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                The Wayof a

                Japanese tradition stipulates it is a Samurai’s duty to be
                frugal, loyal and live an honourable life through discipline
                and commitment. While the Bushido way of life remains
                part of the Japanese culture, personal development expert
                and author Christopher Howard claims it to be the basis of
                his multimillion-dollar empire.

                BY LISA MINIKAS

                                                              in touch in business 13
                                                                    Since early childhood, Chris has derived much of his strength
                                                                    from martial arts and while he still commits his spare time to the
                                                                    sport, the theory is also embedded in his teaching practices.

                                                                    “It takes an incredible amount of discipline to get a black belt
                                                                    in martial arts. If people could apply that level of commitment
                                                                    to their lives, particularly in business, it could be anything and
                                                                    everything they’ve always wanted it to be,” he said.

                                                                       "People delve and dabble in personal
                                                                       development and think that because
                                                                       they’ve been to a weekend seminar, read
                                                                       a book or watched The Secret DVD that’s
                                                                       it – that will make their life work."

                                                                    While he has spent countless hours holding presentations
                                                                    and seminars, and written page after page on the psychology
                                                                    of success and personal achievement, Chris says the core of
                                                                    wealth and success is simply heart and spirit.

                                                                    “I talk a lot about Bushido, which is Japanese for warrior spirit,”

BUSINESSMEN like Christopher Howard come few and far                he said. “People delve and dabble in personal development and

between. If you were lucky enough to catch him between one          think that because they’ve been to a weekend seminar, read a
                                                                    book or watched The Secret DVD that’s it – that will make their
of his personal development presentations, his work to combat
                                                                    life work. To be truly successful, you need to be committed to
poverty or a discussion on politics and world issues with Richard
                                                                    a journey.”
Branson, you’d discover a charming, yet humble Californian.
                                                                    The journey wasn’t all dollar signs for Chris as up until age 24,
At 37, Chris is CEO of his multi-million dollar personal
                                                                    he spent most of his time partying and enjoying life.
development company, a best-selling author who has travelled
the world and a budding humanitarian. And although he never         “I wanted to be an actor through high school and when I
quite achieved his childhood dream of becoming a superhero,         graduated, my father paid for a holiday to Cancun. I loved the
some in the business community would argue he’s come                place so much I decided to stay on over there,” he said.
very close.                                                         Who could blame him – he was working at Club Med as a
Today for example, he’s flown to LA from a weekend in Las           sporting instructor, managed a team of 30 and spent most of
Vegas with friends, held a presentation with Dr Rev Michael         his time windsurfing, scuba diving, horse riding and announcing
Beckwith (featured in the documentary The Secret), had a            shows. Oh, and he didn’t have to pay for any of it.
meeting with business guru Jay Abraham and treated his team         “That experience opened me up to new cultures and people
to a day at Disneyland.                                             and I was presenting on stage a lot which I really enjoyed,”
It’s not hard to envy his extravangant ways, but Chris assures      he said.
me everyone could have the same success and wealth by               He held on to this social persona for seven years in Mexico, but
adhereing to a few simple principles.                               when he eventually moved back home to get on with life, reality

“I always tell people that in self development there are two        hit hard. At 24, Chris had no finance and no life direction.

things more important than the latest and greatest tools –          He calls them his ‘Fabio days’ – a time when he worked as a
attitude and discipline,” Chris said.                               personal trainer between hit and miss acting jobs.

No success story is without its failures and Chris proudly admits   and a teacher and I was going to be the best in the world,”
he lived in a converted garage, lived on very few pay cheques       he said.
and almost lost his sense of purpose.                               “You don’t hear of Bill Gates off trading options on the side
Yet, the discipline instilled in him from an early age kept         for a little pocket money. He has consistently channelled his
his eyes bright. During his spare time, which was most of           energies into a certain area which has allowed him to profit
the time, he read personal development books and it was             tremendously. That’s the way it works in life.”
the words of Napoleon Hill that eventually motivated the            He makes it all sound terribly easy but it wasn’t until he broke out
penniless actor to become one of the world’s greatest personal      on his own that he discovered the true meaning of success.
development gurus.
                                                                    After leaving a job teaching critical hypnosis and neuro linguistic
                                                                    programming, Chris looked to the billionaires for answers. He
  "You don’t hear of Bill Gates off trading                         researched everything about them and in turn, shattered some
  options on the side for a little pocket                           of the myths created about wealth.
  money. He has consistently channelled                             “I found that unless you are totally passionate about what you
  his energies into a certain area which has                        do, you will never stick with it long enough to become truly

  allowed him to profit tremendously. That’s                        financially successful.”

  the way it works in life."                                        “Every single person I studied was absolutely passionate about
                                                                    what they did: Warren Buffett, Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey

“Everything seemed like a natural extension at that point.          – all of them.”

After reading Napoleon Hill’s book, I decided I was going           The point to all this is much more than talking correlations –
to see something through. I was going to become a speaker           Chris actually believes anyone could be a Trump or a Winfrey

                                                                                                                                       for quality

                                                                         Unique pieces handcrafted by
                                                                         resident jewellers Amanda and Liisa

                                                                                                                      in touch in business 15
                                             because the character and behavioural traits                        a mission to eradicate poverty through
                                             they possess are learnable.                                         education and entrepreneurial spirit.

                                             “Someone can learn to fall down four times                          “I don’t want to be seen as the guru, I’d rather
                                             and get up five,” he said. “When Michael                            share that glory and not put myself completely
                                             Jordan first wanted to play basketball he                           out there because there are greater, global
                                             wasn’t allowed on the team but he didn’t                            issues to be concerned with.”
                                             give up because he lacked natural ability;                          “To think I could be involved in tackling
                                             he created it through discipline, action                            such a problem is amazing. I am far
                                             and drive.”                                                         from having it figured it out, but it’s
                                             While I’m left impressed with his A-List                            extremely satisfying.”
                                             friends and client list, it’s all just a day in the                 Chris is a big picture man and although his
                                             life for Chris.                                                     philanthropic visions are in place, he still
                                             “I haven’t been awestruck in my career so far                       sees value in the smaller things. It must be
                                             – it seems natural to be around them. I can sit                     the warrior within.
                                             with Richard Branson and talk social issues                         “A Jujitsu instructor once told me not to
                                             and it’s humbling, I enjoy it.”                                     memorise, just to enjoy. I think that same
                                             And that’s not just small talk. Between                             principle works for anything in life, particularly
                                             presenting         at    seminars        and      billionaire       business. Just enjoy what you do, have a
                                             bootcamps, Chris has visited South Africa,                          disciplined attitude and polish up every
                                             Peru, Cambodia and Mongolia - he’s on                               weakness until it’s your greatest strength.”

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