If the Internet is sooooo good – why do we work so hard these days?

I started asking myself this question: “If the internet is sooooo good – why do we work so hard these days?”


It seemed that as someone who works with entrepreneurs the world over, we are all a stressed bunch, pushing notification of boring emails to our phones and getting up at 7am on a Sunday to read them. In fact we read them when we get up in the night and at even more inopportune times, and we wonder why our lives aren’t going the way they should.

According to Knoema, who confirmed my suspicions, the USA in 1981 had GDP growth of 4.6%. The 2017 number is 2.3% (and the average is around 2.1% every year).

Even in the last ten years I personally have noticed that the average company / entrepreneur isn’t growing any faster than it was in 2007. In fact, even through we have Twilio, Clickfunnels, Google Docs, Slack and a whole bunch of other apps that all want to notify you every time someone blinks, entrepreneurs feel more stressed and work harder than even ten years ago.

It’s crazy and it has to stop.

Look, don’t get me wring. I love the internet. I can research what I want, watch Netflix, get a pizza delivered and even chat with my friends whilst at 40,000ft, but it’s not really helping my business or anyone I know grow at higher rates than we used to using a phone and shoe leather. Of course some of you will tell me – what about WhatsApp, or the next best start up that made a Billion overnight. You are right, the road to riches when you have the roll is much faster tan it was, but for the garage, print shop and business coach, not much has changed except more to learn to stay current.

Coming to grips with what I am saying… think about a restaurant. Are they making more money, working less hours, have less issues… No…it’s pretty much the same, but now Social Media is an expense, Trip Advisor can be great or suck depending on one bad meal

My message for you is that unless you are committed to chasing the next best thing, (what did happen to Myspace anyway) then maybe it’s time to get back to fundamentals. Surprise a customer by calling them. Send a personal note in snail mail, take someone out for a meal. You may just surprise them and land your biggest account ever.

Oh and one last thing that keeps me really sane. I don’t push any notifications to my phone, and especially email. People can and do wait a few hours for a considered response and if you think you are impressing me juggling your phone whilst getting your luggage off the conveyer belt. You’re not. In fact I feel sad for you. You may have even lost touch with the people that matter most.

Lastly, a variety of you will have different opinions about this. But I was out with my partner Landi in Auckland just recently and I snapped this photo of the table next door (no it wasn’t a moment in time. It went on the whole night)… ahhh global progression. Well at least our productivity must be up… mustn’t it?


Mike Handcock

Chairman Rock Your Life



Mike Handcock & Landi Jac found The Conscious Leadership Movement

We have been talking about it for a few years but we finally did it. We have launched what we hope will become the NUMBER 1 Team of Conscious Leaders on the Planet.

The first part of this journey was to get CLARITY on the words Conscious Leadership.

Forbes Magazine in a recent article really gave a great insight into what conscious leadership means.

“As a conscious leader, your job isn’t to run around trying to save the world. Your job is to go within, do the inner work that allows you to show up as your most powerful, authentic self — which will in turn inspire others to do the same. Conscious leadership requires you to identify, plan for, and move through the patterns that come up every time you’re about to step out of your comfort zone. These patterns can be self-sabotage, procrastination, fear of success, fear of failure, ego trips, comparison overload, and any other number of ways that you’ve learned to “play it safe” throughout your life.”

Initially the group exists on Facebook, just for simplicity. You can join it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/consciousleadershipmovement/

We have FOUR main Mandates in our first 18 months of existence:

  1. To have a vibrant and inclusive membership that is global and represents the views of all leaders, in business, community, sport, politics, faith and social in creating greater consciousness, sustainability and conditions on this planet
  2. To release a 3 hr workshop that can be run by any member to any sized group to promote the values of consciousness.
  3. To run the inaugural Conscious Leadership Summit. The venue has been chosen as Livingstone (Victoria Falls) Zambia from Oct 12 – 14, 2018
  4. To release a global certification system of conscious leaders that is recognised globally and invokes change in the way business is done

The five core values of the movement that drive this are:

  • Collaborative Mindset
  • Purposeful Vision
  • Leaving a Legacy
  • Making a Difference
  • Values Based Leadership

We have nearly 30 personally invited Founding Members who are global, including people who are Scientists, Food experts, Media experts, Speakers, NGO’s, Educationalists, Association Presidents, Ex Military, Youth and more. Our representation in various sectors is growing fast.

