3 states of being you must master to win

3 states of being you must master to win

Or what the Holy Trinity and The E-myth can teach us about being successful

A few weeks ago while giving a personal update on my content and blog, I briefly alluded to Michael E Gerber’s book ‘The E-myth‘, and how it closely mirrors elements of the personal development journey. Here, I break it down further.

Now if you have never read The E-myth, I encourage you to do so. It is one of the top books to read on the topic of entrepreneurship and small business. Consider it an indispensable part of your journey. In the book, Michael highlights the fact that just because you know how to execute the product or service of the business, does not mean you know how to run and grow the actual business. Those are really two separate skills.

Sounds very common sense, but it is often a glaring blindspot for excited and new entrepreneurs. They go into business super eager and passionate. They feel because they are passionate about cakes and can bake a terrific cake, they are qualified to own and run a bakery. Sure, passion is a good ingredient to have. It will drive and move you forward when little else can. Being able to deliver on the promise of your business is important, but, the big picture of making it work requires a broader set of skills than just baking.

Most new entrepreneurs are good enough at this one thing – executing the actual job of the company, but they suck at the other two legs of the tripod needed to make a business work. To successfully start and run a business according to Michael, you need to wear 3 main hats – the Visionary, the Manager and the Technician.

The Visionary is the entrepreneurial energy. It is the spark of inspiration that says, ‘What if this solution existed? What if we solved this problem? What if we took advantage of this opportunity?’ It is the drive to begin, to start, to set things into motion. It is the prime instigator, casting the vision, showing us where we can be, and where we need to go. Without a solid dose of this hat, we remain stagnant at a survival level, never thriving or breaking through to new heights. Too much of it, and we won’t ever get anything done.

The Technician is the worker bee part of the equation. This is the actual job, the value proposition, the point of the company. This is what you sell, or deliver. Like I mentioned earlier, we are usually heavy on here. We know how to organise the event, or design the logo, or build the model. We know how to bake the cake. Without the technician, nothing moves, but with too much focus on this function, you end up working all the time and never building an actual business.

Between the technician and the visionary is a gulf. One personality is usually too busy in the clouds, dreaming of the next big fluffy idea. The other is usually too stuck in the dirt, busy with the nitty gritty of getting things done. The one who bridges the gap, the one who makes sure the wide eyed directives from the top are effectively translated to day-to-day action is the Manager. The manager is the one who designs and sets up the systems, processes, checks and balances to ensure that the big plans are executed every step of the way.

Incidentally, this idea maps out to the process of achieving personal success, and just achieving goals in general.

There is the clear need for vision. We know we have to have meaning, purpose, a reason for being, a grand vision to achieve or contribute to in our lifetime. There is also a clear need to be able to get things done, to take action, to book the meetings, to do the work, to make things. It is our inner manager that helps us connect the two.

When we begin our journey of growth, we start off by being visionary about it. We think deep and try to figure out what we want to get done, what we want to build. And then we come down from our high perch and get down to the ground, and start building. We oscillate between the Visionary and the Technician.

Half the time all we have is a hunch. We don’t even know what exactly to build. we are building and learning at the same time. But after a while, after a lot of trial and error, and learning, we figure out enough of what we need to build and develop enough skill to actually build it.

At some point, we cross a threshold. It is not just enough to take some action sometimes. Now, we understand that it will take a bunch of different actions all working in concert towards our defined goal. We move from just being able to do a set of push-ups, to an entire system of workouts to maximise strength and gains. We start to operate more in the Manager role. It is this energy that establishes order.

We need all 3 hats, all 3 personalities working together to create a well oiled harmonious ecosystem, where we are able to set large scale intent and see it come to fruition. We are able to set the goal of getting fit, learn to do the exercises, and then create the systems and routines that propel us forward.

