Dear Joel, Dear Anna. Part 3.


(1 November 2021)

Right now I’m on the couch at 2 Burrows Close, Braunton, England , at the end of a 10 day cycle of rain and wind, you two are out running with the dogs in the corn field, we are dog sitting for Pat and Kirst. Right now is November 1st 2021… and what a crazy 2 years its been. Time flies too quick between these moments of peace and stillness where I have time to write to you. It has been literal years since my last post, and I fear if I dont take this chance right here right now it may be another few years gone.

You just lived through a global pandemic! The world locked down, 5 million people died of Covid 19 , we moved countries, started new businesses, skipped school years and have landed somewhat with our bums in the butter. Bizarre times.

Annie youre a handful at the moment I wont lie. you are turning into one of the most beautiful young (soon to be 10) kids on earth, but you have the sass of a 15 year old. Needless to say we have been butting heads. School, friends and work have turned life into a bit of a whirlwind lately and I hope I’m doing a good enough job of checking in with you. I love the times when you come and help me at the warehouse, pulling stock, unloading containers, packing boxes. You really have incredible perserverance when your heart is in it (or theres £20 on the line, I have no doubt wealth lies ahead of you) Floss, Sophia, Isla, Nela and Rosie are your besties, and I’m terrified of what you and Sophia are going to get up to in a few years. I’ll be keeping a close eye! You also caught your first wave this summer, with Joel out there with you!

Joel… you have found your happy place, you have surf mates, who live just a few houses down, school has been easy despite skipping an entire year(something I’m still in awe that you managed to do with such ease) you get free stuff from surfshops weekly and you eat your weight in sweets on your way home from school daily (bennys must be sponsoring you or something). Surfing is in its right place for you right now, you’re really nervous of anything over 3 feet, but you want more, and im sure it’ll come. I dont want you to be a pro, or win all the contests, I’m loving seeing you reach each new milestone on the great journey that is surfing. This past week we surfed really fun Lynmouth and you landed your first air kick out… you were screaming hahaa. Thats what I love. That and listening to rock songs full blast on our missions. These are good days.

You guys have been amazing with your cousins, Dyl and and Hayden. so patient, entertaining them, keeping them busy so the adults can enjoy a beer outside , you sneak in your fair share of teasing and scaring them (black cat is coming) or Joel pretending to put daddy longlegs spiders on Hayden. I don’t tell you much but that always impresses me when you look after them.

Kimmy and I are bladdy tired! we have moved you guys to a country with no nannies, no cleaners and no grand parents. So we havent had a night off in over a year. We have cooked and cleaned and started a business from scratch. Kimmy has worked in an icecream shop, the RYD warehouse and taken photos, I have been driving across the country on deliveries to meet customers, build relationships. I’m sorry if your memory of these times is of us being a little grumpy, or frazzled, the truth is we are, but we are loving this move and so happy to be making progress financially for the first time in years. It’s been awesome taking you to experience new things. This year you did your first music festival. Red Rooster was a blast and the look on your faces when your stood front of the stage and heard your first live band was priceless. Looking forward to lots more of that.

P.S this is only being posted now…in the back end of 2022 because , well such is the nature of time at the moment… blink and nearly a year speeds past. I’ve been writing fairly consistantly, but really struggle to push that publish button. I’ll attempt to be better and less self concious.

The Nicholson’s (Since 1690)


Tough times on earth right now.

Unprecedented times they say. So many words I’m tired of hearing.  Stupid memes, idiots on Facebook, exponential graphs and lots of time on our hands to consume it all.

With all this fear, and death in the air, I thought, let’s write some shit down.

I lost my aunt to cancer late last year, my mom’s sister, Mary Ann. The softest, most awesome woman, always there for a hug or a laugh. Loved a gossip and a chat, someone who I always felt was genuinely happy to see me. Such a warm person. She left behind three strong daughters and a couple of awesome grand kids.

Then just a few weeks ago I lost my uncle to cancer. My dad’s brother. Uncle Trev.  A nicer man you could not hope to meet. In 40 years of knowing him, the only memories i have of him are smiling, joking or saying “Check Up!!!” at the top of his voice. He left behind a strong family of four kids, all with two kids of their own.

Life’s fragile edge, never forgives and never gets easier.

In strange times like these, when every day, thousands of deaths are listed as a news statistic, so cold, so far removed from the people that we lose, and the world seems to be coming to a standstill, a healthy dose of perspective always helps.

So here’s a fun little story, for a change of scenery.

On both sides of my folks family, my grand parents had four kids and those four kids all had two or more kids, and most of those kids have had kids. It’s a big family.

Not many of us know much about our heritage. I didn’t know anything further back than my grand parents. Until this past Christmas holiday, down in Seal Point, on a rainy day, rummaging through my folks stuff…

… I found this.

Photo 2019-12-28, 16 34 18

A book, with a red cover, The Nicholson Family Tree.

1690 -1986.

What follows is a story about the Nicholson brothers, John and William, of Watton Grange , Yorkshire, England and how they decided to take a chance on the Byrne Settlement Scheme in Natal, South Africa in the mid 1800’s.

