Merry Christmas!

[youtube width=”560″ height=”344″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfeX3dqtqhw[/youtube]

It has been a great year and good to have been involved with some great start ups, new products, worked with some special people, handled some interesting “businesses for sale” projects, bought, sold and made some interesting art, started writing a monthly business  article for M2, launched ToHo with my friend.

Any day now I am expecting the coolest thing that I sponsored on a crowd funding site back in January…. A no wires levitating light bulb!

My focus for this coming year is around knowing about your self and your staff and your customers.

To know about yourself and your staff consider a disc profile which I can now deliver and worth every cent of the $200 they cost.

To know about our customers, the market opportunity, how customers use your product  etc….. in other words recognizing what we don’t know and then doing SOME RESEARCH!

I would recommend talking with Juliette or Jo-Anne at Relate Strategic or myself if you need help in this space.

Think of knowing like an investment in your success.


Les Probert  and I have launched a specialist Tourism and Hospitality consultancy focusing on improving business results by improving the customer experience. If you are in tourism, you are in hospitality and vise versa, is ToHo foundational premise.

We think the time is right for Tourism and Hospitality to really understand they are both in the same business.  We believe hospitality is a part of every, high quality, personal transaction and that we should think of a tourists experience as an accumulation of hospitality transactions in a destination and a country.

To repeatedly deliver excellent customer experiences a business needs to be sustainable so we help our clients to be; profitable, focused, have a strategic plan and know what their must achieve goals are.  We also believe hospitality success is achieved by focusing attention on the soft assets, such as: staff attitude, knowledge and style, the music and ambiance, how the place feels, efficiency and sense of order, generosity and being made to feel welcome.

I have worked with Les since moving to Auckland and we share an office together so ToHo is the result of seeing a serious need and opportunity that we could really help develop. This will be an extension of our current activities and will result in us creating some new products and services specific for businesses in this space.

For your interest and whilst this is coming I think we still have a way to go before it would appeal to me…



See you in 2016, have a great and safe holiday…



Mark Collins
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Are you feeling the changes?

Are you feeling the changes? We are in the middle of an amazing period of change that is creating some amazing opportunities and significant challenges. Being totally pragmatic, you have the greatest opportunity if you can embrace the changes before  they embrace you! Start right now, take a look at these examples for insights of future disruptions in the food space, your business is being effected.

Get my help to see how you can make these changes a positive influence on your business.
The last article is marginally in the food space but is hilarious and is indicative of how everything has a roll on effect which can be hard to stop.

Imagine you own a restaurant this simple yet brilliantly creative and entertaining idea could be your point of difference! Try not to be in a good frame of mind after this:

The worlds eating habits are effected by many things but for now just consider: availability, replacement products and cost. What is the consequential effect of changing diets on our cultural and nationalistic bonds?
Too big to contemplate?  Here is an example of a new food replacement that will

Food replacements that guarantee everyone on the planet is fed a nutritious diet! Imagine a world where eating real food is a luxury? Click here to read the full article

In many places having McDonald’s is a real treat.  “McDonald’s feeds 68 million people a day, that’s about 1% of the world’s  population. Its $27bn in revenue a year makes it the 90th-largest economy  in the world.” Yahoo

Two examples of thousands of scientific innovations that are changing our food chain right now – some good, some not necessarily so good but all ideas will create some sort of disruptive change to some other business


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.06.14 am
Click to view article


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.09.23 am
Click to view article

 This is hilarious and you might view it as more like drug taking than food but the story is valuable with the underlying message that: sometimes disruption and innovation will be by accident – but you still have to be open to it and be prepared to initiate action.

Create your own new opportunities by challenging how you are operating – Ring me for a free chat!

Mark – 0275 340 860

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Disruptive thinking is changing our lives

Our lives are undoubtedly entering an even steeper period of change and disruption. Every customer will in some way experience the challenges and benefit of more variety, personalisation, automation, convenience and cheaper products as the status quo continually evolves at a faster and faster pace.

