Business Challenge see all
Mar 28, 2016


Ideas don't move mountains - people do. Yes, ideas are important, but people are fundamental. Surround yourself with good people. Building a company is about people developing and nurturing a culture. Motivating the people around you is a never ending mission – it requires you to set the pace and to be creative and inspire those around you. Identify future leaders and nurture them. Learn to delegate and establish trust with the people around you. Invest in people and treat everyone with respect. The same goes with external people too: customers and suppliers. Finding good people is never easy – network, embrace referrals, and listen. Communications sit at the foundation of all of this and what you say is never as important as how you say it. People don’t buy what you do as much as why you do it. Attitude is fundamental – you can teach people skills, you can’t make them care. Alignment is another fundamental, and it needs to be re-visited often.

Insights from coolfidence
6 pointers on making new staff comfortable and productive
Oct 28, 2015 © Brendan Jack

Promote face-to-face communications and get people engaging. Lead by example and always remember that what you say is never as important as to how you say it. A light touch always helps people to feel at ease. Some office cheer can go a long way at making people feel at home.

7 tips + 8 insights for making a good impression in a business meeting
Oct 28, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

Sometimes you need to impress people in a business meeting like your life depends on it. Consider the stakes and then remember that there are some true basics that one should always stick to. Even if you feel like you know everything Coolfidence has some good ideas for you.

4 hints on how to nudge people who are not getting back to you
Oct 28, 2015 © Brendan Jack

Chasing people is always frustrating. We share with you creative ways to get people to respond. The dance can be a lot more fun if you put imagination into it.

5 colourful ways to make yourself more irresistible and interesting
Oct 28, 2015 © Brendan Jack

How many times have you wanted a magical potion to make your new acquaintances hang on to your every word? That is a dream of course, but at Coolfidence we know some simple techniques that help to make yourself irresistibly more interesting and likable to everyone you meet.

1 business card and 1 mission
Oct 28, 2015 © Brendan Jack

If you follow these simple rules, you don't need a superglue to get people to hold on to your business card. Literally.

5 pointers on how to turn a customer into a friend and a supporter
Oct 28, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

Turn a customer into a wingman and build a lasting relationship. Keep your promises, manage expectations and communicate proactively and clearly, and you will grow with your customers. Coolfidence gives you some key pointers and offers you tools to help you engage with a light touch.

7 guidelines to cutting through the maze at conferences and maximizing your networking
Oct 28, 2015 © Brendan Jack

So many people, so little time. Don't miss any opportunities - the opposite of networking is not-working. So master the art of maximizing your airtime at conferences.

7 tips everyone should know to give captivating presentations
Oct 28, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

Engage your audience and get them involved. Capture their imaginations with some cool tips and techniques ala Coolfidence. Tell stories that speak to people's souls. Get them wanting more.

5 clues on how to change the subject when in an uncomfortable situation
Nov 18, 2015 © Brendan Jack

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of important meeting but with some circumstances against you? We all have. Learn how to get back to a safe zone.

5 clues on how to find good people
Nov 18, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

We don't invest in ideas, we invest in people. Good ideas are important, but good people are even more fundamental. People make things happen. But finding good people is a never ending struggle - we all know this story. We share with you a few clues on how to incentify and attract the best of the best.

5 simple and effective ways to say NO without being rude
Nov 18, 2015 © Brendan Jack

If you struggle to say NO then think about why you almost always say YES. It is ok to say NO though - master the art of doing it gracefully and respectfully. This one word will free up time for you to do what you meant to do. We share with you some insights on how best to say NO.

4 insights on how to bond with people
Nov 18, 2015 © Brendan Jack

When you kiss ass with flair and creativity, everyone wins. Do it with a smile and be sincere. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Bonding with people is about being yourself and it is about keeping your promises. Connecting with people is fundamental and we share with you some key pointers.

5 principles to making money and being smart about it
Nov 19, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

Be good at one thing and work hard at it, and yes, you will make a living. Have some luck as well and you may make a fortune. It all comes down to people. Make your own luck by attracting and looking after the best people you can find. Make sure you have the right paradigm - we offer you some fundamental principles.

5 ideas on how to get shy people involved
Dec 01, 2015 © Brendan Jack

Human resources is not just a name of an office department. That is all of us. We'll need to look after each other, and as a leader, it is important to get people to feel comfortable enough so that they speak out and contribute. Embrace our insights on how to get introverts more involved.

5 baby steps on effectively engaging with younger people
Dec 01, 2015 © Brendan Jack

Of course, it's not about teen-labor. But younger people will always keep coming and there's nothing wrong with that. And to keep going in the right direction, we all must know how to engage with people younger than us.

