Martijn Aslander shares his guerilla tactics for being your best self

Thought leader and public speaker Martijn Aslander believes that to learn smarter and faster you must think outside of the box. How far outside the box is really up to you, he told the eager crowd on 13 October, during the 2017 Finance Indaba Africa.

"Most of what we need these days you can get for free, or if not, you can barter in exchange for what you need. Of course, most people will argue that we need money to buy food but why can't you go to a restaurant and see if you can get free food?" he asked, to much laughter.

Why not? Martijn challenged the disbelieving faces. He believes that by changing the way you do things you can learn to be smarter and indeed do tasks faster.

Much like guerrilla warfare, which requires small units using consistent force against a larger military, personal development is about realising you will make mistakes.

But it's from mistakes that you grow. It is also about discerning that investing in education only is not as beneficial if you're not paying attention to your digital skills, as well as the need to learn faster.

Although companies give their employees technological tools to perform their jobs, most people do not have the ability to use them optimally. With a show of hands, no one in the room could demonstrate that they had ever researched or learnt how to use MS Outlook, despite the fact that each person used it more than three hours each day.

Martijn gave the audience several pieces of advice: invest in yourself, network, be selfless, and be positive.

Invest in yourself: Take one day of the week and dedicate that time to work on yourself, whether you read a book or, as Martijn has done, read excerpts on Amazon. Growing this talent he was able to start speaking to audiences, overcoming his fear of speaking to people and turning his public speaking into a revenue stream.

Network: Martijn believes that each person knows 400 people, who in turn know 400. This is the secondary layer of networking and this is the layer at which you should be networking. However, most people are afraid of taking questions because they're afraid of rejection, but you should develop "shameless skills in asking questions", he said.

Be selfless: Share the knowledge you have aggressively; it will come back to you. "Be nice. If somebody asks for help, give help," shared Martijn.

Be positive: When faced with a difficult challenge, most people think about how they can change it to their benefit. "I think of who can face it," remarked Martijn. "A lot of things that you think are unachievable by you are achievable." Often, sharing the burden helps it get done quicker, he added.

"I love chaos," said the man known as the standup philosopher, and although he doesn't like using the word competitive, he does believe that to be ahead, you need to change your game.