Covid19: Doctor’s Testicles On Fire!

For most men, the pain of being hit on the testicles is agonizing, excruciating, and tormenting, to say the least. What if you felt like that consistently for a number of days? You know, like continuously being castrated…day in day out?

That’s how my life has been over the last couple of days… only to discover that Covid19 has everything to do with it.

It all started on Monday evening this week and felt a few chills, generalized weakness, and a few joint pains. Now, during the lockdown, I’ve taken up my old college hobby of playing basketball and have put a hoop outside my garage for one-on-one play with my son. On Sunday, I overdid it! I spent over two and half hours pushing myself albeit my arthritic knees (which might need replacement soon!) My rationale for the initial symptoms was that I was just recovering from over-stretching my physical fitness and would recover in a day or so.

Tuesday, I woke up with general malaise, chills, and excruciating testicular pain. I didn’t suppose this had anything to do with my wife (hahaha), but given the accompanying symptoms, I knew something was not right.

Symptoms

Most people with Covid19 are asymptomatic and don’t necessarily demonstrate any symptoms of flu. However, those that are symptomatic, the range of presentation may differ and vary from person to person.

I started with chills and testicular pain. This was unbelievably painful and not sure whether my walking style gave away my symptoms… especially to my fellow colleagues who tend to observe and make a diagnosis from 5 miles away!

Then came the cough later on Tuesday. Dry hearty cough that follows you to the worst of situations. Coughing during the Covid19 lockdown is almost analogous to walking around with poop all over your face! The look from the public, the response, and stigma are written all over everyone’s face. But you cannot avoid it… there’s absolutely no way of controlling it.

Then came the body aches. Muscle pain and joint pain are so characteristic. I felt like someone who has run a marathon without ever having ever trained for it. Going up a flight of stairs is a hustle and straining to the muscles.

The pain comes with insomnia (lack of sleep), nightmares and generalized tiredness that keeps me in bed the whole day. For someone running their own business and always keeping busy, this was torture!

I”m glad at this point I have no shortness of breath or heaviness on the chest (at least not yet) which are ominous signs of deterioration in general condition.

Diagnosis

So I decided to have this whole thing tested while working on self-isolation. On Tuesday, I went to Lancet Laboratories where they did a pharyngeal swab albeit waiting in the queue for two hours. Yes, it felt like Home Affairs all over again.  This was rather agonizing! Feeling sick and lining up with Tom, Dick & Harry who are completely asymptomatic but chatting and laughing to kill time. 

Finally, after four days of waiting for the test, I called the lab and confirmed that it was Covid19! Phew! What a relief. Finally, I’m positive that nobody was trying to castrate me! Yipee! 

Treatment

Simple management of symptoms is all it has taken. There’s no proven medication that has been approved for treatment. Chloroquine? Nay! Madagascar juice – Not for me!

Dexamethasone – yes, possibly in an advanced stage with viral pneumonia presenting with shortness of breath, etc.

For now, just the good old pain killers – Brufen, Paracetamol and recently added Tramadol for the testicular visceral pain.

I’ve obviously been on multivitamin supplementation, Vitamin D3 and Probiotics as extra precaution.

What next?

The big question is where and how did I get it? I guess it does not matter now – it’s such a highly infectious virus. I’d been to a funeral the previous week and always go to my local supermarket every Saturday for grocery shopping.

All the same, I do observe common-sense preventative measures including sanitization, wearing a mask, and social distancing… but clearly the virus slipped through and got me! I guess it also has to survive, reproduce, and evolve quickly enough to keep up with human intelligence.

The hard part is the self-isolation within a family setting…with a 6 and 9-year-old who wants to be all over daddy! It’s heartbreaking to just wave goodbye from a distance (once a day they get to see me out of my self-imposed man-cave) when they are so used to hearty hugs and kisses! It would be distressing to see them go through the same agony.

I’ll have to stay here for the next 14 days or so, keep away from daily chores, reflect on my life, business and keep up with long-lost friends!

