be your four pieces of advice for women who want to start a career in business?

First, authenticity is key! Women must develop their business practices as authentic women, rather than ‘pretend men’ which can be pretty tricky in the business arena. I’ve found that it is necessary to conduct business in any way that is genuine and right in your heart and to share that message with others from a place of service.  Next, the most successful women entrepreneurs I have met, and many who I mentor, all are exceptional at conveying their message and enrolling others around them. My third piece of advice is that I always recommend that all business owners, men and women, learn the skills of pivoting because change is a constant in our world. Change and disruption are always taking place and the way we manage and make the most out of change is the difference between succeeding in the long run or not. Lastly, I also recommend finding mentors or coaches to work with since they have knowledge tools and experience that save us time and money – I still work with coaches and mentors to this day and they are worth their weight in platinum!

What is next for you?

Like most people, I am always pivoting in one way or another. I am always looking for creative opportunities, projects that inspire and challenge me and I make sure to tend to the garden of my mind.  I am excited to be working on my next book, “The Next Pivot” and seeing what gems I can share with others. I am also learning more and more what unconditional love really looks like, for myself and others, and embodying and sharing it with everyone I meet. Our company “More Love Media” holds the big vision of helping people actualise their dreams in their career, business and life through our ‘Pivot Incubator’ and ‘Speaker Mastery’ training.

Avni Dervishi- Be the change you want to see in the world

Avni Dervishi

Be the change you want to see in the world

By Fati Gorezi

Avni Dervishi holds a Master’s Degree in ‘Political Science-European Affairs/Politics 2001’and has studied in three European countries, in four various universities, and has been engaged to promote ‘Gender and Youth Empowerment’ in 83 countries in the world (including Europe, Asia and Africa).  He has experience both from the UN (United Nations – Mission in Kosovo) and the ‘Parliament of Sweden’ for six years, where he was a member of the ‘Diplomatic Club of Parliament’. Thereafter, he worked for the ‘Carter Center’ in Nepal, and UNDP  as a ‘Diaspora’ expert. His background is from communist East Europe but most of his life has been spent in Sweden. He is now invited to various countries to hold lectures on the ‘Empowerment of Women’ and the benefits this brings to the whole of society regardless of gender, age, religion or disability. His focus is on the obstacles facing women, youths, immigrants and people with disabilities and his unique approach has made him a very popular presenter.

You are Albanian by origin but you have also lived in a communist regime? How do you remember that time?

I was six years old when the communist regime jailed my older sister and my father. The reasoning behind this was that they were Albanians and they wanted something called ‘Freedom and Democracy’. The communists didn’t like people talking about freedom and democracy. At that time I remember my mother and I visiting several prisons, police stations and meeting communist political decision-makers. The way they treated my mother, because she was a woman with strong principles, became the starting point for my journey. She  opposed the Yugoslavian communist anti-Albanian regime and also the patriarchal way of thinking that dominated Society at that time (around 1981). That was the time when I saw with my own eyes how discrimination against women was used as a tool to break a woman’s spirit whether a mother, wife or sister. At that time I also understood what women’s empowerment really meant and I promised to myself that as long as I live I will promote gender empowerment – and I am proud that I have followed my promise all these years. After all, it is all about finding a win-win situation for all people on planet Earth. And for all those men that haven’t woken up and understood that yet, my message is – “Wake up and face reality”.

What have been the most difficult moments of your life as a migrant man?

It must be when I got discriminated against due to my name when I was applying for a position at a state authority here in Sweden. I was given the suggestion to change my name. They didn’t care about my education and experience. Thanks to a lot of campaigns from the media however that attitude is now changing though. So I did face discrimination due to my immigrant background but I never gave up though, and I am thankfull to the media and my own confidence for that. Stereotyping and prejudgment were the most difficult issues to tackle but I speak six languages so it eventually went better than I thought.

How would you describe your life now? Who is Avni Dervishi?

Good questions 🙂 Avni is firstly, a global human being. After promoting democracy and international cooperation (mainly through Gender and Youth Empowerment in more than 80 countries so far), I must say that my life is still being written as we speak – and there are still many pages left and a lot of colour is still needed to fill those pages. I always have one small bag standing near the front door in case I have to travel to other countries while looking for opportunities to promote Gender Empowerment and international cooperation worldwide. I have a Master’s degree in Political Science (European Affairs/Politics) so I know quite a lot about diplomacy and  European and global affairs.

What kept you believing in the vision of the world you wanted to create?