Every industry, and business within it, will be affected sooner rather than later – this will affect the way you earn your income and the amount! Take this serious, it seems to me this phenomenon will continue to escalate and will have huge affect on the value of assets, companies, products and services, right down to the base materials.

The purpose of my newsletter is to always help you to think about your job, business, industry, future and opportunities differently! I sincerely hope I achieve that but, as always, look forward to your ongoing feedback.

Pure genius from the 1770s.

This is quite astonishing to think it was built nearly 250 years ago and a classic example of how timing is everything (no pun intended) This is undoubtedly the precursor to the robots of now and the future



New Ovens

How long before this is the norm with Anabelle Langbine’s recipe book already programmed in?

The food industry is being affected with changes to population, age, diversity and education ………however I think the real disruption will come from products and services that create new links to the way our needs and desires to eat, drink and socialise are met.

A couple of disruptive ideas for ovens: Pre-programmed smart oven (think iPhone) and a 3D printed oven.

Embrace failure – It is a significant part of your success

Here are 10 successful failures that should inspire you if you are experiencing personal change and momentarily feel you are not succeeding (courtesy of “Askten”, International Leadership Consultancy).

JK Rowling, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, Vincent Van Gough and Stephen King

  1. J.K. Rowling : During a Harvard commencement speech, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling outlined the importance and value of failure. Why? Simply because she was once a failure too.
    A few short years after her graduation from college, her worst nightmares were realised. In her words, “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.” Coming out of this failure stronger and more determined was the key to her success.
  2. Steve Jobs : The now revolutionary Apple started off with two men in a garage. Years later we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. Yet, almost unbelievably, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he began. The dismissal made him realise that his passion for his work exceeded the disappointment of failure. Further ventures such as NeXT and Pixar eventually led Jobs back to the CEO position at Apple. “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” Jobs said in 2005. Lost your job today? Keep kicking and you could be just like this guy!
  3. Bill Gates : Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. He co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which was a true failure. However, skill and a passion for computer programming turned this failure into the pioneer of famous software company Microsoft and the then 31-year-old into the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. In his own words: “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” This isn’t to say that dropping out of Harvard will make you into a billionaire, but maybe that shiny degree isn’t worth as much as the drive and passion to succeed.
  4. Albert Einstein : The word ‘Einstein’ is associated with intelligence and synonymous with genius. Yet it is a famous fact that the pioneer of the theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein himself, could not speak fluently until the age of nine. His rebellious nature led to expulsion from school, and he was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. His earlier setbacks did not stop him from winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. After all, he believed that “success is failure in progress.” To this day, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art, and even late night TV. Just because you haven’t achieved anything great yet, doesn’t mean you can’t be an Einstein yourself.
  5. Abraham Lincoln : Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, defeated in his run for president in 1856, Abraham Lincoln was no stranger to rejection and failure. Rather than taking these signs as a motivation for surrender, he refused to stop trying his best. In this great man’s words: “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Lincoln was elected in 1861 as the 16th President of the United States of America. The amount of rejection you receive is not a defining factor. Success is still within your reach.
  6. Michael Jordan : “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” This quote by retired basketball legend Michael Jordan in a Nike advertisement speaks for itself. It would be an easy misconception that Jordan’s basketball skills revolve around natural talent. In fact, in his earlier years, basketball coaches had trouble looking past the fact that Jordan didn’t reach the minimum height. It was years of effort, practice, and failure that made the star we know today.
  7. Steven Spielberg : Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg is a familiar household name. It is surprising to realise therefore that the genius behind Jaws and E.T. had poor grades in high school, getting him rejected from the University of Southern California three times. While he was in college, he caught the eye of executives at Universal, who signed him as a television director in 1969. This meant that he would not finish his college degree for another 33 years. Perseverance and acceptance of failure is the key to success, after all. “Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry.” Bad grades in high school aside, there is no questioning the genius involved. To date, Spielberg has directed 51 films and has been awarded three Oscars.
  8. Walt Disney : Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt at joining the army. One of his earlier ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. He was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” Yet today, the genius behind Disney studios is responsible for generations of childhood memories and dreams. From Snow White to Frozen, Disney will continue to entertain the world for generations to come. The logic behind this is simple: “… we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
  9. Vincent Van Gogh : During his lifetime Vincent Van Gogh suffered mental illness, failed relationships, and committed suicide at the age of 37. He only ever sold one painting in his life, pinning him a failure as an artist. However that did not put a damper on his enthusiasm and passion for art. He would never know that years after his death he would become known as a key figure in the world of post-impressionism, and ultimately, one of the greatest artist that ever lived. He would never know that he became a hot topic in art classes and his image was going to be used in TV, books and other forms of popular culture. In the words of this great, but tragic man, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
  10. Stephen King : As a paranoid, troubled child, tormented by nightmares and raised in poverty, it is no surprise that Stephen King grew up to the title: “Master of Horror”. An addiction to drugs and alcohol were his mechanisms to cope with the unhappiness he felt with his life. The frustration he felt towards multiple rejections by publishers in combination with illicit substances caused him to mentally contemplate violence towards his own children. These intense emotions were those that he focused onto his writing. This became his new coping mechanism, and this is how the master author we know today grew to success.

