Breathing Life into You to Breathe Life into Your Business.

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“So it’s creating a purposeful time for self and being selfish. Selfish being self first. Because if I’m not looking after myself, then there’s nothing left for anybody else around me, my clients, my networks, the people, my community, the wife.”

Tim Wagner is a former burnt-out executive now turned Breathwork Alchemist.

He now specialises in breaking business professionals and teams out of the stress cycle using breath to create transformation in their well-being and mindset.  

Listen to our latest podcast episode featuring Tim Wagner – Breathwork Alchemist, to unlock an exclusive giveaway! Tim is offering a FREE 60-minute transformational breath work journey to listeners. Breathwork offers a powerful tool for releasing stress and anxiety, providing clarity, and unlocking our inner potential.
However, there’s a twist! You’ll need to listen to the podcast to discover his website URL and register for this life-changing experience! Hint: It is close to the end 😉

Episode Transcript

So it’s creating a purposeful time for self and being selfish. Selfish being meaning self first. Because if I’m not looking after self, then there’s nothing left for anybody else around me, my clients, my networks, the people, community, wife.

Welcome to another edition of Expedition Business, where we talk to inspiring South African entrepreneurs about the highs and lows of their business journey, and how on earth they manage to keep the flame of business adventure burning. Of course, facing your day with a smile is sometimes the toughest thing you have to do. My name is Christél Rosslee-Venter, your host and the one lucky enough,

to be talking to Tim Wagner, Breathwork Alchemist. But before I introduce Tim to you, I would like to remind you to subscribe, like, comment, and share this podcast with as many of your friends and family as possible. Without your help, we cannot continue to share the amazing stories of our South African entrepreneurs. But back to why we are here today.

Tim Wagner is a former burnt-out executive, now turned breathwork alchemist. He specializes in breaking business professionals and teams out of a stress cycle, using breath to create transformation in their well-being, and mindset. Tim worked for over 30 years in the hospitality industry, as well as his own business, before

personal development and professional speaking. Speaking with enthusiasm, passion, and a tenacious energy, Tim will inspire you to reach new heights, dream bigger, and live a life by design and not default. Tim, welcome to Expedition Business.

TW: Oh, Christél, thank you so much. What a privilege and pleasure to be invited onto your amazing platform. Thank you, thank you. And listening to my introduction, even though, okay, I wrote it, it’s like, wow, really? That’s amazing. I wanna meet this guy. So let me see if I can live up to it. 

CRV: Well, they say you should be the first person that you love and you certainly seem to be happy where you are right at the moment in your life.

TW: Oh, wow, that’s wonderful. If that’s the appearance that’s coming along, then it’s working well. Because it’s not always like that. Is it?

CRV: OK, so how is it normally?

TW: Well, life is like a roller coaster. It’s a roller coaster ride, but we choose to get on it or we choose to get off it. It’s our choice. That’s where I think that’s where I think I focus. And I love always speaking about living life by design and not by default. Is that we have a choice. And sometimes

Getting on that roller coaster, you stand there, imagine you’re a kid and you’re looking at this roller coaster ride, and you know you’re the right height and you can get on it, but it just seems to go up forever. And then there’s this drop, and then there’s this circle and it goes round and you go upside down and you freak out as you think you’re gonna fall off the thing as it bends upside down and round to the left and goes all over the place. But it’s our choice because we want the journey, we want the excitement, we wanna get somewhere, we wanna go somewhere, or we’re just gonna stand and watch. 

And the watching is the default. The watching is just sitting by the sideline and letting other people control what happens to us. Right?
CRV: Absolutely.

TW: Or we can climb on. And then if you want that exhilaration, you’ve got to get on and you’ve got to take the ups and the downs and the turns and the twists.

CRV:Even though it makes a head spin.

TW: But if it doesn’t make a head spin, if it doesn’t scare you, yet excite you at the same time.

Maybe you’re not doing something worthwhile. Maybe you’re gonna have a look and go, well, this is not scary enough because, and I love speaking about this, on the other side of that discomfort, that’s where the true growth is found. And that was my journey, yeah.

CRV: Wow, but you haven’t always done what you are doing right now. You spoke in your bio about being a burnt-out executive. How did that work?

TW: Ja, badly.
CRV: Okay.

TW: No, at the time it feels bad, but looking back now, it was the best, one of the best things that have ever happened to me. Ja. I was in corporate for most of my life. Since 2008, I had small businesses on the side and I started to get really…

energized and excited about personal development and just realizing that I could learn so much more. I was never a student, never. I made the top half of the class possible at school. I just think they got rid of me, they just passed me just to get rid of me and say, go, go, please, we can’t do anything for you. But later in life, I think it was about 36 when I first started to realize that there’s way more possible out there. But then I got

sucked into corporate where I effectively for about seven and a half years sold my soul to the devil so to say.

CRV: How so?

TW: I worked for money.

CRV: Don’t we all work for money?

TW: Well if your primary focus is just to work for money and not for any other game, personal growth, upliftment, service to others,

sales, the benefit of other people. I was primarily focused. I sold my soul and said, I will do this job, which I did not want to do for X amount of money. And the business MD, the owner said, okay, I’ll buy you. And it was a contract. And I thought I can suffer from doing something which is outside of who I am, what my beliefs are, what I actually want to do in my life for a short, for a few years. It was five years at the time.