My own life experience and the belief that beside others, ONE person can also make a positive change in our world. I now understand how and why women are being discriminated against and also how and why young people were discriminated against. I also witnessed how people with disabilities have been discriminated against. My own brother is a deaf-mute and I have witnessed how society has discriminated against him. I have also experienced discrimination myself. So, to summarise the answer, my struggle is to unite all the powers that oppose  discrimination and convince them to cooperate. This is what is still driving me to believe change is possible and to aim the vision of the world towards bringing equality to all people, regardless of our human diversity.

The main reason that keeps me going is due to what my mother always told me when I was a child – that the best religion in the world is to follow the truth that by supporting people in need – we support ourselves in deed. You help people and you will get help back when you do not expect it. It does work. During my promotion for international cooperation I’ve been  to many post-conflict countries in various continents and very often my calm and open attitude has shone a light onto my path when I did not expect it at all. At one time I was in a post-war country in western Africa in order to convince them to involve women at the negotiation table just before I was due to meet the President of this country. But before that took place, and all of a sudden, our passports were seized by their authorities. But, being open minded and trusting I got them back within the same day without any bribes. I am convinced that one person can make a positive change.

You have worked in some countries helping women to become empowered. In your opinion what are the present obstacles facing women these days ?

I was, and I still am, trying to help more women in political decision-making. It is a necessity. When 50% of the inhabitants of any country are women, why shouldn’t they also form half of the political representatives in the Government at the national and local level? They should. There are several obstacles facing women these days. If nothing else the ongoing #MeToo campaign is a reminder for all men that we have to think and rethink the way we behave. We should treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. An adult woman just like an adult man and must be able to live her own life the way she wants. Gender is nothing other than something we tend to identify people by. In democracies we accept various cultures and belief systems  and that is great. However, the freedom of personal choice for an adult person – how she/he lives their life with other adults or alone, should not be an issue in a democracy regardless of our backgrounds.

Another obstacle is the fact that more men should understand the benefits of having more women in decision-making positions. In fact we get better economies, more sustainable families, lower crime rates among the young, improved health for all, better social care for children and the elderly and a much stronger economy (domestic and national). When both women and men work together they both pay taxes equally. Countries become stronger with stronger individuals. We will have more money for holidays and enjoying life when we have more gender equality. And any country that can achieve this will get a much stronger role on the international stage. So one of the obstacles is the low percentage of men who understand the benefits of women’s empowerment.  We men have to understand and accept these facts. It is never to late and I hope this will change soon.  I was ecently introduced to a network of men called MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) based in the USA and also another one called ‘Manproject’ that aims to talk freely about differences re the male gender culture and behaviours. We men should be better at talking about our feelings and skip the prestige and pride of being a MAN. That definition of a ‘classic man’ is gone for ever. We live in 2018 now and the living circumstances are different – and so are the possibilities. So we have to update our brain hardware. By doing that men will become much more aware about the necessity of women’s empowerment.

What do you think about the political participation of women in Kosovo and Sweden? What more could be done?

Yes, much more can be done. During the six years that I worked in the Parliament of Sweden, and the years I was working for the United Nations with the government of Kosovo, as well as my work as international officer for the young liberals of Sweden (where I represented 3500 young people on the European continent) etc, I was highly involved in increasing the political participation of women in Sweden, South East Europe and rest of the world. I was invited to hold lectures on Gender Empowerment and I advocated action plans to be established at local, regional and national levels, on how to increase the number of women in politics. (The international community, mainly through OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) recommends quotas which is good). However I do think that quotas should be seen as a temporary tool in order to increase the awareness of the people that they should not discriminate against women due to their gender. In the end, it is their competence and experience that should be decisive. But until that happens quotas should be an option. This goes for Kosovo, Albania and other countries of post-communist regimes and also post-conflict as well, regardless where in the world they are. Usually they are 30%, but I think they should be at least 40%. Every single political party should have their own system that ensures that women’s participation is essential. It should be part of their party ideological education and training. They should lift the benefits of society by increasing the number of women in politics.  Some countries do it anyway and the economic grown is tremendous. See how Rwanda is doing! 2018 they are expecting to have  8.7% economic growth. The political parties should have a general rule when deciding about election lists. Do they want votes? If yes, every second name should be a woman and every second a man. Simply as that.

Apart your career what else is important in your life?

Well, for me this is life and career all in one. Improving peoples’ lives through increased global cooperation and using my expertise as a Diaspora expert in order to built bridges of cooperation between the country of residence and the one of the origin. It is important in life to face challenges and learn from them. I love to mediate between people, organisations, states and other stake-holders and to find sustainable solutions for them. Another thing is that we have just one planet and it is us humans that have to save our planet – TOGETHER. Our resources are not endless. I was recently contacted by an organisation in the U.S. and another in New Zealand dealing with men involved in Gender Empowerment and I was very pleased about it. I strongly believe in cooperation and that nothing is impossible. But I am sometimes far too honest in what I say, and I know that being too honest might be an obstacle. But this is me, Avni.


