This text was originally written in May 2005, whilst I was sitting in a company’s AGM in Stockholm. The text is presented as is and without modification, as written by me within 30 minutes. My fingers just typed whatever my mind was thinking at the time. It was a piece of text I had to write – there was a burning desire within me to write it.
There are a couple more people that I would like to add to the list and I will do so at some point. In the meantime, please enjoy the original text from 2005.
I am influenced by various people in life, by the environment and things I read, see and hear. I will list a few people on this page – the people that have influenced me and changed my life in a massive way. This is not to say that anyone I have missed out have not affected me in any way – I am constantly learning and growing, every single minute of every single day.
This page is therefore dedicated to the people I have had the immense privilege of knowing and having a presence in my life. I consider them as outstanding friends, teachers and mentors. I salute and thank you.
In order of entry into my life:
Mum and Dad
Where would I be without my parents? They gave me life, spent many hours over the many years looking after all my needs without a second thought for themselves. I never felt the need to ask for anything – everything was provided with unconditional love. They taught me to walk and talk. They spent countless hours helping me with school homework. Further, throughout my adult life they continue to provide me with inspiration and support.
My brother. Although younger than me he has taught me a lot. Raj always had a lot of courage and foresight and continues to this day. He taught me how to ride a bike when we were a little kids. He taught me a lot about property and kept pushing until I did not give in, having to get out of my comfort zone. Raj continues to inspire and it is great following what he is up to next.
My sister who is about a decade younger than me. She is extremely headstrong and knows what she wants out of life and everything else. Sheena is one of the most spiritual people I know. Although she is still young and learning about life in general, I get my spiritual inspiration from her and a viewpoint of a younger generation.
Jasper (James Andrew Swift) (No Picture)
Jasper was my mathematics teacher in secondary school. He made learning mathematics so much fun that everyone in his class did not mind attending the extra lessons he used to run at the end of the school day. He gave his all for our benefit. Certainly his style of teaching did not go down too well with the school management, however it was clear to see how well it worked. I decided at the time that whatever I did, whether be it teaching, or managing a team of people, I would make the environment a fun place to be. I have been using this principle in my working life and it has worked wonders (even though various management did not like the concept despite the productivity being much higher than expected!)
The love of my life – the thunderbolt having hit me in 1989! Having known each other since our late teens at University I am privileged to be married to Melanie. A constant loving companion, we have been together through thick and thin. Melanie has supported me at all times – from University through various employments and major changes in life. Melanie, “You’re the Inspiration” and “Wind Beneath My Wings”
Joe got me started on the road to running my own business. Our countless conversations taught me what I needed to know about distributing shareware software (my first company started with shareware distribution – taking it one step further and making it available on the net), testing hardware, how to negotiate with publishers, and also writing for magazines.
I still remember the first time we spoke – I phoned this famous person in the industry out of the blue to ask about shareware and to ask for some advice. That was one weird and scary conversation – from my point of view
Ronald is the first person I ever considered as a mentor – he taught me a lot about business and company politics and how to play it. He pushed me and stretched me outside my comfort zone all the time. I owe this man a lot for making my career.
My first manager when I joined the commercial world of work and one I am extremely glad to have been given the chance to work with. A real friend to me and one who taught me most of the things I needed to know in the short time he was managing me. I am honoured to have been chosen as his successor when he left the department.
Simon (No Picture)
I met Simon a number of years ago in the music industry initially as a customer. Over the years he has become an extremely close friend and someone I can talk to about anything. His knowledge on various sociological issues has made me think about society and the way of the world. He has made me aware of issues that affect us all and this in turn has been stoking the fire in me to do something to make a positive difference.
Gary gave me my first ever ‘consultancy contracting’ job and although he was my boss he taught me all about the tricks of the trade in the contracting field such as how to negotiate contracts and fees with agencies and companies. This gave me the confidence to be daring when negotiating contracts in my favour and I found that all that I had learned from Gary worked every single time. I still use these techniques to great success!
Every now and again something happens that changes one’s life forever. Julia came into my life by chance and in a very short time we became extremely good friends. She is another young person that I have learnt a lot from. Her enthusiasm and ‘future success’ shines through. Meeting Julia made me realise that I had to stop putting off a change in career direction and the result is this web site as the beginning of the journey I am embarking on.
Addition June 2011:
Ania (Photo pending)
Ania, a lot younger than me, is the most recent person to enter my life who has had a major impact on who I am and has positively influenced me. She often gives me an alternative viewpoint and constantly challenges my current thinking. I look up to her and respect her. Her life experiences have shaped her into an extremely strong-willed and dedicated person. She knows what she wants from life, when she wants it, and what she needs to do to get there… and she has taught me to always have a plan B.