“Can you buy a new life?”
Quest, Inc.

In this week’s edition:

1)    Are personal development programs a waste of money?

2)    Speaker boot camp 2/3 June in JHB with Frank Furness

3)    My brilliant web designer


Can you buy a new life?


Over ten billion dollars. That’s what the world spends on personal development programs, coaching and self-help books every year. The Power of Positive ThinkingAwaken the Giant WithinThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—do any of these books and programs actually work? Is health, wealth and happiness the birthright of us all, or is Think and Grow Rich really just a way to make the author rich? I’m Victoria Holt and I believe it’s time to put all that self-help hype on trial. Let’s see if the gurus really can change a life. Or not. With more than a bit of arm-twisting, I’ve convinced five leading personal development experts to put their powers to the test. Sage or snake oil salesman? See for yourself.

This is the opening of my new novel, Quest, Inc. It’s a blog from a fictional investigative journalist. Victoria Holt is a skeptic, reminiscent to some of Steve Salerno who wrote a book called SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement led America Astray. Salerno’s book is a one-sided diatribe but it raises important questions. Are we getting a return on the money we pour into our personal development? In Quest, Inc. besides telling a gripping story, I hope to answer the question of when personal development works, and when it doesn’t.

The book is a fictional account of America’s top personal development agency. Written as a novel but following a fast-paced TV series style, this first book contains four stories that have a continuing main cast of characters: five high-end personal development coaches. In each story there are new characters—their clients. Think of Grey’s Anatomy: in each episode there are new characters (the patients) with their own plot lines that get resolved. But it’s the main characters (the doctors) with their ongoing arcs that make us want to come back for more. This format means that at any time, the reader is immersed in a variety of personal transformation stories while getting inspired by a range of life-improving insights.

The most compelling plot lines have to do with the publicly renowned coaches themselves. Each is a best-selling author and five-figure sum speaker struggling with his or her own weight, finance or relationship issues. Meanwhile, close on their heels is investigative journalist, Victoria Holt, out to debunk the ten billion dollar personal development industry by showing that the world’s leading self-help gurus are charlatans. Quest Inc. is an honest account of the sweat and blood required for almost any lasting transformation. Quirky characters infuse plenty of fun and laughter but Quest, Inc. speaks to the reality that most people experience: changing your life is tough, even for the gurus.

I’d love to hear how any books or programs from the personal development field have changed your life. “Or have not,” as Victoria Holt might add. Please leave your comments below. (You’ll find the comment section right at the bottom of this blog.)

Download Opening Extract for book Quest, Inc.1. The paperback and ebook version are available here on Amazon. The book will be available in South African bookstores by June.

What’s your quest?


                 “Justin did an excellent presentation at our country managers conference! No wonder we’ve used him five times.” – Johan Meiring, CEO Mayibuye Group



My friend Frank Furness will be holding a speakers boot camp in June. Frank is an internationally renowned speaker guru, if you’re interested in breaking into the industry don’t miss it, he doesn’t come to South Africa often.


How Often Do You Find Yourself Saying: “I Wish I Knew How to Speak At Conferences and Conventions”

The Bootcamp will provide Proven Tips, Tools and Tactics to Market You Internationally and be a Dynamic Speaker

Frank Furness, originally from South Africa has been living in London since 1993. He embarked on a full time speaking career in 1997. Since that time he has spoken in 52 Countries around the World and continues to secure International speaking assignments. Most of the engagements are self generated and Frank has become a master of networking and identifying opportunities. He runs his speaking career as a professional business. When Frank started his speaking career, he spent a lot of wasted time floundering around and trying to find out how to market himself.

Over the years he has developed professional relationships with some of the best marketers and speakers in the World and learnt from them. Two hours of personal coaching time with Dottie Walters cost Frank $500 and the advice he received resulted in his first audio course order for R600,000.

Over the last seven and a half years he has established clients that are amongst the largest Blue Chip Companies in the world. Sponsorship and arranging his own speaking tours has contributed to his success and International exposure. Frank has now run fifteen successful Bootcamps on 4 continents and the delegates are raving.

Take a look at http://www.speakersbootcamp.co.uk

With the ideas learned on the bootcamp, one delegate secured 11 speaking assignments in the week following.

The idea of a BOOTCAMP originates in America where Frank has attended them and experienced the positive results. A BOOTCAMP is a weekend of intensive learning and action planning. The first day of BOOTCAMP will concentrate on the speaking and platform skills, while the second day concentrates on marketing, products and running a business

Discover how Frank has secured bookings in 52 countries – By following the proven branding and marketing strategies shared on the bootcamp, you too could be speaking globally or making a big name for yourself as a speaker in your country.

Develop and sell your own products – Frank shares his strategies that helped him to generate over 35 products and how his first ever product sale was for $70,000

Learn from the greats. – Watch videos, listen to interviews and discover the secrets of success of some of the world’s greatest speakers

Learn how to run a speaking business – Find out how to run a successful business – branding, marketing, articles and securing bookings on an ongoing basis will be shared on day 2.

Develop a ‘Killer’ keynote –Frank shares the formula to developing a keynote that will have your audiences shouting for more.

Use multimedia to enhance your presentation –Find out how to avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint and use multimedia effectively.

Learn the essential elements to any successful presentation – Discover how to use the 7 ‘E’s formula, humour, pauses and creating a magical experience for your audience.

Grow your business – Frank will show you a marketing kit that has a 95% success rate in securing bookings. He will show you how to build your profile and market yourself.

Get the bookings – Franks 17 strategies to get booked includes, sponsorships, bartering, familiarity days, working with bureaus and much, much more.

Understand the power of social media

Frank dominates Google for certain speaking phrases, has over 300 videos on YouTube with over 3 million views, 22 websites and 5 twitter channels that all market him and his products while he sleeps. His subscriber list is 100,000 strong.


Don’t wait, book your place now for the 2/3rd June in Johannesburg  at http://www.speakersbootcamp.co.uk as places are limited


If you’re looking for website and brand design I cannot recommend Hugh Miller enough. I have worked with a number of website designers. Most of them are at least double the price and provide half the value. Hugh delivered my site and brand design in less than two weeks and I think the results speak for themselves.

What I love about Hugh is that he is so easy to deal with, he takes direction without argument or complaint and is incredibly responsive and reliable. I have only one regret, that I didn’t start using him five years ago. I have no doubt my business would have been more profitable if I had.

I get no kickback for making any of these endorsements, I just like promoting excellent service providers. You can contact Hugh at: hughmiller@mail.com