That is a big chunk of the work. The actual building phase – the manager portion. Making the plans. Creating the processes, documenting them. Building and instilling habits. It is the system that holds all the bits together. Here we experience the lag. We are busy setting up, but there are no major rewards yet. Here we must patiently build. Once we have sturdy systems in place, we are able to rise back up more into the visionary aspect, riding and driving these systems where they need to go.

And if you think about it, this is really just an archetypal pattern. It is the pattern of the trinity. The father, the mother, the child.

The father, the spirit, the son.

The instigating force, the conductive force, the active force.

Our intentions crystallise from the rarified world of ideas into the plans and patterns of actions which give key results.

If you are busy, and frustrated by not getting results, perhaps do a diagnosis on these 3 states of being. Is your intention and focus right? Do you have a vision? Are you taking right action? Are you doing what needs to be done? And are they organised and directed enough? Are they repeatable? Are they sustainable? Will they take you where you need to go?

Are you wearing and operating in all 3 hats?

6 things you must do to win the morning

6 things you must do to win the morning

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the incredible freedom of having a routine. In it, I explored how most creatives actually thrive when they have a routine to tame the chaos of life, and unleash their productivity.

The path to success lies in putting the right things on autopilot. In other words, to create and sustain the level of success you want, you have to create the right habits. Success can be summarised in a very simple flow.

  1. Decide what you want to achieve.
  2. Figure out what you need to do consistently to achieve it.
  3. Make that thing into a habit or routine.

Of course, just because it is simple, doesn’t mean it is easy.

One of the most highly leveraged thingsyou can do to change your life is to adopt a winning morning routine. If we win the morning, we will win the day. If we lose the morning, we are left scrambling to catch up.

I am a self professed night owl and frequently start the day late, but there is something magical about the morning, or at least about your first few waking hours (whenever that is). You are at your clearest, your freshest, and your most susceptible. Provided that you actually did get a good night sleep.

And that gives us our first clue to an effective morning routine.

A successful morning starts the night before.

Effective sleep and rest is important to winning the morning and winning the day.

In his book ‘The Miracle Morning‘, Hal Elrod breaks down his life story, recovering from a near fatal accident in his 20s and surviving the 2008 economic meltdown that wiped out his livelihood. He attributed his miraculous recoveries to one thing – focusing his attention on his personal development and making the commitment to investing in himself every day.

And when was the best time of the day to do so? In the evenings, we are usually too tired. In the afternoon, we are right in the thick of the day’s demands. That leaves with the morning, that magical time.

There are 6 things Hal recommends that you do every day to invest in yourself, centre yourself and put you in the best possible position to win the day.


Start off the day with mindfulness and silence. Like I said earlier, your waking brain is very susceptible. Reaching for your phone first thingand getting sucked down a black hole of distraction and anxiety is a big no-no. The world can wait. This is time for you.

There are many ways to meditate and various teachings and great books on the topic. But they all boil down to essential elements. Sit still. Focus on your breath. Clear your mind. When you realise your mind has wandered, bring it back to your breath. Do that for 10 minutes and you will see your heart rate drop, your breathing deepen and a deep sense of calm come over you.

It is important to quiet the mind and centre yourself before you rush off into the business of the day ahead. I use meditation to resolve emotions and anxiety, to clear my mind, to get in touch with my highest intentions and desires and as a way to connect to the boundless it that holds the universe together.

This is also a fantastic time to pray.


Affirmations are something I do not do enough of yet. But they are a powerful reminder of the unlimited potential that is within you. Speaking and saying things out loud have a way of activating the spirit within and bringing things into fruition.

They allow you to design and build the mindsets you need to take any area of your life to the next level. If you don’t consciously design and choose your affirmations, you will most likely just keep on repeating and reliving the fears, insecurities and limitations of your past.

And that is an interesting thing. Because we all have a base level of feelings, anxieties and expectations that we carry around with us. Meditations, affirmations and visualisations allow us to be aware of these default feelings and begin to change them to the ones that empower us and deliver us to new levels.