The Power of Testing.

You cannot underestimate the difference between assuming and knowing! Test all the important aspects of your business, especially new products.

  1. Adopt an open mind
    Testing may give you results that you don’t want to hear, but stay positive and realise the value of every insight and how it will ultimately contribute to your success.
  2. Be generous and considerate to the persons assisting with your questions

    Three things that will make a difference: acknowledge their contribution, ask smart concise questions and don’t ask too many.

  3. Test an alternative group

    Run the same tests or questions with an alternative group outside your target market. This can prove invaluable when framing product information, insights of how to grow the niche and how a wider market thinks.

How times have changed!

Lenni Henry in the kitchen, is an amusing take off of how kitchens were when I learnt to cook. You either became resilient or you found another profession.

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The order of things…

Hi everyone thanks for all your feedback! It really is encouraging to hear that so many people share my newsletter with their friends and family.

A special thanks to all those who have advised that my newsletters and blogs have inspired and engaged them, helping them to think differently. It has been my pleasure to be able to share some thoughts with you all!

The order of things can be really important in conveying meaning but sometimes our desire to maintain order is just emotional compliance. Imagine this following scenario occurred when you are out on a first date. How would you react?

You and your date go into a restaurant together. You both look at the menu with your date requesting that her dessert be served first followed by her main course. What do you think and how do you react? Do you find it intriguing or do you find it odd and incompatible with your own behavior of having your main first followed by dessert?
Surely it doesn’t matter?

The following day you are doing the crossword and the clue is, “desserts”-backwards, which of course is “stressed” (desserts spelt backwards).
In this case order clearly matters?

The irony is that the order we eat in is driven by the social norm and when this isn’t complied with it creates tension and stress between the status quo and the challenger. “Stressed” being the reverse spelling of “desserts” mirrors the emotional feeling of the dessert being eaten in reverse order.

Check this out! Do you score 100%?


Follow my monthly column in M2

Click on the magazine image to go to the June edition titled “Why aren’t you ready to sell your business?” http://www.m2now.co.nz/category/coach/

Food and the Future

If we are “What We Eat” what are we going to become?

I am always on the look out for “game changing” ideas and science that will effect the way we nourish ourselves and feed the world population which is estimated to be close to 10 billion people by 2015. This is a 33% increase in the next 35 years which will require us to rethink our existing food production and supply model.

I have always aspired to being part of a significant change, so this is exciting.  The challenge to make better food, more sustainable, grown, commoditised, distributed and consumed with greater awareness, compassion and intelligence.

