Archive for June, 2015


Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments


 If you chase two rabbits….you will not catch either one ‘ Russian proverb  

At a dinner hosted by William H Gates, father of same Microsoft founder Bill Gates , for a number of hand-picked business champions, he asked them to write down on a piece of paper one word which they deemed was ‘the one thing’ that determined their success and significance in business and life .

Two guests wrote the same word :


They were his own son Bill Gates and Warren Buffet – the two richest people in the world today.

The most important thing I have learnt in life is to focus my energy on what is important in life.– Bill Gates

An equally insightful and inspirational question is:

What’s the secret to life?

Personally, I’m a fan of Gary Keller’s version of ‘The Secret to Life’, which he reveals in his book ‘The One Thing’: the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.

He believes ‘The One Thing’, is the best approach to getting what one really wants in life. In order to get more, one must have less on one’s plate. Focus, Focus and then more Focus.

Success begets success when one narrows one’s concentration to one thing.

‘The One Thing .Just one thing .You stick to that and everything else doesn’t mean shi*t.

Jack Palance playing the gritty cowboy ‘Curly’ in the movie City Slickers

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success believes that the most important determinant of success is the 10 000- Hour rule. He reckons if anyone dedicated that much time to something, they would make a success of it.

Talent and opportunities are abundant, but perseverance and hard work are what count in the end.

Human Greatness, defined as’ Sustained Success and Significance’, is commonly determined and driven by how narrow one can make one’s focus. Doing too many things , both personally and professionally, is the sure fire fastest way to human implosion – the very opposite of human greatness.

Less is often more in the lives of the great champions.

* For more insight, innovation and inspiration please do visit, where you can request a copy of Rob’s free eBook: The Game Plan: What the Great Champions know – but coaches seldom teach.  

GAMECHANGER NUMBER THREE. Branding is everything.

Posted on: June 16th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you figure out why?  Mark Twain

Everyone is in marketing and selling, whether we know it or not .Beauty, strength, intelligence, kindness, wealth, power are all ways we advertise our value as human beings.

But, there’s a catch to  unleashing one’s full potential. It’s called BRANDING.

Branding is the hidden ‘magical multiplier’ which elevates one’s marketing and selling efforts to the next level .

And there are three magical P’s to power branding, namely Purpose, Priority and Productivity/Performance.

Let’s take a look at how they combine to create a game plan which is ’ made of the right stuff ‘.

Firstly PURPOSE.

Coca Cola’s purpose is ‘to create happiness ‘. Disney’s purpose is ‘to make children smile‘. Starbucks purpose is ‘to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time’.

Great organizational brands are the ones that put purpose before profit, and it’s no different with personal brands.

An estate agent’s purpose is ‘to elevate people’s lifestyles’. A hairdresser’s purpose is ‘to make people feel good’. A doctor’s purpose is ‘to make people healthy’. Purpose happens when one’s passion meets the universe’s needs. And it becomes the key ingredient of productivity/performance .

The next ‘P’ is setting one’s PRIORITIES in life .

It’s one of the most important actions one can ever take. And it’s surprising how most people cannot clearly articulate their top five priorities in life. It’s important because there exists a very fine line between human greatness and human implosion, especially when it’s one’s job to push the human limits.

One only has to look at examples of great sporting champions , like Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorious and Tiger Woods. All were uncertain about their priorities in life. They got it  humanly wrong, and paid the price in real life.

While we are all unique human beings, definite patterns of commonality are in play. Here’s a practical guide as to how one’s ‘Big Five ‘ priorities should be stacking up in order to build a  power brand.

Number One is placing  YOURSELF FIRST – build your personal brand, Brand YOU ,  so that you come from ‘a position of strength’ – in order to help others.

Number Two is to  focus on ‘ YOUR ONE THING’ – YOUR PURPOSE .

It’s your vocation , the one thing that you’re expert at,  so that you can positively impact this world

– and make a significant difference.

Then come the other priority investments in life –  your FAMILY & FRIENDS , your  HEALTH & WEALTH and  your desired LIFESTYLE.

