July 2015 - Confessions of the ‘matchstick girl

12 June 2006 I started with a single matchstick and now, eleven trades later, I have a Mobile Lifestyle Makeover to trade on... What a journey the last 9 years have been.

Some things I have learnt (and am still learning) about are the attributes of persistence, the line between working hard and burnout, and how to bounce back.

And I confess: the last few months have so exercised my resilience muscle.

Towards the end of 2014, and the beginning of this year, I could see the path from my current item to an office space in Braamfontein. There were a number of pieces in the puzzle all in place – and just one piece missing, being how to link the offer made by Alan Hilburg to the offer of office space from the possible future Landlord that I had...

And then that path fell apart. So the feeling of being so close to my goal became overcome with such disappointment... and with that disappointment, exhaustion set in.

The last time I “burnout” was after the 2 years of trading the T-shirts. And if there is anything I know about applying resilience that I learnt from that time, it was to take some time out, and then go back to my vision, and take it one step forward from there.

And so this is where I find myself now: Re-connecting to the vision of onematchstick and seeing what the opportunities are from this point forward to get to my office space, and help some start-up entrepreneurs.
My view from my temporary
 "office" in Switzerland

The opportunities that have and are presenting themselves now, as I bounce back, are: 
  • A working sabbatical in Switzerland (lucky me!) for this month of July, where I will be coaching from and also working more on defining the plan for onematchstick.
  • Another possible future landlord, in the team from Publicis Machine with their search for someone to share their offices with (thanks to Ray and Jade for alerting me to this opportunity!) 
  • An idea I’ve had for a while to trade on the Mobile Lifestyle Makeover for something even more adventurous – I need to work on that proposal and negotiation.

So if you have any tips on how to bounce back and can teach me more about resilience, please do share!

And for now, here’s more of my view from Switzerland as I re-connect to my vision, and fine tune my action plan for my next step for onematchstick!

Review of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur -How to Publish a Book

Once people hear of my onematchstick story to date, and get what I am trying to do with trading up in value, the question that they most often ask me is: Are you going to write a book?
And if it’s not a question, it’s the statement “you should write a book”.

And I do believe I will.  I will write a book.

Since I started out holding that single matchstick in my hand and writing my first blogpost, I've had an amazing few years.  And it’s not over yet.

And when you are open to a possibility, it’s amazing how you start to see and find the resources you need to make that possibility a reality.

One such resource is the book “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book” written by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch.

I was recommended the book by my friend Mongezi, and we ended up interviewing Guy Kawasaki about the book (as part of my show, Let's Talk Possibility), as it is such a useful and worthwhile read – especially for any would-be author.

APE helped me to feel that I could not only write a book, but also that I could self publish it.  Guy and Shawn shed some interesting arguments about the pro’s for self publishing, as the debate around Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing can be a confusing territory to traverse.

A lot of people have very little to say about Traditional Publishers that is good, because they appear to be very controlling and take all the profit.  Yet, Self Publishers have a bad name too, for poor quality and they are tarnished by the thought that their book wasn't good enough for the traditional big publishers.  

APE not only works through all those points, giving clear and practical guidance on how to go either route, but it also introduces what the authors call “Artisanal Publishing” and also a “Plan C” that involves both options.

A valuable part of the book too is the section on the “Entrepreneur” aspect of writing a book, which I found most stimulating.  Most people believe their book is the next big thing, and that publishers will fight over the book to publish it, and then people will buy and read it.   Guy and Shawn advocate that marketing of your book starts before it’s even been written.

And so, after having read APE and recommending it, I am applying what I have learnt, and letting you know now that I will be writing a book about the onematchstick story – so watch this space!

For more info check out: http://apethebook.com/

Some tricky trading trouble has presented itself

"What could you do with a day of my time, to help you get to your one matchstick office?" posed Alan to me, generously.

"Trade it?" I replied, and started smiling, gratefully.