But I can do this, but what I didn’t realize was that because it was so far outside of my true calling, my real life purpose. What I truly valued and wanted to do in life. That distance between who I am intrinsically and who I forced myself to become in running this business was so far apart that caused stress,

and anxiety. Sort of like if you imagine an elastic band and you’re stretching this elastic band in your right hand is the true you. Your truth. And in the other hand, in your left hand, you’re pulling apart, it’s this person that you’re pretending to be, it’s this mask that you’re wearing. You’re trying to do it because you think it’s for the right reasons, but it’s maybe not because it’s so far. But that elastic band in the end, it’s either going to snap, which is burnout.

When you collapse and you just break and your body gives in and says, too much stress, can’t do this. Or one of those ends is going to let go and it’s going to snap back together. So I let go . In 2018, I actually let go because I realized that I was on the verge of burnout. All of the time. I didn’t actually know it was called burnout. I didn’t know what was happening. There wasn’t a label.

And I didn’t have anybody around me who identified and said, Whoa, Tim, hang on a second. If you continue down this path, you’re going to end up crashing badly, physically, mentally, spiritually crashing. And the statistics are that 25% of people who hit burnout end up in hospital.

CRV: So what happened to you? 

TW: I realized that something was dramatically wrong. My relationship at home was

Awful, the fact that I was still married is a miracle. I think so many business professionals end up by getting divorced because you separate so far. I was disassociated from my son completely. We didn’t have a relationship. I was just permanently working. When I wasn’t working, I was stressed. So in my head, I was still working. And I realized something dramatic had to happen. So I then approached the MD and I said, look, something’s wrong here.

I’m busy screwing up in the business, things are going wrong. I’m not able to focus. I don’t have energy. I don’t know what it is. I’m angry, but I don’t have energy to argue anymore. I’m just losing my interest. And that discussion didn’t go well. I look now and I realized because the MD, also didn’t know what burnout was. I don’t blame him at all. He didn’t know what was happening to me. He didn’t understand and see the signs.

In me is what was happening, just the same as I didn’t. But at that point, I realized that if I don’t make a massive transitional change in my life, it was going to go horribly wrong. So I quit. I walked out. That was it. Cold Turkey. 

CRV: Wow. Wow. You used to be in the hospitality industry. 

TW: Yes, this was in the hospitality industry. Correct. Yeah. Very tough industry. The business I was running was massive. And it was 24, 7, 7 days a week, 365.

Never stops. Yeah. So that ended up by being at the time, one of the most difficult things I think I’ve ever had to do, most risky. But I had been around personal development and successful entrepreneurs and business people for a long time to understand that there was a better scenario, a better way. And so…

I left and decided, right, I need to start finding out who I am, where am I going, what is my purpose in life, why am I here, what is my service to society. Because it can’t be what I’ve been doing, because if it was, if I was living my true life by my design, surely I wouldn’t be as stressed, unhealthy and anxious as this.

CRV: Just quickly before we talk about your anxiety and the whole burnout scenario, I believe you’ve also been doing business on the side. On LinkedIn there’s a Wagner Hospitality since 2008. There’s been a Sun City Banqueting and a couple of other on the side.

Actions happening including Bitcoin. So this all happened while you were working full time.

TW: Well, Sun City was a full-time job. That’s 2005 to 2000. Sorry 1995 to 2000. So crikey a different lifetime when I still had hair. And my

start and transition into sort of the entrepreneurial side, if you want, outside of being an employee, started in 2008. So that was when I launched Wagner Hospitality Management, which was a hospitality consulting business. And that was my first transition into my own business. And it’s where my wife bought her own business as well. And I started to do a lot of network marketing, a lot of networking, and also building my own businesses, which I carried on doing.

Even though I went back into the corporate job in 2010, then I went back through the call of money and the need to pay bills because starting your own business, it was very good and then very bad and then very good, and then very bad, when you’re a solopreneur. So I sought that stability of income, which is why I went back into the job, which is what led me to burnout in 2018.

Or near burnout. I didn’t hit burnout, fortunately. It was close enough, thank you. And yeah, it was, but I always had an interest in business outside of the job, because I never wanted to be an employee all my life. I just didn’t know what it was I wanted to do, or what I was good at. And I was introduced to cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in 2016. And that was an amazing part of my journey that is huge.

I really did very well back in the day when you could in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency before people knew what Bitcoin was. So that was a phenomenal part of the journey and the education about cryptocurrencies. So I started to teach about cryptocurrencies as well. On the side of when I was still working. Yeah. 

CRV: Tim, I just want to quickly come back to you said earlier, you always wanted to be an entrepreneur, do your own thing.

Where would that come from?

TW: Where would that come from? I wanted freedom. For years, I wanted my own freedom to be able to make my own choices. And I, after reading Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad in 1998 when it first came out. I read the book and I was like, Kiyosaki, I get it. I don’t know how to do it, but I see that there’s an alternative way to this.

