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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.


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.


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.

Balthasar Fleischmann: My ICE Method — Lessons from My 35 Years in Law Enforcement

Balthasar Fleischmann

Balthasar Fleischmann is an exceptional speaker who provides invaluable insights into effective communication and conflict resolution. Drawing on his extensive experience as a seasoned police officer and undercover agent with 35 years of experience, Balthasar is a highly sought-after speaker for events focused on these topics.

Balthasar’s speeches are not only informative but also highly engaging, with practical advice that audiences can implement immediately. He understands the importance of choosing the right words and how they can impact communication effectiveness. Balthasar’s ICE method, a practical tool for decision-making and effective communication, has been proven in a variety of settings to improve communication and achieve successful outcomes.

In addition to his expertise in verbal communication, Balthasar understands the importance of nonverbal communication and how it can convey authenticity and build rapport. He provides audiences with practical advice on how to use body language to enhance communication effectiveness.

Balthasar Fleischmann’s speeches are a must-attend for those looking to improve their communication skills and achieve successful outcomes. Book him as a speaker for your next event to gain valuable insights and take your communication skills to the next level.

“I faced many challenging situations, but I managed them all without resorting to violence. I arrested murderers and caught thieves, but saving lives was certainly the best task and guiding people on the right path with my influence.”
Balthasar Fleischmann


What inspired you to become a police officer and undercover agent, and how did you get started in this line of work?

In my personal experience of 35 years, many people become police officers because they want to serve their communities and make a positive impact. Some are drawn to the challenges and adrenaline of undercover work. For me, it was the desire to serve people with all my competence. I changed to the special unit after creating the concept for this unit. So, I was the first to be there.

What were some of the most challenging situations you encountered during your time as a police officer and undercover agent, and how did you handle them?

Police officers and undercover agents face a wide range of challenges, from dealing with dangerous criminals to managing high-pressure situations that require quick decision-making. I faced many challenging situations, but I managed them all without resorting to violence. I arrested murderers and caught thieves, but saving lives was certainly the best task and guiding people on the right path with my influence.

How do you train individuals to effectively use communication as a weapon in difficult situations, and what are some of the key skills that are required?

Effective communication skills are essential for police officers and anyone dealing with difficult situations. It’s about controlling your emotions and not being driven by anger or rage. One rule I always follow is to separate the person from their actions, focusing on the action and recognizing that there is a human being behind it with their own reasons. This allows for a better response and better control of the situation.

Can you share some examples of how the ICE method has been used successfully in business negotiations or employee conversations?

My ICE method (Identify, Corporate, and Eliminate) can be used in a variety of settings to improve communication and achieve successful outcomes. For example, in business negotiations, using this ICE method can help parties identify the key issues at hand, clarify their positions, and consider the consequences of their decisions. I give examples and tools in my seminars to help participants understand and apply my ICE method effectively.

How can individuals learn to control their emotions in challenging situations, and what role does self-awareness play in this process?

Controlling emotions in challenging situations is important for maintaining clear thinking and making sound decisions. Self-awareness is a key component of this process, as it allows individuals to recognize and manage their emotions effectively. Techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and mindfulness can also be helpful in controlling emotions and staying calm under pressure. Training in emotional intelligence and stress management can be beneficial as well.

What are some of the common misconceptions about communication and conflict resolution, and how do you address them in your seminars and workshops?

One common misconception is that communication always involves compromise or finding a middle ground. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes one party may need to take a firm stance to protect their interests or boundaries. In my seminars and workshops, I address this misconception by teaching individuals to focus on their own needs and communicate them effectively, while also being open to hearing the other party’s perspective. I provide tools and methods that challenge traditional thinking and offer new perspectives.

How can individuals identify and remove unhelpful words from their vocabulary, and what impact can this have on their communication effectiveness?

Individuals can identify unhelpful words in their vocabulary by becoming more aware of their own language patterns and paying attention to how others respond to their words. Some common unhelpful words include blaming language, negative self-talk, and generalizations. Removing these words from their vocabulary and replacing them with more positive and constructive language can have a significant impact on their communication effectiveness. In our workshops, we help participants identify these unhelpful words and understand why they use them. We then work on replacing them with beneficial terms. As a result, participants report ongoing success and improved communication.

How do you approach situations where the other person is not willing to communicate, and what strategies can be employed in these scenarios?

Communication cannot be forced. Instead, we can try to understand the motivation behind the other person’s unwillingness to communicate and work on changing that motivation or showing them a new perspective. Active listening and creating a safe space for them to express themselves can be helpful. However, if these approaches do not work, it may be necessary to disengage and return to the conversation at a later time. Strategies such as mediation or involving a neutral third party can also be employed to resolve the conflict.

How can individuals develop their body language skills to effectively communicate their message and convey authenticity?

Developing body language skills involves being aware of one’s own nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and posture, and learning to read the nonverbal cues of others. Practicing active listening, maintaining eye contact, and using open body language can all help to convey authenticity and build rapport in communication. In our seminars, we go beyond basic body language and expand participants’ perception of themselves. We bring their body language into consciousness, work on exercises, and ensure that their body language is authentic and aligned with their message.

What advice do you have for individuals who are looking to improve their conflict resolution and communication skills, both in their personal and professional lives?

My advice for individuals looking to improve their conflict resolution and communication skills is to practice active listening, become more aware of their own language patterns, and approach difficult conversations with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Seeking out training or coaching from experienced professionals in this field can also be helpful. Effective communication and conflict resolution are skills that can be developed over time with practice and dedication. Additionally, I recommend using my ICE method as a practical tool for decision-making and effective communication. We provide support and guidance at the Decisionairs Academy, and we look forward to assisting you on your journey.

Explore More Of Balthasar and Contact Him on LinkedIn:

Balthasar Fleischmann | LinkedIn

Upshift: Global Change-Maker Roger Casale on Love, Politics, and the Making of the World Upshift Movement

The World Upshift Movement was launched by award-winning civil rights campaigner Roger Casale and twice Nobel Peace Prize nominated Ervin Laszlo in Rome in November 2022.

Its mission statement speaks about working together for change from our hearts. Hearts filled with life, compassion, and solidarity with humanity instead of with hatred and fear.

Roger Casale has had a career in government, civil society, and business.

He founded the civil rights group New Europeans in 2013 and served as a Labour MP from 1997-2005.

As a government affairs advisor, he worked at board level in the aerospace sector in the UK and has also lived and worked in Germany.