And so Alan Hilburg has offered me a day of consulting with him, that I can trade on for the Key to the one matchstick office (well, that’s our aim with this trade!).

The thing is, Alan doesn't need the Mobile Lifestyle Makeover item which is my current item to trade. He’s very mobile, living between Washington DC and Johannesburg as he expands his company, Hilburg Associates, into Africa.

Thus a tricky trading traverse has presented itself: I've said I was burning the matchstick from both ends, and now maybe it’s got lit in the middle too?
I’ll be talking with my possible future Landlord to see if he could do with some branding and crisis management consulting.

And I need to be creative to trade the Lifestyle Makeover into something that Alan wants in exchange for his 8 hours of consulting…

So, I come to my friends and followers to ask for ideas and help. Can you see a way to make these three items link up that I haven’t seen yet? Let me know if you want to help me brainstorm, and we can meet up for a coffee or Skype chat or something!

In the meantime, I’ll be working on an idea I have for Alan that involves elephant kisses! And my future possible Landlord will be getting an email from me too! 

For now though, here is the detail about what Alan is offering:

A day with Alan Hilburg

Benefit from a clear-eyed, experienced (30 years) perspective on your business, your strengths, your challenges, opportunities and strategies for connecting more effectively with your primary stakeholder communities (either internal or external). This day will involve an analysis of what Alan hears, and what he sees, and advice on improving your story and strategy for connecting with your key stakeholder communities, with professional coaching on how to achieve those objectives.

Who is Alan Hilburg?

Wiki says: 
“Alan Hilburg is an American communications and branding consultant. Hilburg specializes in crisis management, litigation and organizational brand alignment.
Hilburg has worked on 107 trials and over 200 global crisis cases and branding campaigns beginning in 1982 for companies like Tylenol and more recently with the U.S. Veterans Administration.
He has also worked in various industries including the tobacco industry (in which he created the Under 18—No Tobacco strategy), transportation, hospitality, environmental industries, chemical, healthcare and education sectors.
Hilburg has over 30 years of experience as a communications strategist consultant, and has also written two New York Times best selling books and produced several documentaries.
He has been described by the London Times as being a "leading corporate brand architect," and the New York Times has referred to him as the "Red Adair of corporate crisis management.”
Who would benefit from a day with Alan?
  • Businesses
  • Major corporations
  • High profile individuals
  • Celebrities
Terms and conditions of the Day with Alan Hilburg:
  • You get 8 face-to-face hours of Alan’s time – additional time spent learning your business, market conditions etc. will be for Alan’s own additional investment.
  • These 8 hours can be used in one go, or broken into 2 x 4 hours, or an initial 4 hour and then 2 x 2 hour sessions.
  • Alan will require as much “stuff” as possible in advance to make the time most valuable, and he will do independent due diligence. He will also follow up to see the progress.
  • As many people as you like can be part of the session with Alan. Though, if there are more than ten people then everyone will have less time to contribute.
  • Participants can be at any level, however if strategy is a key focus, then it should be those who set the strategy who attend.
  • When the session will be held will be dependent on participants diaries, and would be set for sometime in the first three months of 2015 (and remember, everything is negotiable ;-) )
  • The session can be held anywhere. If in South Africa, travel will be for Alan’s account. If outside of South Africa, expenses would be expected to be covered by you.

So, what would it be worth to you to future proof your business (or personal) brand? What would it be worth to you to not lose in terms of your stake holders?

Get in touch with me if you’d like to explore how to get to spend a day with Alan Hilburg.

Call me on 0837302979 or email onematchstick@gmail.com
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I’m collecting keys!

There’s one key in particular that I want to find, and that’s the one that will be for the front door of the one matchstick office.

And then one of the walls inside the office is going to have keys all over it. Yes, lots of keys! Keys to people’s dreams. Keys to open locked up potential. Keys to new places. Keys to old places. Keys that will inspire and challenge and be the leverage points to something far greater. Keys that open.

