Watch and read Allon Raiz’s inspiring talk at SUCCESSness FEST Cape Town 2017
Allon’s inspiration highlight: ” The most important thing that you need to do is disconnect from any reality, any assertion by anyone what is true and what is untrue. And that will give you the freedom to go out there and ask the right questions for you at your point in life.”
Below is the full transcript of Allon’s talk.
I’m not going to be telling you my story today, I’m going to be talking to you about your next story.
But before I start I want to ask you a question here, how many of you in this beautiful city have seen a sunrise? How many of you have seen a sunset? When, anytime. Any time, right, in your life? Have you all seen a sunrise and a sunset? None of you have ever ever ever ever seen a sunrise or a sunset ever, ever. Do you know why? Because there’s no such thing, because they was this guy called Copernicus, who in 1514 came out with this brand new theory that the earth was not the centre of the universe. And until that time our belief system, based on the church of the time, was that the earth was at the centre of the universe, and therefore we were technically able to have a sunrise and sunset. But think about it, if the sun is the centre, we go around the sun so it is an earth rise and an earth set, not a sunrise or a sunset. But it was built into our thinking system and it was built into the way that our poetry worked and it was built into everything that we did, and the poets would say, thy look beautifulyth, in the morning as the sun rises, and thy look beautifulyth in the evening as the sun sets. And so it became part of our language, and so we all believed until today that we’ve seen a sunrise and seen a sunset.
There is a clock there 16 minutes and 55 seconds. There is a clock, 24 hours a day. Why 24? The number 24 is an absolute random number and there’re 2 theories on why the number came about. The first was that the ancient Egyptians who had the sundial, looked at their fingers and as they had 10 digits on their fingers they said we’re gonna divide the day into 10 digits, to 10 things, divided by 10. So there are 10 hours in a day, the night must be the same so there’s 20. Then some guy came running up and said we’ll what about the sunrise and the sunset and so they added one on either side. The other theory goes that at the time in ancient Egypt, that they divided everything by twelve because it was easy to divide by 2, 3 and 4, it was an easy divisible number and so they used 12 which was a function of how they traded in their markets. And so 12 became the number, either 10 plus 2, or 12 which was the way that they traded in the markets, and then they times that by 2 and they got to 24. It’s an absolutely random number, and even our understanding of whether it’s this theory or that theory is unknown till today, as to which one is right and if you go onto the Internet and you look it up you will see that no one really de facto knows why we have 24 hours in a day. Yet all of us live by this thing, our chronometer, which is divided by 12 or 24, depending on if you’ve got a digital watch or you’ve got an analogue watch such as mine.
So we live in constructs that we don’t even understand, and never ever question. I come from an entrepreneurship background and I have spent the last 17 years working with entrepreneurs, over ten thousand entrepreneurs. And my life is devoted to try and understand why 96% of businesses fail and what the 4% do differently in order to succeed. And one of the things that is very patently obvious for me, is that there is a disbelief about what is going on in the world that successful entrepreneurs do not buy human-made constructs and therefore are allowed to reinvent themselves again and again. They can ask different questions because they don’t believe the constructs that have been fed to them by their grandfather and their father and they are certainly not the ones that are going to try and believe that they too have a real construct.
But, I wanna do a quick experiment with you. Here is a typical scene across the world, across the developing world. Let me ask you this question, this is a thought experiment. If I was your evil Godfather, and I had a little wand here, here’s my wand. And I went ka-ching, you lose everything, everything you have. You can keep your clothes but you lose your car, you lose your home, you lose everything that you have. You only have got two things: you have got your mental attitude, and you have got your network. How long before you exit from that to that situation to come back to where you are now, roundabout your equivalent wealth today?. So if you’re worth a million Rand, then you’ll be worth a million Rand. If you’re worth 10 million rand, 10 million rand. If you’re worth a billion rand, you’re worth a billion rand again. How long before you get from this situation here, back to where you are? The average, I’m not going to ask you now because we don’t have time, we don’t have these 24 hours divided by 60 things. But the average when I ask an audience is 4 to 5 years. And then I ask the question, if Bill Gates landed in your life, how long before he would become a billionaire, and the answer is the same amount of time, that the average audience member will say about 4 to 5 years. And you lose everything that you have, and you just land up either in that situation or in your life.