Invest time and effort, pay close attention to all ,  as they can easily be lost !

It’s wise to think of your top five priorities in life as a  “four legged table’ .  Consider  , YOURSELF as the table top . Invest wisely in Brand YOU,  by  focusing on all four priority legs –  to ensure that the table top ( YOU ) remains balanced .

With one’s purpose and priorities in place, the final ‘P’ which remains, is PRODUCTIVITY/PERFORMANCE – aligning one’s top three goals for the current year. Keep them focused on what’s important and meaningful in your life – and know when to say NO to all the other things that are not part of your plan.

Now one has the backbone of a GAME PLAN  which is ‘made of the right stuff’ ‘

–  the stuff of champions ‘.

It serves as one’s compass in good times, and one’s scaffolding in bad times.

And it provides the inspiration to conquer all those Monday morning motivational blues.

Branding is the difference between motivation and inspiration


* Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Author and ‘Game Changer’ to organizations, sports teams and individuals. He helps take brands to the next level. For more insight, innovation and inspiration please do visit . 

If you like to read more in Rob’s ‘Game Changer’  Series –  please click on blog page above .

To find our more about Rob’s specialised marketing services please contact him personally  at


Posted on: June 4th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

Most of us are ‘heads down’ – getting stuff done. And we have little or no time to sit down and consider what some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs are doing.

What they are doing is fast changing the way of the world.

Steve Jobs coined the phrase ‘Think Different ‘and it has spawned ‘the next level’ of game-changing innovation.

Consider South African born Elon Musk, Airbnb’s Brian Chesty, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Whatsapp’s Jan Koum, Linkedin’s Jeff Weiner and Uber’s Travis Kalanick.

Some call it X-ponentiality. Some call it ‘drastic disruption’. And some now refer to it as U-berfication – which can best be described as:

the slimming down of application interfaces into push button experiences that do one thing.

It’s the next level of consumerization. Industries which fail to innovate are at market share risk, as these ‘game changers’ leverage advanced knowledge and digital technology to bring on more convenience’ – saving you time – and saving you effort.

Elon Musk believes he can cut the travelling time from Los Angeles to San Francisco by more than 90 % with his hyper-loop plans. And now he’s focused on the world’s energy crisis, believing he can wean humanity off planet warming fossil fuels. At age 43, at the helm of SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Solar City – he’s only just begun.

Digital is the primary driver behind X-ponentiality. It’s fast changing the way of the world, and it’s no different right here in South Africa. Consider what Christo Wiese , Jannie Mouton, Whitey Basson ,Markus Jooste and other South African based ‘ Game Changers’ are doing. One only has to look at the exponentiality of select share prices on the JSE, to comprehend that they are busy changing the way things get done………… making next happen.

What do these ‘Game- Changers’ all have in common? Yes, they may well all be leveraging technology and talent to ‘up the game’, but there is something else.

It’s called  MINDSET– when’ head and heart’ is in the journey

They think differently and see an exponential world where digital convenience is driving abundance. At heart they’re fixers.

They see the world’s biggest problems, as the world’s biggest business opportunities.

And the biggest opportunities to shine.

Now that’s a potent way to view life itself.


*Rob Opie is the founder of The Game Plan , a Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and ‘The Game Changer’ to organizational teams, sports teams and individuals.


THE GAME CHANGER interviews ‘Marlin Man’ Mark de la Hey

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments



The ocean is my mind . Her creatures are my soul

Mark de la Hey is ‘ The Marlin Man’.  Resident of  Umdloti beach , just north  of Umhlanga ,Mark travels the world doing what he loves most – entertaining , educating and enriching the lives of others around what he does best –  FISHING .

And playing an ever increasing and important  role as an ocean advocate.



TGP: Mark. Where did it all start for you?

I grew up on a sugar cane farm in Mtubatuba. During the off season we use to set up camp for 3 months at Cape Vidal. My dad was my greatest mentor. The ocean my greatest inspiration.


TGP: What’s the secret to life? One word please?

