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How to Live an Extraordinary Life Rudolf Goosen is an ex-professional rugby player, entrepreneur, author, TV presenter and motivational speaker. Entrepreneur recently spoke to him about his new book, Taking Your Life to the Next Level.

By GG van Rooyen

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Sarah Schäfer

PLAYER: Rudolf Goosen

CLAIM TO FAME: Goosen started out as a professional rugby player, but later turned his attention to business. He has built a successful business empire, and has also established himself as an author, TV presenter and motivational speaker.


My book speaks to how ordinary people can also live an extraordinary life. This can be anything from losing weight, becoming a better speaker, getting a promotion at work, or starting your own business. Once you change your mind and become willing to back yourself, things will start to change.

The reality is that regardless of what you want to achieve in life you need to do two things: You need to move — in other words you need to be willing to leave your comfort zone and live on the outside of your abilities — and you need to acquire the necessary skills to become, and stay, successful.

Everyone has the potential for success. Newborn babies are all born with the same potential. Regardless of circumstances at the time, they are born with the same potential. As we grow up we are inundated with potential "blockers' in the forms of "don't do this, careful here, and watch out for that'.

Before you know it, you follow the rules and adhere to what is possible and acceptable to society without asking if it all makes sense. Once we start to live a life out of obligation and fear of making mistakes or being judged, we are busy eroding our potential.

There are many stories of people who discovered their potential and their purpose only at a later stage in life — the potential was always there, they just finally decided to actively pursue it. The difference, however, between people living successful lives and those living below their potential is one of intention. For you to be successful, you have to passionately pursue your dreams and in the process develop the skills to support that potential.

Who you associate with is very important. As an exercise, grab a piece of paper. At the top of the page, write down your top five goals. Below that, draw a line in the middle of the page from top to bottom to divide it into two columns. In the left column, write the names of the ten people you spend most of your time with. Now, look at your first goal and find the person on your list who has exceeded your intended goal.

For example, if you want to earn R100 000 per month, find the person on that list who has done it successfully. Work your way through all of your dreams/goals in the same manner. Once you are done and any of your goals are not allocated to individuals on the list, you know that your current circle of influence and people you associate with are not in any position to help you develop the skills needed to take your life to the next level.

Embracing a success mindset is often driven by two elements: Push and pull. You can either be pulled towards your goals and desires by a thirst for success, or you can be pushed by circumstances that don't leave you with any other options.

For instance, you might exercise because you enjoy it and you have certain goals you want to attain, or a health scare could force you to change your ways. Either way, showing up and doing the work with a positive attitude is half of the battle won.

The key to embracing a success mindset is to make a choice and live by it. To increase your odds of success, surround yourself with like-minded people who will support you in the hard times and celebrate your successes.

The majority of people on this earth are employed and therefore work "for' someone else. Despite their deepest desires they don't do something about it because of the potential risk they would expose themselves and their families to. Personally, I believe that as an entrepreneur you can only be as successful as what your mental capacity and skill level will allow you to be.

The good news, though, is that both these elements can be enhanced at any time. Being a good leader is particularly important, as you need to motivate people to move heaven and earth for you, so leadership training is crucial. Become a person people want to work "for'.

As an entrepreneur or business leader, your company's values should be a reflection of your personal values. People should fall in love with who you are and what you stand for before they think about how to sell your products.


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