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
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.
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
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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