So, I’m collecting keys! And this is my collection so far- just short of a few to spell out “stick”.

If you have any to contribute to my collection - old ones, rusty ones, shiny ones, big ones, small ones, colourful ones, silver ones, any keys that you don’t need or use anymore- please gather them in a pile. 

Then get in touch and I’ll organise to get them from you, ready for their new spot on the one matchstick office wall!

And if you have that one key that will unlock the future one matchstick office – we need to speak asap!
Call me on 0837302979!

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The start of the one matchstick Business Plan

I've been asked for a "business plan" for the one matchstick office, and it's probably a good idea to get my vision down into details on paper.  

Alan, who has asked to learn more about my vision, has also made me an offer that might help me get much closer to the office space.  

However, it’s a step or two away from my current Lifestyle Makeover item (as he doesn't want the makeover, and I’m going to need to put on my creative cap to get to what he’d want - more on that when I know!).

Also, I have a lead who knows people who know people, who I bumped into after the recent South Africa eCommerce Conference after I recognised his funky socks in the crowd.  

And I suspect from the brief conversation we had walking to our respective cars in the car park, that he’ll want some kind of business plan document too.  I haven't contacted him yet, and am feeling really motivated to put in the hard graft of writing a plan.

So I started working on the one matchstick Business Plan a few days ago, and came across this idea of a “One Page Business Plan” to use as a framework.  #KISS

After tweeting about it, today I got a lovely surprise from my friend Carl with this awesome, big canvas to use.  The Business Model Canvas is another great framework - not only to learn for the work I do at Inner Coaching with up and coming Entrepreneurs  -but also to help me work on the one matchstick model.  

So thank you Carl! You rock! :)

And I can’t wait to stick this up on my wall, and get some coloured pens and post-it notes, put on some tunes, and then get cracking on getting crystal clear on the one matchstick office!

The House was Rocked!

Cito and his band wanted to get up close with fans, and offer an experience to be remembered, and that is what they delivered last night!

After I traded the Rock the Housewith WONDERboom experience with Rene and Nina for a Mobile Lifestyle Makeover, I was delighted to get an invitation to join in the celebrations.  It was a small, fun and crazy bunch of friends celebrating Nina’s birthday, and we got the full concert experience in a small room, just for us!  (lots of photos here)

Dancing around with everyone to some of my favourite WONDERboom tunes, it occurred to me that this is the first trade I've done where I took part in and enjoyed the actual item I traded on.

With each of the eleven (well, now twelve) “items” of my trades to date, I've had to remind myself that the item I have is not for my enjoyment. The only item I will get to experience to its full is going to be where I stop trading on. And that will be the office space.

So it was quite a grounding reality check to realize that those moments I got to share with Cito, Wayne, Martin, Jonathan, Nina, Rene and their friends, at that private rock concert that was born out of a single matchstick, was not just talk anymore (as it’s been for the last two years), but actually happening!

And if that came from that single matchstick that I started with 8 years ago, then the reality of an office to help start-up entrepreneurs is a very real possibility. And getting closer to becoming a reality.

And I have work to do.

So I thank and salute WONDERboom and Nina and Rene (and all the other people I have trade with to date!) for not only believing in the one matchstick possibility, but for also being a part of it and helping to make it happen. You all rock!

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Latest Trade: your Mobile Lifestyle Makeover

After many hours of strategising and research since I was made this offer, I've traded the WONDERboom private rock concert with Rene and Nina

They’ll be rocking the house with Cito and the band for Nina’s upcoming birthday bash, and I get to have fun finding the next person I’ll trade with.

So here’s what I’m offering:

Mobile Lifestyle Makeover

Go from fixed to flexible

Live. Laugh. Love.

That’s a mantra to live by. It epitomises the philosophy that we want to live a productive, happy life where relationships are a key part. And today technology has evolved to such an extent that it can enhance our life and relationships. And that’s what this is about.