Roger now lives in Rome with his partner Maria Antinori. On 21 February, Roger and Maria will be in London to present World Upshift Forum – the “feel-think-and-do tank” at the heart of the World Upshift Movement. To find out more, visit World Upshift Movement

What inspired you to start the World Upshift Movement?

It’s a very kind question, but in fact the idea of starting the Upshift Movement was not mine.  I was asked to do so by Ervin Laszlo, the twice Nobel prize nominated Hungarian philosopher and systems theorist.

I was also encouraged to do so by my partner, Maria Antinori, who is a biologist and has always been fascinated by the relationship between spirituality and science and is the Chair of the World Upshift Organisation, the small company we have set up in London to coordinate the movement.

Ervin Laszlo’s life work points to the need to create a much broader movement than the one he has already built up, if we are to focus greater public attention on the future of humanity and what can be done to avert disaster. I think he saw in me someone who could help him create such a movement based on my experience as a former Member of Parliament and civil rights activist.

What inspires me most about the World Upshift Movement, is the realisation that there is really only one very powerful resource which can really change the world for the better and that is the power of love. To paraphrase John Lennon – “All we are saying – is give love a chance.”

We don’t mean sentimental love or some kind or emotion here, but rather that universal regard for humanity which lies deep within us all – we just need to find it. That is why there is such a focus on meditation and mindfulness in the World Upshift Movement.

If we think about change in our own personal lives, we know that this often comes from the heart and not the head. The simple proposition of the World Upshift Movement is that if that is true for the individual, why should it not work for humanity as a whole.

What experiences did you gain from your time as a government affairs advisor?

Having worked as a Member of Parliament for eight years, including three years in government, it was a new experience to be on the other side of the fence so to speak, working from the outside into government rather than the other way around.

My most important experience was the realisation that there is no inside track and that it is not who you know but what you know that really counts. I knew quite a lot about how government and parliament work, and I knew it not from books but from experience. I was able to share this experience with clients to help them understand how to build an appropriate profile and transparent relationships of trust with political stakeholders.

I also learned about the importance of helping companies manage the risk that is generated from political instability such as the Brexit vote or the election of Donald Trump. It is not easy to navigate in a situation of political uncertainty, particularly as political change is driven by emotion not just by reason. I learned much by working through the key issues with board members and CEOs and advising on strategy to mitigate risk.

How has living in Britain, Germany and Italy shaped your approach to social change?

When you live in another country and learn another language you receive the gift of being able to see your own culture and country in perspective. It helped me to understand that wherever we are from, we have much more in common than divides us.

As a result, I now place a much greater value on the need to build consensus and to work across borders and boundaries. It’s easy to forget that we can learn a great deal even from people who we disagree with on certain issues or who are very different from us in other ways.

By chance, I was living in Berlin in 1989 when the Berlin wall came down. That has left a lasting conviction that change from below is possible and that freedom and democracy are precious values which we all have a responsibility to nurture and protect.

Can you tell me a bit about the work you did as a Labour Member of Parliament for Wimbledon?

I won the seat – which had been held for 50 years by the Conservatives – on a record 18% swing in one of the biggest swings of the night when Labour swept to power in 1997. Having won as Labour candidate, I worked hard to show my constituents that I was elected to represent them all.

My predecessor had rarely visited the constituency. On the other hand, I lived in the area and worked hard for all my constituents. People would sometimes say to me “I didn’t vote for you, but you are doing a good job for me.” That taught me something important about my job.

Although I lost the seat in 2005, I felt that I had set the bar higher in terms of how people in Wimbledon expected to be represented. In fact, it’s a kind of upshift! Wimbledon still has an MP who works hard for the community, albeit from another party. That’s what really matters to the people who live there.

In what ways can governments around the world benefit from the World Upshift Movement?

I think the best answer I can give right now is that we will have to wait and see! Much will depend on how fast the movement grows and whether the great work that is already going on is scalable.

I do think, however, that there is very widespread concern in many parts of the world about the quality of our democracy and the capacity of our political systems to govern in a climate of populism and fear.

By bringing people together for change from the heart, the World Upshift Movement can help generate consensus and refocus public debate.

Too often political arguments flare up at the extremes when what we really want the discussion to do is to bubble along in the middle! No one has a monopoly of wisdom and the best policy outcomes often come about through a more inclusive approach, including the use of citizens’ assemblies.

The World Upshift Movement will be working with organisations that promote deliberative democracy, including through citizens panels and citizens juries, which give ordinary citizens the opportunity to take part in decision-making between elections and not just when it’s time to vote.

Such an approach goes hand in hand with other aspects of our work at the World Upshift Movement. Without an awareness of our possibilities and responsibilities as citizens, it will be difficult to achieve the critical number of engaged citizens who can help us renew and strengthen our democracies.

World Upshift Movement


Kidd W: My Ultimate Dream; My Absolute Drive

Kidd W & Co

Kidd Waya is a Nigerian, UK-raised actor, TV host, social media sensation, entrepreneur reality star of the new UK 2-part documentary—how the other half live—debuting on channel 5. Kidd strives to produce insightful, inspiring, and entertaining content and at the same time tackle stereotypes to represent todays multicultural British Community more accurately.

Kidd Waya is a former broker and lobbyist, who graduated from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Management and Marketing and a master’s in international business management. Born in Nigeria and moving to the UK at age 6, Kidd has long strived to shift mindsets and change old narratives through his work as a brand ambassador, presenter, actor, business owner and emotion-fuelled content creator.

“I feel like this is just the beginning and people are yet to see the best of Kidd.”

You have a strong background in health and fitness that might have contributed to your success. How would you define health and how do you think it contributes to individual success in the long-term?

When you have a healthy body, you have a healthy mind—and when your mind is healthy, you’re able to make better decisions.

So, you’re able to have more energy making those decisions and your overall performance simply improves. So, when I am asked what the correlation between health and individual success is in the long term my answer is simple and intuitive. You’re putting yourself at an advantage by being healthy.

Your mind is fresher, your body is fresh, you feel fresher. Your alertness is heightened. Your confidence is up. There are so many benefits to exercise. Moreover, these feelings lead to a clear profit: you can create more, to take more risks, to put yourself in a more advantageous position to be successful.

Kidd W & Co

What are the three most important things that stand between you and your ultimate dream?

Well, the first thing that stands between me and my goal is my mind. Of course, I’ve gone through my fair share of mental illness and it’s a constant battle a lot of people know about. This battle wages between my mind and my body. That’s something I had to do for a while; that is something that definitely gets in the way.