Photo 2020-04-03, 18 17 19

Packing up their families, they set sail from London docks on the ship ‘Sandwich’, on the 20th of April 1850. Their nearly three month journey is covered in summarized excerpts from John’s wife, Harriet’s journal,  describing rats, bugs, malnutrition and rough seas. On arrival in Durban’s bay, stuck in gale force winds and not able to reach the shore for a further 2 days, waiting out what was probably a large cold front.

At this point my imagination runs wild with thoughts of what surf would have blocked their entry into the natural harbor. Mid July… big cold front, sand bar creeping around from the bluff… I’m thinking super bank?

On the 29th of July 1850, the Nicholson’s made shore in Durban. Living in tents near the current city hall, they spent ten days waiting to be allotted their land by Mr Moreland (the Byrne settlers agent).

After a successful scouting mission, they traveled by ox wagon and settled on land on the banks of the Illovo river in the area that is now called Richmond. Over the course of the next 50 years, despite many misadventures, snake bites, murders and wars, the brothers and their children farmed successfully, all over KZN and eventually settling in Underberg, in what is now known as Highlands Farm.

Photo 2020-04-03, 18 16 29

The book is a comprehensive summary of the family tree, laid out in painstaking detail by Skonk Nicholson, who carefully traced, cataloged and constructed the 34 branches of the family. The book, which my dad received at The Nicholson family reunion in 1986, held the Underberg farm, has drifted from one box, bookshelf to another until now… 33 years later.

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1986 Nicholson Reunion. Blue shirt front row…sulking. Yup, that’s me.

Just looking at this photo blows my mind. It’s incredible to think of the legacy created by those two brothers. I’m fascinated by the guts it took to travel around the world and make a go of it in deep dark Africa. It also makes immigration in our modern world look extremely tame. Perhaps a fresh perspective on today’s challenges.

I’ve attached the scanned PDF of the full story if you’re bored enough to have a look through. I’ve also included the family tree, which is fascinating to only myself, but as I’ve said before, this blog is a way for me to document stuff for my kids to look back over, years from now.  Enjoy kids, you may appreciate it one day when you’re 40 haha.

Click here to read the PDF’s.

Nicholson Family Tree 1

Nicholson Family Tree 2

Nicholson Family Tree 3

Nicholson Family Tree 4

2019. Lets go.

perspective, real estate

A little look in the rearview mirror as we slide into 2019.


The beautiful road back from our holiday, through Northern Transkei, and into 2019.

If I wanted to choose a movie title to best describe my last year, it would be Fight Club. Or maybe The Long Walk to Freedom? My bank account’s cash flow would best be visualized like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan… absolute carnage!

A career in real estate is not for the faint of heart. Earning commission selling houses in a third world country that is battling through a recession, whilst politicians threaten property redistribution without compensation, is quite honestly a mad man’s game.

If you can look past the aforementioned horror show there are diamonds in the rough: new friendships, freedom, and true satisfaction of sailing your own ship. 2018 taught me much, but the most important thing it gave me was a belief in myself, in my plan and the simple truth that if you want something, you can roll up your sleeves and go and get it.

Every fight comes with its own small amount of glory. There are 52 agents in my office and roughly 250 on the north coast, every day it’s me vs everyone else. On all good property deals, it’s always a race to the finish. Closing a deal reminds me so much of my early surfing career, that feeling of winning an event was the exact same rush.

I love it.

The property market on the north coast was buoyant in 2018, largely thanks to the increased influx of young families from Durban and Gauteng. Ballito is a very unique space in the sense that it has found itself in a prime position after the new airport was built, and sugar farmers started offloading large tracts of land, close to the town’s heart, for developers to custom design living spaces that are perfectly in line with the demand of new generation. The result has been a radical expansion, as huge investment money has poured in. Elaleni, Zululami, Barbets Crest, Birdhaven, Loxley, Mont Calm, Tahari, Brooklyn and Ballito Hills are just a few of the new estates currently being built in and around the Ballito area.


Barbets Crest is a new development going up alongside Simbithi Golf Estate,

Simbithi continues to be a favourite, with its location, facilities and incredible lifestyle offering. I live in a sectional title unit, a 3 bedroom duplex in the estate, and by far the two biggest perks of our lifestyle are they security and the lifestyle my kids live. With many young families in the sectional title complexes, our kids spend most weekday afternoons and all weekends running amok on the nature trails, fishing in the dams with their mates. Joel has a watch alarm set for 5pm so he knows when it’s time to make his way back to the house. Not only is it a great way to grow up for them, it’s a huge pressure off Kimmy and me as parents, because we have space, and the TV remote!

As much as estates are the premium demand, we saw freestanding homes bounce back into favour again this year, as prices continue to climb in gated estates, free-standing houses (which have had minimal demand in previous years), found themselves as great value for money in 2018.