So why does Bill Gates become successful a dollar billionaire again, and why can’t you? That’s excluding all the dollar billionaires in the room, what is the difference between you and Bill Gates? And that is how he perceives his world. And what I’m putting to you today, is if you’re going to reinvent yourself, there are two things that you have got to do. The first thing is to realise that it’s hard to unsee. So, can any of you see a cow in there? Put up your hand if you can see a cow. Alright it’s going up, going up, going up, more, I wanna see. I’m gonna try and show you here, there’s the eye, eye, there’s an ear, there’s a snout, there’s the back. How many of you can see now? Alright. How many of you can’t see the cow, honestly. A few, ok, let’s go for it again. there it’s looking like, like this, it’s, there’s no legs, there’s an eye, there’s an eye, there’s an ear, and this is sort of the side of the cow, can you see it now? You can? Alright. How many, put up your hands if you can see the cow. Alright. Now for the rest of your life you will not not be able to see that cow. This is called the dallenbach cow, and I’m going to just show you here, if I… ok, you see the cow immediately. You see the cow immediately. There, immediately you see the cow. You will never not be able to see the cow again. And this is your relationship with your reality. is once you’ve seen your reality, once you’ve bought into 24 hours in a day, once you’ve bought into sunrise and sunset, it’s very hard for you to unsee that as part of your reality.
But it’s also equally difficult for you to see. So what do you see here, when you see this little boy, what do you see? What do you, what do you see? Here with this little boy, tell me what you see. Does anyone give – volunteer here? What do you see? Fear, sorry? Sad, anxiety. Ok, so as, as you look at this, you’ll see the sad, and anxious little boy who’s fearful. But now I’ll open up the frame on that reality, and now what do you see? Ok. Now you’re anxious, now you’re fearful, it’s like your whole reality has changed because we’ve opened up the frame on this picture.
And so too with your reality about how you perceive life. Understand that your relationship with reality is the same as what we’ve just seen now. When you change the frame, you change your relationship with that reality. And what happens if the frame opened up again for a third time, and you saw an ammunition dump, and all these kids were going to go and throw these guns in an ammunition dump. Now you change and go oh, you change your relationship with that reality again. Same information, I just now start changing the discourse between you and that picture, you and that reality, I change the discourse between the two of you. And you change your relationship with reality.
And what happens now if I then tell you that these kids were off to fight the Assad regime, their fathers have been killed. Then you change your relationship with them again, unless you happened to be pro of the Assad regime and you would change your relationship with it again. So your whole relationship with reality as you move into your next phase, is a function of how you see your world. And what successful entrepreneurs do is they understand, whether they express their understanding or inadvertently or unconsciously understand that they control their reality through their discourse with it, through how they open and close the frame and how they understand that they are completely addicted to reality. And they look around the world and they see all these addictions to reality which now are not so true, and that you don’t have to do this and you don’t have to do that.
I was just telling the story now this morning about the fact that I own a school in Johannesburg, where from grade 0 to 12, and I’m saying to the school, that we are not a sports School, let’s do a school without any sport, only exercise. And these people are freaking out, they say, how can you do that? My parents went to a school that had sport, my grandparents went to a school that had sport, how can we do that? and I said to them, you know, if you were in Northwest Airlines many, many years ago in the board meeting where they said, let’s not give food, let’s charge for food, the same reaction would have been in that room. Because there is a reality that you perceive in your mind, but there is another reality that somebody else sees. And the successful entrepreneurs understand that there is no such thing as reality, it is their understanding of the reality that they want to create.
So as you move into the next part of your journey, I want you to understand first of all that there is no such thing as an entrepreneur. When there’s many theoretical books on entrepreneurship, what they call the psychological typology of an entrepreneur. and every single entrepreneurship guru will stand up and tell you that you have to be this and you have to be that, and you have to have passion and you have to – all these things, and we are born and we are not, you know, this way, and we are not made, and everyone’s got a point of view around entrepreneurship. And we’ve subscribed to whatever we’ve seen some Guru stand up on a stage similar to this, and talk about what is or isn’t a successful entrepreneur. And we go: “oh, I’m not that, therefore I’m not an entrepreneur.” But going back to the research on entrepreneurship, they show unequivocally that there is no such thing as an entrepreneur. Can you believe that? There is no such thing, and what they mean by that is that you cannot say that if you’ve got x characteristics, therefore you are an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are tall, they are short, they are extrovert, they are introvert. Entrepreneurs come from wealthy backgrounds, from poor backgrounds. They are born into a businesses and then reinvent them and they are born out of businesses that have failed as we have heard here today. They are all different. And as you move into this next phase of your life, the most important thing that you need to do is disconnect from any reality, any assertion by anyone what is true and what is untrue. And that will give you the freedom to go out there and ask the right questions for you at your point in life.
And that’s where I want to end it