Michael Mathews: Investing for success and investing in life

                     Michael Mathews:

   Investing for success and investing in life


Michael Mathews is the co-founder of “The Mathews Entrepreneur Group” (TMEG). He is dedicated and committed to providing Personal Financial Literacy education programs and one-on-one financial literacy guidance using books, workshops, online programs and one-on-one personal results coaching. Michael also provides his clients with entertaining and exciting books for pleasure reading. His wealth building portfolio also includes property investing and land banking.   

By Gulia Lucci

 How do you remember your life as a young boy, growing up in Chicago?

I grew up on the Southside of Chicago during the 1960’s and 70’s. Being in the baby boomer generation, I experienced my friends being drafted into the Vietnam War, the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy (when I was 8 years old), the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X (When I was 10 years old) and the 1968 assassination of Martin L. King Jr. (When I was 13 years old). Chicago was a racially-filled melting pot within the inner city. Segregation and racial tension ran rampant. I was the youngest of three children, having my older brother and sister as buffers while navigating the streets to and from home. My father and mother both worked, and I came from a loving working-class family, living in a working class neighbourhood, where our entire community was the village that raised me.

You have a passion for financial literacy education. Was it difficult to get into this industry?

The initial difficulty first came from me not knowing how money worked in terms of wealth building strategies. I did not come from generational wealth. I had to learn how money worked. How to save it, how to invest it, how to grow and maintain multiple streams of passive income. I made the decision to read financial books, listen to financial tapes, attend financial seminars, and associate with successful people whom I could learn financial literacy and wealth building principles from.

Fast forward to my marriage to Robbie, we believed that financially speaking, the best Improvement starts with Self-Improvement. We decided to be co-founders of the “Blessed to Invest Investment Club” along with several family members and friends. This is where we learned how to invest in the stock market using dollar cost averaging during both the ‘Bull’ and ‘Bear’ markets.

We took advantage of our employee sponsored investment options to begin our wealth building process. Next, we invested in income producing real estate, land banking in Palmdale-Lancaster California, commercial real estate development and mobile home investments along with a group of like-minded investors to further maximise our financial growth.

The ‘Mathews Entrepreneur Group (TMEG)’ was founded in 2007 by you and your wife. What can you tell us about your Company? What is the mission?

The Mathews Entrepreneur Group (TMEG) was initially founded as a self-publishing company. TMEG has evolved into a brand that’s committed to empowering people to both “hone” and “own” their personal and small business finances.

TMEG’s mission is to raise the awareness level of consciousness about the need for personal financial literacy education on a global scale. We can all agree that debt is a global problem. Bad money habits are destroying the dreams and futures of individuals and families across the globe. It doesn’t matter what country you live in or currency you use – US Dollar, South African Rand, Euro, or the British Pound, debt is the same in any language. We expanded our reach by speaking publicly in the United States and internationally about ‘Financial Literacy Education’ because “It’s not a priority in our educational systems. It’s important that the issue be addressed by all of us and at all levels of society.”

We are committed to giving our clients a comprehensive, easy to use, set of tools providing them with the knowledge, skills and support system needed to take control of their personal finances. In addition to speaking we provide one on one coaching, workshops, seminars, books and online programs.

What made you decide to start your own company?

Early in life we experienced financial struggles long before we knew one another. We did not know or understand how to build wealth.  We were taught, or at least told, that we should get a good education, get a good job and work the 40-40-40 plan, work for 40 hours per week, for 40 years of our lives, only to retire and live off of 40 percent of our income. That was not the American dream that we had in mind.

We decided to start TMEG because we learned how to make our money work for us on the passive income stream side of the spectrum. We saw first-hand the benefits of helping others improve their lives which inspired us to take up the mantle of financial education.

While my wife was on a business trip in London, I wrote our first book; “Financially speaking: The Best Improvement Starts with Self Improvement-Create Your Own Economic Stimulus Plan” in 2007, and the revised edition in 2016. Financially Speaking along with our 7 LIVE W.E.A.L.T.H.Y. principles became the cornerstone that formed our company’s financial education wings.