5 pointers on keeping those e-mails tight
Dec 01, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

It is so easy to fire off an e-mail, but keeping it short and to the point is not so simple. We share with you some basic on how to be more effective in this online world of digital communications.

5 workouts for your memory to remember people's names
Dec 09, 2015 © Brendan Jack

Forgetting someone's name is never cool, especially if that person is your customer or coworker. Coolfidence gives you an edge - tips on how to get on top of your name game and what to do if you get in a spot of trouble.

5 elements of leadership - the hard but right way
Dec 21, 2015 © Ronnie Apteker

Yes, computers count fast, but people count more. Leading people is about growing future leaders, and not about gathering more followers. We touch on what it means to lead by example, and why people are the most important asset to any organization. Leadership is never an easy path - ask any parent. We share insights in what it means to be an inspired and good leader.

4 principles on the right physical contact in the workplace
Jan 12, 2016 © Brendan Jack

There's a time for hugging and there's a time for not hugging. Physical contact in the workplace requires sensibility and perception. Yes, a high five can create some comradery at the right moment, but don't overdo it. We offer you some Coolfidence do's and dont's.

Measure 7 times, cut once - yes, we all like good surprises
Jan 26, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Capturing imaginations is all about surprise. No one likes a bomb dropped on them, but an early Christmas present always delights. Managing expectations and going beyond the call of duty is all about surprise. Keep your promises and people will be surprised, especially in this wired world where no one seems to have spare time. At Coolfidence we are all about surprise - come explore this important subject with us.

A handful of words can make a difference
Feb 02, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Words can inspire and words can excite. They can also demotivate and damage. So, use words wisely, and think about making an opening impression. A single line can get everyone in the zone, or, it can put people off. We share some important insights when it comes to the power of words.

5 possible "smoke" signals that you are in the business
Feb 09, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Smoking may not be what it used to be, and at Coolfidence none of us are smokers, but where there is smoke, there may be smoked salmon. Yes, smokers are people too, and sometimes joining the smoking circle may be good networking. Just don't inhale. At Coolfidence we are all about connecting with people and cigarettes have always brought people together. It is something to keep in mind if ever there is an opportunity that you don't want to see go up in smoke.

One fundamental truth about money and motivation
Feb 15, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Money pays the bills and it puts food on the table, but when it comes to be feeling motivated that is a function of something deeper. When you believe in something and feel inspired then you get motivated. Yes, money provides comfort and choice, but money does not speak to your heart. A motivated person is doing something they love to do. Leaders who try and motivate their teams are more effective when they understand that money doesn't make anyone love coming to work.

7 tips to dealing with people's mobile phone obsession
Feb 22, 2016 © Brendan Jack

When someone asks me if I am happy with my phone, then I answer "When I get good calls, yes. And when I get calls with bad news, then no." Sure, we all love all this digital technology at our fingertips but when it comes to people, there is no substitute for eye contact and face-to-face communications. At Coolfidence we are exploring the art of connecting with people and we share with you fundamental guidelines to keeping it real.

6 facts about money and friends
Feb 29, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

When someone asks you to lend them money you can do 3 things: agree to help them, say no, or play games. Don't play games, and if you say no, then do it gracefully. But, if you lend a friend money then know that you will probably lose your friend and your money. Money talks and Coolfidence listens, and we share with you what we have learned.

5 tips in case you arrive late for a meeting
Mar 23, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Be professional – don’t arrive late for meetings. In fact, arriving a bit earlier is always a good thing. But, if you genuinely get stuck on route and you do arrive late then act gracefully and do the right thing – apologize and be sincere. A light touch also may help, but always do it respectfully. Keep a cool head at all times, and don’t try any reverse psychology mumbo jumbo. Be on the ball.

Throw a surprise party, minus the party.
Mar 25, 2016 © Brendan Jack

It’s a Monday afternoon and you’re about to go into a brainstorming session. The current website is looking a bit tired - time for a fresh approach. You have gathered some of the longstanding staff together with a bunch of newcomers. You want the newbies bonding with the veterans and the purpose of the meeting is to try come up with new ideas for additions to the company website. You have 60 minutes to create some team spirit and to get the creative juices flowing.

7 secrets of being an entrepreneur
Mar 25, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

We all love a good story. Being an entrepreneur is all about having a story to tell. Entrepreneurs take risks, and when this happens we step out of our comfort zones and this is where the story always gets interesting.

5 golden rules of the missed call
Apr 06, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

What’s with the missed call? Are you meant to call them back? Do you need to check your phone every now and then to see who was looking for you? Is there a protocol to follow here, or, is it just a free-for-all.