45 year plan, work for somebody else, which is all I’ve been taught, what I learned at school, it’s what most of us are taught. Although my father was an entrepreneur, but he never taught me about money, he was a very, very successful businessman on his own. I never saw myself doing that, but I realized that there was an alternative, I just didn’t know what the alternative was, and I just got stuck into…

Work the career, climb the corporate ladder, work hard, do well, get recognized, get promoted, get a salary, get married, go to debt, have kids, go into more debt, buy a house, go into more debt, and follow the normal cycle. But I always had this thing that on the other side there was a better way, a better value proposition. I just didn’t know what it was for me for many years.

But it was a drive. It was an inspiration that I was capable of more and that I wanted to live my life by not my rules and not by anybody else’s. And that was a big thing.

CRV: Okay, so just quickly your dad was a very successful entrepreneur. Do you not, did you not follow what he was doing and learned by his example?

TW: It was never, it was never discussed. It wasn’t a discussion, open discussion of family. Dad did what he did and he built a huge PR firm in South Africa, but he was never at home. He was absent father because he worked all the time.

When he wasn’t working, he was working. We went on holiday, he worked. He would join us for a few days and go back to work. And I started, I did that. I learned the value that you need to work hard, that you need to put your mind to it. If you’re gonna turn up, turn up 100% or don’t turn up. So I learned a lot of beautiful habits and things from him, some of which have served me very well. But I also started to become my old man.

By working permanently and missing out on my family. And that was one of the biggest losses that I had as a kid growing up was an absent dad because he focused so hard on his own business. So I learned a lot from him, but I was never due to his success inspired to be an entrepreneur myself. It was just not discussed at home. Money was never discussed. I think it was a big flaw and I’ve asked him, he’s still alive now. He’s a…

In fact, he’s 81 years today. And I asked him years ago, why did you never teach me about money? And he said it was just not something that was thought of. It was just not discussed. 

CRV: But something that interests me is you spoke about burnout in your own career where you worked for a boss. But burnout…

is also very much part of being an entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs go through that in some form or another, whether they work for themselves or not. 

TW: Yes, without question.

CRV: And almost present, almost always present if you work hard, because the stresses and strains of life gets to you at some point in time, whether you work for yourself or not.

TW: 100%. And as I chat to network with more and more people around the world, not only in South Africa, you realize how, and it was the World Health Organization last year, quoted it and said that burnout is an epidemic worldwide. And it’s been exacerbated and sped up since 2020, 2021. That what I’m seeing more and more now, and it isn’t only within the solopreneurs and entrepreneurs, business executives.

Is the stresses and traumas and anxieties from two, three, four years ago, because it’s been left unchecked and undelt and they haven’t looked after self, burnout is now happening more and more and faster and faster because burnout is a lot of people think burnout comes quite quickly, but not necessarily. Mostly it creeps up on you and it’s a buildup of this constant stresses.

leading to anxiety and the anxiety is remaining in a stressed state without having an external stressor added on. So you’re remaining in that stress state. And that’s when burnout hits when your body says, I warned you because that’s all that stress is. It’s a warning sign something’s going wrong. You need to change something. Burnout is the result of not listening. And it takes it can take years to be years before I got to that point.

And also understanding there’s good stress and bad stress. Not all stress will lead to burnout.

but it’s managing it. And I’m seeing more and more that it’s the culmination and buildup, which people are now crashing, because of what happened three, four years ago. And burnout was big before, but it’s now become massive. And this is why I end up by speaking so much more about it within corporates as well, doing talks on mental wellbeing and mental wellness in the workplace, not only to entrepreneurs.

CRV: Okay, so tell me apart from your whole breath work that you do with your clients, what else do you do for fun and exciting ways to regroup, refocus and rejuvenate your soul?

TW: For myself?

CRV: For yourself. Do you get involved in exercise?

TW: Oh yes. 

CRV: Do, Photography, what are your major habits that you do to make sure that you don’t get into that burnout situation?

TW: Love this question. Every day it’s a morning routine. Routine is not such a good word. There’s a better words, but habits of meditation, of breathing and meditation. That day to start out.

with self and unpacking what’s going on in my head, what’s going on in my mind, what’s going on in the world around me and journaling. Now that’s a, I’m a 4:30 guy, 4:30 AM. That’s my time before anything else wakes, the birds haven’t even woken up, the sun hasn’t even come up yet. That’s the beautiful time for self. And it’s that meditation, breathing practice with journaling and then every day.

on the beach with the dogs every day. Morning walk, nature, barefoot, in the sand, in the water. My wife loves the cold water where we live. It’s on the Atlantic side, so it’s cold water. This morning I was in there, not always, because it’s sometimes nail-bitingly cold, but it’s every day creating that time, not finding that time. You can’t find time. Time is time. It is what it is. Creating that time and creating the space to…

breathe, to clear my mind, to speak openly and to connect. To connect with the world, to connect with my wife as well. Otherwise I just start to work and then we disconnect. We don’t want that anymore. So it’s creating a purposeful time for self and being selfish. Selfish being meaning self first. Because if I’m not looking after self, then there’s nothing left for anybody else around me, my clients, my networks, the people, community, the wife.

So that’s a daily practice.

CRV: Love that concept of being selfish, but Tim, I’d love to hear a little bit more about your notion of being selfish, because we are taught that being selfish is one of the worst crimes you can do.

