Podcast Review: How Haim Saban Went From Refugee To Billionaire

Image: The New Yorker 

Image: The New Yorker 

As a regular reader of these pages you will be aware that one of my favourite prodcasts is 'How I Built This' by NPR. Its a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. 

On the first warm day in London this year I had the pleasure of stumbling across this episode as I crossed Putney Bridge. Nothing could have prepared me for the introduction from Mr Saban:  

"I have to tell you that the biggest hits I have had in my life and in music and in television and in business have always been as a result of significant rejections and repeated rejections. So every time I have an idea, and people tell me 'no don't do that'..I think oops I'm onto something" 

As a serial ideas man and wannabe entrepreneur, nothing could have shook me to the core quite like it. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a tear in the eye! Anyone that has ever attempted to build anything will tell you of the heartache and tears it caused. And damn right! because nothing without effort if worth celebrating. And no one sums that ethos up more than Mr Haim Saban. As a refugee growing up in Tel Aviv, Mr Haim Saban remembers not having enough money to eat. As an adult, he hustled his way into the entertainment business, writing theme songs for classic cartoons like Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff. But producing the mega-hit Mighty Morphin Power Rangers put him on track to becoming a billionaire media titan. He his a highly amusing and deeply inspiring gent. This one isn't to be missed! 

Listen to the full episode here




Philosophy: A Tribute To Two Sporting Greats

Growing up in South Africa, I only ever had one mission as a youngster: To play rugby for the Springboks. You see, Rugby is a religion in SA. From an early age, young boys are taught to train hard, eat big, lift heavy and hit people (all within the parameters of the game of course!).

And when the Springboks won the World Cup in '95', they enjoyed a god like status over night. One of these men was Joost van der Westhuizen, our warrior like scrum half. For the last few years Joost had been battling motor neuron disease - a terribly debilitating affliction that saw him go from a world class athletic specimen, to being wheel chair bound indefinitely. He sadly lost his battle on the 6th Feb 2017. As a result I felt compelled to share these two videos below. The first is when the late, great Jonah Lomu and Joost met for the final time. The second is the moving final goodbye paid to Jonah at Eden Park.

Both warriors, both humble and both filled to the brim with warrior spirt to the very end. 

‘It’s that rugby spirit’

Philosophy: Stoicism In 4 Lines

Stoicism is the ability to quickly differentiate what you can control from what you cannot. Once you are able to practice this ancient art successfully, your existence will look and feel very different. One book I have been enjoying on the topic is 'The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday'. Check it out for daily shots of stoic wisdom. 

What you need to know: 

1. Events don't upset us, beliefs do. 

2. Control what you can. Ignore the rest. To quote Baz Luhrmann 'Don't worry about the future or worry that know that worrying Is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday'

3. Accept everything without being passive. (read The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer)

4. Morning and evening rituals are fundamental. You have to set yourself up for the day (or prime yourself as Tony Robbins says) as well as reflect at the end of it.