Lastly, I need prayers! Yes, you heard me right – prayers! If you want me dead in the next few days, please go ahead and pray for me. Prayers have been shown to accelerate progression, worsening of patients’ condition, and increase mortality! Especially in Africa where we have this illusion of a bearded paternalistic omnipresent deity overlooking our daily activities from the sky – I wonder where he’s been all along Covid19! (Sic)

God of the Gaps – African Religious Delusion

I must admit, as an African, we have been left behind in seeking and searching the real truth about common aspects of our lives, origins and our existence. Worst of all, we have been conditioned to think that it is a virtue to be satisfied with a lack of understanding. Something that we give a righteous name… Faith! Even more preposterous is the fact that intellectual curiosity is frowned upon and stigmatized in the society. It’s a vice, depravity of the highest order. Continue reading “God of the Gaps – African Religious Delusion”

Being True to Yourself through your Business Model

Big dreams and inspired visions often get diluted and distorted by the daily grind of business. In order to be more true to yourself through your business, you need to learn how to be true to yourself through more than just your product or service.

You need to learn how to reflect your truth in the many other components of your business model.

In this way, you will create a more rewarding business that keeps your dream on track, reflects you as a person and reflects your changing life journey, while still being strategically sound from a business point of view.

In order to achieve this, you should create what I call “synchronised life/ business strategies” for the many different components of your business model. Each strategy should explore both sides of the equation: will this give me personal reward? / will this make me money? These form the foundation of theTrutrepreneur®methodologies I have created.

For example:-

  • How can you be more true to yourself through your product or service offering?
  • How can you be more true to yourself through your customers?
  • How can you be more true to yourself through your marketing and sales strategies?
  • How can you be more true to yourself through your staff?
  • How can you be more true to yourself through your suppliers?
  • How can you be more true to yourself through your work environment?
  • How can you align your truth to business strategies that still make good profit?

Strategies imply that it takes time and effort to make them a reality.

It thus makes even more sense to synchronise your life and business strategies, as they are then able to play out together, instead of time and energy being wasted on one-dimensional strategies that makes you money but do not make you happy, or that make you happy but that do not make you money.

If you take the time to do this properly, your entire business journey can become a reflection of the life journey you wanted to create for yourself, instead of just a partial reflection. 

Fuller Expression of Life

How do we express ourselves fully , how do we truly connect with the people we LOVE , the charities we want to SUPPORT and be impactful and change the world to be a better place.

I believe we need to really be AUTHENTIC and in our journey of AUTHENTICITY we must create WEALTH and not for our own selfish “WANTS “but we should remember that GOD owns everything and all we are are STEWARDS … we are given things to look over and to use effectively not only for our own benefits but also for the benefits of others.

If you cannot be trusted with $5000.00 what makes you so delusional in THINKING that you can be trusted with $1 million … it is never going to happen , so we need to re-examine our MOTIVES for wanting to create WEALTH , if it is for our selfish WANTS … then we do not deserve to have it.

The Bible says that GOD will touch men to bring unto our bosoms enough for our needs and the needs of others … this is the MYSTERY of MYSTERIES … men will bring , you will engage in trade using your GIFTS and TALENTS and men will honor you by giving you MONEY which is for our NEEDS and the NEEDS of OTHERS … so when you see people GIVING not from GUILT but from a space of STEWARDSHIP … you must know that they have DECODED the MYSTERY of MYSTERIES and therefore they have and are giving a FULLER EXPRESSION OF LIFE … you can become a BILLIONAIRE , it is within your reach …

HOWEVER the QUESTIONS is WHY do you want to be a BILLIONAIRE … examine your MOTIVES and once you get to the space of TRUTH and AUTHENTICITY … then things will happen for you … only when we move from a place of TRUTH and HUMILITY and not DECEPTION and PRIDE then … we will be TRUE STEWARDS … and experience a FULLER EXPRESSION OF LIFE … join us on the 26th July 2014 to UNLOCK YOUR MILLIONAIRE CODE …and learn the POWER OF STEWARDSHIP …go to www.billyselekane.com to buy your ticket .

Setting Goals

Setting goals is one of the surest ways of achieving any success. Goal setting is a skill which all successful people have honed and learnt to utilize in their daily set of competencies that propel them towards continuous success.

I have not come across a successful person who did not know how to set goals. They have made it a natural, innate and instinctive part of their habits. They know how to break it down from a simple “Want to have” to the details of the actions to take on hour to hour basis. They then drill and focus on what needs to be done towards achieving the smaller steps that advance them towards sub goals (or milestones) and ultimately towards the definitive goal.

Goal setting is not just important, but crucial to fast-track your success in anything you do. No success can  be underpinned without a meticulous, detailed and thorough goal setting process, failure to which you plan to fail!.

Goal setting can be as short as writing them down on your diary at the beginning of the Year, Quarter or Month or as elaborate as a full business plan with time-sheets, expenses, income etc. This will help you remember what you want to achieve, amongst other goals in various spheres of your life. One of my best reading on how to achieve goals in life is “Goals” by Brian Tracy. I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy to learn more about Goals in life, not just in property investment.