Would you like a lifestyle makeover? Would it be valuable for you to move from a rigid, fixed way of working to a flexible, mobile way of living an awesome life?

That’s what I am offering, a make-over of your lifestyle. So make me an offer and let’s trade!


Imagine this as your day. . .
It’s Friday. You found a new recipe for breakfast. You put on the kitchen’s Jabra Revo Headset and clip your ipad into its yogi which is curled around the window frame next to your stove, to watch the video of the chef giving directions, to get breakfast on the table for your family.

You change your headset to the Plantronics M25 Bluetooth one set up for your car, and while dropping the kids off at school, you listen to their favourite songs on your iPod, held securely in the Macally mCup car cup holder.

Next you head to your favourite coffee shop, seamlessly taking a few calls in between listening to some podcasts through your smart phone.

Over a latte, you take out your iPad from your cool, super protective STM Linear case which has all your gadgets which enhance your mobile lifestyle.

You flip your iPad on its ori stand, ready to catch up on the news and answer a few emails, using your Macally PenPal stylus.

While finishing your latte, your colleague in London Skypes you, so you whip out your Jabro Revo headset to take the teleconference without inconveniencing others in the café.

You head off to your next meeting, and remembering your laptop battery might be a bit low, you plug it into your PowerGorilla to charge it on the way, and at the same time plugging in your smartphone.

At your meeting, you set up your Logitech V10 notebook speakers with your laptop, ready for your presentation. And while you wait, you answer a few more emails on your iPad ori setup.

You then head to your child’s school for the sports day, and find a tree to sit under and set up your camera on your Joby GorillaPod tripod, on one of the branches, to record the best shots of the memory making sports activities. With your Bluetooth headset you can update your partner who is at work while taking a few photos.

The next morning you’re off on your early training run, using your heart rate monitor with your phone in your fantastic Runtastic armband, which fits snuggly on your upper arm.

You pack the car and set up an educational video to entertain your children, attaching the iPad to the headrest with its yogi stand, and giving each child a Jabra Revo headset.

You’ve changed to your Platronics wireless earbuds to hear Google maps giving you directions to your weekend getaway destination.

You get to catch a late afternoon mountain bike ride with the family, with your go pro camera attached to your bike handlebars with its Joby GorillaPod, and your phone and car keys in your waterproof arm wallet.

For a perfect sunset self portrait of the family, you set up your camera on its Joby GorillaMobile, balanced safely on a rock.

As you set up camp, you use the Joby Gorilla Torch wrapped around a branch for light, and charge your phone and tablet with your Powermonkey Explorer.

You gaze at the stars, and finding your phone in its luminous case, you use an app to help name the constellations you see, knowing that your phone and all your devices are protected in their funky protective cases from the rough terrain.

Later, around the campfire, you reflect on how movement, adventure and exploration is a part of your and your family’s lifestyle, and how being mobile makes is more possible and enjoyable….
And that was just describing two days!

What I’m offering:

A Mobile Lifestyle Makeover.

Makeover your stagnant, office-bound life for a mobile, flexible lifestyle with these three bundles of gadgets. (I’ll even through in a Breakthrough Coaching session if you need a change in Mindset too!)

1. The Mobile Office
This bundle has everything you need for a virtual office that goes where you go, because your office is wherever you are. If you want to work from your home, a café, a mountain top, the airport, your car, or any other moving target, then these accessories are for you. It includes covers for smartphones and stands for iPads, a dualsync cable, stylus pen, car cup holder mount, tripods and stands for phones and cameras for teleconferencing, notebook speakers, Bluetooth headset, adapter lightning to USB cable and 7 port USB hub. Plus the awesome PowerGorilla for all your charging needs, and Jabro Revo headset.

