Most of us are not very inspiring.
It’s the truth. Fear, anxiety, anger– these are our afflictions and they prevent us from inspiring others.
And we need to inspire others.
Inspiration sells, persuades, and convinces. Inspiration causes action. As entrepreneurs and founders we want people to act.
My guest today knows how to inspire people. He inspired me to set off on a three month mini-retirement to see the world. He inspired a whole team of engineers to work for two months without pay without even meaning to.
Naphtali “Naf” Visser is one of my closest friends and mentors. I’m honored to have him on the show as a guest. More than that, I’m glad to have the opportunity to introduce you to Naf’s philosophy. It’s a philosophy that has impacted me in a profound way in the last year.
Enjoy this episode of Hacker Practice with Naf Visser:
[3.00] Why reading Jayson Gaignard’s Mastermind Dinners spurred Naf started inviting people for dinners.
- Naf talks about why it’s so important to practice kindness
[4.40] How to practice kindness without expecting anything in return
[6.30] Naf discusses meeting Justus at Loyal Nine Restaurant
[8.45] Why Naf believes you can’t “teach” kindness and that kindness begins with personal thought
[11.30] Naf discusses his prime motivator for doing what he does
- Naf is driven by helping people
[12.40] Why Naf’s bad experiences in the corporate world lead to him starting an internet consulting agency at age 23
- Main criteria was to have a place where people (employees) would like to come.
- Business was successful for more or less 4 years
- At the 4 year mark the company had a black swan event (major client failed to pay a whole lot of owed money and the economy tanked). This happened around September 2001.
[16.50] Naf describes the meeting where he told his employees the business was closing and how this changed everything
- Spoiler: No one left, everyone refused to leave. Why? Incredible culture and trust. Because Naf valued his employees as family, and treated them as such, they treated him as family too. Your people are your most important asset.
- How Naf’s staff worked for nothing over the next two months and why this period was the most transformative of his life
- How Naf ended up giving one client an 80% discount on a job, in return for upfront payment, so he could help a staff member meet their month’s rent
[20.30] How Naf’s persistence and focus on helping his staff lead to his company landing its biggest contract in its darkest moment
- Ultimately merged with a design company
- Naf believes kindness and willingness to help was the key
[23.00] Why giving employees unlimited vacation leave and other tangential work benefits can be a bad idea
- It starts with the principles behind an initiative. If staff do not inherently understand this it will not work.
- Naf deconstructs his actions during this challenging period
- Naf realised that “kindness” and “no thought” were the guiding principles
- Why resilience is so important in the process of life
- Naf believes suffering comes from not understanding that you can be resilient
[30.45] Discussion on the three principles: Mind, consciousness and thought
- “Confidence is going into a situation knowing I will be ok no matter what”
- “With a clear mind, much more magic can happen”
- Letting the mind calm down and letting a solution flow in can be very powerful
[37.30] Why “letting go” and allowing yourself to “lose control” can be the best way to handle problems
[39.00] Naf describes the connection between food and kindness. He has a podcast called Peace Photos and Pizza
- Everyone needs to eat. During peace or during war, everyone stops to eat. This allows the time to reflect.
- Restaurant in Israel called Humus Bar that gives 50 percent discount on hummus to a table where Arabs and Jews sit together
- Holocaust kindness project
- Why food can bridge cultural divides
- Justus discusses his theory about doner kebabs solving the issue of Islamophobia
[45.00] Naf discusses thought.
- Everything is invented through thought.
- Recognise that there is no right or wrong, only “thought”
- Reality is created through thought, moment to moment
[47.50] Think of thought as spiritual energy
- Naf describes his theory how thoughts aren’t created by you.
- Why having a clear mind is the best way to handle bad things
[54.30] Why overthinking leads to inauthentic behaviour
[56.30] Naf describes how to get a clear mind. Spoiler: It is in our natural state. It isn’t something that you seek.
- Why meditation or other extrinsic influences don’t get you to your natural state
[1.02.00] Naf describes his company Humans Working which he founded as a result of his life experiences
[1.05.00] Naf discusses why everyone has their own unique recipe to follow
- “When you do the thing that you think you are called to do, you learn so much more about yourself”
- Naf discusses the concept of happiness and why it’s not something you find
- “There is no place that will make you happy.”
- If you aren’t happy there is nowhere you can go that will clear your mind or make you happy. It is an internal state of mind as happiness is simply a state of mind.
- “Happiness is available at your fingertips.” It doesn’t come from accumulation, relationships, money or external influences. Happiness is being.
[1.08.30] Naf discusses the three principals “prove, please, protect” – Mara Gleason
- “Kindness and love are a natural state when you aren’t wrapped up in fear”
- There is no amount of “anything” that can get you to feel a certain way
[1.21.20] Naf gives examples of how personal experiences come from “thinking” not from someone else’s actions
[1.25.10] What makes good photography
- Everyone has their own experience when they see something and this doesn’t come from the image
- Light, moment, composition
- Evoke an emotion and convey an opinion
[1.31.00] Naf describes how to take a great picture
- Focus on authenticity and emotional connection – Ask if it is a constructed moment? Could this photo be recreated through CGI?
- It has nothing to do with the camera
- Learn how to “see” before you photograph – “Take lots of pictures and learn to see”
- Entry, exit and resting points
Go take some photos! Psyche. If you enjoyed the interview with Naf, subscribe to Hacker Practice on iTunes and leave us a review. Thanks!