The second thing is my absolute hunger. Starting from a privileged background, I lack the hunger that someone else who is not from a privileged background may have been forced to develop. That drive and desire makes you want your ultimate dream more. I often think and do believe that this is something that only comes from the adversity people who are less fortunate have to face.

The third obstacle I am overcoming is an absolute safety net of being comfortable where you are—this comfort zone. Desperation, the kind that arises out of a mind forced to live on the street, a mind at its absolute lowest, positions you so that you have nothing to lose.

When you have nothing to lose, you become a very dangerous man, a dangerous person. I feel like having a safety net has taken that edge away from me. This can stop me from achieving my ultimate dream.

What was the most recent idea you have had that you have felt was particularly successful?

My company which I started earlier this year is a particular success I am proud of. I brought this company to fruition even though for some time now it’s been “in the works.” Yet this year I decided to actually bring it to life and so far I have been very successful.

I have had great partnerships with big corporations such as Ibis Hotel, one of which I did a campaign with not too long ago. If I might add it was very successful. Just this month I have celebrated a successful Fintech conference which was great. I also manage a lot of talent; I do a lot of brand campaigns—all in a short space of time – within three to four months.

My company, Kidd W & Co has seen a lot of success. Naturally, I am extremely proud of Kidd W & Co.

Who has been the most influential person in your life, and why?

That energises me to do better, to prove myself wrong.

It has to be said that the most influential person in my life has been me and the state of my mind. The state of my mind reminds me every day that this could be taken away from you, and it reminds me that we certainly are all human.

Sometimes this means you’re not as strong as you thought you were. That energises me to do better, to prove myself wrong.

With a strong educational background and a master’s at a prestigious university, you have achieved rare academic success. What are your thoughts on the educational system? Would you say it empowered you and if so, how?

The educational system is flawed. Unfortunately, they don’t teach a lot of vital things, things that are very important in today’s society.

They don’t teach you how to make money nor how to manage money. They don’t teach you how to become a better person nor how to negotiate. They don’t teach you how to be “street smart,” nor how to protect each other and protect yourself.

There are so many things taught that in fact do not apply to today’s society. What the prevailing educational system does teach is how to work for another person and how not to be your own boss; moreover it gives you very outdated tools. For me, the educational system is more of a tick box for your parents. Yet there’s more of a place for the opportunity to go and connect and network with people, make friends, discover a new talent, and so on. Now don’t mistake this: today’s education is far from valueless. I’m asserting it’s not as valuable as it used to be.

Yet and still, I would recommend people go to schools, colleges, universities, but I would recommend it for different reasons. As opposed to going there to try and get a career or to try and make your life a drastically better, there should be more emphasis on going to university and uncovering the discovery of your true self—who you are.

What fuels your daily routine? What would you say intrinsically motivates and drives you?

What drives me and motivates me is the fact that all of this can be taken away in a blink of an eye. Evidenced and proven by the facts—that I’m not where I want to be yet, I haven’t achieved what I want to achieve, and I have so much to offer—I feel like this is just the beginning and people are yet to see the best of Kidd. Another key motivation for me is that the potential in this world is limitless – endless, even. It is very well-said of me that I am someone who has been very hungry for success from the start in spite of my privileged background. I’m someone who was still hungry, still pushing.

Kidd W & Co

How do you stay grounded, despite all the fame?

Leaving my comfort zone and entering into unfamiliar territory was less comfortable but offered a zone where was able to think more and redesign who I am.

I had to leave my comfort zone, which is Nigeria, because I knew that the fame was hindering my progress. It was beginning to affect me, and I realised I soon became way too comfortable. So I took myself to an environment where I could feel less famous. I could feel like a normal person, which would make me work a lot harder to become famous.

It’s almost like a blank canvas and starting again. When I moved to London after the Big Brother show, it was almost like redefining who I was, who I am and who I am going to be. That’s how I stay grounded. I position myself and that’s what’s kept me grounded all this time.

Leaving my comfort zone and entering into unfamiliar territory was less comfortable but offered a zone where was able to think more and redesign who I am.

How do you think social media has changed the consumer landscape in Nigeria?

It is changing and changing massively. I mean, you can travel anywhere on this planet’s four corners upon the click or tap. You can type in “comedy,” you can type in “food,” you can type in “action,” you can type in “music” and find it delivered to your very fingertips.

It has made things a lot easier for entertainers to showcase talent, music, art, and this for everybody. I do not shy away from persuading people to get into it. I feel like it’s a way out of poverty and the hardship that we have in the country.

Nigerians are very joyful people. They’re very entertaining people and very happy people. They love to entertain, to laugh, to have fun and they love to smile.

I think social media is the perfect escape for them as it was for me. And I feel like now it’s a growing market amidst a growing consumer base and it’s getting exponentially bigger because there’s more money going into it.

We have the most loyal fan bases in the world. Speaking personally, my fanbase is amazing! It is full of girls and they’re simply amazing, supportive, and very engaging. That is just a testament to how strong the Social Media and online community is in Nigeria; further, not just in Nigeria but also in Africa. This Social Media presence will only grow bigger and bigger and I can’t wait to be a part of that journey.

What would you like to change within the next 5 years?

The one change I would like to see within the next Five years is in my will power. I want to be at a point where I can say yes or say no, and be precisely decisive—to stick to my decision. I feel like I’m easily influenced by a fear of missing out. That is hinders my progress quite a lot. So I want my will power to improve so that whatever I say, I could just stick to that and nothing else.

Sanjeev Desour, The UK’s No1 Business Mentor and CEO of The Entrepreneurs Academy.

Sanjeev founded The Entrepreneurs Academy with a vision to help entrepreneurs and business leaders to accelerate and maximise opportunities for growth and success by exploring opportunities, threats and solving challenges with mastermind groups, mentoring, training and accountability. This vision has proven itself to be a success, time and time again. The members of these mastermind groups and coaching clients have experienced more success and with mastermind members also benefitting from meaningful and lasting friendships and strategic business alliances with fellow Entrepreneurs Academy members.

In the early stages of Sanjeev’s entrepreneurial journey, he says he would have benefitted from more support, leadership, and positive role models. Despite the absence of this his entrepreneurial spirit won and inspired him to create an array of successful businesses and become a role model and figure of support for other business leaders and start-ups as a business coach, mentor and trainer.

Sanjeev is no stranger to the idea that the more problems you can solve the more you can succeed. He firmly believes in the unlimited power of a supportive, encouraging and experienced peer group to help you foster growth and success in business and life by sharing experience, expertise, opportunities and challenges with a safe group of like-minded winners who have no agenda other than that of support.


