Weltevreden Park’s Kevin Britz is not only the voice behind the iconic Steve from the ‘Beep Bank’ advert, he is also a formidable businessman. This behavioural, performance and wellness coach from Business by Design shares his tips for surviving the festive season.
How did you start a successful business using your skills as a telemarketer, singer/songwriter, voice-over artist, and neurolinguistic programmer? Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to help people but instinctively knew that I needed to help myself before helping anyone else. Having been on stage for most of my life and learning about neurolinguistic programming in my 20s and again in my 30s, I wanted to share useful information and a version of what I believed worked for me. With all my experience in voice, sales and neurolinguistic programming, I created a product and sold it on Gumtree to my very first client at Nedbank. Today, I train, coach and facilitate training and leadership programmes.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to become a doctor or Michael Jackson. Both options seemed quite lucrative and fun, but I didn’t do either. I’m glad my choices changed as I got older.
Steve from ‘Beep Bank’ is one of SA’s most iconic radio ads. Are there any similarities between you and Steve? I think the only similarity between Steve and me is persistence. Damn … he was persistent. I find that in business it comes with the territory, as an unspoken rule. Other than that, Steve and I are completely different. I’m also quite the recluse and love my own time, quiet time and nature.
What is your inspiration for helping others achieve greatness? Being a dad is my inspiration. I wouldn’t be the man I strive to be if it wasn’t for my daughter. Being a parent often carries quite the juxtaposition in life. It can be completely unforgiving, and the greatest moment of your life, all at the same time.
Is hypnotherapy like we see it in the movies? Umm… No! People have a hugely misguided notion of what hypnosis is. Hypnosis is to a large degree a guided learning state. It also allows you to connect more specifically to the subconscious that drives 95 per cent of our lives. Neurolinguistic programming practitioners use hypnosis to learn, guide and elicit information, always with the aim of helping individuals understand behaviour and themselves more specifically. Hypnosis is a great way to relieve stress, deal with emotional states and help people practically.
I’m quite the recluse and love my own time
What was the last gift you gave someone? I gave my fiancé a birthday cake. He’d never received a cake for his birthday before, so I decided to wake him up with a cake, while singing ‘Happy Birthday’. Naked.
Tell us more about your love for beer, travel, and music … I have been fortunate enough to travel to a few countries in the last two years and my love for beer stems from travelling. I love experiencing new cultures and the history of a country, and beer just happened to be one of the major ones I brought home with me. My love for music stems from a very early age when I had asthma. I was put on a ventilator at night when I was younger and my mother didn’t know how to keep me occupied at 2am. She would give me headphones and let me play all the LPs we owned, like the Bee Gees and Elvis, while she lay on the floor next to me sleeping. I think this may be the reason I love music so much – and my mom was my hero.
What three things would you not be able to live without when stranded on an island? My daughter, my cellphone (with signal …) and an asthma pump – I would be the worst Survivor candidate.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever read? Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. He writes about ‘the ether’. The ether being about the spaces in between the spaces, which we human beings can’t see.
Pick a song title that best reflects the story of your life … I am the One and Only by Chesney Hawkes.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? I would love to have the power of flying. I don’t like traffic and travelling would be
such a joy!
Reading on the beach, wandering around an art museum or scuba diving? I love art museums near a beach in Hawaii. Options are key!
If you could be a slogan on a T-shirt – what would it say? 595 … The 5–95 rule (spend 5 per cent of your time planning, and 95 per cent of your time doing).
Coping with the holiday season
We tend to miss the people who are not with us any more, we stress about the money we don’t have for things we can’t buy and invariably it’s a challenge for many.
Stay connected: A challenge we face in the world today is connecting to people around us. Family and friends seem close on Facebook but yet so very far away.
Take some time, schedule a catch-up or go for a family walk. Connecting is good for the soul.
Keep to a routine: Very often we tend to fall into debilitating habits like eating too much or too much sleeping. Check your daily habits and stick to them.
In-laws: Just the thought of having your in-laws spend Christmas with you this holiday season may send some people over the edge, but this year, just let it be. Take a step back, watch and listen. Some studies show that listening enables more communication than talking, since we can hear faster than we speak. So, when the mother-in-law criticises your parenting skills or how much weight you’ve gained since she last saw you … just listen.
Clear your clutter: Nothing feels as good as getting rid of things that you haven’t used in six months. So many people won’t have anything to share and you could give something you don’t use to someone who might need it.
If you are alone this Christmas
• Create a feelings journal and take some time to write down everything you feel every day. Just pay attention to yourself and pay attention to what you pay attention to. Thoughts create things and the more you take the time to think and contemplate and understand, the more you build self-awareness.
• Set a timer for five minutes and complain. Scream, shout and complain as much as you want, but only for those five minutes and then laugh at how well you complained. This works for crying too.
• It will come as no surprise that people don’t know what they want, because they never took the time to plan how to get it. Give yourself options for how to get to where you want to go. The more options you have to choose from, the more routes you have to get there.
• Laugh, laugh and laugh some more … Laughter affects our bodies and brains in ways we can’t even begin to understand. Some research shows that when your body is in a certain state, it functions from that same state – it’s almost impossible for your brain to connect happiness and laughter to the state of anger, fear or panic. So go to a comedy show, watch some YouTube or find every possible opportunity to laugh.
Surviving the January blues
Inherently, we compare January to gloomy, dull and boring Monday mornings filled with meetings that could have just been an email, and concentrate on the slightly overweight and underpaid moments of January. We’ve been taught to not have enough. To not be happy enough, to be hard on ourselves for every misdemeanour during the past holiday. Take a moment and stop doing this!
A great way to get through January is:
Bargain hunt: Plan how you are going to stick to a budget and take some time to find bargains in your local area.
Carpool: If you work with someone who lives nearby, why not carpool. It just saves money and it’s good for the environment …
Connect: Join a group that inspires you in some small way and not something that meets misery head-on. Remember, misery loves company. Ideally, a parkrun would be best because it will not only help you deal with the extra weight and empty wallet – it will also connect you with people.