What is the one accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Unexpectedly, in July of 2017, I was nominated, and later received, the John H. Johnson “Business Man of the Year” award presented at the “We Dream in Colour” humanitarian celebration by Mr. Quinton de Alexander in Chicago.  In October of 2017, still unexpected, my wife was nominated and received a special “Inspirational Global Woman Award” in London.

What motivates you to succeed?

As a former basketball player, I was trained and motivated how to succeed in basketball and in the game of life off of the basketball court. I was taught to understand that with winning, you must also lose some games along the way. With every loss of a basketball game, it’s just like failing to achieve your business goals. In the game of basketball, like in the game of life, losing a few comes with winning the big deals, as long as you don’t keep on making the same business mistakes.

I am highly motivated more than ever because early in my adult life, before I met my wife, I enrolled in the so-called ‘University of Hard Knocks’. I spent my money on my life-style. I went broke, I drained my bank accounts, I maxed out all of my credit cards, I filed for bankruptcy, my car was repossessed, and I moved back in with my parents. I felt frustrated and I felt ashamed.

My financial situation did not change until I took control of how I was thinking about money, feeling about money and acting with money. I was able to move out of my parents’ home as I started to become the responsible man that I was meant to be. I graduated with my PhD from the University of Hard Knocks around the age of 40 because I took my personal financial literacy education seriously.

Both my wife and I are motivated and passionate about giving back to society. While working at the ‘Chicago Transit Authority’, I began giving back to the historically black colleges and universities to help encourage our young leaders not to make the same mistakes that I made. One of our investments ‘Even Stevens-fast casual sandwich shops’ mission is ‘Eat-To-Give’. For every sandwich that is purchased, one sandwich of equally nutritional value is donated back to the community. With 20 sandwich shops operational in the United States, together with our investors, we have donated 2.5 million sandwiches back to local charities who feed the many hungry men, women, children and babies in need of a hand up and not a hand out.

My wife grew up on the West Side of Chicago. She was a single teenage parent living on welfare, raising four children. She was a high school drop-out but she went back to school and received a certificate in ‘Computer Technology’.  She also attended night school and received her bachelor’s and Master’s degree. During her corporate career, Robbie donated financially to the ‘United Way’ on a regular basis as well as volunteering her time. She retired as a Vice-President and Technology Manager of that firm. Our story is that any excuse is a reason to fail, and If we can do it so can you.

What are three ways to obtain money for real estate investing?

  1. Personal Funds: You can use your retirement account by rolling over your traditional IRA or 401K, etc., to a self-directed IRA. Then purchase real estate through your self-directed IRA. You have all the risk and all the reward.
  2. Joint Ventures: Enter into joint ventures with other investors. Depending on how the deal is structured, you might not need to put up any money, if so the initial seed capital should be equally divided between all joint venture partners, thus offsetting your investment amount. Make sure your joint venture partners are people that you trust. You share the risk and you share reward.
  3. Lenders: Traditional or Hard money lenders (usually the loan will be backed by the real estate deal). If your credit is good enough use institutional loans. You can invest alone or also have a joint venture opportunity.

How is it in business working together with your life partner, and how do you balance personal and business life?

What matters most to me is that our business and personal relationships are balanced to our satisfaction. When my wife and I travel in the United States or Internationally Speaking, we take a few days off after business and become tourists. We understand that our life together is more about living in the moment because tomorrow is not promised. We are blessed to actually live some of our wildest-bucket list dreams.

Like when we were in the beautiful country of South Africa, on the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town. We also cuddled with some big baby lion cubs. In Dubai, on the 124th floor at the top of the Burj Kahalifa. Being on the French Riviera in Cannes France or eating dinner in Paris at the Eiffel Tower was another beautiful experience. Add Disneyland, Mickey Mouse, and having good meals with our global friends in California and London are memorable occasions.

I’m proud of the dream team that we make and the work that we do. I’m grateful to the universe that I was able to find my soulmate. Being able to love, work with, speak on the same stage with, travel the world on business and pleasure with, create products and services with, be of service to others with my best friend-my loving Wife-Robbie Mathews is priceless. We share the same goals, dreams and vision. Yes, sometimes we agree to disagree, however, I’ve learned that being in the same vortex with my wife, with our energy frequencies tuned in on the same dial tone, the airways of mutual respect and understanding are always on the same channel.

If you could give one piece of advice to all the women out there who want to start their own business, what would that be?

Begin with your idea, step out on faith and fulfill the vision that the universe has planted within your mind, body, soul, spirit and everyday thoughts. Then become a fearless-tigress, confident woman. Wear your crown! Don’t allow anyone, woman or man to get in your head with “you can’t” and allow them to steal your dream.