For maximum effectiveness, your affirmations must clearly articulate exactly what you want, they must also connect to your compelling why, describe who you are committed to being in order to create it, as well as what you are committed to doing to attain it. In fact, you can go ahead and make your goal statements your affirmations.

So, what you want, why you want it, who you must be and what you must do to get it.

Speak out your affirmations with emotion and feeling. They will go to work in your subconscious, rewiring your expectations, beliefs and actions. Generate the feeling of excitement as you say the words and imagine them coming true. Which brings us to the next element of a winning morning.


We are often so great at visualising the worst possible scenarios. We can imagine all the ways things can go bad and not work. We have experienced failure too many times to embrace the possibility of happy outcomes.

Visualisation is a great way to break past these previous programming and open your future up. Vision is essential, and is a muscle and skill that can be developed.

Athletes are notorious for doing this, creating clear mental images and mentally rehearsing their activities before they do them. Try it out for yourself. Imagine exactly what you want to achieve or attain during the day, and then mentally rehearse doing what you need to do to attain it.

Constantly work at imagining a powerful compelling future that pulls you forward harder and faster than your past, insecurities and experiences.

Visualising what you want creates it. Combine this with your affirmations and mentally see yourself living in alignment with your affirmations, being who you need to do and doing what you need to do.

If you are to move beyond your past and transcend your limitations, you must stop living out of your rear-view mirror and start imagining a life of limitless possibilities. – Hal (The Miracle Morning)


I’ve written about the power of this habit. Journaling regularly allows you to document your insights, ideas breakthroughs, realisations, successes and lessons learned, as well as any areas of opportunity, personal growth or improvement.

They help us mark time, they help us create the future, and they help us create ourselves.

As I said before:

The act of writing somehow, encodes the desire deep into your being, and releases the intention to the universe, so that subconsciously and super consciously, you are working towards your goal.

The habit of journaling helps to crystallise our thoughts, and express our true feelings. It helps us realise what we want, allowing us to clear the fog of confusion, and showing us paths and solutions to take.

Journaling provide the records you can use to supercharge your growth by revisiting lessons learned and making new commitments to implementing them.

All you have to do is write, and there are many ways to do this. You can write in a free flow form like Julia’s Morning Pages, or you can journal with specific prompts like ‘What are you grateful for today’ ‘What would you like to achieve today’, etc. This is one habit that could really change your life.


We consume an incredible amount of information on a daily basis. From messages, to notifications, emails, and feeds, we are endlessly barraged. It can feel overwhelming and crowd out of the most important sources of information and wisdom – books.

For every problem under the sun, someone, somewhere at some point in human history has written about it. You do not have to flail around struggling without success, you can simply learn from the experience of others. That is what books are for. They open up our minds to new worlds. They give us empathy for the experiences of others. They teach us things, about the world and about ourselves. They hold the keys to vastly improving our health, our relationships, our finances, and anything we want really.

But most people avoid them. Don’t be that way. It can be as simple as just reading a few pages every day. A pro tip from Hal is to read 10 pages each morning and record a few ideas you want to implement that day. That way you put what you have learned to practice and extract maximum value from it.


Sleep helps your body rest and recover. Exercise activates it. Putting your body under physical strain allows it to reach its potential. It gets stronger, it improves blood flow, especially to the brain and gives you a body strong enough to handle the demands you put on it on a day to day basis.

Even a simple stretch, brisk walk, short yoga session, couple of pushups. Whatever you can manage is a good first step to activating your body in the morning, clearing your mind and giving you that bolt of energy to get the day cracking.

If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness. Robin Sharma

So, there you have it. Doing these 6 things every morning allows you to invest in yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Centring and aligning yourself for maximum effectiveness and living intentionally towards your goals and purpose.

You are a unique being, feel free to tailor these to your personal preferences. But as long as you are able to enjoy some silence, visualise and affirm what you want, record and learn new things, on a daily basis, you will soon become unstoppable.