Goal Quality

One of my key moments in the Goal Setting process was when I learnt about the quality of Goals that we set. It is easy to have a wish for what you want to achieve, but it is something else to have a burning desire and clear goal. This is a continuum that can be thought of starting from a mere wish to a passionate obsession “to have” or “attain”.

In one of my greatest reads (in fact audio) is by Wyne Dyer and Deepak Chopra that outlines these steps in a title of their book entitled “How to get what you Really, Really, Really, Really Want”. The Continuum is made up of four steps:

  1. Wishing – Some sort of longing, wanting, or just a thought. Most people will wish that they have a car, property, holiday etc. For instance with property, they know that this is a vehicle for wealth creation, but it ends there. This is what is commonly regarded as wishful thinking.

    They wish they had a second property to lease out; a few more that could give them passive income. In fact, the largest part of middle class population will know that property is a great ‘investment’ and that a sizeable property portfolio can guarantee you a great future income as well as a retirement plan.

    However, if not pursued further, it remains wishful thinking and will not materialize no matter what.

  2. Desiring – This is a notch higher than Wishing. The primary difference is that at this level, you are willing to ask. You more or less know what your aspirations are and the craving for achieving success has grown immensely as to ask.

    Asking takes different forms. In most cases, you look for books, courses, seminars and any information that you would use to actualize your dream. If you are reading this article, it is most likely that you are in this stage. A stage where you are not afraid to ask for help from people who have walked the journey before.

  3. Intention –At this level, the commitment is deeper and more profound. You do not only wish or desire, but internally you have devoted yourself to attaining a result.

    Intention is a very internal and self-searching. Two schools of thought come at this stage in how we demonstrate our intention.

    One is where intention is kept to oneself without informing the public or those around you. The argument here is that the minute you broadcast your intentions, then the ego sets in. Then you will need to do everything to protect the ego; your desires and intentions don’t belong to you anymore, but to the public. However, if you keep your intentions to yourself, as Wyne Dyer puts it, you execute them “regardless of the good opinion of other people”.

    The second one is where you let people around you know what your intentions are. In most cases, these would probably be people who are close to you, people willing to support you in your goals and those that have your good intentions at heart. The contention here is that such people will keep reminding you and helping you to keep a good track of your wishes, desires and goals and support you when in need.

    Both ways, intention gives your wishes and desires a meaning, purpose and aim.
     

  4. Passion – At this level of Goal setting, you are not wishing, not yearning but you know beyond reasonable doubt that you can achieve what you set yourself to achieve.

    Passion is the obsession and enthusiasm that makes you wake up early in the morning, and go to bed late at night. It is the zeal, delight and fervour of living something that has a higher meaning that just doing.

    This is the level that success breeds success; a level where failure is not an option and there is a knowingness from deep within that success is inevitable. Passion is what drives you to keep going in the face of failure and discouragement. It helps you pick up the pieces when everyone thinks that you cannot recover. It ignites, stirs and kindles that flame during the deepest troughs of failure and discouragement.

Make no mistake, passion also requires skill and action. You can have this burning desire but with lack of a skill set to achieve these goals, then the process will be lengthy and expensive.

Smart Goals

One of the most efficient ways of setting goals is to use the SMART criteria. This a universal and widely accepted ways of checking the quality of your goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  1. Specific – Goals need to be very specific.
  2. Measurable – Your goals need to be measureable.
  3. Achievable – Goals set should be achievable and attainable.  
  4. Realistic – Your goals need to be realistic and genuine
  5. Time-bound – Without a time-line, then you do not have a goal.

Use this criteria to set your goals and check them against these five parameters.

If they do not meet this criteria, re-check again and make sure that they become more aligned with these five principles. They are easy to remember and can be used quickly and efficiently to analyse the quality of your goals. Remember, most people set goals, but the difference with high achievers is the quality of goals that they set. It is important to keep checking the quality of your goals against the SMART criteria as very often, we fall into the habit of setting poor quality goals.

Building Resilience

Many people, my self included in the past, believe that life is unfair … I would have a plan about something I wanted to work on or achieve and sometimes when my first attempt was not successful, I would just give up. 

My giving up often had to do with what people around me had said, or hearing about how so and so have failed in their attempt to start a business or to follow a certain path either I sports or show business.