If I can keep making a difference, helping business owners grow their businesses, and in doing so grow our companies, that is a good overall win.

– Sanjeev Desour

You are a serial entrepreneur. How did you start this journey?

My entrepreneurial journey started at 15 which is when the flame to start a mobile disco company was born. At the time but I had seen the shortcomings of other mobile disco companies in the Asian wedding market and felt I could do things to a higher and more professional standard. These efforts paid off and went to reshape the industry as we know it today. Years later and the company I had started still embodies the same culture of high standards that was instilled back then.

I had various jobs to start saving. I saved my lunch money to start buying records and saved for equipment and also borrowed money from my brother and my mother too.

I landed my first club gig, and the promoter was impressed, as were the other DJ’s and this was where things started to take off, my next purchase was a phone so I can be contacted. I started advertising and my name was going around, and the bookings were coming in! Since then, I have started and exited a number of companies but have landed firmly within the spaces that I enjoy most. I have interests in live event production, broadcast media, marketing and of course training and mentoring. DJ’ing is my sport so that will always remain a part of who I am.

Do you remember the experience of getting your first job?

My first proper job was working after school. I would stack shelves and work in the cold rooms in a supermarket. I’d get paid a few pounds an hour, it made me feel grown-up.

What made you resign and start your own business?

While I was DJ’ing, I found that I had lots of time on weekdays as most gigs were at weekends.

I got a job with a reputable company but found that I was earning more money DJ’ing than the owner of the business…I found it hard to justify staying on and chose to focus on growing my DJ business to multiple teams.

The next phase was to start a fully-fledged event production company. This was the birth of IGNITE Events where we supply sound, lighting, set, staging, video display and technical support. IGNITE Events have become the go-to authority in that niche for personal development experts, influencers, and motivational speakers. We have produced and delivered events with Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone, Gary Vee, Les Brown, Steve Bartlet, Russell Brand and so many more.

You have been a leader in the events industry – how did covid impact your business?

When covid happened all the events we had in our diary were cancelled. The country went into lockdown but so many assumed it would be back to business-as-usual in a few months.

As time passed, we found that our clients had no way of engaging with their clients. Lacking a meaningful way to serve them and help them with what they needed in a live event like experience. I felt obligated to help.

They needed a way of doing what they do, and they needed a way to deliver events so that their businesses – and the businesses they serve – could and would continue to survive and even thrive during a very perplexed and worrying time.

They needed something more in line with a real event. Working within the restrictions imposed wasn’t easy but there had to be a way! This effort resulted in IGNITE Studios. A fully immersive, 360-degree virtual event studio, with the sound, light and stage of a real event, with screens surrounding the presenter. Hundreds of real, live delegates in real-time offered the opportunity for an engagement that paralleled our clients’ live events.

We didn’t only help our clients survive; we helped them, and their clients thrive during the pandemic. The positive knock-on effect was something I was and still am particularly proud of.

You have changed the direction of your business recently. Tell us more about it?

IGNITE Events and IGNITE Studios are two stolid businesses navigated by a great, inspired, and expert team in-place that ensures clients’ events are delivered to the highest standards. Whilst I still work on these companies, most of my time goes into coaching, mentoring, and consulting entrepreneurs and property investors.

I founded The Entrepreneurs Academy when, gathering six entrepreneurs from non-competing industries around a table to help one another grow and succeed, a decision was made to collectively help solve each other’s challenges, discuss, and explore opportunities too and the underlying theme was to help one another grow and expand our businesses but also improve our personal lives as well. I found that the members of this group made better decisions, achieved greater results, and outperformed their competition.

During Covid19 I offered free coaching services to various business owners and entrepreneurs who were going through tough times. They couldn’t afford our regular fees. It wasn’t about money to me. It was about helping others and there is no better feeling of fulfilment than in doing so.

What is your why?

I wish I had more support, leadership, and good examples as I marked my entrepreneurial journey. I also wish I had more access to real grass roots experience, education, and coaching; if I had, I truly believe I would have been able to achieve and contribute more back.

This is why I created The Entrepreneurs Academy and The Property Investors Academy. Our coaching, mentoring, mastermind groups and courses are world class!

How do you manage the balance between business and family or social life?

So many aspects of life are important but what we can give our attention to is very much dependant on seasons and cycles that we are going through at any given time. It’s a macroscopic ecology – they all affect one another to form one macro view.

How important is it for you to build relationships?

The more people you can build relations with, the more problems you can solve.

The quality of your relationships has a direct correlation to the success of your business and the quality of your life at large.

The more people you can build relations with, the more problems you can solve.

Also, a prospect is more likely to become a paying client if they are ‘recommended’ and recommendations come from those you have good relationships with.

What are the biggest mistakes you have made in business?

Not having a coach or mentor sooner in my career. Constant learning and improvement are accelerated when you have someone helping you, setting outcomes and an action plan; moreover, if this person is holding you accountable the results are massively accelerated.

How do you handle criticism and failure?

I am all for getting honest, meaningful, and unfiltered feedback from people who are credible enough to comment and in fact I welcome that. I always will and always have welcomed that.

I will always consider perspective and understand that these angles of feedback may stimulate growth, so we can become better.

When failure rears its head, we must learn as much as possible—from HINDSIGHT.

Learning from the situation to ensure you can mitigate or reduce the possibility of repeated/repeating failure.

What are some of the biggest obstacles people in business face today? What are some strategies to overcoming those obstacles?

There has been so much turbulence: Brexit, covid, Ukraine, energy to inflation – supply chain issues, food shortages and the countless other changes in UK government. All of this has proven with time to be the breeding ground and recipe for severe economic instability.

Instability limits progress: stagnation stops business leaders from making macro- to micro-decisions; decisions that would have otherwise helped them grow their businesses by injecting more cash flow into a demanding economic system chokes the now-neglected economy.

People and businesses are hesitating to take bold action, the economy desperately needs businesses to grow and expand but the very abovementioned factors are causing businesses to contract.

Get a coach or mentor! Get educated and join peer groups that will support and encourage you and also share their experiences and knowledge to help you achieve success and thrive.

What do you think about women who are running their own business?

This excites me! For years business and commerce have been heavily male oriented, and we need a better balance of perspective, approach, and leadership.

Women in business create a public dynamic that encourages more women to question their ability and perhaps go for it themselves! That can only be good.

The fact remains that women are very capable and social norms have come down to erase the false stigma that business is only for men. Women can and will do greatly.