Use these 6 questions to become happier, successful and more resilient

Use these 6 questions to become happier, successful and more resilient

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the answer, I would spend the first 55 minutes figuring out the proper questions to ask. For if I knew the proper questions, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.”

Albert Einstein

Questions are an underrated tool and resource. With the right question, you can radically shift your perspective and open up new possibilities in your life. But we don’t usually like questions. They make us insecure, they shift the ground beneath our feet. They invite chaos.

Answers are more soothing and comforting. So, we are always looking for them. We yearn for the silver bullet, the simple solution that will solve all our problems and put us at ease, give us some kind of peace.

But in this vast complex world we live in, we need to value questions more. We cannot assume the answers we have will always work, because things are always changing. We have to become more adept with living through questions than latching on to answers.

Questions are more important than answers because they instigate. They force us to think, to examine assumptions, to dig deep and find true answers, not just surface answers, but the ones that resonate to our core.

Because to truly learn is to question, not just blindly accepting answers, questions are a learning super tools that turn us from passive receivers to being active participants. They stress test the limits of our knowledge and show us the gaps we need to work to fill, leading us down paths of discovery.

The very best questions can even change your life by helping you find new meaning, or prioritise, or deal with the challenges of life.

In my life experience, and over years of reading some good books and listening to people way smarter than myself, I have come across a few questions that are potentially life changing if addressed regularly. Here are 6 of them.

1. What is the ONE Thing I could do that would make everything else on my list irrelevant?

This is one of my favourite questions. I’ve written about it over and over again. It is the focusing question at the heart of the book – The One Thingand is the main question I use to prioritise my day, my week, my month, my year, all the way to my major goals.

At its core, and most immediately applicable level, it is the question I ask myself first in the morning – what is the ONE Thing I could do today that would make everything else on my list easier or irrelevant? Or what is the ONE Thing I could do today that would make the most impact? Then I go do that thing. The focusing question allows me to identify what is most important.

2. What if it were easy?

Hard work is important, and a lot of great things are only won with great effort. But there is such a thing as wasted effort. Sometimes, a great amount of value can be unlocked with minimal but perfectly placed effort.

As much as many people would love to have 4-hour work weeks, there is also such a thing as the fetishization of hustle. We love the idea of the grind so much, that we get wrapped up in work-for-work’s sake and forget that we also must be effective.

An interesting way to figure how to achieve a goal, is to ask ‘what if it were easy?’. Or ‘what is the easiest, lowest pain way to get this done?’ If there is an easier way to do it, do it. Save your energy for the things that are most important.

Hustle is important, hard work is guaranteed, but we have finite resources and we must allocate them wisely.

3. What important truth do very few people agree with you on?

This one is from Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. The ‘unpopular question’, as I once read it called, is a powerful one. It separates the incremental thinkers from the truly innovative and out the box thinkers.

When we hold a belief that most people don’t, we stand against the tide of popular opinion. It is a call for deeper introspection and becomes the launch pad that allows us to have original thoughts, and exploit unseen opportunities to do something remarkable and new.

4. What do you really want?

“This is a fundamental irony of most people’s lives. They don’t quite know what they want to do with their lives. Yet they are very active.” – Ryan Holiday

You would think you always know what you want. You probably don’t. The pull of society and our upbringing is very strong and rightfully so. It takes time and effort to get still and reach deep within. To withstand knee jerk reactions, conditioning and habits. I use this question a lot, to monitor my desires, to make sure I am oriented towards a larger purpose, to delay gratification, to make decisions when I am swamped by requests and demands on my time, presence or energy. What do I really want?

5. What do you truly value?

A derivative of the desire question is the value question which allows you to prioritise your options in life and make the choices best suited to you.

Our lives are driven by our values, consciously or subconsciously held. And for each of us, they are different. Some people value material comfort, others value adventure. Some people value stability, others need constant change to feel alive.