When I realized how limiting it was to hang around negative people, I had to choose who I associate with; however, though the change in people around me was moving toward the right direction but somehow I was still ruled by this amazing fear or negative thoughts spiral. With those stories of failure at the back of my mind, understanding and embracing this principle was a matter in which I had very little choice on. It was either I held-on to those limiting beliefs and always spoke about how I nearly achieved something for the rest of my life or apply this principle to cement my process of unleashing the giant inside me.

A simple definition of this principle is: Creating an inability to give up no matter how heavily the “odds” are stacked against you.

I created a simple process of how to build this inability to give up, by using the most common tools to do this … OPE (other-people’s-experience). OPE is simply stories of other people who had in their lives experienced amazing adversity and yet went on to achieve their goals. They thus manifested their purpose, attained their vision though goals they set and just made it happen against all odds.
The reason I used this simple methodology is that, the stories told of those who had failed are the ones which paralyzed me: so then what else could uplift me rather than the stories of those who had made it. I simply replaced the belief “I can’t” with the one “if they can, so can I”. I carefully chose the stories about these people, read them, memorized them and used them as an anchor each time I was confronted with challenges in the journey of life.

“Henry Ford forgot to put a reverse gear in his first car”

Building Resilience Through A Success Source

  • Change your spending habits: instead of buying CD’s buy autobiographies of people you can relate to and who inspire you
  • Search for powerful stories, which illustrate the great human spirit of defying adversity, embrace them as if they were yours
  • Attend seminars and workshops, which deals with issues of success in all formats, be it financial or spiritual
  • Be a student of life
  • Use visualisation techniques to build consciousness, which is always positive and directed
  • Do not be afraid to confront people and ask questions

This article is an extract from Billy’s book “From Barefoot to Snake Skin Shoes

Wealth Creation Tips for Successful Investors

For those investors who have been buying cash flow–positive properties – well done. For those who are facing challenging times and need advice, I am going to share some of my experiences, which I am sure will help.

Becoming a good investor is like learning to sail a boat. Anyone can seem the expert sailor when conditions are ideal, the water is smooth and the wind light. But what happens when the wind picks up, the sea gets rough, and your boat is pummelled by rain and lightening? Without sufficient preparation, training and experience, you will suddenly find yourself in difficulty!

A bank manager I met with recently in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, mentioned how he’s noticed that people who have never experienced financial difficulty before are starting to take strain. I remember being in this position in 1990. Financial difficulty was completely new to me, and I had no idea where to turn. I felt I had let the banks down. On two occasions I even contemplated suicide as the only way out of the embarrassment and stress.

So what did I do? Sometime in April of that year, I made a decision that I was going to get out of the mess I found myself in, no matter what. I thought of other people who had been in worse positions and had survived. The most important factor here is that I had the right frame of mind. The first thing I did was accept the worst: I was going to lose everything. Next, I started thinking of how I was going to start up again and, without a doubt, become a millionaire once more. I kept my thinking positive. Excited by the challenge of seeing how quickly I could regain my wealth, I even imagined myself trading at a flea market and moving on from there.What I learnt from the experience is that you can successfully handle a financial crisis and become wealthy at the same time. Here are some steps to follow:

Get your mind in gear

1.    Decide that you are going to handle the situation with great success.
2.    Believe in your decision.
3.    Start taking action.

Cut out negativity

1.    Stop reading the newspapers and watching the news.
2.    Stay away from negative people.
3.    Read books that uplift and inspire you.
4.    Listen to motivational CDs.

Look after your health

1.    Take a good multivitamin supplement – it will help your body cope when you are under stress.
2.    Go for a walk, a run or go to the gym, first thing every morning.  It will raise your energy levels and you will feel good.
3.    Stay away from alcohol – it is a depressant.
4.    Include omega-3 fatty acids in  your diet – they boost brain functioning.

Confront your situation

1.    Make a list of all your problems.
2.    Divide the list into two: first, the problems you can do something about, and second, the problems over which you do not have control.

You may find writing out these lists an unpleasant task. However, once you have completed the exercise, you will probably experience a sense of relief: you have confronted your situation and taken back control.

Communicate

1.    If you have a cash flow problem, contact the people or institutions this will affect, and explain your situation.
2.    Keep everyone you owe money updated – in writing – as to what your plans are to repay your debts.
3.    If you need more help, contact the National Credit Regulator.

The good news

Experiencing a financial crisis can be challenging. But challenges are what make life interesting. More impor-tantly, when you look back one day, you will see the unique opportunities that arose from your difficult situation. The good news is that once you have weathered this storm, you will be happier, healthier, wealthier and wiser for it.