We are proud of the people involved and what they have achieved in their lives can fill thousands of articles. We will briefly mention all of them below. Go to the Facebook group, share the page and invite people who really do want to make a difference to this planet. Remember that old saying: “We are the ones we have been waiting for”

Mike Handcock & Landi Jac: Co Founders Conscious Leadership Movement


  • Andy Orgel – Co Founder MTV, Founder QOL Media (USA)
  • Anne Tham – Sri Emas & Dwi Emas, Her World Woman of the Year 2016 (Mal)
  • Derrick Sweet – Founder Certified Coaches Federation (Can)
  • Pece Gorgievski – Chairman Global Dialogue Foundation (Aus)
  • Maya Shahani – Chairperson The SAGE Foundation (Ind)
  • Eric Lassard – Founder Airschool, Worlds Youngest Entrepreneur (Ire)
  • Elias Kanaris – VP Global Speakers Federation (NZ)
  • Dr Dragos Bratasanu – Scientist and Film Maker (Rom)
  • Simon Mundell – CEO Advisory Works (NZ)
  • Grace Tham – Founder Chem Caper Award Winning Educational Game (Mal)
  • Leo Melendez – Ex F18 Pilot and Speaker (PR)
  • Todd Hutchison – Best Selling Author, CEO of Poeplistic (Aus)
  • Akhil Shahani – CEO Centre for Management (Ind)
  • Matthias Gelber – Greenest Man on the Planet (Ger)
  • Peter Anthony Wynn – Founder Youwillchnagetheworld.com (USA)
  • Shazar Robinson – Philanthropist (Aus)
  • Billy Selekane – Speaker and Activist (SA)
  • Dr Dickson Lai – Founder Emowave (Mal)
  • Don Tolman – Whole Foods Expert (USA)
  • Cory Herter – Sacred Geometry Expert (USA)
  • Marcia Martin – Pioneer in Personal Development (USA)
  • KK Bose – Lawyer and Activist (UAE)
  • Mitchell Tham – Infopreneur (NZ)
  • Hilary Carter – Best Selling Author and Phenominalist (UK)
  • Neville & Cindy Brits – No#1 ReMax Office in the World (SA)
  • Deri Llewellyn Davies – Speaker and Mountaineer (Wal)
  • Dustin Matthews – Marketing Genius (USA)
  • Michael Tellinger – Sacred Sites Protector and Author (SA)
  • Richard Hardiman – Social Entrepreneur (SA)
  • Wajiha Harris – Social Entrepreneur (Rom)

Nominate someone for Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor 2017

It’s on again. Bali December 3 – 8 is the Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor Global Final Series and you can nominate yourself or someone else to be there, perhaps even win a scholarship.



Just click on the link above to enter. So what’s it about:

From 2012 – 2016 Entrepreneur X Factor has been a global competition to secure the entrepreneur who has the most X Factor. Past winners have seen their businesses and dreams skyrocket and go global. 2016 winner Dr Dickson Lai of Malaysia was able to launch his company in Africa, Asia and Australia because of the competition, plus he won over a prize worth $50,000USD.

It’s simple to enter, but how do you win a scholarship?

  • Keep your entry short and clear. Clarity rules.
  • Add a video and website so judges can see what you are doing
  • Be inspiring

In 2016, the 26 finalists came from 15 different countries. 2017 stands to have even more diversity. The scholarships alone are worth going for and who wouldn’t want 6 days in a private boutique Balinese Resort to finish the year. But all participants get connected, get rewarded and this has launched numerous very successful businesses, including South African Richard Hardiman’s Waste Shark that was launched at Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor and is now a fully funded start up out of Rotterdam.