Understanding your value system allows you to make decisions and tailor the life meant for you. And because we are always growing and changing, it is necessary to ask this often, and make sure we stay congruent and aligned to our highest values.

6. Where is the good in this?

The alchemic question. The one you use to turn tragedy to triumph and shit to sugar – where is the good in this?

This question allows us to step back and analyze situations, and circumstances, even the worst of them, and glean something good. If we are able to do this constantly, we are able to see the silver linings in dark clouds, the opportunities in chaos, and the lessons in failure.

It teaches us that everything has the potential to be used for good, to be turned on its head, or as a lesson to be learned.

In this way we become stronger, wiser and more resilient.

Personal Update

Personal Update

Or where I’m at right now and what that means for my content.

For the five or so of you who follow my blog, you would have noticed I have not been publishing at my usual pace. I have been coming up against a wall lately, when it comes to the blog. I tend to fall in and out of love with my projects, which can make it difficult to work on things long term, but I’ve embraced that as part of the process. Like Tim Ferris says in The 4-Hour Work Week– interest is cyclical.

I’ve also had a persistent sense of fatigue, so I decided to pull back from everything for a bit and disappear. Which was the perfect opportunity to do some reflection around this blog.

I have always said that I don’t know why exactly I write, just that I must. And I shared this sentiment with Kofi Ofori-boateng at a workshop the other day and he was quick to reply ‘of course, because it is a calling.’

I agree.

This is important to me, so I always try to write from a place of authenticity. Meaning that whatever I post is something that is important to me at the time or reflective of what I am going through. I believe that is what makes for writing that resonates. I would never want to lose that, and have it feel like just another job because this is sacred space. This blog and platform has always been first and foremost, a space for creation.

The creation of what?


“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

George Bernard Shaw

I have always viewed what I do here on this platform as a form of self-creation – birthing the person I want to be and the kind of work and projects I want to engage with. The more I blog about ideas like mindset and success, the more they are ingrained into my mind and my spirit. The more I put out books and projects, the more I become the person I want to be – a creative, an author, etc.

In a world where the old rules don’t apply and new opportunities abound, it is useful to create a brand and a platform for yourself, where you can be yourself, and live life on your own terms. You can create something that is uniquely yours and fulfilling to you.

So, that is what this platform is – a place to create something authentic.

Over the years, I have written mostly around mindset, exploring the thought patterns, predispositions and changes we need to make on the inside to get to where we are going and to get what we want. And over my years of writing, this blog has generally mirrored where I was at the time.

My earlier years 2010 – 2014 were concerned with asking the bigger philosophical questions of life. What is it? Why are we here? How do we find or create meaning? What do we do with this gift. It was a time of angst, of searching and wrestling. And my writing reflects that, distilled into my first book – The meaning of Life and other such nonsense.

My next phase after that was more mindset driven. I had come to some resolution around all my searching and had set course for a goal, to create a certain kind of life for myself, doing certain kinds of things. Over this period between 2015-2018, I explored mindset and the principles behind success. The things you must learn, accept and integrate to make anything of yourself. How do you reprogram your mind for success? It has been very rewarding season and truly changed the way I think and behave. This will become another book – How to get what you want.

But now I feel like I am in a different phase. More in a doing phase than thinking. I’ve got the mindset stuff cold, and yes, I will keep being a student of it. I’ll keep learning and reprogramming my mind sure. But this next phase requires a lot more doing, a lot more living.

I’ve seen my curiosity shift from the principles and mindset stuff to the tactical. I wonder how to fine tune my schedule to match my natural energy and give sustainable output. I want to know more about routines, how to create habits, how to stay organised. I want the perspective shifts, hacks and tools that maximise output.

And so in the same way, my content seems to be shifting away from the higher ideas to more tactical content.

End of last year, I inadvertently wrote a short book called – How to live intentionally. Primarily about setting intentions and then goals and systems to get there. I did it in 7 days and in the aftermath of releasing it, I realised that this had to become a full book.