What is your vision for your business and career? Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

To answer this in a world where things are changing so fast would be naive. It’s okay to have a goal or an outcome based on today’s reality but considering the pace of technological and social advancement we must accept the likelihood of change.

If I can keep making a difference, helping business owners grow their businesses, and in doing so grow our companies, that is a good overall win.

I also have notable plans for The Entrepreneurs Academy, IGNITE and The Property Investors Academy and many individuals and businesses will benefit as will the UK economy.

Kelmendi – Bringing You a Piece of Home

promotional feature


By Sujany Baleswaran


From the Balkans to the heart of your home – Kelmendi GmbH global products have become staple products in millions of households, from Kosovo to Finland. The name Kelmendi is stamped with the approval of customers, a guarantee of freshness, delectability, satiety, quality and a taste of home. Stepping back from the jars of delicacies lined on pantry shelves, Kelmendi is the intricate concoction of business and traditions.

Starting with a small single shop in Essen, Germany, Kelmendi products were born and has now developed into an international company and a market leader in Europe. Valdet Kelmendi, a German entrepreneur with Kosovar roots is the man behind the global brand. Born in the village of Ruhot, to a large family immersed in Albanian traditions, Valdet tasted the beauty of secret family recipes. He learnt the first steps of his business, from those very steps, watching his father manage a grocery store in the 1970s, expanding the business further out in the Municipality of Peja until the 1990s.



When struck with the aggravated political situation and the persecution of hundreds who worked for the good of the country, Valdet was forced to leave his roots behind, emigrating to Germany. Uprooting his life came with challenges, days questioning the future but the thought of surrendering to those obstacles never crossed Valdet’s mind.

As a persecuted refugee, he worked as a clerk cultivating vegetables but it was in 1992, when he was employed in an international factory engaged in wood processing, DERIX, Valdet’s path began to change. Although a world away from his Kosovar roots and the comfort of food, his skills, tireless work and leadership rewarded him with the position of Manager of the Sales department, a foundation for the future.


The team behind Kelmendi GmbH, Valdet, Blerim and Oliver


An entrepreneur’s journey is always filled with the ups and downs of failure and success, but with determination and perseverance to create this business in Germany, Valdet rose from all the obstacles he faced. After repeated success and great will, Valdet turned to his dreams that began in Kosovo, sealing the deal in 1998 with the success of the Kelmendi company, with products not only being sold in Germany, but all over Europe. Touching upon every sector of food products from dairy to meat, Kelmendi products circle back to one thing, the unique taste of traditional and modern family recipes.

From the launch of products inspired by Albanian recipes, the food empire has branched out to numerous other societies and culture, creating your taste of home. The Kelmendi network has expanded to Germans, Baltics, Turks, Arabs and African and many others who have formed the pillars of success.



‘Preserving the spirit of cooperation without distinctions.’

Supplying products for over a quarter of a century, Kelmendi has grown immensely as a business, maintaining a leading position in the overall European ethnic food market. With growth at the forefront of the company, Kelmendi has not stopped at KELMENDI products, they have continued launching a stream of success stories such as NAKJA, ALBINA, BOSNA, Öz GURBET, KRISTAL, FUNDAM and MARRAKESH. Kelmendi food products have become synonymous with quality and tradition, achieving a high level of international recognition. With success after success and the increasing demand for products, Kelmendi GmbH, established their new company in 2018, Kelmendi Lebensmittel Ratingen, a symbol of growth. ‘In the business world there is always a target and always room to grow,’ says Founder Valdet Kelmendi. In 10 years, this food empire hopes to bring products closer and closer to customers all over the world. With goals set high, Valdet leaves us with the secrets of success, ‘believe in yourself, have a desire to work, value precision, and try not to work for money, instead find a way to make money work for you.’


5 Ideal Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Valentine is near! It is an opportunity to express your love with gifts. And when these gifts are made with good taste, even better for your loves. What do women want? What makes them happy? What is that precious memory that they want to carry with them forever? Of course a precious piece of jewelry. We are recommending you 5 gift ideas that for this Valentine will surprise you your partner. For your convenience, you can find 5 of these gifts at Markis Jewelry, now also online.


Make her have you in her heart with a diamond heart. This necklace will be ideal for this Valentine. She is in your heart, so this heart can now be in her neck.


Rings are a great gift, perhaps the most special and important. If you choose to propose on Valentine’s Day, be careful to choose the right ring. Be sure that no one can resist the precious brilliance (nor the desire to say YES)


Give more finesse and color to this accessory that will make your girlfriend even more charming. The earring are accessories that can be easily combined. And if they have precious stones, the more precise this gift becomes.

Emerald Necklace

If your girlfriend loves gemstones, this ring with emerald stones is ideal. Make her love the color green again and give the feeling that she is special, as much as this stone.

Rings with multicolored stones

Who said the ring should always have a proposal behind it? Maybe your girlfriend will be disappointed when she see that you’re not proposing her, but be sure that she will fall in love with the ring, as much as with you. So give her the ring she deserves.

Find these precious gifts and more clicking on this link



Arif Anis: The Global Influence Magnate


Mr I’MPOSSIBLE to Exploring the Art of Possible

Arif Anis is an influence magnate. If you are in London, Dubai, New York or some other cosmopolitan European capital and moving in the circle of movers and shakers, then it is hard to escape the James Bondish charm of Arif Anis. You might notice him rubbing shoulders with the titans, royalty and newsmakers to Forbes richest alike; from the US president Bill Clinton to the British prime minister Boris Johnson and Pakistan’s premier Imran Khan, HRH the Prince of Wales to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Malala Yousafzai, Donald Trump to Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra to Tony Robbins, George Clooney to Angelina Jolie, Maria Sharapova to David Beckham and Amir Khan, Arif Anis might be visible everywhere uplifting people, businesses, organisations and inspiring lives for better. Heads turn when Forbes winner of the highest-earning woman in music and Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential People on the Internet” Katy Perry is found cooing along with him ‘I am Katy Perry, and I am possible.’ I’MPOSSIBLE is one of his ten mega-bestselling books that got translated into multiple languages.