But do your due diligence, define your business model, develop your business plan, consult your mastermind group of professionals, develop your product or service, identify your target market and marketing plan, and know your numbers. Seek business coaching from a trusted source to guide you along the way.

 In your opinion what are three things that women need to know about finances?

  1. Get out and stay out of debt, unless it’s considered good debt that is making you money in the form of positive cash flow or positive interest payments instead of bad debt that is costing you money.
  2. Achieve, monitor and maintain good personal and business credit, by paying your bills on time and at least pay the required minimum. No need to pay late fees or have your interest rates increase. Keep your personal credit score at 770 or higher. This will stabilise your borrowing power with creditors.
  3. Have an emergency savings account of about 6 to 9 months of your total living expenses. Have a regular savings account that you can have available investment capital ready for investment opportunities. If you’re working, utilise your employer sponsored retirement plans, especially if your company gives you matching contributions at any percentage. Don’t leave free money on the table. Before investing, complete your due diligence. If you are still unsure, seek coaching from someone that you trust, or from someone who is highly recommended.

How do you see the role of women in business and as speakers on the big stages now and in the future?

Because of the historically male dominated glass ceiling way of doing things, the Global Woman is fighting a harder fight than her male counterparts in business, as well as big stage speaking opportunities. As a result, today and in the future, women will not be denied (I did not say it will be easy) their opportunity to shine as business leaders and speakers on the big stages in our global community. I know there are men who oppose my words, and I know there are men who agree with me! Men need not FEAR the rise of the global woman business leader and big stage speaker.

Just as women do when men are speaking, men should also sit down, pay attention, and take notes when the global woman is speaking in the board room or from the stage. Men might learn a thing or two, because women have a thing or two to say!

I’ve met some incredible global woman business leaders who are already speaking on the big stages of the world. Robbie Mathews, Randi Zuckerberg, Bethany Frankel, Christie Brinkley, Lisa Nichols, Dr. Kara Scott Dentley, Francie Baldwin, Joanna Mukoki, Mirela Sula, and other Global Woman Business Leaders.  As Les Brown’s say’s “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

I wrote the following poem in dedication to my wife Robbie, Mirela Sula and the Global Woman Business Leaders around the world.


She is a global woman leader with a new paradigm for changing the world

She helps the business woman, young ladies, and aspiring little girls

She is an empowering global woman leader, operating outside of the box

She is business savvy, and extremely smart like a fox

She is a global woman leader with foresight, because hindsight won’t do

She moves her agenda forward and her vision is true

She is a quick witted global woman leader with blood vessels of steel

She makes hard decision sometimes wearing high heels

She leads with her left, she leads with her right

She’s doubted in the board room, backing down from no fight

She’s in the 15th round and still stand strong

She has the right leadership skills so she can’t go wrong

She knowns the secret that makes her a global woman leader

She fully understands that the world really needs her

She has patience and understanding but will leave you in the dust

She is a symbol of integrity, and worthy of the worlds trust

She doesn’t sit around waiting for opportunity to knock, because

She is an empowering global woman leader, who definitely ROCKS!

Christian Iles – The Beauty Architect

Christian Iles – The Beauty Architect

By Fati Gorezi

Many of the most powerful men and women in politics, business, entertainment and sport have called on Christian Iles to prepare them for their biggest national interviews, events and performances. Such notables as Mike Modano, Mark Cuban, Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Cindy Brinker Simmons, Former First Lady Laura Bush, Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, LeAnn Rimes, Star Jones, Patricia Cornwell, Trish McEvoy, and Liz Smith have all used Iles’ services. Who wouldn’t want to sit in the chair of the man who tamed Janice Dickinson for her close up on E! Television interview or who coiffed the fiery tresses of Naomi Judd and contoured her infamous eyes and cheekbones? Iles prides himself on his southern hospitality and the fact he treats all his clients as friends. There are no limits to the lengths he will go to brighten their day, uplift their spirits and their ‘look’. He goes to events and travels with his clients maintaining their look, and more importantly, keeps them laughing. Currently, Christian Iles is known worldwide as ‘The Beauty Architect’. He works at Dior Beauty, HIghland Park Village, Dallas, Texas and also works in the motion picture funding industry.

Christian, can you tell us about your education and work experience?

I was attending ‘The University of Texas’ in Austin in my third year when I received a devastating call that informed me that my mother had Stage 4 cancer. I immediately moved home to be close to her. Then, instead of returning to university life my mother suggested I attend a beauty school. After completion of the beauty school course over nine months I was then hired by Jose’ Eber in Dallas, Texas. I worked there for about a year and then decided that I wanted to work for myself. Now, some thirty years later, I continue to be an independent contractor.