But I had also gotten gripped by a new theme idea – How to max out your potential which I figured could be the theme for the new year.

Maximizing your potential means doing all you can. Leaving all on the table, breaking through to exponential results and all that. And that is where I really want to go. But as I wrote on the topic, I realized I had jumped the gun. You cannot maximize what you haven’t established.

In the journey of entrepreneurship according to Michael E Gerber’s book The E-Myth, there is the crucial phase between the technicianand the entrepreneurcalled the managerwhere you begin to design and implement systems, culture and execution that enable an enterprise to scale and become more than survival.

The same happens in the journey to personal development. You set your focus, and then you take action. But over time you realize that to do this sustainably over the long term, you have to set in place systems and routines to make things easier. It is only when those things are in place that you are then able to really push forward and optimize across the board to reach exponential results.

That is where I am now, exploring this process of establishment, of building. My content will shift more to the tactical, things like routines, organization, planning, systems, the tools and habits that enable us to live more intentionally. So our goals can become crystallized into the actions we take on a day-to-day, as we build a life by design.

The surprising benefit of being super organized​

The surprising benefit of being super organized​

In my previous post, I wrote about failure, and having the most unproductive week ever. I had an embarrassing fall off my high horse and my routine and suffered for it. But I bounced back. Because the art of success is really about how you respond to failure.

There is something else I discovered in my week from hell. I wasn’t that stressed. And that is because I am presently pretty organised.

At any point in time, I can take a glance across 3 A4 sheets and a few post-it squares and I know exactly what’s on my plate, what needs to be done, who needs to be followed up with, what is urgent, what can wait, what’s important and so on.

When you are that organized, a bad week is manageable. Because even though you can’t go all out and crush the way you really want to, at least, you can handle the bare minimum. You can do what you need to do to keep everything humming along.

In each of the days where I was either running around, being too tired and sick, or having to devote a chunk of the day to meal prep, I was able to sneak in an hour to four of work. But because I am organized, I was effective, I knew what to focus on, and what could wait.

I also knew what to aim at. Everything I was doing was so that I could get back to routine and tackle a specific set of tasks on my list.

This is not just an idea that works well in managing your to-do list and general productivity. This is an underpinning idea behind successful businesses and organizations. Being organized is a superpower, and it has many other benefits other than capping the downside of a failure.

It gives you clarity

If you are organised in your business, you have clarity. You know who you are, what you do, what you should focus on, what your metrics are, what you need to be doing to get there. You simply just press play and follow the plan. A lot of stress in life and business comes from chaos and not knowing what to do. Being organised reduces all of that.

It helps you bounce back

Failure is inevitable. Even the best-laid plans go awry. But as long as it is not a catastrophic failure, when you get knocked off, and everything falls apart, to get back, all you have to do is consult the plan, adjust and continue where you left off.

It super charges your chase for success.

I’ve always been organized or at least fairly so. I can be quite OCD and I need everything to be just so. But it is one thing to be organized just because you like it, and then to be organized towards a goal.

If you have done the internal work of figuring out what you want, getting your mindset right and then building a plan to get it, setting up routines and being organized are the support structure and systems that put your efforts on automatic. All you have to do at that point is just ride the wave. Being organized is a huge leverage point that regularly gives exponential results.

It reduces cognitive load

Being organized allows you to build a second brain around you. You are able to outsource things to this second brain and free up mental bandwidth for what truly matters. You don’t have to spend energy remembering things when your calendar pings you at the right time. It is easier to work and remain in flow if all your tools are well placed within reach to facilitate the work. You don’t have to juggle things if they are well mapped out.

Like I said, I have always been somewhat organized and you probably have been too, but taking the time to fine-tune and improve those processes and tools can really be like strapping a rocket to your back and jetting off while providing a safety net for you to land on if anything goes wrong. Let it be a core tool in your journey to your success.