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

Hola Espana


I guess people celebrate the passing of years in different ways, especially when it’s a momentous one. For me 25 isn’t that big or depressing despite the fact that it’s a quarter century. And what better way to celebrate it than in Spain? You know what I did? I had a beautiful restaurant dinner in a hotel by myself in a town I didn’t even know the name of. How cool is that! OK I looked on the map and the towns name is Loja. Look it up, I turned 25 there. Actually the day itself was pretty cool it’s just that at dinner time Clive really needed to lie down, the remnants of Moroccan stomach still lingering. So he shouted me dinner and went to bed. So there I was sitting by myself after a drive from Tangier to … 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

Possums are pests, and probably not Kosher either


How is this for pretty much my first conversation in Spain, and in Spanish what’s more? “Pardon sir, in order for ´something´ street?” “Oh , umm, wait. I think…there“ “Here?“ “Yes“ “Thanks so much“ “That´s ok“ You know the funny part about that? I was the one being asked for directions. So a Spanish guy asked me, a kiwi who had been in the country for 2 hours, for directions in his own country. Priceless. There´s probably a middle aged man lost wandering the streets of Madrid right about now but hey it felt good to speak Spanish and give someone directions. Madrid itself was grand, especially the palace. And so much more since that particular day entry was free for EU citizens so I was Dutch that day again. I was staying in a hostel and met a guy … Read More