TW: Yes. Christél, that’s such an important topic that we could talk about for a long time about pre-programmed notions of what’s good and bad.

Yes, you’ve got selfish where it would be putting yourself to the negative, there’s a better word to it, but to the demise of somebody else. We’re talking about that type of selfish where I’m putting myself first before somebody else and then they’re getting pain, hurt, trouble, whatever it may be as a result of me. No, talk about putting myself first, but that I can be a better, stronger.

more mindful person to then serve and help other people. There’s a reason why in an airplane, the captain says, in case of low pressure, the oxygen mask should drop, put your own mask on first.

Then help others. There’s a reason for that. Cause if you don’t, you die. How much benefit can you be to somebody else? So it’s self first, selfish meaning self first in order to be a better version of self so that you can then help others be better versions of themselves. So it would never be to the demise of another. So that’s one of the words which are often misrepresented.

And there’s many of them out there. For example, procrastination is another one that jumps to mind. We believe that procrastination is a negative. And we’re taught you don’t want to procrastinate. Procrastination is merely a direction to say, hold on, double check. Why are you delaying doing this? Why are you meant to do this? And when you start asking those questions, you then either, as Dr. John DeMartini says, great teacher, outsource it.

Change your reason why you believe you want to do it or drop it completely. But look at it as a positive signal, a positive sign. So there’s many things that we’re taught by good meaning parents and teachers, siblings, society, which when you look at it, there’s another way of looking at that word and selfish is one of them.

CRV: Tim, it sounds like you have a perfect life and nothing goes wrong ever.

TW: I’m laughing. It’s I wish I don’t know if there’s a perfect life. Is there a perfect life?

CRV: I don’t know. It sounds like you’ve got it. You’ve got all the answers.

TW: Oh, it’s I’m a student of life. So I’m permanently seeking answers. But as I find an answer another

question comes from it. So I go searching for that answer as well, because it’s a perfect life or freedom or the ultimate life is moving goalpost. As soon as you achieve something, then something else comes up. Oh, I’ve got this now. What’s next? Where am I going? And that that that that’s the huge, that’s the transition and the growth in life. But no, by no means is life glorious and abundance. What? What gives me energy and

keeps me going.

is that I now know what my purpose is. I now know why I’m here, what my true calling is, my true path is. And when I know now what I didn’t know in those years ago when I was in corporate, when you wake up knowing why you’re waking up, you have a purpose, you have a serving, you have a calling and a true belief and a true knowing, it goes deeper than belief, it goes to knowing.

What it is that you need to do no matter what, no matter what anybody else says, no matter what hits you, what roadblocks, when the cash flow isn’t there for paying the bills because you’ve broken outside of the swapping time for money in the corporate world that you know at the end of the month, I’m getting X amount of money and my bills are Y, so I’m covered. But you know where you’re going. You do it anyway.

And that’s what gives me energy. That’s what gives me focus. And it’s aiming for that attainment of my ideal life of freedom, peace of mind, then what we all want. But knowing and having a strong belief that I’m doing what I’m doing, the end result is going to give me what I want.

CRV: Wow, sounds super, super inspiring. But I want to come back to the challenges

you are facing as a solopreneur or entrepreneur, you’ve mentioned not having money to pay the bills at the end of the month. Any other major challenges that you have to face?

TW: Loneliness, it’s a lonely world where other people around you don’t necessarily buy into your dreams and beliefs, typically family and friends who’ve known you for years and they worry about you and they’re fearful for you. And.

So loneliness is definitely one where you feel you’re out there all alone, even though there’s coaches around or mentors or friends and family can be a very lonely place. One of the big, one of the big things I think is finding. So my journey in the last since August, September, August, September, 2022, when I started to really gain focus of what it is that I realized I wanted to actually do with my life.

It’s a matter of getting my message correct so the market knows what I do. So people out there know what I do. As an entrepreneur, the message changes, the niche changes, who can I help? Everybody, no, but you can’t help everybody. There’s 8 billion people in the world. Don’t wanna help everybody. That sounds like hard work.

CRV: Okay, you can break it down to South Africans, South African entrepreneurs.

TW: For sure, but then again, there’s millions of them.

Although South African entrepreneurs don’t rate us the highest in the world, there was still a lot of us out there. So it’s a matter of then working out, but who do I want to help? Who needs my help? Who’s looking for my help? And then how do I go and find those people? How do those people find me? What platform am I using? What social media platform? How am I getting my message out? And there’s

I’ve attended many workshops, many paid workshops, many free ones, many paid coaching programs to help me get the message right. And here’s what I’ve learned. It changes all the time. Practice is what takes is required to get out there and carry on and being willing to realize and admit that didn’t work. Let me analyze it, change it, tweak it, refine it. Is this going to work?

So it’s a permanent growth, a permanent adaptation. I think one of the big things was last year when I realized that doing it alone was going to take a long time. Being a solopreneur, you’re never on your own and if you are on your own, you’re in for a big hiding. There’s never been a self-made millionaire in the world. I’ve always had a team.

advisors, coaches, with them along the journey.