I sold R50 million worth of property this year, 12 of those 14 deals were neck and neck races with other agents. One thing you can be sure of, if it’s a good deal, there’s going to be multiple offers, and navigating that deal to the finish is the hardest part of this profession. It’s something I’m really starting to enjoy the pressure of (I only lost 2 deals to other agents). My most intense negotiation this year was a R10 million cash deal, which was close to a record high price in Simbithi. It went backwards and forwards over 3 days until we settled at R10,650,000. Such a rush, and a great boost for my own confidence in negotiating and closing big deals.

corkwood close 5, simbithi (2)

A view worth every cent.

No matter how much the deal is worth, the highlight of my year in sales always comes back to the people I get to meet. This year I’ve worked with some incredible people, made some new friends, but few more inspirational than Mr Harold Mac Millan.

Mac, as I’ve come to know him, is a character like no other, and getting to meet people like him is exactly the reason why I love my job. My first intro to him was quite an experience, a range rover pulled up, with the number plate Mach2, which left me half expecting a Ferrari loving racing fanatic who shmaaked to go fast,  instead out jumped the closest looking human to the Goonies pirate, One-Eyed Willie.

A few years ago life granted Mac the cruel privilege of a tumour behind his eye socket, and as a result, half of his facial bone structure had been surgically removed. Steele plates and bone grafts had been put back to restore his faces shape. A patch of skin has been sewn over the place where his eye used to be, leaving him with literally half a normal face.

Now I say privilege of a tumour because life can really be a shit, you can guarantee it will throw you curve balls and how you decide to respond is what makes you who you are. What Mac has lost, has only left more space for his incredible human spirit to shine through. A decision he probably made during a very dark time, and one that defines his true character. Perhaps having walked so close to death, free’s a person to truly shine the way we all should. Mac walks this earth free of the limitations that many of us carry, and when he speaks to you, it is direct, straightforward, and from the heart.

We connected instantly.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a dark sense of humour and love a good laugh at life’s cruellest jokes, somebody once described it to me as “cheap laughs in dark times”. I like that. Mac is no different and disarms everyone he meets with comical quips about his appearance (he introduced himself as the pirate of Simbithi), not allowing you a moment to feel sorry for him. But what’s really cool about him is his passion for life, this guy ain’t waiting for tomorrow, he is ALL about today!

He came to me through a good friend, looking for an investment property, and we struck gold pretty quick. We closed a deal on an apartment in Simbithi, and it needed a lot of work to get it into a rentable state, but scooped it for a fantastic price. Now on average, it takes 3 months to transfer property into a new owner’s name, and it’s never advisable to begin renovations until it belongs to you. If anything goes wrong in the transfer process, you risk losing any money you spend on renovations.

Trivial things like this weren’t going to slow Mac down. He asked me to get permission from the seller to get started early, which I did, and when I walked into the property a day later, the entire place had been dismantled, tiles ripped up, cupboards sent for a respray, lights replaced… all this in one day! Ol Mac wasn’t messing around. When people operate on that level, it inspires you to raise your game too. Over the coming days we sorted out locks and keys, fixed the garage, re-tiled, sanded the deck, and found him a tenant (a good mate of mine who I think connected with him instantly as well), now we only have to wait another two months for the lawyers to catch up and register this place.

The point of my story about Mac is really just to give praise to a person who inspired me this year, those connections are rare. It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves, to say life’s unfair and make excuses. Mac reminded me that we should only make room in our lives for positive energy, regardless of our circumstances, life is not fair and never will be, we should grab a hold of our passions and go after them like there is no tomorrow. Cheers to this legend for giving me a new perspective, something I value a lot in this world.

Kimmy took a big step this past year too, starting her own photography business, and it has taken off! We both really wanted careers where we decide when and how we work, so we could maximize our holidays and time together. You can see some of her work at (she is the youngest of three McDonald siblings). She has specialized in property images for real estate companies to start, with a few family shoots, a wedding and a even a hotel in the midlands thrown in to make for an exciting first year. Her real passion is wildlife and hopefully she will be shooting a game lodge soon. I’ll be there to carry the bags.


So here’s a huge THANKS to those of you who I’ve worked with so far, it is always a pleasure working with my friends! I look forward to driving more of you around our town this year, talking nonsense, comparing war stories, venting about parental responsibilities, and connecting over a beer.

I’m really excited about 2019, and I plan to make the most of it. I wish you all good health and wild adventures this year, make the most of this trip around the sun.

See you all soon.


Material -The Minimalism Project


Day one…..This is not easy.

Or fun.

In fact, Day 1 was quite stressful. Overwhelming to be honest.

If you missed my last post, I’m on a self-auditing mission of Minimalism, where I aim to trim the fat in my life. Over the next few posts I am tackling three categories in my life:

  • Space (where we live and how we use that space)
  • Material (the things we fill that space with )
  • Financial (the way we spend my money, and how we can do it better, or less?)

This post is about the material things because I realised we couldn’t improve the way we used our space until we knew what space we had to work within the first place.

A good clean out often spirals out of control halfway, leaving you standing in the middle of the biggest mess you ever saw, wondering why the hell you started this. Today was no different, I found myself wishing I could press the rewind button!

The worst part I was only on room number 1, my kids’ room. My sneaky suspicion is that there are much worse places still to go!