 You’ve obviously chosen a fun and exciting career path where you can let your personality and creativity shine. Why did you decide to follow this profession?

I chose a career in the beauty industry because I love having a direct effect on helping clients discover both their inner and outer beauty. You may ask what keeps me excited about my work in hair, makeup, and styling. I would have to say meeting new people and knowing they are putting their trust in me to help them look and feel their very best.

As you work in a creative profession it can be difficult when a client feels you’ve failed to give them what they wanted. How do you handle that?

If a customer tells me that I have failed to give them what they want I immediately ask a lot of questions and try to correct my mistakes. It is important that I learn from every experience, whether good or bad. I have come across numerous ‘difficult’ customers over the years. I’ve learned to ask a lot of questions regarding their needs – such as how long do they want me to truly spend on their hair in the morning? If they are a ‘wash and go’ type of client then it tells me not to spend a lot of time putting layers in their haircut.

Can you tell us about any memorable moments you have had while doing hair?

One of the most memorable moments I have had while doing hair is when a customer had to take chemotherapy for cancer as well as having a full mastectomy. Upon completion of the chemotherapy she then grew all her hair back. I felt so proud because I was going to be the first person she would allow to cut, colour and style her hair.

 What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the ability to see when I have put a smile on a customer’s face and they return to me for my services year after year.

What does it take to be successful in your chosen industry?

To be successful in the beauty industry you have to be able to learn from your mistakes. Just as important, you need to be able to study and learn from other stylists. You take what they do best and integrate it with what you do best.

You have worked with many famous celebrities. Is there anyone that stands out as your favourite from a Hairstylist stand point?

The most memorable clients I have had the privilege to work on over the years have been Heath Ledger, First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and doing the hair for the ‘Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders’ for two years.

What tips and advice do you have for aspiring hair stylists who are just starting out?

My advice for aspiring hairstylist is to know that your career will have many ups and downs. You should always work toward reinventing yourself from time to time. And most importantly you should never worry about something that hasn’t happened.






We have asked five men to give their opinion about men and they kindly agreed to answer our “strange” question “What’s Wrong with Men”. Read below their meaningful answers.



Alexander Keehnen- Co-founder of ‘Earn More Work Less’


Besides the fact that they’re terrible at washing dishes, you mean? And that they consistently skip the difficult corners when vacuum cleaning, hoping to get away with it? Men and women are like high tide and low tide. Yin and yang – two sides of the same coin, each have their pluses and minuses. Women are emotional creatures and, in contrast, some men hardly know that they have emotions. Men are overconfident and women aren’t confident enough. Such is the biggest irony in life: the men are out there arranging the world, overconfident, causing aggression, environmental damage, wars and violence. And the women? They see things go terribly wrong (and intuitively know exactly what to do), but unfortunately, they often choose to stay safely at home.

Is this bad or is this good? In my opinion it’s neither – this is just the way things ‘are’. We are nature. A better question is: “What can we DO about it?” Nobody’s perfect, and the only thing we have control over is our decisions. So let’s focus on ourselves whether we are a man or a woman. Let’s embrace nature, thank the universe for all the good we have and focus on being the kindest, bravest, most loving person we can be.


Victor Dauda Tarfa – Award Wining International Transformational Speaker 


The world is full of opportunities and it is full of great people – both men and women. The only way we can fully tap into every opportunity is by working together. A lot of the problems we face in the world today are because we have not fully spent time understanding each other. A man is built to be a hunter – he is like a lion and wants to own his territory. The woman is caring and loving and very welcoming. So, in a sense, the man is seen as the more‘dominant’ one and can sometimes be viewed as being oppressive to the woman. But If you ask me what is really wrong with men, I would say ‘absolutely nothing’.

I believe everything on Earth was created for a reason. We have been created differently for a reason – whether this is a good or a bad thing – but it’s more about looking closely at everyone’s individual qualities and seeing how they can be harnessed and used positively. Women have spent far too long trying to compete instead of working together – and men are hunters so they have been fighting back as it is in our nature. The way forward will be to work together. As a husband for ten years, living with a woman who is an International Speaker I too have spoken at several women’s conferences. I can clearly see that the women are fast gaining confidence and it is important that we men don’t see that as a threat or a ‘take over’ but to encourage them and to look for ways to understand them better in order to productively work together.

A typical woman has a great ‘gut feeling’ about many things and she can often see and spot what men miss. A man is very focused and is good at sticking to one thing at a time but generally a woman can do many things at a time and remember a lot of things too! A woman is usually prone to being more emotional and a man tends to be decisive and firm which is sometimes very important in business. So I see our differences as a blessing that enables us to work together in order to create a better world.


