Who are you? Simon Ekin. Simon, as in Simon says and Ekin, as in Nike backwards. I am a family man who wants to leave this planet and it’s people in a better state. I do two things: 1. I am a professional speaker, trainer and facilitator and 2. I am a teacher, thought-leader and specialist on the subject of courage; a topic that most people have little or no understanding of, e.g.
- Did you know that courage is the foundation for producing any result that is remarkable, different, special or out of the ordinary?
- Did you know there’s a very clear distinction between courage and bravery?
- Did know that you were born to be courageous and that it is the most natural, simple and effortless virtue to exercise?
- Did you know that there is no “one size fits all” for courage and that it’s very personal to you?
- Did you know that there’s a very simple formula for exercising courage?
I am passionate about helping people in organisations, businesses, communities and institutions to unlock their potential, exercise courage and move out of their ego-protected comfort zones so that they really live their lives passionately and wildly and with purpose.
What makes you different to other speakers? I always – if you require, as no everyone does –guarantee a specific, measurable impact on your event or conference that will give you a Return on Investment profit Everytalk I give is unique, and carefully customised to your business and the outcomes you desire. I focus on the transformative powers of courage. I debunk the myth that it is only for people ‘out there’ like battle heroes and arctic adventurers, when actually, it’s for you, and me, every day to deal with life’s challenges, moment by moment. Without courage, we stay in our comfort zones.
What are your five most notable professional achievements?
- Spoken at over 1000 international conferences and events
- Cycled 13,000km’s from Cape Town to the UK
- Trained as a British Army officer at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Served for five years
- Set and achieved the goal of doing 90 talks in 90 days and 365 talks in as many days, to inspire courage and overcome fear
- Author of, The Art of Courage: Debunking the Myth of Courage.
Why do you do what you do? I believe that most of us do not live up to anything like our potential because of fear- the day to day fear of judgement, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of making the wrong decisions, fear of success and above all, fear of really living and taking risks. Through my journey I have learned the tools, skills and principles of how to live a full-hearted, courageous life and I love nothing more than to share these tools.
What is your background? I have been a British Army Officer, trans-African Cyclist and photojournalist. I have been a professional speaker, coach, trainer and thought-leader since 1997. I am based in Cape Town and travel extensively.
What are your topics? Accountability, boldness, commitment, change, creativity, decision-making, effectiveness, excellence, exquisite customer care, initiative, innovation, inspiration, integrity, leadership, mental toughness, overcoming fear, performance, persistence, procrastination, resilience, risk-taking, self-discipline, selling more, setting and achieving stretch goals, teamwork, time-management, tenacity and of course courage.
Who are your clients? Audi, Barclay’s Africa, ABSA, Toyota, Investec, First National Bank, Ogilvy, Old Mutual Property, Tiger Brands, Wits Business School, Dimension Data, MTN, ENSafrica, Seeff Real Estate, Harcourt’s Real Estate, Reckitt Benckiser and SABMiller
What are the main sectors of business that you speak to? Insurance, banking, automobile, cosmetics, professional services firms, pharmaceutical, retail, real estate, IT, communications and tourism.
How are your experiences relevant to a business audience? As a result of my experiences of being in the Armed Forces, cycling through Africa, running my own business and rigorously testing and experimenting with courage, I have learned tools and techniques which I help people to apply to being more effective sales people. I illustrate and prove that the principles of courage are universal, whether one needs to make a difficult decision, have a conversation that you are avoiding, commit to closing a sale or taking a risk. When we act with courage, we are taking a risk. Risk is the forerunner to all progress.
Frequently asked questions, as quotes from satisfied clients:
What do participants walk away with?
“Your talk on the subject of Courage at our Leadership Conference generated extensive and meaningful personal experiences and discussions. Worthwhile and thought provoking.” Peter Matlare, CEO Tiger Brands
“Your talk was such an inspiration. You made courage easy to internalise and act on.” Keino Kammies, 567 Cape Talk Radio host
How will your talk affect the bottom line?
“Your message helped my sales team to deliver two record quarters in a row, delivering 300% quarter on quarter growth.” Grant Brierley, VP Sales, Monactive, UK
What makes your message unique?
“The quest for courage has become so dangerously macho that only a lunatic few make the attempt. I am delighted Simon has de-bunked this nonsense.” James Cunningham, MD, Barpro Storage
“Simon is a man of insight and wisdom. His simple yet effective disruptive style is something to behold.” Thomas Malinowski, Channel Sales Executive, SAP South Africa
How will people benefit from your talk?
“Thank you for your contribution to our Leadership Conference. Courage is so easy to talk about but very hard to put into practice and your disruptive technique pushed us beyond our own boundaries.” Carol Jackson, HR Executive, Tiger Brands
“Simon has a remarkable ability to engage and enable an audience to overcome their fears.” Kim Moore, Regional HR Manager, Dimension Data.
How long are your speeches? Generally one hour, including Q&A’s if the client wishes.
What are your most requested speeches? The first is: How do we get inspired in often fearful, uncertain markets, from companies that have set massive targets and need the strategy and inspiration to achieve them.
The second is: How do we change? From organizations that know they need to adapt to a fast changing world, and sometimes lack the courage to do so.
Lastly, how can we work more effectively as a team, and as individuals within those teams? From companies that operate with teams made up of many different cultures and backgrounds.
My two primary keynotes – tailored to the client’s brief – are:
- The Art of Courage – Debunking the courage myth. Discover what courage really is, why it’s not what you thought it was, and how it can be applied to any area of business.
- One Revolution at a Time – Lessons learned in goal-setting, endurance and tenacity from a 13,000km African cycle ride.
Additional talks and experiences:
- ‘Conference Disruption’ – Simon will disrupt the conference – which will be carefully planned with the client – and teach delegates how to do things they never thought they would and to be able to apply those lessons on their return to work.
- Tailor-made talk – You choose a topic of your choice and I tailor make the talk around the message you want to deliver.
Apart from keynotes, what other offerings do you have? I run training sessions, workshops, and seminars on client requests and tailored to your needs:
- Courageous Conversations. These are facilitated session with teams designed to uncover the hidden potential and reveal where individuals are stuck. A confidential container is created, where participants can express what they are committed to, where they are stuck and then create an action plan to achieve the results they are committed to.
- Never Sell Again. With this simple tool, you’ll never have to sell again. The vast majority of sales people try and convince and persuade prospects and customers to buy from them, which is a complete waste of time and energy. With this simple principle, clients will be begging to buy your product of service.
- The Art of Courage. My keynote unpacked into a half or full-day workshop: discover what courage really is, why it’s not what you thought it was, and how it can be applied to any area of business.
- One Revolution at a Time. My keynote unpacked into a half or full-day workshop: learn lessons in successful goal-setting, endurance and tenacity from a 13,000km African cycle ride.
Have you written a book? Yes. The Art of Courage – Debunking the Myth of Courage. It’s a collection of short stories from my experiences of overcoming my own fears, and the lessons I learned from them. It’s a quick read. Each chapter is 10 minutes. It’s perfect for business people.
Who are your ideal audiences? I love working with people who are interested in improving and developing themselves and are looking for tools, ideas, inspiration and resources to assist them on their journey; to get unstuck and be who they know they really are.
When should we use you? I pride myself on my business reputation as a top-class professional speaker, both in delivery and in my desire to provide a world-class and exquisite customer experience. I am best used at the start of your conference to set the scene, after lunch – the graveyard shift to wake people up, or at the end when you want people to fly and bring together all the learnings from your conference.