Saturday, 29 March 2014

5 Night Plan book by Richard Simmonds

Rich Simmonds 5 night plan pic

Many books written for relationships try to give you a complete toolbox, the 5 Night Plan gives you one simple and effective tool to improve the communication within the relationship.
This book will provide readers with:
* A stepping stone to transform or bring life to relationships, be they old or new.
* A focused and creative plan to guide couples into strong relationships.
* An opportunity to discover how committed partners really are. 
* Most importantly – To open the lines of communication between you and your partner.
The foreword of 5 Night Plan is by Dr. Steve Maraboli – One of the most quoted living writers, Steve is the author of several international bestsellers, including “Life, the Truth and Being Free”
About Rich Simmonds:
Rich Simmonds picVoted by Forbes as a leading Social Influencer, Rich Simmonds has become a global specialist in social communication, strategic social interventions and catalyzing meaningful and sustained social change. 

Richard has developed a set of tools for companies - such as audits, bespoke seminars and training workshops - to liberate them from their old, success-blocking communication systems, and replacing them with dynamically efficient ones. 

To cause successful social change, his ‘positively provocative’ approach challenges the conventional 'sheeple' thinking so prevalent within corporates. Directly challenging the current idea that the more information is communicated, the better - Rich asserts that in order for communication to lead to successful relationships, it needs to be simplified right down to the essentials by asking tough, barrier-breaking questions surrounding intentionality, integrity and authenticity. 

Actively involved as a Catalyst & Activist on behalf of the 'Symphonia Leadership - Partners for Possibility Programme', Rich believes that taking up active citizenship as a South African is what will drive education and empowerment forward: a sure foundation for economic and cultural success!

Friday, 28 March 2014

This is the cover to my forthcoming book 'Mug and Tweet' - Social Communication in the digital age.

The book will be available in April.

The foreword of 'Mug and Tweet' is by Tim Fargo - Online Influencer and Bestselling Author of 'Alphabet Success'

Here is the foreword by Tim : 

I'm very pleased to write the foreword for Mug & Tweet by Rich Simmonds. Not only because of the high regard I have for Rich, but also because amidst the clamor for more information on the social media tool-set, Rich has had his usual contrarian vision to address the more fundamental issue of communication itself, and how that can be powerfully married to our current and future social media tool-set to maximize our potential.

With the advent of social media, people are highly interested in how to use the various tools, with little regard to the quality of the communication they'll be conducting. We are social animals, and as Rich points out, hard-wired to communicate with one another. But more often than not, the quality of that communication is of questionable quality. If anything, the speed of today's interactions require an improved, deeper understanding of communication.

The purpose of Mug and Tweet is to help us navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of today's multi-dimensional communication with skill and grace. Rich is offering us a guide to help us interact competently - and avoid landing on the rocks of disagreement, misunderstanding and discord.

This message is extraordinarily important as the expansion and speed of communication tools have created tremendous opportunities to interact on a level that enhances both our business and relationships.

The growing transparency of our world dictates that we both listen and speak with clarity.

What Rich further explains is how important that clarity is, as social media now transforms our previously linear communication to complete openness. The previously ‘two-sided’ e-mail might now instead be communicated as a tweet heard around the world. Mug & Tweet will help you find the opportunity in what previously may have seemed a daunting threat.

Whether you’re dealing with a dissatisfied client or even an upset spouse, it means that some element of communication has gone awry. Something was promised either explicitly or implicitly and the perception of the recipient is that it wasn't delivered - leading to an impasse.

But, as Rich points out, we must move away from our ‘complaints culture’ where mistakes and manipulation fester, block and entrench the dysfunctional brand/business-centric culture. It's time to replace this with an customer-centric environment where errors actually drive education and understanding.

Through actively utilizing the openness of modern social media, we can turn blame to benefit, and irritation to improvement.

Moreover, the message isn't just upward or downward - it's a potentially limitless communication both inside and outside our relationships: to existing friends and clients, and potential friends and clients, not to mention competitors, enemies, and pretty much anyone else who happens to be paying attention!

While this may all seem rather challenging, it translates into amazing opportunities. To be sure, there are some communication ‘hills to be climbed’, but with Rich's guidance you'll find the view from the top to be pretty spectacular.

Tim Fargo  @AlphabetSuccess
Bestselling Author – Alphabet Success

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Are we missing the YouTube Opportunity?

We have often heard that YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, but did you know it is also the world’s second largest social media platform?

Yes YouTube is actually a social media platform, but have you ever had a conversation on YouTube, shared a video with your friends of someone you actually follow and wish to build a relationship with, or has your sharing been limited to the videos that everyone is watching?