Change is happening all around us with thousands of small, yet significant, changes to our attitudes, environment, understanding of what we need, food creation process and distribution systems. My most significant questions at the moment relate to, what is healthy food and how can it be sustainably produced in sufficient quantities?

In this regard, will this new Food Pod concept outlined in the attached link be simply a fashionable fad and fail, or will it be part of a new reality?…

The Food Pod – click the image below to view more.

This next article shows creative thinking and how that helps to get around compliance obstacles. It is also a great reminder that there are always many answers to all the challenges that we face in business and in life. If we can only free our minds of the restrictive thinking that stop us seeing and embracing the better answers that sit beyond the status quo.

Challenge your thinking and mindset. Open yourself up to different possibilities. Start by identifying your emotional blocks.

Click the image below…

…and get my free eBook

Thinking Differently- over 100 idea starters

If you would like a hard copy please contact me – they will be available soon.


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We all need to feel inspired!

We all need to enjoy our work but most of all we need to feel inspired- check out these 3 ideas that I have prepared for YOU this month and get inspired. If you receive this newsletter, please do me a favor and share it with a friend!

Are You Ready to Sell – Why Not?

At some point we all need to exit our business, for many this will be scary and difficult. Those that run their business as though they are preparing it for sale two years from now make the best decisions on: developing value, taking profit and what their focus should be. Why? Because they have a business plan with an exit strategy!

Space looks like fun?

Here are two video feeds that caught my eye this month, both are inspired by genius and free thinking with bucket loads of entrepreneurial flare and absolute drive to succeed at relatively low cost! While there are many differences between the two ventures strategy and technology are two that really stand out for me? What can you learn from these video clips?

Fascinating approach, uses old technology but sadly, unlikely to succeed.

Genius, I am proud to be a Kiwi!!

Very high tech and very likely to succeed.

Wealth and Opportunity – What you do matters!

My sister, Esme Mac Donald shared this short reflection that she previously shared with her small Otago community church. I think it raises a fabulous question? Do you take anything for granted?

Imagine if your birthright was to be given a bank account that would have deposited in it $86,400 every day. However, your birthright comes with rules!

The rules:

  • You can not transfer the money into another account
  • You can only spend it.
  • Each morning upon waking, your account has another $86,400 for that day but anything you don’t spend that day is removed.
  • The bank can end the game without warning. At any time it can say, “The game is over!” It can close the account & you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted. Not only for yourself but for all the people you love. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent and use it all, wouldn’t you?

Well, actually this scenario is reality. Each of us is in possession of such a magical gift, we just can’t see it. The magical bank is life and the magical money is time.

Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life and when we go to sleep at night, any unused time is not credited to us. What we have frittered away that day is forever lost. Yesterday is forever gone. Each morning the account is refilled but you need to remind yourself that your life can be terminated at any time….without warning.

So think about what you will do with your 86,400 seconds at the start of each day and ask yourself, did my efforts today support the gift of another 86,400 tomorrow?

Check out my article in M2 this month.

My Gift to you
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Great ideas aren’t the exclusive domain of the boss!

This little note is all about clever ideas and how you think. These are two of the best ways you can change your opportunities- good luck and I hope something here inspires you!

Honey on tap!

Who said all the great ideas have already been invented? A couple of clever Australian blokes stuck a tap on the end of a beehive and have created honey on tap (I might have slightly over simplified that?)

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 10.44.43 am

My Gift To You

Thinking Differently- over 100 idea starters
I have just released my first E book and for your interest I have gifted you the link to access your very own copy – pass it on to your friends!!!

3 URLS with 5 top ideas that will change our world whilst we watch.

Think technology, think green, think intelligence- can you imagine how these genius ideas will eventuate, can you use them?

Blogs from the month

Learning from the Cricket – Impatiently Patient or Patiently Impatient?
In or Out
What If…?
Avoiding over & under reaction
Your Business Exit Plan

My Gift to you
Thinking Differently- over 100 idea starters

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Mark Collins