on Apr.22, 2011, under make it happen
Adam made a great point today – he commented how “make it happen..” has become a cliché, something people say just to say, with no conviction whatsoever.
Kind of like “drive safely..” or “I’m praying for you…” things people say just to say, without really thinking about it.
The “make it happen” I refer to has nothing to do with material wealth.
For me – “making it happen” means experiencing life to its fullest.
A few examples which I have highlighted in this blog:
- Since 1997, Jason Gorud and I have a dinner club.
Although he lives in Singapore and I live in Dubai/France, we travel the world to meet up at least once every 3 months to have a “Friday Night Dinner.” I am meeting him in New Delhi for an FND in a few weeks.
We have experienced a Friday night dinner in many countries, at several of the world’s most famous restaurants.
- Romain (naseba’s IT director) and I go on a trip once year focused on Adventure.
Since we started this club, we have visited Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya and soon we will go to Pakistan.
(these trips are not expensive)
- Sophie and I take one week a year to experience somewhere new – last year we went to Cuba.
(I mention the above examples is to highlight inexpensive ways I enjoy experiencing my life)
Recently, I was interviewed by a reporter from the Gulf News who asked what is my ultimate goal in life.
As I answered, I thought back to a few years ago when I would have said “to make hundreds of millions of dollars.”
This is still a goal, however, my main focus and ultimate goal in life is to experience it to the fullest. Ideally, at the same time having a positive influence on the people around me.
I try to encourage my family and friends, including everyone at NASEBA to set goals and dream — and do everything possible to achieve them.
To help motivate people at naseba to do something exceptional in their lives, we are doing a challenge which is not related to business, but will have a positive impact on the employees and the company.
NASEBA ROLEX Explorer Challenge
Over the following 6 months:
effective from May 15th until December 5th
The NASEBA employee who accomplishes the most exceptional achievement outside of work from the period between May 15th – Dec 5th will win a Rolex Explorer watch.
All naseba employees have the same opportunity to win this challenge – on Dec. 10th until December 12th people will vote on naseba facebook who was the most exceptional.
The challenge is for any employee who works with naseba from at least May 15th…
(thus people recruited over the next 30 days will count towards being eligible)
A few great examples of people at NASEBA making their life happen in 2010 (the ones I know of):
- (pictured at the top of todays blog) Durga, Neelesh, Suresh, and Burka took a week and rode motorcycles from Manali, India through Kashmir to Ladakh, “Riding the Himalayas” — across the highest road in the world. (please visit naseba facebook to read more about their adventure – its incredible)
- Andrei lost 60 KG in 6 months – although he lost his weight just prior to joining naseba, it’s a great achievement which has ultimately changed his life for the better.
- Adam Fletcher summited the highest treking mountain in the Himalayas.
- I swam the English Channel.
Even if you don’t work at naseba, think about how you and your friends can support each other to go after your dreams – and do something exceptional.
Don’t just go through your life existing.
Make your existence happen.
on Apr.04, 2011, under searching for John Galt...
Yesterday, Fabien reminded me of a great example of how one person’s positive influence had a massive impact on the whole…
10+ years ago…. I opened a sales office for Marcus Evans in Nice, France in a small “serviced office.”
At that time there was only one “serviced office” location in Nice, and it was near the airport.
One room with 12 desks and 12 phones … one window and nothing else.
Within two training schools, Adam Fletcher and I filled the office with young, hungry recruits from the UK.
The office was broken up into 3 teams of 4.
Each team was good, but one team was the best: E-Espana.
It was August 2000, and these brand new recruits were working on an event to be hosted in Spain (E-Espana) the following April.
All 4 were brand new to sales, with no sales experience whatsoever….
Their first month (August) — each of them sold at least 79,000 euro.
Fabien Faure sold 159,900 euro that month, his first month in sales.
According to Fabien, it started the 3rd week when he came into the office at 8am and noticed a bus ticket which had been left on his desk by Richard McBride, one of the guys on his team.
The bus ticket was stamped: 5:15 am.
Fabien looked at Richard who smiled and said to him ”glad you could make it…” and he continued to research.
Fabien was the first person on this team to sell, and according to him, he didn’t want to lose to Richard, so the next day he – himself got to the office by 6am only to discover Richard was already in the office.
Within a few days, the entire team of 4 began coming to the office by 6am …
and Richard is the one who developed, led and fostered this teams brilliant ethic and success.
Fabien remembers how it turned into a game to see who would be the first person in the office, and often one of the team was in the office by 5:15 am just to be the first one.
I am not exaggerating.
The perfect team.
When one was losing focus, the others would act like coaches helping get the person back on track.
After a few months, I sent Richard and Fabien to the Chicago office for a week of training – honestly, it was just to give them an incentive to go to America.
On the 2nd day in the Chicago office, Richard made more than 200 sales calls which shatter the Chicago office record.
Back in Nice, Richard and Team Espana had a great positive impact on the office.
Within 2 months, the tiny Nice office of just 12 people became the number 2 revenue generating office in the company – easily, doing more business than several offices with 50 – 100+ sales people.
It was a perfect machine.