Anis has been voted “Brain of the Year 2020” by the famous Brain Trust UK, a trophy previously awarded to the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking, astronaut and Senator John Glenn, former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. The tale becomes further intriguing when we find how he started his life as a shepherd in Pakistan’s Soon Valley some four decades back and then became a success story by following and living his dreams. Anis’s tenth book and an anthology, “Habits of Success”, recently became a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller. I should not forget mentioning Arif Anis won the ‘Global Man of the Year’ award in 2019 at the Global Woman Summit. Anis was also praised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Boris Johnson for founding the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign during the first lockdown in 2020. Anis is the president of Akhuway UK, part of the world’s largest interest-free microfinance loan provider Akhuwat with an over 1 billion dollars portfolio. Power100 placed him among the 100 most influential trailblazers in Europe in 2018. His initiatives have been featured by BBC, ITV, Sky, CNBC, The Telegraph, Yahoo, and many other global platforms.


Arif, what a fascinating story! How do you see all the dots connecting together when you look back?

It doesn’t interest me

how old you are

I want to know

if you will risk

looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.

“The Invitation,” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


I was born in the small village Anga in Soon Valley, a craggy and mountainous valley in the North-West of Khushab District, Punjab, Pakistan. Soon Valley is beautiful, with many lakes, waterfalls, jungles, natural pools, and ponds. Since ancient times, the Valley has been settled, including by the Awan tribe, whose descendants still live in the Valley. I was raised in a family of five. My father was a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) who had served in the British and Pakistani army. My mother was a typical housewife who looked after her kids and nurtured them with love.

In Anga, the school was located miles away from home around a treacherous path. The roads were not paved, and the village did not have electricity. The environment was more conducive to games, hunting, and fighting. Nerds were looked down on as a bit feminine. I found a treasure of a library in a neighbour’s deserted house and fell in love with books. The fantasyland of One Thousand and One Nights and other stories helped me survive the otherwise tough terrain and hostile environment of my early years.

Books became my refuge while growing up. These books introduced me to a world of fantasy, magic, and surrealism where anything was possible. I dreamt of being a warrior leading a pack of knights. Sometimes I was the Aladdin on the flying carpet. At the same time, the stories of the great men and women who left their fingerprints on history inspired me. The conquerors, adventurers, dreamers, fighters inspired me to become more than my circumstances. Due to the prevalent misery around me, I imagined being someone who could inspire lives, uplift people, and change them for the better with some magical, healing touch. These ideas kept transforming from a warrior to a career in the armed forces, a teacher to a counsellor, and a civil servant to an international speaker.



Well, you seem to have come a long way from being a shepherd to being endorsed by Katy Perry, the most influential artist of our times. How do you make sense of your journey?

A burning quest to find my purpose aided me to weather the storms on the way. I used to question the meaning of existence. Gradually, I realised that even if there might be no divine purpose for ordinary lives, ordinary lives could still serve some divine purpose. Consistency and perseverance were the main keys. It was not easy, but it was very much worth it.

In my teens, I was merely a spectator to the events of my life. It felt like I was tossed in the giant whirlpool of life with no rudder or oars. I slowly worked out my tenacity muscle to get hold of myself, growing it daily by going a few extra feet out of my comfort zone. When I looked back, I had travelled hundreds of miles by doing it, living it every day.

In those early days, books were just an escape from reality. But when I stumbled upon books from Jim Rohn, Paulo Coelho, Napoleon Hill, and Tony Robbins, they introduced me to another kind of world where my intentions could invoke some law of attraction and that could create miracles. The idea of personal development that one can write one’s fate was a game-changer.

I have met many twists, turns, and surprises during my journey. In February 2020, after a meeting in London with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, I was seated at the table with singer-songwriter Katy Perry, one of the greatest music icons alive, where I introduced her to my book I’MPOSSIBLE, and she was thrilled. “I am Katy Perry and I’MPOSSIBLE.” The “Firework” girl beamed at the camera while endorsing the message of possibilities. But she was not the only one. “I Am Possible and The Time Is Now” became a battle cry at thousands of places among the personal development junkies, at boot camps, seminars, and stadiums. Several heads of state and influencers endorsed this message. It is a One Thousand and One Nights tale for someone who was born a shepherd.

It was not smooth sailing. Every time I would fail and fall, I would hypnotise myself with the most powerful and inspirational quotations. I gradually found that obstacles led me to find my way; I must not resist the pain of discipline or struggle but rather find meaning in it.


One of your first books was ‘Follow Your Dreams’. How much of luck has to do with following and achieving one’s dreams?

Somehow, most of my craziest daydreams came true. They included a dinner with a US president, a toast with Ms World, and an official Buckingham Palace invite. I discovered that the harder you work, the luckier you get. You earn it by sweat and blood, by walking out of the comfort zone, by challenging yourself and shedding your old skin and habits. It is a GRIND, my friends. Luck can be a break or a chance, but that is it. Once, I conducted research and wrote an exclusive on the winners of the lottery. I discovered most of their lives got worse after the win. They became lost to addictions of various types and lived fractured lives. You will have your fair share of rising and falling, success and failure, applause and curses; no one is exempt. In my life, I have not come across anyone lucky enough not to be scarred by life. No one will come out alive, as they say. Higher awareness, compassion, and love are luck, and I have been lucky enough to receive them in abundance.


At the release of your ‘The New Psychology of Love’, we heard of how you found the love of your life. How did it happen, and how did it impact your life?

Well, as a hopeless romantic, I wear my heart on my sleeves. In my early twenties, I fell in love head over heels. It was a breathtaking place full of colours, songs, and sunshine. It still is. That time I was utterly broke and just starting on the ladder of life. Naturally, her family demanded a settled life and a career that was non-existent for me at that time. Culturally speaking, I had to throw a big fat wedding that I could not afford. However, through a strange series of events, somehow similar to the movie A Slumdog Millionnaire, I managed to win a million rupees jackpot in a TV quiz show after competing with over 50,000 participants. The top reward enabled me to follow my heart. It is still one of my most significant breakthroughs. After becoming my life partner, my wife Uzma impacted my life profoundly. We are a happy family of four with our two sons Sarosh and Fariqleet. My family means the world to me. They are also the biggest reasons for whatever I achieved or accomplished in my life.


You seem to have met some incredible people along the way. Who really influenced you?

Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Chopra, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Ashfaq Ahad, the legendary British writer and creator of Mind Mapping Tony Buzan, all mentored me. Buzan and I travelled together to many countries to speak to big audiences. Buzan was one of the most intelligent minds I came across. Armed with a sheet of white paper and a fistful of coloured pens, he would sit in his office overlooking the Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, “mind mapping” his day. An affable figure who always looked crisp and dapper, he had a rockstar persona. I still remember a critical lesson from him explaining “contact” and “connection.” He said, “It is not important whether you are in contact with someone or not; the most important thing is having a connection. Without having a connection, contact is merely a waste of time, energy and emotions.” He used to define “attention” in the simplest form as “staying there where you are.”