Ben Chai-CEO/Founder/Owner at Incoming Thought


There is a lot wrong with men and society in general. A little google research would show just how problematic societal male discrimination against others, especially women, actually is. As an educator and mentor, I have a preference to focus on solutions. So here are a few tips.

1.Learn to negotiate effectively. According to some studies substantially less women negotiate for what they are worth. Before you negotiate make sure you understand your worth, what is unique about you and how you can fulfil your company’s overall mission.

2.Many male problems are due to generations of patriarchal education. Begin a generation revolution. Educate and shape your children’s ideas on the roles of men and women.

  1. Where possible remove or reduce the number of toxic men in your life.

4.Don’t stereotype men. Just like women, men come in different shapes and sizes. Know what you want from a business or personal relationship with a man. If there is anything you don’t appreciate in the interaction, let them know how you feel either directly or indirectly.

Create the awkward conversation.  Here are a few examples:-

a). “Whenever I’m around you I feel guilty from the things you say – is it me or is it something you are doing unconsciously?”

b). “This role normally attracts a higher remuneration. Is the reason for this discrepancy, because I haven’t negotiated the pay increase or is there something else that the company is expecting from me?”


Joe St Clair-Managing Director of the The Laszlo Institute Of New Paradigm 


Is there anything fundamentally wrong with men? As a man, maybe it’s difficult to take a fully unbiased and independent view. But what I can do is to share my very personal experience of what it is like to be a male in today’s rapidly changing world. Men’s views of women are undoubtedly shaped by three major influences in their life. In order of importance they are the way their fathers treated their mothers, their ‘peer group’ influences from school friends, work colleagues and social circle and thirdly the media (Television, film, books, radio, magazines, online media and social conventions etc.) All of these powerful and lifelong influences subconsciously shape our beliefs about what is acceptable behaviour between men and women.

By far the greatest influence flows from father to son. My father was always respectful of all women and always believed in equality so I am fortunate to have adopted the same attitudes in my formative years. School friends are a powerful influence on us in our early years but the media is probably the most profound influence on our perceptions as we grow to maturity.  TV and film are still the prime mediums for learning about male-female issues and unfortunately they often create distorted or unrealistic scenarios which we interpret as being a ‘norm’.

Before the days of ‘political correctness’ TV and films, particularly in the Sixties and Seventies, tended to portray men as dominant, forceful creatures that tended to rule over, take advantage of, and dominate timid women. In general terms women played lesser significant roles in films and TV and it was deemed ‘okay’ by film censors to treat women disrespectfully. Unfortunately, these sort of ‘influences’ have become deep rooted in society and only now is the tide starting to thankfully turn.

Today equality and the empowering of women is rapidly changing the gender landscape and I welcome the re-emergence of the matriarchal influences that will undoubtedly move our society towards greater equality and fairness. There are still far too many men stuck in their old-paradigm behaviours however, and it is up to all of us, male and female alike, to lead by example and stand up for what is morally and ethically right. Balancing the male and female elements in everything we do, and working together for the common good, ultimately creates harmony. This isbecause, like the yin and yang forces described by the Tao, together the energy of male and female duality combine to form a powerful force that is greater than the sum of its parts.


Steve Eggleston – CEO & Founder at Eggman Global


Addressing this question from the gender perspective, what’s wrong with men is that many of us were allowed to exploit, abuse, and monopolise our positions, privileges and powers, without being held in check by those of us who could have challenged it, stood up to it, and stopped it. This, like other forms of prejudice and abuse, – racism, ageism, fascism, bias to ancestry, nationality, poverty, and lack of education – makes women mad, and quite rightly so. Victims have every justification to be mad, and now, at last, they are fighting back peacefully but powerfully – like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela for Afro-Americans, like ‘Standing Rock’ for Indigenous People, like the ‘Sierra Club’ and ‘Green Peace’ for Mother Nature, and like John Stuart Mill for liberty. I have worked extensively in law, entertainment (film and music), and books. Comparing and contrasting the glass ceiling in each will be the topic of my talk at this profound, evolutionary event. As the late great Susan B. Anthony once said, “The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world. I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled the more I gain.” May we all come together to tap into this momentous time in history.