Although the other teams didnt come in the office as early as Team Espana, everyone worked with the same drive -in my opinion because of Richard.
Fabien Faure is great today, and I suggest it all began back in 2000 working with Richard McBride or was it John Galt??
The world we live in today is different to the one in 2000, however, the power of positive influence still remains the same.
on Nov.15, 2010, under FND
5 years ago, (with the support of our wives) Jason and I decided to take our FND ritual to a new level, and we started the FND trip.
The FND trip is where we dedicate one week to enjoying food, wine and as Jason says “seeing cool shit“ — experiencing.
The FND Trip begins on a Friday and ends 8 days later on a Saturday … thus, we get to enjoy two Friday night dinners.
Over the past 5 years, on our various trips we have traveled by car and train all around France, Switzerland and Italy to enjoy great food, drink great wine, see “cool shit,” but most importantly, to experience.
The FND trip began in 2006…
Jason and I took a week to drive from Monaco through Tuscany (a region of Italy famous for food and wine)…
We took the rural back roads and we stopped whenever we wanted.
Once we stopped at a tiny vineyard in Tuscany.
The owner appreciated our visit so much that he brought us cheese, italian ham, and several glasses of their wine.
We sat in cheap plastic chairs in their backyard facing their vineyard … drinking their wine.
The experience was like something out of a movie.
Over that week, we traveled through Sienna, Pisa, Milan, Florence and many small Italian villages and vineyards along the way, we experienced.
In 2007, we met up in Paris …
In Paris, we went to cafés, smoked cigars, ate lunch or dinner at some of the best restaurants in Paris, and of course saw “cool shit” ….
After a few days, we rented a car and drove from Paris down through Burgundy to Lyon to the south of France … we stopped whenever we wanted.
On that trip, we enjoyed dinner at 4 of the 5 top rated *** Michelin restaurants in France…
an unforgettable week — experience.
In 2008, we met again in Paris…
That first Friday night, we didn’t like the “tiny” table we were given at the ** Michelin restaurant so we left the restaurant before we even sat down …
It was around 8pm and Jason challenged me to pull off the unthinkable: to get us a table at “Le Cinq” without reservations on Friday night …
“Le Cinq” is a *** michelin, arguably the best restaurant in Paris, certainly the most famous…
30 minutes later….
Although “Le Cinq” was fully booked, I talked my way into getting us a table.
That year, we began our FND trip with an incredible meal, but more importantly, a great story (getting the best table at the best restaurant in Paris on a Friday night without reservations)
Neither of us will ever forget that dinner experience.
The next day, we rented a car and drove from Paris to Cognac, stayed at a friend of Jason’s in Cognac for a night … and then spent a couple of days driving through Bordeaux and then back down to the south of france – the entire trip was on the rural back roads …. like the two years before, we stopped frequently in small French villages, vineyards … ate great food, drank amazing wine, saw “cool shit” and experienced.
In 2009, we met in Zurich…
We enjoyed an FND at Zurich’s top rated *** michelin restaurant then we took a few days to drive from Zurich down to the south of france … once back in Monaco, we used my home in La Turbie as our base camp and spent 3 days doing day trips, driving to several small medieval villages in France and Italy and experienced.
Two weeks ago, we met up in Rome …
We enjoyed a great FND at what many consider the best restaurant in Rome. After the dinner, we spent a few hours walking around Rome at night.
We spent two full days in Rome eating great food, drinking Italian wine and seeing “cool shit.”
We especially enjoyed visiting the sistine chapel.
After two days, we took the train to Venice and spent a couple of days in Venice eating, drinking and seeing more cool shit …
then we took the train to Bologna.
The only reason we went to Bologna was to have dinner at a restaurant we had read about – although the dinner was good, the lunch we had earlier in the day at a small, mom and pop style of restaurant was exceptional.
The next morning, we rented a car and drove from Bologna towards Monaco.
As we were driving through the back roads in the middle of gorgeous Italy, we decided to drive to Portofino, (a small St Tropez like village along the Italian Riviera) we went there for the day and stayed for dinner …
Portofino is maybe the most beautiful place I have ever experienced.
These trips are not about spending money … and for the most part are not as expensive as they sound.
Like the FND, we have several rituals which give us consistency:
- We journal each trip – both in written words, and also in pictures
- I bring two boxes of cigars for the week - Epicure #2 for Jason and Cohiba siglio V for me
- We use the Michelin guide as our source of inspiration and our only guide for the week
- We have no schedule and stop when either one of us wants to stop to eat, drink, take photos, or see cool shit
- When we drive, we must travel on the back rural roads and avoid as much as possible the highway
- Jason is in charge of making the trip music CD which we listen to when we are driving – the trip CD always begins with “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC
- When we take the train, we must travel standard class where its most animated, very crowded and uncomfortable, thus the journey provides a more interesting experience. (1st class is far better, but less crowded, thus not as interesting )
- We buy 1-2 cases of various wine from the region we visit for the wine cellar which we are expanding in my home in La Turbie
- The next FND trip destination is decided at the final FND of the trip – next year we will go to Sicily.