Lets back things up for a second and get into some helpful tips before you start:

  1. Have some big trash bags, boxes and containers ready to sort the mess
  2. Categorize them (I had 3 piles going, Trash into black bags, donation stuff into boxes and Keep stuff into plastic tubs)
  3. Try not to fill the plastic tub up at all. the whole point of this exercise is to rid your space of things that you don’t need or use in your life. Stuff sitting in a tub in the garage or cupboard kinda defeats the purpose and means you didn’t push yourself far enough out your comfort zone.
  4. Start and finish one room at a time!

I’ll say this… the kids were amazing! I really thought they were going to struggle with letting go of their toys, but they were ruthless. I actually started stressing watching these barbie dolls I have spent a fortune on, getting disposed of so easily!

Before we knew it we had 4 full boxes and black bags of donations ready to go!


We loaded up Kimmy’s truck and headed off to iThembe Labasha, which is close to our home and our heart. Jess’s mom, Debbie, has been hugely involved since Jess passed away in helping organise and uplift this little center.

Ithemba Labasha means ‘hope for our children’ in Zulu and is an NPO run community centre in Shaka’s Head, just outside Ballito. They run a full day-care for toddlers who get fed breakfast and lunch daily. In the afternoons after school, local school children come to the Centre for a daily hot cooked meal, Monday to Friday.

This allows many of the local moms and dads to go off to work, knowing their kids are safe and well cared for, and earn a full days wages for their family. All parents can relate to the stress of balancing work and kids during the week. This little center solves that problem in the best possible way.

The kids went ballistic when they saw what we had for them, it was quite emotional to get hugs and squeezes and to see how excited they were. Kimmy was dive tackled by a very grateful little man who decided to show his appreciation by attempting to fly into her arms. Joel was super stoked to see old spiderman getting some love again, I think it was a good lesson for them. Perspective is something I’m really big on and helping my kids see how their old unwanted toys meant so much these kids were right on track.



Now that was fun! And worth all the hack!

Next up was the kitchen, lounge and my bedroom, which was not going to be easy! There is so much STUFFFFFF. I was ruthless in my cupboard. All those items I was saving “until I lose weight” …. OUT they go! All those items I use around the house because they have holes and are so comfortable, OUT! (okay I kept one comfy pant and one comfy shirt)

The linen cupboard! The secret cupboard under the stairs! It was madness! Kimmy spent hours cleaning that linen cupboard and figuring out what we will actually ever use again.

The pics below tell the story! it was the most amazing accumulation of STUFF. Most of the excess I offered to my housekeeper Lindewe, which she will keep or sell. There is always someone who is in desperate need of things we will never use again.


Then it was time to hit the garage and tackle my most emotional crutch.


Yes, I know that is shallow. But it is true. I started having these things out the rafters and from behind boxes and by the end of it, there were 10 surfboards lying on the garage floor. Of which I ride 2. Took a bloody long time to come to terms with it but the reality was I would never really ride them again, and I figured I could treat myself to a new one if I offloaded these.

8 surfboards for sale!


I offloaded two boards to The Surfboard Agent, a new concept started by my mate Sidney Boulanger. The idea is he stocks demo models and second-hand boards, and you can pop in and try them out, decide what you like before you spend all your money.

I dropped two nearly new boards off to help kick-start the project:

  • 5’11 , 18 3/4 round pin with spinetek (4th from the left)
  • 6’3 pintail black beauty (far right-hand side on the skate ramp)

Rad concept, you can find out more here:

Okay so we have a few more places to neaten up around the house, our AirBnB guests are coming next week so that’s always good motivation to trim any unnecessary fat.

I’m loving the feeling of letting go of all this stuff. I want to have a life of practical things that are well used. Anything extra money can be spent on experiences! If it collects dust, then it must move!

I want 2019 to be the most productive of my entire life, so I’m creating a space mentally and physically that will allow it. Part of that is being honest about my shortcomings, which is why this blog is more like confession or therapy for me! Still to come on this journey is my Financial and Space Audits. which will come in the new year. 2018 was a really tough year on my cash flow and grew up a lot when it came to taking control of my spending.

I’ll share some of the good the bad and the ugly soon.

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

The Minimalism Project



Two good friends recently tasked me with finding them a new home to buy. I love finding friends homes. The consequences are high, because you don’t want to let your friends down, but I love the challenge. Besides, hanging out with friends and looking at homes is far more fun than it is actual work.

There’s a common logic amongst most of us that we look for the house that stretches us to the absolute maximum of what we are able to afford. The best home our money can buy. We started looking at options, and along the way, the objective became clear that they were looking to downsize, in order to live bond free. This was quite a refreshing challenge.

Their mission reminded me of a documentary I watched a while back, called Minimalism which I promised to put her onto. I went home and found it on Netflix (you can watch it in multiple places, just click here to see your options ) and before I knew it was engrossed for the second time. But this time it really hit home.

Some highlights/profound moments were as follows:

  • to find a way to live well, within an easy to earn income
  • work less, experience more
  • to only have things that you actually use or you get value from
  • to minimize the stuff that fills up our lives

Another great source of inspiration if you like where I’m going here is “How to live Morgage free with Sarah Beeny” also on Netflix, great ideas and innovative ways to avoid choking to death on huge monthly bond costs.