Today’s challenge is to comment and engage with the creators of YouTube videos so that you can build mutually beneficial relationships on the YouTube platform.

The opportunities are waiting for you …

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Entrepreneur of the Year

About the competition

The original intention remains that we celebrate entrepreneurial excellence and make heroes of those who are truly successful. South Africa desperately needs more entrepreneurs and this competition helps give shape to the ideas and aspirations of those heroes of tomorrow.

Those entrepreneurs that have been in business for some time might just also say: “If they can do it, I can also”. Through this initiative we can step up the overall quality of our South African entrepreneurs. We can subscribe to the saying: “Success breeds success!”
All of these are wonderful role models of what can be done and are all winners in their own right. However, to really honour entrepreneurs by way of an award, Entrepreneur of the Year® is the ultimate acknowledgement everyone should aspire to.
The judging process is completely independent and is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The judges represent different areas of the business community and include a representative from the education environment. The evaluation process runs through three different filtering processes, which ensure that everything is checked and rechecked to remove any human error or human preference which may creep in from time to time.
The data requested also gives the judges very important and critical information which they need in order to make a complete and holistic judgment on the candidate being reviewed. The judging process is then completed through an interview with each finalist to ensure that any questions or issues needing clarification are addressed. Furthermore, site visits are also conducted at times.
But Entrepreneur of the Year® is not just about the competition. It is more than that. Entrepreneur of the Year® is about developing the standard of excellence in entrepreneurship all over South Africa. It is about promoting that excellence as the norm and not the exception. It is about promoting entrepreneurship as an honourable and rewarding, yet challenging career. It is about educating entrepreneurs so that they reach that standard of excellence.
It is about educating the youth about what it entails to be an entrepreneur so that they can make better choices about their career options. And at the end of the day we expect to influence government legislation in not only how we facilitate the subject of entrepreneurship in our schools but also what legislation should be in place to ensure that we create a healthy legal environment in which our entrepreneurs can operate their businesses.
By showcasing our winners and running the competition, as well as all the workshops with our grand SME conference, we hope to build the momentum of media activity that usually follows such events and through the media activity showcase the role models that Entrepreneur of the Year® has selected as pillars of our community. These roles will help influence the SME sector for good, and in five years from now we will have begun changing the face of entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Entrepreneurs should take their rightful place as pillars of strength in our communities and our economy, and they need to have a powerful force behind them ensuring that all involved in this sector are stepping up to their responsibilities.
Please visit the website for more information and details for entering the competition :

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Hang Up Your Heels for Gumboots!!!

Press Release by Miss Earth South Africa
The Miss Earth South Africa Women Empowerment and Leadership Programme once again promises to be one jam-packed with environmental milestones, sustainable achievements and green dreams as the organisation embarks on their annual search for South Africa’s next green beauty. Young women between the ages of 18 and 26 are invited to submit their applications for the 2014 programme, which strives to empower young South African women to take an active role in sustainable development, food security, community greening, energy efficiency and carbon reduction programmes. With applications for the 2014 programme officially open, the organisation is eager to follow their phenomenal achievements of 2013 and to start working with amazing young women from across the country.
The 2013 programme saw the organisation achieve numerous milestones, including distribution of in excess of 13,000 stationery packs at underprivileged schools with Sappi and touching thousands of learners and community members through various greening and community upliftment projectsaround the country. The organisation also travelled to West Africa to launch the Miss Earth Côte d’Ivoire programme and spent World Environment Day and World Ocean’s Day greening this West African state with Ivorian government and local UNEP officials. Finalists in the 2013 programme had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town and around Gauteng for numerous greening and community projects and educational workshops with Reliance Compost.
The Miss Earth South Africa programme aims to expose young South African women to important issues such as Water Stewardship, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies, Glass Recycling and Sustainability.Successful candidates will have the platform to be hands-on involved in educational programmes, workshops and much more. The programme aims to add value to the lives of all the successful 2014 candidates. Miss Earth South Africa 2013, Ashanti Mbanga, was fortunate to travel extensively during the year of her reign and believes that her participation in the programme has changed her life in numerous ways, “It was during the competition that I realised how blessed I am to have the sponsors, partners and support that I have; I never lacked for anything and that helped me to be fully involved in all levels of my international experiences.”
The crowing of the 2014 Miss Earth South Africa will take place at an event later this year, which will be attended by high profile dignitaries, celebrities, and local and international green leaders. Proud partners of the Miss Earth South Africa include Tsogo Sun, IMPERIAL Toyota, Sappi, Crystal Forum, Reliance Compost, and Bijan Boutique Hairdressers.
Log on to to download an application form and for details of application requirements. Like their Facebook page and follow them on twitter (@missearth_sa) for regular updates throughout the programme. Entries close on 20 March 2014 and interview sessions will take place across the country from the 29 March and throughout April. Successful candidates will be notified of interview dates in their area. Join the green and glam revolution and be part of a solution to fight the effects of climate change. An opportunity of a lifetime awaits. Hang up your Heels for Gumboots! For more on the Earth journey visit, follow Miss Earth South Africa on Twitter (@missearth_sa) or Like the Facebook page (

Log on to and for further information and images:
Email or; or call EARTH Office on 011 680 6650 / 082 505 0664

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What Makes you Different?