- The forehead shot* is always taken in front of the most iconic scene/site of the trip (see below for more details)
- The last FND of each trip, we write down 3 goals for the next 12 months – and keep them in the journal to be reviewed the next FND trip.
The FND trip became our way of experiencing everything we have talked about since that first FND in Tokyo back in 1998….
“one day, I’m gonna…”
has turned into
Instead of just day dreaming about what your “gonna” do one day…
Make your dreams become an experience.
Friday night dinner (FND) blog: http://www.scottragsdale.com/?p=3716
*the forehead photo started back in 1999 when Jason and I were on a safari in Africa – before digital camera’s.
I took a photo of Jason in front of a gorgeous view.
Ten days later, when we got the film developed we discovered the best photo of the trip was one I accidentally took of Jason’s forehead, but the photo was ironically, a great shot.
on Oct.21, 2010, under make it happenLeave a Comment :France, make it happen, Sarkozy more...
on Sep.08, 2009, under other
For the past week, Mario “team leader” Huys and Michael “Miki” Weiss have been staying at my apartment in Roquebrunne, France.
Michael “Miki” Weiss is an austrian professional triathlete and ex-pro-mountain biker who is sponsored by a naseba company, ambitionlife. He was here to participate in the Monaco 70.3 ironman (half ironman distance)
Last year, although Monaco 70.3 was the first triathlon Miki had ever entered, he finished 2nd place overall.
I had heard a lot about Miki and his crazy, obsessive bike training (he has been a professional mountain biker since he was 15) so I really enjoyed the week, getting to know him, as well as learning about his training, diet and his bike tips.
Being an ex-competitive swimmer, I understand the importance of resting, tapering and being off ones legs before a big meet. However, (apparently) Miki has a different style.
The “team leader” and Miki both explained to me that he was training for Kona, and although trying to win Monaco was important, Kona is their focus. (Kona is the Ironman world championships in Hawaii in October)
Two days before the Monaco 70.3 ironman, Miki went for a 4 hour “easy” ride up and around my home in La Turbie. The area where my house is in France is famous for the long winding hills …. its absolute hell for me to train in La Turbie because some of the hills are so steep, it hurts physically going up them and scary as hell going down them … thus I train most of the time on flat, less steep hills in italy…near my Roquebrunne apartment.
Although I know nothing about bike training and tapering, I asked Mario (Miki’s coach) if it was a good idea to do so much training before a half ironman??? After his “easy” 4 hour ride, while I read for most of the day, comfortably laying down on my couch, Miki went swimming and played around, seemed to have a great day, but …. in my eyes, he wasted a lot of energy.
The night before the race, Miki went to the ironman pasta party and drank 3 beers and ate like crazy!!!
Seriously, I fully expected him to bomb at the Monaco race…
The morning of the race, I got up when Miki did (around 3:15) and I discovered he was putting the dishes away from the washing machine … although I was grateful to him, I was shocked and told him not to worry about doing the dishes, just focus and get prepared for his race.
The beginning of an ironman, even the half ironman is very exciting to watch. 1800 people standing together anxiously waiting for the start horn to blow…
I stood with the “team leader” as we watched Miki run with 1800 other people and dive into the water. Miki is not a great swimmer, thus he came out of the water in 99th place, starting the bike leg already nearly 6 minutes behind the leaders.
Mario told me not to worry, Miki will catch them …..
But, I kept thinking of his 4 hour “easy” ride, 2 days before.
Mario and I had done a 3 hour training ride just the day before. I was stiff and sore, so I have a difficult time understanding how one can ride 4 hours in the hills around the south of france in the heat and not feel tired and sore 2 days later.
… I went to the gym once Miki started the bike leg of the race. Less than 90 minutes later, I got a text from Mario telling me Miki was now in 2nd place. Incredible to catch up so much time, so quickly – there were 40 other pros entered in the race, not to mention the 99 people he would have had to pass going up and down steep hills.
In the end, his bike split was 4:54 faster than anyone else.
I watched Miki do the transition from bike to run … he is 6’3″ and 70 kilo, a pretty big guy so I was interested to watch his run technique.
After hammering the run…up and down the steep hills in Monaco in the heat, Miki finished 2nd place overall.
He was very excited at finishing 2nd because he did not fully rest for this race; it was just a training race before Kona next month.
I probably spent a good hour with Miki and Mario, then Charlie and I went to the VIP section overlooking the Monaco port to eat lunch …. probably, a good 2 hours after Miki had finished, Mario and I then drove home ….
On the drive to my apartment in Roquebrunne, I noticed several cyclists riding on the other side of the street (the opposite direction we were driving) with ironman stickers on their bikes…. naively, I said to Mario that these people seemed to have dropped out of the race??
Mario laughed and told me these people were still in the race, they just had not finished their bike leg yet.
Then it hit me …. I am going to be one of those people when I do my IM in Dec.
(the people still riding their bike, yet to run the marathon….while the winners have finished the race, shower, eat, change their cloths and take naps)
Miki is only 28 years old. He started last year to compete in triathlons; he has great potential.
I look forward to supporting and watching his career develop.
Great job Miki! Very impressive.
I can’t imagine what you will do in Kona after resting and being 100% prepared.
make it happen.