Business Models and Property Investment Strategy

In the face of disaster, business models stand! What is your business model? Do you need one to build a Property Portfolio in Real Estate Investing?

 This is a question I get asked more often than not, but it is alarming to note that loads of the so called “Property Investors” don’t have any business model. To keep it simple I’ll interchangeably use Business Model and Strategy here although in the real sense, the two can have different meanings.

If you don’t know where you want to be, it is very difficult to know how to get there. That defines the importance of laying out your goals and the objectives of your investment (s). Once you have set the goal, then it becomes a matter of strategy to work out how you will get there in the simplest, shortest and least strenuous way possible.

There is almost no need to re-invent the wheel in real estate. However, it is best to pick the right wheel that will get you there and one that suits your needs best.

Let me layout a simple Property Investment Business Model that I have used consistently with stunning results:

  1. Define the Amount of Passive Revenue you want by end of year (or within a specific period)
  2. Layout your strategy to getting this Revenue (Business Model)
  3. 3.Get down to executing it.
  4. Mandatory Question – How does my property make me passive Income? – Under this:
    1. What is my cost structure – Income (Rental) vs. Expenses (Bond/Levies/Rate & Taxes etc)
    2. What is my net profit – Both realized (Rental) and unrealized (Capital Gains)
    3. When will I break even / live off the property / How do I intend to do this?
  5. What is my target audience for the Property I’m investing in?
  6. How well do I understand this market and is that one of my strengths?
  7. Can I reproduce this model, over and over through the years?
  8. Complement each other
  9. Need to understand a wide market of clients
  10. Too diverse and therefore cannot draw on the major strength of understanding your market

So what is this Business Model, we keep talking about? It is the consistent plan on how to Create, Build and Manage your property portfolio. The key word here is ‘CONSISTENT’. Most people think that they have a business model, but keep changing the plan to suite the circumstance; rather than focus on the circumstance to suite the plan.

A true Property Investment business model needs to meet a simple criteria:

If these questions are not affirmative, then there is need to re-check what you consider as Property Investment.

There is always a risk of having a wide portfolio of properties that don’t:

For more information visit our website www.mumbiproperties.com

How I bought a property without Mortgage Bond

I visited Mumbi Properties (Pty) Ltd 3 years ago when my bond was rejected by the banks numerous times. In the current economic circumstances this is not uncommon and with the NCA (National Credit Act) in full swing, it is becoming more and more difficult to get mortgage bonds for home purchase.

My situation was a bit different though. I had purchased a number of other properties before and still had one of the properties under my name and my wife’s name. Having invested in two other properties before, I was confident that the rental income from the other two properties was going to convince the funders to fund the purchase of a new property.

I found the perfect property! The seller was what is popularly known as a distressed seller.

The property was on a 1000sqm stand with 3 bed, 2 ½ bath property with TV Room, 2 lounge areas, new kitchen, expansive servant quarter and garage that could be converted into an extra storage area. My instant idea was to make it an office and this fitted my requirements perfectly. This is when I put an offer and a deposit of R100,000 from a purchase price of R750,000. Additionally, I had left some money for renovation and completion of the property from the previous seller which added up to R220,000.

To my surprise, the banks had other ideas. Probably due to my folly, probably due to my ignorance. First, I had too many mortgage bonds under my personal name – bad idea! Secondly, I was a business owner / self-employed – this is a high risk category for any mortgage application.

I therefore got declined by all the banks and could not secure what I thought was going to be a good property investment. Above all, my business was going to pay rental on this property that would go towards repaying the bond from the bank.

After much agonizing, Mumbi Properties came to the rescue. They informed me of this form of transfer known as ISA (Installment of Sale Agreement) where the seller finances the property over a certain duration. To my surprise, the seller unduly agreed and we proceeded to get the Conveyancing Attorney to structure the agreement. The agreement was structured to have an Occupational Rental, with NO monthly capital payments. The outstanding rates, taxes and utilities were factored into the purchase price. Any additional payments done during the period, went towards payment of the initial capital.

After 18 months of monthly payments, I had sorted out my ‘NCA’ profile and had more than 40% of equity in under the bank’s valuation. On applying for a bond, Standard Bank came to the party and offered the full bond on the remaining amount of the purchase price.

Were it not for Mumbi Properties perseverance, I would have lost the property. Now I have turned it into an office and would use them and the ISA process again anytime!

*Reuben GM

*Trustee of Ibmum Investment Trust

*True identity not Revealed.