I have always loved the Apple slogan of ‘Think Different’ and even more so the ‘Crazy Ones’ …
My question today is; What makes YOU different? We were raised to compare ourselves with others, and we were praised and recognised for being the best. The problem created is that when we are the best,  we need to realise that being the best is only doing things slightly better than everyone else. We need to consider the possibilities of doing things differently?
How would we know if we were the best or would we just be different? In my way of thinking the beginning of progress is, when others disagree with you and say ‘you are different’. The end of progress is when they say you the best. Sure if you a world record holder then you have achieved something but people will really start to notice you and admire you when you can remain the best in the world.
If what you are doing today is going to make you the best in your company, community or country you have achieved and you should pat yourself on the back. Please don’t stay there, ask yourself how am I going to be different and how will I achieve more?
Your viewpoint should always be, how can you exceed your own expectations? When you feel you are reaching your expectations, it may be time to look at your acquaintances: If you a national champion do you have friends who hold world records? If you are the best salesperson, do you have friends who are top directors of companies? If you a millionaire, do you have friends who are billionaires? If you are the best doctor, do you have friends who are top surgeons and specialists in their field? If you a celebrity in your country, do you have friends who are celebrities internationally? Your friends and the people you spend most of your time with, is where your biggest influence will come from. Change your friends if you have to and pick the new ones wisely.
When you have a different perspective from the norm, then you can be different and the establishment, may even pay you a compliment and call you a ‘Crazy One’
Image by

5 Night Plan – A guide to strong and grounded relationships.

Many books written for relationships try to give you a complete toolbox, the 5 Night Plan gives you one simple and effective tool to improve the communication within the relationship.
This book will provide readers with:
  • A stepping stone to transform or bring life to relationships, be they old or new.
  • A focused and creative plan to guide couples into strong relationships.
  • An opportunity to discover how committed partners really are. 
  • Most importantly – To open the lines of communication between you and your partner.
The foreword of 5 Night Plan is by Dr. Steve Maraboli – One of the most quoted living writers, Steve is the author of several international bestsellers, including “Life, the Truth and Being Free”
I am honoured to write the foreword to this insightful and striking book, the 5 Night Plan, by Rich Simmonds.
For years, Rich has shared his brilliant mind with so many around the world, and in this book he channels that brilliance to offer a formula for building and nourishing a successful relationship.
In a world with thousands of relationship books on the market, it is refreshing to read an out-of-the-box perspective that deals directly with the matter of compatibility, integrity, honesty, and love.
The 5 Night Plan offers a challenge that will highlight both strengths and weaknesses in your relationship; offering you the opportunity to cultivate and repair where necessary. Whether a new and exciting relationship or one that seems to have lost its spark, this book offers the opportunity to bring the often unspoken issues to light and help you choose the future path.
Imagine cloaking yourself only with honesty, trepidation, and excitement as you and your partner get to know each other. The 5 Night Plan walks with you along this liberating, empowering, and vulnerable experience while confronting potential pitfalls and issues that could either nourish or poison your relationship.
The 5 Night Plan also challenges the conventional dating scene, the process in which we have been conditioned to get to know someone intimately. The book turns what we know on its head. An exciting and thrilling, yet terrifying ride.
The book transforms people from strangers to intimate partnership in rapid speed. It highlights the potential in the relationships clearly and because of the intensity of the time together; the subjects suggested for discussion, a fundamentally strong foundation can be concreted.
Once navigating the ideas found in this powerful book, you will realise feelings are neither right nor wrong, but merely each person’s perception. You will find that when you open yourself up emotionally, there truly is no escape but to experience trust, commitment, and bonding on a deep level. A further realisation will be that, as much as there could be greatness in front of you, there could also be an inescapable incompatibility, and you would have spared yourself years of emotional pain as you respectfully walk away.
Rich Simmonds’s 5 Night plan, truly does holds up an honest mirror in the face of relationships. Embrace the view.
Dr. Steve Maraboli 
New York, USA