A serious self-audit was coming.

I decided to scrutinize the following areas of my life, financial,  material and space.

Space is what I currently need to live and how I use it. It’s a verified statistic that the majority of people only use 40% of their home. With the dining room being the most wasted space in the majority of homes. What are my wasted spaces and how can I make positive changes?

Material is the stuff that fills my space, what am I actually using? what is adding value and what is just pure hoarding? This is going to be a big one!

Financial. Something that has completely stunned me in recent years is how expensive my life is. Yet every time I look at my budget, I cannot find a way to cut back! I am going to take a good look at my expenses and I’ll be honest about the results!

So that is my 3 part project I’m working on. I’ll post each individually and show you the before and after results. I’m writing this so that I can’t chicken out and not do it.

Peace, love and less nonsense.




Change Your Game


Sometimes things happen that push you in a direction, even if you’re not heading there.

I haven’t posted anything in a long time (despite having 5 drafts sitting on my WordPress account that I’m just not ready to share yet) but in the past couple months a common topic popped up in multiple conversations, so I decided to put something down in writing. It’s easy to write when you feel strongly about the topic.

In February, my bruv Pete popped in for a long overdue visit (he lives in Mauritius and I hadn’t seen him in 3 years) he is busy planning his new future and we had some deep discussions around planning a career, making tough decisions when the way isn’t clear. He has multiple options on the table and no clear feeling which way to go. Then shortly after his visit another mate called me and told me he had pulled the plug on his job of 4 years to go in a completely different direction. Then another mate. same story. Then my favourite blogger Tim Urban, of WaitbutWhy ,who hasn’t blogged in literally 1 entire year, releases his latest post “choosing a career”  which was kind of a strange topic for him, because he usually writes about space, the future, and artificial intelligence…. but he has also dealt with these changing times and it was a common problem in his circle of friends.

And then just this week, another mate called me asking for advice on how he should change up his career.  Okay, maybe I need to write this out.


Pete and I discussing the big issues in life. Beer always helps.

So this discussion has been a frequent one, and I had a secret weapon I had used in my recent career change, was this the time to share it? I was a little embarrassed at the thought of including it in this post, then I thought well nobody is probably going to read it, so what do you have to lose!

I guess my last 2 years have been a vindication of my decision to change my career and re-balance my lifestyle. it has been bladdy hard, and there have been some serious moments of self-doubt, even still when cash flow gets tight, and I’m struggling to pay bills I lie in bed and wonder if I’m being stupid. but then I revisit my “WHY”. why am I doing this, what is the alternative, everything becomes clear, and I know what I have to do, just press on.

So my ‘Why’ is obviously brought about by the experience of losing my wife to cancer and the perspective of time that came with that experience, time suddenly had a new value and became my most valued commodity. How could I spend my time in a way that I would never regret?

First, you need a value system, a hierarchy of what is most important to you. Everyone is different, and only you can answer the question, which usually requires some pretty deep reflection and/or a life-changing experience to make it clear. If you don’t have that clarity yet, Tim Urban’s post is a fantastic place to start! He systematically breaks down how we reach a place in our lives where we are suddenly at ends with what we planned, and following a few of his pretty cool, fun exercises, he helps you find your core motivating values.  If you need this help, set aside the morning, read this post and follow the instructions.

Now look, I’m a little strange, I LOVE spreadsheets. They are like little fortune tellers. You put in info, create a formula and a Blam! The answer is there! It can tell you how much money you will have in 20 years time! It can tell you where you are making mistakes and it can even help you pick a career. I built one to help me remove the emotional elements of job choices and find a career that best suited my value system while leveraging my skillset.

It’s pretty simple:

  • rank your values
  • list your job opportunity or potential career paths
  • answer 9 questions
  • Check your answers!

This exercise does something I thought was really interesting, by focussing on very specific micro questions about certain elements to a job position, and scoring those questions according to a weighting for your values, the answer you get at the end is somewhat surprising.

In my case, my skill set of marketing, leveraged with having a big network of friends and my highest priority value being flexibility to spend time with Kimmy and my kids, the answer was so far ahead of the others, I literally couldn’t believe my eyes!

A real estate agent? Again? I had some really negative emotions with regards to being a salesperson, and there were other cooler jobs I imagined myself doing. I really couldn’t picture myself putting up show boards on a Sunday in formal clothing. but none of the other options scores close to it:

  • Relationship manager at a tech/online gaming company in SA (decent flexibility) 43 points
  • A senior position in the surf industry (years of experience, knowledge) 40 points
  • Marketing department for a cutting-edge tech company (with a great salary) 39 points

All of these scored less than half of a position I had been offered at RE/ MAX, with zero salary ! hahaha, my value system was definitely a strange one. 83 Points! But it ticked most important boxes:

Flexibility, I needed a job where I could come and go on my own terms. I need to fetch kids, watch their extra murals, buy groceries, and once in a while sneak a surf.