CRV: That is very, very true. Tim, you’ve mentioned earlier on that you spent quite some time in a van just traveling. How did that affect what you do?

TW: Oh, that created what I’m doing.

CRV: Okay.

TW: It was that freedom to…

be able to go where I wanted to go, when I wanted to go without limitations or restrictions. We all love a road journey, right? You all love packing the car and it’s, you know you’re going to a destination, you’re driving from Joburg to Durban and you plan that it’s going to take you one and a half days, you’re going to stop off somewhere on the way and it’s a wonderful feeling, right? It’s a wonderful experience. You’re out there and you’re on the open road, you’re going to take some back road, some motorway.

But what I did was that for a year and a half. So it was the freedom and that allowed me to really be open-minded and to be clear without external blocks. Life is normal, for example, the house and the swimming pool and all those types of things. It was a different, it was like being on holiday for a year and a half where I could think clearly. And it was during that process that I started to find the answers of.

What it is I want to do, how am I going to get there, what is my purpose in life, what is my serving to society and attended huge amounts of workshops and webinars and courses and programs, read books in our van, limited space, but there was a shelf which was just books when we started. At the end of it, our library had grown to two shelves in a box.

CRV: Okay.

TW: Yeah, it doesn’t mean that everybody needs to sell their home and travel the country for a year and a half. Although I definitely suggest it was most amazing experience. We absolutely we saw some country is a beautiful place, which we’d never have seen if we hadn’t done this.

CRV: You can say that again. But you’ve mentioned you mentioned we who is the other person in your team.

TW: Oh, that’s the wife. And so we’ve been next month, we’d be married 25 years.

been through a lot, we’re still together, which is profoundly surprising and amazing and wonderful all at the same time. And then our two fur kids, Sophie and Henry, our two dogs, they travel with us. We travel with our kids everywhere.

CRV: Oh my goodness, all in one van?

TW: Oh yeah, they had their own, we had a special bed made for them, so they had their own special place. We’re not campers, we just had a beautiful van with a bed in it and a fridge and everything in it.

to travel comfortably, but we stayed on farms and little Airbnb’s or cottages or by little cottages on the, by the beach and that type of thing too. Cause with the dogs camping was never conducive.

CRV: I can imagine, but it, yeah, it almost sounds like the script for a movie. But in the meantime, there’s bills to be paid. How did you manage all of that?

TW: I’d set myself up to be a digital nomad.

So everything I do, even what I do now, to be able to take this with my laptop, and as long as there’s internet, I can work anywhere in the world. That’s freedom for me. Freedom to go where I want to do, where I want to go. But it’s not retirement where now you stop into work. No, it’s working a balance between passive and active income. I’m always going to be busy. I’m always going to do stuff. I’m never…

My brain would fry if I didn’t. But having the balance, and so that’s what I’d set myself up for. And primarily at that time, it was cryptocurrencies. So, I was doing a lot of trading. I had passive income coming in from cryptocurrencies. I was also teaching online. So we traveled with our own internet, with our own Wi-Fi system, so I didn’t have to just rely on. So we’d always have to be where there was signal, which restricted us a little bit because some of the…

places we wanted to go, we could only sort of do for a day, otherwise I would be offline. But it was purposefully set up so that I was able to travel as a digital nomad. And that gave us then the constant cash flow, some of it active, but majority was passive.

CRV: And is that something that you would recommend?

TW: Traveling, most definitely. Traveling with a passive income, critical. But what I didn’t want, one of the big lessons I learned, and I learned four times in the space of four years, was what I call my expensive university fees. Where I made the money and lost the money. I made the money and lost the money four times. But that was the lessons in life of what works and what doesn’t work for me.

for me personally. So I would definitely recommend that having the ideal is to have passive income, build something that creates an asset that gives you, whether it’s property, whether it’s you write a book and sell it, whether you’ve taught yourself how to make money online. There’s many, many ways of doing it. Yeah, so that gives you…

additional options. And even while I was working full time, what gave us the lifestyle that we had while I was working full time was that I had a business on the side of the full-time job, which was creating additional income. Because that profits from that. The profits from being an entrepreneur or having passive income is way more exciting than the salary you get as a job. Way more exciting. Yeah.

CRV: But it does help.

to have money in the bank to pay the bills that in the month?

TW: Of course it does. Yes, one of the biggest stresses of anybody is not being able to pay the bills, but you need to have a look at your relationship with money. And this is a personal journey that I’m still on now, is my relationship with money. It is understanding money. It is understanding that money is energy.

CRV: But you don’t need that much?

TW: Well, you need what you need. And unfortunately, what happens when you’re working a job and you get promoted, you get a bonus, you lift your lifestyle to match that money. And then suddenly the money that was there is not there anymore because you’ve lifted your expenses and your lifestyle. You bought a new car. You bought a bigger house. And it’s understanding the relationship with money isn’t necessarily what we’re always taught. Because the government and banking system teaches us to remain in debt, because then we’re beholden on them. If you can break outside of that debt cycle.

Then you start finding true freedom. I’m not there by no means would I ever profess I’m there, but I know where I’m going and I know what it looks like.

CRV: And do you still have many, many years ahead of you to make sure you get there?

