Turning everything into a win (minimising the downside)

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, Personal development


When I travelled to Europe a few years ago I learned French and Spanish using a bunch of Michel Thomas audio CD’s Side note: If you’re wanting to learn French, Spanish and a number of other languages you should definitely look him up at michelthomas.com, if you learn best by listening (like I do) then he’s the way to go. I managed to listen to over 24 hours of lessons in the three months before I left. I did this by simply replacing the music/radio in my car to language lessons instead. 40 minutes commute each way every day adds up to a lot of potentially wasted time! It got me thinking. How can we turn potentially wasted or not ideal situations into something that actually benefits us? Not just by recovering wasted time, but by using situations or experiences … Read More

Top ten sales pitches


Out of all the prep for my trip, the thing I´m most happy with was the French I´ve learnt. So as usual with something recently learnt you try and impart this knowledge to other people. Clive, being the only one who would listen, seemed like the best student. I noticed one day whilst speaking with some locals that he was sort of acting strangely though. He kept swinging the conversation in certain directions and took great pains to try and explain certain things using hand gestures. Finally he managed to ask the fisherman if he had caught any fish knowing full well the answer. No. That was when Clive reached his point. Leaning back, a pleased grin on his face as he glanced at me, he uttered “ahh, c´est la vie”. I suddenly knew what it had all been about. … Read More

Sneaky sales system


I have an idea to start a course for salesmen, and it’s held in Morocco. Seriously, one day of working alongside a Moroccan vendor and you would be the craftiest, sneakiest, most conniving salesman ever back in NZ. There are volumes of books that could be written on their techniques. We took the road to Marrakech from Casablanca and on the way we were waved down by a motorist who had his bonnet up on the side of the road. Actually, despite my introduction on sneaky sales techniques I think this guy was genuine, but the conniving will come into this story later. Anyway, we picked him up and he seemed quite refined. We dropped him at the nearest mechanics and he asked us to drop a note to his family which was on the way to where we were … Read More

Swiss stereotypes


The contrast between French Switzerland and German Switzerland is amazing. When you start in the south west and head north east it’s like going through a different country. In the French part they speak, surprise surprise, French. All the signs are in French and the cities are not as well kept as what you’d expect from a German. To me Geneva could have been a French city. On the ride north the change happened somewhere in between two little towns. I passed a whole lot of French signs and then just like that everything was German. I suddenly realised that I really don’t speak any German at all. Sad one. The day after I arrived in Geneva I went to the UN headquarters. It rained the whole day but it was OK, I was inside the place exploring where the … Read More