2. The Outdoor Enthusiast
Get active and adventurous with these accessories, including more hardy phone cases, keysync cable as your key ring, more tripods and stands, waterproof arm wallet, wireless earbuds, heart rate monitor and Runtastic armband. And a Powermonkey Explorer for outdoor charging of your devices, and another Jabro headset.

3. The Night Time Warrior
From the glow in the dark iPhone case and docking stand, to the Joby Gorilla torch, you’re even set for night time explorations. A mini Gorilla to power up devices, another stylus pen, Bluetooth headset and a magnetic tripod, amongst more covers, cables, and another Jabra headset too.

And with two STM bags to carry all the gadgets and devices and keep them safe.

Brands include:
  • Yogi for iPad
  • Ori for iPad
  • Macally stylus pens, cables, holders and hubs
  • Joby Gorilla tripods and stands
  • Logitech Speakers
  • Sketch covers for smartphones and tablets
  • Plantronics Bluetooth headsets
  • Power Traveller solar panel charging devices
  • Dodo cases
  • Ce-Link cables
  • Jabra headsets
  • STM bags
  • ITZ arm wallet
  • Runtastic heart rate monitor and armband
What’s excluded:
All you need to do is add the following for your Lifestyle Makeover to be complete: 

  • Your Smartphone
  • Your tablet
  • Your laptop
  • Your internet connection
  • Your adventurous and free spirit

Next Step:

So to have your mobile lifestyle makeover, make me an offer!

What would you trade with me for having the active, on-the-go, adventure seeking and professional lifestyle you dream of, where you get to work and play, spend time with the kids and make those big deals?

Get in touch with me and let’s chat. I’ll then give you all the specifics on the tech that will move with your pace of life, and we can work out a deal… on-the-go… wherever you and I are.

Call me on 0837302979 or email onematchstick@gmail.com

Offers for the Mobile Lifestyle Makeover

 These offers are for the Mobile Lifestyle Makeover. If you would like to trade with me for any of these offers, please let me know what you would offer me to trade for it by emailing onematchstick@gmail.com! It will then be much easier for me to decide which item to trade if my next trade is ready to go. Let your imagination go wild! Thanks. Telana 


 No offers yet, will you be the first to make me an offer? Call me on 0837302979

I have received though an interesting offer from Alan Hilburg, of 8 hours consulting with him, however, he doesn't need the Lifestyle Makeover.... check it out here in the meantime.

Another possible future Landlord?

I received a sms today: 
"Got an office in Hyde Park for trade! What you got for me?"
I called them back and explained that my dream, ideal space will be 200m2 for 3 years.  
"Oh, I thought it was an office just for you?  
"Well I do need an office to run my coaching practice from, so yes- some of the space will be for me.  I also want to have enough space to help start-up entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground, and to ultimately help create more jobs - which are so needed today."
There was a pause...

And then I said nonchalantly that I wont be paying rent . . . in Rand currency. I'll be trading it for something they feel is of equal value which will be in some other "currency" which originated from a single matchstick.  It may be a service, or a product, or an experience that they feel is of equal value for the 200m2 of office space, for a  3 year period.  And so we discussed some options.

It turns out that the 'WONDERboom Rock the House' item I have now might not fit for this possible future Landlord #2 (remember, I have a possible future Landlord #1 who I'm also speaking with). 

So maybe I should be trading with my current new offer for WONDERboom to make it a reality, and that might fit with one of the possible future Landlords...?

Either way, time will tell how these deals unfold, and where the one matchstick office ends up.   

We ended the call with a request of me to sms through a summary of what I am looking for, and the way forward. Which I did, and so the negotiation continues (and you wonder why it's taken me 8 years to get this far? ;-) )

It's very exciting that after all these years (yes, it was 8 years in June this year since I traded the matchstick for the ordinary green ballpoint pen) I'm getting genuine calls about actual office space, from people willing to barter for it.

This . . . is . . . FUN! :)  Not only fun, but a possibility too!

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