As an author and a thought leader, in your view, when is the best time to take off and live the life we deserve to live?

A human’s success is determined by the number of uncomfortable conversations the person is willing to have. We may not know the outcome of a choice we fear. The unknown road to the known destination paralyses us. We are petrified to even think about the time and the effort it may take to get to our final point. Heck, we are not sure if we are going to reach the end or not. It is a necessary risk we have to take. Our future is wrapped up in uncertainty. There is no amount of insurance that could cover it. When you gotta do it, screw it – just do it!

As Kurt Hahn says, “There is more in us than we know if we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.” You can’t fathom yourself exactly, and there is much more in you than you think. You are stronger, faster, and abler than you think you are. So don’t be afraid to give your fullest and roar with your might.

The words of Sven-Göran Eriksson offer great insight pertaining to personal desire: “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” Indeed, comparing ourselves to others is rarely a positive or productive experience; most of us have a tendency to idealise other people while undercutting ourselves. Partly due to this negative bias, many individuals end up concluding that they are years behind where they “should be” in life. Remember, you will arrive at your destination in your own time. You don’t need to spoil your journey thinking of your speed because this journey is more important than the destination.


I have heard your mantra of ‘walk your own damn path’? Isn’t that a tough choice to make in life?

What I learnt in life is that it is essential to walk your own path. Make your own path. Walk your own darn path. Don’t toe the line because it’s easy. Don’t copy your parents or significant others for emotional reasons. It must spring from your own being. Also, you must not be deceived by the trap that you are walking your own path while you are trudging along with societal norms. However, there is no harm in conforming to the norms but not because you cannot walk out of your comfort zone. Unfortunately, you will never embrace the essence of your existence until you walk your own darn path.

Life is not a straight road. There are bends here and there. However, a bend in the road is not the end of the road. Sometimes you will try so hard to accomplish something. Sometimes you can be so prepared and still fail. You will sweat, toil, labour, bleed, and it will amount to nothing. And every time you fail, it’s painful. It breaks something within you. It is a dark and lonely place. However, this is the place most visited by all the champions. A man’s character is not judged after he celebrates a victory but by what he does when his back is against the wall. So, no matter how great the setback, how severe the failure, you never give up. You pick yourself up, you brush yourself off, you push forward, you move on, you adapt, you overcome. Just never give up. You only lose when you give up. You are not beaten until you give up. So, never, never give up!


How do you see fear impacting our lives, and how we can outrun it? How o do it and who can help us do it?

There are two ways to live. You continue running or ducking away from what scares you. This will make a small bugbear grow into a monster. Or you face your fears, eyeball to eyeball, and in one second you realise that it’s the most blissful experience of your life. There’s zero fear. You realise that the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear. It’s bliss. Why were you scared in your bed the night before? What do you need that fear for? It just ruins your day. The best things in life are on the other side of terror, on the other side of your maximum fear.

Most of us waste too much time frozen by the fear of failure, fear of being judged, fear of everything. All it takes is one first step forward. No matter how small. You’re the tallest wall to climb. The longest bridge to cross! Because of your mental stoppers, you fail to reach your full potential and you betray your dreams every day. You can overcome all this by finding your true self, and tuning into the positive, hopeful voice in your head that’s pointing towards the light. Follow the light.

The truth of the matter is that no one else can do pushups for you. It is you, yourself, who has to run that mile, stay up that night, smile at that fear, face those demons, and walk up that road to your heart’s calling. No one else, however close to your heart, may determine your route.

Follow your heart, and walk that road. Others can walk with you, but nobody can walk it for you.



Giving seems to be a big part of your life. Tell us more about your ‘One Million Meals’ campaign.

Giving is a substantial part of my existence. I have mentored thousands of leaders in various industries. My protégés include coaches who have inspired countless lives, world champions, Olympic athletes and ordinary people with extraordinary dreams. Around one-third of my time, efforts, and resources are dedicated to charitable campaigns.

On 13 May 2021, the British Cabinet Office announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had awarded the Points of Light award to the One Million Meals campaign, acknowledging the four of us (Arif, Suleman, Bilal & Momin). I had co-founded and named the campaign on the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. The campaign was initiated to feed the National Health Service doctors, paramedics, keyworkers, and vulnerable people during the lockdown. Through June 2020, we had supported 203 locations across the UK, including 47 NHS hospitals. The campaign was recognised by Her Majesty The Queen, HRH the Prince of Wales, David Beckham, Amir Khan, and many others. We were thrilled when I managed to get backing from the world-famous band, ‘The Proclaimers’ who are a Scottish rock duo formed in 1983 by twin brothers Craig and Charlie ReidI. They dedicated their world-famous song, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” to the campaign to raise funds.

I am a trustee and lifelong supporter of Akhuwat, the world’s largest interest-free microfinance organisation with around a billion dollars turnover that has changed more than five million lives in Pakistan and abroad for the better.


You are among the top-notch coaches on the art of influence and impact building. You have helped prominent businesses and individuals in scaling up their impact. How could the readers benefit from your expertise in this area?

Noise is defining our current existence. Attention span has shrunk to a couple of seconds, with the world’s top corporations vying for their ‘nano seconds’ of the attention pie.

Power and influence are both used synonymously. However, these both are distinctive, and they work in widely different ways. Power is a zero-sum game as the more we give it, the less we have it. However, contrary to that, influence spreads and multiplies as it is distributed. Plato famously argued in The Republic that a tyrant, however powerful, ultimately suffers in the end by corrupting his own soul. Power is forced, while influence is voluntary. Power makes use of one-way dialogue while influence creates a conversation.

I help businesses and individuals to gain influence in their respective fields of choice through reputation management. Due to the shorter attention span, reputation management is the effort to influence what and how people think of a brand or person when viewed online. Put another way, a character is who you are, and reputation is who other people think you are. The world’s best brands use reputation to forge strong relationships between customers and communities. Through an extensive network of partnerships, collaborations and expertise and alliances, businesses and individuals are offered a one-stop-shop to position them in the respective markets, build their narrative and story, enhance their digital footprint and transform feedback from reviews, likes, listings, comments and clicks into their competitive advantage.



So what is next for a person of your dreams, calibre and ambition?

It is living to the fullest, creating more success stories, harnessing the fullest potential of individuals, institutions and organisations and enabling a world of influence where the hope is bigger than the fear. As an executive vice president of Tony Buzan Global, one ambition is to reach out to more than 500 million mind mappers, dreamers and practitioners globally to make this world a better place through mental literacy.