Big Earning Potential , its definitely not for the faint-hearted, but real estate can pay out big if you are good at what you do.

Leveraging my network, I like people, I like talking to people, I think I have a decent reputation and I’m honest and genuinely care about what people think of me.

Time to build a side hustle, not many jobs allow you as much freedom and personal time management as property. I was going to make the most of it.

The downside was the lack of a salary , but because the weighting made that not a priority (yeah i know, not the smartest call)  The other scores made the answer clear. RE/MAX it was!

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you…….. the Magical Decision Maker  (click here and you can download it and give it a try) 

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS ! See bottom of the article!

Numbers don’t lie! I had to trust the spreadsheet. It was simple math. So I took the job. I decided to make it for me, rather than become a typical Sunday arvo agent, I would be me, and also sell property. I love working with people, I love catching up with old friends, I pride myself on my ethics and honesty, and I figured this would all be a pretty good base. I would learn to be an expert in the market but these other elements would be a natural starting point. Besides, I figured most homes sell themselves, you’re either feeling it when you walk in the door or you’re not, I just had to listen well enough to make sure I was showing my friends the right properties.

The first-year was hard!!!!!!! My cash flow was non-existent, and I went heavily into debt to cover my monthly expenses. But I was committed. I trusted that spreadsheet! I stayed committed to my plan of building quality relationships vs. selling the most property anyone has ever sold. I just wanted to be recognised for doing a great job, and being trustworthy on the few deals I did.

Fast forward to 2018 and I’m happy to report success and happiness! I won Rookie of the Year in 2017 (highest total commission for a new agent). It was double the earnings I had ever made in a calendar year, and I was still far off the potential (i think I was like 20th in my office!) But the best part of all of it, I had lived a balanced life. I had fetched my kids from school every day, I had time for myself (small amounts, but they were on my terms, and made me feel like I was in control and not just a cog in some wheel of life).

Another big goal of mine was to build an app in my spare time, I love tech, and I have about 3,000 ideas floating around in my head at any given time, I just wanted to bring one of them to life. Starting at RE/MAX you are put into a series of fantastic training seminars that help you build yourself up to a highly motivated and successful individual.

During one of these courses I stumbled upon an idea that I thought was relevant and turned into a conversation with a friend, which turned into a couple sketched out ideas, which turned into a spreadsheet (did tell you? i heart spreadsheets!) which turned into a meeting with a developer which turned into a year of development, and TA DA! is born. ( It’s a task management app designed specifically for salespeople with big client databases, and it syncs with your calendar which makes you really efficient at not dropping the ball)


I have some other projects, most of them I’ve been terrible at starting, but overall I really feel like my time and energy has been focussed on the right things over the last 2 years. You can’t do everything you want to do, there has to be a sacrifice. To give more energy to one thing means taking energy away from something else. The spreadsheet is designed to help you understand where you want to spend that energy and choose a career that supports that.

My cash flow is still very strained, and I’m far from what I would call comfortable, but I feel like I’m getting there, and enjoying the journey too, which after all is the most important thing.

I hope the Magical Decision Maker finds at least 1 person and helps them make a hard choice clearer! Please let me know if it does, I’ll be delighted to hear your story!


Mondays don’t have to be the worst day of the week! Kimmy enjoying flexible work hours.


TAB 1 – ONLY fill in the corresponding number in the GREEN block


TAB 3 – ANSWER the 9 questions relating to each job. ONLY FILL IN THE corresponding number. Different jobs can get the same score eg. Question how is the starting salary?

Astronaut – 5 , Lawyer – 5 , Street sweeper – 1


Message me if it doesn’t make sense!



After 10 years of global recession we all have the sense “somethings gotta give”. I’m not sure if it is just us getting older and more pessimistic, or the world being more aware of the shit that’s happening all around us, either way, there seems to be a lot of crap to deal with these days.

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a ridiculous optimist.

I love the endless possibilities that the future holds. I’m obsessed with technology , and its ability to make life easier/better. My childhood idol Kelly Slater has been replaced with Elon Musk (although Slater’s wave pool near saw him take back that top slot). I wait eagerly for the latest releases, whether it be Tesla cars, iPhone software/hardware, or simply my favourite futurist blogger’s tech posts.

It always amazes me how humans , when faced with adversity, how they adapt and find solutions for what would have seemed impossible just years before. Taking the negative, and turning the result into something better than before.

I’m starting to see a change in the world that I think is going to transform our lives quite drastically in the near future. Good people have big power now, young idealists amassing huge fortunes, not hardened by decades of toil, are leading the way. In most of these bright new minds, money is not the goal, making the world a better place is. Zuckerburg has pledged 99% to good causes by the end of his life. He just declared war on all disease which he hopes to cure by the end of the century, a stark contrast to the old guard.

The power is being put into our hands, like never before. We all know the barrier to entry for starting a business is lower than it has every been, but companies like Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb, are creating platforms that make success even easier, because of the intelligent systems they provide for free.

I think the changes are going to transform our lives quite drastically in the near future, because it already has started affecting my life.