Passion. Without passion you’re dead in the water – excuse the pun. With passion nothing is impossible. You gotta love what you do!


TGP: People see the passion in your TV shows. How many have you done?

Well to date well over 100. It’s about entertaining and educating. Today we’ve just come back from shooting at Tinley Manor – it’s about creating extreme experiences. Every show is different. You never quite know what to expect from the ocean.


TGP – how would you sum up your purpose in life?

I very lucky ………. Entertaining, Educating and enriching other people’s lives – through what I love doing: Fishing


TGP: Sustainability. How important is it? And what role are you playing?

Incredibly important. Thankfully the game is changing, but it’s going to take more. Years back the guys took out everything they caught. Today it’s about catch and release. We like to say limit your catch – before catch your limit. It’s a mindset shift to say – let’s preserve and protect our oceans for future generations. I been extremely fortunate to see the best and I want my children to see that as well. So, yes it’s about increasing awareness levels – and more education about our oceans .I want to play my small part in that!


TGP: Yes. I hear you’re teaming up with Bobby Skinstad?

Bob and I go back to our school days at Hilton. We share a lot of similar interests, so he has just recently invited me to do some inspirational / educational talks to corporates. This is a great opportunity to grow awareness levels, and for me to play a role as an ocean advocate. It’s about responsibility, while having fun out there and experiencing it all


TGP: Mark you pretty good at what you do. Can you share just a few of your ocean secrets?

Fishing falls into that 10 000 hour rule. It takes time to know the ocean – to read the ocean. And then you are still learning every day. I would say one needs both knowledge and humility – you have to have respect for the ocean. Preparation is critical and then also mindset. You got to bring you’re A- game – and have a game plan


TGP: How do you  game plan?

Firstly knowing the environment. The more you know the better- the more your chances of success – the season, the time of day , the timing of the tides , the water temperature, the air pressure   – you can never know too much . For instance bait fish are far more difficult to catch on a slack tide. Bait fish cluster for protection when the water is moving, and that’s when the game fish and predators become more easily available to catch



TGP: You say mindset – what do you mean by that?

It plays a huge role in anyone’s game plan. You got to be in sync with the ocean .You got to build  FCB – faith, confidence and belief. If you believe you will catch – or believe you will not catch – you will be right! Mindset is everything


TGP:  Any more pearls of wisdom please ?

Sometimes one can learn from the most unlikely of sources.

 Birds do not fly for fitness – they fly for food !

In this game you got to apply leverage.


TGP: Ok, you’ve fished all over the world. Where are those marlins? The big ones?

Bazaruto and Mauritius are best. We are incredibly fortunate here in Africa. Some of the best fishing waters in the world.


TGC: Talking fitness, how important is it to be fit in your game. And how do you keep fit?

It’s vital considering it can take up to 18 hours to land a marlin. My longest tussle has been 3 hours 15. So you need to be pretty fit. I do that via surfing, diving, boxing and running – and the odd round of golf


TGP:  Now talking golf .I know you can swing that club pretty smoothly. What’s your lowest handicap and tell us your best round ever ?

I was once off a Plus Two handicap, back in my day. My best round? I would say a 66 at Royal Durban. Seniors tour maybe one day – like David Frost ha ha? Or Jimenez – he enjoys life!


TGP: But these days it’s tough to get you out on the course since your biggest land catch. How’s married life?



TGP: Mark, on the lighter side , tell us something we do not know about you?

I’ve got this bull dog. Neither of us quite knows who the real boss is. But, I do have my suspicions.


TGP: Mark, you good at making next happen. What’s next?

International shoots, promoting SA as a tourist destination, especially our majestic North Coast which is growing phenomenally and then of course this new direction – inspirational talks where I can share my experiences – and play a bigger role as an ocean advocate. Shape the future a little better. And many more seasons in the sun. Life’s good!


* For Talks or that extreme experience, Mark can be contacted at


*Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and ‘The Game Changer’ to organizations, sporting teams and individuals. Rob can be contacted at or visit