TW: I stopped counting at 36, Christél. I said, that was enough. I said, that’s enough. This age thing is for somebody else. That’s why.

When I look and I think, well, my son’s 29, he’s gonna be 30 this year. I think that’s ridiculous. Only old people have kids who are 30. I’m not old.

CRV: Well, I’m 54 and very proud of it. Exactly, exactly. That’s, it’s not a good, it’s just a number. But speaking, speaking of numbers, if you could be 20 years older, again, and you could change anything, what would that be?

TW: If I was 20 again, wow, that’s going back a few years. If I was 20 again, what would I change?

Don’t be so serious about life, Mr. Wagner.

CRV: Okay.

TW: I climbed into corporate and a job and building a career at the age of 20. The age of 21, I was the youngest restaurant manager of the Hilton Hotel Group at the time. And at the age of 21, I nearly put myself in hospital for overworking.

I just went and repeated the cycle again, it just took me longer to get there. So yeah, right way back then I climbed in too fast. I did travel a lot when I was young. I was in Europe. This is when I was still living in Europe before coming back to South Africa. Um, if I was to go back and to my 36 year old me, which is 2008, which was a massive transitional year of mine, it was, it would be start.

earlier and don’t give up. Don’t give up on your dreams and goals. Don’t give up. Keep going. If I look back and think if I hadn’t of, and I have no regrets, don’t get me wrong, regret is something which is not in my vocabulary, but if I had maintained my focus of what I was doing in 2008, which is what I then restarted and rekindled in 2022, where would I be now?

So that’s very much a part of the program of what I offer for my clients is what I would have taught myself that I’ve now learned in the past 16 years. And that’s then turning my mess into what has become my message.

CRV: Okay. That is quite profound, turning your message into a message. Yep.

Definitely something to remember. So have you started putting your book together?

TW: My book’s in my head and it’s on Post-its on the wall behind my desk.

CRV: Okay.

TW: It has started. I’ve met with a phenomenal lady who coaches people how to become authors, self-published. So she’s becoming a coach of mine to help me there. Coaches, I’m a huge, huge, huge believer in coaching. We need to be more willing to…

call on the expertise of somebody else who’s trodden the path before us to fast track us on our journey. And I often believe that South Africans are quite stubborn. Americans are very open, it’s our Canadians, to bring on coaches. South Africans are a little bit behind still. So I’m a very strong believer in finding somebody who has what you want, who is teaching it and learning from their lessons and taking it on for yourself. It’s the fast track.

The saying being cut a check for speed.

CRV: Yeah, if you have a right coach.

TW: Oh, yes. No, you have to, you’ve got to find somebody that, that you, that you trust, that you believe in it, that is without question, uh, your collaborative partner. They’re on the journey with you. Their success is due to your success. So it has to be a collaboration. It’s not a coach where you pay the money and they say, this is what you do. Thanks for the money and lead. No, that’s not a coach. That’s, that’s.

There’s too many people that believe that would know. A coach is somebody who is your partner, who is on the journey, on your journey with you, is invested in you. It’s not a one-month program or a two-month program. No, this is a long-term relationship. It needs to be somebody that you know, like and trust. Integral.

CRV: And has got serious backing in what we have done previously.

and they haven’t just started being a coach because that is the latest and greatest to go into.

TW: Yeah, you’re so right. I think the word coach, I try to avoid it as much as possible to be really honest. The word coach has lost its massive significance over the last four or five years, my personal opinion, since the whole 2021 chaos.

2020 where people have said, well, I need to do something. So let me go to coaching. Let me start a business online and teach people how they can paint a house. Do this, do that because I’ve done it before. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a coach. I prefer to use the word guide. I strongly believe that we all have amazing, innate wisdom inside of us. I’m a guide that I’m going to.

I’m going to coach that, I’m going to guide that, I’m going to lead you to your self-actualization and the self-wisdom that is inside of you. Because if it comes from inside, you own it. If I give it to you, it’s still mine and you’ve bought it, but you need to own it yourself in order for you to truly become self, who you are truly. So yeah, the difference between…

There’s coaches and there’s coaches and you’re right. You do also, if you are going to listen, follow, and take guidance from somebody, you need to know that they know what they’re talking about and it wasn’t just a qualification that they did online in six months.

CRV: Absolutely, absolutely, you can say that again. Okay, so you are busy writing your own book, but if you have to recommend any other.

book that’s already been published to entrepreneurs out there, what would it be?

TW: Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich.

CRV: Why?

TW: That’s been a book that I’ve read over and over again, probably give or take every year for the past 15, 16 years. I can’t remember. And it’s profound. There’s a massive amount of profound knowledge and information in there. Written by Napoleon Hill under the guidance of his mentor to go out there and study. Now, this is what when was Napoleon, when was.

I think it was 1936, I think, don’t quote me on that, around there. Was sent out to go and study the wealthiest people in America at the time and what made them wealthy. The knowledge and wisdom in that book has led to, I don’t know how many, dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of other books on mindset, on wealth creation, on thinking

the right way around money, around business, around people, around strategies. It’s all written in there. So there’s a huge, huge amount. And even though it was written 80 odd years ago, plus minus. The knowledge and wisdom still applies to this day.