In the last few months, Airbnb has paid my bills and for only a 3% commission. It has taken my home and turned it into a money-making machine. It has been my single source of income, besides the odd article being published here and there, since my transition to selling property. It has taken my kids on holiday and scored me the best waves I have had in years this July. You wanna to do the same with your place? You can see how here .


My child, who is 7, is selling t-shirts online, to people all over the world, without ever having lifted a roll of fabric, or seen an ink printing machine. He draws, someone else takes the order and makes it, he gets paid. He was in pre-school last year. You can check his stuff out here at Joel’s T-Shirt Store and you can follow his antics here on Instagram here


Elon Musk just announced his plan to create a rental pool for his autonomous cars, once you are dropped off at work, they will enter the rental pool and earn you money, driving other people around, returning to you on summons… your car, an asset. Imagine that first monthly instalment, being less than the profit you made from it being rented out. The cars will hit SA by the end of 2017, the software will likely be available sooner.


Your home’s roof (another new Musk mission) is now capable of creating more energy than your home needs, through super efficient, beautifully designed solar roofs, and massively improved battery storage systems, you can feed excess energy back into the grid, earning you money.

When the things you own, earn you money back, you suddenly start turning everyday items into assets, and passive income. And where you don’t own?…well,  there are multiple cheap options to outsource. Imagine the cost of transport and how it will drop when the energy is coming from the sun, and every car is capable of being rented out as a taxi. The cost of electricity, when every home makes you more than it costs.


I think the true power and potential of the internet is yet to be realised, we are are only scratching the surface. The ability to create these platforms that connect everyone may be of far greater importance than social media further down the line, it may be the future of true democracy. Where voting happens in real-time and honesty and accountability are inescapable, removing us from the ancient shackles of government and industry.

I still eagerly await the ability to upload my consciousness or an eternal solution to my ageing cells, but in the meantime, I’m pretty happy about self-driving cars and Kelly’s wave pool.




Eternal Life


When my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2013, her biggest fear was not being able to see our kids grow up. There are two parts to this fear, firstly the personal fear of missing out on the experience, having Joel and Anna was easily our greatest life achievement, witnessing their journey to adulthood is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. The second part of that fear was the consequences of her death, and how that would affect them, how would they turn out without their Mom. Losing your Mom at the tender age of 2 and 5 would undoubtedly have consequences, pretty much a new mother’s worst nightmare.

After coming to terms with the fact that her death was an actual possibility, my thoughts turned to possible ways to preserve her values, memories and character so in the worst case scenario, she might still be able to have an influence on them in their growing years. She might not get to experience them growing up, but they could still have her influence through their formative years through video messages, and a small library of her thoughts.

The hard part was going to be getting her to agree. She was fighting cancer, and the possibility of losing that battle was not even a consideration for her, she was an extremely strong woman, this would basically be considering the possibility of defeat.

So I bought a video camera, and secretly started documenting quiet moments with the kids. Watching them back now with the kids, it’s pretty funny how to transparent I was, every time I pick the camera up she glares at me, and says, switch that thing off!

Over a few awkward and gingerly attempts I tried to get her to talk to me on camera. She wasn’t having any of it. Eventually, we had the conversation and she explained that she couldn’t do it. She was in a life and death fight for her survival and her entire focus had to be on defeating it. I agreed and dropped the subject.

Unfortunately, by the time we knew the end was close, she had long lost her ability to speak, or communicate. This was one of the few regrets I was left with after her passing. Should I have pushed harder? What else could I have done to preserve her memory?

It stayed with me, I thought about it often, I thought of writing a children’s book for them, with a storyline that described our love and our journey but I wanted something that would stay with them until adulthood. I kept her cell phone with the idea that they could somehow learn about their Mom through the things she followed, the pics she took, the texts we sent each other? It all felt very spaced out and disconnected.

Part of me was frustrated, convinced that had she been consciously aware that the end was  near, she would have left us something. Optimistically I searched her phone, her computer, her emails. I found nothing.

In late 2015 we had to move house, two days after the madness, I was sitting on the floor in the new garage, going through boxes and deciding what was going to come in the house and what was being stored. I noticed a book that I didn’t recognise. A diary. I opened the first page and the first words took my breath right out of my chest…

“My book of just in case…..To my darling husband…”


What followed over the next 15 pages is hard to describe without tears. The bravest, most intimate messages to the kids and I, written in case that she didn’t make it. It was nothing short of talking to her from the afterlife, two years after her death. It was exactly what I had been looking for. It was something, even if it was just a few pages,  of HER, talking to the kids, in her words, in the future, from the past.

Since her death I had been thinking of ways to make a hard copy of myself, should the unimaginable happen and they lost me too. This very blog has always been a part of that plan, a record of my thinking, our journey. I sketched up a loose concept and emailed it to my friend Tank who takes ideas and turns them into real websites. The idea was a sort of an online family tree, where generations from now you could travel way back on your family lineage and meet your great great great great grandfather, learn what he stood for, and understand your heritage with an accurate first-hand account. He wasn’t convinced, saying it sounded a lot like Facebook and I kind of agreed. It lacked the hook, who cares what happens in 100 years.