You should definitely enter yourself and share with friends who also could really benefit from global mentoring and to see if they have the X factor.


How to make big money and have a conscience doing it


Let me start with a story: Many years ago I heard about a friends boyfriend who was a successful pawn broker by day (please note my spelling 🙂 – and felt he needed to make more money by an interesting method. He did a deal with a major law firm whose car park was often used on a Sunday for the local market, even though it had signs up saying ‘tow away zone’. He started a tow company that leased one truck and simply towed people all Sunday long.

The idea may have been inspiring to him, but it bred the words ‘Leech’ in my mouth and later on I found that strangely he had got cancer. He was aged about 42 at the time.

Anyway – enough on the cosmic laws.

Have you noticed that in todays world of internet and instant pay, instant gratification, global communication and more advanced stuff like virtual reality that you are more stressed, working harder than ever and constantly have a beeping phone reminding you of everything from your million dollar deal meeting to the fact that Daisy’s done her first doody by some friend you have never even met.

The big money these days goes to the people who simply other people’s lives and take stress away. The more simple the more money it seems to make. Here are some examples:

  • Jim’s Mowing franchised almost every handyman chore that chewed up your weekends in front of the TV
  • Skype revolutionised communication at zero expense on the internet
  • Xero built a $2B business on the back of just $17M of hard assets by simplifying book keeping for the average business
  • Air Asia simplified Air Travel with it’s ‘now everyone can fly’ motif
  • ..and do I have to mention the millions made simply in the Coffee Bean

We care about our families, our time, our animals, our passions and our businesses, so build something that is simple that makes our lives, interactions or dreams in these areas simple. If you can’t think of an idea, join someone else great idea and go for the ride. Learn the trade there and then start your own thing.

Make sure it doesn’t hurt the environment or people or animals and we will love you for it. If it’s sustainable and takes less resource than most things like it you have great PR points and finally don’t and I’ll say it again… don’t do anything you don’t LOVE… because everything takes at least some effort.

We simplify business so you don’t need to. We cut through the crap that cost you tens of thousands so you don’t need to make the mistakes that will cost you tens more thousands. It’s a cool business but we built it around our life, of travel, adventure, fun and making a difference with cool people, so the final thing is.

Build a business around your life… not a life around your business.

The 5 Top Countries to do business in

Passports to world travel

In the past ten years we have done business in 46 countries in which we have visited and translated business. We read all the statistical data, but for the most part found it not relevant as we were not a manufacturer, bank or other large conglomerate. We were a bunch of entrepreneurs, trying to get established networks going locally, navigate around the various regulations, customs and the currency of trust. Mostly we did ok, but sometimes we got smacked and that has a financial result.

By writing this I have to state that it is one persons opinion and not a bunch of peer reviewed statistical data that spat out of a banks computer. But even the results surprised me.

You see, fellow entrepreneurs, unfortunately some people promise the world and don’t pay you, some are easier to market to, others want to do business but their banking regulations and/or business law makes doing business a bit painful… and I’m not talking about your online marketing here… but going there and doing business. So what I have done for you, purely as a guide and feel free to knock me down…but only if you have been there and done all this yourself… then  your opinion is valid: is to create some criteria and then score against that. So here goes.

The criteria are:

Trust Factor: The likely hood that people will do what they promise you, especially pay you for your services.

Global Awareness: How the general entrepreneur in that country is in touch with the world, other countries and what is going on in business globally

Ease of Transaction: How easy it is to do business under the law and financial institutions. For example some countries don’t have PayPal or Stripe etc and in South Africa you have to go through a whole big deal to transfer money internationally.

Marketing Openness: How open to being marketed to is the population and how likely they are to be open to meetings

Follow Through: Different than trust, this is the likelihood that what you agree on will get done, in the time frame agreed, the way you agreed.