1 sexy point to get people on board
Apr 06, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

I remember my university days fondly. It was during this time that I started to develop my entrepreneurial and selling abilities. Every Saturday and Sunday I used to wake up early and pack my wares into my VW Golf and head to my allocated stall at the flea-market.

5 truths about what your body is saying
Apr 12, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Your body often speaks on your behalf, sometimes without you knowing what it’s saying. Studies show that your words account for only 7% of the messages you convey, the remaining 93% is non-verbal - based on what people see and hear through the tone of your voice. So in business meetings, people can see what you’re not saying. It’s important to make sure your body language matches your words if you want them to ring true.

1 major tip when selling : listen more
Apr 19, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

When you make a sales pitch of course you have to talk. Be articulate, be clear, by precise. And if you are charming then that always helps. But, more than anything else, you also need to listen.

13 things you should never (ever) say around millennials
Apr 27, 2016 © Brendan Jack

There are a lot of companies trying to capture the minds and wallets of the youth market. Here’s some tongue-in-cheek advice on how to do it for yourself.

7 reasons why you should learn to laugh at yourself
Apr 28, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Laughing and smiling helps to alter our mood and perspective. It decreases stress hormones, provides a full-scale workout for your muscles and increases our immune systems and blood flow. A sense of humour demonstrates self-awareness, that you know your flaws and are therefore possibly empathetic to others.

If you are financially independent, then what does another million dollars mean to you?
May 04, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

What is the point of making more and more money?

9 practical tips for etiquette in the boardroom
May 10, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Business is about taking risks, but don’t make that risk involve not booking a meeting room and hoping another meeting party doesn’t show up.

7 ways to avoid being an introverted loner at work
May 13, 2016 © Brendan Jack

If you’re a business recluse who doesn’t network, you might as well be a stuffed owl on a mantlepiece, looking all wise, but no one talks to you and you’re covered in dust — quietly thinking about stuff and hoping everyone leaves you alone.

When is the movie coming out in America … ?
May 17, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

There are certain subjects of which everyone is an expert in. Food is one. Movies is another. Everyone knows a good movie from a bad movie.

What does ‘let’s do lunch’ really mean?
May 24, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Business lunches aren't as formal as dinners, but you can't be too casual about them either. If you're involved in a start-up company, who has time for lunch?

10 signs that you should not take that job
May 24, 2016 © Brendan Jack

A new job is almost always exciting due to new challenges, better opportunities and hopefully better pay.

6 terrible things really good-looking people have to deal with at work
May 24, 2016 © Brendan Jack

When looking down on someone for being ‘too beautiful’, remember the dark, sad realities.

Are you ‘fit’ for your purpose?
May 27, 2016 © Ryan Blumenthal

There are skills which we don’t learn at schools or universities. These rare skills are those which are required for day-to-day functioning.

3 things to look out for if you want your business to grow
Jun 07, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Do you see yourself as a business person? Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur? If so, then you will need to start looking outside the walls of your organization.

Things to keep in mind when filming in London and South Africa
Jun 14, 2016 © Brendan Jack

The cops don't have guns in London, but that doesn't mean there isn't shooting in the streets. We recently jetted from Coolfidence HQ JHB to the UK to find out how much shooting we could get away with. In the filming sense of the word.

9 things business underdogs can learn from real dogs
Jun 21, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Dogs love to play fetch. Be like them and enjoy pursuing (fetching) new clients.

6 reasons why TV is kicking film’s butt (and what you should consider watching) and also, TV is a great conversation starter
Jun 23, 2016 © Brendan Jack

High-octane TV shows are major talking points. Some might say this golden age of television is currently outshining movies.

5 tips to opening your ears, and your heart - leaders listen
Jul 04, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

How often have you been on the telephone while reading your e-mail in the background?

The North Point
Jul 18, 2016 © Andy Golding

The best way to make the ‘point’ that we aren’t all on the same page, even though we think we were.

So, you want to make a contribution?
Jul 18, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

An entrepreneur is someone who makes a contribution to the world as we know it. And for this they get rewarded. Sometimes in kind, sometimes in love, and of course, sometimes in money.

8 ways to combat the spend-trend
Jul 26, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Why do we need to buy so much unnecessary stuff? Is it a conspiracy dreamed up by world powers, in collusion with the capitalism machine? Whatever the reason, you probably don’t need as much as you do.

A closer look at purpose
Aug 01, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

At some point in your life you are going to think about the following 3 questions: Why, how and where? As in, why does your company exist? How does it exist? And, where is it going?