In my view, COVID-19 is not just a medical challenge, but a spiritual challenge too. To defeat COVID humanity need to follow the path of self-purification, compassion, nonviolence, God and Nature. This pandemic raises serious questions about the way this world has been run in the last hundred years, by using greed, power, lust and obnoxious use of privilege. This pandemic has laid bare what was already obvious, but we buried our heads in the sand like ostriches.

We have a chance to do something extraordinary. As we head out of this pandemic, we can change the world. Create a world of compassion. A world where we are kind to each other. A world where we are kind no matter what class, race, gender, creed or the job tag we have. A world we don’t judge those at the food bank because that may be us if things were just slightly different. Let love and kindness be our roadmap. If the world after coronavirus is not going to be a much more greener, much more environmentally friendly, much more vegetarian, much more just and equal, then human beings will deserve a much worse virus than coronavirus.

Throughout the centuries, an earthquake or a volcano or a pandemic or a tsunami shake the world. There is always a message in the shake-up. Wake up! I am sure we would get rid of coronavirus. Say, in a year, or two or three. But I fear what comes next. We go back to our routine stupidities, namely the wars, supporting the dictators, fueling divide through extremism, voting for politicians without integrity or character, destroying the forests, killing earth’s climate etc. This is worse than the pandemic itself. Let’s finally wake up.


Luca Spaghetti- A name to remember

Luca Spaghetti- A name to remember


By Fati Gorezi

Luca Spaghetti was born in Rome, Italy. His name, but above all his nice surname, has become famous thanks to his meeting with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the bestseller “Eat, Pray, Love”, which then became a film with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, in which Luca was present as a character because of his name. Being connected to a great book (and later a film)  brought  many changes  to his  life.  Now  Luca is a  completely charming writer too. His first book “Un romano per amico”, is published in thirteen countries.

 ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, The story of Elizabeth’s life, literally, became a sensation in many countries captivating millions of readers (and later viewers) All of the “characters” in her book are real people and you are one of them. How do you feel about that?

Well, first I have to say that I didn’t know I was going to be in the book. When in 2003 Liz explained to me her project she told me that her book was going to be a ‘sort of biography’ but I couldn’t imagine a “real” biography. When she sent me the draft of EPL and I read my name for the first time I fell down from my chair. Then I started to appreciate it and the book became a phenomenon and people began to search me out and asked me: “Are you the Luca Spaghetti of EPL? Do you really exist?”

Then the movie came out where I am depicted as being bald and fat – but the problem wasn’t that I’m bald and fat in the movie but that the production team tried to make me become a Roma fan!!! Probably you know that in Rome there are two soccer teams, Lazio (The Good) and Roma (The Evil). And when we went with Liz on the movie set in Rome one night to meet Julia Roberts I met “myself” for the first time and I saw the actor who played me (Giuseppe Gandini) coming with a yellow-and-red Roma’s scarf on his (my!) shoulder.

At that time I said laughing: “I need a lawyer! It’s okay being bald and it’s okay being fat – but I’ll never be a Roma fan!” So they took mercy on me and I returned to being a Lazio fan in the movie.

You became a tour guide/guardian angel to Liz (the protagonist) How would you describe your relationship and friendship with Elizabeth Gilbert?

A gift! When a common friend wrote to me to say she was coming to Rome for three months and asked me to take care of her I was scared. I knew she was a writer and I thought of her as a very boring, intellectual, snobbish and a sophisticated person. Then, day by day, after some “penne all’arrabbiata” and a few glasses of wine I discovered how wonderful she is. I learned from her how to stop hiding my feelings and now I’m not ashamed to say: “Leave your door open always and take care of those you love.”

And we also found out a lot of things that we have in common: we have the same way of protecting our friendship deeply and strongly and we have the same sense of humour and we love eating. Most of the people remind me how lucky Liz and I are to have such a great friendship. And I completely agree. Even after her great success she’s still the same girl I used to know.

Being a person in a great book (and later film) what changes have been brought to your life?

First of all, I am now at peace with my last name! When I was child I suffered a lot, then, on becoming an adult, I learned to laugh about myself and I started to think that it wasn’t such a giant problem, and now I am a good friend with my last name. My grandmother always used to tell me, “Your last name is going to bring you luck! When people meet you it will make them happy and a little bit hungry too.” Now I can say that is absolutely true!

It has brought me luck and a lot of new friends and experiences like becoming friends with my idol James Taylor, becoming a member of the ‘Carbonara Club’ as Ambassador, and it has given me a funnier and happier life.

The book marks a revolution for women. An uprising and a rare search by Elizabeth Gilbert about how women should rise again after every failure and seek success. In your opinion what are the biggest challenges that women face today?

Probably their equality with men based on all the recent stories about abuse in the media and economic factors in terms of pay and remuneration. In a civilized and equitable world women should be paid the same as a man but I’m afraid it still isn’t so. Economically there are some tasks that have different remunerations if the worker is a man or a woman. My wife, for example, is the Director of a chemical laboratory with two hundred people. She is the first woman trusted with this task and she’s happy and appreciated. But many of her colleagues are sure that if her job was done by a man he would have better pay. Personally, I prefer to work with women. I have two girls who work for me and I would never change them for men. Every day I work with clients who are women and every day I appreciate their skills. I’m happy that Liz is a fantastic living example of every positive thing a woman could dream or plan to be.

You are a completely charming writer too. How would you describe your experience of writing books?

Thank you. A fantastic experience and the realisation of a dream. When I was a kid I dreamed of becoming a soccer player, then a songwriter like James Taylor, and at 40 years old I discovered that writing was easy for me. This was, and still is, a great lesson to me. I tried and I loved it. I started just to tell the EPL phenomenon seen through my eyes – the story of an ordinary guy with a special last name, who was born and grew up in the most beautiful city in the world and how a friendship and a book changed his life. Then I found that writing is one the best ways for me to let my emotions come out and so I went on. I’d love to write more, but often my other work doesn’t leave me so much time to do it – so I try to exploit every free minute I have.

What we should know about Italian women and men?

You should know that Italian women are the most beautiful women in the world and that Italian men are the most charming men in the world (not me of course!) Italian women and men are the funniest creatures on the planet, the best cooks, the most elegantly dressed, the insuperable wine makers and of course, the most romantic lovers in the universe. Of course I’m kidding, but I can swear we all have a great sense of humour too.