CRV: Mm hmm. Well, I think the biggest wisdom comes from the age old books and the age old philosophers, not necessarily.

the people living and breathing today.

TW: So true. One of my other favorite books, you’re talking about books, just mine, is Wallace D. Wattle, The Science of Getting Rich.

CRV: Okay. Written in 1901.

CRV: Okay. Yeah. And I suppose it’s not about being rich as in money rich.

TW: It’s about the science behind it. It’s not, wealth is way more than just financial. It’s the easiest thing that we use because you can quantify it so easily, right? It’s easy to count. And society says you’re successful when you’re wealthy and you’re wealthy when you’ve got a million dollars in the bank or whatever. That’s a societal thing, but there’s way more to wealth than just the money.

CRV: That is so true.

You mentioned that you want to be known as a guide and not a coach. So I can see this guide walking over mountains and climbing mountains. What would be your metaphorical mountain that you still want to climb within the next three to five years?

TW: Sure, within the next three to five years. The discovery

of my true purpose, my true inner.


It’s a moving goalpost. So even if I find my true path, I believe I know what it is, but once I’m there, it changes, it grows. So that’s a permanent moving target. The biggest obstacle I’ve sort of mentioned a little bit just now about being a solopreneur on my own and starting out as an entrepreneur, even though I’ve got a team of people and a coach.

two different coaches are helping me and I’ve got a very supportive wife, etc. And mentors, it’s…

Knowing what I am doing, believing true belief, true knowing, and being able to help others find their path and their truth. Because that in turn helps me also continue to grow and the more that I can help, the more that I can give back and the more that I can serve. So it’s a permanently moving thing. Biggest obstacles. Sure. Never giving up. There we go.

It doesn’t matter what the world is telling me and the signs are that are throwing at me. It’s maintaining my focus and not giving up.

CRV: Even if you are staring burnout in the face?

TW: Well burnout I’m not going to stare in the face because I know how to circumvent that and that’s what I teach, that’s what I guide and that’s breath work.

CRV: Only breath work?

TW: Combination of things. I use breath work as a primary foundation, but it’s meditation. But then I use breathing, breathing practices within meditation in order to release, let go in order to move forward and move on from obstacles from roadblocks from challenges, which all just science, it’s all just science. And once you understand that when something doesn’t go wrong, it’s just a sign that you need to reevaluate and change direction.

Like the roadblock when you’re on your journey. You’re driving and there’s a sign that says, bridge down, detour, turn left. Now you’ve got a choice, you’ve got three choices. You can either choose to ignore that sign, which may be a stress or a problem, or a client that rejected your proposal or unexpected expense, the car breaks down. It’s a roadblock, so whoa, hang on a second, something’s not quite right here, I’ve got a choice. I can ignore this, which means

driving through the road sign and playing off the bridge that doesn’t exist and crash it. Or you can turn up and you can look and you can say, okay, give up, this is not for me, turn around and you go home. You can quit, and go back to the life of design by somebody else and living somebody else’s dream. Go find a job, go stop fulfilling your fantasy, your dream, your goal, your ideal life. Or you can look at it and go, okay, so it says go left. Now it may take me a little stronger, longer to get to the destination, Durban.

Joburg or wherever I want to go, but let’s see where this takes me. And off you go. Now, when I do that, the most amazing things transpire, because then you, then you see things that you would have never seen before you experience things that you would have never experienced before. Cause you’ve allowed the universe, the law of attraction, God, whoever it may be to lead you on a different path. That’s when the real discoveries are found.

And that’s what when people say that I reinvented myself, I found a new path that I didn’t even know existed. But trusting, I’m still gonna get to my destination. This just may take me down a different route.

CRV: Okay.

TW: Long, long answer to your question.

CRV: Very, very interesting. I think on this route, we almost have left South Africa already.

TW: South Africa’s got a lot of beautiful roads.

Many potholes, but a lot of beautiful roads. You know, can I tell a quick story?

CRV: You can.

TW: Do you mind? We were driving on our way back to Knysna. We had left Gariepdam, and we were looking for some back roads. We didn’t like driving main roads, but we were driving an old VW Combi, which we converted. So not ideal for dirt roads. It could do smooth dirt roads, but it’s not four by four. And…

We were driving down, so most of the roads we did were tar roads, but South African maps are not very accurate, South African GPS not really accurate of whether it’s tar or dirt. And we came across this, we’re driving down, there’s a dirt road in front, the wife and I stopped and we have to look and go, okay, how long is this dirt road going for? How uncomfortable can this be? And we thought, well, let’s give it a try and see how bad it is. And it was a bad road, not good. Things were falling off the shelves in the back and the…

Things rattling around, the dogs were not too happy, they’d been thrown around. We felt like we needed to visit a chiropractor. So we thought, okay, no, too much. Let’s turn around. If we take a different road and we don’t take this dirt road, what’s the add-on? What’s it gonna take? Now it would have been another five hours of driving and we’d already had enough. By then we were heading back to the coast. We’re tired. This is enough potholes of driving.

So we turn around, but then as we’re driving down this tar road, we’re looking at this and going, we’re gonna drive five and a half hours on a motorway. This is boring as hell.