Don’t be an e-mail pest. Here are 7 ways to be better at it.
Aug 08, 2016 © Brendan Jack

E-mail is so easy, anyone can do it, right? Maybe not. Ultimately, sending mail is about communicating, and we can all aim to be better communicators.

Don’t listen to agree or disagree - just agree to listen
Aug 12, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Business should focus on making a difference and not only on making money. And leaders need to listen more than anyone else.

Please read the house rules before entering
Aug 27, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Values describe how a company actually lives its purpose. Values can be thought of as the house rules of an organization - values define the way that you operate.

Instant messaging: WhatsApp with that?
Sep 05, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Ticks causing fever were documented as far back as ancient Egyptian times; they're also famous for spreading Lyme disease. Australia even has something called a Paralysis Tick, which you don’t often hear mentioned in their tourism brochures. But there’s a new tick in town that’s a lot more useful to us… the blue ticks on a WhatsApp message, indicating that we’ve officially communicated with someone.

Compete with yourself
Sep 12, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Is competition a good thing? We are all scripted to believe it is. People often say things like, “We welcome competition.” Is competition a natural thing? Is it a product of society or is it something inherent in all of us. Animals don’t compete. They try to survive – there is a big difference. Animals certainly don’t try and better each other in the process. The leopards, for example, are climbing trees, not the corporate ladder.

WhatsApp with America?
Sep 19, 2016 © Brendan Jack

WhatsApp have more than a billion worldwide users, but most of them aren't in America. Why is that?

No, we don’t want your business!
Sep 26, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Do any of you remember the movie Jerry Maguire? Now this was a show! Talk about pulling it all together. This was an amazingly spiritual journey. Watch it again …

Are you in a staring contest with your smartphone?
Oct 03, 2016 © Brendan Jack

We’ve all begun to compulsively carry a major weapon of mass distraction… the smartphone. They’ve become a bit like Linus blankets, used for comfort or companionship.

12 Tips to avoid looking like a rookie on a video conference call
Oct 17, 2016 © Brendan Jack

With services like Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Google Hangouts and Join.Me, we're almost at the level of a Star Wars Jedi High Council meeting, where our holograms sit in a room together with actual people.

Does an education slow you down?
Oct 22, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

Why do we go to school? Or university? What is it all about? Does anyone remember? Is it just about getting a piece of paper? Is it just about becoming an authority on a subject? Or is there more to it? Isn’t it also about developing leadership abilities? And isn’t also about tapping into your creative energy. And what about learning how to manage processes? And what about learning to listen and absorb knowledge? And what about the opportunity to network, meet people and build relationships?

How to (politely) get out of meetings that you don't want to be in.
Oct 30, 2016 © Brendan Jack

Perhaps there’s a call of the wild for an unexpected bathroom break, perhaps you’ve just had enough of the meeting you’re in. Maybe you’ve been cornered by a bore at a networking event, but don’t want to offend them. How do you excuse yourself without creating a stir? What’s your exit strategy?

The progress paradox
Nov 06, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

I have been referring to the progress paradox and the purpose-money continuum and the quality-quality struggle for quite some time now. Simply put, the paradox of our time is that we live in an age of incredible prosperity and convenience - life has never been easier - we have all kinds of machines and devices to help us; yet, our ability to cope with life seems to be deteriorating with each technological advancement.

People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it
Nov 13, 2016 © Brendan Jack

If Donald Trump taught us anything, it’s that being yourself can get you elected president of the United States. Although being himself involved no thought filtering, no diplomacy and being guided by ego. This might not work for you, unless you have tremendously thick skin, a bouffant hairdo elevated by hot air and (supposedly) billions in assets.

Are you in sales ? News flash : we are ALL in sales.
Nov 19, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

So, who of you are sales-people? Well, I got news for – every one of us are sales-people. Anyone who ever tried to convince someone of something is in sales. We are all selling – all the time. Making a sale or closing a deal does not have to involve a payment. When someone buys into what you are saying then a sale has been made. Every time you convince someone to do something then you have closed a deal. When you get someone to lend you something you are selling. When you get someone to go out on a date with you then you are selling. When you get someone to give you their time then you are selling. And it should be clear that selling is something that people do to other people.

Love is a verb
Dec 04, 2016 © Ronnie Apteker

I remember some lines from one of my favourite movies where the main character, a schoolteacher, asks his class why we read and write poetry. And he said, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.” Yes, it is cute to get a text message now and then, and yes, e-mail can be fun, and yes, cellphones can be wonderfully distracting, but they are not mediums of substance. Our teacher goes on to saying, “Medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, art, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.”

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