Then I stumbled across this…

An app for talking to the dead? Woman brings best friend back to life as AI chatbot

What…!  No, they didn’t!

Oh yes, they did. When this woman lost her best friend, she was devastated and in an attempt to find closure (she happens to work with Artificial Intelligence Apps) , she fed thousands of his text messages, images and personal data into a chatbot with the ability to learn his style of writing, and personality, to create appropriate responses to real-time questions. The result…. hauntingly real life conversations with her long since dead friend. Creepy ? Little bit! Comforting? According to her , absolutely. It’s helped her cope with his death. And friends say that the chatbot has nailed his sense of humor, often making funny light quips about his tragic death.


This was created after his death using what little they had left of his digital history. Which got her (and me) thinking, what if you built the virtual personality before death, what if you could give the A.I everything it needed to be a real as possible. From beliefs, values, actual voice recordings, facial expressions the neural network learns who you are and they way you react… you essentially are backing yourself up to a hard drive. Sure, when you die, you’re dead… but that doesn’t mean the people left behind need to lose you! I did some more digging… and found this…

It’s exactly what I was thinking about! With a much better grasp on what is, and will be possible, they have got an incredible plan.

Using the latest in artificial intelligence, facial recognition, data analysis, these guys aim to build your immortal digital profile. But word is people have been waiting since 2014 for something to actually happen. I hope it’s not too far off.

So would you back yourself up? We all want to leave a legacy, don’t we? Nobody wants to be forgotten. Is there anybody you would like to have a chat with, that has left this place? Imagine you could simply text or FaceTime with your lost loved ones, hear their voice, listen to their opinions on your daily problems. Imagine my daughter, reaching adolescence and being able to text her Mom about her boy problems, and getting real advice back, in her Mom’s words… kinda like that scene from Man of Steel (Superman), when his dad appears as a digital avatar in the spaceship… God I sound like a nerd.

I know one thing, its a lot easier to build your digital backup before you are given a terminal diagnosis, besides most people don’t get time to ponder their departure like Jess did. I also know how much those few pages she wrote meant to me, and will mean to my kids one day. So I know I’m in. It’s hugely comforting to think my kids could have a conversation with my avatar long after my death, and its answers will be based on my logic and belief systems.

So I’ve signed up.

The full story about Roman Mazurenko’s chatbot and how they built it, read it here




Joel drew this!


So how cool is this… Joel has his own tee shirt line!


I’m not sure when Joel first started drawing… since I can remember he has been carrying a pen and paper around, and the pictures and doodles I find all around our house make my jaw drop. He has such an imagination. Well of course I would think so, I’m his Dad!

I recently stumbled across this cool site that allows you to upload designs and sell the tees to anyone who is interested, they manufacture and ship them direct to the buyer! Anywhere in the world. How rad?

So this weekend we scanned a few of his old drawings, vectorized them for printing and asked him to write up a name…so he wrote … Joel Drew this…. with the ‘s’ backwards, hahaha. In the spirit of it being truly his, I kept it exactly as he wrote it.

joel signature

So we have uploaded a few options, kids tees and adult ones for his “big fans”… The selection process was tough. He chose the colorways and was very critical of his drawings but we managed to agree on a few.

Come have a look at the stuff, its pretty classic… I think his mom would be very proud.

You can see his stuff here 

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.41.32 PM

So come check it out and follow his journey! who know maybe these first tees will be worth some serious cash one day! haha.


DJ DA part 2


2015-06-16 21.47.30Hospital visits are fun…

Like the time when you (Joel) had eaten so much popcorn you got a stomach ache, the pain was so excruciating (as soon as it was time for bed, you literally couldn’t walk….
tears streamed, howls were made at the moon. It was quite traumatic for Kimmy especially who had never witnessed such a thing. My hardened parental instincts told me better, we weren’t buying this act! You were asleep in minutes and I was convinced I had won the war…. 20 mins later you were at it again… screaming about this pain that was sure to be the end of your life on earth, I was now in uncharted territory, too afraid to call your bluff, surely this was real.

It was time for the hospital.

We exit the house in a spectacular fashion, as if a tidal wave is descending upon our location, there is screaming and running, and although I realise I do not have my wallet, I know that I cannot turn back…your death is imminent!

As I tear around the corners, you writhe in pain on the passenger seat, it’s the longest 5 km I’ve ever driven. We arrive at the hospital, as if you have been shot. The panic is very evident on my face and I’m ushered through to the casualty with haste, you in my arms, suddenly quiet at the change of scenery.

The doc prods and feels, you remain quiet, he suggest an X-ray, I agree, whatever it takes…we go…through the corridors, you suddenly asking lots of questions and are much less critical, you might actually live.

Once you are inside the X-ray room, the gravity of the situation hits you. And me. I don’t like these places, I have spent too much time in them already. You look at me with big eyes.

A loud noise erupts from your butt. Relief washes over your face.

You look at me with pride and say, “we can go home now dad, it was just a fart”.

We return home…

Me …R1500 poorer, 10 years older

You… chatty, and quite hungry actually.