We stopped and we reevaluated. He said, you know what? Let’s go and try it. How bad? We’ll go slow. I’d rather go slow for five hours on a dirt road, on a mountain pass than five hours on a motorway. So we did. We came across the most beautifully scenic drive called, if I get it right, Prince Albert or Prince Alfred, Prince Alfred Pass.

Leading down towards Knysna that we’d ever been on. It took us five hours because we just kept stopping to get out and take photographs and walk through the scenery and the mountain pass. Now, if we had not taken that risk and said, let’s go down this path that is less trodden, that is out of the way that we’d not normally want to do, just to see what happens, we wouldn’t have met the most amazing people with the most amazing little coffee shop in the middle of nowhere.

Two little converted shacks which are little self-catering apartments in this mountain pass. With the most amazing chocolate cake and carrot cake that you would ever find in the scenery.

CRV: Oh wow, it sounds like what people call engaging with faith. 

TW: Yes, let it be, just go. Sometimes we need to let go.

which for me as a control freak in business, who is completely new. I’ve had a breakout in my comfort zone so many times, which is, in fact, it was not my comfort zone. It was my uncomfort or discomfort zone. But you only realize when you’re on the outside and go, that was not comfortable. Because I just accepted normal. I accepted my fate and said, this is comfort. This is the way it is. But when you break out of it, when you can be strong enough.

that you actually will take yourself outside of your comfort zone, the most amazing things happen.

CRV: Hmm. That is very, very true. And I think one of our very first podcast interviews that we had, um, was with Ryno Griesel. And I will always remember we said, it’s not fun because it’s fun. It’s fun because you decided it’s fun.

TW: Oh, yes. I love that.

CRV: Things might not always be.

as fun as you have expected it to be, but you have to stick it out. Yes. And make sure your way of thinking is turned around because fun doesn’t come as easily as we think it does.

TW: So true. So true. Change how you think about it. How do you change how you think about it? You’ve got to create the change. It’s not going to happen anywhere else.

and is about creating it. You’ve got to create it. You have to create the life that you want. Nobody’s going to give it to you. It exists. It’s already there. You’ve just got to create it and bring it into your world, your version of reality, your perception of what is around you. But you’ve got to be willing to step out of the comfort zone to go and say, well, that was fun, but maybe this is going to be more fun, more exciting, this adventure, and break outside of that.

CRV: And when the stresses and strains of business, whether you work for yourself or for a boss, gets to you, you have to just sit down and breathe.

TW: That’s it. Give yourself a moment. Breathwork, Christél, has been a life change for me. When I first came across breathwork and more than just what we do from a day-to-day basis, breathe 20 to 25,000 times a day, completely unconscious.

I figured I’ve got to be pretty good at this breathwork stuff. I mean, by the time I’d been breathing for 49 years, how bad can I be at it? I need to realize shocking because we’re not taught how to breathe. Which is not. In a lot of Eastern societies. They are. But in the Western, we’re not taught how to breathe. And the power of our breath is the power to alter body, mind,

soul, spirit, health. It’s become a massive passion of mine. And this is again, one of those signs that if I hadn’t had looked at it, I would never have battened an eyelid as breath work becoming a massive primary part of what I now actually do.

CRV: Okay. And what would be your parting message then?

TW: My parting message.

Never give up and be strong enough to reach out and ask for help. Yeah, yeah, definitely reach out and ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.

CRV: And you are definitely ready to help.

TW: Oh yes, without question. So without question, there’s a lot that I do. Can I give an offer?

CRV: Yes, please.

TW: A giveaway for everybody who’s listening.

CRV: Yes, please.

TW: I would love to share with anybody, anybody’s willing to have a think and look at doing something differently. Was it massive transitional change in my life? Was my first experience to what’s called

a transformational breath work journey, which is effectively a 45 minute deep breathing, very deeply meditative journey and experience, which is now what I specialize in. And it was this experience, which now I share freely with everybody, that was my big wake up call in understanding that in order to help people move forward.

We need to help people release stress and anxiety because we live in such a high-stress, high-flying, fast world. And breathwork can give you that. So I run 60-minute transformational breath work journeys twice a month for free as a brilliant introduction. And I’d love anybody to just go onto my website and register for it and come and experience it because experience…

leads to belief and understanding. I can explain it, but I’d much say come and try one. And it was this very idea that I was introduced to from my coach back then, I’m a breathwork coach, breathwork guide, that’s what he calls himself, Brian from Bali that I first met in 2022. That was my inspired awakening moment that I said this is it, now I connect, now I understand, I’ve clarity, I’m less stressed, I’m less anxious.

I can release blocks and I can understand through the power of breath is what ultimately possible. Yeah, that’s what I’d like to offer everybody.

CRV: Okay, and all the information is on your website.

TW: Yes, there’s a page. You pick a date that’s suitable for you. I run four different ones every month, so it’s not only for South Africa. It’s for other time zones as well. Come and breathe deep. Listen to me. I use NLP, which is Neurolinguistic Programming as well.

just have a beautifully peaceful deeply meditative state and release and breathe. That’s the beginning of understanding the power of what can actually happen when we use our breath to release stress and you could have to do for 60 minutes. You can do a 60 second breath work exercise to change your state.