Financially Viable: This can vary depending on where you are living. If you are in a country with poor currency then anywhere is viable, but generally I’m thinking you will want USD, so how viable is each country if you live in USD.

Hooks: This means how likely are you to do business without getting some hook, like a hidden tax, protocol, administration or bureaucracy cutting you back or down all together. The easier countries have the higher score.

In the chart below are the 20 main countries I have tvisited and done business in regularly over the past ten years. The top 4 came out exactly equal on points, but with different weightings so here is an overview of the top 5.

Ireland: They spend the Euro, have more entrepreneur groups per capita than any other country, are fun, think outside the box and are pretty open to new marketing. All in all – Ireland is a cool place to do business.

New Zealand: My home so I am bias, but the reason is – it’s easy to do business, start a bank account, set up a company and people will almost always pay you, once you have a contract. Kiwi’s a genuine folk. It’s a shame about the NZD, or NZ may have been a clear winner.

Canada: Not as regulated as the USA, Canada is worldly. They understand business, are trustworthy and diligent people. The dollar is like the Kiwi, but there is greater access to the world in Canada.

Netherlands: They have the Euro and that’s a big gift. Forthright people who won’t let you down, overall they are more analytical but want to be global. Global is mainly seen as Europe and not Asia, so that is a small thing to overcome.

UK: Just slightly below my top 4 the UK moves up because of the GBP. Even with Brexit it’s still strong and the UK is resilient and very global.

You may ask where is the USA and Australia. My two things stopping them from being higher is that the USA is tough to set up business in and it’s still going in worldliness and Australia is just way too regulated and getting more regulated. Some of their rules, such as franchising rules, just aren’t fun for people.

Anyway – I hope this helps, and it is from an entrepreneurs view and our own personal experiences so it is subjective but if you’re thinking of doing business globally not everywhere operates like home.


Trump Wins… and Hilary doesn’t see her Blindspots… a warning to all of us!

Photo from the BBC

It’s all over – Donald John Trump (Age 70), net worth $3.6B and host of ‘The Apprentice’ became – against all odds – The 45th President of the United States.

Why? – and What can we learn from this?

There are so many comments politically, like ‘You’re fired Hilary, to ‘Is he really going to build a wall across the Mexican Border, to his supposed bigotry or the fact that he’s a total cowboy. I’m not commenting on all that. It’s irrelevant. The fact is he got 26% more of the vote (276 – 218).

So How did Hilary Blow it?

This must of seemed like the All Blacks playing Ethiopia. One candidate a 30 year veteran with contacts, inside interests, a more safe bet on game play and the other candidate, a brash, outspoken man who was even a democrat for 8 years before he changed sides.

I used to like Hilary, and I felt sorry for her when Bill messed around with Monika, but her actions have polarised a nation. You can never fix one inequity of the past with another inequity. Hilary was all about Girl Power – but she in fact made being a woman like her very uncool. Whilst she won the black women vote 53% of white woman identified more with Trump that the 42% she got. Ouch… That was huge demographic she went for. She actually did more to harm women’s empowerment than good and set it back years by catapulting an outsider, arguably semi chauvinistic person into the White House.

Hubby Bill has charisma and she used to have some, but as the Presidential race went on she seemed to become more robotic, aloof and then this whole mess about cover ups and emails… well the world loves a good conspiracy Hilary.

…and then there’s Trump

Make way for The DON…

He put everyone from Season 1 winner Bill Rancic to celebrities like Gene Simmons and Cyndi Lauper through such a blood and guts battle in ‘The Apprentice’ that many stormed out and only the strongest survived, yet here is Trump himself, laughed at by his party cohorts, 60% of the USA say he’s not got the skills to be President and yet he bludgeons away for 18 months and he gets there, even when the odds were against him the day before.

There is a lot any entrepreneur reading this can learn from that. So what did he do.