Women Are Not Just Influencing The Market – They Are The Market


Women Are Not Just Influencing The Market – They Are The Market

Arif Anis  

Author, speaker and C-Suite consultant, Arif Anis is an international human capital expert who has the privilege of coaching top corporate leaders, heads of states, movie stars and CEOs from Fortune 500 along with a few of the most powerful men and women from 'The Time's and Forbes' list of Most Influential People in The World. Arif has extensive linkages with global leaders, multilateral organisations, institutions of higher learning in the fields of policy-making and opinion formation, peace building, lobbying and impact generation. As director of a UK based think-tank, he contributed to global peace initiatives including peace building between India and Pakistan and participated towards building the Olympic Truce legacy in follow up of London Olympics 2012.

What is your mission and the projects you are running to achieve them?

My mission is living with purpose and while enabling and empowering the people around me to be the best one can be! One’s mission is not always easy to find or pursue. When you find something, anything you’re passionate about, and you make it your life’s mission, you will find great joy and rewards in the work you do. Otherwise, it is not living but merely surviving.

Why and how did you find your passion for empowering women in business?

I consider myself lucky for having opportunities to meet a few of the strongest women in leading roles. Be it Hillary Clinton, Malal Yousaf Zai, Angelina Jolie, Prime Minister Theresa May, or Naomi Campbell – I coudl always see a trajectory when a woman makes it big.

I am of Pakistani origin and I met some incredible women along the way there. Pakistan, in reality, is an amazing place beyond the stereotpical media portrayal. It is a land of strong, independent women who have made a difference for themselves and their families. My mother is a very strong woman and she hugely impacted the family. My wife, who is a professional consultant on a break, is making a huge difference inher own way.

Contrary to males, what  I have observed, is that one successful female can turn around the whole family. Entrepreneurialism does bring freedom, choice, independence, and the power to pursue one’s dreams. For that matter, I want to see more females in business and to succeed. I am particularly impressed with women’s focus as they are not distracted like men. There are so many amazing success strories around us where one focused and determined woman

How do you think that we can get the best out of women in business?

The entrepreneur’s life is celebrated for the grit and fortitude required to navigate it successfully, yet the lifestyle seems a more common choice as people increasingly freelance, run their own businesses, or work as consultants today.Women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and, in turn, do things differently. This is reflected in the kinds of businesses they start, whether it’s Coco Chanel, who learned the trade of a seamstress as a child, Estée Lauder, who turned a passion for skincare and make-up into a beauty empire, or Oprah Winfrey, whose media business focuses on helping women to reach their potential.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126million women operating new businesses and another 98million at the helm of established ones. Yet we face a huge equality gap. In only seven countries – Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico and Uganda, do women take part in business at rates equal to men’s; in some countries, they barely take part at all. Even when women are active business owners, they do not reach their potential: Women own almost three in ten American firms, yet employ only 6% of the country’s workforce and account for barely 4% of business revenues.

To get the best out of women, first comes access to capital. When it comes to finance, women face particular hurdles, from a lack of collateral to discriminatory regulations and ingrained gender bias. Small loans can make a big difference.Secondly, nascent businesses need support to flourish. Mentoring could make a huge difference and most women don’t have that support, which helps explain why around the world they see fewer opportunities for entrepreneurship than men.

Thirdly, women need entrepreneurial education. Winning business concepts are just as likely to be conceived at the kitchen table as in the garage or at business school, but research shows women doubt their capabilities and fear failure more than men. Training can equip women with the confidence to see bold ideas through. Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Women programme, for example, provides women with business and management education. Eight out of ten of the programme’s graduates have boosted revenues; nine out of ten have paid it forward by mentoring other women.And women entrepreneurial networks – they can make a huge difference for women.

Where is your project with women going to be in the next 5 years?

I am currently working on launching a Soft Skills University for women. Well, men or women the importance of soft-skills cannot be understated. However, for particular reasons, I find women making the most of the soft skills and rising to the top. I think it can inspire and change many lives.

What is happening on a global scale with women in business and what does the future hold for us, you think?

Interestingly, since the dawn of human kind the business landscape was a man’s world. Times are changing! Today, women are wielding more and more power on both sides of the business transaction. First, let’s look at some facts from the consumer side. The latest researches show that in family purchases that involve two adults (a woman and a man) women make:

94% of the purchase decision on home furnishings

92% of the purchase decision on family vacations

91% of the purchase decision on home purchases

80% of the purchase decision on healthcare

60% of the purchase decision on family cars

51% of the purchase decision on consumer electronics

It’s clear that in many cases, women are not just influencing the market; they are the market.

So I see more women CEOs breaking the glass ceiling and taking the current percentage of 11% to 50% or higher; more women presidents and prime ministers and more women in power as the time of Power Puff Girls has come. Even the rise of Trump in the USA can’t slow it down. Future belongs to determined women.