  • He didn’t apologise for being Trump
  • He saw Hilary’s stance on women and used it against her. 63% of white men voted for him and just 31% for Hilary.
  • He had upset some groups so he left what was broken and focussed on what he had to make it even better. So many of us focus on our weaknesses.
  • Finally… there is something in his heart that America saw. (We knew – we talked to people on the street in the USA during 2 visits there in 2016.) Most people said: At least Trump really loves this country. Nobody was sure Hilary did.

People on the street in the USA told us that they would vote Trump as at least he was a businessman and not a politician and they figured he may be able to pull the USA out of it’s nose dive. I don’t know if he can, but Obama turned out to be a Lemon so lets hope he’s better.

and finally what can we learn from Hilary:

  • You have to watch your blindspots. You didn’t see the women shifting camp.
  • She polarised a large part of the vote – non educated white people. Look at the mid west states, they ran toward Trump.
  • She had very little Clarity – what was she really saying??? Trump at least had forceful campaign mandates that, while controversial, at least were clear.

…and one last thing. Something we have been teaching for over 10 years at Rock Your Life, my organisation. The 4 cornerstones of Entrepreneurial Genius.

  1. Clarity – To be great you must have exceptional clarity and communicate it
  2. Unique – You have to be unique and stand out
  3. Presence – You must be totally present to whats going on – on the ground around you
  4. You must ask great Questions – Obama did this and so did Trump. He questioned everything the American system had

Make sure you and your business don’t suffer the Hilary Symptom… Watch out for your Blindspots, Undercurrents and Imprints or they will come back to haunt you.

The 5 aspects of true Genius

We are not talking IQ here. Quite frankly that is overrated in todays world. An all rounded individual needs Emotional Quotient, Spiritual Quotient and a few other bits and bobs to be anything close to to smart.

What I have noticed however in my years of work with Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders from around the world is that there are 5 aspects that makes one stand out above all others. Let’s call it the super genius ‘Rockstar’ type.

Stylish man sitting in sport car

  1. Clarity – This person has absolute black and white clarity on whats in, whats out, what they will touch and what they won’t and they are able to communicate it in such a way that the listener is also absolutely clear and can act on that clarity in whatever role they need to.
  2. ‘Innovation Jumper’ – This cool term literally means that not only are they highly innovative, which doesn’t mean regurgitating someone else’s boring stuff into something useable, they are at least three moves ahead. The best chess players aren’t thinking about their next move. They are thinking 3 + moves ahead, and the genius does so to, and they are able to innovate a market but revolutionising it. That’s more than just being disruptive, that’s being innovative. Elon Musk is definitely one of these people and Tesla is a great example of what i am talking about.
  3. Unique Ability – I call it: Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor. Meaning that they do something or are something that simply is tough to replicate. Trump has it (I know I know… but he does), so does Branson, so does Oprah, so does Buffett… and they are all very different people. The genius grabs the ‘X’ factor and rides it for all it is worth. Sometimes it’s easy… JFK had it simply by being a really great guy.
  4. 7th Sense – We call it Quantum. The 6th is intuition and lots of us have that although the system has tried to ween us off it to become ordinary. Quantum is so much more. It’s not instinct. It’s a knowing that comes immediately. They simply know. Buy… Sell… Launch… Take Stock… they just know. Yes this is a skill that can be trained. It’s a muscle like any other skill, but you will have a head start if you weren’t a product of the system. Better you be outside the norm, like Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg etc.
  5. ‘Inspiratability’ – yes another strange word. But this one is easy. It means that these people inspire everyone they meet. They jump in a cab and by the end of the ride the cabbie wants to invest or become a client or reseller. They go to a school reunion and end up with a whole new business filled with school chums. Some people just have the ability to be inspirational, and lets face it. In todays world – who wants to spend time with anyone who isn’t… no way.

So these are the 5 aspects of true genius and they can be learnt, but it takes time and you really have to want it and practice. If you don’t have these it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Plenty of people have got there with hard work. It’s just a much longer road.

Mike Handcock is the Chairman of Rock Your Life and an award winning speaker, author and entrepreneur.